Science.gov

Sample records for marine algal neurotoxin

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

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian

    2010-03-01

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

  2. Tropical marine neurotoxins: venoms to drugs.

    PubMed

    Watters, Michael R

    2005-09-01

    Neurotoxic venoms are common among tropical marine creatures, which have specialized apparatuses for delivery of the venoms. These include jellyfish and anemones, venomous cone snails, venomous fish, stingrays, sea snakes, and venomous octopuses. Numerous toxic neuropeptides are found within these venoms, and some can discriminate between closely related intracellular targets, a characteristic that makes them useful to define cation channels and attractive for drug development. A synthetic derivative of an omega-conotoxin is now available, representing a new class of analgesics. In general, toxic marine venoms contain proteins that are heat labile, providing opportunity for therapeutic intervention following envenomation, while ingestible seafood toxins are thermostable toxins. Ingestible toxins found in the tropics include those associated with reef fish, pufferfish, and some shellfish, which serve as food-chain vectors for toxins produced by marine microorganisms.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian; McLeod, Catherine

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-01-01

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

  7. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Noel Vinay; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-11

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

  10. Comparison of the Qwiklite algal bioluminescence test with marine algal growth rate inhibition bioassays.

    PubMed

    Stauber, Jenny L; Binet, Monique T; Bao, Vivien W W; Boge, Jenny; Zhang, Amy Q; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Adams, Merrin S

    2008-10-01

    Although marine algal bioassays based on growth rate inhibition over 72-96 h have been widely used to assess the toxicity of contaminants in waters and sediments, changes in pH over the test duration can lead to changes in contaminant speciation and consequently an under- or over-estimation of toxicity. In addition, high cell densities are used in order to obtain a detectable response, further reducing the tests' environmental relevance in marine waters. There is a need for rapid acute tests with ecologically relevant test endpoints that may be used as surrogates for longer-term chronic tests. This study compares the sensitivity and reproducibility of a rapid marine dinoflagellate (Pyrocystis lunula) bioluminescence test (QwikLite) with standard algal growth rate bioassays (Nitzschia closterium and Entomoneis c.f. punctulata) using ammonia and several antifouling agents (tributyltin [TBT], copper, and diuron) as reference toxicants. QwikLite was of similar sensitivity to ammonia as standard algal growth rate tests, but was less sensitive to copper, diuron and TBT, with 24-h EC50 values of 10 +/- 1.1 mg N/L, 0.128 +/- 0.021 mg Cu/L, 19 +/- 13 mg diuron/L, and 0.226 +/- 0.028 mg TBT/L. Inter-test precision using different batches of P. lunula was generally acceptable. On the basis of NOEC values, QwikLite was more sensitive to copper and ammonia at 25 degrees C than at 21 degrees C. QwikLite shows promise as a rapid, inexpensive screening test for acute toxicity of contaminants in marine environments.

  11. Algal chloroplast produced camelid VHH antitoxins are capable of neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin

    PubMed Central

    Barrera, Daniel J.; Rosenberg, Julian N.; Chiu, Joanna G.; Chang, Yung-Nien; Debatis, Michelle; Ngoi, Soo-Mun; Chang, John T.; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Oyler, George A.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    We have produced three antitoxins consisting of the variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies (VHH) by expressing the genes in the chloroplast of green algae. These antitoxins accumulate as soluble proteins capable of binding and neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin. Furthermore, they accumulate at up to 5% total soluble protein, sufficient expression to easily produce these antitoxins at scale from algae. The genes for the three different antitoxins were transformed into Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts and their products purified from algae lysates and assayed for in vitro biological activity using toxin protection assays. The produced antibody domains bind to botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) with similar affinities as camelid antibodies produced in Escherichia coli, and they are similarly able to protect primary rat neurons from intoxication by BoNT/A. Furthermore, the camelid antibodies were produced in algae without the use of solubilization tags commonly employed in E. coli. These camelid antibody domains are potent antigen binding proteins and the heterodimer fusion protein containing two VHH domains was capable of neutralizing BoNT/A at near equimolar concentrations with the toxin. Intact antibody domains were detected in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of mice treated orally with antitoxin producing microalgae. These findings support the use of orally delivered antitoxins produced in green algae as a novel treatment for botulism. PMID:25229405

  12. An Overview on the Marine Neurotoxin, Saxitoxin: Genetics, Molecular Targets, Methods of Detection and Ecological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cusick, Kathleen D.; Sayler, Gary S.

    2013-01-01

    Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin’s ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s) PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed. PMID:23535394

  13. An overview on the marine neurotoxin, saxitoxin: genetics, molecular targets, methods of detection and ecological functions.

    PubMed

    Cusick, Kathleen D; Sayler, Gary S

    2013-03-27

    Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin's ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s) PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed.

  14. Production of the neurotoxin BMAA by a marine cyanobacterium.

    PubMed

    Banack, Sandra Anne; Johnson, Holly E; Cheng, Ran; Cox, Paul Alan

    2007-12-06

    Diverse species of cyanobacteria have recently been discovered to produce the neurotoxic non-protein amino acid beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). In Guam, BMAA has been studied as a possible environmental toxin in the diets of indigenous Chamorro people known to have high levels of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/ Parkinsonism Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC). BMAA has been found to accumulate in brain tissues of patients with progressive neurodegenerative illness in North America. In Guam, BMAA was found to be produced by endosymbiotic cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc which live in specialized cycad roots. We here report detection of BMAA in laboratory cultures of a free-living marine species of Nostoc. We successfully detected BMAA in this marine species of Nostoc with five different methods: HPLC-FD, UPLC-UV, Amino Acid Analyzer, LC/MS, and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS. This consensus of five different analytical methods unequivocally demonstrates the presence of BMAA in this marine cyanobacterium. Since protein-associated BMAA can accumulate in increasing levels within food chains, it is possible that biomagnification of BMAA could occur in marine ecosystems similar to the biomagnification of BMAA in terrestrial ecosystems. Production of BMAA by marine cyanobacteria may represent another route of human exposure to BMAA. Since BMAA at low concentrations causes the death of motor neurons, low levels of BMAA exposure may trigger motor neuron disease in genetically vulnerable individuals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-18

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

  17. Thyroid storm and reversible thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy after ingestion of seafood stew thought to contain marine neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Noh, Kyung Woo; Seon, Choon Sik; Choi, Jae Woong; Cho, Young Bum; Park, Ji Young; Kim, Hyo Jeong

    2011-06-01

    Thyroid storm and severe decompensated thyrotoxicosis are life-threatening diseases, requiring immediate treatment in an intensive care unit. Thyrotoxic heart disease is common in patients with hyperthyroidism; thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy with poor left ventricular systolic function is rare. Here, we report a patient who presented with severe decompensated thyrotoxicosis and reversible thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy after ingestion of a mixed seafood stew thought to contain tetrodotoxin or a related marine neurotoxin. The patient was a 50-year-old woman who was seen at the emergency room of another hospital with altered mentality and flaccid quadriplegia after eating a mixed seafood stew. At the other hospital, she was diagnosed as having tetrodotoxin intoxication on the basis of her clinical presentation. The patient was placed on assisted ventilation and transferred to our hospital the following day because of persisting fever, tachycardia, and respiratory depression. Upon admission, thyroid storm was diagnosed on the basis of thyroid function tests (total triiodothyronine was 354 ng/dL, free thyroxine was 3.45 ng/dL, and thyroid-stimulating hormone was <0.01 mU/L) and clinical manifestations. On the third hospital day, she complained of chest discomfort and progressively worsening dyspnea. Echocardiography showed reduced left ventricular systolic function (left ventricular ejection fraction, 47%; left ventricular fractional shortening, 24.4%) with regional wall motion abnormality of anteroseptal wall and apex and diastolic dysfunction (grade 1, relaxation abnormality), suggesting thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy. She was treated with 10 mCi of radioactive iodine and methimazole, and her thyroid and cardiac function normalized. The patient reported here developed thyroid storm and cardiac decompensation shortly after a clinical event consistent with ingestion of marine neurotoxin. This adds to the list of stresses that have been associated with thyroid storm and

  18. Inhibition of algal spore germination by the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata.

    PubMed

    Egan, S; James, S; Holmström, C; Kjelleberg, S

    2001-03-01

    A collection of 56 bacteria isolated from different surfaces in the marine environment were assayed for their effects on the germination of spores from the common green alga Ulva lactuca. Thirteen bacterial isolates were shown to inhibit spore germination. Of these bacteria, Pseudoalteromonas tunicata displayed the most pronounced effects against algal spores. Further characterisation of the anti-algal activity of P. tunicata was performed and it was found that this bacterium produces an extracellular component with specific activity toward algal spores that is heat-sensitive, polar and between 3 and 10 kDa in size. This biologically active compound was also found to prevent the germination of spores from the red alga Polysiphonia sp. and, given the widespread occurrence of P. tunicata in a range of marine habitats, this may suggest that it is effective against a variety of marine algae.

  19. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA) in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Li, Aifeng; Song, Jialiang; Hu, Yang; Deng, Longji; Ding, Ling; Li, Meihui

    2016-11-04

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) and N-2(aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer) method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g(-1) wet weight) were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68) with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g(-1) wet weight). No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future.

  20. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA) in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Li, Aifeng; Song, Jialiang; Hu, Yang; Deng, Longji; Ding, Ling; Li, Meihui

    2016-01-01

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) and N-2(aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer) method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g−1 wet weight) were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68) with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g−1 wet weight). No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future. PMID:27827914

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Endangered North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) experience repeated, concurrent exposure to multiple environmental neurotoxins produced by marine algae.

