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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

    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. PMID:10581290

  3. Wnt5 is required for notochord cell intercalation in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi

    PubMed Central

    Niwano, Tomoko; Takatori, Naohito; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2009-01-01

    Background information. In the embryos of various animals, the body elongates after gastrulation by morphogenetic movements involving convergent extension. The Wnt/PCP (planar cell polarity) pathway plays roles in this process, particularly mediolateral polarization and intercalation of the embryonic cells. In ascidians, several factors in this pathway, including Wnt5, have been identified and found to be involved in the intercalation process of notochord cells. Results. In the present study, the role of the Wnt5 genes, Hr-Wnt5α (Halocynthia roretzi Wnt5α) and Hr-Wnt5β, in convergent extension was investigated in the ascidian H. roretzi by injecting antisense oligonucleotides and mRNAs into single precursor blastomeres of various tissues, including notochord, at the 64-cell stage. Hr-Wnt5α is expressed in developing notochord and was essential for notochord morphogenesis. Precise quantitative control of its expression level was crucial for proper cell intercalation. Overexpression of Wnt5 proteins in notochord and other tissues that surround the notochord indicated that Wnt5α plays a role within the notochord, and is unlikely to be the source of polarizing cues arising outside the notochord. Detailed mosaic analysis of the behaviour of individual notochord cells overexpressing Wnt5α indicated that a Wnt5α-manipulated cell does not affect the behaviour of neighbouring notochord cells, suggesting that Wnt5α works in a cell-autonomous manner. This is further supported by comparison of the results of Wnt5α and Dsh (Dishevelled) knockdown experiments. In addition, our results suggest that the Wnt/PCP pathway is also involved in mediolateral intercalation of cells of the ventral row of the nerve cord (floor plate) and the endodermal strand. Conclusion. The present study highlights the role of the Wnt5α signal in notochord convergent extension movements in ascidian embryos. Our results raise the novel possibility that Wnt5α functions in a cell-autonomous manner

  4. The development of three identified motor neurons in the larva of an ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Okada, Toshiaki; Katsuyama, You; Ono, Fumihito; Okamura, Yasushi

    2002-04-15

    The generation of distinct classes of motor neurons underlies the development of complex motile behavior in all animals and is well characterized in chordates. Recent molecular studies indicate that the ascidian larval central nervous system (CNS) exhibits anteroposterior regionalization similar to that seen in the vertebrate CNS. To extend the understanding about the diversity of motor neurons in the ascidian larva, we have identified the number, position, and projection of individual motor neurons in Halocynthia roretzi, using a green fluorescent protein under the control of a neuron-specific promoter. Three pairs of motor neurons, each with a distinct shape and innervation pattern, were identified along the anteroposterior axis of the neural tube: the anterior and posterior pairs extend their axons toward dorsal muscle cells, whereas the middle pair project their axons toward ventral muscle. Overexpression of a dominant-negative form of a potassium channel in these cells resulted in paralysis on the injected side, thus these cells must constitute the major population of motor neurons responsible for swimming behavior. Lim class homeobox genes have been known as candidate genes that determine subtypes of motor neurons. Therefore, the expression pattern of Hrlim, which is a Lim class homeobox gene, was examined in the motor neuron precursors. All three motor neurons expressed Hrlim at the tailbud stage, although each down-regulated Hrlim at a different time. Misexpression of Hrlim in the epidermal lineage led to ectopic expression of TuNa2, a putative voltage-gated channel gene normally expressed predominantly in the three pairs of motor neurons. Hrlim may control membrane excitability of motor neurons by regulating ion channel gene expression.

  5. Isolation of an early neural maker gene abundantly expressed in the nervous system of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Yagi, K; Makabe, K W

    2001-01-01

    Ascidian tadpole larvae possess a primitive nervous system, which is a prospective prototype of the chordate nervous system. It is composed of relatively few cells but sufficient for complex larval behavior. Here we report on HrETR-1, a gene zygotically expressed in a large proportion of the developing neural cells of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi. HrETR-1 is an early neural marker which can be used for analyzing neural differentiation. HrETR-1 expression intensified in most neural cells of genes isolated to date, in both central and peripheral nervous systems including palps as early as the 110-cell stage. Using this gene as a probe, we characterized neural cells in the nervous system as well as confirming their origins. Also, we recognized three types of peripheral epidermal neurons which presumably correlate to the larval neurons previously reported for another ascidian. Among these, five bilateral neurons located in the anterior region of the trunk appeared to be derived from a8.26 blastomeres.

  6. Tunic morphology and viral surveillance in diseased Korean ascidians: Soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche), in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, S-I; Ohtake, S-I; Song, J-Y; Jung, S-J; Oh, M-J; Choi, B-D; Azumi, K; Hirose, E

    2010-02-01

    'Soft tunic syndrome' causes mass mortality in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi in Korean and Japanese aquaculture. In histopathological comparison, there were no specific differences between diseased specimens from Korea and Japan, indicating that soft tunic syndrome occurring in Korea and Japan is the same disease. No bacterial or protozoan cells were microscopically detected in either healthy or diseased tunics suggesting they are not the direct causes of soft tunic syndrome. Attempts were made to isolate virus from affected ascidians taking into account temperature conditions in which soft tunic syndrome is most prevalent in the field. However, no viruses were isolated from diseased or non-diseased specimens using chinook salmon embryo (CHSE-214), flounder fin (FFN) or epithelioma papillosum cyprini (EPC) cell lines.

  7. Isolation of cDNA clones for mRNAs transcribed zygotically during cleavage in the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Miya, Takahito; Nishida, Hiroki

    2002-02-01

    The ascidian larva consists of a relatively small number of different cell types, and the cell lineages during embryogenesis have been well described. The clonal restriction of developmental fate takes place considerably early in development. The fates of most of the blastomeres become tissue-restricted by the 110-cell stage, just before the onset of gastrulation. To elucidate the molecular basis of the early events of fate determination in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, we isolated the genes for which zygotic expression is initiated during the early cleavage stages. Here we report 18 genes isolated by subtractive hybridization screening between 110-cell embryos and fertilized eggs. The expression of most (13) of the genes was initiated at the 32-cell stage. The genes were subdivided into three groups according to their spatial expression patterns. The first group included clones expressed throughout almost the entire embryo. The second and third groups represented clones expressed mainly in the animal hemisphere and in a subset of vegetal blastomeres, respectively. One of the genes, HrHesl1, encoded a polypeptide containing the bHLH domain that is similar to those of the Hairy/Enhancer of split/Deadpan family of transcriptional repressors. HrHesl1 was expressed exclusively in epidermal precursor cells during cleavage. Another gene named HrWnt-5 beta was expressed in muscle precursors.

  8. Trypsin-like enzyme from eggs of the ascidian (protochordate), Halocynthia roretzi. Purification, properties, and physiological role.

    PubMed

    Sawada, H; Kawahigashi, M; Yokosawa, H; Ishii, S

    1985-12-15

    A trypsin-like enzyme has been purified to apparent homogeneity from eggs of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, by a procedure including column chromatography on diethylaminoethyl-cellulose, phenyl-Sepharose, and soybean trypsin inhibitor-immobilized Sepharose 4B. The molecular weight of the enzyme was estimated to be 31,000 and 33,000 by gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate under the reducing and the nonreducing conditions, respectively. The isoelectric point of the enzyme was 4.8. The pH optimum of the activity was 8.4. The enzyme was stable between pH 6 and 9 in the presence of 0.005% Brij 35 as a stabilizer. Substrate specificity of the purified enzyme was broad toward various peptidyl-arginine (or -lysine) 4-methylcoumaryl-7-amides and was similar to that of a trypsin-like enzyme found in the fertilization product. The purified enzyme was inhibited by diisopropyl fluorophosphate and a variety of trypsin inhibitors including leupeptin, but not, or scarcely, inhibited by p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, pepstatin, chymostatin, bestatin, elastatinal, and tosyl-phenylalanyl-chloromethane. The rankings in the potencies of leupeptin and its six analogs as the inhibitors of the purified enzyme were well correlated with those found in their inhibitory effects on the expansion of perivitelline space. Thus, the trypsin-like enzyme possibly present in the fertilization product participates in the expansion of perivitelline space of the egg during fertilization of the ascidian.

  9. Morphological characterization of the tunic in the edible ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche), with remarks on 'soft tunic syndrome' in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Hirose, E; Ohtake, S-I; Azumi, K

    2009-05-01

    'Soft tunic syndrome' is a serious problem in the aquaculture of the edible ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche), and often leads to mass mortality. Here, we describe the tunic morphology of intact and diseased ascidians to reveal structural differences between them. Morphologically, diseased tunics are not very different from intact tunics, although the former are thinner and softer than the latter. While several types of cells are distributed in the tunic, the cell types and their cytomorphologies were almost identical in both groups. As bacterial/protozoan cells were not found in either intact or diseased tunics, they are not the direct cause of soft tunic syndrome. The most remarkable difference was in the bundles of tunic fibres that compose the tunic matrix; in intact tunics, the thick bundles interlace to form a firm matrix, whereas in soft tunics, the tunic fibres do not form thick bundles. Furthermore, areas of low fibre density were found in diseased tunics. Therefore, soft tunic syndrome probably causes inhibition of bundle formation and degradation of tunic bundles, creating areas of low fibre density, although the causes remain unknown.

  10. Follicle cell trypsin-like protease HrOvochymase: Its cDNA cloning, localization, and involvement in the late stage of oogenesis in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Mino, Masako; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2016-04-01

    We previously reported that the sperm trypsin-like protease HrAcrosin and its precursor HrProacrosin participate in fertilization of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. The HrProacrosin gene is annotated in the H. roretzi genome database as Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383; our previously reported sequence of HrProacrosin gene appeared to include four nucleotides inserted near the 3'-end of HrProacrosin, resulting in a frame-shift mutation and a premature termination codon. The gene architecture of HrProacrosin and Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383 resembles that of Xenopus laevis ovochymase-1/OVCH1 and ovochymase-2/OVCH2, which encode egg extracellular polyproteases. Considering these new observations, we evaluated the cDNA cloning, expression, localization, and function of Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383, herein designated as HrOvochymase/HrOVCH. We found that HrOVCH cDNA consists of a single open reading frame of 1,575 amino acids, containing a signal peptide, three trypsin-like protease domains, and six CUB domains. HrOVCH was transcribed by the testis and ovary, but the majority of protein exists in ovarian follicle cells surrounding eggs. An anti-HrOVCH antibody inhibited elevation of the vitelline coat at a late stage of oogenesis, during the period when self-sterility is acquired. As trypsin inhibitors are reported to block the acquisition of self-sterility during oogenesis, whereas trypsin induces the acquisition of self-sterility and elevation of the vitelline coat in defolliculated ovarian eggs, we propose that HrOVCH may play a role in the acquisition of self-sterility by late-stage H. roretzi oocytes.

  11. Purification and characterization of a 39,000-Da serine proteinase from the hemolymph of a solitary ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Shishikura, F; Abe, T; Ohtake, S; Tanaka, K

    1997-09-01

    A new endogenous serine proteinase from the cell-free hemolymph of a solitary ascidian, Halocythia roretzi, was purified by a combination of ammonium sulfate fractionation, hydrophobic interaction chromatography on TSKgel Toyopearl HW 65 F, ion exchange chromatography on TSKgel DEAE-Toyopearl 650 M, affinity chromatography on Arginine-Sepharose 4B, gel filtration on TSKgel Toyopearl HW 65F and hydroxyapatite chromatography on Bio-Gel HT. The serine proteinase is a single polypeptide chain whose molecular weight and isoelectric point are 39 kDa and about 7.6 pI, respectively. The most susceptible substrate was Boc-Leu-Gly-Arg-4-methyl-coumaryl-7-amide (MCA), and activity was optimal at pH 8. The enzyme was relatively stable at high temperatures; about 50% activity was retained even at 60 degrees C for 30 min in 50 mM Tris-HCl, pH 8.0, containing 0.5 M NaCl, and 0.05% Brij-35. The enzyme was characterized by the inhibitory effects of synthetic or natural inhibitors, substrate specificity toward 26 peptidyl-MCAs, proteinase activity toward natural proteins and complex formation with a serine proteinase inhibitor (58 kDa) previously found in H. roretzi hemolymph, indicating that the enzyme was a member of serine proteinases and strongly inhibited by the 58 kDa serine proteinase inhibitor as well as human antithrombin III. We also demonstrated the clotting enzyme activity of the purified serine proteinase toward bovine fibrinogen and Limulus coagulogen, a fibrinogen-like clottable protein of horseshoe crabs.

  12. Transcription regulatory mechanism of Pitx in the papilla-forming region in the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, implies conserved involvement of Otx as the upstream gene in the adhesive organ development of chordates.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Keita; Ueno, Motoko; Niwano, Tomoko; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2012-08-01

    Pitx genes play important roles in a variety of developmental processes in vertebrates. In an ascidian species, Halocynthia roretzi, Hr-Pitx, the only Pitx gene of this species, has been reported to be expressed in the left epidermis at the tailbud stage. In the present study, first, we have shown that Hr-Pitx is also expressed in the papilla-forming region at the neurula to tailbud stages, and then we addressed transcription regulatory mechanisms for the expression of Hr-Pitx in the papilla-forming region. We have identified the genomic region ranging from 850 to 1211 bp upstream from the translation start site of the Hr-Pitx gene as an enhancer region that drives the transcription of Hr-Pitx in the papilla-forming region. Within the enhancer region, putative transcriptional factor binding sites for Otx as well as Fox were shown to be required for its activity. Finally, we carried out knocking down experiments of Hr-Otx function using an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide, in which the knocking down of Hr-Otx function resulted in reduction of the enhancer activity and loss of the expression of Hr-Pitx in the papilla-forming region. In Xenopus laevis, it has been reported that Pitx genes are expressed downstream of Otx function during development of the cement gland, an adhesive organ of its larva. Taken together, it is suggested that the expression regulatory mechanism of Pitx, involving Otx as the upstream gene, in the developing adhesive organ is conserved between ascidians and vertebrates.

  13. Characterization of a Novel Rhamnose-containing Acidic Glycosphingolipid from the Ascidian Halocynthia aurantium.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Hisao; Shinohara, Ryota; Itonori, Saki; Ito, Masahiro

    2017-03-01

    Halocynthia aurantium, an edible ascidian species belonging to Urochordata, was subjected to structural characterization of acidic glycosphingolipids to investigate these molecules in ascidians: sulfatide from Ciona intestinalis and the glucuronic acid-containing acidic glycosphingolipid from H. roretzi. Acidic glycosphingolipids containing three or five sugars were isolated from soft parts of the ascidian H. aurantium by chloroform-methanol extraction, mild-alkaline hydrolysis, precipitation with cold acetone, and subsequent column chromatography using a DEAE-Sephadex A-25 column, a Florisil column, and an Iatrobead column. The structures of these glycosphingolipids were determined by methylation studies, sugar analysis, fatty acid analysis, sphingoid analysis, mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A novel glucuronic acid-containing glycosphingolipid having a rhamnose residue was identified as Rhaα1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcAβ1-Cer (UGL-2). This novel structure is particularly unusual given that it contains both a rhamnose residue and a reducing terminal glucuronic acid residue within a single molecule. Rhamnose is a characteristic sugar, which is a component of cell wall pectin in plants and exopolysaccharides in bacteria. Ascidians acquired the cellulose synthase gene via lateral gene transfer, and therefore, it can be speculated that they also acquired the rhamnosyltransferase gene in the same manner. We also detected Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcAβ1-Cer (UGL-1), which was already identified in another ascidian, H. roretzi.

  14. Effects of sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi) lipids on white adipose tissue weight and blood glucose in diabetic/obese KK-Ay mice.

    PubMed

    Mikami, Nana; Hosokawa, Masashi; Miyashita, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    Lipids extracted from Halocynthia roretzi contain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, as well as carotenoids. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of H. roretzi lipids on white adipose tissue (WAT) weight and high blood glucose levels in diabetic/obese KK-Ay mice. H. roretzi lipids were fed to the diabetic/obese KK-Ay mice for 5 weeks. In the mice treated with the H. roretzi lipids compared to control mice, WAT weight was reduced, blood glucose levels and leptin mRNA expression in the epididymal WAT were significantly decreased, serum leptin levels also tended to decrease, and serum adiponectin levels tended to increase. These results demonstrate that H. roretzi lipids have beneficial health effects on diabetic/obese KK-Ay mice.

  15. Identification of softness syndrome-associated candidate genes and DNA sequence variation in the sea squirt, Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyun Kook; Nam, Bo-Hye; Kong, Hee Jeong; Han, Hyon Sob; Hur, Young Baek; Choi, Tae Jin; Choi, Yung Hyun; Kim, Woo Jin; Cheong, JaeHun

    2008-01-01

    The mortality of sea squirts, Halocynthia roretzi, with softness syndrome threatens the sea squirt aquaculture industry in Asian countries. The molecular approach to understanding the pathogenesis of softness syndrome began with differential gene expression analysis of tissues from normal and dying organisms. In the present study, we show that the expression of Halocynthia roretzi metalloproteinase (HrMMP) was significantly upregulated in the tissues of dying organisms through screening of differentially expressed genes, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and real-time PCR. HrMMP is composed of 482 amino acids, contains a conserved domain found in the astacin family, and has typical metalloproteinase activity. To discriminate between the differential expression of the HrMMP gene in normal and dying organisms, we cloned the HrMMP gene promoter and identified a polymorphism in the HrMMP promoter region that resulted in distinct polymorphisms (G/T) at position - 308 bp. These results suggest that organisms with the GT genotype may have more resistance to softness syndrome than those with the TT genotype. These findings suggest that the HrMMP promoter polymorphism may be associated with an increased risk of softness syndrome in cultivated sea squirts and should be evaluated as a candidate molecular marker for the selective breeding of softness syndrome-resistant sea squirts.

  16. 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.

  17. The kinetoplastid parasite Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the causative agent of soft tunic syndrome of the sea squirt Halocynthia roretzi, resides in the East Sea of Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyoun-Joong; Park, Jong Soo; Park, Kwan Ha; Shin, Yun-Kyung; Park, Kyung-Il

    2014-02-01

    Mass mortality of the edible sea squirt Halocynthia roretzi since the 1990s in the southern and eastern seas of Korea has caused large economic losses. The disease is characterized by symptoms of initially softened and thinned tunics that eventually rupture. Thus, the disease is called soft tunic syndrome (STS); however, the causative agent in these regions is unknown. In the present study, two kinetoplastid organisms were isolated from STS sea squirts collected from culture farms in Tongyeong located in the East Sea of Korea. Phylogenetic analysis of 18S rRNA sequences identified these organisms as Azumiobodo hoyamushi and Procryptobia sorokini. These kinetoplastids were injected into healthy sea squirts and cultured at 15°C for 13days. Sea squirts injected with A. hoyamushi showed 100% STS whereas, P. sorokini did not induce disease, thereby confirming A. hoyamushi as the causative agent of STS. A. hoyamushi flourishes in vitro at 10-15°C, and dies at temperatures below 5°C or above 20°C. The optimum salinity level for growth is 30-35psu, and death occurs below 25psu. These optima coincide with marine temperature and salinity levels between March and June on the southern coasts of Korea, the period when the syndrome occurs at the highest frequency. The identification here of A. hoyamushi as the causative agent of STS and our findings regarding its optimum growth conditions should lead to methods for reducing the incidence of STS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

    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.

  19. Neurula rotation determines left-right asymmetry in ascidian tadpole larvae.

    PubMed

    Nishide, Kazuhiko; Mugitani, Michio; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2012-04-01

    Tadpole larvae of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi show morphological left-right asymmetry. The tail invariably bends towards the left side within the vitelline membrane. The structure of the larval brain is remarkably asymmetric. nodal, a conserved gene that shows left-sided expression, is also expressed on the left side in H. roretzi but in the epidermis unlike in vertebrates. We show that nodal signaling at the late neurula stage is required for stereotypic morphological left-right asymmetry at later stages. We uncover a novel mechanism to break embryonic symmetry, in which rotation of whole embryos provides the initial cue for left-sided expression of nodal. Two hours prior to the onset of nodal expression, the neurula embryo rotates along the anterior-posterior axis in a counterclockwise direction when seen in posterior view, and then this rotation stops when the left side of the embryo is oriented downwards. It is likely that epidermis monocilia, which appear at the neurula rotation stage, generate the driving force for the rotation. When the embryo lies on the left side, protrusion of the neural fold physically prevents it from rotating further. Experiments in which neurula rotation is perturbed by various means, including centrifugation and sandwiching between glass, indicate that contact of the left epidermis with the vitelline membrane as a consequence of neurula rotation promotes nodal expression in the left epidermis. We suggest that chemical, and not mechanical, signals from the vitelline membrane promote nodal expression. Neurula rotation is also conserved in other ascidian species.

  20. Genetic Distances in Three Ascidian Species determined by PCR Technique

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jong-Man

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Seven oligonucleotides primers were shown to generate the shared loci, specific loci, unique shared loci to each species and shared loci by the three species which could be obviously scored. In the present study, 7 oligonucleotides primers produced 401 total loci in the Styela clava (SC) species, 390 in the Halocynthia roretzi (HR) and 434 in the Styela plicata (SP), respectively. Seven oligonucleotides primers generated 275 specific loci in the SC, 341 in the HR and 364 in the SP species, respectively. The oligonucleotides primer BION-23 generated 28 unique loci to each species in the SP species. Especially, the oligonucleotides primer BION-25 produced 7 unique loci to each species, which were identifying each species in the SP species. BION-17 distinguished 21 shared loci by the three ascidian species, major and/or minor fragments of sizes, which were identical in almost all of the samples. Based on the average bandsharing values of all samples, the similarity matrix ranged from 0.519 to 0.774 in the SC species, from 0.261 to 0.683 in the HR species and from 0.346 to 0.730 in the SP species. As regards average bandsharing value (BS) results, individuals from SC species (0.661±0.081) exhibited higher bandsharing values than did individuals from HR species (0.555±0.074) (P<0.05). The dendrogram obtained by the seven oligonucleotides primers indicates three genetic groups. In three ascidian species, the shortest genetic distance (0.071) exhibiting significant molecular difference was also between individual no. 20 and no. 21 within the SP species. PMID:28144642

  1. Transcript Mapping and Genome Annotation of Ascidian mtDNA Using EST Data

    PubMed Central

    Gissi, Carmela; Pesole, Graziano

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondrial transcripts of two ascidian species were reconstructed through sequence assembly of publicly available ESTs resembling mitochondrial DNA sequences (mt-ESTs). This strategy allowed us to analyze processing and mapping of the mitochondrial transcripts and to investigate the gene organization of a previously uncharacterized mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). This new strategy would greatly facilitate the sequencing and annotation of mtDNAs. In Ciona intestinalis, the assembled mt-ESTs covered 22 mitochondrial genes (∼12,000 bp) and provided the partial sequence of the mtDNA and the prediction of its gene organization. Such sequences were confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the entire Ciona mtDNA. For Halocynthia roretzi, for which the mtDNA sequence was already available, the inferred mt transcripts allowed better definition of gene boundaries (16S rRNA, ND1, ATP6, and tRNA-Ser genes) and the identification of a new gene (an additional Phe-tRNA). In both species, polycistronic and immature transcripts, creation of stop codons by polyadenylation, tRNA signal processing, and rRNA transcript termination signals were identified, thus suggesting that the main features of mitochondrial transcripts are conserved in Chordata. PMID:12915488

  2. Identification and localization of the sperm CRISP family protein CiUrabin involved in gamete interaction in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Akira; Saito, Takako; Yamada, Lixy; Taniguchi, Hisaaki; Harada, Yoshito; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2011-07-01

    Ascidians are hermaphrodites, and most release sperm and eggs nearly simultaneously. Many species, including Halocynthia roretzi and Ciona intestinalis, are self-sterile. We previously reported that the interaction between a 12 EGF-like repeat-containing vitelline-coat (VC) protein, HrVC70, and a sperm GPI-anchored CRISP, HrUrabin, in lipid rafts plays a key role in self-/nonself-recognizable gamete interaction in H. roretzi. On the other hand, we recently identified two pairs of polymorphic genes responsible for self-incompatibility in C. intestinalis by positional cloning: The sperm polycystin 1-like receptors s-Themis-A/B and its fibrinogen-like ligand v-Themis-A/B on the VC. However, it is not known if the orthologs of HrVC70 and HrUrabin also participate in gamete interaction in C. intestinalis since they are from different orders. Here, we tested for a C. intestinalis ortholog (CiUrabin) of HrUrabin by searching the genome database and proteomes of sperm lipid rafts. The identified CiUrabin belongs to the CRISP family, with a PR domain and a GPI-anchor-attachment site. CiUrabin appears to be specifically expressed in the testis and localized at the surface of the sperm head, as revealed by Northern blotting and immunocytochemistry, respectively. The specific interaction between CiVC57, a C. intestinalis ortholog of HrVC70, and CiUrabin was confirmed by Far Western analysis, similarly to the interaction between HrVC70 and HrUrabin. The molecular interaction between CiVC57 and CiUrabin may be involved in the primary binding of sperm to the VC prior to the allorecognition process, mediated by v-Themis-A/B and s-Themis-A/B, during fertilization of C. intestinalis.

  3. Neural differentiation in cleavage-arrested ascidian blastomeres induced by a proteolytic enzyme.

    PubMed Central

    Okado, H; Takahashi, K

    1993-01-01

    1. As previously reported, ectodermal a4-2 blastomeres isolated from 8-cell embryos of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi or aurantium, and cultured under conditions of cleavage arrest always differentiated into an epidermal phenotype, showing long-lasting Ca(2+)-dependent action potentials and/or tunic on the cell surface. a4-2 blastomeres contacted by a chordamesodermal blastomere, A4-1, differentiated into a neural phenotype, characterized by fast Na(+)-dependent spikes. Differentiation to a similar neural phenotype occurred when isolated a4-2 blastomeres from H. aurantium embryos were treated with > 0.003% subtilisin for 60 min at the 32-cell stage of the control embryo. Comparisons between induction by cell contact and induction by proteolytic enzymes were made and showed them to be similar in several respects. 2. When the serine protease, subtilisin, was used as the neural inducer, neural competence of a4-2 blastomeres, measured as the percentage frequency of the induction of Na+ spikes, increased after the 32-cell stage and decreased during the gastrula stage. The time course of the neural competence was the same as that for contact with the A4-1 blastomere. 3. The neural competence of four different ectodermal blastomeres isolated from the 16-cell embryo was also examined using subtilisin as a neural inducer, and by contact with the A4-1 blastomere from the 8-cell embryo. The competence was higher in anterior blastomeres than in posterior blastomeres for both types of induction. This regional difference in neural competence along the antero-posterior axis paralleled that expected from neural cell lineage during normal development, i.e. blastomeres with more cells of neural lineage among their derivatives showed higher competence. 4. Streptomyces subtilisin inhibitor, SSI (0.1%), a specific protease inhibitor for subtilisin-type serine proteases, significantly suppressed (50%) neural induction of the ectodermal blastomere, a4-2, by contact with the

  4. Ascidian recruitment patterns on an artificial reef in Eilat (Red Sea).

    PubMed

    Shenkar, Noa; Zeldman, Yael; Loya, Yossi

    2008-01-01

    Although ascidians are conspicuous members of the fouling community not much is known regarding their recruitment patterns in coral reefs. A 1-year study was carried out along the Red Sea coast of Israel to examine the effects of season and spatial distribution on ascidian recruitment to artificial marine structures. In general, autumn and spring were characterized by higher coverage with a significantly higher percentage of cover of Didemnum granulatum in autumn and higher numbers of Herdmania momus in spring. These species contributed the most to similarity between treatments consequently setting the pattern for each group (colonial and solitary). Halocynthia spinosa had significantly higher numbers during winter and Phallusia nigra was absent in spring and winter. H. momus showed a preference for horizontal surfaces. P. nigra and Ascidia cannelata showed a preference for floating units. It is concluded that the ascidian recruitment patterns are species-specific and vary between seasons, orientation and position on the substrata and in the water column.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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

  8. Decoding cis-regulatory systems in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Takehiro

    2005-02-01

    Ascidians, or sea squirts, are lower chordates, and share basic gene repertoires and many characteristics, both developmental and physiological, with vertebrates. Therefore, decoding cis-regulatory systems in ascidians will contribute toward elucidating the genetic regulatory systems underlying the developmental and physiological processes of vertebrates. cis-Regulatory DNAs can also be used for tissue-specific genetic manipulation, a powerful tool for studying ascidian development and physiology. Because the ascidian genome is compact compared with vertebrate genomes, both intergenic regions and introns are relatively small in ascidians. Short upstream intergenic regions contain a complete set of cis-regulatory elements for spatially regulated expression of a majority of ascidian genes. These features of the ascidian genome are a great advantage in identifying cis-regulatory sequences and in analyzing their functions. Function of cis-regulatory DNAs has been analyzed for a number of tissue-specific and developmentally regulated genes of ascidians by introducing promoter-reporter fusion constructs into ascidian embryos. The availability of the whole genome sequences of the two Ciona species, Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi, facilitates comparative genomics approaches to identify cis-regulatory DNAs. Recent studies demonstrate that computational methods can help identify cis-regulatory elements in the ascidian genome. This review presents a comprehensive list of ascidian genes whose cis-regulatory regions have been subjected to functional analysis, and highlights the recent advances in bioinformatics and comparative genomics approaches to cis-regulatory systems in ascidians.

  9. Deep Sequencing of Mixed Total DNA without Barcodes Allows Efficient Assembly of Highly Plastic Ascidian Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23709623

  10. 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.

  11. Ascidians (Tunicata) of the French Guiana Expedition.

    PubMed

    Monniot, Françoise

    2016-05-24

    Ascidians were collected along the shore of Iles du Salut and deeper on the slope in a program of evaluation of the biodiversity in Guiana. Most of the samples belong to already known species from the Caribbean area and Brazilian coast. The colonial forms dominate. The 6 new species have been dredged deeper than 50m but not found by SCUBA divers. In spite of an intensive sampling, the ascidian diversity in Guiana is low with 36 species recorded. This is the result of the abundance of sediment suspended in the water and uniformly deposited on all substrates which affects filtration rate and limits the settling of the ascidian larvae.

  12. On the sterols of some ascidians.

    PubMed

    Voogt, P A; van Rheenen, J W

    1975-08-01

    The lipid content of sea squirts is low, namely less than a half percent of the fresh weight. Lipids consist of about seventy percent of saponifiable lipids and of about twenty percent of non-saponifiable lipids. Both types of these lipids, including sterols, can be synthesized from acetate by these animals. Small amounts of C30 sterols were observed only in Microcosmus sulcatus and Halocynthia papillosa, the species with a low content of C27 sterols and a high content of C28 sterols. In addition these species contained considerable higher amounts of sterols with a double bond at the C22 position than Ciona intestinalis and Styela plicata did.

  13. Gene regulatory networks in the early ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Satou, Yutaka; Satoh, Nori; Imai, Kaoru S

    2009-04-01

    Ascidians, or sea squirts, are tunicates that diverged from the vertebrate lineage early in the chordate evolution. The compact and simple organization of the ascidian genome makes this organism an ideal model system for analyzing gene regulatory networks in embryonic development. Embryos contain relatively few cells and gene activities by individual cells have been determined. Here we review and discuss advances in our understanding of the ascidian embryogenesis emerging from genomic expression studies and analyses at the single cell level.

  14. Halocyntin and papillosin, two new antimicrobial peptides isolated from hemocytes of the solitary tunicate, Halocynthia papillosa.

    PubMed

    Galinier, Richard; Roger, Emmanuel; Sautiere, Pierre-Eric; Aumelas, Andre; Banaigs, Bernard; Mitta, Guillaume

    2009-01-01

    We report here the screening of five marine invertebrate species from two taxa (tunicates and echinoderms) for the presence of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMP) in defence cells (hemocytes). Antimicrobial activities were detected only in the two tunicates Microcosmus sabatieri and Halocynthia papillosa. In addition, we report the isolation and characterization of two novel peptides from H. papillosa hemocytes. These molecules display antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Complete peptide characterization was obtained by a combination of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. The mature molecules, named halocyntin and papillosin, comprise 26 and 34 amino acid residues, respectively. Their primary structure display no significant similarities with previously described AMP. Copyright 2008 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Mutation studies in ascidians: a review.

    PubMed

    Crocetta, Fabio; Marino, Rita; Cirino, Paola; Macina, Alberto; Staiano, Leopoldo; Esposito, Rosaria; Pezzotti, Maria Rosa; Racioppi, Claudia; Toscano, Francesco; De Felice, Elena; Locascio, Annamaria; Ristoratore, Filomena; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Zanetti, Laura; Branno, Margherita; Sordino, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Historically, mutations have had a significant impact on the study of developmental processes and phenotypic evolution. Lesions in DNA are created by artificial methods or detected by natural genetic variation. Random mutations are then ascribed to genetic change by direct sequencing or positional cloning. Tunicate species of the ascidian genus Ciona represent nearly fully realized model systems in which gene function can be investigated in depth. Additionally, tunicates are valuable organisms for the study of naturally occurring mutations due to the capability to exploit genetic variation down to the molecular level. Here, we summarize the available information about how mutations are studied in ascidians with examples of insights that have resulted from these applications. We also describe notions and methodologies that might be useful for the implementation of easy and tight procedures for mutations studies in Ciona.

  16. Ascidians: An Emerging Marine Model for Drug Discovery and Screening.

    PubMed

    Dumollard, Remi; Gazo, Ievgeniia; Gomes, Isa D L; Besnardeau, Lydia; McDougall, Alex

    2017-01-01

    Ascidians (tunicates; sea squirts) are marine animals which provide a source of diverse, bioactive natural products, and a model for toxicity screenings. Compounds isolated from ascidians comprise an approved anti-tumor drug and many others are potent drug leads. Furthermore, the use of invertebrate embryos for toxicological screening tests or analysis offers the possibility to image a large number of samples for high throughput screens. Ascidians are members of a sister clade to the vertebrates and make a vertebrate-like tadpole larva composed of less than 3000 cells in 18 hours. The neural complex of the ascidian larva is made of only 350 cells (of which 100 are neurons) and functional genomic studies have now uncovered numerous GRNs underpinning neural specification and differentiation. Numerous studies showed that brain formation in ascidians is sensitive to toxic insults especially from endocrine disruptors making them a suitable model to study neurodevelopmental defects. Modern techniques available for ascidians, including transgenic embryos where 3D time lapse imaging of GFPexpressing reporter constructs can be analyzed, now permit numerous end-points to be evaluated in order to test the specific mode of action of many compounds. This review summarizes the key evidence suggesting that ascidian embryos are a favorable embryological model to study neurodevelopmental toxicity of different compounds with molecular and cellular end-points. We predict that ascidians may become a significant source of marine blue biotechnologies in the 21st century. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  17. Linking chordate gene networks to cellular behavior in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Brad; Christiaen, Lionel

    2006-01-27

    Embryos of simple chordates called ascidians (sea squirts) have few cells, develop rapidly, and are transparent, enabling the in vivo fluorescent imaging of labeled cell lineages. Ascidians are also simple genetically, with limited redundancy and compact regulatory regions. This cellular and genetic simplicity is now being exploited to link comprehensive gene networks to the cellular events underlying morphogenesis.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Seasonal variation in Azumiobodo hoyamushi infection among benthic organisms in the southern coast of Korea.

    PubMed

    Nam, Ki-Woong; Shin, Yun-Kyung; Park, Kyung-Il

    2015-11-04

    Recent studies have reported that soft tunic syndrome (STS) in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi is caused by the kinetoplastid parasite Azumiobodo hoyamushi. In this study, we attempted to detect and quantify the pathogen in benthic animals. Four species of ascidians, three species of echinoderms, two species of bivalves, one species each of sponge and algae, as well as seawater, were collected in 2014 and 2015 from an ascidian farm on the southern coast of Korea by SCUBA diving. Samples were collected from ascidian hanging culture ropes or the sea bottom. Inhalent siphons were excised for the analysis of ascidians, and soft body tissues were excised from the other species. Membrane filters were used to filter collected seawater. Tissues and membrane filters were analysed using culture testing, PCR testing, and qPCR diagnoses. Only organisms belonging to Ascidiacea are susceptible to A. hoyamushi infection. The infection rate (% infected of the total number collected) and infection intensity (number of cells infected/g tissue wet weight) varied depending on the seasonal variation in seawater temperatures. Most ascidians examined were infected with A. hoyamushi and showed higher infection intensity in cold water seasons (April 2014 and February 2015), followed by a dramatic drop during warm water seasons (August and November, 2014). In addition, infection intensity of A. hoyamushi during the warm water period was higher in ascidians from the sea bottom than those from the hanging culture rope. Among benthic organisms that inhabit the southern coast of Korea, most ascidians are susceptible to A. hoyamushi infection. Seasonal cycle of infection rates and intensities of the pathogen correspond well with the STS disappearance and onset cycle observed in ascidian farms. The high intensity of A. hoyamushi infection in the ascidians on the sea bottom of ascidian farms during summer suggest further studies on the role of the pathogen in resumption of STS occurrence

  1. Cellulase production from Pseudoalteromonas sp. NO3 isolated from the sea squirt Halocynthia rorentzi.

    PubMed

    Kim, Duwoon; Baik, Keun Sik; Park, Seong Chan; Kim, Seon-Jun; Shin, Tai-Sun; Jung, Sung-Joo; Oh, Myung-Joo; Seong, Chi Nam

    2009-11-01

    Pseudoalteromonas sp. NO3 was isolated from the hemolymph of diseased sea squirts (Halocynthia rorentzi) with symptoms of soft tunic syndrome. The strain was found to produce an extracellular cellulase (CelY) that consisted of a 1,476 bp open reading frame encoding 491 amino acid residues with an approximate molecular mass of 52 kDa. Homologies of the deduced amino acid sequence of celY with the products of the celA, celX, celG and cel5Z genes were 92.6, 93.3, 92.6, and 59.1%, respectively. Additionally, CelY had 50-80% remnant catalytic activity at temperatures of 10-20 degrees C. Highest carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) hydrolysis was observed at pH 8.0 and 40 degrees C. CMC activity was determined by zymogram active staining and different degraded product profiles for CelY were obtained when cellotetraose, cellopentaose, and CMC were used as substrates. This study identified a transglycosylation activity in CelY that allows the enzyme to digest G4 to G2 and G3 without the production of G1.

  2. Two Decades of Ascidian Developmental Biology: A Personal Research Story.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are the closest relatives of vertebrates. Their utility in experimental embryology has been well recognized because of their simple mode of embryogenesis to form tadpole larvae with a basal chordate body plan. Approximately two decades of research, including decoding of the Ciona genome, have promoted ascidians as one of the best systems for exploring genome-wide mechanisms of developmental transcriptional control and chordate evolution.

  3. Diversity of Actinobacteria Associated with the Marine Ascidian Eudistoma toealensis.

    PubMed

    Steinert, Georg; Taylor, Michael W; Schupp, Peter J

    2015-08-01

    Ascidians have yielded a wide variety of bioactive natural products. The colonial ascidian Eudistoma toealensis from Micronesia has been identified as the source of a series of staurosporine derivatives, though the exact origin of these derivatives is still unknown. To identify known staurosporine-producing microbes associated with E. toealensis, we analyzed with 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing the overall bacterial community and focused on potential symbiotic bacteria already known from other ascidians or other marine hosts, such as sponges. The described microbiota was one of very high diversity, comprising 43 phyla: two from archaea, 34 described bacterial phyla, and seven candidate bacterial phyla. Many bacteria, which are renowned community members of other ascidians and marine holobionts, such as sponges and corals, were also part of the E. toealensis microbial community. Furthermore, two known producers of indolocarbazoles, Salinispora and Verrucosispora, were found with high abundance exclusively in the ascidian tissue, suggesting that microbial symbionts and not the organism itself may be the true producers of the staurosporines in E. toealensis.

  4. Tenacibaculum ascidiaceicola sp. nov., isolated from the golden sea squirt Halocynthia aurantium.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-flagellated, non-spore-forming bacterial strain motile by gliding, designated RSS1-6T, was isolated from a golden sea squirt Halocynthia aurantium and its taxonomic position was investigated by using a polyphasic approach. Strain RSS1-6T grew optimally at 30-37 °C and in the presence of 1.0-4.0 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain RSS1-6T fell within the clade comprising species of the genus Tenacibaculum, clustering with the type strains of Tenacibaculum discolor, Tenacibaculum litoreum and Tenacibaculum gallaicum with which it exhibited 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values of 98.5-99.5 %. Strain RSS1-6T contained MK-6 as the predominant menaquinone and iso-C15 : 0, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH and summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) as the major fatty acids. The major polar lipids of strain RSS1-6T were phosphatidylethanolamine, two unidentified lipids, one unidentified aminophospholipid and one unidentified glycolipid. The DNA G+C content was 32.5 mol% and the mean DNA-DNA relatedness values with the type strains of T. discolor, T. litoreum and T. gallaicum were 17.3-25.2 %. The differential phenotypic properties, together with the phylogenetic and genetic distinctiveness, revealed that strain RSS1-6T is separated from other recognized species of the genus Tenacibaculum. On the basis of the data presented, strain RSS1-6T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Tenacibaculum, for which the name Tenacibaculum ascidiaceicola sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is RSS1-6T ( = KCTC 42702T = NBRC 111225T).

  5. Genomics and developmental approaches to an ascidian adenohypophysis primordium.

    PubMed

    Kano, Shungo

    2010-07-01

    Ascidians, which are the closest phylogenetic relatives to vertebrates, lack a distinct pituitary gland, which is the major endocrine gland in vertebrates. Nevertheless, for the past 130 years, it has been debated that the ascidian neural complex (NC) is homologous to the pituitary. Of the three major components of the NC, the neural gland (NG) has mainly been thought to be the ascidian counterpart of the pituitary. Recently, however, the ciliated funnel, and not the NG, was postulated to be the adenohypophysis (AH) primordium because it is likely derived from oral ectoderm, and because the expression of several placodal genes is comparable to their expression in vertebrates. An extensive in silico survey of the Ciona intestinalis genome sequence revealed that genes encoding pituitary hormones are absent in ascidians. Under the circumstances, this thesis attempts to find a path that shows that the AH primordium is recognizable in the ascidian by revisiting molecular and developmental data from recent public resources on C. intestinalis, and through the use of advanced bio-imaging techniques. A putative Ciona genetic pathway, which was constructed by referring to data from mammals, shows that only a patchwork of the genetic network exists to achieve terminal differentiation of the AH endocrine cells in the Ciona genome. Re-annotation on glycoprotein hormone related proteins, a GPA2/ARP and two GPB5/BRP ones previously reported, reveals that the GPA2 locus contains two splicing variants, and one variant likely formed a three-dimensional conformation similar to that of human GPA2. No clone of the GPB5/BRP1 locus has been isolated, and another candidate, BRP2, is unlikely to be a GPB5. Next, I argued a possibility that endocrine activities of Ciona species could be specialized in association with its short generation time, and I suggest that not only Ciona species but also other ascidians should be studied in order to understand ascidian endocrinology. Confocal images

  6. The ascidian pigmented sensory organs: structures and developmental programs.

    PubMed

    Esposito, R; Racioppi, C; Pezzotti, M R; Branno, M; Locascio, A; Ristoratore, F; Spagnuolo, A

    2015-01-01

    The recent advances on ascidian pigment sensory organ development and function represent a fascinating platform to get insight on the basic programs of chordate eye formation. This review aims to summarize current knowledge, at the structural and molecular levels, on the two main building blocks of ascidian light sensory organ, i.e. pigment cells and photoreceptor cells. The unique features of these structures (e.g., simplicity and well characterized cell lineage) are indeed making it possible to dissect the developmental programs at single cell resolution and will soon provide a panel of molecular tools to be exploited for a deep developmental and comparative-evolutionary analysis.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-03-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Time lapse confocal microscopy of mitochondrial movements in ascidian embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sardet, C.; Rouvière, C.; Flannery, B.; Davoust, J.

    1991-05-01

    We have analysed the complex movements of vitally stained mitochondria in living eggs of the ascidian (prochordate) embryo soon after fertilization by time lapse confocal (Laser scanning) Microscopy. Our studies clearly show that it is possible to understand how the subcortical mitochondria rich layer contracts, tears and folds to reach its final location in the future posterior pole of the embryo that gives rise to the muscle cell lineage.

  11. The evolution of larval morphology and swimming performance in ascidians.

    PubMed

    McHenry, Matthew J; Patek, Sheila N

    2004-06-01

    The complexity of organismal function challenges our ability to understand the evolution of animal locomotion. To meet this challenge, we used a combination of biomechanics, phylogenetic comparative analyses, and theoretical morphology to examine evolutionary changes in body shape and how those changes affected swimming performance in ascidian larvae. Results of phylogenetic comparative analyses suggest that coloniality evolved at least three times among ascidians and that colonial species have a convergent larval morphology characterized by a large trunk volume and shorter tail length in proportion to the trunk. To explore the functional significance of this evolutionary change, we first verified the accuracy of a mathematical model of swimming biomechanics in a solitary (C. intestinalis) and a colonial (D. occidentalis) species and then ran numerous simulations of the model that varied in tail length and trunk volume. The results of these simulations were used to construct landscapes of speed and cost of transport predictions within a trunk volume/tail length morphospace. Our results suggest that the reduction of proportionate tail length in colonial species resulted in improved energetic economy of swimming. The increase in the size of larvae with the origin of coloniality facilitated faster swimming with negligible energetic cost, but may have required a reduction in adult fecundity. Therefore, the evolution of ascidians appears to be influenced by a trade-off between the fecundity of the adult stage and the swimming performance of larvae.