    PubMed

    Doucette, Gregory J; Mikulski, Christina M; King, Kristen L; Roth, Patricia B; Wang, Zhihong; Leandro, Luis F; DeGrasse, Stacey L; White, Kevin D; De Biase, Daniela; Gillett, Roxanne M; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-01-01

    The western North Atlantic population of right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the most critically endangered of any whale population in the world. Among the factors considered to have potentially adverse effects on the health and reproduction of E. glacialis are biotoxins produced by certain microalgae responsible for causing harmful algal blooms. The worldwide incidence of these events has continued to increase dramatically over the past several decades and is expected to remain problematic under predicted climate change scenarios. Previous investigations have demonstrated that N. Atlantic right whales are being exposed to at least two classes of algal-produced environmental neurotoxins-paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and domoic acid (DA). Our primary aims during this six-year study (2001-2006) were to assess whether the whales' exposure to these algal biotoxins occurred annually over multiple years, and to what extent individual whales were exposed repeatedly and/or concurrently to one or both toxin classes. Approximately 140 right whale fecal samples obtained across multiple habitats in the western N. Atlantic were analyzed for PSTs and DA. About 40% of these samples were attributed to individual whales in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, permitting analysis of biotoxin exposure according to sex, age class, and reproductive status/history. Our findings demonstrate clearly that right whales are being exposed to both of these algal biotoxins on virtually an annual basis in multiple habitats for periods of up to six months (April through September), with similar exposure rates for females and males (PSTs: ∼70-80%; DA: ∼25-30%). Notably, only one of 14 lactating females sampled did not contain either PSTs or DA, suggesting the potential for maternal toxin transfer and possible effects on neonatal animals. Moreover, 22% of the fecal samples tested for PSTs and DA showed concurrent exposure to both neurotoxins, leading to questions of interactive

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Development and application of a marine sediment porewater toxicity test using algal spores

    SciTech Connect

    Hooten, R.; Carr, R.S.

    1995-12-31

    An acute pore water toxicity test protocol using germination and growth of marine macroalgae as endpoints was developed to indicate the presence of toxic compounds in marine/estuarine and sediment porewater samples. Zoospores collected from Ulva fasciata and U. lactuca were used as test organisms. Preliminary results with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, a reference toxicant) indicate that zoospores germination and growth of embryonic gametophytes are as sensitive as the sea urchin fertilization and embryological development toxicity tests. Algal germination and growth data for copper, mercury and other metals will be presented. The results of tests utilizing this algal assay with sediment pore water from contaminated sediments will be compared with more traditional sediment toxicity test methods.

  5. Antioxidant Activity of Marine Algal Polyphenolic Compounds: A Mechanistic Approach.

    PubMed

    Fernando, I P Shanura; Kim, Misook; Son, Kwang-Tae; Jeong, Yoonhwa; Jeon, You-Jin

    2016-07-01

    Polyphenolic compounds isolated from marine algae exhibit a broad spectrum of beneficial biological properties, including antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities, along with several other bioactivities centered on their antioxidant properties. Consequently, polyphenolic compounds are increasingly being investigated for their potential use in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications. The antioxidant activities of these compounds have been explored widely through experimental studies. Nonetheless, a theoretical understanding of the structural and electronic properties could broaden research perspectives, leading to the identification and synthesis of efficient structural analogs with prophylactic uses. This review briefly summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding antioxidant polyphenolic compounds in marine algae with an attempt to describe the structure-activity relationship.

  6. A minireview of marine algal virus — Coccolithoviruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jingwen; Xu, Miaomiao; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-04-01

    Coccolithophorid is unicellular marine microalgae with a global distribution in temperate and sub-temperate oceanic regions and has the ability to produce `the coccoliths'. It is considered to be the second most productive calcifying organism on earth and becoming an important factor in the global carbonate cycle. Emiliania huxleyi is one of the only two bloom-forming coccolithophores and becomes a species crucial to the study of global biogeochemical cycles and climate modeling. Coccolithoviruse is a recently discovered group of viruses infecting the marine coccolithophorid E. huxleyi. They are a major cause of coccolithophore bloom termination, and DMSP concentration is increasing in the process of viral lysis. Phylogenetic evidences support that some genes are functional both in E. huxleyi and its virus (EhV). Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of multiple functionally coupled enzymes occurs in E. huxleyi and its DNA virus EhV has been confirmed, which contributes to the diversification and adaptation of plankton in the oceans and also critically regulates virus-host infection by allowing viruses to control host metabolic pathways for their replication. Therefore, it is of particular interest to understand this host-virus interaction. On this issue, we have made a minireview of coccolithoviruses focusing on the basic characteristics, phylogenesis, horizontal gene transfer and the interaction between the host and its viruses, as well as its important role in global biogeochemical cycling.

  7. Evidence for a Novel Marine Harmful Algal Bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) Transfer from Land to Sea Otters

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Melissa A.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Mekebri, Abdu; Crane, Dave; Oates, Stori C.; Tinker, M. Timothy; Staedler, Michelle; Miller, Woutrina A.; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Dominik, Clare; Hardin, Dane; Langlois, Gregg; Murray, Michael; Ward, Kim; Jessup, David A.

    2010-01-01

    “Super-blooms” of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussels and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine

  8. Evidence for a novel marine harmful algal bloom: cyanotoxin (microcystin) transfer from land to sea otters.

    PubMed

    Miller, Melissa A; Kudela, Raphael M; Mekebri, Abdu; Crane, Dave; Oates, Stori C; Tinker, M Timothy; Staedler, Michelle; Miller, Woutrina A; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Dominik, Clare; Hardin, Dane; Langlois, Gregg; Murray, Michael; Ward, Kim; Jessup, David A

    2010-09-10

    "Super-blooms" of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussels and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine "harmful algal

  9. Evidence for a novel marine harmful algal bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) transfer from land to sea otters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Melissa A.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Mekebri, Abdu; Crane, Dave; Oates, Stori C.; Tinker, M. Timothy; Staedler, Michelle; Miller, Woutrina A.; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Dominik, Clare; Hardin, Dane; Langlois, Gregg; Murray, Michael; Ward, Kim; Jessup, David A.

    2010-01-01

    "Super-blooms" of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussels and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine "harmful algal

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Disk Diffusion Assay to Assess the Antimicrobial Activity of Marine Algal Extracts.

    PubMed

    Desbois, Andrew P; Smith, Valerie J

    2015-01-01

    Marine algae are a relatively untapped source of bioactive natural products, including those with antimicrobial activities. The ability to assess the antimicrobial activity of cell extracts derived from algal cultures is vital to identifying species that may produce useful novel antibiotics. One assay that is used widely for this purpose is the disk diffusion assay due to its simplicity, rapidity, and low cost. Moreover, this assay gives output data that are easy to interpret and can be used to screen many samples at once irrespective of the solvent used during preparation. In this chapter, a step-by-step protocol for performing a disk diffusion assay is described. The assay is particularly well suited to testing algal cell extracts and fractions resulting from separation through bioassay-guided approaches.

  12. Marine algal natural products with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    For their various bioactivities, biomaterials derived from marine algae are important ingredients in many products, such as cosmetics and drugs for treating cancer and other diseases. This mini-review comprehensively compares the bioactivities and biological functions of biomaterials from red, green, brown, and blue-green algae. The anti-oxidative effects and bioactivities of several different crude extracts of algae have been evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Natural products derived from marine algae protect cells by modulating the effects of oxidative stress. Because oxidative stress plays important roles in inflammatory reactions and in carcinogenesis, marine algal natural products have potential for use in anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs. PMID:23724847

  13. Remote Sensing Marine Ecology: Wind-driven algal blooms in the open oceans and their ecological impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, DanLing

    2016-07-01

    Algal bloom not only can increase the primary production but also could result in negative ecological consequence, e.g., Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). According to the classic theory for the formation of algal blooms "critical depth" and "eutrophication", oligotrophic sea area is usually difficult to form a large area of algal blooms, and actually the traditional observation is only sporadic capture to the existence of algal blooms. Taking full advantage of multiple data of satellite remote sensing, this study: 1), introduces "Wind-driven algal blooms in open oceans: observation and mechanisms" It explained except classic coastal Ekman transport, the wind through a variety of mechanisms affecting the formation of algal blooms. Proposed a conceptual model of "Strong wind -upwelling-nutrient-phytoplankton blooms" in Western South China Sea (SCS) to assess role of wind-induced advection transport in phytoplankton bloom formation. It illustrates the nutrient resources that support long-term offshore phytoplankton blooms in the western SCS; 2), Proposal of the theory that "typhoons cause vertical mixing, induce phytoplankton blooms", and quantify their important contribution to marine primary production; Proposal a new ecological index for typhoon. Proposed remote sensing inversion models. 3), Finding of the spatial and temporaldistributions pattern of harmful algal bloom (HAB)and species variations of HAB in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea, and in the Pearl River estuary, and their oceanic dynamic mechanisms related with monsoon; The project developed new techniques and generated new knowledge, which significantly improved understanding of the formation mechanisms of algal blooms. 1), It proposed "wind-pump" mechanism integrates theoretical system combing "ocean dynamics, development of algal blooms, and impact on primary production", which will benefit fisheries management. 2), A new interdisciplinary subject "Remote Sensing Marine Ecology"(RSME) has been

  14. Investigation of severe UF membrane fouling induced by three marine algal species.

    PubMed

    Merle, Tony; Dramas, Laure; Gutierrez, Leonardo; Garcia-Molina, Veronica; Croué, Jean-Philippe

    2016-04-15

    Reducing membrane fouling caused by seawater algal bloom is a challenge for regions of the world where most of their freshwater is produced by seawater desalination. This study aims to compare ultrafiltration (UF) fouling potential of three ubiquitous marine algal species cultures (i.e., Skeletonema costatum-SKC, Tetraselmis sp.-TET, and Hymenomonas sp.-HYM) sampled at different phases of growth. Results showed that flux reduction and irreversible fouling were more severe during the decline phase as compared to the exponential phase, for all species. SKC and TET were responsible for substantial irreversible fouling but their impact was significantly lower than HYM. The development of a transparent gel layer surrounding the cell during the HYM growth and accumulating in water is certainly responsible for the more severe observed fouling. Chemical backwash with a standard chlorine solution did not recover any membrane permeability. For TET and HYM, the Hydraulically Irreversible Fouling Index (HIFI) was correlated to their biopolymer content but this correlation is specific for each species. Solution pre-filtration through a 1.2 μm membrane proved that cells and particulate algal organic matter (p-AOM) considerably contribute to fouling, especially for HYM for which the HIFI was reduced by a factor of 82.3. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Characterisation of novel modified active carbons and marine algal biomass for the selective adsorption of lead.