  12. 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

  13. Vanadium biochemistry: the unknown role of vanadium-containing cells in ascidians (sea squirts).

    PubMed

    Smith, M J

    1989-05-15

    This article reviews several new developments in vanadium biochemistry, as elucidated from studies of ascidians. A hypothesis correlating ascidian blood cell function to anaerobiosis, via two prominent redox constituents, namely vanadium(III) and the tunichromes, a family of metal ion complexing/reducing hydroquinonoid peptides, is presented.

  14. 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

  15. An Otx/Nodal Regulatory Signature for Posterior Neural Development in Ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Roure, Agnès; Lemaire, Patrick; Darras, Sébastien

    2014-01-01

    In chordates, neural induction is the first step of a complex developmental process through which ectodermal cells acquire a neural identity. In ascidians, FGF-mediated neural induction occurs at the 32-cell stage in two blastomere pairs, precursors respectively of anterior and posterior neural tissue. We combined molecular embryology and cis-regulatory analysis to unveil in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis the remarkably simple proximal genetic network that controls posterior neural fate acquisition downstream of FGF. We report that the combined action of two direct FGF targets, the TGFβ factor Nodal, acting via Smad- and Fox-binding sites, and the transcription factor Otx suffices to trigger ascidian posterior neural tissue formation. Moreover, we found that this strategy is conserved in the distantly related ascidian Phallusia mammillata, in spite of extreme sequence divergence in the cis-regulatory sequences involved. Our results thus highlight that the modes of gene regulatory network evolution differ with the evolutionary scale considered. Within ascidians, developmental regulatory networks are remarkably robust to genome sequence divergence. Between ascidians and vertebrates, major fate determinants, such as Otx and Nodal, can be co-opted into different networks. Comparative developmental studies in ascidians with divergent genomes will thus uncover shared ascidian strategies, and contribute to a better understanding of the diversity of developmental strategies within chordates. PMID:25121599

  16. 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

  17. Evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2004-01-01

    The ascidian tadpole larva has two brain sensory organs containing melanocytes: the otolith, a gravity receptor, and the ocellus, part of a photoreceptor. One or both of these sensory organs are absent in molgulid ascidians. We show here that developmental changes leading to the loss of sensory pigment cells occur by different mechanisms in closely related molgulid species. Sensory pigment cells are formed through a bilateral determination pathway in which two or more precursor cells are specified as an equivalence group on each side of the embryo. The precursor cells subsequently converge at the midline after neurulation and undergo cell interactions that decide the fates of the otolith and ocellus. Molgula occidentalis and M. oculata, which exhibit a tadpole larva with an otolith but lacking an ocellus, have conserved the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway. Programmed cell death (PCD) is superimposed on this pathway late in development to eliminate the ocellus precursor and supernumerary pigment cells, which do not differentiate into either an otolith or ocellus. In contrast to molgulids with tadpole larvae, no pigment cell precursors are specified on either side of the M. occulta embryo, which forms a tailless (anural) larva lacking both sensory organs, suggesting that the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway has been lost. The bilateral pigment cell determination pathway and superimposed PCD can be restored in hybrids obtained by fertilizing M. occulta eggs with M. oculata sperm, indicating control by a zygotic process. We conclude that PCD plays an important role in the evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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

  2. 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.

  3. Ascidian tunicate extracts attenuate rheumatoid arthritis in a collagen-induced murine model.

    PubMed

    Hong, Seong-Ho; Kwone, Jung-Taek; Lee, Jae-Ho; Lee, Somin; Lee, Ah Young; Cho, Won-Young; Bat-Erdene, Munkhjargal; Choi, Byeong-Dae; Cho, Myung-Haing

    2014-06-01

    Murine rheumatoid arthritis models are often used to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of candidate drugs. The present study has been conducted in order to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of ascidian tunicate extracts in a collagen-induced arthritis DBA1/J mice model. Four types of formulas, ascidian tunicate extracts (ATE), crude ascidian tunicate glycans (ATEC), ascidian tunicate extracts with licorice extracts (ATEL), and crude ascidian tunicate glycans with licorice extracts (ATECL) were orally administered into DBA/1J mice for 3 weeks and paw edema and thickness were evaluated. Changes in inflammatory proteins and cytokines levels were monitored in hind leg tissues by Western blot and quantitative PCR analysis. The oral administration of ascidian tunicate extracts alleviated paw edema and improved the histological hind leg cartilage status. The extracts also reduced the matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) protein and prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) levels. In addition, the extracts-treated groups showed increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels compared with the non-treated group. These findings suggest that orally administered ascidian tunicate extracts might have potential therapeutic effects for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

  4. Three new species of Enterocola van Beneden, 1860 (Crustacea: Copepoda: Cyclopoida) from ascidian hosts.

    PubMed

    Marchenkov, Andrey; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2005-07-01

    Three new species of Enterocola are described: E. dicaudatus n. sp., from the ascidian host Polysyncraton rostrum Monniot & Monniot collected in Tanzania, E. monnioti n. sp., from the ascidian host Polyclinum constellatum Savigny collected in Bahrain, and E. parapterophorus n. sp., from the ascidian host Didemnum granulatum Tokioka taken in Djibouti. In all three species, the mandibles are interpreted as being represented by a pair of setulose seta-like elements that are largely concealed beneath similar paired setulose structures, the labral palps, carried on the labrum. The paired elements interpreted as mandibles are transversely orientated and lie in a groove, the anterior margin of which forms a defined ridge ornamented with spinules.

  5. 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

  6. Description of Endozoicomonas ascidiicola sp. nov., isolated from Scandinavian ascidians.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup; Obst, Matthias; Funch, Peter; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-07-01

    Two gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, chemoorganoheterotrophic, motile and rod-shaped bacteria, strains AVMART05(T) and KASP37, were isolated from ascidians (Tunicata, Ascidiaceae) of the genus Ascidiella collected at Gullmarsfjord, Sweden. The strains are the first cultured representatives of an ascidian-specific lineage within the genus Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Oceanospirillales, Hahellaceae). Both strains feature three distinct 16S rRNA gene paralogs, with identities of 98.9-99.1% (AVMART05(T)) and 97.7-98.8% (KASP37) between paralogs. The strains are closely related to Endozoicomonas atrinae and Endozoicomonas elysicola, with which they share 97.3-98.0% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity. Digital DNA-DNA hybridization, average nucleotide identity, and tetra-nucleotide correlation analysis indicate that both strains belong to a single species distinct from their closest relatives. Both strains feature similar DNA G+C contents of 46.70mol% (AVMART05(T)) and 44.64mol% (KASP37). The fatty acid patterns of AVMART05(T) and KASP37 are most similar to those of Endozoicomonas euniceicola and Endozoicomonas gorgoniicola. Based on the polyphasic approach, we propose the species Endozoicomonas ascidiicola sp. nov. to accommodate the newly isolated strains. E. ascidiicola sp. nov. is represented by the type strain AVMART05(T) (=DSM 100913(T)=LMG 29095(T)) and strain KASP37 (=DSM 100914=LMG 29096). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  7. Pseudoroseovarius zhejiangensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel alpha-proteobacterium isolated from the chemical wastewater, and reclassification of Roseovarius crassostreae as Pseudoroseovarius crassostreae comb. nov., Roseovarius sediminilitoris as Pseudoroseovarius sediminilitoris comb. nov. and Roseovarius halocynthiae as Pseudoroseovarius halocynthiae comb. nov.

    PubMed

    Sun, Cong; Pan, Jie; Zhang, Xin-Qi; Su, Yue; Wu, Min

    2015-08-01

    A Gram-stain negative, aerobic, non-motile and ovoid- to rod-shaped bacterial strain, designated JB3(T), was isolated from a wastewater sample collected from the biochemical reaction basin of Haiyan fine chemical factory in Zhejiang, China. Strain JB3(T) was found to grow optimally at pH 7.0-8.0, at 28 °C and in the presence of 1.0-2.0 % (w/v) NaCl. Chemotaxonomic analysis showed that strain JB3(T) contains ubiquinone-10 (>99 %) as the predominant respiratory quinone and C18:1 ω7c (70.9 %) as the most abundant fatty acid. The polar lipids of strain JB3(T) were identified as phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, an aminophospholipid, an unidentified aminolipid, four unidentified phospholipids and three unidentified lipids. The DNA G+C content of strain JB3(T) was determined to be 68.1 mol%. The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities between the isolate and Roseovarius crassostreae DSM 16950(T), Roseovarius sediminilitoris KCTC 23959(T) and Roseovarius halocynthiae MA1-10(T) were found to be 97.1, 96.8 and 96.2 %, respectively. Morevoer, the similarity between strain JB3(T) and the type strain of the genus Roseovarius (Roseovarius tolerans DSM 11457(T)) was found to be 93.8 %. The phylogenetic trees reconstructed with all three treeing methods showed that strain JB3(T) constituted a different taxon, which was separate from other taxa with validly published names, and formed a cluster with R. crassostreae DSM 16950(T), R. sediminilitoris KCTC 23959(T) and R. halocynthiae MA1-10(T). These three species were not placed within the phylogenetic cluster formed by R. tolerans DSM 11457(T). Differential phenotypic properties, together with the phylogenetic distinctiveness, demonstrated that strain JB3(T) is clearly distinct from species of the genus Roseovarius. On the basis of these features, we propose strain JB3(T) represents a novel species of a novel genus with the name Pseudoroseovarius zhejiangensis gen. nov., sp

  8. Photosymbiotic ascidians in Singapore: turbid waters may reduce living space

    PubMed Central

    Su, Shih-Wei; Hirose, Euichi; Chen, Serina Lee Siew; Mok, Michael Hin-Kiu

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The photosymbiotic ascidian fauna at Changi Beach, Pulau Semakau, Sentosa and St. John’s Island, Singapore were surveyed. A total of five species, Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum, Lissoclinum punctatum, Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops, were recorded, with Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops being newly recorded in Singapore. However, no photosymbiotic species were found at Changi Beach probably due to the polluted waters in the region. Coastal development has caused Singapore waters to become turbid, leading to decrease in suitable habitats for photosymbiotic ascidians. Clean waters in Pulau Semakau probably provide a better environment for the growth of photosymbiotic ascidians and this area has a greater variety of these ascidians than the other areas in Singapore. Each of the five species has also been recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan) and three species (Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum and Trididemnum cyclops) have also been recorded in Taiwan. PMID:23794913

  9. Monitoring the magnitude of marine vessel infestation by non-indigenous ascidians in the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Gewing, Mey-Tal; Shenkar, Noa

    2017-08-15

    Invasive ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) are dominant nuisance organisms. The current study investigated the role of marine vessels in their dispersal and introduction. An examination of 45 dry-docked marine vessels, comprising recreational, commercial, and military craft, in five Israeli shipyards along the Mediterranean coast, revealed non-indigenous ascidians (NIA) on every second vessel investigated. Military vessels featured the highest ascidian abundance and richness, potentially related to their maintenance routine. Niche areas on the vessels such as sea chests and the propeller exhibited the highest occurrence of ascidians. Overall, these findings provide strong evidence that marine vessels play an acute role in NIA introduction and dispersal, with military vessels and niche areas on all the vessels being more susceptible to serving as vectors. A discovery of a new introduced species during the surveys suggests that the monitoring of marine vessels can serve as an effective tool for the early detection of NIA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Pseudovibrio ascidiaceicola sp. nov., isolated from ascidians (sea squirts).

    PubMed

    Fukunaga, Yukiyo; Kurahashi, Midori; Tanaka, Kenji; Yanagi, Kensuke; Yokota, Akira; Harayama, Shigeaki

    2006-02-01

    Two bacterial strains, F423T and F10102, were isolated from two ascidians, Polycitor proliferus and Botryllidae sp., respectively, which were collected from a beach on the Boso peninsula in Japan. Cells of both isolates were motile, rod-shaped and formed star-shaped aggregates in the early stage of exponential growth, but were coccoid in stationary growth phase. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, fatty acid analysis, DNA-DNA hybridization experiments and physiological and biochemical tests indicated that the two strains were members of a novel species of the genus Pseudovibrio for which the name Pseudovibrio ascidiaceicola sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is F423T (=NBRC 100514T=IAM 15084T=DSM 16392T=KCTC 12308T).

  12. 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

  13. Seasonal heterogeneity provides a niche opportunity for ascidian invasion in subtropical marine communities.

    PubMed

    Astudillo, Juan C; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Bonebrake, Timothy C

    2016-12-01

    Implications of changes in environmental conditions caused by seasonality and human alterations on the recruitment of non-native species and their biotic resistance to predation are poorly understood. Here, through the use of experimental recruitment panels and predation exclusion cages, we examined 1) whether a subtropical seasonality (i.e., tropical and temperate conditions) affects the recruitment and abundance of the non-native ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the cryptogenic Styela plicata and Ascidia sydneiensis, and native Hermandia momus in fouling communities in Hong Kong, 2) whether human environmental alterations (i.e., typhoon shelters and sheltered bays with different habitat alteration and seawater quality) affect the abundance of the ascidians, and 3) whether predation reduces the abundance of ascidians under different environmental conditions caused by seasonality and human alteration. Our experimental results indicate that seasonality provides a temporal niche for the recruitment of the ascidians; C. intestinalis and S. plicata recruited mostly in winter, whereas A. sydneiensis and H. momus recruited in summer. Ciona intestinalis was the only ascidian that prospered in anthropogenically altered environments where it monopolized communities. The marked seasonal recruitment of the ascidians obscured the effect of predation between seasons, whereas human alteration did not affect predation. The recruitment of the ascidians in subtropical communities appeared to correspond to their original temperate or tropical distributions, hence Ciona intestinalis, with a temperate native distribution, benefits from a temporal niche opportunity during winter conditions. We argue that seasonality, as an important ecological factor for recruitment and community ecology dynamics, must also be considered in the context of biological invasion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Harbor networks as introduction gateways: contrasting distribution patterns of native and introduced ascidians.

    PubMed

    López-Legentil, Susanna; Legentil, Miquel L; Erwin, Patrick M; Turon, Xavier

    Harbors and marinas are well known gateways for species introductions in marine environments but little work has been done to ascertain relationships between species diversity, harbor type, and geographic distance to uncover patterns of secondary spread. Here, we sampled ascidians from 32 harbors along ca. 300 km of the NW Mediterranean coast and investigated patterns of distribution and spread related to harbor type (marina, fishing, commercial) and geographic location using multivariate techniques. In total, 28 ascidians were identified at the species level and another 9 at the genus level based on morphology and genetic barcoding. Eight species were assigned to introduced forms, 15 were given native status and 5 were classified as cryptogenic. Aplidium accarense was reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea and was especially abundant in 23 of the harbors. Introduced and cryptogenic species were abundant in most of the surveyed harbors, while native forms were rare and restricted to a few harbors. Significant differences in the distribution of ascidians according to harbor type and latitudinal position were observed. These differences were due to the distribution of introduced species. We obtained a significant correlation between geographic distance and ascidian composition, indicating that closely located harbors shared more ascidian species among them. This study showed that harbors act as dispersal strongholds for introduced species, with native species only appearing sporadically, and that harbor type and geographic location should also be considered when developing management plans to constrain the spread of non-indigenous species in highly urbanized coastlines.

  16. Feeding cessation alters host morphology and bacterial communities in the ascidian Pseudodistoma crucigaster.

    PubMed

    López-Legentil, Susanna; Turon, Xavier; Erwin, Patrick M

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians can associate with abundant and diverse consortia of microbial symbionts, yet these communities remain unexamined for the majority of host ascidians and little is known about host-symbiont interactions. We coupled electron microscopy and 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing to investigate the bacterial communities associated with the colonial ascidian Pseudodistoma crucigaster, a species endemic to the Mediterranean Sea that has a life cycle with two phases: actively-filtering (active) and non-filtering (resting) forms. Resting colonies exhibited a reduced branchial sac (feeding apparatus) and a thickened cuticle. Electron microscope images also suggested higher abundance of colonizing microorganisms on surfaces of resting colonies. Accordingly, bacterial sequences associated with environmental sources (sediment and biofilms, >99 % similarity) were detected exclusively in resting colonies. Bacterial communities of P. crucigaster colonies (active and resting) were dominated by 3 core taxa affiliated (>94 % similarity) with previously described symbiotic Alphaproteobacteria in marine invertebrates. Shifts in rare bacteria were detected when ascidians entered the resting phase, including the appearance of strictly anaerobic lineages and nitrifying bacterial guilds. These findings suggest that physical (thickened cuticle) and metabolic (feeding cessation) changes in host ascidians have cascading effects on associated bacteria, where modified oxygen concentrations and chemical substrates for microbial metabolism may create anaerobic microhabitats and promote colonization by environmental microorganisms.

  17. Chloride channel in vanadocytes of a vanadium-rich ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea.

    PubMed

    Ueki, Tatsuya; Yamaguchi, Nobuo; Michibata, Hitoshi

    2003-09-01

    Ascidians, so-called sea squirts, can accumulate high levels of vanadium in the vacuoles of signet ring cells, which are one type of ascidian blood cell and are also called vanadocytes. In addition to containing high concentrations of vanadium in the +3 oxidation state, the proton concentrations in vanadocyte vacuoles are extremely high. In order to elucidate the entire mechanism of the accumulation and reduction of vanadium by ascidian vanadocytes, it is necessary to clarify the participation of anions, which might be involved as counter ions in the active accumulation of both vanadium and protons. We examined the chloride channel, since chloride ions are necessary for the acidification of intracellular vesicles and coexist with H(+)-ATPase. We cloned a cDNA encoding a chloride channel from blood cells of a vanadium-rich ascidian, Ascidia sydneiensis samea. It encoded a 787-amino-acid protein, which showed striking similarity to mammalian ClC3/4/5-type chloride channels. Using a whole-mount in situ hybridization method that we developed for ascidian blood cells, the chloride channel was revealed to be transcribed in vanadocytes, suggesting its participation in the process of vanadium accumulation.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24152714

  20. A chemoattractant for ascidian spermatozoa is a sulfated steroid

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Manabu; Murata, Michio; Inaba, Kazuo; Morisawa, Masaaki

    2002-01-01

    Sperm chemotaxis toward eggs before fertilization has been demonstrated in many animals and plants, and several peptides and small organic compounds acting as chemoattractants have been identified. We previously showed that sperm of the ascidians Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi are activated and then attracted toward the egg by a common factor released from the egg. In this study, we purified sperm-activating and -attracting factor (SAAF) from the egg-conditioning medium of C. intestinalis by using several steps of column chromatography. Determination of the molecular structure by NMR and MS/MS analysis revealed that SAAF is a previously uncharacterized sulfated steroid: 3,4,7,26-tetrahydroxycholestane-3,26-disulfate. Furthermore, it was shown that the SAAF of C. savignyi was indistinguishable from that of C. intestinalis in terms of the chromatographic behavior and molecular weight, indicating that the same compound might be responsible for sperm activation and chemotaxis in both the species. Furthermore, we established a method for quantitative analysis of sperm chemotaxis and showed that the chemotactic behavior of Ciona sperm is controlled by the “chemotactic turn” associated with decrease in the concentration of SAAF. PMID:12411583

  1. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Primary genetic linkage maps of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Kano, Shungo; Satoh, Nori; Sordino, Paolo

    2006-01-01

    For whole-genome analysis in a basal chordate (protochordate), we used F1 pseudo-testcross mapping strategy and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to construct primary linkage maps of the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis. Two genetic maps consisted of 14 linkage groups, in agreement with the haploid chromosome number, and contained 276 and 125 AFLP loci derived from crosses between British and Neapolitan individuals. The two maps covered 4218.9 and 2086.9 cM, respectively, with an average marker interval of 16.1 and 18.9 cM. We observed a high recombinant ratio, ranging from 25 to 49 kb/cM, which can explain the high degree of polymorphism in this species. Some AFLP markers were converted to sequence tagged sites (STSs) by sequence determination, in order to create anchor markers for the fragmental physical map. Our recombination tools provide basic knowledge of genetic status and whole genome organization, and genetic markers to assist positional cloning in C. intestinalis.

  3. Genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Yi, Changho; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kim, Won; Rius, Marc; Zhan, Aibin

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species represent promising models to study species’ responses to rapidly changing environments. Although local adaptation frequently occurs during contemporary range expansion, the associated genetic signatures at both population and genomic levels remain largely unknown. Here, we use genome-wide gene-associated microsatellites to investigate genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian, Ciona robusta. Population genetic analyses of 150 individuals sampled in Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain showed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Based on outlier tests, we found high incidence of signatures of directional selection at 19 loci. Hitchhiking mapping analyses identified 12 directional selective sweep regions, and all selective sweep windows on chromosomes were narrow (~8.9 kb). Further analyses indentified 132 candidate genes under selection. When we compared our genetic data and six crucial environmental variables, 16 putatively selected loci showed significant correlation with these environmental variables. This suggests that the local environmental conditions have left significant signatures of selection at both population and genomic levels. Finally, we identified “plastic” genomic regions and genes that are promising regions to investigate evolutionary responses to rapid environmental change in C. robusta. PMID:28266616

  4. Delayed insemination results in embryo mortality in a brooding ascidian.

    PubMed

    Stewart-Savage, J; Phillippi, A; Yund, P O

    2001-08-01

    We explored the effects of temporal variation in sperm availability on fertilization and subsequent larval development in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, a brooding hermaphrodite that has a sexual cycle linked to an asexual zooid replacement cycle. We developed a method to quantify the timing of events early in this cycle, and then isolated colonies before the start of the cycle and inseminated them at various times. Colony-wide fertilization levels (assayed by early cleavage) increased from zero to 100% during the period when the siphons of a new generation of zooids were first opening, and remained high for 24 h before slowly declining over the next 48 h. Because embryos are brooded until just before the zooids degenerate at the end of a cycle, delayed fertilization might also affect whether embryos can complete development within the cycle. Consequently, we also determined the effect of delayed insemination on successful embryo development through larval release and metamorphosis. When fertilization was delayed beyond the completion of siphon opening, there was an exponential decline in the percentage of eggs that ultimately produced a metamorphosed larva at the end of the cycle. Thus, even though the majority of oocytes can be fertilized when insemination is delayed for up to 48 h, the resulting embryos cannot complete development before the brooding zooids degenerate.

  5. Genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Yi, Changho; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kim, Won; Rius, Marc; Zhan, Aibin

    2017-03-01

    Invasive species represent promising models to study species’ responses to rapidly changing environments. Although local adaptation frequently occurs during contemporary range expansion, the associated genetic signatures at both population and genomic levels remain largely unknown. Here, we use genome-wide gene-associated microsatellites to investigate genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian, Ciona robusta. Population genetic analyses of 150 individuals sampled in Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain showed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Based on outlier tests, we found high incidence of signatures of directional selection at 19 loci. Hitchhiking mapping analyses identified 12 directional selective sweep regions, and all selective sweep windows on chromosomes were narrow (~8.9 kb). Further analyses indentified 132 candidate genes under selection. When we compared our genetic data and six crucial environmental variables, 16 putatively selected loci showed significant correlation with these environmental variables. This suggests that the local environmental conditions have left significant signatures of selection at both population and genomic levels. Finally, we identified “plastic” genomic regions and genes that are promising regions to investigate evolutionary responses to rapid environmental change in C. robusta.

  6. The larval ascidian nervous system: the chordate brain from its small beginnings.

    PubMed

    Meinertzhagen, I A; Okamura, Y

    2001-07-01

    The body plan of the tadpole larva of ascidians, or sea-squirts, is widely presumed to be close to that of the hypothetical ancestor of all chordate animal groups, including vertebrates. This is nowhere more obvious than in the organization and development of the dorsal tubular nervous system. Several recent developments advocate this model neural system for studies on neurobiology and neurogenesis. These include advances in our understanding of development in ascidian embryos and of differentiation among the cellular progeny of its neural plate; the application of transgenic and mutant approaches to studies on ascidian larval neurones; and the prospect of advances in genomic analyses. In addition to providing ways to study a working chordate brain in miniature, all these offer insights into the ancestral condition of the developing vertebrate brain.

  7. Gut-spilling in chordates: evisceration in the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera.

    PubMed

    Shenkar, Noa; Gordon, Tal

    2015-04-16

    The ejection of internal organs, i.e., evisceration, is a well-known phenomenon in sea-cucumbers. We report the ability of a member of the Chordate phyla, the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera, to eviscerate and regenerate its gut within 12 days, and to rebuild its branchial sac within 19 days. Evisceration occurred within 4-43 seconds of gentle mechanical pressure exerted on the tunic in 47% of the tested P. mytiligera. Individuals were able to discard up to 3/4 of their digestive tract via the incurrent siphon by rupture of the branchial sac in this area. Although chemical analysis revealed no significant levels of toxic compounds, the eviscerated guts were unpalatable to the triggerfish and pufferfish on which they were tested, suggesting evisceration as a defense mechanism. Given the close affinity of ascidians to vertebrates, the regeneration pathway of the viscera and branchial sac of ascidians suggests its potential beneficial application in soft tissue regeneration research.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Proteomics of ionomycin-induced ascidian sperm reaction: Released and exposed sperm proteins in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Nakazawa, Shiori; Shirae-Kurabayashi, Maki; Otsuka, Kei; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2015-12-01

    Sperm proteins mediating sperm-egg interaction should be exhibited on the sperm surface, or exposed or released when sperm approach an egg. In ascidians (protochordates), sperm undergo a sperm reaction, characterized by enhanced sperm motility and mitochondrial swelling and shedding on contact with the vitelline coat (VC) or by treatment with Ca(2+) ionophore. Here, proteomic analysis was conducted on sperm exudates and sperm surface proteins using ionomycin-induced sperm reaction and cell-impermeable labeling in Ciona intestinalis type A (C. robusta). In the exudate from sperm treated with ionomycin, membrane proteins including a possible VC receptor CiUrabin were abundant, indicating the release of membranous compartments during sperm reaction. Among the surface proteins XP_009859314.1 (uncharacterized protein exhibiting homology to HrTTSP-1) was most abundant before the sperm reaction, but XP_004227079.1 (unknown Ig superfamily protein) appears to be most abundantly exposed by the sperm reaction. Moreover, proteins containing a notable set of domains, astacin-like metalloprotease domain and thrombospondin type 1 repeat(s), were found in this fraction. Possible roles in fertilization as well as localizations and behaviors of these proteins are discussed.

  10. 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. © 2012 The Authors Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2012 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  11. Multiple origins of the ascidian-Prochloron symbiosis: molecular phylogeny of photosymbiotic and non-symbiotic colonial ascidians inferred from 18S rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Yokobori, Shin-Ichi; Kurabayashi, Atsushi; Neilan, Brett A; Maruyama, Tadashi; Hirose, Euichi

    2006-07-01

    In the tropics, certain didemnid ascidians harbor the prokaryotic photosymbiont Prochloron. To date, this photosymbiosis has been found in four didemnid genera that include non-symbiotic species. Here, we report the molecular phylogeny of symbiotic and non-symbiotic didemnids based on their 18S rDNA sequences. The data cover all four genera containing symbiotic species and one other genus comprised of only non-symbiotic species. Near-complete nucleotide sequences of 18S rDNAs were determined for four non-didemnid species and 52 didemnid samples (five genera), including 48 photosymbiotic samples collected from the Ryukyu Archipelago, the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, and Bali. Our phylogenetic trees indicated a monophyletic origin of the family Didemnidae, as well as each of the didemnid genera. The results strongly support the hypothesis that establishment of the ascidian-Prochloron symbiosis occurred independently in the Didemnidae lineage at least once in each of the genera that possess symbiotic species.

  12. Blood circulation in the ascidian tunicate Corella inflata (Corellidae)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The body of the ascidian tunicate Corella inflata is relatively transparent. Thus, the circulatory system can be visualized by injecting high molecular weight fluorescein labeled dextran into the heart or the large vessels at the ends of the heart without surgery to remove the body wall. In addition, after staining with neutral red, the movement of blood cells can be easily followed to further characterize the circulatory system. The heart is two gently curved concentric tubes extending across the width of the animal. The inner myocardial tube has a partial constriction approximately in the middle. As in other tunicates, the heart is peristaltic and periodically reverses direction. During the branchial phase blood leaves the anterior end of the heart by two asymmetric vessels that connect to the two sides of the branchial basket. Blood then flows in both transverse directions through a complex system of ducts in the basket into large ventral and dorsal vessels which carry blood back to the visceral organs in the posterior of the animal. During the visceral phase blood leaves the posterior end of the heart in two vessels that repeatedly bifurcate and fan into the stomach and gonads. Blood velocity, determined by following individual cells in video frames, is high and pulsatory near the heart. A double peak in velocity at the maximum may be due to the constriction in the middle of the heart tube. Blood velocity progressively decreases with distance from the heart. In peripheral regions with vessels of small diameter blood cells frequently collide with vessel walls and cell motion is erratic. The estimated volume of blood flow during each directional phase is greater than the total volume of the animal. Circulating blood cells are confined to vessels or ducts in the visible parts of the animal and retention of high molecular weight dextran in the vessels is comparable to that seen in vertebrates. These are characteristics of a closed circulatory system. PMID:27994977

  13. Blood circulation in the ascidian tunicate Corella inflata (Corellidae).

    PubMed

    Konrad, Michael W

    2016-01-01

    The body of the ascidian tunicate Corella inflata is relatively transparent. Thus, the circulatory system can be visualized by injecting high molecular weight fluorescein labeled dextran into the heart or the large vessels at the ends of the heart without surgery to remove the body wall. In addition, after staining with neutral red, the movement of blood cells can be easily followed to further characterize the circulatory system. The heart is two gently curved concentric tubes extending across the width of the animal. The inner myocardial tube has a partial constriction approximately in the middle. As in other tunicates, the heart is peristaltic and periodically reverses direction. During the branchial phase blood leaves the anterior end of the heart by two asymmetric vessels that connect to the two sides of the branchial basket. Blood then flows in both transverse directions through a complex system of ducts in the basket into large ventral and dorsal vessels which carry blood back to the visceral organs in the posterior of the animal. During the visceral phase blood leaves the posterior end of the heart in two vessels that repeatedly bifurcate and fan into the stomach and gonads. Blood velocity, determined by following individual cells in video frames, is high and pulsatory near the heart. A double peak in velocity at the maximum may be due to the constriction in the middle of the heart tube. Blood velocity progressively decreases with distance from the heart. In peripheral regions with vessels of small diameter blood cells frequently collide with vessel walls and cell motion is erratic. The estimated volume of blood flow during each directional phase is greater than the total volume of the animal. Circulating blood cells are confined to vessels or ducts in the visible parts of the animal and retention of high molecular weight dextran in the vessels is comparable to that seen in vertebrates. These are characteristics of a closed circulatory system.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Muscle differentiation in a colonial ascidian: organisation, gene expression and evolutionary considerations

    PubMed Central

    Degasperi, Valentina; Gasparini, Fabio; Shimeld, Sebastian M; Sinigaglia, Chiara; Burighel, Paolo; Manni, Lucia

    2009-01-01

    Background Ascidians are tunicates, the taxon recently proposed as sister group to the vertebrates. They possess a chordate-like swimming larva, which metamorphoses into a sessile adult. Several ascidian species form colonies of clonal individuals by asexual reproduction. During their life cycle, ascidians present three muscle types: striated in larval tail, striated in the heart, and unstriated in the adult body-wall. Results In the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, we investigated organisation, differentiation and gene expression of muscle beginning from early buds to adults and during zooid regression. We characterised transcripts for troponin T (BsTnT-c), adult muscle-type (BsMA2) and cytoplasmic-type (BsCA1) actins, followed by in situ hybridisation (ISH) on sections to establish the spatio-temporal expression of BsTnT-c and BsMA2 during asexual reproduction and in the larva. Moreover, we characterised actin genomic sequences, which by comparison with other metazoans revealed conserved intron patterns. Conclusion Integration of data from ISH, phalloidin staining and TEM allowed us to follow the phases of differentiation of the three muscle kinds, which differ in expression pattern of the two transcripts. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for the close relationship between tunicate and vertebrate muscle genes. The characteristics and plasticity of muscles in tunicates are discussed. PMID:19737381

  17. 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

  18. Cell type and function of neurons in the ascidian nervous system.

    PubMed

    Horie, Takeo; Nakagawa, Masashi; Sasakura, Yasunori; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2009-04-01

    Ascidians, or sea squirts, are primitive chordates, and their tadpole larvae share a basic body plan with vertebrates, including a notochord and a dorsal tubular central nervous system (CNS). The CNS of the ascidian larva is formed through a process similar to vertebrate neurulation, while the ascidian CNS is remarkably simple, consisting of about 100 neurons. Recent identification of genes that are specifically expressed in a particular subtype of neurons has enabled us to reveal neuronal networks at single-cell resolution. Based on the information on neuron subtype-specific genes, different populations of neurons have been visualized by whole-mount in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical staining using specific antibodies, and fluorescence labeling of cell bodies and neurites by a fluorescence protein reporter driven by neuron-specific promoters. Neuronal populations that have been successfully visualized include glutamatergic, cholinergic, gamma-aminobutyric acid/glycinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, which have allowed us to propose functional regionalization of the CNS and a neural circuit for locomotion. Thus, the simple nervous system of the ascidian larva can serve as an attractive model system for studying the development, function, and evolution of the chordate nervous system.

  19. Patellamide E: a new cyclic peptide from the ascidian Lissoclinum patella.

    PubMed

    McDonald, L A; Ireland, C M

    1992-03-01

    A new cyclic peptide, patellamide E [1], was isolated from the ascidian Lissoclinum patella collected at Pulau Salu, Singapore. Its structure was determined by nmr spectroscopy, and its absolute configuration by acid hydrolysis and analysis of the derivatized constituent amino acids by hplc. Patellamide E was mildly cytotoxic against human colon tumor cells in vitro.

  20. 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

    2016-01-04

    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. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. Monoaminergic modulation of photoreception in ascidian: evidence for a proto-hypothalamo-retinal territory

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The retina of craniates/vertebrates has been proposed to derive from a photoreceptor prosencephalic territory in ancestral chordates, but the evolutionary origin of the different cell types making the retina is disputed. Except for photoreceptors, the existence of homologs of retinal cells remains uncertain outside vertebrates. Methods The expression of genes expressed in the sensory vesicle of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis including those encoding components of the monoaminergic neurotransmission systems, was analyzed by in situ hybridization or in vivo transfection of the corresponding regulatory elements driving fluorescent reporters. Modulation of photic responses by monoamines was studied by electrophysiology combined with pharmacological treatments. Results We show that many molecular characteristics of dopamine-synthesizing cells located in the vicinity of photoreceptors in the sensory vesicle of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis are similar to those of amacrine dopamine cells of the vertebrate retina. The ascidian dopamine cells share with vertebrate amacrine cells the expression of the key-transcription factor Ptf1a, as well as that of dopamine-synthesizing enzymes. Surprisingly, the ascidian dopamine cells accumulate serotonin via a functional serotonin transporter, as some amacrine cells also do. Moreover, dopamine cells located in the vicinity of the photoreceptors modulate the light-off induced swimming behavior of ascidian larvae by acting on alpha2-like receptors, instead of dopamine receptors, supporting a role in the modulation of the photic response. These cells are located in a territory of the ascidian sensory vesicle expressing genes found both in the retina and the hypothalamus of vertebrates (six3/6, Rx, meis, pax6, visual cycle proteins). Conclusion We propose that the dopamine cells of the ascidian larva derive from an ancestral multifunctional cell population located in the periventricular, photoreceptive field of the anterior

  2. Ascidian fauna (Tunicata, Ascidiacea) of subantarctic and temperate regions of Chile.

    PubMed

    Turon, Xavier; Cañete, Juan I; Sellanes, Javier; Rocha, Rosana M; López-Legentil, Susanna

    2016-03-21

    We studied the ascidian fauna from two zones located in subantarctic (Punta Arenas, latitude 53º) and temperate Chile (Coquimbo, latitude 29º). The different oceanographic features of the two zones, with influence of the Humboldt Current in the north and the Cape Horn Current System and freshwater inputs in the south, led to markedly different ascidian faunas. A total of 22 species were recorded, with no shared species across the two areas (11 species each). The new species Polyzoa iosune is described, Lissoclinum perforatum is found for the first time in the Pacific Ocean, and Synoicum georgianum and Polyzoa minor are new to the Chilean fauna. The populations of Ciona in the Coquimbo area (formerly attributed to Ciona intestinalis) correspond to the species Ciona robusta. A total of 35 Cytochrome oxidase (COI) sequences of the standard barcode region have been obtained for 17 of the 22 species reported.

  3. Life in cellulose houses: symbiotic bacterial biosynthesis of ascidian drugs and drug leads.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Eric W; Donia, Mohamed S

    2010-12-01

    Ascidians (tunicates; sea squirts) are sources of diverse, bioactive natural products, one of which is an approved drug and many of which are potent drug leads. It has been shown that symbiotic bacteria living with ascidians produce some of the bioactive compounds isolated from whole animals, and indirect evidence strongly implicates symbiotic bacteria in the synthesis of many others. However, for the majority the producing organism has not been identified. In cases where a symbiotic origin has been definitively assigned, the resulting data lead to improved paths to drug discovery and development from marine animals. This review traces evidence for symbiotic production where such evidence exists and describes the strengths and limitations of that evidence. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ammonia-oxidizing Crenarchaeota and nitrification inside the tissue of a colonial ascidian.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    Marine Crenarchaeota represent an abundant component of the oceanic microbiota that play an important role in the global nitrogen cycle. Here we report the association of the colonial ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei with putative ammonia-oxidizing Crenarchaeota that could actively be involved in nitrification inside the animal tissue. As shown by 16S rRNA gene analysis, the ascidian-associated Crenarchaeota were phylogenetically related to Nitrosopumilus maritimus, the first marine archaeon isolated in pure culture that grows chemolithoautotrophically oxidizing ammonia to nitrite aerobically. Catalysed reporter deposition (CARD)-FISH revealed that the Crenarchaeota were specifically located inside the tunic tissue of the colony, where moreover the expression of amoA gene was detected. The amoA gene encodes the alpha-subunit of ammonia monooxygenase, which is involved in the first step of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite. Sequencing of amoA gene showed that they were phylogenetically related to amoA genes of N. maritimus and other putative ammonia-oxidizing marine Crenarchaeota. In order to track the suspected nitrification activity inside the ascidian colony under in vivo conditions, microsensor profiles were measured through the tunic tissue. Net NO(x) production was detected in the tunic layer 1200-1800 microm with rates of 58-90 nmol cm(-3) h(-1). Oxygen and pH microsensor profiles showed that the layer of net NO(x) production coincided with O(2) concentrations of 103-116 microM and pH value of 5.2. Together, molecular and microsensor data indicate that Crenarchaeota could oxidize ammonia to nitrite aerobically, and thus be involved in nitrification inside the ascidian tissue.

  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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Synoxazolidinones A and B: novel bioactive alkaloids from the ascidian Synoicum pulmonaria.

    PubMed

    Tadesse, Margey; Strøm, Morten B; Svenson, Johan; Jaspars, Marcel; Milne, Bruce F; Tørfoss, Veronika; Andersen, Jeanette H; Hansen, Espen; Stensvåg, Klara; Haug, Tor

    2010-11-05

    Bioassay-guided fractionation of the sub-Arctic ascidian Synoicum pulmonaria collected off the Norwegian coast led to the isolation of a novel family of brominated guanidinium oxazolidinones named synoxazolidinones A and B (1 and 2). The backbone of the compounds contains a 4-oxazolidinone ring rarely seen in natural products. The structure of the compounds was determined by spectroscopic methods. The synoxazolidinones exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activities.

  7. 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.

  8. Shallow-water Ascidians from Matua Island (central Kuril Islands, NW Pacific).

    PubMed

    Sanamyan, Karen; Sanamyan, Nadya

    2017-02-16

    Fifteen species of ascidians were identified in the material collected at Matua Island. Two species are new, Botryllus flavus n. sp. and Distaplia matua n. sp. The first species occurs also at Kamchatka waters, while the second is probably an endemic of Kuril Islands. The genus Macrenteron Redikorzev, 1927 is synonymized with Aplidium Savigny, 1816 and a new name Aplidium macrenteron nom. nov. is proposed for its type species.

  9. Inducible galectins are expressed in the inflamed pharynx of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Salerno, Giuseppina; Cammarata, Matteo; Parrinello, Nicolò

    2012-01-01

    Although ascidians belong to a key group in chordate phylogenesis, amino acid sequences of Ciona intestinalis galectin-CRDs (CiLgals-a and -b) have been retained too divergent from vertebrate galectins. In the present paper, to contribute in disclosing Bi-CRD galectin evolution a novel attempt was carried out on CiLgals-a and -b CRDs phylogenetic analysis, and their involvement in ascidian inflammatory responses was shown. CiLgals resulted aligned with Bi-CRD galectins from vertebrates (Xenopus tropicalis, Gallus gallus, Mus musculus, Homo sapiens), cephalochordates (Branchiostoma floridae), echinoderms (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) and a mono-CRD galectin from the ascidian Clavelina picta. The CiLgals-a N-terminal and C-terminal CRDs contain the signature sequence involved in carbohydrate binding, whereas the CiLgals-b C-CRD presents only three out of seven key aminoacids and it could not be suitable as sugar binding motif. Sequence similarity between clusters suggests an evolutionary model based on CRD domain gene duplication and sequence diversification. In particular CiLgals-b N-CRD and C-CRD were similar to each other and both grouped with the ascidian C. picta mono-CRD. Homology modeling process shows a CiLgals molecular structure superimposed to chicken and mouse galectins. The CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b genes were upregulated by LPS inoculation suggesting that they are inducible and expressed in the inflamed pharynx as revealed by real-time PCR analysis. Finally, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical assays showed their localization in the inflamed tissues, while immunoblotting analysis indicated that CiLgals can form oligomers.

  10. Quinone and Hydroquinone Metabolites from the Ascidians of the Genus Aplidium

    PubMed Central

    Bertanha, Camila Spereta; Januário, Ana Helena; Alvarenga, Tavane Aparecida; Pimenta, Letícia Pereira; e Silva, Márcio Luis Andrade; Cunha, Wilson Roberto; Pauletti, Patrícia Mendonça

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians of the genus Aplidium are recognized as an important source of chemical diversity and bioactive natural products. Among the compounds produced by this genus are non-nitrogenous metabolites, mainly prenylated quinones and hydroquinones. This review discusses the isolation, structural elucidation, and biological activities of quinones, hydroquinones, rossinones, longithorones, longithorols, floresolides, scabellones, conicaquinones, aplidinones, thiaplidiaquinones, and conithiaquinones. A compilation of the 13C-NMR spectral data of these compounds is also presented. PMID:24927227

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

    PubMed

    Çinar, Melih Ertan

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. Cloning of ascidian homeobox genes provides evidence for a primordial chordate cluster.

    PubMed

    Di Gregorio, A; Spagnuolo, A; Ristoratore, F; Pischetola, M; Aniello, F; Branno, M; Cariello, L; Di Lauro, R

    1995-04-24

    In order to isolate genes important in controlling embryonic development in Tunicates, a genomic library from the ascidian Ciona intestinalis was screened with a degenerate oligodeoxyribonucleotide encoding the third helix of Antennapedia-type homeoboxes. Fourteen C. intestinalis homeobox genes, corresponding to several classes of homeodomains, have been identified. Five of the isolated homeoboxes show their highest homology to members of the Vertebrate HOX clusters. mRNAs for two of the isolated homeoboxes are present in unfertilized C. intestinalis eggs.

  13. 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

  14. Gut-spilling in chordates: Evisceration in the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera

    PubMed Central

    Shenkar, Noa; Gordon, Tal

    2015-01-01

    The ejection of internal organs, i.e., evisceration, is a well-known phenomenon in sea-cucumbers. We report the ability of a member of the Chordate phyla, the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera, to eviscerate and regenerate its gut within 12 days, and to rebuild its branchial sac within 19 days. Evisceration occurred within 4–43 seconds of gentle mechanical pressure exerted on the tunic in 47% of the tested P. mytiligera. Individuals were able to discard up to 3/4 of their digestive tract via the incurrent siphon by rupture of the branchial sac in this area. Although chemical analysis revealed no significant levels of toxic compounds, the eviscerated guts were unpalatable to the triggerfish and pufferfish on which they were tested, suggesting evisceration as a defense mechanism. Given the close affinity of ascidians to vertebrates, the regeneration pathway of the viscera and branchial sac of ascidians suggests its potential beneficial application in soft tissue regeneration research. PMID:25880620

  15. Regulation of nitric-oxide production in hemocytes of the ascidian Phallusia nigra.

    PubMed

    de Barros, Cintia M; Emrich, Laura C; de A Mello, Andressa; da Fonseca, Rodrigo N; Allodi, Silvana

    2014-04-30

    Nitric oxide (NO) production in ascidians is related to immune responses of blood cells, and also to events such as egg fertilization and notochord regression. However, the signaling pathway for NO generation has been little investigated in this animal model. The present contribution identifies the cells involved in NO production and provides new information about a pathway for NO signaling. We were able to identify eight types of blood cells in the hemolymph of the ascidian Phallusia nigra, of which signet ring cells, univacuolar refractile granulocytes, and morula cells were involved in NO production. Zymosan A and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) enhanced NO production by blood cells, and the compound N-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME) reduced NO production. Finally, the application of protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors revealed that these molecules participate, together with NFκB, in the regulation of NO production by blood cells of P. nigra. This is the first report to show that PKA and PKC are involved in a signaling pathway that leads to NO production in ascidian blood cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Nonreproductive role of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the control of ascidian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Chisato; Ohta, Naoyuki; Ogura, Yosuke; Yoshida, Keita; Horie, Takeo; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Satake, Honoo; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2014-12-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs) are neuropeptides that play central roles in the reproduction of vertebrates. In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, GnRHs and their receptors are expressed in the nervous systems at the larval stage, when animals are not yet capable of reproduction, suggesting that the hormones have non-reproductive roles. We showed that GnRHs in Ciona are involved in the animal's metamorphosis by regulating tail absorption and adult organ growth. Absorption of the larval tail and growth of the adult organs are two major events in the metamorphosis of ascidians. When larvae were treated with GnRHs, they completed tail absorption more frequently than control larvae. cAMP was suggested to be a second messenger for the induction of tail absorption by GnRHs. tGnRH-3 and tGnRH-5 (the "t" indicates "tunicate") inhibited the growth of adult organs by arresting cell cycle progression in parallel with the promotion of tail absorption. This study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis conducted by non-reproductive GnRHs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Cockles, barnacles and ascidians compose a subtidal facilitation cascade with multiple hierarchical levels of foundation species.

    PubMed

    Yakovis, Eugeniy; Artemieva, Anna

    2017-03-22

    Facilitation cascades occur when multiple foundation species in a community are involved in a hierarchy of positive interactions, and consist of a primary facilitator which positively affects secondary facilitators, each supporting a suit of dependent species. There is no theoretical limit to the number of levels in a facilitation cascade, yet the existence of more than two has rarely been examined. We manipulated biogenic substrate produced by a primary facilitator (cockle shells) and a secondary facilitator (barnacles and their empty tests) in a space-limited subtidal community to test the hypothesis that solitary ascidians would be the third-level facilitator. In the field, most ascidians were found on barnacles, and most barnacles occupied cockle shells. To produce this pattern, barnacles could nurse ascidians (a longer 'facilitation chain') or outcompete them from cockle shells (a shorter chain). Experimental results clearly supported the nursing hypothesis providing evidence for a facilitation cascade with three hierarchical levels of foundation species. Our findings confirm that like predation and competition, positive interspecific interactions nest into multi-tier hierarchies with numerous levels. While the number of foundation species should increase community stability and resilience as it increases diversity and reduces environmental stress, facilitation chain length may have the opposite effect.

  18. Advances in research on the accumulation, redox behavior, and function of vanadium in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Michibata, Hitoshi; Ueki, Tatsuya

    2010-05-01

    The discovery of high levels of vanadium-containing compounds in ascidian blood cells goes back to 1911. Ascidians, which are also known as tunicates or sea squirts, belong to a subphylum of the Chordata, between the vertebrates and invertebrates. This discovery attracted the attention of an interdisciplinary group of chemists, physiologists, and biochemists, in part because of interest in the possible role of vanadium in oxygen transport as a prosthetic group in respiratory pigments, which was later shown not to be such a role, and in part because of the fact that high levels of vanadium were unknown in other organisms. The intracellular concentration of vanadium in some ascidian species can be as high as 350 mm, which is 107 times that in seawater. Vanadium ions, which are thought to be present in the +5 oxidation state in seawater, are reduced to the +3 oxidation state via the +4 oxidation state and are stored in the vacuoles of vanadium-containing cells called vanadocytes, where high levels of protons and sulfate ions are also found. Recently, many proteins and genes that might be involved in the accumulation and reduction of vanadium have been isolated. In this review, we not only trace the history of vanadium research but also describe recent advances in our understanding of the field from several viewpoints: (i) vanadium-accumulating blood cells, (ii) the energetics of vanadium accumulation, (iii) the redox mechanism of vanadium, (iv) the possible role of sulfate, and (v) the physiological roles of vanadium.

  19. The postbranchial digestive tract of the ascidian, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis (Tunicata: Ascidiacea). 1. Oesophagus.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Hiromichi

    2011-02-01

    The organization of the oesophagus in the budding styelid ascidian, Polyandrocarpa misakiensis, is described. The oesophagus consists of external and internal epithelium, and there are loose connective tissue, blood sinuses, and a muscular layer between them. The internal epithelium is simple columnar, except for the bottom of three folds. The external epithelium is simple squamous. The internal epithelium contains four cell types, i.e., ciliated mucous cells, band cells, endocrine cells, and undifferentiated cells. The ciliated mucous cells have apical cilia and microvilli, and two types of mucous vesicle. The band cells also have apical cilia and electron-dense granules in the apical cytoplasm. The endocrine cells are bottle-shaped, and have electron-dense granules both above and below the nucleus. The undifferentiated cells form pseudostratified epithelium at the bottom of each fold, and they have nuclei with prominent nucleoli. One type of coelomic cell, which has retractile cytoplasm, often migrates in the internal epithelium. Near the stomach, there are many darkly stained round cells clustered around the posterior end of the oesophagus. These two types of coelomic cells may be involved in the defense mechanism against the invasion of foreign organisms. The basic organization of the oesophagus of P. misakiensis is similar to those of other ascidians. However, the presence of three folds is a characteristic of a solitary species, rather than of a colonial species. Although ascidians are chordate invertebrates, the organization of their oesophagus is not very complex, which might reflect their life style.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Analysis of the Transcription Regulatory Mechanism of Otx During the Development of the Sensory Vesicle in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Oonuma, Kouhei; Hirose, Dan; Takatori, Naohito; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2014-09-01

    Establishment of the anterior-posterior axis is an important event in the development of bilateral animals. A homeodomain transcription factor, Otx, is important for the formation of the anterior part of the embryo, and its mRNA is expressed in a continuous manner in a wide range of animals. This pattern of expression is thought to be important for the formation of anterior neural structures, but the mechanism that regulates Otx expression remains largely unknown. Towards understanding how the transcription of Otx is maintained in the cells of anterior neural structure, the sensory vesicle, during embryogenesis, we examined transcription regulatory mechanisms of Otx, using embryos of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, from the gastrula to tailbud stages, which have not been studied previously. We identified two genomic regions capable of mimicking the Otx expression pattern from the gastrula to tailbud stages. Putative transcription factor binding sites required for this activity were identified. Notably, distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites were required at different developmental stages for the expression of Otx, suggesting that the continuity of Otx is supported by distinct transcriptional mechanisms in the gastrula and neurula stages. Along with previous studies using Halocynthia roretzi, the present results provide insight into the evolution of transcriptional regulatory mechanism of Otx.

  3. In vitro acylation of okadaic acid in the presence of various bivalves' extracts.

    PubMed

    Konoki, Keiichi; Onoda, Tatsuya; Watanabe, Ryuichi; Cho, Yuko; Kaga, Shinnosuke; Suzuki, Toshiyuki; Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari

    2013-01-29

    The dinoflagellate Dinophysis spp. is responsible for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). In the bivalves exposed to the toxic bloom of the dinoflagellate, dinophysistoxin 3 (DTX3), the 7-OH acylated form of either okadaic acid (OA) or DTX1, is produced. We demonstrated in vitro acylation of OA with palmitoyl CoA in the presence of protein extract from the digestive gland, but not other tissues of the bivalve Mizuhopecten yessoensis. The yield of 7-O-palmitoyl OA reached its maximum within 2 h, was the highest at 37 °C followed by 28 °C, 16 °C and 4 °C and was the highest at pH 8 in comparison with the yields at pH 6 and pH 4. The transformation also proceeded when the protein extract was prepared from the bivalves Corbicula japonica and Crassostrea gigas. The OA binding protein OABP2 identified in the sponge Halichondria okadai was not detected in the bivalve M. yessoensis, the bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis and the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, though they are known to accumulate diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. Since DTX3 does not bind to protein phosphatases 1 and 2A, the physiological target for OA and DTXs in mammalian cells, the acylation of DSP toxins would be related to a detoxification mechanism for the bivalve species.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Purification of Mitochondrial Proteins HSP60 and ATP Synthase from Ascidian Eggs: Implications for Antibody Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Chenevert, Janet; Pruliere, Gerard; Ishii, Hirokazu; Sardet, Christian; Nishikata, Takahito

    2013-01-01

    Use of antibodies is a cornerstone of biological studies and it is important to identify the recognized protein with certainty. Generally an antibody is considered specific if it labels a single band of the expected size in the tissue of interest, or has a strong affinity for the antigen produced in a heterologous system. The identity of the antibody target protein is rarely confirmed by purification and sequencing, however in many cases this may be necessary. In this study we sought to characterize the myoplasm, a mitochondria-rich domain present in eggs and segregated into tadpole muscle cells of ascidians (urochordates). The targeted proteins of two antibodies that label the myoplasm were purified using both classic immunoaffinity methods and a novel protein purification scheme based on sequential ion exchange chromatography followed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Surprisingly, mass spectrometry sequencing revealed that in both cases the proteins recognized are unrelated to the original antigens. NN18, a monoclonal antibody which was raised against porcine spinal cord and recognizes the NF-M neurofilament subunit in vertebrates, in fact labels mitochondrial ATP synthase in the ascidian embryo. PMF-C13, an antibody we raised to and purified against PmMRF, which is the MyoD homolog of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata, in fact recognizes mitochondrial HSP60. High resolution immunolabeling on whole embryos and isolated cortices demonstrates localization to the inner mitochondrial membrane for both ATP synthase and HSP60. We discuss the general implications of our results for antibody specificity and the verification methods which can be used to determine unequivocally an antibody's target. PMID:23326373

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Evidence for the heparin-binding ability of the ascidian Xlink domain and insight into the evolution of the Xlink domain in chordates.

    PubMed

    Yoneda, Masahiko; Nakamura, Toshiya; Murai, Miho; Wada, Hiroshi

    2010-07-01

    The vertebrate Xlink domain is found in two types of genes: lecticans and their associated hyaluronan-and-proteoglycan-binding-link-proteins (HAPLNs), which are components of the extracellular matrix, and those represented by CD44 and stabilins, which are expressed on the surface of lymphocytes. In both types of genes, Xlink functions as a hyaluronan binding domain. We have already reported that protochordate ascidians possess only the latter type of gene. The present analysis of the expression of ascidian Xlink domain genes revealed that these genes function in blood cell migration and apoptosis. While the Xlink domain is found in various metazoans, including ascidians and nematodes, hyaluronan is believed to be specific for vertebrates. In comprehensive genome surveys for hyaluronan synthase (HAS), we found no HAS gene in ascidians. We also established that hyaluronan is absent from the ascidian body biochemically. Therefore, ascidians possess the Xlink domain, but they lack HA. We recovered one ascidian Xlink domain gene that encoded a heparin-binding protein, although it shows no affinity for hyaluronan. Based on these findings, we conclude that in invertebrates, the Xlink domain serves as heparin-binding protein domain and functions in blood cell migration and apoptosis. Its binding affinity for HA might have been acquired in the vertebrate lineage.

  11. Dermatan sulfate in tunicate phylogeny: Order-specific sulfation pattern and the effect of [→4IdoA(2-Sulfate)β-1→3GalNAc(4-Sulfate)β-1→] motifs in dermatan sulfate on heparin cofactor II activity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Previously, we have reported the presence of highly sulfated dermatans in solitary ascidians from the orders Phlebobranchia (Phallusia nigra) and Stolidobranchia (Halocynthia pyriformis and Styela plicata). Despite the identical disaccharide backbone, consisting of [→4IdoA(2S)β-1→3GalNAcβ-1→], those polymers differ in the position of sulfation on the N-Acetyl galactosamine, which can occur at carbon 4 or 6. We have shown that position rather than degree of sulfation is important for heparin cofactor II activity. As a consequence, 2,4- and 2,6-sulfated dermatans have high and low heparin cofactor II activities, respectively. In the present study we extended the disaccharide analysis of ascidian dermatan sulfates to additional species of the orders Stolidobranchia (Herdmania pallida, Halocynthia roretzi) and Phlebobranchia (Ciona intestinalis), aiming to investigate how sulfation evolved within Tunicata. In addition, we analysed how heparin cofactor II activity responds to dermatan sulfates containing different proportions of 2,6- or 2,4-disulfated units. Results Disaccharide analyses indicated a high content of disulfated disaccharide units in the dermatan sulfates from both orders. However, the degree of sulfation decreased from Stolidobranchia to Phlebobranchia. While 76% of the disaccharide units in dermatan sulfates from stolidobranch ascidians are disulfated, 53% of disulfated disaccharides are found in dermatan sulfates from phlebobranch ascidians. Besides this notable difference in the sulfation degree, dermatan sulfates from phlebobranch ascidians contain mainly 2,6-sulfated disaccharides whereas dermatan sulfate from the stolidobranch ascidians contain mostly 2,4-sulfated disaccharides, suggesting that the biosynthesis of dermatan sulfates might be differently regulated during tunicates evolution. Changes in the position of sulfation on N-acetylgalactosamine in the disaccharide [→4IdoA(2-Sulfate)β-1→3GalNAcβ-1→] modulate heparin

  12. THE GENERAL ECOLOGY AND GROWTH OF A SOLITARY ASCIDIAN, CORELLA WILLMERIANA.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Gretchen

    1968-10-01

    1. A one-year field study of the ecology of the solitary ascidian Corella willmeriana Herdman was conducted between April, 1966, and April, 1967, at the Bremerton Yacht Club, Bremerton, Washington, where two polyvinyl chloride frames containing glass plates were examined at monthly intervals. 2. The results indicate that Corella is a primary colonizer, preferring to settle on clean surfaces. Growth is rapid during the summer, when sexual maturity, corresponding to a size of 12 mm., may be attained in three months and life span is approximately five months. Individuals grow at a slower rate and live longer during the winter; the life span then is seven or eight months. 3. Very young specimens of Corella are frequently overgrown during the winter by the colonial ascidian Diplosoma macdonaldi. The causes of death of adult Corella are not completely known, although a small percentage of them are eaten by the polyclad flatworm Eurylepta leoparda. A luxuriant spring growth of filamentous diatoms may cause death of adult Corella by smothering them.

  13. Ascidian introductions through the Suez Canal: The case study of an Indo-Pacific species.

    PubMed

    Rius, Marc; Shenkar, Noa

    2012-10-01

    Although marine biological invasions via the Suez Canal have been extensively documented, little is known about the introduction of non-indigenous ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea), a group containing particularly aggressive invasive species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to study the introduction of the ascidian Herdmania momus into the Mediterranean Sea. We reviewed its taxonomy and global distribution, and analyzed how genetic variation is partitioned between sides of the Suez Canal. The taxonomic revision showed that H. momus currently has a wide Indo-Pacific distribution. Genetic data indicated two well-differentiated colonization histories across the eastern Mediterranean. Our findings suggest that the range expansion of H. momus has been greatly facilitated by the combined effect of human-mediated transport and the species' ability to adapt to different environments. The integrative approach presented here is critical to attain a holistic understanding of marine biological invasions, especially when studying groups with a poorly resolved taxonomy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evolution and development of budding by stem cells: ascidian coloniality as a case study.

    PubMed

    Brown, Federico D; Swalla, Billie J

    2012-09-15

    The evolution of budding in metazoans is not well understood on a mechanistic level, but is an important developmental process. We examine the evolution of coloniality in ascidians, contrasting the life histories of solitary and colonial forms with a focus on the cellular and developmental basis of the evolution of budding. Tunicates are an excellent group to study colonial transitions, as all solitary larvae develop with determinant and invariant cleavage patterns, but colonial species show robust developmental flexibility during larval development. We propose that acquiring new stem cell lineages in the larvae may be a preadaptation necessary for the evolution of budding. Brooding in colonial ascidians allows increased egg size, which in turn allows greater flexibility in the specification of cells and cell numbers in late embryonic and pre-metamorphic larval stages. We review hypotheses for changes in stem cell lineages in colonial species, describe what the current data suggest about the evolution of budding, and discuss where we believe further studies will be most fruitful.

  15. Differentiation of papillae and rostral sensory neurons in the larva of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri (Tunicata).

    PubMed

    Caicci, Federico; Zaniolo, Giovanna; Burighel, Paolo; Degasperi, Valentina; Gasparini, Fabio; Manni, Lucia

    2010-02-15

    During the metamorphosis of tunicate ascidians, the swimming larva uses its three anterior papillae to detect the substrate for settlement, reabsorbs its chordate-like tail, and becomes a sessile oozooid. In view of the crucial role played by the anterior structures and their nerve relations, we applied electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry to study the larva of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, following differentiation of the anterior epidermis during late embryogenesis, the larval stage, and the onset of metamorphosis. Rudiments of the papillae appear in the early tail-bud stage as ectodermic protrusions, the apexes of which differentiate into central and peripheral bipolar neurons. Axons fasciculate into two nerves direct to the brain. Distally, the long, rod-like dendritic terminations extend during the larval stage, becoming exposed to sea water. After the larva selects and adheres to the substrate, these neurons retract and regress. Adjacent to the papillae, other scattered neurons insinuate dendrites into the tunic and form the net of rostral trunk epidermal neurons (RTENs) which fasciculate together with the papillary neurons. Our data indicate that the papillae are simple and coniform, the papillary neurons are mechanoreceptors, and the RTENs are chemoreceptors. The interpapillary epidermal area, by means of an apocrine secretion, provides sticky material for temporary adhesion of the larva to the substrate.

  16. Inverse correlation of population similarity and introduction date for invasive ascidians.

    PubMed

    Silva, Nathan; Smith, William C

    2008-06-25

    The genomes of many marine invertebrates, including the purple sea urchin and the solitary ascidians Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi, show exceptionally high levels of heterozygosity, implying that these populations are highly polymorphic. Analysis of the C. savignyi genome found little evidence to support an elevated mutation rate, but rather points to a large population size contributing to the polymorphism level. In the present study, the relative genetic polymorphism levels in sampled populations of ten different ascidian species were determined using a similarity index generated by AFLP analysis. The goal was to determine the range of polymorphism within the populations of different species, and to uncover factors that may contribute to the high level of polymorphism. We observe that, surprisingly, the levels of polymorphism within these species show a negative correlation with the reported age of invasive populations, and that closely related species show substantially different levels of genetic polymorphism. These findings show exceptions to the assumptions that invasive species start with a low level of genetic polymorphism that increases over time and that closely related species have similar levels of genetic polymorphism.

  17. Origin and Dispersal History of Two Colonial Ascidian Clades in the Botryllus schlosseri Species Complex

    PubMed Central

    Nydam, Marie L.

    2017-01-01

    Human-induced global warming and species introductions are rapidly altering the composition and functioning of Earth’s marine ecosystems. Ascidians (Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Tunicata, Class Ascidiacea) are likely to play an increasingly greater role in marine communities. The colonial ascidian B. schlosseri is a cryptic species complex comprising five genetically divergent clades (A-E). Clade A is a global species, and Clade E has so far been identified in European waters only. Using the largest mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I datasets yet assembled, we determine the origin and dispersal history of these species. Nucleotide diversity and Approximate Bayesian Computation analyses support a Pacific origin for Clade A, with two likely dispersal scenarios that both show the northwestern Atlantic populations establishing early in the history of the species. Both Discrete Phylogeographic Analysis and Approximate Bayesian Computation support an origin of Clade E on the French side of the English Channel. An unsampled lineage evolved from the French lineage, which reflects the conclusion from the median joining network that not all Clade E lineages have been sampled. This unsampled lineage gave rise to the haplotypes on the English side of the English Channel, which were the ancestors to the Mediterranean and Bay of Biscay populations. Clade E has a wider geographic range than previously thought, and shows evidence of recent range expansion. Both Clade A and Clade E should be considered widespread species: Clade A globally and Clade E within Europe. PMID:28107476

  18. Population dynamics of the solitary ascidian Herdmania momus (Savignyi, 1816) in Jeju Island, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Chang Ho; Kim, Jeong Ha

    2016-09-01

    In 2007-2008, a population outbreak of the solitary ascidian Herdmania momus was observed along the coasts of Jeju Island and the ascidians became the top dominant species in macrobenthic communities. We conducted field experiments on population dynamics and demographic parameters including seasonal density fluctuation, vertical distribution, recruitment patterns, mortality, and growth rate. Recruitment continued year-round except in April following the lowest water temperature season in February. Population density was highest in August-October, concomitantly with the peak in recruitment, related to the highest water temperature. The lowest density was observed in February-April when the water temperature was lowest. In April all individuals disappeared from all permanent plots, resulting in a maximum life span of 10-12 months. Individuals of newly recruited H. momus grew to have an adult size of 4-6 cm in only 3-4 months. Higher densities were observed in the shallower areas (5 m) compared to the deeper zones. More recruitment occurred on vertical slopes than horizontal substrates, but substrate pre-occupancy caused no difference in recruitment. This is the first report on H. momus population-level investigation in Korea, which provides valuable baseline information on the current status of population demography and their potential community-level influence on Jeju coasts.

  19. 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.

  20. Scanning x-ray microscopy of living and freeze-dried blood cells in two vanadium-rich ascidian species, Phallusia mammillata and Ascidia sydneiensis samea.

    PubMed

    Ueki, Tatsuya; Takemoto, Kuniko; Fayard, Barbara; Salomé, Murielle; Yamamoto, Akitsugu; Kihara, Hiroshi; Susini, Jean; Scippa, Silvia; Uyama, Taro; Michibata, Hitoshi

    2002-01-01

    Some ascidians (sea squirts) accumulate the transitional metal vanadium in their blood cells at concentrations of up to 350 mM, about 10(7) times its concentration found in seawater. There are approximately 10 different types of blood cell in ascidians. The identity of the true vanadium-containing blood cell (vanadocyte) is controversial and little is known about the subcellular distribution of vanadium. A scanning x-ray microscope installed at the ID21 beamline of the European Synchroton Radiation Facility to visualize vanadium in ascidian blood cells. Without fixation, freezing or staining realized the visualization of vanadium localized in living signet ring cells and vacuolated amoebocytes of two vanadium-rich ascidian species, Phallusia mammillata and Ascidia sydneiensis samea. A combination of transmission and fluorescence images of signet ring cells suggested that in both species the vacuoles contain vanadium.

  1. Urochordate ascidians possess a single isoform of Aurora kinase that localizes to the midbody via TPX2 in eggs and cleavage stage embryos.

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. Evolution of the ascidian anural larva: evidence from embryos and molecules.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, W R; Swalla, B J; Ewing, N; Kusakabe, T

    1999-05-01

    Most ascidians pass through a tadpole (urodele) larval stage, although some species have derived a tailless (anural) larva. New insights into the evolution of anural larvae in the Roscovita clade of molgulid ascidians were obtained from studing embryonic development of the transitional anural species Molgula bleizi and from phylogenetic analysis based on muscle and cytoskeletal actin gene sequences. By observing in vitro fertilized eggs, we found that M. bleizi, previously described as a typical anural developer, actually forms a short immotile tail during embryogenesis. The short tail contains notochord lineage cells, which undergo abbreviated morphogenetic movements but eventually arrest in development. Molgula bleizi tail muscle lineage cells produce the muscle enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) but do not express muscle actin genes. The presence of a short tail, a vestigial notochord, and AChE-positive muscle cells suggest that M. bleizi is a recently derived anural species. An M. bleizi larval muscle actin gene (MbMA1) was isolated, sequenced, and shown to be a pseudogene based on critical deletions in its coding region that would result in a nonfunctional actin protein. The mutations in MbMA1 are distinct from and have evolved independent of the larval muscle actin pseudogenes MoccMA1a and MoccMA1b in Molgula occulta, another anural developer in the Roscovita clade. Pseudogene formation explains the absence of muscle actin mRNA in M. bleizi embryos. The 3' untranslated region of an M. bleizi cytoskeletal actin gene was also isolated and sequenced. Phylogenetic trees reconstructed using muscle and cytoskeletal actin sequences suggest that the anural developer M. bleizi evolved prior to the divergence of the urodele developer Molgula oculata and the anural developer M. occulta in the Roscovita clade. Since M. bleizi lives attached to hard substrata in the tidal zone, whereas M. oculata and M. occulta live buried in subtidal sand flats, our results suggest that

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Experimental allometry: effect of size manipulation on metabolic rate of colonial ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Nakaya, Fumio; Saito, Yasunori; Motokawa, Tatsuo

    2005-01-01

    The allometric scaling of metabolic rate of organisms, the three-quarters power rule, has led to a questioning of the basis for the relation. We attacked this problem experimentally for the first time by employing the modular organism, the ascidian that forms a single layered flat colony, as a model system. The metabolic rate and colony size followed the three-quarters power relation, which held even after the colony size was experimentally manipulated. Our results established that the three-quarters power relation is a real continuous function, not an imaginary statistical regression. The fact that all the hypotheses failed to explain why the two-dimensional organism adhered to the three-quarters power relation led us to propose a new hypothesis, in which the allometric relation derives from the self-organized criticality based on local interaction between modulus-comprising organisms. PMID:16191604

  7. [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.

  8. Structure of ascidiacyclamide as the ethanol water solvate, a cytotoxic cyclic peptide from Ascidian.

    PubMed

    In, Y; Doi, M; Inoue, M; Ishida, T; Hamada, Y; Shioiri, T

    1994-12-15

    The X-ray crystal structure determination of the C2H5OH.H2O solvate of ascidiacyclamide (C36H52N8O6S2), a cytotoxic cyclic peptide from marine tunicate Ascidian, revealed a C2-symmetric saddle-shaped rectangular conformation of the molecule. The water and ethanol molecules are located on the crystallographic diad axis and are held by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals contacts with the polar ring N atoms and nonpolar D-Val side-chain atoms, respectively. The molecular conformation and the interaction with solvent molecules are nearly the same as those of the compound with C2H5OH.2H2O [Ishida, In, Doi, Inoue, Hamada & Shioiri (1992). Biopolymers, 32, 131-143].

  9. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Haruka; Yoshida, Keita; Hozumi, Akiko; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2014-09-01

    Knockout of genes with CRISPR/Cas9 is a newly emerged approach to investigate functions of genes in various organisms. We demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9 can mutate endogenous genes of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a splendid model for elucidating molecular mechanisms for constructing the chordate body plan. Short guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 mRNA, when they are expressed in Ciona embryos by means of microinjection or electroporation of their expression vectors, introduced mutations in the target genes. The specificity of target choice by sgRNA is relatively high compared to the reports from some other organisms, and a single nucleotide mutation at the sgRNA dramatically reduced mutation efficiency at the on-target site. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis will be a powerful method to study gene functions in Ciona along with another genome editing approach using TALE nucleases.

  10. Germ cell mutations of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis with TALE nucleases.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Keita; Treen, Nicholas; Hozumi, Akiko; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2014-05-01

    Targeted mutagenesis of genes-of-interest, or gene-knockout, is a powerful method to address the functions of genes. Engineered nucleases have enabled this approach in various organisms because of their ease of use. The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is an excellent organism to analyze gene functions by means of genetic technologies. In our previous study, we reported mutagenesis of Ciona somatic cells with TALE nucleases (TALENs) by electroporating expression constructs. In this study, we report germ cell mutagenesis of Ciona by microinjecting mRNAs encoding TALENs. TALEN mRNAs introduced mutations to target genes in both somatic and germ cells. TALEN-mediated mutations in the germ cell genome were inherited by the next generation. We conclude that knockout lines of Ciona that have disrupted target genes can be established through TALEN-mediated germ cell mutagenesis.

  11. Transposon-mediated targeted and specific knockdown of maternally expressed transcripts in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Iitsuka, Takako; Mita, Kaoru; Hozumi, Akiko; Hamada, Mayuko; Satoh, Nori; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2014-05-23

    Maternal mRNAs play crucial roles during early embryogenesis of ascidians, but their functions are largely unknown. In this study, we developed a new method to specifically knockdown maternal mRNAs in Ciona intestinalis using transposon-mediated transgenesis. We found that GFP expression is epigenetically silenced in Ciona intestinalis oocytes and eggs, and this epigenetic silencing of GFP was used to develop the knockdown method. When the 5' upstream promoter and 5' untranslated region (UTR) of a maternal gene are used to drive GFP in eggs, the maternal gene is specifically knocked down together with GFP. The 5' UTR of the maternal gene is the major element that determines the target gene silencing. Zygotic transcription of the target gene is unaffected, suggesting that the observed phenotypes specifically reflect the maternal function of the gene. This new method can provide breakthroughs in studying the functions of maternal mRNAs.

  12. Unfractionated Heparin and New Heparin Analogues from Ascidians (Chordate-Tunicate) Ameliorate Colitis in Rats*

    PubMed Central

    Belmiro, Celso L. R.; Castelo-Branco, Morgana T. L.; Melim, Leandra M. C.; Schanaider, Alberto; Elia, Celeste; Madi, Kalil; Pavão, Mauro S. G.; de Souza, Heitor S. P.

    2009-01-01

    The anti-inflammatory effect of mammalian heparin analogues, named dermatan sulfate and heparin, isolated from the ascidian Styela plicata was accessed in a TNBS-induced colitis model in rats. Subcutaneous administration of the invertebrate compounds during a 7-day period drastically reduced inflammation as observed by the normalization of the macroscopic and histological characteristics of the colon. At the molecular level, a decrease in the production of TNF-α, TGF-β, and VEGF was observed, as well as a reduction of NF-κB and MAPK kinase activation. At the cellular level, the heparin analogues attenuated lymphocyte and macrophage recruitment and epithelial cell apoptosis. A drastic reduction in collagen-mediated fibrosis was also observed. No hemorrhagic events were observed after glycan treatment. These results strongly indicate the potential therapeutic use of these compounds for the treatment of colonic inflammation with a lower risk of hemorrhage when compared with mammalian heparin. PMID:19258310

  13. 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

  14. [Diet of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in two mangrove areas of Cuba].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zanuy, Aida; García-Cagide, Alida; Borrero, Nilda; Carballo, José Luis

    2007-06-01

    Diet of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in two mangrove areas of Cuba. Stomach contents of 88 zooids ofEcteinascidia turbinata Herdman 1880 and the qualitative and quantitative composition of phytoplankton in the water column were studied in Santa Fe (North Coast of Havana) and Punta del Este (SW of Cuba). We identified 59 microalgal species and four tintinnids in the stomachs. Cell size was 75-165 microm in length and 2-105 microm in width. There were not significant differences in microalgal diversity in the water column in the two locations. In both locations, the diatoms had the largest number of species and individuals in stomachs and water. In Santa Fe, dinoflagellate biomass was larger in water and stomach contents, while in Punta del Este the contribution of each group to the stomach content was similar to that of the water column. This species filters in a constant and irregular way during the day, independently of food availability.

  15. Expression of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenease in testis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis [corrected].

    PubMed

    Kho, Kang Hee; Inaba, Kazuo

    2004-10-31

    Ascidians have been employed as model organisms in investigating spermatogenesis. 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) is a steroidogenic enzyme essential for invertebrate spermatogenesis. A homologue of HSD was found in the EST database of Ciona intestinalis and cloned. Sequence analysis showed significant homology to zebra fish, sea urchin and human 17beta-HSD. The gene has an open reading frame (ORF) of 918 nucleotides coding for a polypeptide of 306 amino acids and a calculated mass of 35-kDa. Immunoblotting with an antibody raised against HSD recognized a 35-kDa protein purified from the C. intestinalis testis. The HSD protein was localized in steroidogenic cells in the Ciona testis. These results suggest that C. intestinalis 17beta-HSD is equivalent to the enzyme of vertebrate Leydig cells and that 17beta-HSD could be a phylogenetic marker for organisms producing steroids.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:20059994

  17. Molecular and morphological discrimination between an invasive ascidian, Ascidiella aspersa, and its congener A. scabra (Urochordata: Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Teruaki; Oohara, Ichiro; Saitoh, Kenji; Shigenobu, Yuya; Hasegawa, Natsuki; Kanamori, Makoto; Baba, Katsuhisa; Turon, Xavier; Bishop, John D D

    2014-03-01

    The solitary ascidian Ascidiella aspersa (Müller, 1776) has sometimes been regarded as conspecific with A. scabra (Müller, 1776), although previous detailed morphological comparisons have indicated that the two are distinguishable by internal structures. Resolution of this taxonomic issue is important because A. aspersa has been known as a notoriously invasive ascidian, doing much damage to aquaculture e.g. in Hokkaido, Japan. We collected many specimens from European waters (including the Swedish coast, near the type localities of these two species) and Hokkaido, Japan (as an alien population) and made molecular phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, and found that in terms of COI sequences all the analyzed specimens were clustered into two distinct groups, one of which is morphologically referable to A. aspersa and the other to A. scabra. Thus, these two species should be regarded as distinct from each other.

  18. A quantitative study of elements in the blood cells of the tropical ascidian Phallusia philippinensis using the nuclear microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thong, P. S. P.; Law, N. C.; Orlic, I.; Lane, D. J. W.; Watt, F.

    1995-09-01

    Two types of blood cells of the tropical ascidian Phallusia philippinensis have been studied using the NUS nuclear microscope. Morula cells were found to contain 1-2% (by weight) of vanadium and 0.1-0.85% of bromine and signet ring cells about 0.16% vanadium and much reduced levels of bromine (about 50 ppm or less). The signet ring cells were also found to contain very high levels of sulphur (20 wt%), calcium (16 wt%) and oxygen (40 wt% of the cell matrix). The occurrence of sulphur and oxygen in the approximate ratios of 1:4 adds weight to the suggestion by several authors of the presence of sulphates in the ascidian blood cells. Such high levels of sulphur and oxygen were not seen in the morula cells.

  19. Large-scale infection of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis by the gregarine Lankesteria ascidiae in an inland culture system.

    PubMed

    Mita, Kaoru; Kawai, Narudo; Rueckert, Sonja; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2012-11-19

    An important way to keep transgenic and mutant lines of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a model system for e.g. genetic functions, in laboratories is via culturing systems. Here we report a disease of C. intestinalis observed in an inland culturing system. The disease, called 'long feces syndrome,' is expressed in affected animals by the following characteristic symptoms of the digestive system: (1) excretion of long and thin feces, (2) pale color of the stomach, and (3) congestion of the digestive tube by digested material. Severely diseased animals usually die within a week after the first symptoms occur, implying a high risk of this disease for ascidian culturing systems. The digestive tubes of the diseased animals are occupied by the gregarine apicomplexan parasite Lankesteria ascidiae, suggesting that large-scale infection by this parasite is the cause of long feces syndrome.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 O(2) 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 O(2) 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.

  2. Ordered expression pattern of Hox and ParaHox genes along the alimentary canal in the ascidian juvenile.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Satoshi; Satou, Kunihiro; Orito, Wataru; Ogasawara, Michio

    2016-07-01

    The Hox and ParaHox genes of bilateria share a similar expression pattern along the body axis and are known to be associated with anterior-posterior patterning. In vertebrates, the Hox genes are also expressed in presomitic mesoderm and gut endoderm and the ParaHox genes show a restricted expression pattern in the gut-related derivatives. Regional expression patterns in the embryonic central nervous system of the basal chordates amphioxus and ascidian have been reported; however, little is known about their endodermal expression in the alimentary canal. We focus on the Hox and ParaHox genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and investigate the gene expression patterns in the juvenile, which shows morphological regionality in the alimentary canal. Gene expression analyses by using whole-mount in situ hybridization reveal that all Hox genes have a regional expression pattern along the alimentary canal. Expression of Hox1 to Hox4 is restricted to the posterior region of pharyngeal derivatives. Hox5 to Hox13 show an ordered expression pattern correlated with each Hox gene number along the postpharyngeal digestive tract. This expression pattern along the anterior-posterior axis has also been observed in Ciona ParaHox genes. Our observations suggest that ascidian Hox and ParaHox clusters are dispersed; however, the ordered expression patterns along the alimentary canal appear to be conserved among chordates.

  3. The ascidian mouth opening is derived from the anterior neuropore: reassessing the mouth/neural tube relationship in chordate evolution.

    PubMed

    Veeman, Michael T; Newman-Smith, Erin; El-Nachef, Danny; Smith, William C

    2010-08-01

    The relative positions of the brain and mouth are of central importance for models of chordate evolution. The dorsal hollow neural tube and the mouth have often been thought of as developmentally distinct structures that may have followed independent evolutionary paths. In most chordates however, including vertebrates and ascidians, the mouth primordia have been shown to fate to the anterior neural boundary. In ascidians such as Ciona there is a particularly intimate relationship between brain and mouth development, with a thin canal connecting the neural tube lumen to the mouth primordium at larval stages. This so-called neurohypophyseal canal was previously thought to be a secondary connection that formed relatively late, after the independent formation of the mouth primordium and the neural tube. Here we show that the Ciona neurohypophyseal canal is present from the end of neurulation and represents the anteriormost neural tube, and that the future mouth opening is actually derived from the anterior neuropore. The mouth thus forms at the anterior midline transition between neural tube and surface ectoderm. In the vertebrate Xenopus, we find that although the mouth primordium is not topologically continuous with the neural tube lumen, it nonetheless forms at this same transition point. This close association between the mouth primordium and the anterior neural tube in both ascidians and amphibians suggests that the evolution of these two structures may be more closely linked than previously appreciated. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The nervous system of the adult ascidian Ciona intestinalis Type A (Ciona robusta): Insights from transgenic animal models

    PubMed Central

    Osugi, Tomohiro; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2017-01-01

    The nervous system of ascidians is an excellent model system to provide insights into the evolutionary process of the chordate nervous system due to their phylogenetic positions as the sister group of vertebrates. However, the entire nervous system of adult ascidians has yet to be functionally and anatomically investigated. In this study, we have revealed the whole dorsal and siphon nervous system of the transgenic adult ascidian of Ciona intestinalis Type A (Ciona robusta) in which a Kaede reporter gene is expressed in a pan-neuronal fashion. The fluorescent signal of Kaede revealed the innervation patterns and distribution of neurons in the nervous system of Ciona. Precise microscopic observation demonstrated the clear innervation of the anterior and posterior main nerves to eight and six lobes of the oral and atrial siphons, respectively. Moreover, visceral nerves, previously identified as unpaired nerves, were found to be paired; one nerve was derived from the posterior end of the cerebral ganglion and the other from the right posterior nerve. This study further revealed the full trajectory of the dorsal strand plexus and paired visceral nerves on either side from the cerebral ganglion to the ovary, and precise innervation between the cerebral ganglion and the peripheral organs including the gonoduct, cupular organ, rectum and ovary. The differential innervation patterns of visceral nerves and the dorsal strand plexus indicate that the peripheral organs including the ovary undergo various neural regulations. Collectively, the present anatomical analysis revealed the major innervation of the dorsal and siphon nervous systems of adult Ciona. PMID:28651020

  5. Calmodulin and immunophilin are required as functional partners of a ryanodine receptor in ascidian oocytes at fertilization.

    PubMed

    Albrieux, M; Moutin, M J; Grunwald, D; Villaz, M

    2000-09-01

    Fertilization of oocytes incites numerous changes relying on Ca(2+) signaling. In inseminated ascidian eggs, an increase in the egg surface membrane, monitored by a change in electrical capacitance, is recorded at the onset of meiosis resumption. This membrane addition to the cell surface is controlled by calcium release through a ryanodine receptor (RyR), sensitive to cyclic ADP-ribose. Using confocal microscopy analysis of ascidian oocytes immunostained with anti-RyR antibody, we show here that this calcium channel is asymmetrically located in the vegetal cortical zone. Interestingly, the increase in cell capacitance occurring at fertilization is correlated with a fluorescent signal, imaged by the marker of vesicle trafficking FM 1-43, located close to the RyR region. Two putative partners of RyR, namely an FKBP-like protein and a calmodulin, are identified in these oocyte extracts by detection of enzyme activity and PCR amplification. Both are necessary to sustain ryanodine receptor activity in these oocytes since the membrane insertion triggered by fertilization is inhibited by the FKBP ligand rapamycin and by a calmodulin antagonist peptide. These findings suggest that exocytosis in ascidian eggs is triggered at fertilization by a functional Ca(2+) release unit operating as a complex of several proteins, including a calmodulin and an immunophilin, around the intracellular calcium channel itself. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  6. The nervous system of the adult ascidian Ciona intestinalis Type A (Ciona robusta): Insights from transgenic animal models.

    PubMed

    Osugi, Tomohiro; Sasakura, Yasunori; Satake, Honoo

    2017-01-01

    The nervous system of ascidians is an excellent model system to provide insights into the evolutionary process of the chordate nervous system due to their phylogenetic positions as the sister group of vertebrates. However, the entire nervous system of adult ascidians has yet to be functionally and anatomically investigated. In this study, we have revealed the whole dorsal and siphon nervous system of the transgenic adult ascidian of Ciona intestinalis Type A (Ciona robusta) in which a Kaede reporter gene is expressed in a pan-neuronal fashion. The fluorescent signal of Kaede revealed the innervation patterns and distribution of neurons in the nervous system of Ciona. Precise microscopic observation demonstrated the clear innervation of the anterior and posterior main nerves to eight and six lobes of the oral and atrial siphons, respectively. Moreover, visceral nerves, previously identified as unpaired nerves, were found to be paired; one nerve was derived from the posterior end of the cerebral ganglion and the other from the right posterior nerve. This study further revealed the full trajectory of the dorsal strand plexus and paired visceral nerves on either side from the cerebral ganglion to the ovary, and precise innervation between the cerebral ganglion and the peripheral organs including the gonoduct, cupular organ, rectum and ovary. The differential innervation patterns of visceral nerves and the dorsal strand plexus indicate that the peripheral organs including the ovary undergo various neural regulations. Collectively, the present anatomical analysis revealed the major innervation of the dorsal and siphon nervous systems of adult Ciona.

  7. Exploring the mechanism of action of the sperm-triggered calcium-wave pacemaker in ascidian zygotes.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Michael; Levasseur, Mark; Wood, Chris; Whitaker, Michael; Jones, Keith T; McDougall, Alex

    2003-12-15

    In ascidians, as in mammals, sperm trigger repetitive Ca2+-waves that originate from cortical pacemakers situated in the vegetal hemisphere of the zygotes. In ascidians, a vegetal protrusion termed the contraction pole (CP) acts as the Ca2+-wave pacemaker, but the mechanism that underlies the generation of a Ca2+-wave pacemaker is not known. Here, we tested four hypotheses to determine which factors at the CP are involved in setting the pace of the ascidian Ca2+-wave pacemaker: (1) localized Ca2+ influx; (2) accumulation of phosphatidylinositol (4,5)bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2]; (3) accumulation of cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER); and (4) enrichment of the sperm activating factor. We developed a method of dynamically monitoring the location of the CP during fertilization using a plekstrin homology (PH) domain from phospholipase Cdelta1 coupled to green fluorescent protein (GFP) that binds PtdIns(4,5)P2. We found that eggs in Ca2+-free sea water displayed Ca2+ waves that originated from the CP, showing that enhanced CP Ca2+ influx does not determine the origin of the pacemaker. Also, disruption of the PH::GFP-labelled CP once it had formed did not dislodge the Ca2+-wave pacemaker from that site. Next, when we prevented the accumulation of cER at the CP, all of the Ca2+ waves came from the site of sperm-egg fusion and the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations was unaltered. These data show that local Ca2+ influx, the accumulation of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and cER at the CP are not required for Ca2+-wave pacemaker function and instead suggest that a factor associated with the sperm determines the site of the Ca2+-wave pacemaker. Finally, when we injected ascidian sperm extract into the centre of unfertilized ascidian eggs that had been treated with microfilament- and microtubule-disrupting drugs, all the Ca2+ waves still originated from near the plasma membrane, showing that the sperm factor does not require an intact cortex if it is enriched near the plasma membrane (PM). We

  8. From oocyte to 16-cell stage: cytoplasmic and cortical reorganizations that pattern the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Sardet, Christian; Paix, Alexandre; Prodon, François; Dru, Philippe; Chenevert, Janet

    2007-07-01

    The dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes of the ascidian embryo are defined before first cleavage by means of a series of reorganizations that reposition cytoplasmic and cortical domains established during oogenesis. These domains situated in the periphery of the oocyte contain developmental determinants and a population of maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs. One of these RNAs (macho-1) is a determinant for the muscle cells of the tadpole embryo. Oocytes acquire a primary animal-vegetal (a-v) axis during meiotic maturation, when a subcortical mitochondria-rich domain (myoplasm) and a domain rich in cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER) and maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs (cER-mRNA domain) become polarized and asymmetrically enriched in the vegetal hemisphere. Fertilization at metaphase of meiosis I initiates a series of dramatic cytoplasmic and cortical reorganizations of the zygote, which occur in two major phases. The first major phase depends on sperm entry which triggers a calcium wave leading in turn to an actomyosin-driven contraction wave. The contraction concentrates the cER-mRNA domain and myoplasm in and around a vegetal/contraction pole. The precise localization of the vegetal/contraction pole depends on both the a-v axis and the location of sperm entry and prefigures the future site of gastrulation and dorsal side of the embryo. The second major phase of reorganization occurs between meiosis completion and first cleavage. Sperm aster microtubules and then cortical microfilaments cause the cER-mRNA domain and myoplasm to reposition toward the posterior of the zygote. The location of the posterior pole depends on the localization of the sperm centrosome/aster attained during the first major phase of reorganization. Both cER-mRNA and myoplasm domains localized in the posterior region are partitioned equally between the first two blastomeres and then asymmetrically over the next two cleavages. At the eight-cell stage the cER-mRNA domain compacts and gives rise to

  9. Vascular budding in Symplegma brakenhielmi and the evolution of coloniality in styelid ascidians.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Stefania; Brown, Federico D

    2017-03-15

    Individuals of colonial animals (e.g. zooids) are in continuous turnover. In ascidians colonial or solitary species have evolved by convergence multiple times. Colonial Botryllus and Botrylloides are well-studied genera that exhibit colony-wide developmental mechanisms that regulate synchronous and orchestrated cycles of budding and turnover of zooids. The origins of modular developmental mechanisms that facilitated the evolution of coloniality in this group remain unclear. To reconstruct ancestral states of coloniality we studied Symplegma brakenhielmi, a sister taxon of the botryllids. S. brakenhielmi zooids are embedded in a common tunic and present a similar vascular system as the botrylloides, however development and turnover of zooids occurs asynchronously and in a more independent manner. We generated a table of common stages of budding in Symplegma and Botryllus for comparative studies of asexual development. We tested dependent processes of budding among individuals of the colony by systemic bud or zooid removals. Although our results showed a higher degree of independence in bud development in S. brakenhielmi, we found a subtle colony-wide regulatory mechanism of modular development, i.e. new buds expedited development after the removal of all buds in the colony. Next, we characterized external morphology, ultrastructure, and abundance of circulatory blood cells in the vascular system of S. brakenhielmi. Macrophage-like cells (MLCs) are involved in zooid resorption and turnover. Proportions of MLCs in the blood of S. brakenhielmi corresponded to the peak of occurrence of this cell type during the budding cycle of B. schlosseri. We found several new blood cell types in S. brakenhielmi, including two cell types that resemble circulatory progenitor stem cells of other botryllid colonial ascidians. These cells showed features of undifferentiated cells and expressed mitotic marker Phospho-histone H3. Comparative studies of S. brakenhielmi and B. schlosseri

  10. 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

  11. Fertilization in an egg-brooding colonial ascidian does not vary with population density.

    PubMed

    Phillippi, Aimee; Hamann, Ellen; Yund, Philip O

    2004-06-01

    The possibility that free-spawning marine organisms may be subject to fertilization failure at low population density (due to the effects of sperm dilution) has sparked much interest, but these effects have been demonstrated only in a few species that broadcast their eggs. Some egg-brooding species may overcome dilution effects by filtering low concentrations of sperm from seawater and fertilizing eggs throughout an extended period of time. We examined the effects of population density and size on fertilization in Botryllus schlosseri, a hermaphroditic colonial ascidian that free-spawns sperm, but broods eggs. We experimentally manipulated the size and density of mating groups and surveyed fertilization levels in natural populations that varied in density. Fertilization was not affected by variation in population size or density in either the experimental or natural populations. Near the end of the reproductive season, some eggs may have been fertilized too late to complete development, suggesting a temporal form of sperm limitation that has not been considered in other systems. We also detected greater variability in fertilization levels at lower population density. Nevertheless, these results suggest that caution must be used in extrapolating reported density effects on fertilization to all taxa of free-spawners; density effects may be reduced in brooders that have efficient sperm collection mechanisms.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Adverse Effect of Antifouling Compounds on the Reproductive Mechanisms of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2013-01-01

    Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT) and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na+) currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i) the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii) the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed. PMID:24065165

  16. Cortical anchorages and cell type segregations of maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Paix, Alexandre; Yamada, Lixy; Dru, Philippe; Lecordier, Helene; Pruliere, Gerard; Chenevert, Janet; Satoh, Nori; Sardet, Christian

    2009-12-01

    Ascidian postplasmic/PEM RNAs constitute a large class of cortical maternal RNAs which include developmental determinants (macho-1 and pem-1). We have analyzed the localization, cortical anchorage and cell type segregation of postplasmic/PEM RNAs in Ciona intestinalis and Phallusia mammillata using very high-resolution fluorescent in situ hybridization. We also compared RNAs extracted from whole oocytes and from isolated cortices using microarrays and localized RNAs possessing clusters of xCACx motifs in their 3'UTRs. Based on these combined approaches we conclude that: (1) the vast majority of the 39 postplasmic/PEM RNAs (including vasa) are localized in the egg cortex. (2) Many postplasmic/PEM RNAs 3'UTR are enriched in xCACx motifs, allowing us to identify 2 novel postplasmic/PEM RNAs (PSD and MnK). (3) Postplasmic/PEM RNAs anchored to cortical Endoplasmic Reticulum (cER) and those associated with granules have different cell destinations. We propose that there are 2 distinct categories of postplasmic/PEM RNAs on the basis of their cortical anchorages and cell destinations: (1) macho-1-like postplasmic/PEM RNAs anchored to cER which segregate into somatic B8.11 cells. (2) vasa-like postplasmic/PEM RNAs associated with granules which in addition to B8.11 cells segregate into B8.12 germ cells.