    PubMed

    Malik, D J; Strelko, V; Streat, M; Puziy, A M

    2002-03-01

    This paper discusses the sorption performance of novel materials for the removal of lead(II) and copper(II) from near-neutral aqueous solutions. Active carbons with surface heteroatoms of oxygen and phosphorus have been prepared. The surface functional groups display weakly acidic ion exchange characteristics. The optimum solution pH for maximum metal sorption is related to the pK values of the surface functional groups. In oxygenated active carbons, pK values are not distinct but can be obtained by describing proton binding to the heterogeneous adsorbent surface as a continuous proton affinity distribution. Information derived from zeta-potential measurements combined with knowledge of the pK distribution function and concentration of surface functional groups has been used to explain the selectivity of oxidised active carbons towards lead(lI) in the presence of copper(II) from multi-metal bearing solutions. Marine algal-based biosorbents have been challenged with lead(II) and copper(II)-bearing wastewater. The weakly acidic carboxyl groups of structural polysaccharides present within the algal matrix display high sorption capacity for both metals. The negative surface charge of algal particles results in electrostatic interactions as well as coordination between metal species and the adsorbent surface. Proton affinity for the algal surface lowers the negative surface potential at pH values around 2. The surface functional groups in algae unlike those in oxidised active carbons may be represented by discrete acid-dissociation constant values. The influence of conformational differences in uronic-acid segments upon metal ion selectivity is discussed.

  16. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses

    PubMed Central

    Lago, Jorge; Rodríguez, Laura P.; Blanco, Lucía; Vieites, Juan Manuel; Cabado, Ana G.

    2015-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of “fugu” is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains. PMID:26492253

  17. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses.

    PubMed

    Lago, Jorge; Rodríguez, Laura P; Blanco, Lucía; Vieites, Juan Manuel; Cabado, Ana G

    2015-10-19

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of "fugu" is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains.

  18. Identification of a locality in snake venom alpha-neurotoxins with a significant compositional similarity to marine snail alpha-conotoxins: implications for evolution and structure/activity.

    PubMed

    Dufton, M J; Bladon, P; Harvey, A L

    1989-10-01

    alpha-neurotoxins from elapid snake venoms and alpha-conotoxins from marine snails bind specifically and with high affinity to nicotinic cholinoceptors. Although both types of toxin are polypeptides, there is more than a fourfold difference in size between the two and no clear sequence homology is evident. A systematic computer search of the three-dimensional structure of erabutoxin b (an alpha-neurotoxin from the false sea snake Laticauda semifasciata) was performed to identify the locality that most closely matched the amino acid compositions of the smaller alpha-conotoxins (from the marine snails Conus magus and Conus geographus). The area of greatest similarity centered on residue position 25 of erabutoxin b, a locale that is conserved throughout the snake alpha-neurotoxins and their homologues. Six proteins unrelated to erabutoxin b were compared to the alpha-conotoxins to show that the extent of the erabutoxin b/alpha-conotoxin match was too high to be coincidental. Homologues of erabutoxin b, namely alpha-cobratoxin from Naja naja siamensis and cytotoxin VII4 from Naja mossambica mossambica, were also analyzed. The extent of the matching with the alpha-conotoxins decreased in the series erabutoxin b greater than alpha-cobratoxin greater than cytotoxin VII4, and this also relates the order of similarity to the pharmacological properties of the alpha-conotoxins. The alpha-conotoxin-like area of the snake alpha-neurotoxins is peripheral to the site previously considered important for binding to the cholinoceptor, even though it seems to represent the focus of evolutionary convergence between the two types of neurotoxin. The area of resemblance does, however, have strong associations with the conformational behavior of the snake toxins. Hence, the outcome of this study has important consequences for the current ideas on snake alpha-neurotoxin structure/activity relationships and the evolutionary origins of neurotoxicity.

  19. Biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles using three marine plant species: anti-algal efficiencies against "Oscillatoria simplicissima".

    PubMed

    El-Kassas, Hala Y; Ghobrial, Mary G

    2017-01-29

    This study aims at controlling of the cyanobacteria Oscillatoria simplicissima, those that produce neurotoxins and have negative impacts on the aquatic organisms, using biosynthesized metal nanoparticles (NPs). Silver-NPs (Ag-NPs) have been successfully biosynthesized using Nannochloropsis oculata and Tetraselmis tetrathele cultures. Also, Ag-NPs and iron oxide-NPs (Fe3O4-NPs) were synthesized by Halophila stipulacea aqueous extract. The structural composition of the different biosynthesized NPs was studied. The algae cultures and the extract were used as reductants of AgNO3, and brown colors due to Ag-NP biosynthesis were observed. Silver signals were recorded in their corresponding EDX spectra. FTIR analyses showed that proteins in N. oculata and T. tetrathele cultures reduced AgNO3, and aromatic compounds stabilized the biogenic Ag-NPs. H. stipulacea extract contains proteins and polyphenols that could be in charge for the reduction of silver and iron ions into nanoparticles and polysaccharides which stabilized the biosynthesized Ag-NPs and Fe3O4-NPs. The Ag-NPs biosynthesized by T. tetrathele cultures and H. stipulacea aqueous extract exerted outstanding negative impacts on O. simplicissima (optical density and total chlorophyll) and the Ag-NPs biosynthesized using N. oculata culture exerted the moderate performance. The study results suggest that the bioactive compounds present in the FTIR profiles of the Ag-NPs and or ionic silver may be the main contributors in their anti-algal effects. A trial to use the biosynthesized Fe3O4-NPs using H. stipulacea aqueous extract to separate Ag-NPs was successfully carried out. Since the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials is a hot subject of research, the study outcomes not only provide a green approach for the synthesis of metal-NPs but also open the way for more nanoparticle applications.

  20. New marine sterols from an algal-bearing gorgonian coral Pinnigorgia sp.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Chia; Chen, Nan-Fu; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Tseng, Chung-Chih; Wu, Tung-Ying; Peng, Bo-Rong; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Fang, Lee-Shing; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2016-11-01

    Four new marine sterols, (22E,24R)-ergosta-5,22-diene-3β,11α-diol (1), (24S)-ergosta-5-ene-3β,11α-diol (2), 5α,6α-epoxy-23-demethylgorgost-8-ene-3β,7α-diol (3), and 5α,6α-epoxy-23-demethylgorgost-8(14)-ene-3β,7α-diol (4), along with a known metabolite, 23-demethylgorgost-7-ene-3β,5α,6β-triol (5), were isolated from an algal-bearing gorgonian coral Pinnigorgia sp., collected off the waters of Taiwan. The structures of these sterols were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods. Sterols 1-5 were tested for in vitro cytotoxicity in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Proliferation of HSCs plays a key role in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Marine harmful algal blooms, human health and wellbeing: challenges and opportunities in the 21st century

    PubMed Central

    BERDALET, ELISA; FLEMING, LORA E.; GOWEN, RICHARD; DAVIDSON, KEITH; HESS, PHILIPP; BACKER, LORRAINE C.; MOORE, STEPHANIE K.; HOAGLAND, PORTER; ENEVOLDSEN, HENRIK

    2015-01-01

    Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments. HABs are natural phenomena, but these events can be favoured by anthropogenic pressures in coastal areas. Global warming and associated changes in the oceans could affect HAB occurrences and toxicity as well, although forecasting the possible trends is still speculative and requires intensive multidisciplinary research. At the beginning of the 21st century, with expanding human populations, particularly in coastal and developing countries, mitigating HABs impacts on human health and wellbeing is becoming a more pressing public health need. The available tools to address this global challenge include maintaining intensive, multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research, and strengthening the coordination with stakeholders, policymakers and the general public. Here we provide an overview of different aspects of the HABs phenomena, an important element of the intrinsic links between oceans and human health and wellbeing. PMID:26692586

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  3. Marine harmful algal blooms, human health and wellbeing: challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Berdalet, Elisa; Fleming, Lora E; Gowen, Richard; Davidson, Keith; Hess, Philipp; Backer, Lorraine C; Moore, Stephanie K; Hoagland, Porter; Enevoldsen, Henrik

    Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments. HABs are natural phenomena, but these events can be favoured by anthropogenic pressures in coastal areas. Global warming and associated changes in the oceans could affect HAB occurrences and toxicity as well, although forecasting the possible trends is still speculative and requires intensive multidisciplinary research. At the beginning of the 21st century, with expanding human populations, particularly in coastal and developing countries, mitigating HABs impacts on human health and wellbeing is becoming a more pressing public health need. The available tools to address this global challenge include maintaining intensive, multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research, and strengthening the coordination with stakeholders, policymakers and the general public. Here we provide an overview of different aspects of the HABs phenomena, an important element of the intrinsic links between oceans and human health and wellbeing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  5. Identification of the algal dimethyl sulfide-releasing enzyme: A missing link in the marine sulfur cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcolombri, Uria; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Feldmesser, Ester; Levin, Yishai; Tawfik, Dan S.; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-06-01

    Algal blooms produce large amounts of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a volatile with a diverse signaling role in marine food webs that is emitted to the atmosphere, where it can affect cloud formation. The algal enzymes responsible for forming DMS from dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) remain unidentified despite their critical role in the global sulfur cycle. We identified and characterized Alma1, a DMSP lyase from the bloom-forming algae Emiliania huxleyi. Alma1 is a tetrameric, redox-sensitive enzyme of the aspartate racemase superfamily. Recombinant Alma1 exhibits biochemical features identical to the DMSP lyase in E. huxleyi, and DMS released by various E. huxleyi isolates correlates with their Alma1 levels. Sequence homology searches suggest that Alma1 represents a gene family present in major, globally distributed phytoplankton taxa and in other marine organisms.