  17. Siphon Regeneration Capacity is Compromised During Aging in the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    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 eight oral pigment organs (OPO), the latter via differentiation and migration of stem/precursor cells from localized siphon 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 eight to twelve-sixteen, 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. PMID:22935550

  18. Adverse effect of antifouling compounds on the reproductive mechanisms of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2013-09-20

    Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT) and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na⁺) currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i) the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii) the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed.

  19. Filter-feeding ascidians ( Ciona intestinalis) in a shallow cove: Implications of hydrodynamics for grazing impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riisgård, Hans Ulrik; Jürgensen, Carsten; Clausen, Torben

    1996-06-01

    The grazing impact by a dense population of filter-feeding ascidians Ciona intestinalis on horizontally flowing water (driven by density circulation) in a shallow cove (Kertinge Nor, Denmark) has been described and quantified by means of a simple one-dimensional numerical model. The agreement between observations and modelled predictions was satisfactory. The applied numerical model has the following analytical solution in the idealized case: Cx = C0e -( fx/ Y2) , where Cx = algal concentration at a downstream distance x, C0 = initial concentration, f = F/ vc; F = area specific population filtration rate; vc = current velocity; Y 2 = depth of mixed layer below halocline. The numerical model quantifies the actual grazing impact while the analytical model illustrates the governing physics in well-known terms. To describe situations with no current ( i.e. stagnant water), we performed simulation studies in the laboratory and measured vertical profiles of algal cells over filter-feeding C. intestinalis. The results showed that phytoplankton became reduced in a near-bottom water layer of 20-30 cm thickness. Such water layers may develop in stagnant water (calm days and no advective currents), thus uncoupling the pelagic food and the filter feeders which within a short time will experience extremely meagre food conditions.

  20. 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.

  1. Establishment of enhancer detection lines expressing GFP in the gut of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Reiko; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2012-01-01

    The gut is a tubular, endodermal organ for digesting food and absorbing nutrients. In this study, we characterized eight enhancer detection lines that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the whole or part of the digestive tube of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Three enhancer detection lines for the pyloric gland, a structure associated with the digestive tube, were also analyzed. These lines are valuable markers for analyzing the mechanisms of development of the gut. Based on the GFP expression of the enhancer detection lines together with morphological characteristics, the digestive tube of Ciona can be subdivided into at least 10 compartments in which different genetic cascades operate. Causal insertion sites of the enhancer detection lines were identified, and the expression pattern of the genes near the insertion sites were characterized by means of whole-mount in situ hybridization. We have characterized four and two genes that were specifically or strongly expressed in the digestive tube and pyloric gland, respectively. The present data provide the basic information and useful resources for studying gut formation in Ciona.

  2. Global phylogeography of the widely introduced North West Pacific ascidian Styela clava.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

    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.

  3. Auto and cross regulatory elements control Onecut expression in the ascidian nervous system.

    PubMed

    Pezzotti, Maria Rosa; Locascio, Annamaria; Racioppi, Claudia; Fucci, Laura; Branno, Margherita

    2014-06-15

    The expression pattern of Onecut genes in the central and peripheral nervous systems is highly conserved in invertebrates and vertebrates but the regulatory networks in which they are involved are still largely unknown. The presence of three gene copies in vertebrates has revealed the functional roles of the Onecut genes in liver, pancreas and some populations of motor neurons. Urochordates have only one Onecut gene and are the closest living relatives of vertebrates and thus represent a good model system to understand its regulatory network and involvement in nervous system formation. In order to define the Onecut genetic cascade, we extensively characterized the Onecut upstream cis-regulatory DNA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Electroporation experiments using a 2.5kb genomic fragment and of a series of deletion constructs identified a small region of 262bp able to reproduce most of the Onecut expression profile during embryonic development. Further analyses, both bioinformatic and in vivo using transient transgenes, permitted the identification of transcription factors responsible for Onecut endogenous expression. We provide evidence that Neurogenin is a direct activator of Onecut and that an autoregulatory loop is responsible for the maintenance of its expression. Furthermore, for the first time we propose the existence of a direct connection among Neurogenin, Onecut and Rx transcription factors in photoreceptor cell formation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Nuclear microscope analysis of blood cells from the tropical ascidian Phallusia philippinensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogarth, A. N.; Thong, P. S. P.; Lane, D. J. W.; Watt, F.

    1997-07-01

    The present study examines the concentrations of vanadium, bromine and sulphur contained within cryofixed/freeze dried blood cells of the ascidian Phallusia philippinensis (Millar, 1975). Elemental profiles of seven cell types were obtained using the National University of Singapore nuclear microscope. Morula cells were found to contain the following mean values; 0.8% vanadium, 3.5% bromine and 6.1% sulphur. Signet ring cells contained 0.5% vanadium, 2.4% bromine and 1.5% sulphur. Compartment cells had 0.1% vanadium, 2.1% bromine and 2.4% sulphur. Other less abundant cell types such as lymphocytes, macrogranular amoebocytes, carotenoid pigment cells and granular amoebocytes were also analysed and found to contain 0.4%, 0.7%, 0.2% and 1.0% vanadium, 2.0%, 1.6%, 0.6% and 1.2% bromine and 1.3%, 1.5%, 0.3% and 4.3% sulphur respectively. Sulphur occurred in high levels in all cell types, which could indicate its involvement in the vanadium concentration process, while bromine, incorporated into complexes, may be utilised for anti-fouling rather than as a deterrent to predators.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-22

    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.

  7. Mechanisms of helical swimming: asymmetries in the morphology, movement and mechanics of larvae of the ascidian Distaplia occidentalis.

    PubMed

    McHenry, M J

    2001-09-01

    A great diversity of unicellular and invertebrate organisms swim along a helical path, but it is not well understood how asymmetries in the body shape or the movement of propulsive structures affect a swimmer's ability to perform the body rotation necessary to move helically. The present study found no significant asymmetries in the body shape of ascidian larvae (Distaplia occidentalis) that could operate to rotate the body during swimming. By recording the three-dimensional movement of free-swimming larvae, it was found that the tail possessed two bends, each with constant curvature along their length. As these bends traveled posteriorly, the amplitude of curvature changes was significantly greater in the concave-left direction than in the concave-right direction. In addition to this asymmetry, the tail oscillated at an oblique angle to the midline of the trunk. These asymmetries generated a yawing moment that rotated the body in the counterclockwise direction from a dorsal view, according to calculations from hydrodynamic theory. The tails of resting larvae were bent in the concave-left direction with a curvature statistically indistinguishable from the median value for tail curvature during swimming. The flexural stiffness of the tails of larvae, measured in three-point bending, may be great enough to allow the resting curvature of the tail to have an effect on the symmetry of kinematics. This work suggests that asymmetrical tail motion is an important mechanism for generating a yawing moment during swimming in ascidian larvae and that these asymmetries may be caused by the tail's bent shape. Since helical motion requires that moments also be generated in the pitching or rolling directions, other mechanisms are required to explain fully how ascidian larvae generate and control helical swimming.

  8. Origin of the Henze solution/precipitate from morula cells of the blood of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nette, Geoffrey; Scippa, S.; de Vincentiis, Mario

    The "Henze solution", derived originally from the aqueous extraction of pelleted whole blood from the ascidian Phallusia mammillata, was examined using spectral studies. The aqueous extraction of fractionated blood cells including compartment cells, signet ring cells, and morula cells obtained using cell separation techniques were also examined. It was found that this Henze solution, and the Henze precipitate itself derived from this solution, emanated solely from the morula cells. Furthermore, it was found that this solution is formed independently of the vanadium metal ions otherwise associated with the vanadocytes. Observation of the Henze precipitate by light microscopy shows that this material partially forms crystallites or microglasses.

  9. SL RNA genes of the ascidian tunicates Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi.

    PubMed

    Yeats, Brendan; Matsumoto, Jun; Mortimer, Sandra I; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Satoh, Nori; Hastings, Kenneth E M

    2010-02-01

    We characterized by bioinformatics the trans-spliced leader donor RNA (SL RNA) genes of two ascidians, Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi. The Ciona intestinalis genome contains approximately 670 copies of the SL RNA gene, principally on a 264-bp tandemly repeated element. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization mapped most of the repeats to a single site on the short arm of chromosome 8. The Ciona intestinalis genome also contains approximately 100 copies of a >3.6-kb element that carries 1) an SL RNA-related sequence (possible a pseudogene) and 2) genes for the U6 snRNA and a histone-like protein. The Ciona savignyi genome contains two SL RNA gene classes having the same SL sequence as Ciona intestinalis but differing in the intron-like segments. These reside in similar but distinct repeat units of 575 bp ( approximately 410 copies) and 552 bp ( approximately 250 copies) that are arranged as separate tandem repeats. In neither Ciona species is the 5S RNA gene present within the SL RNA gene repeat unit. Although the number of SL RNA genes is similar, there is little sequence similarity between the intestinalis and savignyi repeat units, apart from the region encoding the SL RNA itself. This suggests that cis-regulatory elements involved in transcription and 3'-end processing are likely to be present within the transcribed region. The genomes of both Ciona species also include > 100 dispersed short elements containing the 16-nt SL sequence and up to 6 additional nucleotides of the SL RNA sequence.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Phylogenetics, biogeography and population genetics of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri in the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.

    PubMed

    Reem, Eitan; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Katzir, Gadi; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2017-02-01

    The wide distribution of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri along the Mediterranean coasts has been documented since the eighteenth century. However, despite copious documentation, analyses of dispersal modes and genetic profiles were limited to local populations or restricted regions. In order to get a pan-Mediterranean overview, 288 specimens from 11 populations of B. schlosseri from the western and eastern Mediterranean basins were sampled and analyzed using five microsatellite loci and COI sequences. Both molecular markers revealed high polymorphisms, with 182 microsatellites alleles and 54 COI haplotypes. Overall, Fst, Dest, and COI Фpt values were 0.146, 0.635 and 0.322, respectively, reflecting a high genetic diversity and a significant genetic structure as compared to other B. schlosseri populations worldwide, reflected by substantially higher values for effective number of alleles (Ne) in the Mediterranean. A phylogenetic analysis of the COI sequences resulted in four distinct clades and two molecular operational taxonomic units (OTUs). We recorded a stronger genetic structure among the populations of the eastern basin compared to the western basin (microsatellites Fst=0.217 versus 0.082; COI Фpt=0.416 versus 0.171), suggesting either a restricted connectivity between the basins or a stronger genetic drift in each basin. The occurrence of two OTUs and different ecological conditions may also contribute to this finding. Mean Nei's genetic distance in the eastern Mediterranean populations was more than three times higher compared to the western basin. No correlation was observed between geographic and genetic distances (Mantel test), suggesting that maritime transport is the main dispersal vector of B. schlosseri colonies. The possibility that the Mediterranean is a center of diversity for B. schlosseri, and probably its site of origin, is further discussed.

  13. The candidate Fu/HC gene in Botryllusschlosseri (Urochordata) and ascidians' historecognition--an oxymoron?

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Buki; Douek, Jacob; Rabinowitz, Claudette; Paz, Guy

    2012-04-01

    Allorecognition, distinguishing self from non-self allogeneic tissues is the underlying basis of innate immunity. In the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri this historecognition is governed at a single genetic locus, Fu/HC (for fusibility/histocompatibility), with hundreds of co-dominantly expressed alleles. Several years ago, De Tomaso et al. (2005) have revolutionized the discipline of invertebrate allorecognition by describing a novel form of immune recognition in B. schlosseri, a non-vertebrate candidate histocompatibility gene (cFu/HC), revealing that allorecognition machinery in urochordates has nothing in common with the vertebrates' MHC-based histocompatibility. The authors reported absolute concordance of fusibility and cFu/HC genotype, predicted fusion/rejection outcomes in allorecognition settings from allelic polymorphism at the cFu/HC, also claiming cFu/HC gene expressions only in tissues directly engaged in histocompatibility. Here, we raise queries for the validity of the results and conclusions of De Tomaso et al. (2005) publication. Our reservations include discrepancies in the paper's results, including the perplexing absence of key sequencing material from public domains and above all, our own impugning outcomes. These include cloning efforts, in situ hybridization results, semi quantitative PCR outcomes, and the incongruence emerged between fusion/rejection profiles and cFu/HC segregated polymorphism that separately and cumulatively contradict the original publication. We conclude that Botryllus histocompatibility properties are not signaled in the claimed cFu/HC and that cFu/HC gene is unlikely the allodeterminant for Botryllus histocompatibility locus. Hence, the molecular nature of the Fu/HC locus in botryllid ascidians is still awaiting elucidation.

  14. 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

  15. The hydrodynamics of locomotion at intermediate Reynolds numbers: undulatory swimming in ascidian larvae (Botrylloides sp.).

    PubMed

    McHenry, Matthew J; Azizi, Emanuel; Strother, James A

    2003-01-01

    Understanding how the shape and motion of an aquatic animal affects the performance of swimming requires knowledge of the fluid forces that generate thrust and drag. These forces are poorly understood for the large diversity of animals that swim at Reynolds numbers (Re) between 10(0) and 10(2). We experimentally tested quasi-steady and unsteady blade-element models of the hydrodynamics of undulatory swimming in the larvae of the ascidian Botrylloides sp. by comparing the forces predicted by these models with measured forces generated by tethered larvae and by comparing the swimming speeds predicted with measurements of the speed of freely swimming larvae. Although both models predicted mean forces that were statistically indistinguishable from measurements, the quasi-steady model predicted the timing of force production and mean swimming speed more accurately than the unsteady model. This suggests that unsteady force (i.e. the acceleration reaction) does not play a role in the dynamics of steady undulatory swimming at Re approximately 10(2). We explored the relative contribution of viscous and inertial force to the generation of thrust and drag at 10(0)10(2)) and low (<10(0)) Re, the fluid forces that generate thrust cannot be assumed to be the same as those that generate drag at intermediate Re.

  16. 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

  17. Shared hemocyte- and intestine-dominant expression profiles of intelectin genes in ascidian Ciona intestinalis: insight into the evolution of the innate immune system in chordates.

    PubMed

    Hayashibe, Minoru; Nakayama, Satoshi; Ogasawara, Michio

    2017-06-27

    Intelectin is a soluble lectin known as a pattern-recognition receptor for the innate immune system or as an intestinal lactoferrin receptor. Intelectin genes have been identified in a wide range of chordates and the shared expression pattern in their absorptive intestinal regions has been widely recognized. The chordate intelectins have a shared domain structure with a fibrinogen-related domain and an intelectin domain and an additional sequence has been reported only in ascidian Ciona intestinalis intelectins. However, little is known about the molecular features of the ascidian intelectins, including the distribution of the additional sequence in ascidians. Therefore, we focus on the ascidian species that are available for genome DNA sequence searches and survey intelectin genes with special reference to the additional sequence. We also assess the distribution of Ciona intelectin gene transcripts in transparent juveniles and adult specimens by means of in situ hybridization and reveal hemocyte-dominant expressions as well as stomach-exclusive expression. Comparative gene expression analysis with secretory digestive enzymes and absorption-related proteins in Ciona revealed that intelectin and secretory digestive enzymes were expressed in the same region of the stomach epithelium. Since the domain structure of intelectins and the hemocyte-dominant gene expression of intelectins seem relevant to ficolin, intelectin genes may have evolved from a ficolin-like ancestral gene with hemocytic expression in early chordate evolution.

  18. The invariant cleavage pattern displayed by ascidian embryos depends on spindle positioning along the cell's longest axis in the apical plane and relies on asynchronous cell divisions

    PubMed Central

    Dumollard, Rémi; Minc, Nicolas; Salez, Gregory; Aicha, Sameh Ben; Bekkouche, Faisal; Hebras, Céline; Besnardeau, Lydia; McDougall, Alex

    2017-01-01

    The ascidian embryo is an ideal system to investigate how cell position is determined during embryogenesis. Using 3D timelapse imaging and computational methods we analyzed the planar cell divisions in ascidian early embryos and found that spindles in every cell tend to align at metaphase in the long length of the apical surface except in cells undergoing unequal cleavage. Furthermore, the invariant and conserved cleavage pattern of ascidian embryos was found to consist in alternate planar cell divisions between ectoderm and endomesoderm. In order to test the importance of alternate cell divisions we manipulated zygotic transcription induced by β-catenin or downregulated wee1 activity, both of which abolish this cell cycle asynchrony. Crucially, abolishing cell cycle asynchrony consistently disrupted the spindle orienting mechanism underpinning the invariant cleavage pattern. Our results demonstrate how an evolutionary conserved cell cycle asynchrony maintains the invariant cleavage pattern driving morphogenesis of the ascidian blastula. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19290.001 PMID:28121291

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2016-05-23

    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.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Interspecific hybridization between an anural and urodele ascidian: differential expression of urodele features suggests multiple mechanisms control anural development.

    PubMed

    Swalla, B J; Jeffery, W R

    1990-12-01

    Anural development in the ascidian Molgula occulta was examined using tissue-specific markers and interspecific hybridization. Unlike most ascidians, which develop into a swimming tadpole larva (urodele development), M. occulta eggs develop into a tailless slug-like larva (anural development) which metamorphoses into an adult. M. occulta embryos show conventional early cleavage patterns, gastrulation, and neurulation, but then diverge from the urodele developmental mode during larval morphogenesis. M. occulta larvae do not contain a pigmented sensory cell in their brain or form a tail with differentiated notochord and muscle cells. As shown by in situ hybridization with cloned probes and analysis of in vitro translation products, M. occulta embryos do not accumulate high levels of alpha actin or myosin heavy chain mRNA. In contrast, acetylcholinesterase is expressed in muscle lineage cells, indicating that various muscle cell features are differentially suppressed. M. occulta embryos also lack tyrosinase activity, suggesting that suppression of brain pigment cell differentiation occurs at an early step in development. M. occulta eggs fertilized with sperm from Molgula oculata (a closely related urodele species) develop into hybrid larvae exhibiting some of the missing urodele features. Some hybrid embryos develop tyrosinase activity and differentiate a brain pigment cell and a short row of notochord cells, and form a short tail. These urodele features appeared together or separately in different hybrid embryos suggesting that they develop by independent mechanisms. In contrast, alpha actin and myosin heavy chain mRNA accumulation was not enhanced in hybrid embryos. These results suggest that multiple mechanisms control anural development.

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of a novel vanadium-binding protein (VBP-129) from blood plasma of the vanadium-rich ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea.

    PubMed

    Yoshihara, Masao; Ueki, Tatsuya; Yamaguchi, Nobuo; Kamino, Kei; Michibata, Hitoshi

    2008-02-01

    The ascidians, the so-called sea squirts, accumulate high levels of vanadium, a transition metal. Since Henze first observed this physiologically unusual phenomenon about one hundred years ago, it has attracted interdisciplinary attention from chemists, physiologists, and biochemists. The maximum concentration of vanadium in ascidians can reach 350 mM, and most of the vanadium ions are stored in the +3 oxidation state in the vacuoles of vanadium-accumulating blood cells known as vanadocytes. Many proteins involved in the accumulation and reduction of vanadium in the vanadocytes, blood plasma, and digestive tract have been identified. However, the process by which vanadium is taken in prior to its accumulation in vanadocytes has not been elucidated. In the present study, a novel vanadium-binding protein, designated VBP-129, was identified from blood plasma of the vanadium-rich ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea. Although VBP-129 mRNA was transcribed in all A. sydneiensis samea tissues examined, the VBP-129 protein was exclusively localized in blood plasma and muscle cells of this ascidian. It bound not only to VO(2+) but also to Fe(3+), Co(2+), Cu(2+), and Zn(2+); on the other hand, a truncated form of VBP-129, designated VBP-88, bound only to Co(2+), Cu(2+) and Zn(2+). In a pull-down assay, an interaction between VanabinP and VBP-129 occurred both in the presence and the absence of VO(2+). These results suggest that VBP-129 and VanabinP function cooperatively as metallochaperones in blood plasma.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Lineage divergence, local adaptation across a biogeographic break, and artificial transport, shape the genetic structure in the ascidian Pyura chilensis

    PubMed Central

    Segovia, Nicolás I.; Gallardo-Escárate, Cristian; Poulin, Elie; Haye, Pilar A.

    2017-01-01

    Marine benthic organisms inhabit a heterogeneous environment in which connectivity between populations occurs mainly through dispersive larval stages, while local selective pressures acting on early life history stages lead to non-random mortality, shaping adaptive genetic structure. In order to test the influence of local adaptation and neutral processes in a marine benthic species with low dispersal, in this study we used Genotyping by Sequencing technology to compare the neutral and putatively selected signals (neutral and outlier loci, respectively) in SNPs scattered throughout the genome in six local populations of the commercially exploited ascidian Pyura chilensis along the southeast Pacific coast (24°–42°S). This species is sessile as an adult, has a short-lived larval stage, and may also be dispersed by artificial transport as biofouling. We found that the main signal in neutral loci was a highly divergent lineage present at 39°S, and a subjacent signal that indicated a separation at 30°S (north/south), widely reported in the area. North/south separation was the main signal in outlier loci, and the linage divergence at 39°S was subjacent. We conclude that the geographic structure of the genetic diversity of outlier and neutral loci was established by different strengths of environmental, historical and anthropogenic factors. PMID:28300177

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Larval adhesive organs and metamorphosis in ascidians. II. The mechanism of eversion of the papillae of Distaplia occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Cloney, R A

    1979-09-01

    The cup-shaped adhesive papillae of Distaplia occidentalis evert at the onset of metamorphosis and each transforms into a hyperboloidal configuration. The rate of transformation is a function of temperature. At 14 degrees C complete eversion takes about 30 seconds. Myoepithelial cells that extend from the rim to the base on the cup contract. Simultaneously the central part of the papilla advances 60--70 micrometers. During the last phases of eversion, collocytes (cells that secrete adhesives) on the inner wall of the cup and on the sides of the axial protrusion flow outward and form a collar-like structure. The myoepithelial cells contain arrays of thick and thin filaments. These become compacted during contraction. The surfaces of these cells become extensively folded as they shorten to about 1/3 of rest length. According to the proposed model the myoepithelial cells are the driving force in papillary eversion. Immediately after eversion is completed the papillae begin to retract. Eversion of the papillae is not inhibited by cytochalasin B, but the process of retraction is reversibly inhibited. Some histological characteristics of five types of everting papillae in four families of ascidians are compared.

  13. Lineage divergence, local adaptation across a biogeographic break, and artificial transport, shape the genetic structure in the ascidian Pyura chilensis.

    PubMed

    Segovia, Nicolás I; Gallardo-Escárate, Cristian; Poulin, Elie; Haye, Pilar A

    2017-03-16

    Marine benthic organisms inhabit a heterogeneous environment in which connectivity between populations occurs mainly through dispersive larval stages, while local selective pressures acting on early life history stages lead to non-random mortality, shaping adaptive genetic structure. In order to test the influence of local adaptation and neutral processes in a marine benthic species with low dispersal, in this study we used Genotyping by Sequencing technology to compare the neutral and putatively selected signals (neutral and outlier loci, respectively) in SNPs scattered throughout the genome in six local populations of the commercially exploited ascidian Pyura chilensis along the southeast Pacific coast (24°-42°S). This species is sessile as an adult, has a short-lived larval stage, and may also be dispersed by artificial transport as biofouling. We found that the main signal in neutral loci was a highly divergent lineage present at 39°S, and a subjacent signal that indicated a separation at 30°S (north/south), widely reported in the area. North/south separation was the main signal in outlier loci, and the linage divergence at 39°S was subjacent. We conclude that the geographic structure of the genetic diversity of outlier and neutral loci was established by different strengths of environmental, historical and anthropogenic factors.

  14. 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.

  15. Insulin-like genes in ascidians: findings in Ciona and hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of the pancreas

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Jordan M.; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Insulin plays an extensively characterized role in the control of sugar metabolism, growth and homeostasis in a wide range of organisms. In vertebrate chordates, insulin is mainly produced by the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas, while in non-chordate animals insulin-producing cells are mainly found in the nervous system and/or scattered along the digestive tract. However, recent studies have indicated the notochord, the defining feature of the chordate phylum, as an additional site of expression of insulin-like peptides. Here we show that two of the three insulin-like genes identified in Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate with a dual life cycle, are first expressed in the developing notochord during embryogenesis and transition to distinct areas of the adult digestive tract after metamorphosis. In addition, we present data suggesting that the transcription factor Ciona Brachyury is involved in the control of notochord expression of at least one of these genes, Ciona insulin-like 2. Lastly, we review the information currently available on insulin-producing cells in ascidians and on pancreas-related transcription factors that might control their expression. PMID:25378051

  16. Distal Regeneration Involves the Age Dependent Activity of Branchial Sac Stem Cells in the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2015-02-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Catecholamines are produced by ascidian immune cells: The involvement of PKA and PKC in the adrenergic signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    de Abreu Mello, Andressa; Fernandes de Souza, Jéssica; Nunes da Fonseca, Rodrigo; Allodi, Silvana; Monteiro de Barros, Cintia

    2017-03-01

    The stress response is a complex mechanism, which includes changes in the immune system to enable organisms to maintain homeostasis. The neurohormones dopamine, noradrenaline (NA) and adrenalin are responsible for the physiological modulations that occur during acute stress. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of NA on the immune system specific to nitric-oxide (NO) production by subpopulations of immune cells (hemocytes) of the ascidian Phallusia nigra. We also investigated the capability of immune cells to produce catecholamine (CA). Finally, we tested the involvement of protein kinase A (PKA) and C (PKC) in the NA downstream signaling pathway. The results revealed that NA can reduce NO production by P. nigra hemocytes threefold, and that signet-ring cells, univacuolar refractile granulocytes and morula cells are the cell types most involved in this event. A challenge effected with Zymosan A induced CA production, and co-incubation with both inhibitors of the second messengers PKA and PKC revealed the involvement of these molecules in the adrenergic pathway of P. nigra hemocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that NO production can be down-regulated by NA through α- and β-adrenoceptors via the second messengers PKA and PKC.

  20. 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

  1. T-Type Ca2+ Current Activity during Oocyte Growth and Maturation in the Ascidian Styela plicata

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Russo, Gian Luigi; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2013-01-01

    Voltage-dependent calcium currents play a fundamental role during oocyte maturation, mostly L-type calcium currents, whereas T-type calcium currents are involved in sperm physiology and cell growth. In this paper, using an electrophysiological and pharmacological approach, we demonstrated, for the first time in oocytes, that T-type calcium currents are present with functional consequences on the plasma membrane of growing immature oocytes of the ascidian Styela plicata. We classified three subtypes of immature oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage on the basis of their size, morphology and accessory cellular structures. These stages were clearly associated with an increased activity of T-type calcium currents and hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane. We also observed that T-type calcium currents oscillate in the post-fertilization embryonic stages, with minimal amplitude of the currents in the zygote and maximal at 8-cell stage. In addition, chemical inhibition of T-type calcium currents, obtained by applying specific antagonists, induced a significant reduction in the rate of cleavage and absence of larval formation. We suggest that calcium entry via T-type calcium channels may act as a potential pacemaker in regulating cytosolic calcium involved in fertilization and early developmental events. PMID:23349937

  2. A statistical approach for optimization of alkaline lipase production by ascidian associated-Halobacillus trueperi RSK CAS9.

    PubMed

    Sathishkumar, Ramamoorthy; Ananthan, Gnanakkan; Iyappan, Kathirvel; Stalin, Chinnathambi

    2015-12-01

    A marine ascidian-associated bacterium, Halobacillus trueperi RSK CAS9, was optimized for lipase production by response surface methodology using marine waste as substrate. The central composite design was employed, and the optimal medium constituents for maximum lipase production (1355.81 U/ml) were determined to be tuna powder (14.58 g/l), olive oil (5.05 ml/l); NaCl (72.42 g/l), temperature (45 °C) and pH 9.0. An alkaline lipase was purified to 8.46 fold with 1193.59 U mg(-1) specific activities with the molecular weight of 44 kDa. The activity was substantially inhibited by EDTA and PMSF, indicating that it was a metalloenzyme serine residue which was essential for catalytic activity. Thus, lipase production by microbial conversion of marine fish wastes in this study suggested its potential utilization for the production of high value products.

  3. Lipid rafts function in Ca2+ signaling responsible for activation of sperm motility and chemotaxis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lihong; Inaba, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    Lipid rafts are specialized membrane microdomains that function as signaling platforms across plasma membranes of many animal and plant cells. Although there are several studies implicating the role of lipid rafts in capacitation of mammalian sperm, the function of these structures in sperm motility activation and chemotaxis remains unknown. In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, egg-derived sperm activating- and attracting-factor (SAAF) induces both activation of sperm motility and sperm chemotaxis to the egg. Here we found that a lipid raft disrupter, methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MCD), inhibited both SAAF-induced sperm motility activation and chemotaxis. MCD inhibited both SAAF-promoted synthesis of intracellular cyclic AMP and sperm motility induced by ionophore-mediated Ca(2+) entry, but not that induced by valinomycin-mediated hyperpolarization. Ca(2+)-imaging revealed that lipid raft disruption inhibited Ca(2+) influx upon activation of sperm motility. The Ca(2+)-activated adenylyl cyclase was clearly inhibited by MCD in isolated lipid rafts. The results suggest that sperm lipid rafts function in signaling upstream of cAMP synthesis, most likely in SAAF-induced Ca(2+) influx, and are required for Ca(2+)-dependent pathways underlying activation and chemotaxis in Ciona sperm. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Trunk lateral cells are neural crest-like cells in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis: insights into the ancestry and evolution of the neural crest.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R; Chiba, Takuto; Krajka, Florian Razy; Deyts, Carole; Satoh, Nori; Joly, Jean-Stéphane

    2008-12-01

    Neural crest-like cells (NCLC) that express the HNK-1 antigen and form body pigment cells were previously identified in diverse ascidian species. Here we investigate the embryonic origin, migratory activity, and neural crest related gene expression patterns of NCLC in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. HNK-1 expression first appeared at about the time of larval hatching in dorsal cells of the posterior trunk. In swimming tadpoles, HNK-1 positive cells began to migrate, and after metamorphosis they were localized in the oral and atrial siphons, branchial gill slits, endostyle, and gut. Cleavage arrest experiments showed that NCLC are derived from the A7.6 cells, the precursors of trunk lateral cells (TLC), one of the three types of migratory mesenchymal cells in ascidian embryos. In cleavage arrested embryos, HNK-1 positive TLC were present on the lateral margins of the neural plate and later became localized adjacent to the posterior sensory vesicle, a staging zone for their migration after larval hatching. The Ciona orthologues of seven of sixteen genes that function in the vertebrate neural crest gene regulatory network are expressed in the A7.6/TLC lineage. The vertebrate counterparts of these genes function downstream of neural plate border specification in the regulatory network leading to neural crest development. The results suggest that NCLC and neural crest cells may be homologous cell types originating in the common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates and support the possibility that a putative regulatory network governing NCLC development was co-opted to produce neural crest cells during vertebrate evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. cDNA cloning, localization, and candidate binding partners of acid-extractable vitelline-coat protein Ci-v-Themis-like in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Kei; Yamada, Lixy; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2013-10-01

    Ascidians are hermaphrodites, although several ascidian species show self-sterility because of the occurrence of a self/nonself-recognition system called the self-incompatibility system. We previously reported that two pairs of sperm polycystin 1-like receptors, s-Themis-A and s-Themis-B, and egg fibrinogen-like ligands, v-Themis-A and v-Themis-B, are responsible for self-incompatibility in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Our previous results showed that v-Themis-A and v-Themis-B were hardly extracted from the vitelline coat (VC) by acid treatment, which is not in accordance with a report that an acid-extractable VC factor has the ability to distinguish self- from nonself-sperm. These results led us to explore a novel factor from acid-extractable VC proteins that could be involved in self-incompatibility. Here, we report cDNA cloning, expression, and localization of Ci-v-Themis-like, a major acid-extractable VC protein. This protein has a fibrinogen-like domain, as do v-Themis-A and v-Themis-B, but it showed no polymorphisms. Phylogenic analysis suggested that Ci-v-Themis-like is an ancestral protein of v-Themis-A and v-Themis-B. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that Ci-v-Themis-like mRNA is expressed in the ovary and testis. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry showed the occurrence of Ci-v-Themis-like in developing oocytes and on the VC of mature eggs. Yeast two-hybrid screenings using testis and ovary libraries revealed candidate interacting proteins; among these candidates, we succeeded in identifying several testis-specific proteins, including sperm proteases and coiled-coil-domain-containing proteins. The results suggest that Ci-v-Themis-like and its binding partners are involved in sperm binding to the VC prior to the allorecognition process during C. intestinalis fertilization.

  7. Differential gene regulation by V(IV) and V (V) ions in the branchial sac, intestine, and blood cells of a vanadium-rich ascidian, Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Kume, Satoshi; Ueki, Tatsuya; Matsuoka, Hiroki; Hamada, Mayuko; Satoh, Nori; Michibata, Hitoshi

    2012-10-01

    Ascidians are hyperaccumulators that have been studied in detail. Proteins and genes involved in the accumulation process have been identified, but regulation of gene expression related to vanadium accumulation remains unknown. To gain insights into the regulation of gene expression by vanadium in a genome-wide manner, we performed a comprehensive study on the effect of excess vanadium ions on a vanadium-rich ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, using a microarray. RT-PCR and enzyme activity assay were performed from the perspective of redox and accumulation of metal ions in each tissue. Glutathione metabolism-related proteins were significantly up-regulated by V(IV) treatment. Several genes involved in the transport of vanadium and protons, such as Nramp and V-ATPase, were significantly up-regulated by V(IV) treatment. We observed significant up-regulation of glutathione synthesis and degradation pathways in the intestine and branchial sac. In blood cells, expression of Ci-Vanabin4, glutathione reductase activity, glutathione levels, and vanadium concentration increased after V(IV) treatment. V(IV) treatment induced significant changes related to vanadium exclusion, seclusion, and redox pathways in the intestine and branchial sac. It also induced an enhancement of the vanadium reduction and accumulation cascade in blood cells. These differential responses in each tissue in the presence of excess vanadium ions suggest that vanadium accumulation and reduction may have regulatory functions. This is the first report on the gene regulation by the treatment of vanadium-rich ascidians with excess vanadium ions. It provided much information for the mechanism of regulation of gene expression related to vanadium accumulation.

  8. A new species of photosymbiotic ascidian from the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, with remarks on the stability of stigma number in photosymbiotic Diplosoma species.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Oka, Atsushi T

    2008-12-01

    Diplosoma variostigmatum sp. nov. is a photosymbiotic ascidian in the family Didemnidae. This species is characterized by the unique pattern of its stigma number, which is often variable within the same zooid, as well as within the same colony. The total number of stigmata per half branchial sac varies from 22 (five, six, six, and five stigmata from the top to bottom rows) to 27 (seven, seven, seven, and six). In contrast, the stigma patterns are constant in D. ooru, D. simile, D. simileguwa, and D. virens. Thus, the stigma number and its stability (or variability) seem to be important as characters for the taxonomy of the photosymbiotic Diplosoma species.

  9. A new notodelphyid copepod, Paranotodelphys illgi n. sp. (Copepoda: Cyclopoida), parasitic in the ascidian Corynascidia herdmani Ritter in the North Pacific.

    PubMed

    Marchenkov, Andrey; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2003-01-01

    A new species of the Notodelphyidae belonging to Paranotodelphys Schellenberg, 1922 is described from both sexes. The new species, Paranotodelphys illgi, can be distinguished from its congeners by the combination of its 10-segmented female antennule, the bisetose fifth legs and the extreme elongation of the caudal rami of the female, which are more than 10 times longer than wide and 4.4 times longer than the anal somite. The male has non-geniculate antennules. The new species was collected at a depth of 508m in the North Pacific Ocean, from the ascidian Corynascidia herdmani Ritter.

  10. NK4 Antagonizes Tbx1/10 to Promote Cardiac versus Pharyngeal Muscle Fate in the Ascidian Second Heart Field

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Razy-Krajka, Florian; Siu, Eric; Ketcham, Alexandra; Christiaen, Lionel

    2013-01-01

    The heart and head muscles share common developmental origins and genetic underpinnings in vertebrates, including humans. Parts of the heart and cranio-facial musculature derive from common mesodermal progenitors that express NKX2-5, ISL1, and TBX1. This ontogenetic kinship is dramatically reflected in the DiGeorge/Cardio-Velo-Facial syndrome (DGS/CVFS), where mutations of TBX1 cause malformations in the pharyngeal apparatus and cardiac outflow tract. Cardiac progenitors of the first heart field (FHF) do not require TBX1 and segregate precociously from common progenitors of the second heart field (SHF) and pharyngeal muscles. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern heart versus pharyngeal muscle specification within this lineage remain elusive. Here, we harness the simplicity of the ascidian larva to show that, following asymmetric cell division of common progenitors, NK4/NKX2-5 promotes GATAa/GATA4/5/6 expression and cardiac specification in the second heart precursors by antagonizing Tbx1/10-mediated inhibition of GATAa and activation of Collier/Olf/EBF (COE), the determinant of atrial siphon muscle (ASM) specification. Our results uncover essential regulatory connections between the conserved cardio-pharyngeal factor Tbx1/10 and muscle determinant COE, as well as a mutual antagonism between NK4 and Tbx1/10 activities upstream of GATAa and COE. The latter cross-antagonism underlies a fundamental heart versus pharyngeal muscle fate choice that occurs in a conserved lineage of cardio-pharyngeal progenitors. We propose that this basic ontogenetic motif underlies cardiac and pharyngeal muscle development and evolution in chordates. PMID:24311985

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. NK4 antagonizes Tbx1/10 to promote cardiac versus pharyngeal muscle fate in the ascidian second heart field.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Razy-Krajka, Florian; Siu, Eric; Ketcham, Alexandra; Christiaen, Lionel

    2013-12-01

    The heart and head muscles share common developmental origins and genetic underpinnings in vertebrates, including humans. Parts of the heart and cranio-facial musculature derive from common mesodermal progenitors that express NKX2-5, ISL1, and TBX1. This ontogenetic kinship is dramatically reflected in the DiGeorge/Cardio-Velo-Facial syndrome (DGS/CVFS), where mutations of TBX1 cause malformations in the pharyngeal apparatus and cardiac outflow tract. Cardiac progenitors of the first heart field (FHF) do not require TBX1 and segregate precociously from common progenitors of the second heart field (SHF) and pharyngeal muscles. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern heart versus pharyngeal muscle specification within this lineage remain elusive. Here, we harness the simplicity of the ascidian larva to show that, following asymmetric cell division of common progenitors, NK4/NKX2-5 promotes GATAa/GATA4/5/6 expression and cardiac specification in the second heart precursors by antagonizing Tbx1/10-mediated inhibition of GATAa and activation of Collier/Olf/EBF (COE), the determinant of atrial siphon muscle (ASM) specification. Our results uncover essential regulatory connections between the conserved cardio-pharyngeal factor Tbx1/10 and muscle determinant COE, as well as a mutual antagonism between NK4 and Tbx1/10 activities upstream of GATAa and COE. The latter cross-antagonism underlies a fundamental heart versus pharyngeal muscle fate choice that occurs in a conserved lineage of cardio-pharyngeal progenitors. We propose that this basic ontogenetic motif underlies cardiac and pharyngeal muscle development and evolution in chordates.

  14. Transposon-mediated enhancer detection reveals the location, morphology and development of the cupular organs, which are putative hydrodynamic sensors, in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Naoyuki; Horie, Takeo; Satoh, Nori; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2010-11-01

    The adult of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis has cupular organs, i.e., putative hydrodynamic sensors, at the atrial epithelium. The cupular organ consists of support cells and sensory neurons, and it extends a gelatinous matrix, known as a cupula, toward the atrial cavity. These characteristics are shared with sensory hair cells in the vertebrate inner ear and lateral line neuromasts in fish and amphibians, which suggests an evolutionary link between the cupular organ and these vertebrate hydrodynamic sensors. In the present study, we have isolated and investigated two transposon-mediated enhancer detection lines that showed GFP expression in support cells of the cupular organs. Using the enhancer detection lines and neuron marker transgenic lines, we describe the position, morphology, and development of the cupular organs. Cupular organs were found at the atrial epithelium, but not in the branchial epithelium. We found that cupular organs are also present along the dorsal fold and the gonoducts. The cells lining the pre-atrial opening in juveniles are presumably precursor cells of the cupular organ. To our knowledge, the present study is the first precise description of the ascidian cupular organ, providing evidence that may help to resolve discrepancies among previous studies on the organ.

  15. Epimerization of D-glucose to L-galactose during the biosynthesis of a sulfated L-galactan in the ascidian tunic

    SciTech Connect

    Mourao, P.A.S. )

    1991-04-09

    The sulfated polysaccharides occurring in the tunic of ascidians are unique among known sulfated polysaccharides in that their major constituent sugar is galactose, which occurs exclusively in the L-enantiomeric form. In vitro incorporation experiments using tunic slices incubated with {sup 14}C-labeled sugars revealed that cells from this tissue epimerize D-isomers of hexose into L-galactose during the biosynthesis of their constituent polysaccharides. Compared with other hexoses, the precursor D-({sup 14}C)glucose has the highest rate of incorporation and produces the highest proportion of L-galactose units. This metabolic pathway is distinct from the epimerization of D-mannose to L-galactose through its guanosine 5{prime}-diphosphate nucleotide, described previously in an alga and in a snail. Therefore, the epimerization of D-glucose to L-galactose in the ascidian tunic occurs through a novel metabolic route, which involves inversion of the configuration of carbon atoms 2, 3, and 5 of the hexosyl moieties.

  16. Vanadium accumulation in ascidian coelomic cells is associated with enhanced pentose phosphate pathway capacity but not overall aerobic or anaerobic metabolism.