  6. Production of a Purified Marine Neurotoxin and Demonstration of its Binding Affinity to Ion Channel Receptors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-06-10

    Bomber, J.W. 1987. Ecology, genetic variability and physiology of the ciguatera-causing diroflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus Adachi and Fukuyo Ph.D...Yaeumoto T (1983) Calcium Channel ActivatingqFunction of MTX, the Most Potent Marine Toxin Known, in Clonal Rat Pheochromocytoma Cells. J. Biol. Chem

  7. Different utilization of alginate and other algal polysaccharides by marine Alteromonas macleodii ecotypes.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Anna M; Balmonte, John P; Berger, Martine; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Arnosti, Carol; Voget, Sonja; Simon, Meinhard; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Wietz, Matthias

    2015-10-01

    The marine bacterium Alteromonas macleodii is a copiotrophic r-strategist, but little is known about its potential to degrade polysaccharides. Here, we studied the degradation of alginate and other algal polysaccharides by A. macleodii strain 83-1 in comparison to other A. macleodii strains. Cell densities of strain 83-1 with alginate as sole carbon source were comparable to those with glucose, but the exponential phase was delayed. The genome of 83-1 was found to harbour an alginolytic system comprising five alginate lyases, whose expression was induced by alginate. The alginolytic system contains additional CAZymes, including two TonB-dependent receptors, and is part of a 24 kb genomic island unique to the A. macleodii 'surface clade' ecotype. In contrast, strains of the 'deep clade' ecotype contain only a single alginate lyase in a separate 7 kb island. This difference was reflected in an eightfold greater efficiency of surface clade strains to grow on alginate. Strain 83-1 furthermore hydrolysed laminarin, pullulan and xylan, and corresponding polysaccharide utilization loci were detected in the genome. Alteromonas macleodii alginate lyases were predominantly detected in Atlantic Ocean metagenomes. The demonstrated hydrolytic capacities are likely of ecological relevance and represent another level of adaptation among A. macleodii ecotypes.

  8. Biosorption of copper by marine algae Gelidium and algal composite material in a packed bed column.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

    Marine algae Gelidium and algal composite material were investigated for the continuous removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solution in a packed bed column. The biosorption behaviour was studied during one sorption-desorption cycle of Cu(II) in the flow through column fed with 50 and 25 mg l(-1) of Cu(II) in aqueous solution, at pH 5.3, leading to a maximum uptake capacity of approximately 13 and 3 mg g(-1), respectively, for algae Gelidium and composite material. The breakthrough time decreases as the inlet copper concentration increases, for the same flow rate. The pH of the effluent decreases over the breakthrough time of copper ions, which indicates that ion exchange is one of the mechanisms involved in the biosorption process. Temperature has little influence on the metal uptake capacity and the increase of the ionic strength reduces the sorption capacity, decreasing the breakthrough time. Desorption using 0.1M HNO(3) solution was 100% effective. After two consecutive sorption-desorption cycles no changes in the uptake capacity of the composite material were observed. A mass transfer model including film and intraparticle resistances, and the equilibrium relationship, for adsorption and desorption, was successfully applied for the simulation of the biosorption column performance.

  9. Detection of marine neurotoxins and characterization of the presynaptic activity of iotrochotin from the sponge Iotrochota birotulata

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, J.V.

    1987-01-01

    In order to detect novel presynaptic neurotoxins, a total of 766 extracts from marine organisms collected during expeditions of the research vessel Alpha Helix around the peninsula of Baja Mexico in 1974 and through the Caribbean in 1978 were tested for activity in a synaptosomal assay for the release of acetylcholine (ACh). To eliminate from consideration sample extracts which lysed the synaptosomal membrane, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was measured as a cytoplasmic marker. On the basis of the screening studies the extract of the sponge lotrochota birotulata was chosen for more detailed characterization. The active factor, iotrochotin (IOT), was sensitive to thermal inactivation, was partially activated by trypsin treatment and had a molecular weight of 12,000-13,000. The activity of IOT was found to be complete by one minute. The maximal release of radioactivity from synaptosomes preloaded with (/sup 3/H)choline was found to be dependent on the concentration of IOT irrespective of the time of further incubation. The concentration-response curve of IOT activity showed a sigmoid shape which did not fit the Hill equation. IOT caused release of both ACh and choline. Of the radioactivity released by IOT from synaptosomes preloaded with (/sup 3/H)choline, 50-60% was (/sup 3/H)ACh. IOT also released (/sup 3/H)GABA and (/sup 3/H)norepinephrine from synaptosomes preincubated with these labeled neurotransmitters. The activity of IOT was only minimally sensitive to reduction in Na/sup +/ or Ca/sup 2 +/ levels, and was not sensitive to tetrodotoxin. IOT did not dramatically change the fluorescence of synaptosomes incubated with a depolarization-indicating dye. However, depolarization of synaptosomes with high concentrations of K/sup +/ was still detectable by this method in the presence of IOT.

  10. Changes in algal community structure via density- and trait-mediated indirect interactions in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wada, Yoko; Iwasaki, Keiji; Yusa, Yoichi

    2013-11-01

    In various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, predators affect resources indirectly via intermediate prey. Such indirect interactions involve reducing the density of the prey (density-mediated indirect interactions, DMIIs) or changing the behavioral, morphological, or life history traits of the prey (trait-mediated indirect interactions, TMIIs). Although the importance of TMIIs has been highlighted recently, the strengths of both DMIIs and TMIIs under natural conditions have rarely been evaluated, especially in the context of resource community structure. We studied a three-level marine food chain involving the carnivorous snail Thais clavigera, its limpet prey Siphonaria sirius, and the limpet's food sources, the algae Lithoderma sp. and Ulva sp. We measured the strengths of DMIIs and TMIIs and observed how the algal community changes under the pressure of natural predation by T. clavigera on S. sirius. Neither DMIIs nor TMIIs affected the total algal cover or chlorophyll content per unit area. However, both types of indirect interactions caused similar changes in algal composition by increasing the cover of Ulva and decreasing the cover of Lithoderma. This change in the algal community was caused by a reduction in the limpet's preferential consumption of the competitively dominant Ulva over Lithoderma. These results suggest that both DMIIs and TMIIs have similar effects on the changes in resource community structure under natural conditions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-06

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

  13. Exploration of the antioxidant system and photosynthetic system of a marine algicidal Bacillus and its effect on four harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Hou, Shaoling; Shu, Wanjiao; Tan, Shuo; Zhao, Ling; Yin, Pinghe

    2016-01-01

    A novel marine bacterium, strain B1, initially showed 96.4% algicidal activity against Phaeocystis globosa. Under this situation, 3 other harmful algal species (Skeletonema costatum, Heterosigma akashiwo, and Prorocentrum donghaiense) were chosen to study the algicidal effects of strain B1, and the algicidal activities were 91.4%, 90.7%, and 90.6%, respectively. To explore the algicidal mechanism of strain B1 on these 4 harmful algal species, the characteristics of the antioxidant system and photosynthetic system were studied. Sensitivity to strain B1 supernatant, enzyme activity, and gene expression varied with algal species, while the algicidal patterns were similar. Strain B1 supernatant increased malondialdehyde contents; decreased chlorophyll a contents; changed total antioxidant and superoxide dismutase activity; and restrained psbA, psbD, and rbcL genes expression, which eventually resulted in the algal cells death. The algicidal procedure was observed using field emission scanning electron microscopy, which indicated that algal cells were lysed and cellular substances were released. These findings suggested that the antioxidant and photosynthetic system of these 4 algal species was destroyed under strain B1 supernatant stress. This is the first report to explore and compare the mechanism of a marine Bacillus against harmful algal bloom species of covered 4 phyla.

  14. Compounds associated with algal surfaces mediate epiphytic colonization of the marine macroalga Fucus vesiculosus.

    PubMed

    Lachnit, Tim; Fischer, Matthias; Künzel, Sven; Baines, John F; Harder, Tilmann

    2013-05-01

    The macroalga Fucus vesiculosus carries a specific community of surface bacteria. To identify chemical compounds that possibly mediate abundance and community composition of algae-associated bacteria, we tested the effect of surface-available algal compounds on bacterial settlement and community composition under field conditions. Compounds on algal thalli were separated from the surface by extraction with organic solvents and investigated on growth inhibition and settlement of bacterial isolates. Based on in vitro data, partially purified extract fractions were then exposed to bacterial colonizers in vivo followed by bacterial enumeration and community analysis. The polar fraction of the algal surface extract revealed a significant profouling effect for Vibrionales, whereas the nonpolar fraction - containing the xanthophyll pigment fucoxanthin and other unidentified nonpolar surface compounds - revealed a significant 80% reduction of surface colonizing bacteria. The analysis of bacterial surface communities by 454 pyrosequencing demonstrated that the antifouling activity of nonpolar algal surface compounds was targeting the abundance of natural bacterial colonizers rather than the relative composition of bacterial members within the community. Moreover, the bacterial community composition on F. vesiculosus was markedly different from artificial control substrates and chemically manipulated experimental treatments, suggesting that other, nonextractable surface features and/or physical properties render algal-specific epiphytic bacterial communities.

  15. Characterisation of algal organic matter produced by bloom-forming marine and freshwater algae.

    PubMed

    Villacorte, L O; Ekowati, Y; Neu, T R; Kleijn, J M; Winters, H; Amy, G; Schippers, J C; Kennedy, M D

    2015-04-15

    Algal blooms can seriously affect the operation of water treatment processes including low pressure (micro- and ultra-filtration) and high pressure (nanofiltration and reverse osmosis) membranes mainly due to accumulation of algal-derived organic matter (AOM). In this study, the different components of AOM extracted from three common species of bloom-forming algae (Alexandrium tamarense, Chaetoceros affinis and Microcystis sp.) were characterised employing various analytical techniques, such as liquid chromatography - organic carbon detection, fluorescence spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, alcian blue staining and lectin staining coupled with laser scanning microscopy to indentify its composition and force measurement using atomic force microscopy to measure its stickiness. Batch culture monitoring of the three algal species illustrated varying characteristics in terms of growth pattern, cell concentration and AOM release. The AOM produced by the three algal species comprised mainly biopolymers (e.g., polysaccharides and proteins) but some refractory compounds (e.g., humic-like substances) and other low molecular weight acid and neutral compounds were also found. Biopolymers containing fucose and sulphated functional groups were found in all AOM samples while the presence of other functional groups varied between different species. A large majority (>80%) of the acidic polysaccharide components (in terms of transparent exopolymer particles) were found in the colloidal size range (<0.4 μm). The relative stickiness of AOM substantially varied between algal species and that the cohesion between AOM-coated surfaces was much stronger than the adhesion of AOM on AOM-free surfaces. Overall, the composition as well as the physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., stickiness) of AOM will likely dictate the severity of fouling in membrane systems during algal blooms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessment of potential anti-cancer stem cell activity of marine algal compounds using an in vitro mammosphere assay.

    PubMed

    de la Mare, Jo-Anne; Sterrenberg, Jason N; Sukhthankar, Mugdha G; Chiwakata, Maynard T; Beukes, Denzil R; Blatch, Gregory L; Edkins, Adrienne L

    2013-05-01

    The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory proposes that tumours arise from and are sustained by a subpopulation of cells with both cancer and stem cell properties. One of the key hallmarks of CSCs is the ability to grow anchorage-independently under serum-free culture conditions resulting in the formation of tumourspheres. It has further been reported that these cells are resistant to traditional chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, the tumoursphere assay was validated in MCF-7 cells and used to screen novel marine algal compounds for potential anti-cancer stem cell (CSC) activity in vitro. MCF-7 breast cancer cells were observed to generate tumourspheres or mammospheres after 3-5 days growth in anchorage-independent conditions and an apparent enrichment in potential CSCs was observed by an increase in the proportion of CD44high/CD24low marker-bearing cells and Oct4 expression compared to those in the bulk population grown in regular adherent conditions. Using this assay, a set of algal metabolites was screened for the ability to inhibit mammosphere development as a measure of potential anti-CSC activity. We report that the polyhalogenated monoterpene stereoisomers RU017 and RU018 isolated from the red alga Plocamium cornutum, both of which displayed no cytotoxicity against either adherent MCF-7 breast cancer or MCF-12A non-transformed breast epithelial cells, were able to prevent MCF-7 mammosphere formation in vitro. On the other hand, neither the brown algal carotenoid fucoxanthin nor the chemotherapeutic paclitaxel, both of which were toxic to adherent MCF-7 and MCF-12A cells, were able to inhibit mammosphere formation. In fact, pre-treatment with paclitaxel appeared to enhance mammosphere formation and development, a finding which is consistent with the reported resistance of CSCs to traditional chemotherapeutic agents. Due to the proposed clinical significance of CSC in terms of tumour initiation and metastasis, the identification of agents able to inhibit this

  17. Assessment of antioxidant activity in Victorian marine algal extracts using high performance thin-layer chromatography and multivariate analysis.

    PubMed

    Agatonovic-Kustrin, Snezana; Morton, David W; Ristivojević, Petar

    2016-10-14

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and simple high performance thin layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method to screen for antioxidant activity in algal samples. 16 algal species were collected from local Victorian beaches. Fucoxanthin, one of the most abundant marine carotenoids was quantified directly from the HPTLC plates before derivatization, while derivatization either with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) or ferric chloride (FeCl3) was used to analyze antioxidants in marine algae, based on their ability to scavenge non biological stable free radical (DPPH) or to chelate iron ions. Principal component analysis of obtained HPTLC fingerprints has classified algae species into 5 groups according to their chemical/antioxidant profiles. The investigated brown algae samples were found to be rich in non-and moderate-polar compounds and phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity. Most of the phenolic iron chelators also have shown free radical scavenging activity. Strong positive and significant correlations between total phenolic content and DPPH radical scavenging activity showed that, phenolic compounds, including flavonoids are the main contributors of antioxidant activity in these species. The results suggest that certain brown algae possess significantly higher antioxidant potential when compared to red or green algae and could be considered for future applications in medicine, dietary supplements, cosmetics or food industries. Cystophora monilifera extract was found to have the highest antioxidant concentration, followed by Zonaria angustata, Cystophora pectinate, Codium fragile, and Cystophora pectinata. Fucoxanthin was found mainly in the brown algae species. The proposed methods provide an edge in terms of screening for antioxidants and quantification of antioxidant constituents in complex mixtures. The current application also demonstrates flexibility and versatility of a standard HPTLC system in the drug discovery. Proposed

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  20. Hydrothermal liquefaction of freshwater and marine algal biomass: A novel approach to produce distillate fuel fractions through blending and co-processing of biocrude with petrocrude.

    PubMed

    Lavanya, Melcureraj; Meenakshisundaram, Arunachalam; Renganathan, Sahadevan; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Lewis, David Milton; Nallasivam, Jaganathan; Bhaskar, Sailendra

    2016-03-01

    Biocrude was produced from Tetraselmis sp. - a marine alga and Arthrospira platensis - a fresh water alga using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) process. Considering the constraints in cultivating algae for replacing 100% petrocrude, this study evaluated the option of blending and co-processing algal biocrude with petrocrude. Biocrudes obtained from algal strains cultivated in fresh water and sea water were blended with petrocrude at 10% concentration and the characteristics were studied using FT-IR and CNS SIMDIST. True Boiling Point (TBP) distillation was carried out to assess yields and properties of distillates of blended biocrudes. Biocrudes obtained from both algae were light crudes and the blended crudes recorded distillate yields of 76-77 wt%. The yield of light naphtha fraction of biocrude blends was 29-30%; whereas the yield of diesel fraction was about 18%. This study proposes blending and co-processing of algal biocrude with petrocrude to produce drop-in biofuels.

  1. Preparation and characterization of activated carbon from marine macro-algal biomass.

    PubMed

    Aravindhan, R; Raghava Rao, J; Unni Nair, B

    2009-03-15

    Activated carbons prepared from two macro-algal biomass Sargassum longifolium (SL) and Hypnea valentiae (HV) have been examined for the removal of phenol from aqueous solution. The activated carbon has been prepared by zinc chloride activation. Experiments have been carried out at different activating agent/precursor ratio and carbonization temperature, which had significant effect on the pore structure of carbon. Developed activated carbon has been characterized by BET surface area (S(BET)) analysis and iodine number. The carbons, ZSLC-800 and ZHVC-800, showed surface area around 802 and 783 m(2)g(-1), respectively. The activated carbon developed showed substantial capability to adsorb phenol from aqueous solutions. The kinetic data were fitted to the models of pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion models. Column studies have also been carried out with ZSLC-800 activated carbon.

  2. Assessment of potential anti-cancer stem cell activity of marine algal compounds using an in vitro mammosphere assay

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory proposes that tumours arise from and are sustained by a subpopulation of cells with both cancer and stem cell properties. One of the key hallmarks of CSCs is the ability to grow anchorage-independently under serum-free culture conditions resulting in the formation of tumourspheres. It has further been reported that these cells are resistant to traditional chemotherapeutic agents. Methods In this study, the tumoursphere assay was validated in MCF-7 cells and used to screen novel marine algal compounds for potential anti-cancer stem cell (CSC) activity in vitro. Results MCF-7 breast cancer cells were observed to generate tumourspheres or mammospheres after 3-5 days growth in anchorage-independent conditions and an apparent enrichment in potential CSCs was observed by an increase in the proportion of CD44high/CD24low marker-bearing cells and Oct4 expression compared to those in the bulk population grown in regular adherent conditions. Using this assay, a set of algal metabolites was screened for the ability to inhibit mammosphere development as a measure of potential anti-CSC activity. We report that the polyhalogenated monoterpene stereoisomers RU017 and RU018 isolated from the red alga Plocamium cornutum, both of which displayed no cytotoxicity against either adherent MCF-7 breast cancer or MCF-12A non-transformed breast epithelial cells, were able to prevent MCF-7 mammosphere formation in vitro. On the other hand, neither the brown algal carotenoid fucoxanthin nor the chemotherapeutic paclitaxel, both of which were toxic to adherent MCF-7 and MCF-12A cells, were able to inhibit mammosphere formation. In fact, pre-treatment with paclitaxel appeared to enhance mammosphere formation and development, a finding which is consistent with the reported resistance of CSCs to traditional chemotherapeutic agents. Conclusion Due to the proposed clinical significance of CSC in terms of tumour initiation and metastasis, the

  3. Marine neurotoxins: state of the art, bottlenecks, and perspectives for mode of action based methods of detection in seafood.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Hendriksen, Peter J M; Gerssen, Arjen; Bovee, Toine F H; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M

    2014-01-01

    Marine biotoxins can accumulate in fish and shellfish, representing a possible threat for consumers. Many marine biotoxins affect neuronal function essentially through their interaction with ion channels or receptors, leading to different symptoms including paralysis and even death. The detection of marine biotoxins in seafood products is therefore a priority. Official methods for control are often still using in vivo assays, such as the mouse bioassay. This test is considered unethical and the development of alternative assays is urgently required. Chemical analyses as well as in vitro assays have been developed to detect marine biotoxins in seafood. However, most of the current in vitro alternatives to animal testing present disadvantages: low throughput and lack of sensitivity resulting in a high number of false-negative results. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of new in vitro tests that would allow the detection of marine biotoxins in seafood products at a low cost, with high throughput combined with high sensitivity, reproducibility, and predictivity. Mode of action based in vitro bioassays may provide tools that fulfil these requirements. This review covers the current state of the art of such mode of action based alternative assays to detect neurotoxic marine biotoxins in seafood.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  5. Characterization of marine bacteria and the activity of their enzyme systems involved in degradation of the algal storage glucan laminarin.

    PubMed

    Alderkamp, Anne-Carlijn; van Rijssel, Marion; Bolhuis, Henk

    2007-01-01

    The algal storage glucan laminarin is one of the most abundant carbon sources for marine prokaryotes. Its degradation was investigated in bacteria isolated during and after a spring phytoplankton bloom in the coastal North Sea. On average, 13% of prokaryotes detected by epifluorescence counts were able to grow in Most Probable Number dilution series on laminarin as sole carbon source. Several bacterial strains were isolated from different dilutions, and phylogenetic characterization revealed that they belonged to different phylogenetic groups. The activity of the laminarin-degrading enzyme systems was further characterized in three strains of Vibrio sp. that were able to grow on laminarin as sole carbon source. At least two types of activity were detected upon degradation of laminarin: release of glucose, and release of glucans larger than glucose. The expression of laminarinase activity was dependent on the presence of the substrate, and was repressed by the presence of glucose. In addition, low levels of activity were expressed under starvation conditions. Laminarinase enzymes showed minimal activity on substrates with similar glucosidic bonds to those of laminarin, but different sizes and secondary and/or tertiary structures. The characteristics found in these enzyme systems may help to elucidate factors hampering rapid carbohydrate degradation by prokaryotes.