    PubMed

    Treberg, Jason R; Stacey, Joy E; Driedzic, William R

    2012-04-01

    Some suborders of ascidians (sea squirts) accumulate remarkable levels of the heavy metal vanadium while others accumulate negligible amounts. The function of this vanadium is unclear, but enhanced pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) has been implicated in its reduction and accumulation. We compared aspects of intermediary metabolism in coelomic cells from ascidian species that have a wide range of vanadium accumulation including non-accumulators. All species appear to have similar aerobic poise with no apparent link to vanadium accumulation. Similarly, all species examined have a limited anaerobic poise that does not seem to relate to vanadium levels. Based on the activities of phosphoglucose isomerase and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase we demonstrate that, relative to the capacity for entry into glycolysis, vanadium-accumulating species have enhanced capacity to metabolize glucose-6 phosphate via the PPP compared to non-accumulators. This finding provides the first comparative support for enhanced PPP capacity linked to vanadium accumulation in tunicates. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Calcium signaling by cyclic ADP-ribose, NAADP, and inositol trisphosphate are involved in distinct functions in ascidian oocytes.

    PubMed

    Albrieux, M; Lee, H C; Villaz, M

    1998-06-05

    ADP-ribosyl cyclase catalyzes the synthesis of two structurally and functionally different Ca2+ releasing molecules, cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) from beta-NAD and nicotinic acid-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) from beta-NADP. Their Ca2+-mobilizing effects in ascidian oocytes were characterized in connection with that induced by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3). Fertilization of the oocyte is accompanied by a decrease in the oocyte Ca2+ current and an increase in membrane capacitance due to the addition of membrane to the cell surface. Both of these electrical changes could be induced by perfusion, through a patch pipette, of nanomolar concentrations of cADPR or its precursor, beta-NAD, into unfertilized oocytes. The changes induced by beta-NAD showed a distinctive delay consistent with its enzymatic conversion to cADPR. The cADPR-induced changes were inhibited by preloading the oocytes with a Ca2+ chelator, indicating the effects were due to Ca2+ release induced by cADPR. Consistently, ryanodine (at high concentration) or 8-amino-cADPR, a specific antagonist of cADPR, but not heparin, inhibited the cADPR-induced changes. Both inhibitors likewise blocked the membrane insertion that normally occurred at fertilization consistent with it being mediated by a ryanodine receptor. The effects of NAADP were different from those of cADPR. Although NAADP induced a similar decrease in the Ca2+ current, no membrane insertion occurred. Moreover, pretreatment of the oocytes with NAADP inhibited the post-fertilization Ca2+ oscillation while cADPR did not. A similar Ca2+ oscillation could be artificially induced by perfusing into the oocytes a high concentration of InsP3 and NAADP could likewise inhibit such an InsP3-induced oscillation. This work shows that three independent Ca2+ signaling pathways are present in the oocytes and that each is involved in mediating distinct changes associated with fertilization. The results are consistent with a hierarchical organization of

  18. Two new species of photosymbiotic ascidians of the genus Diplosoma from the Ryukyu Archipelago, with partial sequences of the COI gene.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Oka, Atsushi T; Hirose, Mamiko

    2009-05-01

    Two new species of Diplosoma are described from coral reefs in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan: D. watanabei sp. nov. and D. gumavirens sp. nov. Colonies of both species are green due to algal symbionts of Prochloron, which are distributed in the common cloacal cavity. Both species are characterized by the point of emergence of the retractor muscle and a unique combination of stigma numbers among the four rows of the branchial sac. There are three adhesive papillae in the embryos of D. watanabei, as in most ascidian embryos and larvae, whereas the pre-hatching embryos of D. gumavirens sp. nov. posses 12-16 adhesive papillae. Partial sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene discriminated the new species from each other and from congeners.

  19. Fine- and regional-scale genetic structure of the exotic ascidian Styela clava (Tunicata) in southwest England, 50 years after its introduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, L; Viard, F; Dowell, M J; Wood, C; Bishop, J D D

    2009-02-01

    Styela clava, an ascidian native to the northwest Pacific, was first recorded in the Atlantic at Plymouth, southwest England, in 1953. It now ranges in the northeast Atlantic from Portugal to northern Denmark, and has colonized the east coast of North America. Within the region of first introduction, we aimed to characterize current genetic diversity in the species, elucidate the respective roles of human-aided vs. natural dispersal, and assess the extent of larval dispersal by looking for genetic differentiation at very small scales. Eight sites, mostly marinas, were studied along c. 200 km of coast in southwest England encompassing Plymouth. Five microsatellite loci were genotyped in 303 individuals to analyse gene flow at regional (among sites) and fine (within sites) scales. F-statistics and assignment tests were used to investigate regional genetic structure. At the fine scale, deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium was tested, and isolation by distance and genetic clustering analyses were undertaken. Significant genetic differentiation existed between sites, unrelated to geographical separation; migration between geographically distant marinas was inferred, highlighting the likely importance of human-mediated dispersal in range expansion and occupancy by S. clava. Fine-scale population structure was present within at least four sites, which may be explained by the limited dispersal ability of this ascidian and recruitment from differentiated pools of larvae. Populations in enclosed marinas had higher self-recruitment rates than those in open sites. Some marinas might therefore function as reservoirs of propagules for subsequent spread, whereas others might be sinks for migrants.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Invertebrate Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-Related Peptides and Their Receptors: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Tsubasa; Shiraishi, Akira; Kawada, Tsuyoshi; Matsubara, Shin; Aoyama, Masato; Satake, Honoo

    2017-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs) play pivotal roles in reproductive functions via the hypothalamus, pituitary, and gonad axis, namely, HPG axis in vertebrates. GnRHs and their receptors (GnRHRs) are likely to be conserved in invertebrate deuterostomes and lophotrochozoans. All vertebrate and urochordate GnRHs are composed of 10 amino acids, whereas protostome, echinoderm, and amphioxus GnRH-like peptides are 11- or 12-residue peptide containing two amino acids after an N-terminal pyro-Glu. In urochordates, Halocynthia roretzi GnRH gene encodes two GnRH peptide sequences, whereas two GnRH genes encode three different GnRH peptides in Ciona intestinalis. These findings indicate the species-specific diversification of GnRHs. Intriguingly, the major signaling pathway for GnRHRs is intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in chordates, echinoderms, and protostomes, whereas Ciona GnRHRs (Ci-GnRHRs) are endowed with multiple GnRHergic cAMP production pathways in a ligand-selective manner. Moreover, the ligand-specific modulation of signal transduction via heterodimerization among Ci-GnRHR paralogs suggests the species-specific development of fine-tuning of gonadal functions in ascidians. Echinoderm GnRH-like peptides show high sequence differences compared to those of protostome counterparts, leading to the difficulty in classification of peptides and receptors. These findings also show both the diversity and conservation of GnRH signaling systems in invertebrates. The lack of the HPG axis in invertebrates indicates that biological functions of GnRHs are not release of gonadotropins in current invertebrates and common ancestors of vertebrates and invertebrates. To date, authentic or putative GnRHRs have been characterized from various echinoderms and protostomes as well as chordates and the mRNAs have been found to be distributed not only reproductive organs but also other tissues. Collectively, these findings further support the notion that invertebrate GnRHs have

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

    PubMed Central

    Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Mitochondrial inhibitor sodium azide inhibits the reorganization of mitochondria-rich cytoplasm and the establishment of the anteroposterior axis in ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Hirokazu; Shirai, Takuma; Makino, Chisato; Nishikata, Takahito

    2014-02-01

    In ascidian eggs, cytoplasmic and cortical reorganization, previously called ooplasmic segregation, occurs in two phases during the first cell cycle. In the second phase of reorganization, the mitochondria-rich cytoplasm (myoplasm) moves to the future posterior side, concurrent with sperm aster migration along the egg cortex. Although this reorganization is the critical step for establishing the anteroposterior axis, its molecular mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, we showed that low concentrations of the mitochondrial inhibitor sodium azide (NaN3 ), which showed the low toxicity in sperm, inhibited the second phase of reorganization without the microtubule depolymerization. In the NaN3 -treated embryo, the sperm aster was not attracted to the cortex and altered its migration pathway; therefore, the myoplasm remained at the vegetal pole. Consequently, the anteroposterior axis was not established. Another mitochondrial inhibitor, oligomycin, did not affect these processes. These results suggest that NaN3 inhibits unknown molecules that are important for the second phase of reorganization. Identifying the target molecule of NaN3 will lead to a molecular understanding of cytoplasmic and cortical reorganization.

  7. 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

  8. Molecular conformation of ascidiacyclamide, a cytotoxic cyclic peptide from Ascidian: X-ray analyses of its free form and solvate crystals.

    PubMed

    Ishida, T; In, Y; Doi, M; Inoue, M; Hamada, Y; Shioiri, T

    1992-02-01

    In order to investigate the conformational variation of ascidiacyclamide, a cytotoxic cyclic peptide from marine tunicate Ascidian, single crystals were prepared from ethanol and aqueous ethanol solutions as its free form (crystal I) and H2O/0.5 C2H5OH solvate (crystal II), respectively, and were determined by the x-ray diffraction method. Crystal I showed a pseudo C2-symmetric saddle-shaped rectangular conformation. Similar conformations were also observed in crystal II, where there were two crystallographically independent C2-symmetric molecules (named Mol-A and -B) per asymmetric unit. Mol-A and -B included H2O and H2O/C2H5OH solvents within their ring structures, respectively. These water and ethanol molecules were located on the crystallographic dyad axes, and were stabilized by the van der Waals contacts (including hydrogen bonds) with the polar-ring N atoms and nonpolar D-Val side-chain atoms. The conformational characteristics of ascidiacyclamide and its fluctuation/variation were discussed based on the present and previously reported x-ray results.

  9. Differential gene expression along the animal-vegetal axis in the ascidian embryo is maintained by a dual functional protein Foxd.

    PubMed

    Tokuhiro, Shin-Ichi; Tokuoka, Miki; Kobayashi, Kenji; Kubo, Atsushi; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Satou, Yutaka

    2017-05-01

    In many animal embryos, a specific gene expression pattern is established along the animal-vegetal axis soon after zygotic transcription begins. In the embryo of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, soon after the division that separates animal and vegetal hemispheres into distinct blastomeres, maternal Gata.a and β-catenin activate specific genes in the animal and vegetal blastomeres, respectively. On the basis of these initial distinct gene expression patterns, gene regulatory networks promote animal cells to become ectodermal tissues and vegetal cells to become endomesodermal tissues and a part of the nerve cord. In the vegetal hemisphere, β-catenin directly activates Foxd, an essential transcription factor gene for specifying endomesodermal fates. In the present study, we found that Foxd also represses the expression of genes that are activated specifically in the animal hemisphere, including Dmrt1, Prdm1-r.a (Bz1), Prdm1-r.b (Bz2), and Otx. A reporter assay showed that Dmrt1 expression was directly repressed by Foxd, and a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that Foxd was bound to the upstream regions of Dmrt1, Prdm1-r.a, Prdm1-r.b, and Otx. Thus, Foxd has a dual function of activating specific gene expression in the vegetal hemisphere and of repressing the expression of genes that are normally expressed in the animal hemisphere. This dual function stabilizes the initial patterning along the animal-vegetal axis by β-catenin and Gata.a.

  10. The central nervous system of the ascidian larva: mitotic history of cells forming the neural tube in late embryonic Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Cole, Alison G; Meinertzhagen, Ian A

    2004-07-15

    Ascidian larvae develop after an invariant pattern of embryonic cleavage. Fewer than 400 cells constitute the larval central nervous system (CNS), which forms without either extensive migration or cell death. We catalogue the mitotic history of these cells in Ciona intestinalis, using confocal microscopy of whole-mount embryos at stages from neurulation until hatching. The positions of cells contributing to the CNS were reconstructed from confocal image stacks of embryonic nuclei, and maps of successive stages were used to chart the mitotic descent, thereby creating a cell lineage for each cell. The entire CNS is formed from 10th- to 14th-generation cells. Although minor differences exist in cell position, lineage is invariant in cells derived from A-line blastomeres, which form the caudal nerve cord and visceral ganglion. We document the lineage of five pairs of presumed motor neurons within the visceral ganglion: one pair arises from A/A 10.57, and four from progeny of A/A 9.30. The remaining cells of the visceral ganglion are in their 13th and 14th generations at hatching, with most mitotic activity ceasing around 85% of embryonic development. Of the approximately 330 larval cells previously reported in the CNS of Ciona, we document the lineage of 226 that derive predominantly from A-line blastomeres.

  11. Germ cell regeneration-mediated, enhanced mutagenesis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis reveals flexible germ cell formation from different somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Keita; Hozumi, Akiko; Treen, Nicholas; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Shirae-Kurabayashi, Maki; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2017-03-15

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis has a high regeneration capacity that enables the regeneration of artificially removed primordial germ cells (PGCs) from somatic cells. We utilized PGC regeneration to establish efficient methods of germ line mutagenesis with transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). When PGCs were artificially removed from animals in which a TALEN pair was expressed, somatic cells harboring mutations in the target gene were converted into germ cells, this germ cell population exhibited higher mutation rates than animals not subjected to PGC removal. PGC regeneration enables us to use TALEN expression vectors of specific somatic tissues for germ cell mutagenesis. Unexpectedly, cis elements for epidermis, neural tissue and muscle could be used for germ cell mutagenesis, indicating there are multiple sources of regenerated PGCs, suggesting a flexibility of differentiated Ciona somatic cells to regain totipotency. Sperm and eggs of a single hermaphroditic, PGC regenerated animal typically have different mutations, suggesting they arise from different cells. PGCs can be generated from somatic cells even though the maternal PGCs are not removed, suggesting that the PGC regeneration is not solely an artificial event but could have an endogenous function in Ciona. This study provides a technical innovation in the genome-editing methods, including easy establishment of mutant lines. Moreover, this study suggests cellular mechanisms and the potential evolutionary significance of PGC regeneration in Ciona.

  12. Structural and functional properties of CiNTH, an endonuclease III homologue of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis: critical role of N-terminal region.

    PubMed

    Kato, Seiji; Hashiguchi, Kazunari; Igarashi, Kento; Moriwaki, Takahito; Yonekura, Shin-Ichiro; Zhang-Akiyama, Qiu-Mei

    2012-01-01

    Oxidatively damaged bases in DNA can cause cell death, mutation and/or cancer induction. To overcome such deleterious effects of DNA base oxidation, cells are equipped with base excision repair (BER) initiated by DNA glycosylases. Endonuclease III (Nth), a major DNA glycosylase, mainly excises oxidatively damaged pyrimidines from DNA. The aims of this study were to obtain an overview of the repair mechanism of oxidatively damaged bases and to elucidate the function of BER in maintaining genome stability during embryogenesis and development. In this study, we used the ascidian Ciona intestinalis because at every developmental stage it is possible to observe the phenotype of individuals with DNA damage or mutations. Sequence alignment analysis revealed that the amino acid sequence of Ciona intestinalis Nth homologue (CiNTH) had high homology with those of Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Caenorhabditis elegans and human Nth homologues. It was evident that two domains, the Helix-hairpin-Helix and 4Fe-4S cluster domains that are critical regions for the Nth activity, are well conserved in CiNTH. CiNTH efficiently complemented the sensitivity of E. coli nth nei mutant to H(2)O(2). CiNTH was bifunctional, with DNA glycosylase and AP lyase activities. It removed thymine glycol, 5-formyluracil and 8-oxoguanine paired with G from DNA via a β-elimination reaction. Interestingly, the N-terminal 44 amino acids were essential for the DNA glycosylase activity of CiNTH.

  13. Nitric oxide affects ERK signaling through down-regulation of MAP kinase phosphatase levels during larval development of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Castellano, Immacolata; Ercolesi, Elena; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

    2015-05-27

    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 also 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. Here, 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. Furthermore, 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.

  16. 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

    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

    2015-08-15

    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.

  17. Structural analysis of a sulfated galactan from the tunic of the ascidian Microcosmus exasperatus and its inhibitory effect of the intrinsic coagulation pathway.

    PubMed

    Restrepo-Espinosa, Diana C; Román, Yony; Colorado-Ríos, Jhonny; de Santana-Filho, Arquimedes Paixão; Sassaki, Guilherme Lanzi; Cipriani, Thales R; Martínez, Alejandro; Iacomini, Marcello; Pavão, Mauro S G

    2017-09-01

    Several bioactive sulfated galactans have been isolated from the tunic of different species of ascidians. The biological activity of this kind of polysaccharides has been related with the presence and position of sulfate groups, and by the chemical composition of this kind of polysaccharides. A sulfated galactan (1000RS) was isolated from the tunic of the Brazilian ascidia Microcosmus exasperatus through proteolytic digestion, ethanol precipitation, dialysis and freeze-thaw cycles. Homogeneity and molecular weight were estimated by using size exclusion chromatography. Monosaccharide composition and type of linkage were assessed by Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and the sulfate content was quantified through gelatin/BaCl2 method. These experiments along with NMR and FTIR analysis allowed to claim that the galactan backbone is mainly composed of 4-linked α-l-Galp units. In addition, they permitted to establish that some of the galactose residues are sulfated at the 3-position. This sulfated polysaccharide, which has an average molecular mass of 439.5kDa, presents anticoagulant effect in a dose-dependent manner through the inhibition of the intrinsic coagulation pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Valosin-containing protein/p97 interacts with sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF) in the ascidian egg and modulates sperm-attracting activity.

    PubMed

    Kondoh, Eri; Konno, Aru; Inaba, Kazuo; Oishi, Tohru; Murata, Michio; Yoshida, Manabu

    2008-10-01

    Sperm chemotaxis toward an egg is observed in many animals, and the control of sperm-attracting activity is thought to play an important role in ensuring fertilization. However, the mechanism underlying the release of a sperm attractant from an egg is still obscure. In this study, we examined the systems involved in the release of sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF), which is the sperm attractant of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Here, we show that the egg acquires sperm-attracting activity after germinal vesicle breakdown. Further, since the cytoplasmic extracts of immature oocytes exhibit no sperm-attracting activity, the SAAF in oocytes may be activated after germinal vesicle breakdown. We found 13 SAAF-binding proteins in an egg plasma membrane extract and identified five proteins by proteomic analysis: valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97, proteasome alpha 2 subunit, MGC97756 protein, proteasome subunit Y, and beta-tubulin. In particular, the interaction between VCP/p97 and SAAF was confirmed by a pull-down assay. VCP/p97 is initially localized in the germinal vesicle, and during oocyte maturation, it shifts to the endoplasmic reticulum in the cortical regions. Thus, VCP/p97 is a potential modulator of SAAF release from the egg.

  19. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Gilchrist, Michael J.; Sobral, Daniel; Khoueiry, Pierre; ...

    2015-05-27

    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 also report a computational strategy that overcomes these difficulties,more » 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. Here, 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. Furthermore, 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.« less

  1. Evolution of the Chordate Regeneration Blastema: Differential Gene Expression and Conserved Role of Notch Signaling During Siphon Regeneration in the Ascidian Ciona

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Molecular and functional characterization of cionin receptors in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis: the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate cholecystokinin/gastrin family.

    PubMed

    Sekiguchi, Toshio; Ogasawara, Michio; Satake, Honoo

    2012-04-01

    Cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin are vertebrate brain-gut peptides featured by a sulfated tyrosine residue and a C-terminally amidated tetrapeptide consensus sequence. Cionin, identified in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, the closest species to vertebrates, harbors two sulfated tyrosines and the CCK/gastrin consensus tetrapeptide sequence. While a putative cionin receptor, cior, was cloned, the ligand-receptor relationship between cionin and CioR remains unidentified. Here, we identify two cionin receptors, CioR1 and CioR2, which are the aforementioned putative cionin receptor and its novel paralog respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CioRs are homologous to vertebrate CCK receptors (CCKRs) and diverged from a common ancestor in the Ciona-specific lineage. Cionin activates intracellular calcium mobilization in cultured cells expressing CioR1 or CioR2. Monosulfated and nonsulfated cionin exhibited less potent or no activity, indicating that CioRs possess pharmacological features similar to the vertebrate CCK-specific receptor CCK1R, rather than its subtype CCK2R, given that a sulfated tyrosine in CCK is required for binding to CCK1R, but not to CCK2R. Collectively, the present data reveal that CioRs share a common ancestor with vertebrate CCKRs and indicate that CCK and CCK1R form the ancestral ligand-receptor pair in the vertebrate CCK/gastrin system. Cionin is expressed in the neural complex, digestive organs, oral siphon and atrial siphons, whereas the expression of ciors was detected mainly in these tissues and the ovary. Furthermore, cioninergic neurons innervate both of the siphons. These results suggest that cionin is involved in the regulation of siphonal functions.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of Doliolum nationalis with implications for evolution of urochordates.

    PubMed

    Yokobori, Shin-ichi; Oshima, Tairo; Wada, Hiroshi

    2005-02-01

    The evolutionary history of the diverse lifestyles adopted by urochordates has attracted intense interest because it may effect the evolutionary history of vertebrates. Here, we report the complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence of the pelagic thaliacean doliolid Doliolum nationalis. The doliolid mt genome shares the unusual tRNAs of trnM(uau) and trnG(ucu) with other ascidians, such as Halocynthia and Ciona. On the other hand, the gene order of the doliolid mt genome is significantly different from that of any ascidian species or vertebrate reported to date. Phylogenetic analyses of the amino acid sequences of 12 protein-coding genes strongly support the sister-grouping of doliolids and the Phlebobranch ascidian Ciona, with the Stolidobranch ascidian alocynthia as the outgroup, thereby providing strong support for the paraphyly of ascidians, as has been suggested by 18S rDNA studies. Given the paraphyletic nature of ascidians, it seems likely that the common ancestor of ascidians and thaliaceans was sessile, as are the present-day ascidians, and that the thaliaceans subsequently evolved a pelagic lifestyle.

  6. Evidence by a voltage clamp study of an electrically mediated block to polyspermy in the egg of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata.

    PubMed

    Goudeau, H; Depresle, Y; Rosa, A; Goudeau, M

    1994-12-01

    Eggs of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata were voltage clamped (from -100 to +60 mV) and inseminated with a low or heavy sperm concentration. From inseminations with low sperm concentration (1 x 10(6) sp/ml), we found that fertilization currents occurred between -100 and +40 mV: they were always inward and displayed an analogous pattern whatever the clamped voltage. We established that the percentages of inseminated eggs that produced a fertilization current varied as a function of the clamped voltage. These percentages were not statistically different from 100% at clamped voltages between -100 and -30 mV, they decreased to 68 and 56% at clamped Vm of -10 and 0 mV, respectively, but were not statistically different from 0% at clamped Vm between +10 and +40 mV. We never obtained any egg electrical response at a clamped voltage of +50 mV. Almost all eggs (96%) which responded electrically were penetrated by one or several spermatozoa. These eggs were resuming meiosis (81 to 50%) at values of clamped Vm between -100 and 0 mV, respectively. At clamped Vm between +10 and +50 mV, the percentages of eggs resuming meiosis were not statistically different from 0. These results indicate that in P. mammillata eggs, the occurrence of an electrical response is voltage dependent and consequently that the initial depolarizing shift of the fertilization potential constitutes a fast block to polyspermy. However, in this species, the sperm penetration is not voltage dependent, since it occurred at clamped Vm from -100 to +40 mV. On the other hand, when eggs were clamped from -100 to +60 mV and inseminated with a heavy sperm concentration (2 x 10(7) sp/ml), the curves expressing, respectively, the percentages of eggs which responded electrically, the percentages of eggs which were penetrated by one or several spermatozoa, and the percentages of eggs resuming meiosis, as functions of the clamped Vm, were shifted by approximately 35 mV toward more positive voltages, compared to the

  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. The Uptake and Fate of Vanadyl Ion in Ascidian Blood Cells and A Detailed Hypothesis for the Mechanism and Location of Biological Vanadium Reduction: A Visible and X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopic Study

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Patrick; Carlson, Elaine J.; Carlson, Robert M. K.; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.

    2010-01-01

    Vanadium K-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has been used to track the uptake and fate of VO2+ ion in blood cells from Ascidia ceratodes, following exposure to dithiothreitol (DTT) or to DTT plus VO2+. The full range of endogenous vanadium was queried by fitting the XAS of blood cells with the XAS spectra of model vanadium complexes. In cells exposed only to DTT, ~0.4% of a new V(III) species was found in a site similar to Na[V(edta)(H2O)]. With exposure to DTT and VO2+, average intracellular [VO(aq)]2+ increased from 3% to 5%, and 6% of a new complexed form of vanadyl ion appeared evidencing a ligand array similar to [VO(edta)]2−. At the same time, the relative ratio of blood cell [V(H2O)6]3+ increased at the expense of [V(H2O)5(SO4)]+ in a manner consistent with a significant increase in endogenous acidity. In new UV/visible experiments, VO2+ could be reduced to 7-coordinate [V(nta)(H2O)3] or [V(nta)(ida)]2−with cysteine methyl ester in pH 6.5 solution. Ascorbate reduced [VO(edta)]2− to 7-coordinate [V(edta)(H2O)]−, while [VO(trdta)]2− was unreactive. These results corroborate the finding that the reductive EMF of VO2+ is increased by the availability of a 7-coordinate V(III) product. Finally a new and complete hypothesis is proposed for an ascidian vanadate reductase. The structure of the enzyme active site, the vanadate-vanadyl-vanadic reduction mechanism, the cellular locale, and elements of the regulatory machinery governing the biological reduction of vanadate and vanadyl ion by ascidians are all predicted. Together these constitute the new field of vanadium redox enzymology. PMID:18234345

  9. A new structural motif for biological iron: iron K-edge XAS reveals a [Fe4-mu-(OR)5(OR)(9-10)] cluster in the ascidian Perophora annectens.

    PubMed

    Frank, Patrick; DeTomaso, Anthony; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O

    2006-05-15

    The Phlebobranch ascidian Perophora annectens surprisingly exhibited a biological Fe/V ratio of approximately 15:1 on multichannel X-ray fluorescence analysis of two independent collections of organisms. Iron K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) indicated a single form of iron. The XAS K-edge of the first collection of blood cells was shifted approximately +1 eV relative to that of the second, indicating redox activity with average iron oxidation states of 2.67+ and 2.60+. The first-derivative iron XAS K-edge features at 7120.5, 7124, and 7128 eV resembled the XAS of magnetite but not of ferritin or of dissolved Fe(II) or Fe(III). Pseudo-Voigt fits to blood-cell iron K-edge XAS spectra yielded 12.4 integrated units of preedge intensity, indicating a noncentrosymmetric environment. The non-phase-corrected extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) Fourier transform spectrum showed a first-shell O/N peak at 1.55 angstroms and an intense Fe-Fe feature at 2.65 angstroms. Fits to the EXAFS required a split first shell with two O at 1.93 angstroms and three O at 2.07 angstroms, consistent with terminal and bridging alkoxide ligands, respectively. More distant shells included three C at 2.87 angstroms, two Fe at 3.08 angstroms, three O at 3.29 angstroms, and one Fe at 3.8 angstroms. Structural models consistent with these findings include a [Fe4(OR)13](2-/3-) broken-edged Fe4O5 cuboid or a [Fe4(OR)14](3-/4-) "Jacob's ladder" with three edge-fused Fe2(OR)2 rhombs. Either of these models represents an entirely new structural motif for biological iron. Vanadium domination of blood-cell metals cannot be a defining trait of Phlebobranch tunicates so long as P. annectens is included among them.

  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. Molecular systematics of marine gregarine apicomplexans from Pacific tunicates, with descriptions of five novel species of Lankesteria.

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Wakeman, Kevin C; Jenke-Kodama, Holger; Leander, Brian S

    2015-08-01

    The eugregarines are a group of apicomplexan parasites that mostly infect the intestines of invertebrates. The high level of morphological variation found within and among species of eugregarines makes it difficult to find consistent and reliable traits that unite even closely related lineages. Based mostly on traits observed with light microscopy, the majority of described eugregarines from marine invertebrates has been classified into a single group, the Lecudinidae. Our understanding of the overall diversity and phylogenetic relationships of lecudinids is very poor, mainly because only a modest amount of exploratory research has been done on the group and very few species of lecudinids have been characterized at the molecular phylogenetic level. In an attempt to understand the diversity of marine gregarines better, we surveyed lecudinids that infect the intestines of Pacific ascidians (i.e. sea squirts) using ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic approaches; currently, these species fall within one genus, Lankesteria. We collected lecudinid gregarines from six ascidian host species, and our data demonstrated that each host was infected by a different species of Lankesteria: (i) Lankesteria hesperidiiformis sp. nov., isolated from Distaplia occidentalis, (ii) Lankesteria metandrocarpae sp. nov., isolated from Metandrocarpa taylori, (iii) Lankesteria halocynthiae sp. nov., isolated from Halocynthia aurantium, (iv) Lankesteria herdmaniae sp. nov., isolated from Herdmania momus, (v) Lankesteria cf. ritterellae, isolated from Ritterella rubra, and (vi) Lankesteria didemni sp. nov., isolated from Didemnum vexillum. Visualization of the trophozoites with scanning electron microscopy showed that four of these species were covered with epicytic folds, whereas two of the species were covered with a dense pattern of epicytic knobs. The molecular phylogenetic data suggested that species of Lankesteria with surface knobs form a clade that is nested within a paraphyletic

  12. Transcriptome dynamics in early embryos of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Terumi; Ikeda, Tatsuro; Fujimaki, Kotaro; Satou, Yutaka

    2013-12-15

    Maternally provided mRNAs and proteins direct early development and activate the zygotic genome. Using microarrays, we examined the dynamics of transcriptomes during the early development of a basal chordate, Ciona intestinalis. Microarray analysis of unfertilized eggs, as well as 8-, and 16- and 32-cell embryos revealed that nearly half of the genes encoded in the genome were expressed maternally, and that approximately only one-fourth of these genes were expressed at similar levels among eggs obtained from different individuals. Genes encoding proteins involved in protein phosphorylation were enriched in this latter group. More than 90% of maternal RNAs were not reduced before the 16-cell stage when the zygotic developmental program begins. Additionally we obtained gene expression profiles of individual blastomeres from the 8- and 16-cell embryos. On the basis of these profiles, we concluded that the posterior-most localization, which has been reported for over 20 different transcripts, is the only major localization pattern of maternal transcripts. Our data also showed that maternal factors establish only nine distinct patterns of zygotic gene expression at the 16-cell stage. Therefore, one of the main developmental functions of maternally supplied information is to establish these nine distinct expression patterns in the 16-cell embryo. The dynamics of transcriptomes in early-stage embryos provides a foundation for studying how maternal information starts the zygotic program.

  13. Rheological properties and molecular structure of tunicate cellulose in LiCl/1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone.

    PubMed

    Tamai, Nobutake; Tatsumi, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Takayoshi

    2004-01-01

    Solution properties and molecular structure of tunicate cellulose (TC), an animal cellulose from Halocynthia roretzi, were investigated in terms of rheological and dilute solution properties. The solvent used is 8 wt % LiCl/1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone (DMI). A solution of dissolving pulp (DP), derived from plant, was also used for comparison. The weight-average molecular weight, Mw, and the limiting viscosity number, [eta], of the TC were evaluated to be 413 x 10(6) and 2645 mL/g, respectively. The TC solution showed the same concentration dependence of GN (GN=5.49 x 10(6)phiw(2.1)4 Pa; phiw: weight fraction of cellulose in solution; GN: plateau modulus) as the DP solution and, moreover, also as the solution of cotton linter (CC) in 8 wt % LiCl/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc). This exponent of 2.1(4) indicates that network structure by entanglements was formed in these solutions. According to the theory of Fetters et al., moreover, such identity means that all of these celluloses have the identical chain structure though their biological origins are far different. On the other hand, the phiw-dependence of eta0-etas (eta0=zero shear rate viscosity of solution; etas=solvent viscosity) was different between the TC and the DP solution in the semidilute regime: the TC solution exhibited eta0-etas proportional, variant phiw(7.5) and the DP solution eta0-etas proportional, variant phiw4. According to the theory of Doi-Edwards, this exponent of 4 (the DP solution) indicates that the DP behaves as flexible polymers in the solution. In contrast, the dependence for the TC solution seems unexplainable on the basis of molecular theories. This difference probably signifies the difference in the relaxation process or mechanism in entanglement systems.

  14. Antimalarial activity from three ascidians: an exploration of different marine invertebrate phyla.

    PubMed

    Mendiola, Judith; Hernández, Hilda; Sariego, Idalia; Rojas, Lázara; Otero, Anabel; Ramírez, Angel; Chávez, María de Los Angeles; Payrol, Juan Abreu; Hernández, Aida

    2006-10-01

    Recent research suggests that marine organisms may produce compounds with activity against malaria parasites. Of a total of 27 aqueous extracts from different marine species, collected on the northwest Cuban coast, 20 were considered as showing no significant activity against Plasmodium falciparum F32, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) >500 microg/ml, while seven extracts (MIC < or =500 microg/ml) were selected for further investigation by determining their selectivity indices and in vivo antimalarial activity. Three species of tunicates were chosen, as more than 50% reduction of P. berghei parasitaemia was produced after administration of 250 or 500 mg/kg of their crude extracts into infected mice. The aqueous extracts of Microcosmus goanus, Ascidia sydneiensis and Phallusia nigra were partitioned between water and n-butanol; the organic phases inhibited P. falciparum growth by 50% at concentrations of 17.5 microg/ml, 20.9 microg/ml and 29.4 microg/ml respectively. In general, these results are similar to those of most ethnobotanical surveys. Further chemical studies are being undertaken in order to isolate new antimalarial compounds from these Caribbean tunicates.

  15. 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

  16. Functions of a GnRH receptor heterodimer of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Sakai, T; Aoyama, M; Kusakabe, T; Tsuda, M; Satake, H

    2008-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a ten-amino acid peptide hormone that plays pivotal roles in reproduction in vertebrates and octopus. Recently, six GnRH forms (t-GnRH-3-8) and four GnRH receptor subtypes (Ci-GnRHR-1-4) were identified in the protochordate, Ciona intestinalis. In this study, we show the functional modulation of Ci-GnRHR-1 via heterodimerization with the orphan receptor subtype, Ci-GnRHR-4. The dimerization between Ci-GnRHR-1 and R-4 was detected by co-immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analysis. Binding assays confirmed the binding of t-GnRHs to Ci-GnRHR-1 but not to R-4, and verified no alternation in ligand-binding affinity between Ci-GnRHR-1 homodimer and Ci-GnRHRI&4 heterodimer. The heterodimer was found to stimulate the elevation of intracellular calcium, time-extension of ERK phosphorylation, and up-regulation of cell proliferation, all in a ligand specific manner, compared with the Ci-GnRHR-1 homodimer. In combination, these results indicated that Ci-GnRHR-4 is not an inactive receptor, but a modulatory factor for Ci-GnRHR-1 in C. intestinalis.

  17. Cholinesterase in larvae of the ascidian,Ciona intestinalis, developing from fragments cut from centrifuged eggs.

    PubMed

    Bell, William A; Holland, Nicholas D

    1974-06-01

    UnfertilizedCiona eggs were centrifuged, stratifying their mitochondria and some other cytoplasmic components. Each centrifuged egg had a mitochondria-free, centripetal clear layer that was contiguous with centrifugal layers containing mitochondria. By cutting centrifuged eggs in two at various levels along the centripetal-centrifugal axis, it was possible to obtain centripetal fragments including virtually no mitochondria, about one-tenth of the uncut egg's mitochondria or about one-fourth of the uncut egg's mitochondria. Most of these centripetal fragments, when fertilized, developed into larvae. However, only the centripetal fragments that included about one-fourth of the uncut egg's mitochondria developed into larvae giving the cytochemical reaction for cholinesterase, a convenient indicator of muscle cell differentiation inCiona. Therefore, the inclusion of a minimum number of mitochondria (more than one-tenth but less than one-fourth the number in the uncut egg) is correlated with muscle cell differentiation in larvae developing from the centripetal fragments. The possible influences of mitochondria and of other cytoplasmic components on muscle differentiation are discussed.

  18. Evaluation of drug toxicity profiles based on the phenotypes of ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Mizotani, Yuji; Itoh, Shun; Hotta, Kohji; Tashiro, Etsu; Oka, Kotaro; Imoto, Masaya

    2015-08-07

    In vivo toxicity evaluation using model organisms is an important step for the development of new drugs. Here, we report that Ciona intestinalis, a chordate invertebrate, is beneficial to drug toxicity evaluation for the following reasons: rapid embryonic and larval development, resemblance to vertebrates, ease of management, low cost, transparent body, and low risk of ethical issues. The dynamic phenotypic change of Ciona larvae during metamorphosis prompted us to examine the effect of cytotoxic drugs on its development by quantifying six toxicity endpoints: degenerated tail size, ampulla length, rotation of body axis, stomach size, heart rate, and body size. As a result, mitochondrial respiratory inhibitors, tubulin polymerization/depolymerization inhibitors, or DNA/RNA synthesis inhibitors showed distinct toxicity profiles against these six endpoints, but drugs with the same targets showed a similar toxicity profile in Ciona. Our results suggest Ciona is an effective animal model for profiling drug toxicity and exploring the mechanisms of drugs with unknown targets.

  19. 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.

  20. Amphioxus and ascidian Dmbx homeobox genes give clues to the vertebrate origins of midbrain development.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tokiharu; Holland, Peter W H

    2004-07-01

    The ancestral chordate neural tube had a tripartite structure, comprising anterior, midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) and posterior regions. The most anterior region encompasses both forebrain and midbrain in vertebrates. It is not clear when or how the distinction between these two functionally and developmentally distinct regions arose in evolution. Recently, we reported a mouse PRD-class homeobox gene, Dmbx1, expressed in the presumptive midbrain at early developmental stages, and the hindbrain at later stages, with exclusion from the MHB. This gene provides a route to investigate the evolution of midbrain development. We report the cloning, genomic structure, phylogeny and embryonic expression of Dmbx genes from amphioxus and from Ciona, representing the two most closely related lineages to the vertebrates. Our analyses show that Dmbx genes form a distinct, ancient, homeobox gene family, with highly conserved sequence and genomic organisation, albeit more divergent in Ciona. In amphioxus, no Dmbx expression is observed in the neural tube, supporting previous arguments that the MHB equivalent region has been secondarily modified in evolution. In Ciona, the CiDmbx gene is detected in neural cells caudal to Pax2/5/8-positive cells (MHB homologue), in the Hox-positive region, but, interestingly, not in any cells rostral to them. These results suggest that a midbrain homologue is missing in Ciona, and argue that midbrain development is a novelty that evolved specifically on the vertebrate lineage. We discuss the evolution of midbrain development in relation to the ancestry of the tripartite neural ground plan and the origin of the MHB organiser.

  1. 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

  2. Spire contains actin binding domains and is related to ascidian posterior end mark-5.

    PubMed

    Wellington, A; Emmons, S; James, B; Calley, J; Grover, M; Tolias, P; Manseau, L

    1999-12-01

    Spire is a maternal effect locus that affects both the dorsal-ventral and anterior-posterior axes of the Drosophila egg and embryo. It is required for localization of determinants within the developing oocyte to the posterior pole and to the dorsal anterior corner. During mid-oogenesis, spire mutants display premature microtubule-dependent cytoplasmic streaming, a phenotype that can be mimicked by pharmacological disruption of the actin cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D. Spire has been cloned by transposon tagging and is related to posterior end mark-5, a gene from sea squirts that encodes a posteriorly localized mRNA. Spire mRNA is not, however, localized to the posterior pole. SPIRE also contains two domains with similarity to the actin monomer-binding WH2 domain, and we demonstrate that SPIRE binds to actin in the interaction trap system and in vitro. In addition, SPIRE interacts with the rho family GTPases RHOA, RAC1 and CDC42 in the interaction trap system. Thus, our evidence supports the model that SPIRE links rho family signaling to the actin cytoskeleton.

  3. Proteomic responses to elevated ocean temperature in ovaries of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Chelsea E; Sheehan, Hannah C; Vierra, David A; Azzinaro, Paul A; Meedel, Thomas H; Howlett, Niall G; Irvine, Steven Q

    2017-07-15

    Ciona intestinalis, a common sea squirt, exhibits lower reproductive success at the upper extreme of the water temperatures it experiences in coastal New England. In order to understand the changes in protein expression associated with elevated temperatures, and possible response to global temperature change, we reared C. intestinalis from embryos to adults at 18°C (a temperature at which they reproduce normally at our collection site in Rhode Island) and 22°C (the upper end of the local temperature range). We then dissected ovaries from animals at each temperature, extracted protein, and measured proteomic levels using shotgun mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). 1532 proteins were detected at a 1% false discovery rate present in both temperature groups by our LC-MS/MS method. 62 of those proteins are considered up- or down-regulated according to our statistical criteria. Principal component analysis shows a clear distinction in protein expression pattern between the control (18°C) group and high temperature (22°C) group. Similar to previous studies, cytoskeletal and chaperone proteins are upregulated in the high temperature group. Unexpectedly, we find evidence that proteolysis is downregulated at the higher temperature. We propose a working model for the high temperature response in C. intestinalis ovaries whereby increased temperature induces upregulation of signal transduction pathways involving PTPN11 and CrkL, and activating coordinated changes in the proteome especially in large lipid transport proteins, cellular stress responses, cytoskeleton, and downregulation of energy metabolism. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Thermotropic behavior of major phospholipids from marine invertebrates: changes with warm-acclimation and seasonal acclimatization.

    PubMed

    Sanina, Nina M; Kostetsky, Eduard Y

    2002-10-01

    The crystal-liquid crystal-isotropic melt phase transitions of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) from muscle tissue of five species (actinia Metridium senile fimbriatum, mussel Crenomytilus grayanus, sea-urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius, starfish Distolasterias nipon and the ascidian Halocynthia aurantium) of marine invertebrates, collected in winter at 0 degrees C and then acclimated to 18.5 degrees C for 5 days, were studied by differential scanning calorimetry and polarising microscopy. To elevate temperature from 0 to 18.5 degrees C, we used the rate of 4.5 degrees C/h. Although phase transitions of both phospholipids from animals collected in summer occurred already at temperatures below -1.7 oC (minimal temperature of seawater in winter), compensatory mechanisms resulted in a decrease by 29-43 oC in the phase transition temperature of PE in winter. Thermotropic behavior of PCs changed in various trends. However, the total heat of their phase transitions always decreased in winter compared with summer. For all species, except the mussel, the time of warm-acclimation was insufficient to adjust the thermotropic behavior of either phospholipid. Nevertheless, the unsaturation index decreased to achieve summer values, due primarily to decreased proportions of eicosapentaenate and docosahexaenate. The accumulation of arachidonate, during warm-acclimation, might be connected to the signalling properties of n-6 eicosanoids. Absence of effective homeoviscous mechanisms suggests that most of the studied marine invertebrates have very limited capacity to survive an acute temperature elevation, e.g. at the appearance of thermal currents.

  5. The ascidian Styela plicata hemocytes as a potential biomarker of marine pollution: In vitro effects of seawater and organic mercury.

    PubMed

    Parrinello, D; Bellante, A; Parisi, M G; Sanfratello, M A; Indelicato, S; Piazzese, D; Cammarata, M

    2017-02-01

    Toxic metals, such as mercury, contribute substantially to anthropogenic pollution in many estuarine environments. Animals living in those environments, particularly invertebrate filter feeders like tunicates, can be used as bioindicators. In an attempt to identify cellular markers for revealing pollution, this study examined in vitro the effects of different concentrations of methyl mercury on Styela plicata hemocytes. The harvested hemocytes from S. plicata that were exposed to the metal had a significant mortality, cellular count and morphometric alterations. These findings provided evidence of MeHg immunotoxic effects on S. plicata, resulting in hemocyte death and morphological changes induced by cytoskeleton alterations. Thus, a morphometric cellular parameter, such as spreading ability, was used as a complementary method for differentiation between hemocytes treated with a marine solution (as a negative control) and hemocytes incubated with methylmercury and/or Sicilian seawater samples. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Studies on Japanese botryllid ascidians. V. A new species of the genus Botrylloides very similar to Botrylloides simodensis in morphology.

    PubMed

    Atsumi, Masako O; Saito, Yasunori

    2011-07-01

    Botrylloides simodensis, belonging to the family Botryllidae, is a common species on the rocky shore around Shimoda. Since this species was first reported in 1981, it has been noticed that some B. simodensis colonies have distinctly different ground colors and color patterns from colonies including type specimens (holotype and all of paratypes) of B. simodensis. However, as there is no remarkable difference among them in morphology other than the colonial colors and color patterns, they have been considered to belong to the same species. In the present work, colonies of B. simodensis sensu lato were divided into three groups, two major and one minor, based on their color-morphs and periods of sexual reproduction. In one of the major groups, B. simodensis sensu strict, the period of sexual reproduction was limited from July to September, as shown in the original description. The other major group engaged in sexual reproduction for much longer than the former group, and they frequently made clusters of vascular vessels and underwent vascular budding. Therefore, the group with the long period of sexual reproduction was described as a new species of the genus Botrylloides here. In addition, phylogenetic analysis based on mtDNA sequences of these groups indicated that each group had a peculiar sequence, and that they were genetically separated.

  7. Characterization and metal-induced gene transcription of two new copper zinc superoxide dismutases in the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Ferro, Diana; Franchi, Nicola; Mangano, Valentina; Bakiu, Rigers; Cammarata, Matteo; Parrinello, Nicolò; Santovito, Gianfranco; Ballarin, Loriano

    2013-09-15

    Antioxidant enzymes are known to protect living organisms against the oxidative stress risk, also induced by metals. In the present study, we describe the purification and molecular characterization of two Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases (SODs), referred to as Ci-SODa and Ci-SODb, from Ciona intestinalis, a basal chordate widely distributed in temperate shallow seawater. The putative amino acid sequences were compared with Cu,Zn SODs from other metazoans and phylogenetic analyses indicate that the two putative Ci-SODs are more related to invertebrate SODs than vertebrate ones. Both phylogenetic and preliminary homology modeling analyses suggest that Ci-SODa and Ci-SODb are extracellular and intracellular isoform, respectively. The mRNA of the two Cu,Zn SODs was localized in hemocytes and in ovarian follicular cells, as revealed by in situ hybridization. The time course of SOD mRNA levels in the presence of three different metals showed upregulation of ci-soda and inhibition of ci-sodb. Spectrophotometric analysis confirms the presence of SOD activity in Ciona tissues. Our in silico analyses of the ci-soda promoter region revealed putative consensus sequences similar to mammalian metal-responsive elements (MRE), suggesting that the transcription of these genes directly depends on metals. These data emphasize the importance of complex metal regulation of ci-soda and ci-sodb transcription, as components of an efficient detoxification pathway allowing the survival of C. intestinalis in continued, elevated presence of metals in the environment.

  8. A new notodelphyid copepod, Doropygopsis arctica sp. nov. (Cyclopoida), parasitic in ascidian of the Molgula arctica from the White Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchenkov, A. V.

    1998-06-01

    Doropygopsis arctica, a new species of notodelphyid cyclopoid from the branchial cavity of Molgula arctica Kiaer, 1896 (Ascidiacea) in Chupa Bay (Kandalakshskiy Zaliv, White Sea) is described. The new species differs from the two other congeners by the fine structure of some cephalosomic appendages and swimming legs. The diagnosis for Doropygopsis is redefined.

  9. Ciona intestinalis: chordate development made simple.

    PubMed

    Passamaneck, Yale J; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2005-05-01

    Thanks to their transparent and rapidly developing mosaic embryos, ascidians (or sea squirts) have been a model system for embryological studies for over a century. Recently, ascidians have entered the postgenomic era, with the sequencing of the Ciona intestinalis genome and the accumulation of molecular resources that rival those available for fruit flies and mice. One strength of ascidians as a model system is their close similarity to vertebrates. Literature reporting molecular homologies between vertebrate and ascidian tissues has flourished over the past 15 years, since the first ascidian genes were cloned. However, it should not be forgotten that ascidians diverged from the lineage leading to vertebrates over 500 million years ago. Here, we review the main similarities and differences so far identified, at the molecular level, between ascidian and vertebrate tissues and discuss the evolution of the compact ascidian genome. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Stress response in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis: transcriptional profiling of genes for the heat shock protein 70 chaperone system under heat stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress

    PubMed Central

    Fujikawa, Tetsuya; Munakata, Takeo; Kondo, Shin-ichi; Satoh, Nori

    2009-01-01

    The genome of Ciona intestinalis contains eight genes for HSP70 superfamily proteins, 36 genes for J-proteins, a gene for a J-like protein, and three genes for BAG family proteins. To understand the stress responses of genes in the HSP70 chaperone system comprehensively, the transcriptional profiles of these 48 genes under heat stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress were studied using real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Heat stress treatment increased the messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of six HSP70 superfamily genes, eight J-protein family genes, and two BAG family genes. In the cytoplasmic group of the DnaK subfamily of the HSP70 family, Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like was the only heat-inducible gene and Ci-HSPA2/8 was the only constitutively active gene which showed striking simplicity in comparison with other animals that have been examined genome-wide so far. Analyses of the time course and temperature dependency of the heat stress responses showed that the induction of Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like expression rises to a peak after heat stress treatment at 28°C (10°C upshift from control temperature) for 1 h. ER stress treatment with Brefeldin A, a drug that is known to act as ER stress inducer, increased the mRNA levels of four HSP70 superfamily genes and four J-protein family genes. Most stress-inducible genes are conserved between Ciona and vertebrates, as expected from a close evolutionary relationship between them. The present study characterized the stress responses of HSP70 chaperone system genes in Ciona for the first time and provides essential data for comprehensive understanding of the functions of the HSP70 chaperone system. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12192-009-0133-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:19629754

  11. Cell lineage and cis-regulation for a unique GABAergic/glycinergic neuron type in the larval nerve cord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Nishitsuji, Koki; Horie, Takeo; Ichinose, Aoi; Sasakura, Yasunori; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2012-02-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis larva has a simple central nervous system (CNS), consisting of fewer than 400 cells, which is homologous to the vertebrate CNS. Recent studies have revealed neuronal types and networks in the larval CNS of C. intestinalis, yet their cell lineage and the molecular mechanism by which particular types of neurons are specified and differentiate remain poorly understood. Here, we report cell lineage origin and a cis-regulatory module for the anterior caudal inhibitory neurons (ACINs), a putative component of the central pattern generator regulating swimming locomotion. The vesicular GABA⁄ glycine transporter gene Ci-VGAT, a specific marker for GABAergic ⁄ glycinergic neurons, is expressed in distinct sets of neurons, including ACINs of the tail nerve cord and others in the brain vesicle and motor ganglion. Comparative genomics analysis between C. intestinalis and Ciona savignyi and functional analysis in vivo identified the cis-regulatory module responsible for Ci-VGAT expression in ACINs. Our cell lineage analyses inferred that ACINs derive from A11.116 cells, which have been thought to solely give rise to glial ependymal cells of the lateral wall of the nerve cord. The present findings will provide a solid basis for future studies addressing the molecular mechanism underlying specification of ACINs, which play a critical role in controlling larval locomotion

  12. 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.

  13. Stress response in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis: transcriptional profiling of genes for the heat shock protein 70 chaperone system under heat stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Fujikawa, Tetsuya; Munakata, Takeo; Kondo, Shin-ichi; Satoh, Nori; Wada, Shuichi

    2010-03-01

    The genome of Ciona intestinalis contains eight genes for HSP70 superfamily proteins, 36 genes for J-proteins, a gene for a J-like protein, and three genes for BAG family proteins. To understand the stress responses of genes in the HSP70 chaperone system comprehensively, the transcriptional profiles of these 48 genes under heat stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress were studied using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Heat stress treatment increased the messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of six HSP70 superfamily genes, eight J-protein family genes, and two BAG family genes. In the cytoplasmic group of the DnaK subfamily of the HSP70 family, Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like was the only heat-inducible gene and Ci-HSPA2/8 was the only constitutively active gene which showed striking simplicity in comparison with other animals that have been examined genome-wide so far. Analyses of the time course and temperature dependency of the heat stress responses showed that the induction of Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like expression rises to a peak after heat stress treatment at 28 degrees C (10 degrees C upshift from control temperature) for 1 h. ER stress treatment with Brefeldin A, a drug that is known to act as ER stress inducer, increased the mRNA levels of four HSP70 superfamily genes and four J-protein family genes. Most stress-inducible genes are conserved between Ciona and vertebrates, as expected from a close evolutionary relationship between them. The present study characterized the stress responses of HSP70 chaperone system genes in Ciona for the first time and provides essential data for comprehensive understanding of the functions of the HSP70 chaperone system.

  14. Gadolinium, a mechano-sensitive channel blocker, inhibits osmosis-initiated motility of sea- and freshwater fish sperm, but does not affect human or ascidian sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Krasznai, Zoltán; Morisawa, Masaaki; Krasznai, Zoárd Tibor; Morisawa, Sachiko; Inaba, Kazuo; Bazsáné, Zsuzsa Kassai; Rubovszky, Bálint; Bodnár, Béla; Borsos, Antal; Márián, Teréz

    2003-08-01

    Exposure to hypo-osmotic or hyperosmotic environment triggers the initiation of fish sperm motility. In this article, we report that calcium and potassium channel blockers do not influence motility of puffer fish sperm but calmodulin antagonists reversibly decrease it, suggesting that calmodulin-Ca(2+) interactions are prerequisite for the initiation of sperm motility in this species. Gadolinium (a stretch activated ion channel blocker) decreased the motility of puffer fish sperm from 92 +/- 3% to 6 +/- 3% and that of carp sperm from 91 +/- 7% to 3.5 +/- 4.3% in a dose-dependent manner (10-40 micro M). The effect of gadolinium was reversible, suggesting that stretch activated ion channels participate in the initiation of sperm motility of the two species. Gadolinium inhibits changes in the isoelectric point of certain proteins of puffer fish sperm, which occur when sperm motility is initiated in a hypertonic solution. Anisotropy measurements showed that hypo-osmotic treatment, which initiates carp sperm motility, increased membrane fluidity. When hypo-osmotic treatment was given in the presence of gadolinium, the sperm membrane remained as rigid as in quiescent cells, while motility was blocked. By contrast, gadolinium did not influence the motility parameters of Ciona or human sperm. Based on these lines of evidence, we suggest that conformational changes of mechanosensitive membrane proteins are involved in osmolality-dependent but not osmolality-independent sperm.

  15. Surface potential reflected in both gating and permeation mechanisms of sodium and calcium channels of the tunicate egg cell membrane

    PubMed Central

    Ohmori, Harunori; Yoshii, Mitsunobu

    1977-01-01

    1. Threshold changes of Na and Ca currents due to various polyvalent cations (stabilizing cations) or H+ ions were studied in the egg cell membrane of a tunicate, Halocynthia roretzi, by using the voltage-clamp technique. 2. With an increase in [Ca]o or a decrease in pH in the external solution, the current—voltage (I—V) relations for the peak of the Na and Ca currents shifted along the voltage axis in the positive direction. These voltage shifts in the I—V relations, measured at a potential of V½ where inward current attains its half-maximum, were shown to be identical to shifts in voltage-dependence of the time courses of Na and Ca currents, and also identical to shifts in the inactivation curves of Na current along the voltage axis. 3. The shifts in V½ produced by various polyvalent cations or H+ ions were analysed by the Gouy-Chapman equation for the diffuse double layer, by assuming that a change in V½ directly corresponds to a change in the surface double layer potential. 4. The V½-divalent cation concentration relations of Na current were exactly described by the predictions of the theory with a constant value of the surface charge density of 1e-/(9 Å)2. The weak stabilizing effects of Mg2+, Sr2+ and Ba2+ were quite similar to each other and were explained in terms of a `screening' effect. Other divalent cations, such as Ca2+, Mn2+ and Ni2+, showed various different stabilizing effects which were explained in terms of a `binding' effect. The binding constants (K1's) for Ca2+, Mn2+ and Ni2+ were 0·21, 0·45 and 0·94 M-1, respectively. 5. H+ ions showed a powerful stabilizing effect upon the Na current with a KH of 6 × 104 M-1. This value indicates that the acidic sites around Na channels have a pKa of 4·78. La3+ ions also acted as a strong stabilizer upon the Na current with a KLa of 15 M-1. For both H+ and La3+, the V½-concentration relations were also exactly described by the Gouy-Chapman equation with the same charge density of 1e-/(9 Å)2

  16. Eight new species of ascidicolous copepods from the eastern coast of Korea (Crustacea, Copepoda, Cyclopoida)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Il-Hoi; Moon, Seong Yong

    2011-03-01

    Eight new species of copepods associated with shallow-water ascidians are described from the eastern coast of Korea. They are Ascidicola secundus n. sp. from a Pyura sp., Enteropsis nudus n. sp. from Pyura sacciformis (Drasche), Mycophilus capillatus n. sp. from a compound ascidian, Bonnierilla yangpoensis n. sp. from Phallusia cf. nigra Savigny, Janstockia truncata n. sp. from Chelyosoma siboja Oka, Pholeterides pilosa n. sp. from a compound ascidian, Pachypygus spinosus n. sp. from a solitary ascidian, and Paranotodelphys unguifer n. sp. from Ascidia samea Oka.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Nitric-oxide generation induced by metals plays a role in their accumulation by Phallusia nigra hemocytes.

    PubMed

    de Barros, Cintia Monteiro; da Fonte Carvalho Martins, Danielly; Mello, Andressa de Abreu; Salgado, Leonardo Tavares; Allodi, Silvana

    2017-08-02

    Ascidians are good monitors for assessing water quality, since they filter large volumes of water; however, little is known about how xenobiotics, including metals, can affect ascidian hemocytes. Metals can be either toxic or beneficial to health, inducing many different responses. The response mechanism depends on the class of metals to which organisms are exposed: essential, nonessential, and borderline. To analyze the influence of metals from different classes on the protective mechanisms of an ascidian, we investigated the production of nitric oxide (NO) after exposure to various concentrations of Mg, Mn and Pb over different time periods. We also determined the amounts of each metal in the hemocytes. Our results indicated that especially Pb could stimulate NO production. Although Pb induced the highest NO production, cell viability was not severely altered in all Pb concentrations and time periods. Ascidians might serve as biomonitor for Pb, since their vanadocytes accumulate Pb. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Ascidia subterranea sp. nov. (Phlebobranchia: Ascidiidae), a new tunicate belonging to the A. sydneiensis Stimpson, 1855 group, found as burrow associate of Axiopsis serratifrons A. Milne-Edwards, 1873 (Decapoda: Axiidae) on Derawan Island, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Kneer, Dominik; Monniot, Francoise; Stach, Thomas; Christianen, Marjolijn J A

    2013-02-22

    A new tunicate, Ascidia subterranea sp. nov., was found in burrows of the axiid crustacean Axiopsis serratifrons on Derawan Island, Indonesia. It differs from other ascidians in its habitat as well as numerous morphological peculiarities which are described in detail. The shrimp Rostronia stylirostris Holthuis, 1952 was found inside A. subterranea sp. nov., and 4 species of bivalves, 3 species of polychaetes, 1 gastropod, 1 polyplacophoran and 1 sponge species were found as burrow associates besides the ascidian.

  1. 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.

  2. Surfing with the tunicates into the post-genome era.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Nori; Levine, Mike

    2005-10-15

    This year is the centenary of Edward G. Conklin's signal findings in embryology: the elucidation of complete cell lineages and the discovery of localized maternal determinants. Conklin used ascidian embryos to elucidate universal principles in embryology. A century later, ascidians, or sea squirts, have not only entered the post-genome era, but in many ways are leading the way to the promise of a "systems-level" understanding of complex processes such as notochord formation, neurogenesis, and even behavior.

  3. Peptidomic analysis of the central nervous system of the protochordate, Ciona intestinalis: homologs and prototypes of vertebrate peptides and novel peptides.

    PubMed

    Kawada, Tsuyoshi; Ogasawara, Michio; Sekiguchi, Toshio; Aoyama, Masato; Hotta, Kohji; Oka, Kotaro; Satake, Honoo

    2011-06-01

    The phylogenetic position of ascidians as the chordate invertebrates closest to vertebrates suggests that they might possess homologs and/or prototypes of vertebrate peptide hormones and neuropeptides as well as ascidian-specific peptides. However, only a small number of peptides have so far been identified in ascidians. In the present study, we have identified various peptides in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. Mass spectrometry-based peptidomic analysis detected 33 peptides, including 26 novel peptides, from C. intestinalis. The ascidian peptides are largely classified into three categories: 1) prototypes and homologs of vertebrate peptides, such as galanin/galanin-like peptide, which have never been identified in any invertebrates; 2) peptides partially homologous with vertebrate peptides, including novel neurotesin-like peptides; 3) novel peptides. These results not only provide evidence that C. intestinalis possesses various homologs and prototypes of vertebrate neuropeptides and peptide hormones but also suggest that several of these peptides might have diverged in the ascidian-specific evolutionary lineage. All Ciona peptide genes were expressed in the neural complex, whereas several peptide gene transcripts were also distributed in peripheral tissues, including the ovary. Furthermore, a Ciona neurotensin-like peptide, C. intestinalis neurotensin-like peptide 6, was shown to down-regulate growth of Ciona vitellogenic oocytes. These results suggest that the Ciona peptides act not only as neuropeptides in the neural tissue but also as hormones in nonneuronal tissues and that ascidians, unlike other invertebrates, such as nematodes, insects, and sea urchins, established an evolutionary origin of the peptidergic neuroendocrine, endocrine, and nervous systems of vertebrates with certain specific molecular diversity.

  4. Origin and variation of tunicate secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-24

    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 the family Didemnidae, where most research has occurred. Applications of our basic studies are also described.

  5. How Fast Is the Sessile Ciona?

    PubMed Central

    Berná, Luisa; Alvarez-Valin, Fernando; D'Onofrio, Giuseppe

    2009-01-01

    Genomewide analyses of distances between orthologous gene pairs from the ascidian species Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi were compared with those of vertebrates. Combining this data with a detailed and careful use of vertebrate fossil records, we estimated the time of divergence between the two ascidians nearly 180 My. This estimation was obtained after correcting for the different substitution rates found comparing several groups of chordates; indeed we determine here that on average Ciona species evolve 50% faster than vertebrates. PMID:20052388

  6. Alleopathy and spatial competition among coral reef invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, J. B. C.; Buss, Leo

    1975-01-01

    Species of ectoprocts and solitary encrusting animals were subjected in aquaria to homogenates of 11 sympatric species of sponges and colonial ascidians. Five of the nine sponge species and one of the two ascidian species exhibited species-specific allelochemical effects. Evidence suggests that alleochemical provide a wide-spread, specific, and complex mechanism for interference competition for space among natural populations of coral reef organisms. The existence of such species-specific mechanisms may provide a basis for maintenance of diversity in space-limited systems in the absence of high levels of predation and physical disturbance. Images PMID:16592298

  7. 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.

  8. Prochloron on synaptula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, L.; Lewin, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    It is reported that, for the first time, Prochloron cells were found associated with an animal other than a colonial ascidian-namely, a synaptid holothurian, Snaptula lamperti. This occurance brings into question the supposedly obligate nature of the association of this problematic algae with didemnids and their allies.

  9. Ascidiacea (Chordata: Tunicata) of Greece: an updated checklist.

    PubMed

    Antoniadou, Chryssanthi; Gerovasileiou, Vasilis; Bailly, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The checklist of the ascidian fauna (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) of Greece was compiled within the framework of the Greek Taxon Information System (GTIS), an application of the LifeWatchGreece Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) aiming to produce a complete checklist of species recorded from Greece. This checklist was constructed by updating an existing one with the inclusion of recently published records. All the reported species from Greek waters were taxonomically revised and cross-checked with the Ascidiacea World Database. The updated checklist of the class Ascidiacea of Greece comprises 75 species, classified in 33 genera, 12 families, and 3 orders. In total, 8 species have been added to the previous species list (4 Aplousobranchia, 2 Phlebobranchia, and 2 Stolidobranchia). Aplousobranchia was the most speciose order, followed by Stolidobranchia. Most species belonged to the families Didemnidae, Polyclinidae, Pyuridae, Ascidiidae, and Styelidae; these 4 families comprise 76% of the Greek ascidian species richness. The present effort revealed the limited taxonomic research effort devoted to the ascidian fauna of Greece, which is attributed to the lack of experts and low sampling effort. Therefore, major knowledge gaps on the ascidian diversity of Greece occur and further research in this field is needed.

  10. Comparative expression analysis of transcription factor genes in the endostyle of invertebrate chordates.

    PubMed

    Hiruta, Jin; Mazet, Francoise; Yasui, Kinya; Zhang, Peijun; Ogasawara, Michio

    2005-07-01

    The endostyle of invertebrate chordates is a pharyngeal organ that is thought to be homologous with the follicular thyroid of vertebrates. Although thyroid-like features such as iodine-concentrating and peroxidase activities are located in the dorsolateral part of both ascidian and amphioxus endostyles, the structural organization and numbers of functional units are different. To estimate phylogenetic relationships of each functional zone with special reference to the evolution of the thyroid, we have investigated, in ascidian and amphioxus, the expression patterns of thyroid-related transcription factors such as TTF-2/FoxE4 and Pax2/5/8, as well as the forkhead transcription factors FoxQ1 and FoxA. Comparative gene expression analyses depicted an overall similarity between ascidians and amphioxus endostyles, while differences in expression patterns of these genes might be specifically related to the addition or elimination of a pair of glandular zones. Expressions of Ci-FoxE and BbFoxE4 suggest that the ancestral FoxE class might have been recruited for the formation of thyroid-like region in a possible common ancestor of chordates. Furthermore, coexpression of FoxE4, Pax2/5/8, and TPO in the dorsolateral part of both ascidian and amphioxus endostyles suggests that genetic basis of the thyroid function was already in place before the vertebrate lineage.

  11. 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.

  12. Ascidiacea (Chordata: Tunicata) of Greece: an updated checklist

    PubMed Central

    Gerovasileiou, Vasilis; Bailly, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The checklist of the ascidian fauna (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) of Greece was compiled within the framework of the Greek Taxon Information System (GTIS), an application of the LifeWatchGreece Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) aiming to produce a complete checklist of species recorded from Greece. This checklist was constructed by updating an existing one with the inclusion of recently published records. All the reported species from Greek waters were taxonomically revised and cross-checked with the Ascidiacea World Database. New information The updated checklist of the class Ascidiacea of Greece comprises 75 species, classified in 33 genera, 12 families, and 3 orders. In total, 8 species have been added to the previous species list (4 Aplousobranchia, 2 Phlebobranchia, and 2 Stolidobranchia). Aplousobranchia was the most speciose order, followed by Stolidobranchia. Most species belonged to the families Didemnidae, Polyclinidae, Pyuridae, Ascidiidae, and Styelidae; these 4 families comprise 76% of the Greek ascidian species richness. The present effort revealed the limited taxonomic research effort devoted to the ascidian fauna of Greece, which is attributed to the lack of experts and low sampling effort. Therefore, major knowledge gaps on the ascidian diversity of Greece occur and further research in this field is needed. PMID:27932910

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The mitochondrial genome of Phallusia mammillata and Phallusia fumigata (Tunicata, Ascidiacea): high genome plasticity at intra-genus level

    PubMed Central

    Iannelli, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Pesole, Graziano; Gissi, Carmela

    2007-01-01

    Background Within Chordata, the subphyla Vertebrata and Cephalochordata (lancelets) are characterized by a remarkable stability of the mitochondrial (mt) genome, with constancy of gene content and almost invariant gene order, whereas the limited mitochondrial data on the subphylum Tunicata suggest frequent and extensive gene rearrangements, observed also within ascidians of the same genus. Results To confirm this evolutionary trend and to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of the mitochondrial genome in Tunicata Ascidiacea, we have sequenced and characterized the complete mt genome of two congeneric ascidian species, Phallusia mammillata and Phallusia fumigata (Phlebobranchiata, Ascidiidae). The two mtDNAs are surprisingly rearranged, both with respect to one another and relative to those of other tunicates and chordates, with gene rearrangements affecting both protein-coding and tRNA genes. The new data highlight the extraordinary variability of ascidian mt genome in base composition, tRNA secondary structure, tRNA gene content, and non-coding regions (number, size, sequence and location). Indeed, both Phallusia genomes lack the trnD gene, show loss/acquisition of DHU-arm in two tRNAs, and have a G+C content two-fold higher than other ascidians. Moreover, the mt genome of P. fumigata presents two identical copies of trnI, an extra tRNA gene with uncertain amino acid specificity, and four almost identical sequence regions. In addition, a truncated cytochrome b, lacking a C-terminal tail that commonly protrudes into the mt matrix, has been identified as a new mt feature probably shared by all tunicates. Conclusion The frequent occurrence of major gene order rearrangements in ascidians both at high taxonomic level and within the same genus makes this taxon an excellent model to study the mechanisms of gene rearrangement, and renders the mt genome an invaluable phylogenetic marker to investigate molecular biodiversity and speciation events in this largely

  17. Oral Administration of Ethanolamine Glycerophospholipid Containing a High Level of Plasmalogen Improves Memory Impairment in Amyloid β-Infused Rats.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shinji; Hashimoto, Michio; Haque, Abdul Md; Nakagawa, Kiyotaka; Kinoshita, Mikio; Shido, Osamu; Miyazawa, Teruo

    2017-07-01

    Ethanolamine plasmalogen (PlsEtn), a major phospholipid in neuronal membranes [60-90 mol% of ethanolamine glycerophospholipid (EtnGpl)], is specifically decreased in brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study investigated how PlsEtn administration affects cognitive deficits and lipid composition in an animal model of AD. AD model rats were infused with amyloid-β (Aβ) into the cerebral ventricle and divided into three groups. Control, Egg, and Ascidian groups were then orally administered vehicle, egg yolk EtnGpl (260 μmol as EtnGpl/kg BW/day; 10 μmol as PlsEtn/kg BW/day), or ascidian viscera EtnGpl (260 μmol as EtnGpl/kg BW/day; 209 μmol as PlsEtn/kg BW/day), respectively. After 4 weeks of dosing, Aβ-infused rats were tested for learning ability in an 8-arm radial maze. The administration of ascidian viscera EtnGpl improved both reference and working memory-related learning abilities. In lipid analysis, the Ascidian group showed higher levels of PlsEtn species in the plasma, erythrocytes, and liver when compared to other groups. In addition, although there were no differences at levels of total plasmalogen including choline plasmalogen, the Ascidian group had significantly higher levels of 18:0ol/22:6-PlsEtn in the cerebral cortex. These levels of 18:0ol/22:6-PlsEtn in the cerebral cortex were correlated with working memory-related learning ability. Moreover, 18:0ol/22:6-PlsEtn levels in the cerebral cortex showed positive correlations with those in the erythrocytes and liver. In summary, dietary PlsEtn, especially that with 22:6n-3 (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA), may ameliorate learning deficiencies in AD by altering lipid composition in the brain.

  18. Analysis of Plasmalogen Species in Foodstuffs.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shinji; Kanno, Susumu; Honjo, Ayako; Otoki, Yurika; Nakagawa, Kiyotaka; Kinoshita, Mikio; Miyazawa, Teruo

    2016-02-01

    Ethanolamine plasmalogen (PlsEtn), which is present at high levels in brains, is believed to be involved in neuronal protection. The present study was performed to search for PlsEtn resources in foodstuffs. The foodstuffs examined showed a wide range of PlsEtn contents from 5 to 549 μmol/100 g wet wt. The marine invertebrates, blue mussel, and ascidian had high PlsEtn contents (over 200 μmol/100 g wet wt). Profiling of the molecular species showed that the predominant fatty acids of PlsEtn species were 20:5 (EPA) and 22:6 (DHA) at the sn-2 position of the glycerol moiety in marine foodstuffs, whereas major PlsEtn species in land foodstuffs were 20:4. Following quantitative analysis by multiple reaction monitoring, the ascidian viscera were shown to contain the highest levels of 18:0/20:5-PlsEtn and 18:0/22:6-PlsEtn (86 and 68 μmol/100 g wet wt, respectively). In order to evaluate a neuronal antiapoptotic effect of these PlsEtn species, human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were treated with ethanolamine glycerophospholipid (EtnGpl), purified from the ascidian viscera, under serum starvation conditions. Extrinsic EtnGpl from ascidian viscera showed stronger suppression of cell death induced by serum starvation than with bovine brain EtnGpl. The EtnGpl from ascidian viscera strongly suppressed the activation of caspase 3. These results suggest that PlsEtn, especially that containing EPA and DHA, from marine foodstuffs is potentially useful for a therapeutic dietary supplement preventing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD).

  19. Elastic modulus of single cellulose microfibrils from tunicate measured by atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, Shinichiro; Kai, Weihua; Isogai, Akira; Iwata, Tadahisa

    2009-09-14

    The elastic modulus of single microfibrils from tunicate ( Halocynthia papillosa ) cellulose was measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Microfibrils with cross-sectional dimensions 8 x 20 nm and several micrometers in length were obtained by oxidation of cellulose with 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO) as a catalyst and subsequent mechanical disintegration in water and by sulfuric acid hydrolysis. The nanocellulosic materials were deposited on a specially designed silicon wafer with grooves 227 nm in width, and a three-point bending test was applied to determine the elastic modulus using an AFM cantilever. The elastic moduli of single microfibrils prepared by TEMPO-oxidation and acid hydrolysis were 145.2 +/- 31.3 and 150.7 +/- 28.8 GPa, respectively. The result showed that the experimentally determined modulus of the highly crystalline tunicate microfibrils was in agreement with the elastic modulus of native cellulose crystals.

  20. 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

  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. Long-term coexistence of non-indigenous species in aquaculture facilities.

    PubMed

    Rius, Marc; Heasman, Kevin G; McQuaid, Christopher D

    2011-11-01

    Non-indigenous species (NIS) are a growing problem globally and, in the sea, aquaculture activities are critical vectors for their introduction. Aquaculture introduces NIS, intentionally or unintentionally, and can provide substratum for the establishment of other NIS. Little is known about the co-occurrence of NIS over long periods and we document the coexistence over decades of a farmed NIS (a mussel) with an accidently introduced species (an ascidian). Both are widespread and cause serious fouling problems worldwide. We found partial habitat segregation across depth and the position of rafts within the studied farm, which suggests competitive exclusion of the mussel in dark, sheltered areas and physiological exclusion of the ascidian elsewhere. Both species exhibit massive self-recruitment, with negative effects on the industry, but critically the introduction of NIS through aquaculture facilities also has strong detrimental effects on the natural environment. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Assessment of coastal marine pollution in Galicia (NW Iberian Peninsula); metal concentrations in seawater, sediments and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) versus embryo-larval bioassays using Paracentrotus lividus and Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Beiras, R; Bellas, J; Fernández, N; Lorenzo, J I; Cobelo-García, A

    2003-10-01

    Sediments from three Galician Rias were tested for toxicity using sea-urchin and ascidian sediment elutriate embryo-larval bioassays. Trace metal contents in seawater, sediments and mussels were also determined and subjected to multidimensional scaling methods which grouped stations according to chemical contamination. High metal contents were found in seawater, sediments and mussels from the Ria of Pontevedra, and moderate levels were detected in the Ria of Vigo and Ria of Arousa. The results revealed that samples assessed as toxic, according to the sea-urchin and ascidian embryo-larval bioassays, were among the most polluted by trace metals. A good agreement was reported between ordination plots resulting from applying multidimensional scaling to the chemical data, and the results of the biological endpoints tested.

  4. 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.

  5. Details of the evolutionary history from invertebrates to vertebrates, as deduced from the sequences of 18S rDNA.

    PubMed Central

    Wada, H; Satoh, N

    1994-01-01

    Almost the entire sequences of 18S rDNA were determined for two chaetognaths, five echinoderms, a hemichordate, and two urochordates (a larvacean and a salp). Phylogenetic comparisons of the sequences, together with those of other deuterostomes (an ascidian, a cephalochordate, and vertebrates) and protostomes (an arthropod and a mollusc), suggest the monophyly of the deuterostomes, with the exception of the chaetognaths. Chaetognaths may not be a group of deuterostomes. The deuterostome group closest to vertebrates was the group of cephalochordates. Ascidians, larvaceans, and salps seem to form a discrete group (urochordates), in which the early divergence of larvaceans is evident. These results support the hypothesis that chordates evolved from free-living ancestors. PMID:8127885

  6. The Ciona intestinalis cleavage clock is independent of DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miho M; Mori, Tomoko; Satoh, Noriyuki

    2016-10-01

    The initiation of embryonic gene expression in ascidian embryos appears to be tightly regulated by the number of DNA replication cycles. DNA methylation is thought to contribute to the clock mechanism that counts the rounds of DNA replication. We used mass spectrometry and whole genome bisulfite sequencing to characterize DNA methylation changes that occur in early developmental stages of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. We found that global DNA methylation in early Ciona development was static, and a base-wise comparison between the genomes of consecutive developmental stages found no DNA demethylation that was related to zygotic gene activation. Additionally, 5hmC was hardly detected by mass spectrometry in the developmental samples, suggesting a lack of demethylation mediated by ten eleven translocation (TET) methylcytosine dioxygenase in C. intestinalis. We conclude that DNA methylation is not involved in regulating DNA replication-dependent transcriptional activation.

  7. 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.

  8. Structure and function of vanadium compounds in living organisms.

    PubMed

    Rehder, D

    1992-01-01

    Vanadium has been recognized as a metal of biological importance only recently. In this mini-review, its main functions uncovered during the past few years are addressed. These encompass (i) the regulation of phosphate metabolizing enzymes (which is exemplified for the inhibition of ribonucleases by vanadate), (ii) the halogenation of organic compounds by vanadate-dependent non-heme peroxidases from seaweeds, (iii) the reductive protonation of nitrogen (nitrogen fixation) by alternative, i.e. vanadium-containing, nitrogenases from N2-fixing bacteria, (iv) vanadium sequestering by sea squirts (ascidians), and (v) amavadine, a low molecular weight complex of V(IV) accumulated in the fly agaric and related toadstools. The function of vanadium, while still illusive in ascidians and toadstools, begins to be understood in vanadium-enzyme interaction. Investigations into the structure and function of model compounds play an increasingly important role in elucidating the biological significance of vanadium.

  9. A Guide to the Principal Marine Fouling Organisms, with Particular Reference to Cockburn Sound, W.A.,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-07-01

    Western Australia Molluscs Algae Barnacles Sponges Bryozoa Hydroids Ascidians Tubeworms OSATI GROUPS 0603 ABSTRACT The principal types of marine fouling...Arthropoda, Class Crustacea) 13 7.1 General 13 7.2 Common Species 14 7.3 Other Species 15 7.4 References 15 8. BRYOZOANS (Phylum Bryozoa ) 15 8.1 General 15...Phylum Bryozoa ) 8.1 General Bryozoans grow as sedentary colonies in which a large number of individuals (zooids) are joined in various ways. They

  10. Solwaric Acids A and B, Antibacterial Aromatic Acids from a Marine Solwaraspora sp.

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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). PMID:24534844

  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. 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

  13. Marine Fouling at HMAS STIRLING, Western Australia,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-01-01

    pagenstecheri and several compound ascidians (Fig. 4A). A large influx of other species, primarily the barnacle , Balanus trigonus and tubeworm Filograna...variable numbers throughout the year. Skerman (16] attributed peaks in 0 settlement of the barnacle Elminius modestus to periodic increase in the...settled spat to persist. 4.2 Community Development The fouling community on artificial substrate in Careening Bay progressed through the following

  14. 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

  15. How the sea squirt nucleus tells mesoderm not to be endoderm.

    PubMed

    Parton, Richard M; Davis, Ilan

    2010-10-19

    Sea squirts are simple invertebrate chordates. In this issue of Developmental Cell, 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Biological function of unique sulfated glycosaminoglycans in primitive chordates.

    PubMed

    Karamanou, Konstantina; Espinosa, Diana Carolina Restrepo; Fortuna-Costa, Anneliese; Pavão, Mauro Sérgio Gonçalves

    2016-09-10

    Glycosaminoglycans with unique sulfation patterns have been identified in different species of ascidians (sea squirts), a group of marine invertebrates of the Phylum Chordata, sub-phylum Tunicata (or Urochordata). Oversulfated dermatan sulfate composed of [4-α-L-IdoA-(2-O-SO3)(-1) → 3-β-D-GalNAc(4-OSO3)(-1)]n repeating disaccharide units is found in the extracellular matrix of several organs, where it seems to interact with collagen fibers. This dermatan sulfate co-localizes with a decorin-like protein, as indicated by immunohistochemical analysis. Low sulfated heparin/heparan sulfate-like glycans composed mainly of [4-α-L-IdoA-(2-OSO3)(-1) → 4-α-D-GlcN(SO3)(-1) (6-O-SO3)(-1)]n and [4-α-L-IdoA-(2-O-SO3)(-1) → 4-α-D-GlcN(SO3)(-1)]n have also been described in ascidians. These heparin-like glycans occur in intracellular granules of oocyte assessory cells, named test cells, in circulating basophil-like cells in the hemolymph, and at the basement membrane of different ascidian organs. In this review, we present an overview of the structure, distribution, extracellular and intracellular localization of the sulfated glycosaminoglycans in different species and tissues of ascidians. Considering the phylogenetic position of the subphylum Tunicata in the phylum Chordata, a careful analysis of these data can reveal important information about how these glycans evolved from invertebrate to vertebrate animals.

  17. Ciona intestinalis as an emerging model organism: its regeneration under controlled conditions and methodology for egg dechorionation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Li-ping; Xiang, Jian-hai; Dong, Bo; Natarajan, Pavanasam; Yu, Kui-jie; Cai, Nan-er

    2006-06-01

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a model organism of developmental and evolutionary biology and may provide crucial clues concerning two fundamental matters, namely, how chordates originated from the putative deuterostome ancestor and how advanced chordates originated from the simplest chordates. In this paper, a whole-life-span culture of C. intestinalis was conducted. Fed with the diet combination of dry Spirulina, egg yolk, Dicrateria sp., edible yeast and weaning diet for shrimp, C. intestinalis grew up to average 59 mm and matured after 60 d cultivation. This culture process could be repeated using the artificially cultured mature ascidians as material. When the fertilized eggs were maintained under 10, 15, 20, 25 degrees C, they hatched within 30 h, 22 h, 16 h and 12 h 50 min respectively experiencing cleavage, blastulation, gastrulation, neurulation, tailbud stage and tadpole stage. The tadpole larvae were characterized as typical but simplified chordates because of their dorsal nerve cord, notochord and primordial brain. After 8 - 24 h freely swimming, the tadpole larvae settled on the substrates and metamorphosized within 1- 2 d into filter feeding sessile juvenile ascidians. In addition, unfertilized eggs were successfully dechorionated in filtered seawater containing 1% Tripsin, 0.25% EDTA at pH of 10.5 within 40 min. After fertilization, the dechorionated eggs developed well and hatched at normal hatching rate. In conclusion, this paper presented feasible methodology for rearing the tadpole larvae of C. intestinalis into sexual maturity under controlled conditions and detailed observations on the embryogenesis of the laboratory cultured ascidians, which will facilitate developmental and genetic research using this model system.

  18. Ependymal cells of chordate larvae are stem-like cells that form the adult nervous system.

    PubMed

    Horie, Takeo; Shinki, Ryoko; Ogura, Yosuke; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Satoh, Nori; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2011-01-27

    In ascidian tunicates, the metamorphic transition from larva to adult is accompanied by dynamic changes in the body plan. For instance, the central nervous system (CNS) is subjected to extensive rearrangement because its regulating larval organs are lost and new adult organs are created. To understand how the adult CNS is reconstructed, we traced the fate of larval CNS cells during ascidian metamorphosis by using transgenic animals and imaging technologies with photoconvertible fluorescent proteins. Here we show that most parts of the ascidian larval CNS, except for the tail nerve cord, are maintained during metamorphosis and recruited to form the adult CNS. We also show that most of the larval neurons disappear and only a subset of cholinergic motor neurons and glutamatergic neurons are retained. Finally, we demonstrate that ependymal cells of the larval CNS contribute to the construction of the adult CNS and that some differentiate into neurons in the adult CNS. An unexpected role of ependymal cells highlighted by this study is that they serve as neural stem-like cells to reconstruct the adult nervous network during chordate metamorphosis. Consequently, the plasticity of non-neuronal ependymal cells and neuronal cells in chordates should be re-examined by future studies.

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution and the origin of the visual retinoid cycle in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kusakabe, Takehiro G.; Takimoto, Noriko; Jin, Minghao; Tsuda, Motoyuki

    2009-01-01

    Absorption of a photon by visual pigments induces isomerization of 11-cis-retinaldehyde (RAL) chromophore to all-trans-RAL. Since the opsins lacking 11-cis-RAL lose light sensitivity, sustained vision requires continuous regeneration of 11-cis-RAL via the process called ‘visual cycle’. Protostomes and vertebrates use essentially different machinery of visual pigment regeneration, and the origin and early evolution of the vertebrate visual cycle is an unsolved mystery. Here we compare visual retinoid cycles between different photoreceptors of vertebrates, including rods, cones and non-visual photoreceptors, as well as between vertebrates and invertebrates. The visual cycle systems in ascidians, the closest living relatives of vertebrates, show an intermediate state between vertebrates and non-chordate invertebrates. The ascidian larva may use retinochrome-like opsin as the major isomerase. The entire process of the visual cycle can occur inside the photoreceptor cells with distinct subcellular compartmentalization, although the visual cycle components are also present in surrounding non-photoreceptor cells. The adult ascidian probably uses RPE65 isomerase, and trans-to-cis isomerization may occur in distinct cellular compartments, which is similar to the vertebrate situation. The complete transition to the sophisticated retinoid cycle of vertebrates may have required acquisition of new genes, such as interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, and functional evolution of the visual cycle genes. PMID:19720652

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Regulation and evolution of cardiopharyngeal cell identity and behavior: insights from simple chordates.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Nicole; Razy-Krajka, Florian; Christiaen, Lionel

    2015-06-01

    The vertebrate heart arises from distinct first and second heart fields. The latter also share a common origin with branchiomeric muscles in the pharyngeal mesoderm and transcription regulators, such as Nkx2-5, Tbx1 and Islet1. Despite significant progress, the complexity of vertebrate embryos has hindered the identification of multipotent cardiopharyngeal progenitors. Here, we summarize recent insights in cardiopharyngeal development gained from ascidian models, among the closest relatives to vertebrates. In a simplified cellular context, progressive fate specification of the ascidian cardiopharyngeal precursors presents striking similarities with their vertebrate counterparts. Multipotent cardiopharyngeal progenitors are primed to activate both the early cardiac and pharyngeal muscles programs, which segregate following asymmetric cells divisions as a result of regulatory cross-antagonisms involving Tbx1 and Nkx2-5 homologs. Activation of Ebf in pharyngeal muscle founder cells triggers both Myogenic Regulatory Factor-associated differentiation and Notch-mediated maintenance of an undifferentiated state in distinct precursors. Cross-species comparisons revealed the deep conservation of the cardiopharyngeal developmental sequence in spite of extreme genome sequence divergence, gene network rewiring and specific morphogenetic differences. Finally, analyses are beginning to uncover the influence of surrounding tissues in determining cardiopharyngeal cell identity and behavior. Thus, ascidian embryos offer a unique opportunity to study gene regulation and cell behaviors at the cellular level throughout cardiopharyngeal morphogenesis and evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Revised lineage of larval photoreceptor cells in Ciona reveals archetypal collaboration between neural tube and neural crest in sensory organ formation.

    PubMed

    Oonuma, Kouhei; Tanaka, Moeko; Nishitsuji, Koki; Kato, Yumiko; Shimai, Kotaro; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2016-12-01

    The Ciona intestinalis larva has two distinct photoreceptor organs, a conventional pigmented ocellus and a nonpigmented ocellus, that are asymmetrically situated in the brain. The ciliary photoreceptor cells of these ocelli resemble visual cells of the vertebrate retina. Precise elucidation of the lineage of the photoreceptor cells will be key to understanding the developmental mechanisms of these cells as well as the evolutionary relationships between the photoreceptor organs of ascidians and vertebrates. Photoreceptor cells of the pigmented ocellus have been thought to develop from anterior animal (a-lineage) blastomeres, whereas the developmental origin of the nonpigmented ocellus has not been determined. Here, we show that the photoreceptor cells of both ocelli develop from the right anterior vegetal hemisphere: those of the pigmented ocellus from the right A9.14 cell and those of the nonpigmented ocellus from the right A9.16 cell. The pigmented ocellus is formed by a combination of two lineages of cells with distinct embryonic origins: the photoreceptor cells originate from a medial portion of the A-lineage neural plate, while the pigment cell originates from the lateral edge of the a-lineage neural plate. In light of the recently proposed close evolutionary relationship between the ocellus pigment cell of ascidians and the cephalic neural crest of vertebrates, the ascidian ocellus may represent a prototypic contribution of the neural crest to a cranial sensory organ. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses of the intelectin gene family: implications for their origin and evolution.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jie; Xu, Lingxiao; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Changqing; Zhang, Chao; Zhao, Fei; Feng, Lijun

    2013-10-01

    Intelectin is a newly characterized gene family involved in early embryogenesis, host-pathogen interactions and iron metabolism. In this study, we searched the genomes of metazoans by extensive BLAST survey and found no intelectin homologs in invertebrate metazoans but 12 in amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae and 21 in ascidians Ciona intestinalis. Some ascidians oocyte cortical granule lectins (CGLs) have unknown insertion sequences between fibrinogen-related domain (FReD) and Intelectin Domain, the boundaries of which are equivalent to exon structures. In addition to ascidians intelectins/CGLs located in the base, phylogenetic tree comprises four main clades representing mammal, frog, fish, and amphioxus, indicating that intelectin genes undergo extensive lineage-specific duplication or gene conversion. However, genomic neighborhood surrounding analysis shows that clear proto-orthologies are difficult to be established among these counterparts. In addition, sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis of FReDs from intelectins and other fibrinogen-like proteins from choanoflagellate, anemone, frog and human indicate FReDs of intelectins are unique. Likewise, these choanoflagellate and anemone genes may be close to intelectin gene. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolution and the origin of the visual retinoid cycle in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Takimoto, Noriko; Jin, Minghao; Tsuda, Motoyuki

    2009-10-12

    Absorption of a photon by visual pigments induces isomerization of 11-cis-retinaldehyde (RAL) chromophore to all-trans-RAL. Since the opsins lacking 11-cis-RAL lose light sensitivity, sustained vision requires continuous regeneration of 11-cis-RAL via the process called 'visual cycle'. Protostomes and vertebrates use essentially different machinery of visual pigment regeneration, and the origin and early evolution of the vertebrate visual cycle is an unsolved mystery. Here we compare visual retinoid cycles between different photoreceptors of vertebrates, including rods, cones and non-visual photoreceptors, as well as between vertebrates and invertebrates. The visual cycle systems in ascidians, the closest living relatives of vertebrates, show an intermediate state between vertebrates and non-chordate invertebrates. The ascidian larva may use retinochrome-like opsin as the major isomerase. The entire process of the visual cycle can occur inside the photoreceptor cells with distinct subcellular compartmentalization, although the visual cycle components are also present in surrounding non-photoreceptor cells. The adult ascidian probably uses RPE65 isomerase, and trans-to-cis isomerization may occur in distinct cellular compartments, which is similar to the vertebrate situation. The complete transition to the sophisticated retinoid cycle of vertebrates may have required acquisition of new genes, such as interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, and functional evolution of the visual cycle genes.