  6. Digital marine bioprospecting: mining new neurotoxin drug candidates from the transcriptomes of cold-water sea anemones.

    PubMed

    Urbarova, Ilona; Karlsen, Bård Ove; Okkenhaug, Siri; Seternes, Ole Morten; Johansen, Steinar D; Emblem, Ase

    2012-10-01

    Marine bioprospecting is the search for new marine bioactive compounds and large-scale screening in extracts represents the traditional approach. Here, we report an alternative complementary protocol, called digital marine bioprospecting, based on deep sequencing of transcriptomes. We sequenced the transcriptomes from the adult polyp stage of two cold-water sea anemones, Bolocera tuediae and Hormathia digitata. We generated approximately 1.1 million quality-filtered sequencing reads by 454 pyrosequencing, which were assembled into approximately 120,000 contigs and 220,000 single reads. Based on annotation and gene ontology analysis we profiled the expressed mRNA transcripts according to known biological processes. As a proof-of-concept we identified polypeptide toxins with a potential blocking activity on sodium and potassium voltage-gated channels from digital transcriptome libraries.

  7. Evidence-based green algal genomics reveals marine diversity and ancestral characteristics of land plants

    DOE PAGES

    van Baren, Marijke J.; Bachy, Charles; Reistetter, Emily Nahas; ...

    2016-03-31

    Prasinophytes are widespread marine green algae that are related to plants. Abundance of the genus Micromonas has reportedly increased in the Arctic due to climate-induced changes. Thus, studies of these organisms are important for marine ecology and understanding Virdiplantae evolution and diversification. We generated evidence-based Micromonas gene models using proteomics and RNA-Seq to improve prasinophyte genomic resources. First, sequences of four chromosomes in the 22 Mb Micromonas pusilla (CCMP1545) genome were finished. Comparison with the finished 21 Mb Micromonas commoda (RCC299) shows they share ≤ 8,142 of ~10,000 protein-encoding genes, depending on the analysis method. Unlike RCC299 and other sequencedmore » eukaryotes, CCMP1545 has two abundant repetitive intron types and a high percent (26%) GC splice donors. Micromonas has more genus-specific protein families (19%) than other genome sequenced prasinophytes (11%). Comparative analyses using predicted proteomes from other prasinophytes reveal proteins likely related to scale formation and ancestral photosynthesis. Our studies also indicate that peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis enzymes have been lost in multiple independent events in select prasinophytes and most plants. However, CCMP1545, polar Micromonas CCMP2099 and prasinophytes from other claasses retain the entire PG pathway, like moss and glaucophyte algae. Multiple vascular plants that share a unique bi-domain protein also have the pathway, except the Penicillin-Binding-Protein. Alongside Micromonas experiments using antibiotics that halt bacterial PG biosynthesis, the findings highlight unrecognized phylogenetic complexity in the PG-pathway retention and implicate a role in chloroplast structure of division in several extant Vridiplantae lineages. Extensive differences in gene loss and architecture between related prasinophytes underscore their extensive divergence. PG biosynthesis genes from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that became the

  8. Evidence-based green algal genomics reveals marine diversity and ancestral characteristics of land plants

    SciTech Connect

    van Baren, Marijke J.; Bachy, Charles; Reistetter, Emily Nahas; Purvine, Samuel O.; Grimwood, Jane; Sudek, Sebastian; Yu, Hang; Poirier, Camille; Deerinck, Thomas J.; Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Wong, Chee -Hong; Smith, Richard D.; Callister, Stephen J.; Wei, Chia -Lin; Schmutz, Jeremy; Worden, Alexandra Z.

    2016-03-31

    Prasinophytes are widespread marine green algae that are related to plants. Abundance of the genus Micromonas has reportedly increased in the Arctic due to climate-induced changes. Thus, studies of these organisms are important for marine ecology and understanding Virdiplantae evolution and diversification. We generated evidence-based Micromonas gene models using proteomics and RNA-Seq to improve prasinophyte genomic resources. First, sequences of four chromosomes in the 22 Mb Micromonas pusilla (CCMP1545) genome were finished. Comparison with the finished 21 Mb Micromonas commoda (RCC299) shows they share ≤ 8,142 of ~10,000 protein-encoding genes, depending on the analysis method. Unlike RCC299 and other sequenced eukaryotes, CCMP1545 has two abundant repetitive intron types and a high percent (26%) GC splice donors. Micromonas has more genus-specific protein families (19%) than other genome sequenced prasinophytes (11%). Comparative analyses using predicted proteomes from other prasinophytes reveal proteins likely related to scale formation and ancestral photosynthesis. Our studies also indicate that peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis enzymes have been lost in multiple independent events in select prasinophytes and most plants. However, CCMP1545, polar Micromonas CCMP2099 and prasinophytes from other claasses retain the entire PG pathway, like moss and glaucophyte algae. Multiple vascular plants that share a unique bi-domain protein also have the pathway, except the Penicillin-Binding-Protein. Alongside Micromonas experiments using antibiotics that halt bacterial PG biosynthesis, the findings highlight unrecognized phylogenetic complexity in the PG-pathway retention and implicate a role in chloroplast structure of division in several extant Vridiplantae lineages. Extensive differences in gene loss and architecture between related prasinophytes underscore their extensive divergence. PG biosynthesis genes from the

  9. Odorant synergy effects as the cause of fishy malodors in algal marine oils.

    PubMed

    Marsili, Raymond T; Laskonis, Charles R

    2014-10-08

    As unsaturated lipids oxidize, they form hydroperoxides, which are susceptible to further oxidation or decomposition to secondary reaction products including aldehydes, ketones, acids, and alcohols. While oxidation reactions of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are responsible for fishy off-flavors in marine oils, gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) and other types of analytical studies have failed to reveal which specific oxidation products are involved. Previous research (Marsili, R.T.; Laskonis, C. The importance of odourant synergy effects in understanding malodour problems in DHA and EPA products. Lipid Technol. 2014, 26 (2), 31-34) has indicated that fishy malodor may be caused by the presence of two lipid oxidation products, heptanal and (E,Z)-3,5-octadien-2-one. The aims of the present study are to provide experimental method details and offer further evidence that these two oxidation products are indeed the cause of fishy malodors. Initial GC-MS-O studies of marine oils with fishy malodors revealed numerous oxidation products, but none were characterized as fishy. However, when all sample volatiles were captured together and then desorbed simultaneously in GC-O experiments, the fishy malodor was evident, indicating odorant synergy effects were responsible. A simple, novel method was developed using an olfactometry detector as a fraction collector to trap various peaks in marine oil chromatograms. The nose cone of the olfactometry detector was replaced with a PDMS foam absorption tube at various times during GC analysis. Combinations of GC peaks were trapped on PDMS tubes, desorbed in a Gerstel thermal extractor (off-line), and sniffed. The combination of two analytes was found to cause fishy malodors: heptanal and (E,Z)-3,5-octadien-2-one. Purge-and-trap, solid phase microextraction (SPME), and headspace stir bar sorptive extraction (HSSE) sample preparation methods prior to GC-MS were investigated. All methods confirmed the

  10. Harmful Algal Blooms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jennifer L.

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Genetic covariation of the marine fungal symbiont Haloguignardia irritans (Ascomycota, Pezizomycotina) with its algal hosts Cystoseira and Halidrys (Phaeophyceae, Fucales) along the west coast of North America.

    PubMed

    Harvey, J B J; Goff, Lynda J

    2010-01-01

    The fungal endophyte Haloguignardia irritans induces gall formation on the brown algal genera Cystoseira and Halidrys occurring from Oregon to Baja California, Mexico. Here we examine genetic covariation and compare rDNA phylogenies to investigate the coevolutionary histories of H. irritans and its algal hosts. Despite recognition of H. irritans as a single morphological species, internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences representative of its geographic range are characterized by sequence variation at the intraspecific to intrageneric levels. An assessment of parallel cladogenesis between endophyte and host phylogenies provides evidence for a combination of independent fungal divergence and host jumping, similar to that observed in terrestrial lichens. Our results suggest that reduced gene flow due to geographic isolation is a major contributing factor to more concerted covariation observed at one island site, rather than to differences among algal host species alone. Because geography and its effects on gene flow can create heterogeneous mosaics of coevolution for symbioses in terrestrial environments, our results support the notion that conservation efforts toward the maintenance of genetic diversity in marine environments should likewise consider geographic complexity and its effects on coevolving marine species.

  12. Recovery of algal oil from marine green macro-algae Enteromorpha intestinalis by acidic-hydrothermal process.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Gwi-Taek; Hong, Yong-Ki; Lee, Hyung-Ho; Kong, In-Soo; Kim, Joong Kyun; Park, Nam Gyu; Kim, Sung-Koo; Park, Don-Hee

    2014-09-01

    In this study, the recovery of algal oil from Enteromorpha intestinalis based on an acidic-hydrothermal reaction was investigated. Overall, the algal oil yield after the acidic-hydrothermal reaction was increased under the conditions of high reaction temperature, high catalyst concentration, and long reaction time within the tested ranges. Significantly, catalyst concentration, compared with reaction temperature and time, less affected algal oil recovery. The optimal acidic-hydrothermal reaction conditions for production of algal oil from E. intestinalis were as follows-200 °C reaction temperature, 2.92 % catalyst concentration, 54 min reaction time. Under these conditions, an 18.6 % algal oil yield was obtained. By increasing the combined severity factor, the algae oil recovery yield linearly increased.