  10. AMPA glutamate receptors are required for sensory-organ formation and morphogenesis in the basal chordate.

    PubMed

    Hirai, Shinobu; Hotta, Kohji; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Nishino, Atsuo; Okabe, Shigeo; Okamura, Yasushi; Okado, Haruo

    2017-04-11

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors (GluAs) mediate fast excitatory transmission in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS), and their function has been extensively studied in the mature mammalian brain. However, GluA expression begins very early in developing embryos, suggesting that they may also have unidentified developmental roles. Here, we identify developmental roles for GluAs in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis Mammals express Ca(2+)-permeable GluAs (Ca-P GluAs) and Ca(2+)-impermeable GluAs (Ca-I GluAs) by combining subunits derived from four genes. In contrast, ascidians have a single gluA gene. Taking advantage of the simple genomic GluA organization in ascidians, we knocked down (KD) GluAs in Ciona and observed severe impairments in formation of the ocellus, a photoreceptive organ used during the swimming stage, and in resorption of the tail and body axis rotation during metamorphosis to the adult stage. These defects could be rescued by injection of KD-resistant GluAs. GluA KD phenotypes could also be reproduced by expressing a GluA mutant that dominantly inhibits glutamate-evoked currents. These results suggest that, in addition to their role in synaptic communication in mature animals, GluAs also have critical developmental functions.

  11. [Evolutional principles of homology in regulatory genes of myogenesis].

    PubMed

    Ozerniuk, I D; Miuge, N S

    2012-01-01

    Analysis of early steps in muscular system development of invertebrates and vertebrates shows that early steps of myogenesis are regulated by genes-orthologs mainly belonging to two families, Pax and bHLH. In the majority of the following organisms, muscles formation (steps of determination and the earliest steps of myogenesis) is regulated by genes orthologs Pax3 which belong to the family Pax: nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans, Pristionchus pacificus), insects (Drosophila melanogaster), echinoderms (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus), sea squirts (Ciona intestinalis, Holocynthia roretzi), fishes (Danio rerio), amphibians (Xenopus laevis), birds, and mammals (mouse, rat). The nematode C. elegans is an exception since formation of its muscles in this period is regulated by homeobox gene Pal-1 belonging to the family Caudal. The sea squirt C. intestinalis is also an exception because the earliest steps of development involved in further muscle formation are accompanied by activation of the gene CiSna (snail) (gene family basic Zinc finger). The next steps of myogenesis in all analyzed species are regulated by genes orthologs belonging to the family of transcriptional factors bHLH. They along with genes Pax3 are characterized by a high extent of homology in all studied groups of animals.

  12. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of an ancient Holarctic lineage of mygalomorph spiders (Araneae: Antrodiaetidae: Antrodiaetus).

    PubMed

    Hendrixson, Brent E; Bond, Jason E

    2007-03-01

    The mygalomorph spider genera Antrodiaetus and Atypoides (Antrodiaetidae) belong to an ancient lineage that has persisted since at least the Cretaceous. These spiders display a classic disjunct Holarctic distribution with species in the eastern Palaearctic plus the western and eastern Nearctic. Prior phylogenetic analyses of this group have been proposed on the basis of morphology, but lack strong support and independent corroboration. Here we present the first phylogenetic analysis of species-level relationships based on molecular data obtained from the mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) and nuclear (18S and 28S rRNA) genomes. Analyses corroborate earlier findings that Atypoides forms a paraphyletic grade with respect to Antrodiaetus, and consequently, that genus is formally synonymized under Antrodiaetus. In addition, our results support the relatively early divergence of Antrodiaetus roretzi. Antrodiaetus pacificus is "paraphyletic" with respect to the A. lincolnianus group and is likely an assemblage of numerous species. The final topology based on a combined molecular dataset, in conjunction with two different molecular dating techniques (penalized likelihood plus a Bayesian approach) and ancestral distribution reconstructions, was used to infer the historical biogeography of these spiders. Trans-Beringian and trans-Atlantic routes appear to account for the present-day distribution of Antrodiaetus in Japan and North America. Future studies on Antrodiaetus phylogeny will be used to address questions regarding morphological stasis and the evolution of quantitative morphological characters.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Embryology of a planktonic tunicate reveals traces of sessility.

    PubMed

    Stach, Thomas; Winter, Jonas; Bouquet, Jean-Marie; Chourrout, Daniel; Schnabel, Ralf

    2008-05-20

    A key problem in understanding deuterostome evolution has been the origin of the chordate body plan. A biphasic life cycle with a sessile adult and a free-swimming larva is traditionally considered ancestral in chordates with subsequent neotenic loss of the sessile adult stage. Molecular phylogenies challenged this view, suggesting that the primitive life cycle in chordates was entirely free-living as in modern day larvaceans. Here, we report the precise cell lineage and fate map in the normal embryo of the larvacean Oikopleura dioica, using 4D microscopy technique and transmission electron microscopy. We document the extraordinary rapidity of cleavage and morphogenetic events until hatching and demonstrate that--compared with ascidians--fate restriction occurs considerably earlier in O. dioica and that clonal organization of the cell lineage is more tightly coupled to tissue fate. We show that epidermal cells in the trunk migrate through 90 degrees, reminiscent of events in ascidian metamorphosis and that the axis of bilateral symmetry in the tail rotates in relation to the trunk. We argue that part of the tail muscle cells are ectomesodermal, because they are more closely associated with prospective epidermis than with other tissues in the cell lineage. Cladistic comparison with other deuterostomes suggests that these traits are derived within tunicates strengthening the hypothesis that the last common ancestor of tunicates had a sessile adult and thus support traditional morphology-derived scenarios. Our results allow hypothesizing that molecular developmental mechanisms known from ascidian models are restricted to fewer, yet identifiable, cells in O. dioica.

  19. Bioactive peptides from marine sources: pharmacological properties and isolation procedures.

    PubMed

    Aneiros, Abel; Garateix, Anoland

    2004-04-15

    Marine organisms represent a valuable source of new compounds. The biodiversity of the marine environment and the associated chemical diversity constitute a practically unlimited resource of new active substances in the field of the development of bioactive products. In this paper, the molecular diversity of different marine peptides is described as well as information about their biological properties and mechanisms of action is provided. Moreover, a short review about isolation procedures of selected bioactive marine peptides is offered. Novel peptides from sponges, ascidians, mollusks, sea anemones and seaweeds are presented in association with their pharmacological properties and obtainment methods.

  20. 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).

  1. Isolation of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the marine invader Microcosmus squamiger (Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Rius, Marc; Turon, Xavier; Pascual, Marta

    2008-11-01

    The ascidian Microcosmus squamiger is native to Australia and has recently spread worldwide. It has become a pest in some littoral communities within its introduced range. An enriched genomic library of M. squamiger resulted in a total of eight polymorphic loci that were genotyped in 20 individuals from a population within its introduced range, and 20 individuals more from a native population. The mean number of alleles per locus was 5.33 and mean observed heterozygosity was 0.432. No significant linkage disequilibrium was found among loci pairs. Significant genetic differentiation was observed between populations. © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    Trost, Barry M; Osipov, Maksim

    2015-11-09

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-14

    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.

  4. Evolution of developmental roles of Pax2/5/8 paralogs after independent duplication in urochordate and vertebrate lineages

    PubMed Central

    Bassham, Susan; Cañestro, Cristian; Postlethwait, John H

    2008-01-01

    Background Gene duplication provides opportunities for lineage diversification and evolution of developmental novelties. Duplicated genes generally either disappear by accumulation of mutations (nonfunctionalization), or are preserved either by the origin of positively selected functions in one or both duplicates (neofunctionalization), or by the partitioning of original gene subfunctions between the duplicates (subfunctionalization). The Pax2/5/8 family of important developmental regulators has undergone parallel expansion among chordate groups. After the divergence of urochordate and vertebrate lineages, two rounds of independent gene duplications resulted in the Pax2, Pax5, and Pax8 genes of most vertebrates (the sister group of the urochordates), and an additional duplication provided the pax2a and pax2b duplicates in teleost fish. Separate from the vertebrate genome expansions, a duplication also created two Pax2/5/8 genes in the common ancestor of ascidian and larvacean urochordates. Results To better understand mechanisms underlying the evolution of duplicated genes, we investigated, in the larvacean urochordate Oikopleura dioica, the embryonic gene expression patterns of Pax2/5/8 paralogs. We compared the larvacean and ascidian expression patterns to infer modular subfunctions present in the single pre-duplication Pax2/5/8 gene of stem urochordates, and we compared vertebrate and urochordate expression to infer the suite of Pax2/5/8 gene subfunctions in the common ancestor of olfactores (vertebrates + urochordates). Expression pattern differences of larvacean and ascidian Pax2/5/8 orthologs in the endostyle, pharynx and hindgut suggest that some ancestral gene functions have been partitioned differently to the duplicates in the two urochordate lineages. Novel expression in the larvacean heart may have resulted from the neofunctionalization of a Pax2/5/8 gene in the urochordates. Expression of larvacean Pax2/5/8 in the endostyle, in sites of epithelial

  5. Fertilization and normal development in Ascidiella aspersa (Tunicata) studied with Nomarski-optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niermann-Kerkenberg, Eva; Hofmann, Dietrich Kurt

    1989-06-01

    Normal development of Ascidiella aspersa was studied over a period of approx. 24 h at 20°C from egg insemination through metamorphosis of the tadpole larva using Nomarski-optics. Records were made of spermatozoa attaching to and passing through the cellular envelopes and the chorion of the egg. Egg shape alterations upon entry of the fertilizing sperm, which reflect the early phase of ooplasmic segregation, were monitored in intact and dechorionated eggs. The time course of normal development was recorded, and prominent stages were photographed within or deprived of the egg envelopes. The present observations are compared with recent accounts on early development in other solitary ascidian species.

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

    PubMed

    Bruce, A J

    2014-01-03

    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.

  7. Prochloron--a status report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewin, R. A.

    1984-01-01

    Prochloron is a genus of prokaryotic algae with photosynthetic pigments like those of chlorophytes. Prochlorophytes are almost invariably found associated as symbionts with marine protochordates (didemnid ascidians), and so far none has been successfully grown in sustained culture away from in host. Based on materials collected from nature, information of various sorts (biochemical, physiological, cytological and fine-structural) has been obtained, indicating many resemblances (and probably close phylogenetic affinities) between prochlorophytes and cyanophytes. Nevertheless they are distinguished by certain unique combinations of characters. Some of the data support the symbiogenesis theory for the origin of green-plant chloroplasts. Other possibilities are briefly discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. Phosphatase reactivity of a dicopper(II) complex of a patellamide derivative--possible biological functions of cyclic pseudopeptides.

    PubMed

    Comba, Peter; Gahan, Lawrence R; Hanson, Graeme R; Westphal, Michael

    2012-09-28

    A possible biological function of cyclic pseudo-octapeptides is presented. The dinuclear copper(II) complex of a synthetic analogue ([Cu(2)(H(2)Pat(1))(μ-OH)(OH(2))(2)]) of the naturally occurring ascidiacyclamide is known to have a hydroxo-bridged dicopper(II) site which is able to catalytically transform CO(2) into CO(3)(2-). This complex is shown here to function as a phosphatase mimic, suggesting that the so far unknown biological function of these macrocycles within the ascidians may involve phosphoester hydrolysis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Activation of the Nuclear Factor E2-Related Factor 2 Pathway by Novel Natural Products Halomadurones A–D and a Synthetic Analogue

    PubMed Central

    Wyche, Thomas P.; Standiford, Miranda; Hou, Yanpeng; Braun, Doug; Johnson, Delinda A.; Johnson, Jeffrey A.; Bugni, Tim S.

    2013-01-01

    Two novel chlorinated pyrones, halomadurones A and B, and two novel brominated analogues, halomadurones C and D, were isolated from a marine Actinomadura sp. cultivated from the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata. Additionally, a non-halogenated analogue, 2-methyl-6-((E)-3-methyl-1,3-hexadiene)-γ-pyrone, was synthesized to understand the role of the halogens for activity. Halomadurones C and D demonstrated potent nuclear factor E2-related factor antioxidant response element (Nrf2-ARE) activation, which is an important therapeutic approach for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24351907

  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. A new species of the genus Rhopalaea (Class: Ascidiacea) from the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Shenkar, Noa

    2013-01-03

    During regular surveys and collection of ascidians along the Red Sea coast of Israel, several specimens of an undescribed species of Rhopalaea were collected. Samples were collected by SCUBA from the natural coral reef and man-made structures at depths between 10 to 40m. This is the first species of the genus Rhopalaea described from the Red Sea, which is characterized by a transparent, uncolored gelatinous tunic with elongated attachment extensions, and is distinguished by its eight atrial lobes, thoracic muscle arrangement, and branchial sac structure.

  15. Haplostoma dudleyae sp. nov. (Cyclopoida: Ascidicolidae), parasitic in Eudistoma olivaceum from the Indian River in southern Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ooishi, S.

    1998-06-01

    Haplostoma dudleyae sp. nov. is described and illustrated on the basis of females found in a compound ascidian ( Eudistoma olivaceum) collected from the Indian River in southern Florida, USA. Each parasitized zooid has a single female copepod. The egg sacs of the female are paired and, when laid, are almost U-shaped and folded against the dorsal side of the body. Haplostoma dudleyae and two other species ( H. canui Chatton and Harant, 1924, and H. humesi Ooishi, 1995) constitute a subgroup within the genus Haplostoma.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Porcine relaxin, a 500 million-year-old hormone? the tunicate Ciona intestinalis has porcine relaxin.

    PubMed

    Georges, D; Schwabe, C

    1999-07-01

    The fossil record of tunicates reaches back to the upper Cambrian period. Ascidians have mobile, tadpole-like juvenile forms with a notochord, which inspired the classification of tunicates as Urochordata, i.e., predecessors of vertebrates. The genome of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis contains a relaxin coding region that is organized like a mammalian gene, i.e., signal peptide, B-chain domain, connecting peptide domain, followed by the A-chain domain with a stop codon after cysteine A-22. RNA-derived cDNA encodes a relaxin that is identical to the circulating form of the porcine hormone. In contrast to the porcine gene, the ascidian gene has no intron in the C-peptide domain, and in that respect is similar to the bombyxin gene of the silkworm. During the spawning period, only enough relaxin could be extracted and isolated from gonads of C. intestinalis for a partial sequence analysis. Remarkable as it may be, these findings suggest that relaxin is identical in pigs, whales, and the tunicate C. intestinalis.

  19. Distinct community dynamics at two artificial habitats in a recreational marina.

    PubMed

    Oricchio, Felipe T; Pastro, Gabriela; Vieira, Edson A; Flores, Augusto A V; Gibran, Fernando Z; Dias, Gustavo M

    2016-12-01

    Man-made facilities along coastlines modify water circulation and sedimentation dynamics which can affect the structure of marine benthic and pelagic communities. To test how environmental heterogeneity associated with a recreational marina affects the structure of the fouling community and the benthic-pelagic link, we conducted an experiment in which predation effects on recruitment and community structure were assessed in two artificial habitats: inside the marina, an area of calm waters and often disturbed by boating activity, and the breakwater, a more hydrodynamic area. Using visual censuses and video footages we also described the predation pressure and the identity of predators on the two areas. Inside the marina, the recruitment of ascidians and serpulids, but not of bryozoans, was restricted in some occasions, possibly due to reduced water circulation. Predation, mainly by the silver porgy fish Diplodus argenteus, reduced the survivor of didemnid ascidians on both areas, but predation intensity was 40 times higher in the breakwater than inside the marina. While the two artificial habitats did not necessarily support distinct communities, low recruitment coupled to weak predation inside the marina, a less dynamic environment, likely imply lower resilience and more susceptibility to disturbance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Early Chordate Origin of the Vertebrate Integrin αI Domains

    PubMed Central

    Chouhan, Bhanupratap Singh; Käpylä, Jarmo; Denessiouk, Konstantin; Denesyuk, Alexander; Heino, Jyrki; Johnson, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Half of the 18 human integrins α subunits have an inserted αI domain yet none have been observed in species that have diverged prior to the appearance of the urochordates (ascidians). The urochordate integrin αI domains are not human orthologues but paralogues, but orthologues of human αI domains extend throughout later-diverging vertebrates and are observed in the bony fish with duplicate isoforms. Here, we report evidence for orthologues of human integrins with αI domains in the agnathostomes (jawless vertebrates) and later diverging species. Sequence comparisons, phylogenetic analyses and molecular modeling show that one nearly full-length sequence from lamprey and two additional fragments include the entire integrin αI domain region, have the hallmarks of collagen-binding integrin αI domains, and we show that the corresponding recombinant proteins recognize the collagen GFOGER motifs in a metal dependent manner, unlike the α1I domain of the ascidian C. intestinalis. The presence of a functional collagen receptor integrin αI domain supports the origin of orthologues of the human integrins with αI domains prior to the earliest diverging extant vertebrates, a domain that has been conserved and diversified throughout the vertebrate lineage. PMID:25409021

  1. The history of a developmental stage: metamorphosis in chordates.

    PubMed

    Paris, Mathilde; Laudet, Vincent

    2008-11-01

    Metamorphosis displays a striking diversity in chordates, a deuterostome phylum that comprises vertebrates, urochordates (tunicates), and cephalochordates (amphioxus). In anuran amphibians, the tadpole loses its tail, develops limbs, and undergoes profound changes at the behavioral, physiological, biochemical, and ecological levels. In ascidian tunicates, the tail is lost and the head tissues are drastically remodeled into the adult animal, whereas in amphioxus, the highly asymmetric larva transforms into a relatively symmetric adult. This wide diversity has led to the proposal that metamorphosis evolved several times independently in the different chordate lineages during evolution. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in metamorphosis are largely unknown outside amphibians and teleost fishes, in which metamorphosis is regulated by the thyroid hormones (TH) T3 and T4 binding to their receptors (thyroid hormone receptors). In this review, we compare metamorphosis in chordates and then propose a unifying definition of the larva-to-adult transition, based on the conservation of the role of THs and some of their derivatives as the main regulators of metamorphosis. According to this definition, all chordates (if not, all deuterostomes) have a homologous metamorphosis stage during their postembryonic development. The intensity and the nature of the morphological remodeling varies extensively among taxa, from drastic remodeling like in some ascidians or amphibians to more subtle events, as in mammals. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Seasonal, annual, and spatial variation in the development of hard bottom communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, J.; Anger, K.

    1983-06-01

    The development of hard bottom communities has been studied on test panels in Helgoland Harbour (German Bight) since 1977. Settlement and growth of epibenthic species was examined monthly. Natural variation in different seasons, years, and at three stations (the latter, only in 1981 and 1982) was investigated. At Station A (Binnenhafen), barnacles (Balanus crenatus) and polychaetes (Polydora ciliata) were always among the first settlers in spring. They were followed by other barnacles (Elminius modestus, Balanus improvisus) and by colonial ascidians (Botryllus schlosseri). The latter species often dominated from August to October, and tended to overgrow the barnacle populations. E. modestus showed strong annual variation, probably due to extremely low winter temperatures: after the cold winter of 1978/79, its populations were less dense than in previous years. In 1981 they recovered, and settlement increased again, but the cold winter 1981/82 damaged the population again. At Station B (Nordosthafen), mussels (Mytilus edulis) soon covered barnacles and empty space. By October they had monopolized the fouling community. At Station C (Südhafen), barnacle settlement in spring was followed by an overgrowth of hydrozoans ( Laomedea spec.). In summer, ascidians ( Ciona intestinalis and Ascidiella aspersa) settled and began to dominate. Barnacles were weaker in the competition for space as opposed to later colonizers at all three stations.

  5. Expression of a single prominin homolog in the embryo of the model chordate Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Russo, Monia T; Racioppi, Claudia; Zanetti, Laura; Ristoratore, Filomena

    2014-05-01

    Prominins are a family of pentaspan transmembrane glycoproteins, expressed in various types of cells, including stem and cancer stem cells in mammals. Prominin-1 is critical in generating and maintaining the structure of the photoreceptors in the eye since mutations in the PROM1 gene are associated with retinal and macular degeneration in human. In this study, we identified a single prominin homolog, Ci-prom1/2, in the model chordate the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and characterized Ci-prom1/2 expression profile in relation to photoreceptor differentiation during Ciona embryonic development. In situ hybridization experiments show Ci-prom1/2 transcripts localized in the developing central nervous system, predominantly in photoreceptor cell precursors as early as neurula stage and expression is maintained through larva stage in photoreceptor cells around the simple eye. We also isolated the regulatory region responsible for the specific spatio-temporal expression of the Ci-prom1/2 in photoreceptor cell lineage. Collectively, we report that Ci-prom1/2 is a novel molecular marker for ascidian photoreceptor cells and might represent a potential source to enlarge the knowledge about the function of prominin family in photoreceptor cell evolution and development.

  6. The Ciona intestinalis immune-related galectin genes (CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b) are expressed by the gastric epithelium.

    PubMed

    Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Vizzini, Aiti; Testasecca, Lelia; Parrinello, Nicolò; Cammarata, Matteo

    2017-03-01

    The transcription of two Ciona intestinalis galectin genes (CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b) is uparegulated by LPS in the pharynxis (hemocytes, vessel epithelium, endostilar zones) which is retained the main organ of the immunity. In this ascidian, for the first time we show, by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization methods, that these two immune-related genes are expressed in the gastric epithelium of naïve ascidians, whereas the galectins appear to be only contained in the intestine columnar epithelium. In addition, according to previous results on the pharynx, the genes are also expressed and galectins produced by hemocytes scattered in the connective tissue surrounding the gut. The genes expression and galectin localization in several tissues, including the previous findings on the transcription upregulation, the constitutive expression of these genes by endostylar zones and by the gastric epithelium suggest a potential multifunctional role of these galectins. In this respect, it is of interest to define where the CiLgals are normally found as related to the tissue functions. Such an approach should be a starting point for further investigations.

  7. Chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferases are required for cell adhesion and morphogenesis in the Ciona intestinalis embryo.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Jun; Tetsukawa, Akira; Fujiwara, Shigeki

    2015-01-01

    Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a carbohydrate component of proteoglycans. Several types of sulfotransferases determine the pattern of CS sulfation, and thus regulate the biological functions of proteoglycans. The protochordate ascidians are the closest relatives of vertebrates, but the functions of their sulfotransferases have not been investigated. Here, we show that two chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferases (C4STs) play important roles in the embryonic morphogenesis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ci-C4ST-like1 is predominantly expressed in the epidermis and muscle. Epidermal and muscle cells became spherical upon the injection of a Ci-C4ST-like1-specific morpholino oligo (MO), thus suggesting weakened cell adhesion. Co-injection of a Ci-C4ST-like1-expressing transgene rescued the phenotype, suggesting that the effects of the MO were specific. Ci-C4ST-like3 was expressed in the central nervous system, muscle, and mesenchyme. A specific MO appeared to affect cell adhesion in the epidermis and muscle. Convergent extension movement of notochordal cells was also impaired. Forced expression of Ci-C4ST-like3 restored normal morphogenesis, suggesting that the effects of the MO were specific. The present study suggests that Ci-C4ST-like1 and Ci-C4ST-like3 are required for cell adhesion mainly in the epidermis and muscle.

  8. Tunic phagocytes are involved in allorejection reaction in the colonial tunicate Aplidium yamazii (Polyclinidae, Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Ishii, Teruhisa; Hirose, Euichi; Taneda, Yasuho

    2008-04-01

    The colonial ascidian Aplidium yamazii exhibited an allorejection reaction when two allogeneic colonies were brought into contact at their growing edges or at artificial cut surfaces. This species has no vascular network in the tunic, unlike the botryllid ascidians, which have a vascular network throughout the colony's common tunic. In the allorejection reaction induced by contact at the growing edges, some small, hard-packed tunic masses were formed at the contact points. Histological and electron microscopic investigation of these tunic masses revealed that they contained aggregates of tunic cells, with tunic phagocytes being the major cell type present. Some of the tunic phagocytes in these tunic masses appeared to be disintegrating. When allogeneic colonies were placed in contact at their artificial cut surfaces, the colonies partially fused, then separated. In this allorejection reaction, some loosely packed tunic masses remained in the gap between the two withdrawn colonies. These results strongly suggest that the tunic phagocytes are likely to be the major effector cells in the allorejection reaction. We also propose that the tunic phagocytes are not only the effector cells in the allorejection reaction but also bear the sites of allorecognition.

  9. Looking at both sides of the invasion: patterns of colonization in the violet tunicate Botrylloides violaceus.

    PubMed

    Bock, D G; Zhan, A; Lejeusne, C; MacIsaac, H J; Cristescu, M E

    2011-02-01

    Understanding the ecological and evolutionary forces that shape the genetic structure of invasive populations and facilitate their expansion across a large spectrum of environments is critical for the prediction of spread and management of ongoing invasions. Here, we study the dynamics of postestablishment colonization in the colonial ascidian Botrylloides violaceus, a notorious marine invader. After its initial introduction from the Northwest Pacific, B. violaceus spread rapidly along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America, impacting both aquaculture facilities and natural ecosystems. We compare genetic diversity and patterns of gene flow among 25 populations (N=679) from the West and East coasts, and evaluate the contribution of sexual vs. asexual reproduction to this species' invasion success using data from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene and 13 nuclear polymorphic microsatellite loci. Our results reveal contrasting patterns of spread in the coastal waters of North America. While the West coast was colonized by noncontiguous (long-distance) dispersal, the East coast invasion appears to have occurred through contiguous (stepping-stone) spread. Molecular data further indicate that although dispersal in colonial ascidians is predominantly achieved through sexually produced propagules, aquaculture practices such as high-pressure washing can facilitate fragmentation and potentially exacerbate infestations and spread via asexual propagules. The results presented here suggest that caution should be used against the general assumption that all invasions, even within a single species, exhibit similar patterns of colonization, as highly contrasting dynamics may transpire in different invaded ranges.

  10. Immunohistochemical study of the nervous system of the tunicate Thalia democratica (Forsskal, 1775).

    PubMed

    Pennati, R; Dell'Anna, A; Zega, G; De Bernardi, F

    2012-04-20

    Thalia democratica is a cosmopolitan tunicate belonging to the Thaliacea class. To further investigate the anatomy of this species, immunohistochemical labelling was performed using anti-tubulin and anti-serotonin antibodies on specimens collected in the Mediterranean Sea. The anti-tubulin antibody stained the cilia of the endostyle, the pericoronal bands and of the gill bar, enabling a detailed description of these structures. Moreover, immunolabelling of the nervous system showed the presence of eight pairs of nerve fibres emerging from the neural ganglion. Serotonergic cells were observed in the distal tract of the intestine, along the pericoronal bands, and in the placenta of gravid blastozooids, as well as in the neural ganglion. The presence of serotonin in the central nervous system has also been reported in the larvae of ascidians and may be linked to the planktonic life of these animals, a condition shared by adult thaliaceans and ascidian larvae. This work improves our knowledge of the anatomy of T. democratica and demonstrates the presence of a complex serotonergic system.

  11. 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.

  12. IPE 7

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A description is given of the collection and treatment of samples of Prochloron cells. The cells of Prochloron were obtained and prepared in the following way. Colonies of the symbiotic host, the giant didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella, were collected at low-tide level on reef-flat sand between Kamori Island and Koror, Palau, Western Caroline Islands. The animal colonies were taken, immersed in sea water, to an 8,000-litre holding tank and kept with constantly running sea water at 30 deg. Individual colonies were picked clean of contaminants, rinsed in sea water buffered with 40 nM or 100 mM Tris buffer at pH 8.4, and squeezed by hand to express the algal cells from the cloacal atria. The algae were received in about an equal volume of the same buffered sea water; this neutralized the acids liberated by the bruised ascidians and thereby maintained the Ph high enough to keep the algal cells green. The Prochloron cells were washed twice with buffered sea water and concentrated by centrifugation at about 50 g for 90 seconds. Microscopic examination revealed that contamination by animal host cells or bacteria was negligible (much less than 1%).

  13. 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.

  14. Cyanobacterial Diversity and a New Acaryochloris-Like Symbiont from Bahamian Sea-Squirts

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21915246

  15. 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.

  16. Expression of the amphioxus Pit-1 gene (AmphiPOU1F1/Pit-1) exclusively in the developing preoral organ, a putative homolog of the vertebrate adenohypophysis.

    PubMed

    Candiani, Simona; Holland, Nicholas D; Oliveri, Diana; Parodi, Manuela; Pestarino, Mario

    2008-03-18

    For the Florida amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae), the full-length sequence and developmental expression of AmphiPOU1F1/Pit-1 are described. This gene, which is present in a single copy in the genome, is homologous to Pit-1 genes of vertebrates that play key roles in the development of the adenohypophysis. During amphioxus development, AmphiPOU1F1/Pit-1 transcripts are limited to Hatschek's left diverticulum and the larval tissue developing from it--namely the concave portion of the preoral organ. No other expression domains for this gene were detected during embryonic and larval development. From data currently available for hemichordates, amphioxus and ascidians, the best supported homologs for the vertebrate adenohypophysis are the preoral ciliary organ of hemichordates, preoral organ/Hatschek's pit of amphioxus and the neural gland/duct complex of ascidians. Better insights into pituitary evolution will require additional information: for invertebrate deuterostomes, more of the key pituitary genes in hemichordates and tunicates need to be studied; for the more basal groups vertebrates, it will be important to determine whether the source of the adenohypophysis is endodermal or ectodermal and to demonstrate what, if any, contribution mesodermal head coeloms might make to the developing pituitary.

  17. Vanadium-Binding Ability of Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase from the Vanadium-Rich Fan Worm, Pseudopotamilla occelata.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Nobuo; Yoshinaga, Masafumi; Kamino, Kei; Ueki, Tatsuya

    2016-06-01

    Polychaete fan worms and ascidians accumulate high levels of vanadium ions. Several vanadiumbinding proteins, known as vanabins, have been found in ascidians. However, no vanadium-binding factors have been isolated from the fan worm. In the present study, we sought to identify vanadiumbinding proteins in the branchial crown of the fan worm using immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography. A nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDK) homolog was isolated and determined to be a vanadium-binding protein. Kinase activity of the NDK homologue, PoNDK, was suppressed by the addition of V(IV), but was unaffected by V(V). The effect of V(IV) on PoNDK precedes its activation by Mg(II). This is the first report to describe the relationship between NDK and V(IV). PoNDK is located in the epidermis of the branchial crown, and its distribution is very similar to that of vanadium. These results suggest that PoNDK is associated with vanadium accumulation and metabolism in P. occelata.

  18. Screening for antibacterial and antifungal activities in marine benthic invertebrates from northern Norway.

    PubMed

    Tadesse, Margey; Gulliksen, Bjørn; Strøm, Morten B; Styrvold, Olaf B; Haug, Tor

    2008-11-01

    Benthic marine invertebrates collected from sub-Arctic regions of northern Norway, were found to be a promising source of novel bioactive compounds against human and fish pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Lyophilized material from seven species of ascidians, six sponges and one soft alcyonid coral were extracted with 60% acidified acetonitrile (ACN). After separation into an ACN-rich phase (ACN-extract) and an aqueous phase, and subsequent solid-phase extraction of the aqueous phase, fractions differing in polarity were obtained and screened for antibacterial and antifungal activities, along with the more lipophilic ACN-extracts. Antimicrobial activity was determined against two gram-negative, two gram-positive bacteria, and two strains of fungi. Notably, all the invertebrate species in the study showed activity against all four strains of bacteria and the two strains of fungi. In general, the aqueous fractions displayed highest antimicrobial activity, and the most potent extracts were obtained from the colonial ascidian Synoicum pulmonaria which displayed activity against bacteria and fungi at a concentration of 0.02 mg/ml; the lowest concentration tested.

  19. Precraniate origin of cranial motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Dufour, Héloïse D.; Chettouh, Zoubida; Deyts, Carole; de Rosa, Renaud; Goridis, Christo; Joly, Jean-Stéphane; Brunet, Jean-François

    2006-01-01

    The craniate head is innervated by cranial sensory and motor neurons. Cranial sensory neurons stem from the neurogenic placodes and neural crest and are seen as evolutionary innovations crucial in fulfilling the feeding and respiratory needs of the craniate “new head.” In contrast, cranial motoneurons that are located in the hindbrain and motorize the head have an unclear phylogenetic status. Here we show that these motoneurons are in fact homologous to the motoneurons of the sessile postmetamorphic form of ascidians. The motoneurons of adult Ciona intestinalis, located in the cerebral ganglion and innervating muscles associated with the huge “branchial basket,” express the transcription factors CiPhox2 and CiTbx20, whose vertebrate orthologues collectively define cranial motoneurons of the branchiovisceral class. Moreover, Ciona's postmetamorphic motoneurons arise from a hindbrain set aside during larval life and defined as such by its position (caudal to the prosensephalic sensory vesicle) and coexpression of CiPhox2 and CiHox1, whose orthologues collectively mark the vertebrate hindbrain. These data unveil that the postmetamorphic ascidian brain, assumed to be a derived feature, in fact corresponds to the vertebrate hindbrain and push back the evolutionary origin of cranial nerves to before the origin of craniates. PMID:16735475

  20. Eukaryotic UDP-galactopyranose mutase (GLF gene) in microbial and metazoal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Beverley, Stephen M; Owens, Katherine L; Showalter, Melissa; Griffith, Cara L; Doering, Tamara L; Jones, Victoria C; McNeil, Michael R

    2005-06-01

    Galactofuranose (Gal(f)) is a novel sugar absent in mammals but present in a variety of pathogenic microbes, often within glycoconjugates that play critical roles in cell surface formation and the infectious cycle. In prokaryotes, Gal(f) is synthesized as the nucleotide sugar UDP-Gal(f) by UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) (gene GLF). Here we used a combinatorial bioinformatics screen to identify a family of candidate eukaryotic GLFs that had previously escaped detection. GLFs from three pathogens, two protozoa (Leishmania major and Trypanosoma cruzi) and one fungus (Cryptococcus neoformans), had UGM activity when expressed in Escherichia coli and assayed in vivo and/or in vitro. Eukaryotic GLFs are closely related to each other but distantly related to prokaryotic GLFs, showing limited conservation of core residues around the substrate-binding site and flavin adenine dinucleotide binding domain. Several eukaryotes not previously investigated for Gal(f) synthesis also showed strong GLF homologs with conservation of key residues. These included other fungi, the alga Chlamydomonas and the algal phleovirus Feldmannia irregularis, parasitic nematodes (Brugia, Onchocerca, and Strongyloides) and Caenorhabditis elegans, and the urochordates Halocynthia and Cionia. The C. elegans open reading frame was shown to encode UGM activity. The GLF phylogenetic distribution suggests that Gal(f) synthesis may occur more broadly in eukaryotes than previously supposed. Overall, GLF/Gal(f) synthesis in eukaryotes appears to occur with a disjunct distribution and often in pathogenic species, similar to what is seen in prokaryotes. Thus, UGM inhibition may provide an attractive drug target in those eukaryotes where Gal(f) plays critical roles in cellular viability and virulence.

  1. Incremental evolution of the neural crest, neural crest cells and neural crest-derived skeletal tissues

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Brian K; Gillis, J Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Urochordates (ascidians) have recently supplanted cephalochordates (amphioxus) as the extant sister taxon of vertebrates. Given that urochordates possess migratory cells that have been classified as ‘neural crest-like’– and that cephalochordates lack such cells – this phylogenetic hypothesis may have significant implications with respect to the origin of the neural crest and neural crest-derived skeletal tissues in vertebrates. We present an overview of the genes and gene regulatory network associated with specification of the neural crest in vertebrates. We then use these molecular data – alongside cell behaviour, cell fate and embryonic context – to assess putative antecedents (latent homologues) of the neural crest or neural crest cells in ascidians and cephalochordates. Ascidian migratory mesenchymal cells – non-pigment-forming trunk lateral line cells and pigment-forming ‘neural crest-like cells’ (NCLC) – are unlikely latent neural crest cell homologues. Rather, Snail-expressing cells at the neural plate of border of urochordates and cephalochordates likely represent the extent of neural crest elaboration in non-vertebrate chordates. We also review evidence for the evolutionary origin of two neural crest-derived skeletal tissues – cartilage and dentine. Dentine is a bona fide vertebrate novelty, and dentine-secreting odontoblasts represent a cell type that is exclusively derived from the neural crest. Cartilage, on the other hand, likely has a much deeper origin within the Metazoa. The mesodermally derived cellular cartilages of some protostome invertebrates are much more similar to vertebrate cartilage than is the acellular ‘cartilage-like’ tissue in cephalochordate pharyngeal arches. Cartilage, therefore, is not a vertebrate novelty, and a well-developed chondrogenic program was most likely co-opted from mesoderm to the neural crest along the vertebrate stem. We conclude that the neural crest is a vertebrate novelty, but that neural

  2. Incremental evolution of the neural crest, neural crest cells and neural crest-derived skeletal tissues.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K; Gillis, J Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Urochordates (ascidians) have recently supplanted cephalochordates (amphioxus) as the extant sister taxon of vertebrates. Given that urochordates possess migratory cells that have been classified as 'neural crest-like'- and that cephalochordates lack such cells--this phylogenetic hypothesis may have significant implications with respect to the origin of the neural crest and neural crest-derived skeletal tissues in vertebrates. We present an overview of the genes and gene regulatory network associated with specification of the neural crest in vertebrates. We then use these molecular data--alongside cell behaviour, cell fate and embryonic context--to assess putative antecedents (latent homologues) of the neural crest or neural crest cells in ascidians and cephalochordates. Ascidian migratory mesenchymal cells--non-pigment-forming trunk lateral line cells and pigment-forming 'neural crest-like cells' (NCLC)--are unlikely latent neural crest cell homologues. Rather, Snail-expressing cells at the neural plate of border of urochordates and cephalochordates likely represent the extent of neural crest elaboration in non-vertebrate chordates. We also review evidence for the evolutionary origin of two neural crest-derived skeletal tissues--cartilage and dentine. Dentine is a bona fide vertebrate novelty, and dentine-secreting odontoblasts represent a cell type that is exclusively derived from the neural crest. Cartilage, on the other hand, likely has a much deeper origin within the Metazoa. The mesodermally derived cellular cartilages of some protostome invertebrates are much more similar to vertebrate cartilage than is the acellular 'cartilage-like' tissue in cephalochordate pharyngeal arches. Cartilage, therefore, is not a vertebrate novelty, and a well-developed chondrogenic program was most likely co-opted from mesoderm to the neural crest along the vertebrate stem. We conclude that the neural crest is a vertebrate novelty, but that neural crest cells and their

  3. 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.

  4. Mycalamide A Shows Cytotoxic Properties and Prevents EGF-Induced Neoplastic Transformation through Inhibition of Nuclear Factors

    PubMed Central

    Dyshlovoy, Sergey A.; Fedorov, Sergey N.; Kalinovsky, Anatoly I.; Shubina, Larisa K.; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Stonik, Valentin A.; Honecker, Friedemann

    2012-01-01

    Mycalamide A, a marine natural compound previously isolated from sponges, is known as a protein synthesis inhibitor with potent antitumor activity. However, the ability of this compound to prevent malignant transformation of cells has never been examined before. Here, for the first time, we report the isolation of mycalamide A from ascidian Polysincraton sp. as well as investigation of its cancer preventive properties. In murine JB6 Cl41 P+ cells, mycalamide A inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced neoplastic transformation, and induced apoptosis at subnanomolar or nanomolar concentrations. The compound inhibited transcriptional activity of the oncogenic nuclear factors AP-1 and NF-κB, a potential mechanism of its cancer preventive properties. Induction of phosphorylation of the kinases MAPK p38, JNK, and ERK was also observed at high concentrations of mycalamide A. The drug shows promising potential for both cancer-prevention and cytotoxic therapy and should be further developed. PMID:22822368

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. Reduction of vanadium(V) to vanadium(IV) by NADPH, and vanadium(IV) to vanadium(III) by cysteine methyl ester in the presence of biologically relevant ligands.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammad K; Tsuboya, Chieko; Kusaka, Hiroko; Aizawa, Sen-ichi; Ueki, Tatsuya; Michibata, Hitoshi; Kanamori, Kan

    2007-08-01

    To better understand the mechanism of vanadium reduction in ascidians, we examined the reduction of vanadium(V) to vanadium(IV) by NADPH and the reduction of vanadium(IV) to vanadium(III) by L-cysteine methyl ester (CysME). UV-vis and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopic studies indicated that in the presence of several biologically relevant ligands vanadium(V) and vanadium(IV) were reduced by NADPH and CysME, respectively. Specifically, NADPH directly reduced vanadium(V) to vanadium(IV) with the assistance of ligands that have a formation constant with vanadium(IV) of greater than 7. Also, glycylhistidine and glycylaspartic acid were found to assist the reduction of vanadium(IV) to vanadium(III) by CysME.

  8. 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.

  9. Allotopic expression of a mitochondrial alternative oxidase confers cyanide resistance to human cell respiration.

    PubMed

    Hakkaart, Gerrit A J; Dassa, Emmanuel P; Jacobs, Howard T; Rustin, Pierre

    2006-03-01

    Human mitochondrial respiration is distinct from that of most plants, microorganisms and even some metazoans in that it reduces molecular oxygen only through the highly cyanide-sensitive enzyme cytochrome c oxidase. Here we show that expression of the cyanide-insensitive alternative oxidase (AOX), recently identified in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, is well tolerated by cultured human cells and confers spectacular cyanide resistance to mitochondrial substrate oxidation. The expressed AOX seems to be confined to mitochondria. AOX involvement in electron flow is triggered by a highly reduced redox status of the respiratory chain (RC) and enhanced by pyruvate; otherwise, the enzyme remains essentially inactive. AOX expression promises to be a valuable tool to limit the deleterious consequences of RC deficiency in human cells and whole animals.

  10. Allotopic expression of a mitochondrial alternative oxidase confers cyanide resistance to human cell respiration

    PubMed Central

    Hakkaart, Gerrit A J; Dassa, Emmanuel P; Jacobs, Howard T; Rustin, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    Human mitochondrial respiration is distinct from that of most plants, microorganisms and even some metazoans in that it reduces molecular oxygen only through the highly cyanide-sensitive enzyme cytochrome c oxidase. Here we show that expression of the cyanide-insensitive alternative oxidase (AOX), recently identified in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, is well tolerated by cultured human cells and confers spectacular cyanide resistance to mitochondrial substrate oxidation. The expressed AOX seems to be confined to mitochondria. AOX involvement in electron flow is triggered by a highly reduced redox status of the respiratory chain (RC) and enhanced by pyruvate; otherwise, the enzyme remains essentially inactive. AOX expression promises to be a valuable tool to limit the deleterious consequences of RC deficiency in human cells and whole animals. PMID:16322757

  11. Guidelines for the Nomenclature of Genetic Elements in Tunicate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Sasakura, Yasunori; Chalopin, Domitille; Satou, Yutaka; Christiaen, Lionel; Dantec, Christelle; Endo, Toshinori; Naville, Magali; Nishida, Hiroki; Swalla, Billie J.; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Voskoboynik, Ayelet; Dauga, Delphine; Lemaire, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Summary Tunicates are invertebrate members of the chordate phylum, and are considered to be the sister group of vertebrates. Tunicates are composed of ascidians, thaliaceans, and appendicularians. With the advent of inexpensive high-throughput sequencing, the number of sequenced tunicate genomes is expected to rise sharply within the coming years. To facilitate comparative genomics within the tunicates, and between tunicates and vertebrates, standardized rules for the nomenclature of tunicate genetic elements need to be established. Here we propose a set of nomenclature rules, consensual within the community, for predicted genes, pseudogenes, transcripts, operons, transcriptional cis-regulatory regions, transposable elements, and transgenic constructs. In addition, the document proposes guidelines for naming transgenic and mutant lines. PMID:25220678

  12. State-of-art methodology of marine natural products chemistry: structure determination with extremely small sample amounts.

    PubMed

    Murata, M; Oishi, T; Yoshida, M

    2006-01-01

    Structure elucidation studies on natural products are reviewed emphasizing extremely small sample amounts. Previous studies on insect pheromones, periplanones, and bean-originating kairomones, glycinoeclepins, are described briefly. Recent examples are selected from marine natural products such as ciguatoxin, dolastatin-3, and aurisides. A more detailed description is given of a sperm-activating and attracting factor (SAAF), which may be the smallest sample amount used in the structure elucidation of novel non-peptidic natural products. SAAF was isolated from the eggs of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, and its structure was deduced with only approximately 4 microg (6 nmol) of sample. Based upon the proposed structure, two epimers were synthesized from chenodeoxycholic acid in 17 steps, leading to the identification of SAAF as a novel sterol sulfate.

  13. The CNS connectome of a tadpole larva of Ciona intestinalis (L.) highlights sidedness in the brain of a chordate sibling.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Kerrianne; Lu, Zhiyuan; Meinertzhagen, Ian A

    2016-12-06

    Left-right asymmetries in brains are usually minor or cryptic. We report brain asymmetries in the tiny, dorsal tubular nervous system of the ascidian tadpole larva, Ciona intestinalis. Chordate in body plan and development, the larva provides an outstanding example of brain asymmetry. Although early neural development is well studied, detailed cellular organization of the swimming larva's CNS remains unreported. Using serial-section EM we document the synaptic connectome of the larva's 177 CNS neurons. These formed 6618 synapses including 1772 neuromuscular junctions, augmented by 1206 gap junctions. Neurons are unipolar with at most a single dendrite, and few synapses. Some synapses are unpolarised, others form reciprocal or serial motifs; 922 were polyadic. Axo-axonal synapses predominate. Most neurons have ciliary organelles, and many features lack structural specialization. Despite equal cell numbers on both sides, neuron identities and pathways differ left/right. Brain vesicle asymmetries include a right ocellus and left coronet cells.