  13. Chemical constituents of marine algal-derived endophytic fungus Exophiala oligosperma EN-21

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fang; Li, Ke; Li, Xiaoming; Wang, Bingui

    2011-01-01

    Seven compounds (1-7) were identified from the cultivation of the endophytic fungus Exophiala oligosperma (EN-21) that was isolated from the inner tissue of the marine red alga Laurencia similis. Their structures were identified with spectroscopic and chemical methods as 2-phenoxynaphthalene ( 1), (2 S, 3 R, 4 E, 8 E)-1- O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-3-hydroxy-2-[( R)-2'-hydroxyoctadecanoyl] amino-9-methyl-4, 8-octadeca-diene ( 2), (22 E,24 R)-ergosta-7,22-dien-3β,5α,6β-triol ( 3), (22 E, 24 R)-3β, 5α, 9α-trihydroxy-ergosta-7, 22-dien-6-one ( 4), (22 E, 24 R)-5α, 6α-epoxy-ergosta-8, 22-dien-3β, 7α-diol ( 5), (22 E, 24 R)-ergosta-4, 6, 8(14), 22-tetraen-3-one ( 6), and euphorbol ( 7). This paper reports for the first time the chemical constituents of fungus Exophiala oligosperma and the discovery of compound 1 as a natural product from the fungus.

  14. Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) and the dispersion of algal bloom and marine debris in the Yellow and East China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y. H.; Choi, B.; Son, Y. B.; Shim, W. J.; Hwang, J. H.; Park, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Series of satellite images show that the development and migration of green macroalgal bloom (known as Ulva prolifera) in the Yellow Sea (YS) and Eastern China Sea (ECS). This presentation will utilize the Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) analysis to demonstrate the dispersion pattern of algal bloom patches. Analyzing LCS such as stable and unstable manifolds is one of emerging technologies for characterizing Lagrangian pathways in aquatic environments. This approach is based on the assumption that unstable manifolds such as ridges (i.e., high values) in the finite-time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) fields coincide with material transport barriers. In this study, the FTLE fields were computed from gridded trajectories using flow fields provided by Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) in the YS/ECS during summer 2011. The results show that there exist two strong transport barriers that lie along the east-west direction, at least, for the simulation period; one is located from the north of Changjiang River mouth to the middle of the Yellow Sea and the other one is stretched from the south of Shandong Peninsular toward east/southeast. This LCS analysis suggests that patches of green algae developed in the coastal region of Jiangsu Province during summer may migrate toward east into the middle of the YS or even toward Korean coast rather than extending along the Jiangsu coast, which is consistent with the observation results derived from the satellite ocean color data. In the very same manner, the utilization of LCS results to evaluate the distribution/transport pattern of marine debris in the YS/ECS will also be discussed during the presentation.

  15. [alpha-Neurotoxins and alpha-conotoxins--nicotinic cholinoreceptor blockers].

    PubMed

    Utkin, Iu N; Kasheverov, I E; Tsetlin, V I

    1999-11-01

    The review is devoted to the competitive blockers of different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, alpha-neurotoxins from snake venoms, and alpha-conotoxins from marine snails of the Conidae family. The relationship between the structure and function of these toxins is discussed. Recent data on the mechanism of alpha-neurotoxin and alpha-conotoxin interaction with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor are presented.

  16. Colorimetric microtiter plate receptor-binding assay for the detection of freshwater and marine neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubio, Fernando; Kamp, Lisa; Carpino, Justin; Faltin, Erin; Loftin, Keith A.; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo

    2014-01-01

    Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, produced by cyanobacteria, are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Pinnatoxins, spirolides, and gymnodimines, produced by dinoflagellates, are antagonists of nAChRs. In this study we describe the development and validation of a competitive colorimetric, high throughput functional assay based on the mechanism of action of freshwater and marine toxins against nAChRs. Torpedo electrocyte membranes (rich in muscle-type nAChR) were immobilized and stabilized on the surface of 96-well microtiter plates. Biotinylated α-bungarotoxin (the tracer) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (the detector) enabled the detection and quantitation of anatoxin-a in surface waters and cyclic imine toxins in shellfish extracts that were obtained from different locations across the US. The method compares favorably to LC/MS/MS and provides accurate results for anatoxin-a and cyclic imine toxins monitoring. Study of common constituents at the concentrations normally found in drinking and environmental waters, as well as the tolerance to pH, salt, solvents, organic and inorganic compounds did not significantly affect toxin detection. The assay allowed the simultaneous analysis of up to 25 samples within 3.5 h and it is well suited for on-site or laboratory monitoring of low levels of toxins in drinking, surface, and ground water as well as in shellfish extracts.

  17. The Genome of the Alga-Associated Marine Flavobacterium Formosa agariphila KMM 3901T Reveals a Broad Potential for Degradation of Algal Polysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Alexander J.; Hahnke, Richard L.; Huang, Sixing; Werner, Johannes; Xing, Peng; Barbeyron, Tristan; Huettel, Bruno; Stüber, Kurt; Reinhardt, Richard; Harder, Jens; Glöckner, Frank Oliver; Amann, Rudolf I.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, representatives of the Bacteroidetes have been increasingly recognized as specialists for the degradation of macromolecules. Formosa constitutes a Bacteroidetes genus within the class Flavobacteria, and the members of this genus have been found in marine habitats with high levels of organic matter, such as in association with algae, invertebrates, and fecal pellets. Here we report on the generation and analysis of the genome of the type strain of Formosa agariphila (KMM 3901T), an isolate from the green alga Acrosiphonia sonderi. F. agariphila is a facultative anaerobe with the capacity for mixed acid fermentation and denitrification. Its genome harbors 129 proteases and 88 glycoside hydrolases, indicating a pronounced specialization for the degradation of proteins, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins. Sixty-five of the glycoside hydrolases are organized in at least 13 distinct polysaccharide utilization loci, where they are clustered with TonB-dependent receptors, SusD-like proteins, sensors/transcription factors, transporters, and often sulfatases. These loci play a pivotal role in bacteroidetal polysaccharide biodegradation and in the case of F. agariphila revealed the capacity to degrade a wide range of algal polysaccharides from green, red, and brown algae and thus a strong specialization of toward an alga-associated lifestyle. This was corroborated by growth experiments, which confirmed usage particularly of those monosaccharides that constitute the building blocks of abundant algal polysaccharides, as well as distinct algal polysaccharides, such as laminarins, xylans, and κ-carrageenans. PMID:23995932

  18. Sequence Analysis of Marine Virus Communities Reveals that Groups of Related Algal Viruses Are Widely Distributed in Nature

    PubMed Central

    Short, Steven M.; Suttle, Curtis A.

    2002-01-01

    Algal-virus-specific PCR primers were used to amplify DNA polymerase (pol) gene fragments from geographically isolated natural virus communities. Natural algal virus communities were obtained from coastal sites in the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, Canada, and the Southern Ocean near the Antarctic peninsula. Genetic fingerprints of algal virus communities were generated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Sequencing efforts recovered 33 sequences from the gradient gel. Of the 33 sequences examined, 25 encoded a conserved amino acid motif indicating that the sequences were pol gene fragments. Furthermore, the 25 pol sequences were related to pol gene fragments from known algal viruses. In addition, similar virus sequences (>98% sequence identity) were recovered from British Columbia and Antarctica. Results from this study demonstrate that DGGE with degenerate primers can be used to qualitatively fingerprint and assess genetic diversity in specific subsets of natural virus communities and that closely related viruses occur in distant geographic locations. DGGE is a powerful tool for genetically fingerprinting natural virus communities and may be used to examine how specific components of virus communities respond to experimental manipulations. PMID:11872479

  19. On Botulinum Neurotoxin Variability

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT  The rapidly growing number of botulinum neurotoxin sequences poses the problem of the possible evolutionary significance of the variability of these superpotent neurotoxins for toxin-producing Clostridium species. To progress in the understanding of this remarkable phenomenon, we suggest that researchers should (i) abandon an anthropocentric view of these neurotoxins as human botulism-causing agents or as human therapeutics, (ii) begin to investigate in depth the role of botulinum neurotoxins in animal botulism in the wilderness, and (iii) devote large efforts to next-generation sequencing of soil samples to identify novel botulinum neurotoxins. In order to compare the fitness of the different toxins, we suggest that assays of all the steps from toxin production to animal death should be performed. PMID:25564463

  20. On botulinum neurotoxin variability.

    PubMed

    Montecucco, Cesare; Rasotto, Maria Berica

    2015-01-06

    The rapidly growing number of botulinum neurotoxin sequences poses the problem of the possible evolutionary significance of the variability of these superpotent neurotoxins for toxin-producing Clostridium species. To progress in the understanding of this remarkable phenomenon, we suggest that researchers should (i) abandon an anthropocentric view of these neurotoxins as human botulism-causing agents or as human therapeutics, (ii) begin to investigate in depth the role of botulinum neurotoxins in animal botulism in the wilderness, and (iii) devote large efforts to next-generation sequencing of soil samples to identify novel botulinum neurotoxins. In order to compare the fitness of the different toxins, we suggest that assays of all the steps from toxin production to animal death should be performed. Copyright © 2015 Montecucco and Rasotto.

  1. Cytoskeleton organisation during the infection of three brown algal species, Ectocarpus siliculosus, Ectocarpus crouaniorum and Pylaiella littoralis, by the intracellular marine oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii.

    PubMed

    Tsirigoti, A; Küpper, F C; Gachon, C M M; Katsaros, C

    2014-01-01

    Oomycete diseases in seaweeds are probably widespread and of significant ecological and economic impact, but overall still poorly understood. This study investigates the organisation of the cytoskeleton during infection of three brown algal species, Pylaiella littoralis, Ectocarpus siliculosus, and Ectocarpus crouaniorum, by the basal marine oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii. Immunofluorescence staining of tubulin revealed how the development of this intracellular biotrophic pathogen impacts on microtubule (MT) organisation of its algal host. The host MT cytoskeleton remains normal and organised by the centrosome until very late stages of the infection. Additionally, the organisation of the parasite's cytoskeleton was examined. During mitosis of the E. dicksonii nucleus the MT focal point (microtubule organisation centre, MTOC, putative centrosome) duplicates and each daughter MTOC migrates to opposite poles of the nucleus. This similarity in MT organisation between the host and pathogen reflects the relatively close phylogenetic relationship between oomycetes and brown algae. Moreover, actin labelling with rhodamine-phalloidin in E. dicksonii revealed typical images of actin dots connected by fine actin filament bundles in the cortical cytoplasm. The functional and phylogenetic implications of our observations are discussed.