  14. Identification of a retinoic acid-responsive neural enhancer in the Ciona intestinalis Hox1 gene.

    PubMed

    Kanda, Miyuki; Ikeda, Taku; Fujiwara, Shigeki

    2013-02-01

    The Hox1 gene in the urochordate ascidian Ciona intestinalis (Ci-Hox1) is expressed in the nerve cord and epidermis. We identified a nerve cord enhancer in the second intron of Ci-Hox1, and demonstrated that retinoic acid (RA) plays a major role in activating this enhancer. The enhancer contained a putative retinoic acid-response element (RARE). Mutation of the RARE in the Ci-Hox1 nerve cord enhancer only partially abolished the enhancer activity. Genes encoding RA synthase and the RA receptor were knocked down using specific antisense morpholino oligos (MOs), and injection of embryos with these MOs resulted in the complete disappearance of epidermal expression of Ci-Hox1 and reduction of neural expression. However, nerve cord expression was not completely repressed. These results suggest that the nerve cord enhancer is activated by two partially redundant pathways; one RA-dependent and one RA-independent.

  15. Population dynamics and reproductive patterns of boltenia echinata (Ascidicea) on the Swedish west coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svane, I.; Lundälv, T.

    Two populations of Boltenia echinata on the Swedish west coast were studied over a 10-year period by stereo-photographic recording of subtidal, vertical rock wallsat a depth of 20 m. Supplemental sampling was carried out over a one-year period. On the sheltered population decreased in numbers with an explosive increase in Ciona intestinalis. Another, exposed population displayed a similar response at the increase of annual ascidians ( Ascidiella scabra, A. aspersa and Corella parallelogramma). Variations in recruitment were influenced by interference competition, while adults were affected to a lesser extent. Recruitment and mortality at the exposed locality were twice as high as at the sheltered locality whereas the mean annual mortality pattern was similar. Adult mortality was related to physical factors (mainly temperature), imposing stresses of different magnitudes on the two populations. Settling and recruitment was observed throghout the year. No relation was found between the presence of incubating embryos or larvae in the atrial cavity and settling.

  16. Upregulated transcription of phenoloxidase genes in the pharynx and endostyle of Ciona intestinalis in response to LPS.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Trapani, Maria Rosa; Mangano, Valentina; Parrinello, Nicolò; Cammarata, Matteo

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the role of phenoloxidases (POs) in ascidians inflammatory reaction, a components of a copper-containing protein family involved in invertebrate immune system. In Ciona intestinalis two phenoloxidases (CinPO-1, CinPO-2) have been sequenced. In the present study, real time PCR analysis showed that both CinPO-1 and CinPO-2 genes were modulated by LPS inoculation suggesting that they are inducible and highly expressed in the inflamed pharynx. In situ hybridization disclosed CinPO-1 and CinPO-2 transcripts in pharynx hemocytes (granulocytes) and, mainly, in unilocular refractile granulocytes (URG) which mainly populated the inflamed tunic matrix. Interestingly, the genes are also upregulated by LPS in the endostyle (zones 7, 8 and 9) that is considered homolog to the vertebrate thyroid.

  17. Ciona intestinalis interleukin 17-like genes expression is upregulated by LPS challenge.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Di Falco, Felicia; Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Mazzarella, Claudia; Parrinello, Nicolò; Cammarata, Matteo

    2015-01-01

    In humans, IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a key role in the clearance of extracellular bacteria promoting cell infiltration and production of several cytokines and chemokines. Here, we report on three Ciona intestinalis IL-17 homologues (CiIL17-1, CiIL17-2, CiIL17-3). The gene organization, phylogenetic tree and modeling supported the close relationship with the mammalian IL-17A and IL-17F suggesting that the C. intestinalis IL-17 genes share a common ancestor in the chordate lineages. Real time PCR analysis showed a prompt expression induced by LPS inoculation suggesting that they are involved in the first phase of inflammatory response. In situ hybridization assays disclosed that the genes transcription was upregulated in the pharynx, the main organ of the ascidian immune system, and expressed by hemocytes (granulocytes and univacuolar refractile granulocyte) inside the pharynx vessels.

  18. 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

  19. An Early Cambrian tunicate from China.

    PubMed

    Shu, D G; Chen, L; Han, J; Zhang, X L

    2001-05-24

    Like the Burgess Shales of Canada, the Chengjiang Lagerstätte from the Lower Cambrian of China is renowned for the detailed preservation as fossils of delicate, soft-bodied creatures, providing an insight into the Cambrian explosion. The fossils of possible hemichordate chordates and vertebrates have attracted particular attention. Tunicates, or urochordates, comprise the most basal chordate clade, and details of their evolution could be important in understanding the sequence of character acquisition that led to the emergence of chordates and vertebrates. However, definitive fossils of tunicates from the Cambrian are scarce or debatable. Here we report a probable tunicate Cheungkongella ancestralis from the Chengjiang fauna. It resembles the extant ascidian tunicate genus Styela whose morphology could be useful in understanding the origin of the vertebrates.

  20. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Hu, Wan-Ping; Munro, Murray H G; Northcote, Peter T; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2009-02-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2007 for marine natural products, with 948 citations(627 for the period January to December 2007) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green algae, brown algae, red algae, sponges, cnidarians,bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms and true mangrove plants. The emphasis is on new compounds (961 for 2007), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included.1 Introduction, 2 Reviews, 3 Marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, 4 Green algae, 5 Brown algae, 6 Red algae, 7 Sponges, 8 Cnidarians, 9 Bryozoans, 10 Molluscs, 11 Tunicates (ascidians),12 Echinoderms, 13 Miscellaneous, 14 Conclusion, 15 References.

  1. Bistratamides M and N, Oxazole-Thiazole Containing Cyclic Hexapeptides Isolated from Lissoclinum bistratum Interaction of Zinc (II) with Bistratamide K.

    PubMed

    Urda, Carlos; Fernández, Rogelio; Rodríguez, Jaime; Pérez, Marta; Jiménez, Carlos; Cuevas, Carmen

    2017-07-01

    Two novel oxazole-thiazole containing cyclic hexapeptides, bistratamides M (1) and N (2) have been isolated from the marine ascidian Lissoclinum bistratum (L. bistratum) collected in Raja Ampat (Papua Bar, Indonesia). The planar structure of 1 and 2 was assigned on the basis of extensive 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The absolute configuration of the amino acid residues in 1 and 2 was determined by the application of the Marfey's and advanced Marfey's methods after ozonolysis followed by acid-catalyzed hydrolysis. The interaction between zinc (II) and the naturally known bistratamide K (3), a cyclic hexapeptide isolated from a different specimen of Lissoclinum bistratum, was monitored by ¹H and (13)C NMR. The results obtained are consistent with the proposal that these peptides are biosynthesized for binding to metal ions. Compounds 1 and 2 display moderate cytotoxicity against four human tumor cell lines with GI50 values in the micromolar range.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24217373

  5. 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

  6. Phallusiasterols A and B: two new sulfated sterols from the Mediterranean tunicate Phallusia fumigata and their effects as modulators of the PXR receptor.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; D'Aniello, Filomena; Aiello, Anna; Fiorucci, Stefano; D'Amore, Claudio; Sepe, Valentina; Menna, Marialuisa

    2014-04-03

    Purification of the apolar extracts of the marine ascidian Phallusia fumigata, afforded two new sulfated sterols, phallusiasterols A (1) and B (2). The structures of the new compounds have been elucidated using mass spectrometry and NMR experiments. The effects of phallusiasterols A and B as modulators of pregnane-X-receptor (PXR) have been investigated. These studies revealed that phallusiasterol A induces PXR transactivation in HepG2 cells and stimulates the expression of the PXR target genes CYP3A4 and MDR1 in the same cell line. Molecular docking calculations suggested the theoretical binding mode of phallusiasterol A with hPXR and revealed that phallusiasterol A fitted well in the LBD of PXR.

  7. Guidelines for the nomenclature of genetic elements in tunicate genomes.

    PubMed

    Stolfi, Alberto; Sasakura, Yasunori; Chalopin, Domitille; Satou, Yutaka; Christiaen, Lionel; Dantec, Christelle; Endo, Toshinori; Naville, Magali; Nishida, Hiroki; Swalla, Billie J; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Voskoboynik, Ayelet; Dauga, Delphine; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Tunicates are invertebrate members of the chordate phylum, and are considered to be the sister group of vertebrates. Tunicates are composed of ascidians, thaliaceans, and appendicularians. With the advent of inexpensive high-throughput sequencing, the number of sequenced tunicate genomes is expected to rise sharply within the coming years. To facilitate comparative genomics within the tunicates, and between tunicates and vertebrates, standardized rules for the nomenclature of tunicate genetic elements need to be established. Here we propose a set of nomenclature rules, consensual within the community, for predicted genes, pseudogenes, transcripts, operons, transcriptional cis-regulatory regions, transposable elements, and transgenic constructs. In addition, the document proposes guidelines for naming transgenic and mutant lines.

  8. Whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization staining of the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Langenbacher, Adam D; Rodriguez, Delany; Di Maio, Alessandro; De Tomaso, Anthony W

    2015-01-01

    Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial ascidian with characteristics that make it an attractive model for studying immunology, stem cell biology, evolutionary biology, and regeneration. Transcriptome sequencing and the recent completion of a draft genome sequence for B. schlosseri have revealed a large number of genes, both with and without vertebrate homologs, but analyzing the spatial and temporal expression of these genes in situ has remained a challenge. Here, we report a robust protocol for in situ hybridization that enables the simultaneous detection of multiple transcripts in whole adult B. schlosseri using Tyramide Signal Amplification in conjunction with digoxigenin- and dinitrophenol-labeled RNA probes. Using this protocol, we have identified a number of genes that can serve as markers for developing and mature structures in B. schlosseri, permitting analysis of phenotypes induced in loss-of-function experiments.

  9. Cyclic peptide marine metabolites and CuII.

    PubMed

    Comba, Peter; Dovalil, Nina; Gahan, Lawrence R; Hanson, Graeme R; Westphal, Michael

    2014-02-07

    Cyclic pseudo-peptides derived from marine metabolites of the genus Lissoclinum bistratum and Lissoclinum patella have attracted scientific interest in the last two decades. Their structural properties and solution dynamics have been analyzed in detail, elaborate synthetic procedures for the natural products and synthetic derivatives developed, the biosynthetic pathways studied and it now is possible to produce them biosynthetically. Initially, these macrocyclic ligands were studied due to their medicinal and pharmaceutical potential - some of the isolated cyclic pseudo-peptides show high cytotoxic and antiviral activity. A major focus in the last decade has been on their Cu(II) coordination chemistry, as a number of studies have indicated that dinuclear Cu(II) complexes of cyclic peptides may be involved in the ascidians' metabolism, and this is the focus of the present review.

  10. Marine metabolites: metal binding and metal complexes of azole-based cyclic peptides of marine origin.

    PubMed

    Bertram, Anna; Pattenden, Gerald

    2007-02-01

    Azole-based cyclic peptides found in ascidians ("sea squirts") of the genus Lissoclinum have a high propensity to chelate metal ions. This Highlight summarises the current evidence for marine cyclic peptide-metal congruence, and the structural and stereochemical features in cyclic peptides which seem necessary to facilitate metal complexation. The biological relevance of the metal ions in these associations, including their possible role in the assembly of cyclic peptides in the marine milieu, is also briefly considered. Finally, the synthesis of natural, and some novel non-natural, azole-based cyclic peptides from the cyclooligomerisation and assembly of azole-based amino acids, including in the presence of metal ions, is presented.

  11. Tunicate cytokine-like molecules and their involvement in host defense responses.

    PubMed

    Raftos, D; Nair, S

    2004-01-01

    Tunicates (ascidians or sea squirts) are a large group of invertebrate chordates that are closely related to vertebrates. Their critical phylogenetic position has stimulated substantial interest in their host defense ("immune") responses. Whilst this interest has generated a wealth of knowledge regarding the humoral and cellular mechanisms that undertake defensive responses, there is less known about the regulation of those reactions. This chapter focuses on three cellular responses (cell proliferation, phagocytosis and chemotaxis) that are known to be regulated by cytophilic humoral molecules. Some of the humoral factors that affect these responses have functional and physicochemical similarities to vertebrate cytokines, like interleukin-1. However, the only regulatory molecules that have been characterized at a molecular level bear far greater similarity to C-type lectins or complement components.

  12. The Buproridae Thorell, 1859, a family of ascidicolous copepods (Copepoda: Cyclopoida).

    PubMed

    Marchenkov, Andrey; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2002-11-01

    The adult female of Buprorus loveni Thorell, 1859, a cyclopoid copepod inhabiting the branchial cavities of solitary ascidians, is redescribed in detail from new material collected in Scandinavian waters and from the southern part of the North Atlantic off Mauritania. The antennal segmentation pattern exhibited by all seven subfamilies of the family Ascidicolidae Thorell, 1860 is compared. The segmentation of the Buprorinae is different from that of all other subfamilies within the ascidicolid series. It is concluded that the antenna of Buprorus is not an appropriate model for interpreting the segmentation of other ascidicolids because the Buprorinae is the only subfamily in which the first and second endopodal segments are primitively fused and the third is distinct. The Buproridae Thorell, 1859 is here treated as a separate family within the Cyclopoida.

  13. Clinical marine toxicology: a European perspective for clinical toxicologists and poison centers.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Corinne; De Haro, Luc

    2013-08-02

    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.

  14. Phallusiasterols A and B: Two New Sulfated Sterols from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata and Their Effects as Modulators of the PXR Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Imperatore, Concetta; D’Aniello, Filomena; Aiello, Anna; Fiorucci, Stefano; D’Amore, Claudio; Sepe, Valentina; Menna, Marialuisa

    2014-01-01

    Purification of the apolar extracts of the marine ascidian Phallusia fumigata, afforded two new sulfated sterols, phallusiasterols A (1) and B (2). The structures of the new compounds have been elucidated using mass spectrometry and NMR experiments. The effects of phallusiasterols A and B as modulators of pregnane-X-receptor (PXR) have been investigated. These studies revealed that phallusiasterol A induces PXR transactivation in HepG2 cells and stimulates the expression of the PXR target genes CYP3A4 and MDR1 in the same cell line. Molecular docking calculations suggested the theoretical binding mode of phallusiasterol A with hPXR and revealed that phallusiasterol A fitted well in the LBD of PXR. PMID:24705503

  15. Did the first chordates organize without the organizer?

    PubMed

    Kourakis, Matthew J; Smith, William C

    2005-09-01

    Models of vertebrate development frequently portray the organizer as acting on a largely unpatterned embryo to induce major components of the body plan, such as the neural plate and somites. Recent experiments examining the molecular and genetic basis of major inductive events of vertebrate embryogenesis force a re-examination of this view. These newer observations, along with a proposed revised fate map for the frog Xenopus laevis, suggest a possible reconciliation between the seemingly disparate mechanisms present in the ontogeny of the common chordate body plan of vertebrate and invertebrate chordates. Here, we review data from vertebrates and from an ascidian urochordate and propose that the organizer was not present at the base of the chordate lineage, but could have been a later innovation in the lineage leading to vertebrates, where its role was more permissive than instructive.

  16. Marine Molecular Machines: Heterocyclization in Cyanobactin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, John A.

    2012-01-01

    Natural products that contain amino acid-derived (Cys, Ser, Thr) heterocycles are ubiquitous in nature, yet key aspects of their biosynthesis remain undefined. Cyanobactins are heterocyclic ribosomal peptide natural products from cyanobacteria, including symbiotic bacteria living with marine ascidians. In contrast to other ribosomal peptide heterocyclases that have been studied, the cyanobactin heterocyclase is a single protein that does not require an oxidase enzyme. Using this simplifying condition, we provide new evidence to support the hypothesis that these enzymes are molecular machines, using ATP in a product binding or orientation cycle. Further, we show that both protease inhibitors and ATP analogues inhibit heterocyclization and define the order of biochemical steps in the cyanobactin biosynthetic pathway. The cyanobactin pathway enzymes, PatD and TruD, are thiazoline and oxazoline synthetases. PMID:20540059

  17. Brackish habitat dictates cultivable Actinobacterial diversity from marine sponges

    PubMed Central

    Chanana, Shaurya; Adnani, Navid; Szachowicz, Emily; Braun, Doug R.; Harper, Mary Kay; Wyche, Thomas P.; Bugni, Tim S.

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial communities associated with marine invertebrates such as sponges and ascidians have demonstrated potential as sources of bio-medically relevant small molecules. Metagenomic analysis has shown that many of these invertebrates harbor populations of Actinobacteria, many of which are cultivable. While some populations within invertebrates are transmitted vertically, others are obtained from the environment. We hypothesized that cultivable diversity from sponges living in brackish mangrove habitats have associations with Actinobacterial populations that differ from those found in clear tropical waters. In this study, we analyzed the cultivable Actinobacterial populations from sponges found in these two distinct habitats with the aim of understanding the secondary metabolite potential. Importantly, we wanted to broadly evaluate the potential differences among these groups to guide future Actinobacterial collection strategies for the purposes of drug discovery. PMID:28692665

  18. Regulation of cell differentiation by Eph receptor and ephrin signaling

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, David G

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that in addition to having major roles in morphogenesis, in some tissues Eph receptor and ephrin signaling regulates the differentiation of cells. In one mode of deployment, cell contact dependent Eph-ephrin activation induces a distinct fate of cells at the interface of their expression domains, for example in early ascidian embryos and in the vertebrate hindbrain. In another mode, overlapping Eph receptor and ephrin expression underlies activation within a cell population, which promotes or inhibits cell differentiation in bone remodelling, neural progenitors and keratinocytes. Eph-ephrin activation also contributes to formation of the appropriate number of progenitor cells by increasing or decreasing cell proliferation. These multiple roles of Eph receptor and ephrin signaling may enable a coupling between morphogenesis and the differentiation and proliferation of cells. PMID:25482623

  19. 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.

  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. The significance of Ciona intestinalis as a stem organism in integrative studies of functional evolution of the chordate endocrine, neuroendocrine, and nervous systems.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Shin; Kawada, Tsuyoshi; Sakai, Tsubasa; Aoyama, Masato; Osugi, Tomohiro; Shiraishi, Akira; Satake, Honoo

    2016-02-01

    Ascidians are the closest phylogenetic neighbors to vertebrates and are believed to conserve the evolutionary origin in chordates of the endocrine, neuroendocrine, and nervous systems involving neuropeptides and peptide hormones. Ciona intestinalis harbors various homologs or prototypes of vertebrate neuropeptides and peptide hormones including gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs), tachykinins (TKs), and calcitonin, as well as Ciona-specific neuropeptides such as Ciona vasopressin, LF, and YFV/L peptides. Moreover, molecular and functional studies on Ciona tachykinin (Ci-TK) have revealed the novel molecular mechanism of inducing oocyte growth via up-regulation of vitellogenesis-associated protease activity, which is expected to be conserved in vertebrates. Furthermore, a series of studies on Ciona GnRH receptor paralogs have verified the species-specific regulation of GnRHergic signaling including unique signaling control via heterodimerization among multiple GnRH receptors. These findings confirm the remarkable significance of ascidians in investigations of the evolutionary processes of the peptidergic systems in chordates, leading to the promising advance in the research on Ciona peptides in the next stage based on the recent development of emerging technologies including genome-editing techniques, peptidomics-based multi-color staining, machine-learning prediction, and next-generation sequencing. These technologies and bioinformatic integration of the resultant "multi-omics" data will provide unprecedented insights into the comprehensive understanding of molecular and functional regulatory mechanisms of the Ciona peptides, and will eventually enable the exploration of both conserved and diversified endocrine, neuroendocrine, and nervous systems in the evolutionary lineage of chordates. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. High-precision morphology: bifocal 4D-microscopy enables the comparison of detailed cell lineages of two chordate species separated for more than 525 million years.

    PubMed

    Stach, Thomas; Anselmi, Chiara

    2015-12-23

    Understanding the evolution of divergent developmental trajectories requires detailed comparisons of embryologies at appropriate levels. Cell lineages, the accurate visualization of cleavage patterns, tissue fate restrictions, and morphogenetic movements that occur during the development of individual embryos are currently available for few disparate animal taxa, encumbering evolutionarily meaningful comparisons. Tunicates, considered to be close relatives of vertebrates, are marine invertebrates whose fossil record dates back to 525 million years ago. Life-history strategies across this subphylum are radically different, and include biphasic ascidians with free swimming larvae and a sessile adult stage, and the holoplanktonic larvaceans. Despite considerable progress, notably on the molecular level, the exact extent of evolutionary conservation and innovation during embryology remain obscure. Here, using the innovative technique of bifocal 4D-microscopy, we demonstrate exactly which characteristics in the cell lineages of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata and the larvacean Oikopleura dioica were conserved and which were altered during evolution. Our accurate cell lineage trees in combination with detailed three-dimensional representations clearly identify conserved correspondence in relative cell position, cell identity, and fate restriction in several lines from all prospective larval tissues. At the same time, we precisely pinpoint differences observable at all levels of development. These differences comprise fate restrictions, tissue types, complex morphogenetic movement patterns, numerous cases of heterochronous acceleration in the larvacean embryo, and differences in bilateral symmetry. Our results demonstrate in extraordinary detail the multitude of developmental levels amenable to evolutionary innovation, including subtle changes in the timing of fate restrictions as well as dramatic alterations in complex morphogenetic movements. We anticipate that the

  3. Automated detection of ncRNAs in the draft genome sequence of a colonial tunicate: the carpet sea squirt Didemnum vexillum.

    PubMed

    Velandia-Huerto, Cristian A; Gittenberger, Adriaan A; Brown, Federico D; Stadler, Peter F; Bermúdez-Santana, Clara I

    2016-08-30

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum vexillum, sea carpet squirt, is not only a key marine organism to study morphological ancestral patterns of chordates evolution but it is also of great ecological importance due to its status as a major invasive species. Non-coding RNAs, in particular microRNAs (miRNAs), are important regulatory genes that impact development and environmental adaptation. Beyond miRNAs, not much in known about tunicate ncRNAs. We provide here a comprehensive homology-based annotation of non-coding RNAs in the recently sequenced genome of D. vexillum. To this end we employed a combination of several computational approaches, including blast searches with a wide range of parameters, and secondary structured centered survey with infernal. The resulting candidate set was curated extensively to produce a high-quality ncRNA annotation of the first draft of the D. vexillum genome. It comprises 57 miRNA families, 4 families of ribosomal RNAs, 22 isoacceptor classes of tRNAs (of which more than 72 % of loci are pseudogenes), 13 snRNAs, 12 snoRNAs, and 1 other RNA family. Additionally, 21 families of mitochondrial tRNAs and 2 of mitochondrial ribosomal RNAs and 1 long non-coding RNA. The comprehensive annotation of the D. vexillum non-coding RNAs provides a starting point towards a better understanding of the restructuring of the small RNA system in ascidians. Furthermore it provides a valuable research for efforts to establish detailed non-coding RNA annotations for other recently published and recently sequences in tunicate genomes.

  4. Intracellular proteinases of invertebrates: calcium-dependent and proteasome/ubiquitin-dependent systems.

    PubMed

    Mykles, D L

    1998-01-01

    Cytosolic proteinases carry out a variety of regulatory functions by controlling protein levels and/or activities within cells. Calcium-dependent and ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent pathways are common to all eukaryotes. The former pathway consists of a diverse group of Ca(2+)-dependent cysteine proteinases (CDPs; calpains in vertebrate tissues). The latter pathway is highly conserved and consists of ubiquitin, ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, deubiquitinases, and the proteasome. This review summarizes the biochemical properties and genetics of invertebrate CDPs and proteasomes and their roles in programmed cell death, stress responses (heat shock and anoxia), skeletal muscle atrophy, gametogenesis and fertilization, development and pattern formation, cell-cell recognition, signal transduction and learning, and photoreceptor light adaptation. These pathways carry out bulk protein degradation in the programmed death of the intersegmental and flight muscles of insects and of individuals in a colonial ascidian; molt-induced atrophy of crustacean claw muscle; and responses of brine shrimp, mussels, and insects to environmental stress. Selective proteolysis occurs in response to specific signals, such as in modulating protein kinase A activity in sea hare and fruit fly associated with learning; gametogenesis, differentiation, and development in sponge, echinoderms, nematode, ascidian, and insects; and in light adaptation of photoreceptors in the eyes of squid, insects, and crustaceans. Proteolytic activities and specificities are regulated through proteinase gene expression (CDP isozymes and proteasomal subunits), allosteric regulators, and posttranslational modifications, as well as through specific targeting of protein substrates by a diverse assemblage of ubiquitin-conjugases and deubiquitinases. Thus, the regulation of intracellular proteolysis approaches the complexity and versatility of transcriptional and translational mechanisms.

  5. Synthesis of libraries of thiazole, oxazole and imidazole-based cyclic peptides from azole-based amino acids. A new synthetic approach to bistratamides and didmolamides.

    PubMed

    Bertram, Anna; Maulucci, Nakia; New, Olivia M; Mohd Nor, Siti Mariam; Pattenden, Gerald

    2007-05-21

    Treatment of a 1 : 1 mixture of the thiazole-based amino acids 8a and 8b with FDPP-i-Pr(2)NEt in CH(3)CN gave a mixture of the cyclic trimers 14, 15, 16 and 17 and the cyclic tetramers 19 and 23 in the ratio 2 : 7 : 5 : 8 : 1 : 1 and in a combined yield of 70%. Separate coupling reactions between the bisimidazole amino acid 45 and the thiazole/oxazole amino acids 43a and 42a in the presence of FDPP-i-Pr(2)NEt led to the bisimidazole based cyclic trimers 55 and 57 respectively (54-57%) and to the cyclic tetramer 56 (8-11%). Similar coupling reactions involving the bisthiazole and bisoxazole amino acids 49 and 47 with the imidazole/oxazole/thiazole amino acids 41a, 42a and 43a gave rise to the library of oxazole, thiazole and imidazole-based cyclic peptides 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65. A coupling reaction between the bisthiazole amino acid 49 and the oxazole amino acid 73 led to an efficient (36% overall) synthesis of bistratamide H (67) found in the ascidian Lissoclinum bistratum. Coupling reactions involving oxazolines with thiazole amino acids were less successful. Thus, a coupling reaction between the phenylalanine-based oxazoline amino acid 71a and either the thiazole amino acid 8a or the bisthiazole amino acid 74 gave only a 2% yield of the cyclic hexapeptide didmolamide A (4) found in the ascidian Didemnum molle. Didmolamide B (68) was obtained in 9% yield from a coupling reaction between 74 and the phenylalanine threonine amino acid 72, using either FDPP or DPPA.

  6. The role of vanadium in the chemical defense of the solitary tunicate, Phallusia nigra.

    PubMed

    Odate, Shobu; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2007-03-01

    Ascidians (sea squirts) may defend themselves from predators, biofouling competitors, and bacterial infection by producing secondary metabolites or sequestering acid, but many species also accumulate heavy metals, most notably vanadium. The defensive functions of heavy metals in ascidians remain unclear, and to this end, the solitary Caribbean tunicate, Phallusia nigra, was studied to localize vanadium in its tissues and to assess the defensive properties of vanadium-containing compounds. As determined by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy, the internal tissues and blood contained the highest vanadium concentrations (mean values of 2280 and 1886 ppm dry mass, respectively), followed by the tunic surface (871 ppm dry mass). Results of laboratory feeding assays with the bluehead wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum, confirmed outcomes of past studies that demonstrated that vanadyl sulfate (VOSO4.6H20) and sodium vanadate (Na3VO4) were unpalatable to fish, although these salts do not accurately reflect the chelation environment or oxidation state of vanadium in living tunicates. Fresh preparations of whole tunic, internal tissues, and blood were unpalatable to fish, but freezing and thawing of internal tissues and blood rendered them palatable. Crude organic extracts of whole tunic and internal tissues contained vanadium metabolites (225 and 750 ppm dry mass, respectively) and were palatable to T. bifasciatum; crude extracts also exhibited no antimicrobial effects against a panel of four marine bacteria known to be pathogens of marine invertebrates (Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio harveyi, Leucothrix mucor, and Deleya marina). Nonacidic vanadium (+3) complexes neither deterred predation nor inhibited microbial growth, whereas acidic aqua vanadium (+3 and +4) complexes were unpalatable to 7 bifasciatum and exhibited antimicrobial activity. Difficulties in decoupling low pH from oxidation state and chelation environment of vanadium prevent definitive conclusions about the

  7. 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

  8. Real-time PCR detection of Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot, 1983) and Didemnum vexillum (Kott, 2002) in an applied routine marine biosecurity context.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Tiffany J S; Dias, P Joana; Snow, Michael; Muñoz, Julieta; Berry, Tina

    2017-05-01

    Prevention and early detection are well recognized as the best strategies for minimizing the risks posed by nonindigenous species (NIS) that have the potential to become marine pests. Central to this is the ability to rapidly and accurately identify the presence of NIS, often from complex environmental samples like biofouling and ballast water. Molecular tools have been increasingly applied to assist with the identification of NIS and can prove particularly useful for taxonomically difficult groups like ascidians. In this study, we have developed real-time PCR assays suited to the specific identification of the ascidians Didemnum perlucidum and Didemnum vexillum. Despite being recognized as important global pests, this is the first time specific molecular detection methods have been developed that can support the early identification and detection of these species from a broad range of environmental sample types. These fast, robust and high-throughput assays represent powerful tools for routine marine biosecurity surveillance, as detection and confirmation of the early presence of species could assist in the timely establishment of emergency responses and control strategies. This study applied the developed assays to confirm the ability to detect Didemnid eDNA in water samples. While previous work has focused on detection of marine larvae from water samples, the development of real-time PCR assays specifically aimed at detecting eDNA of sessile invertebrate species in the marine environment represents a world first and a significant step forwards in applied marine biosecurity surveillance. Demonstrated success in the detection of D. perlucidum eDNA from water samples at sites where it could not be visually identified suggests value in incorporating such assays into biosecurity survey designs targeting Didemnid species. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Presence of the tunicate Asterocarpa humilis on ship hulls and aquaculture facilities in the coast of the Biobío Region, south central Chile.

    PubMed

    Pinochet, Javier; Leclerc, Jean-Charles; Brante, Antonio; Daguin-Thiébaut, Claire; Díaz, Christian; Tellier, Florence; Viard, Frédérique

    2017-01-01

    Non-native ascidians are important members of the fouling community associated with artificial substrata and man-made structures. Being efficient fouling species, they are easily spread by human-mediated transports (e.g., with aquaculture trade and maritime transports). This is exemplified by the ascidian Asterocarpa humilis which displays a wide distribution in the Southern Hemisphere and has been recently reported in the Northern Hemisphere (NW Europe). In continental Chile, its first report dates back from 2000 for the locality of Antofagasta (23°S). Although there was no evidence about the vectors of introduction and spread, nor the source, some authors suggested maritime transport by ship hulls and aquaculture devices as putative introduction pathways and vectors. In the present study, we report for the first time the presence of A. humilis on the hull of an international ship in a commercial port in Concepción bay (36°S), south central Chile. We also found one individual associated to a seashell farm, 70 km far from Concepción bay. Further individuals were subsequently identified within Concepción bay: one juvenile settled upon international harbor pilings and a dozen individuals along aquaculture seashell longlines. For the first specimens sampled, species identification was ascertained using both morphological criteria and molecular barcoding, using the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and a nuclear gene (ribosomal RNA 18S). The nuclear 18S gene and the mitochondrial gene COI clearly assigned the specimens to A. humilis, confirming our morphological identification. Two haplotypes were obtained with COI corresponding to haplotypes previously obtained with European and Northern Chilean specimens. The present study thus reports for the first time the presence of A. humilis in the Araucanian ecoregion, documenting the apparent expansion of this non-native tunicate in Chile over 2,000 km, spanning over three ecoregions. In addition

  10. Presence of the tunicate Asterocarpa humilis on ship hulls and aquaculture facilities in the coast of the Biobío Region, south central Chile

    PubMed Central

    Pinochet, Javier; Leclerc, Jean-Charles; Brante, Antonio; Daguin-Thiébaut, Claire; Díaz, Christian; Viard, Frédérique

    2017-01-01

    Non-native ascidians are important members of the fouling community associated with artificial substrata and man-made structures. Being efficient fouling species, they are easily spread by human-mediated transports (e.g., with aquaculture trade and maritime transports). This is exemplified by the ascidian Asterocarpa humilis which displays a wide distribution in the Southern Hemisphere and has been recently reported in the Northern Hemisphere (NW Europe). In continental Chile, its first report dates back from 2000 for the locality of Antofagasta (23°S). Although there was no evidence about the vectors of introduction and spread, nor the source, some authors suggested maritime transport by ship hulls and aquaculture devices as putative introduction pathways and vectors. In the present study, we report for the first time the presence of A. humilis on the hull of an international ship in a commercial port in Concepción bay (36°S), south central Chile. We also found one individual associated to a seashell farm, 70 km far from Concepción bay. Further individuals were subsequently identified within Concepción bay: one juvenile settled upon international harbor pilings and a dozen individuals along aquaculture seashell longlines. For the first specimens sampled, species identification was ascertained using both morphological criteria and molecular barcoding, using the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and a nuclear gene (ribosomal RNA 18S). The nuclear 18S gene and the mitochondrial gene COI clearly assigned the specimens to A. humilis, confirming our morphological identification. Two haplotypes were obtained with COI corresponding to haplotypes previously obtained with European and Northern Chilean specimens. The present study thus reports for the first time the presence of A. humilis in the Araucanian ecoregion, documenting the apparent expansion of this non-native tunicate in Chile over 2,000 km, spanning over three ecoregions. In addition

  11. Computational analysis of Ciona intestinalis operons.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Robert W

    2010-07-01

    Operons are clusters of genes that are co-regulated from a common promoter. Operons are typically associated with prokaryotes, although a small number of eukaryotes have been shown to possess them. Among metazoans, operons have been extensively characterized in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in which ∼15% of the total genes are organized into operons. The most recent genome assembly for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis placed ∼20% of the genes (2909 total) into 1310 operons. The majority of these operons are composed of two genes, while the largest are composed of six. Here is reported a computational analysis of the genes that comprise the Ciona operons. Gene ontology (GO) terms were identified for about two-thirds of the operon-encoded genes. Using the extensive collection of public EST libraries, estimates of temporal patterns of gene expression were generated for the operon-encoded genes. Lastly, conservation of operons was analyzed by determining how many operon-encoded genes were present in the ascidian Ciona savignyi and whether these genes were organized in orthologous operons. Over 68% of the operon-encoded genes could be assigned one or more GO terms and 697 of the 1310 operons contained genes in which all genes had at least one GO term. Of these 697 operons, GO terms were shared by all of the genes within 146 individual operons, suggesting that most operons encode genes with unrelated functions. An analysis of operon gene expression from nine different EST libraries indicated that for 587 operons, all of the genes that comprise an individual operon were expressed together in at least one EST library, suggesting that these genes may be co-regulated. About 50% (74/146) of the operons with shared GO terms also showed evidence of gene co-regulation. Comparisons with the C. savignyi genome identified orthologs for 1907 of 2909 operon genes. About 38% (504/1310) of the operons are conserved between the two Ciona species. These results suggest that like

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Epibenthic and mobile species colonisation of a geotextile artificial surf reef on the south coast of England.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Roger J H; Collins, Ken; Mallinson, Jenny; Hall, Alice E; Pegg, Josephine; Ross, Kathryn; Clarke, Leo; Clements, Tom

    2017-01-01

    With increasing coastal infrastructure and use of novel materials there is a need to investigate the colonisation of assemblages associated with new structures, how these differ to natural and other artificial habitats and their potential impact on regional biodiversity. The colonisation of Europe's first artificial surf reef (ASR) was investigated at Boscombe on the south coast of England (2009-2014) and compared with assemblages on existing natural and artificial habitats. The ASR consists of geotextile bags filled with sand located 220m offshore on a sandy sea bed at a depth of 0-5m. Successional changes in epibiota were recorded annually on differently orientated surfaces and depths using SCUBA diving and photography. Mobile faunal assemblages were sampled using Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). Distinct stages in colonisation were observed, commencing with bryozoans and green algae which were replaced by red algae, hydroids and ascidians, however there were significant differences in assemblage structure with depth and orientation. The reef is being utilised by migratory, spawning and juvenile life-history stages of fish and invertebrates. The number of non-native species was larger than on natural reefs and other artificial habitats and some occupied a significant proportion of the structure. The accumulation of 180 benthic and mobile taxa, recorded to date, appears to have arisen from a locally rich and mixed pool of native and non-native species. Provided no negative invasive impacts are detected on nearby protected reefs the creation of novel yet diverse habitats may be considered a beneficial outcome.

  1. Formation of the digestive tract in Ciona intestinalis includes two distinct morphogenic processes between its anterior and posterior parts.

    PubMed

    Nakazawa, Keiichi; Yamazawa, Takumi; Moriyama, Yuuta; Ogura, Yosuke; Kawai, Narudo; Sasakura, Yasunori; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2013-10-01

    In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the digestive tract, an essential system for animals, develops during metamorphosis from the two primordial tissues, the endoderm and endodermal strand, located in the larval trunk and tail, respectively. However, it has been largely unknown how the digestive tract develops from these primordial tissues. We examined the metamorphosing larvae for the tubular formation of the digestive tract, focusing on the epithelial organization of the endoderm, by combined confocal microscopy and computational rendering. The tubular structure of the esophagus to the stomach was formed through the folding and closure of the endodermal epithelia in the central-to-right posterior trunk. By contrast, the intestine was formed in the left posterior trunk through the accumulation and rearrangement of the cells originated from the endodermal strand. This was confirmed by the cell-tracing experiment using Kaede expression construct driven in the endodermal strand. Thus, the tubular formation of the digestive tract in C. intestinalis includes distinct morphogenetic processes and cell lineages between its anterior and posterior parts. This study provides the first detailed description of the digestive tract morphogenesis in C. intestinalis and serves as an important basis toward thorough understanding of its digestive tract development. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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.

  3. Water-borne sperm trigger vitellogenic egg growth in two sessile marine invertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, J D; Manríquez, P H; Hughes, R N

    2000-01-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Marine actinobacteria associated with marine organisms and their potentials in producing pharmaceutical natural products.

    PubMed

    Valliappan, Karuppiah; Sun, Wei; Li, Zhiyong

    2014-09-01

    Actinobacteria are ubiquitous in the marine environment, playing an important ecological role in the recycling of refractory biomaterials and producing novel natural products with pharmic applications. Actinobacteria have been detected or isolated from the marine creatures such as sponges, corals, mollusks, ascidians, seaweeds, and seagrass. Marine organism-associated actinobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, i.e., 3,003 sequences, deposited in the NCBI database clearly revealed enormous numbers of actinobacteria associated with marine organisms. For example, RDP classification of these sequences showed that 112 and 62 actinobacterial genera were associated with the sponges and corals, respectively. In most cases, it is expected that these actinobacteria protect the host against pathogens by producing bioactive compounds. Natural products investigation and functional gene screening of the actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms revealed that they can synthesize numerous natural products including polyketides, isoprenoids, phenazines, peptides, indolocarbazoles, sterols, and others. These compounds showed anticancer, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, neurological, antioxidant, and anti-HIV activities. Therefore, marine organism-associated actinobacteria represent an important resource for marine drugs. It is an upcoming field of research to search for novel actinobacteria and pharmaceutical natural products from actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms. In this review, we attempt to summarize the present knowledge on the diversity and natural products production of actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms, based on the publications from 1991 to 2013.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Nodal signaling and the evolution of deuterostome gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Chea, Helen K; Wright, Christopher V; Swalla, Billie J

    2005-10-01

    Chordates, including vertebrates, evolved within a group of animals called the deuterostomes. All holoblastic deuterostomes gastrulate at the vegetal pole and the blastopore becomes the anus, while a mouth is formed at the anterior or to the oral side. Nodal is a member of the TGF-beta superfamily of signaling molecules that are important in signaling between cells during many embryonic processes in vertebrate embryos. Nodal has also been found in other invertebrate deuterostomes, such as ascidians and sea urchins, but, so far, is missing in protostomes. Nodal has been shown to be particularly important in determining left-right asymmetries in vertebrate embryos, but less information is available for its developmental role in the invertebrate deuterostomes. We review gastrulation in the deuterostomes, then examine nodal expression early during mesoderm formation and later during the establishment of asymmetries in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Nodal is expressed asymmetrically on the left side in chordates and on the presumptive oral side of the embryo in echinoid echinoderms. The expression of nodal is in different germ layers in embryos of different phyla. Expression is in the ectoderm in most of the invertebrate deuterostomes, and in the mesoderm in vertebrates. We summarize the work that has been published to date, especially nodal expression in the invertebrate deuterostomes, and suggest future experiments to better understand the evolution of nodal signaling and deuterostome gastrulation.

  12. Ultrastructure of sperm, spermiogenesis, and sperm-egg interactions in selected invertebrates and lower vertebrates which use external fertilization.

    PubMed

    Koch, R A; Lambert, C C

    1990-10-01

    This review discusses the ultrastructure of sperm with reference to their development, the surface morphology of the egg, and the processes of sperm binding and penetration during fertilization. These topics are treated for selected invertebrates and lower vertebrates which live in aquatic environments and fertilize their eggs externally. Specifically, sperm eggs from cnidarians, echinoderms, decapod crustaceans, ascidians, lampreys, bony fishes, and amphibians are discussed. Sperm from the majority of these groups exhibit the classical head-midregion-tail configuration characteristic of primitive sperm. Specific variations within this general morphology have been described. The notable exceptions to the primitive-sperm paradigm are the sperm of decapod crustaceans and amphibians. Eggs from all of the animals considered are covered by complex vitelline envelopes except those of cnidarians. In general, the ultrastructural analysis of these egg envelopes shows that they are composed of fibrous subunits. Sperm bind to the vitelline envelope and then penetrate through it to fertilize the egg in all groups reviewed except fishes. In sperm ultrastructure which occur during penetration of the egg envelopes in both flagellated and non-flagellated sperm. These changes, which involve membrane fusion and reorganization as well as movement of membranous organelles, aid the sperm in reaching the actual site of gamete fusion.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. A rapid assessment survey of invasive species of macrobenthic invertebrates in Korean waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Chul; Kim, Sung-Tae; Hong, Jae-Sang; Choi, Keun-Hyung

    2017-06-01

    Introduced species are a growing and imminent threat to living marine resources in parts of the world's oceans. The present study is a rapid assessment survey of invasive macrobenthic invertebrate species in Korean ports. We surveyed over 40 ports around Korea during the period of May 2010 March 2013. Among the sampling sites were concrete walls, docks and associated floats, bumpers, tires, and ropes which might harbor non-native species. We found 15 invasive species as follows: one Sponge, two Bryozoans, three Mollusks, one Polychaete, four Cirripedes, and four Ascidians. Three morphologically similar species, namely X. atrata, M. galloprovincialis, and X. securis were further examined for distinctions in their morphology. Although they could be reasonably distinguished based on shell shapes, significant overlap was noted so that additional analysis may be required to correctly distinguish them. Although many of the introduced species have already spread to all three coastal areas, newly arrived invasive species showed a relatively restricted range, with a serpulid polychaete Ficopomatus enigmaticus and a mytilid bivalve Xenostrobus securis found only at a few sites on the East Coast. An exception is for Balanus perforatus, which has rapidly colonized the East coast of Korea following its introduction into the region. Successful management of invasive macrobenthic invertebrates should be established in order to contain the spread of these newly arrived species.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Retinoid storage in the egg of reptiles and birds.

    PubMed

    Irie, Toshiaki; Sugimoto, Tamiko; Ueki, Nobuo; Senoo, Haruki; Seki, Takaharu

    2010-09-01

    Storage of retinal has been confirmed in eggs from a range of anamniotic vertebrates (teleosts and amphibians) and an ascidian, but the retinoid-storage state in eggs of oviparous amniotic vertebrates (reptiles and birds) has yet to be clarified in detail. We studied four reptilian and five avian species and found that retinal was commonly stored in their egg yolk. Furthermore, retinal was the major retinoid in reptilian eggs, with only low levels of retinol, whereas significant amounts of retinol as well as retinal were stored in avian eggs. In both reptilian and avian eggs, retinal was commonly bound to proteins, which were assumed to be homologous to the proteins that bind retinal in the eggs of anamniotic vertebrates. Despite the common storage state of retinal, retinol would be bound to different proteins. In the reptilian eggs, retinol was found in the yolk-granule fraction, which also contained retinal. However, retinol in avian eggs was found largely in the yolk-plasma fraction, separate from retinal. These results suggest that retinol storage in avian eggs acquired after the divergence of birds from the reptiles, while retinal storage was acquired before the appearance of the vertebrates, and has subsequently been conserved during evolution of oviparous vertebrates. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Bioactive peptides and depsipeptides with anticancer potential: sources from marine animals.

    PubMed

    Suarez-Jimenez, Guadalupe-Miroslava; Burgos-Hernandez, Armando; Ezquerra-Brauer, Josafat-Marina

    2012-05-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Investigation of Indolglyoxamide and Indolacetamide Analogues of Polyamines as Antimalarial and Antitrypanosomal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiayi; Kaiser, Marcel; Copp, Brent R.

    2014-01-01

    Pure compound screening has previously identified the indolglyoxylamidospermidine ascidian metabolites didemnidine A and B (2 and 3) to be weak growth inhibitors of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC50 59 and 44 μM, respectively) and Plasmodium falciparum (K1 dual drug resi