  2. Grazing preferences of marine isopods and amphipods on three prominent algal species of the Baltic Sea [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goecker, Margene E.; Kåll, Sara E.

    2003-12-01

    Preference tests were performed over a two-week period in September 2001 in which isopods ( Idotea baltica) and amphipods ( Gammarus oceanicus) were offered choices of three common species of algae from the Baltic Sea: Enteromorpha intestinalis, Cladophora spp., and Fucus vesiculosus. After a 48-hour starvation period, 20 individuals of each grazer species were placed in aquaria containing approximately 1.0 g of each algal species. Fifteen trials for each grazer species were run for 20 hours. We found that G. oceanicus ate significantly more Cladophora spp. and E. intestinalis than F. vesiculosus (p<0.001), with a preference order of: Cladophora spp.> E. intestinalis> F. vesiculosus. Similarly, I. baltica ate significantly more of both the filamentous green algae than F. vesiculosus (p<0.001), with a preference order of: E. intestinalis> Cladophora spp.> F. vesiculosus. Given the preference of isopods and amphipods for filamentous green algae, we might expect these algae to be maintained at low biomass levels. However, this is clearly not the case in the Baltic Sea. Nutrient enrichment (bottom-up effects) is the accepted dominant reason for the non-controlling impact of algal grazers, but other reasons may include cascading trophic effects resulting from the removal of large piscivorous fish (top-down effects).

  3. The extended phenotypes of marine symbioses: ecological and evolutionary consequences of intraspecific genetic diversity in coral-algal associations.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, John E; Baums, Iliana B

    2014-01-01

    Reef-building corals owe much of their success to a symbiosis with dinoflagellate microalgae in the genus Symbiodinium. In this association, the performance of each organism is tied to that of its partner, and together the partners form a holobiont that can be subject to selection. Climate change affects coral reefs, which are declining globally as a result. Yet the extent to which coral holobionts will be able to acclimate or evolve to handle climate change and other stressors remains unclear. Selection acts on individuals and evidence from terrestrial systems demonstrates that intraspecific genetic diversity plays a significant role in symbiosis ecology and evolution. However, we have a limited understanding of the effects of such diversity in corals. As molecular methods have advanced, so too has our recognition of the taxonomic and functional diversity of holobiont partners. Resolving the major components of the holobiont to the level of the individual will help us assess the importance of intraspecific diversity and partner interactions in coral-algal symbioses. Here, we hypothesize that unique combinations of coral and algal individuals yield functional diversity that affects not only the ecology and evolution of the coral holobiont, but associated communities as well. Our synthesis is derived from reviewing existing evidence and presenting novel data. By incorporating the effects of holobiont extended phenotypes into predictive models, we may refine our understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of corals and reef communities responding to climate change.

  4. The extended phenotypes of marine symbioses: ecological and evolutionary consequences of intraspecific genetic diversity in coral–algal associations

    PubMed Central

    Parkinson, John E.; Baums, Iliana B.

    2014-01-01

    Reef-building corals owe much of their success to a symbiosis with dinoflagellate microalgae in the genus Symbiodinium. In this association, the performance of each organism is tied to that of its partner, and together the partners form a holobiont that can be subject to selection. Climate change affects coral reefs, which are declining globally as a result. Yet the extent to which coral holobionts will be able to acclimate or evolve to handle climate change and other stressors remains unclear. Selection acts on individuals and evidence from terrestrial systems demonstrates that intraspecific genetic diversity plays a significant role in symbiosis ecology and evolution. However, we have a limited understanding of the effects of such diversity in corals. As molecular methods have advanced, so too has our recognition of the taxonomic and functional diversity of holobiont partners. Resolving the major components of the holobiont to the level of the individual will help us assess the importance of intraspecific diversity and partner interactions in coral–algal symbioses. Here, we hypothesize that unique combinations of coral and algal individuals yield functional diversity that affects not only the ecology and evolution of the coral holobiont, but associated communities as well. Our synthesis is derived from reviewing existing evidence and presenting novel data. By incorporating the effects of holobiont extended phenotypes into predictive models, we may refine our understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of corals and reef communities responding to climate change. PMID:25202306

  5. Marine downscaling of a future climate scenario in the North Sea and possible effects on dinoflagellate harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Friocourt, Y F; Skogen, M; Stolte, W; Albretsen, J

    2012-01-01

    Two hydrodynamic and ecological models were used to investigate the effects of climate change-according to the IPCC A1b emission scenario - on the primary productivity of the North Sea and on harmful algal blooms. Both models were forced with atmospheric fields from a regional downscaling of General Circulation Models to compare two sets of 20-year simulations representative of present climate (1984-2004) conditions and of the 2040s. Both models indicated a general warming of the North Sea by up to 0.8°C and a slight freshening by the 2040s. The models suggested that the eastern North Sea would be subjected to more temperature and salinity changes than the western part. In addition, the ecological modules of the models indicated that the warming up of the sea would result in a slightly earlier spring bloom. The one model that also computes the distribution of four different phytoplankton groups suggests an increase in the abundance of dinoflagellates, whereas the abundance of diatoms, flagellates and Phaeocystis sp. remains comparable to current levels, or decrease. Assuming that Dinophysis spp. would experience a similar increase in abundance as the modelled group of dinoflagellates, it is hypothesised that blooms of Dinophysis spp. may occur more frequently in the North Sea by 2040. However, implications for shellfish toxicity remain unclear.

  6. Assessing the potential of amino acid 13C patterns as a carbon source tracer in marine sediments: effects of algal growth conditions and sedimentary diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, T.; Bach, L. T.; Salvatteci, R.; Wang, Y. V.; Andersen, N.; Ventura, M.; McCarthy, M. D.

    2015-08-01

    Burial of organic carbon in marine sediments has a profound influence in marine biogeochemical cycles and provides a sink for greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4. However, tracing organic carbon from primary production sources as well as its transformations in the sediment record remains challenging. Here we examine a novel but growing tool for tracing the biosynthetic origin of amino acid carbon skeletons, based on naturally occurring stable carbon isotope patterns in individual amino acids (δ13CAA). We focus on two important aspects for δ13CAA utility in sedimentary paleoarchives: first, the fidelity of source diagnostic of algal δ13CAA patterns across different oceanographic growth conditions, and second, the ability of δ13CAA patterns to record the degree of subsequent microbial amino acid synthesis after sedimentary burial. Using the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, we tested under controlled conditions how δ13CAA patterns respond to changing environmental conditions, including light, salinity, temperature, and pH. Our findings show that while differing oceanic growth conditions can change macromolecular cellular composition, δ13CAA isotopic patterns remain largely invariant. These results emphasize that δ13CAA patterns should accurately record biosynthetic sources across widely disparate oceanographic conditions. We also explored how δ13CAA patterns change as a function of age, total nitrogen and organic carbon content after burial, in a marine sediment core from a coastal upwelling area off Peru. Based on the four most informative amino acids for distinguishing between diatom and bacterial sources (i.e., isoleucine, lysine, leucine and tyrosine), bacterially derived amino acids ranged from 10 to 15 % in the sediment layers from the last 5000 years, and up to 35 % during the last glacial period. The greater bacterial contributions in older sediments indicate that bacterial activity and amino acid resynthesis progressed, approximately as a

  7. Assessing the potential of amino acid δ13C patterns as a carbon source tracer in marine sediments: effects of algal growth conditions and sedimentary diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, T.; Bach, L. T.; Salvatteci, R.; Wang, Y. V.; Andersen, N.; Ventura, M.; McCarthy, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    Burial of organic carbon in marine sediments has a profound influence in marine biogeochemical cycles, and provides a sink for greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4. However, tracing organic carbon from primary production sources as well as its transformations in the sediment record remains challenging. Here we examine a novel but growing tool for tracing biosynthetic origin of amino acid carbon skeletons, based on natural occurring stable carbon isotope patterns in individual amino acids (δ13CAA). We focus on two important aspects for δ13CAA utility in sedimentary paleoarchives: first, the fidelity of source diagnostic of algal δ13CAA patterns across different oceanographic growth conditions; and second, the ability of δ13CAA patterns to record the degree of subsequent microbial amino acid synthesis after sedimentary burial. Using the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, we tested under controlled conditions how δ13CAA patterns respond to changing environmental conditions, including light, salinity, temperature, and pH. Our findings show that while differing oceanic growth conditions can change macromolecular cellular composition, δ13CAA isotopic patterns remain largely invariant. These results underscore that δ13CAA patterns should accurately record biosynthetic sources across widely disparate oceanographic conditions. We also explored how δ13CAA patterns change as a function of age, total nitrogen and organic carbon content after burial, in a marine sediment core from a coastal upwelling area off Peru. Based on the four most informative amino acids for distinguishing between diatom and bacterial sources (i.e. isoleucine, lysine, leucine and tyrosine), bacterial derived amino acids ranged from 10-15% in the sediment layers from the last 5000 years to 35% during the last glacial period. The larger bacterial fractions in older sediments indicate that bacterial activity and amino acid resynthesis progressed, approximately as a function of sediment age, to

  8. Factsheet: Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  9. Copepods induce paralytic shellfish toxin production in marine dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Algal blooms and "Marine snow": Mechanisms that enhance preservation of organic carbon in ancient fine-grained sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Macquaker, J.H.S.; Keller, M.A.; Davies, S.J.

    2010-01-01

    Combined petographic and geochemical methods are used to investigate the microfabrics present in thin sections prepared from representative organic carbon-rich mudstones collected from three successions (the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, the Jet Rock Member of the Whitby Mudstone Formation, and the pebble shale and Hue Shale). This study was initiated to determine how organic carbon-rich materials were being delivered to the sediment-water interface, and what happened to them after deposition, prior to deep burial. Analyses of the fabrics present shows that they exhibit many common attributes. In particular they are all: (1) highly heterogeneous on the scale of a thin section, (2) organized into thin beds (< 10 mm thick) composed mainly of mineral mixtures of fine-grained siliciclastic detritus and carbonate materials, and (3) contain significant concentrations of organic carbon, much of which is organized into laminasets that contain abundant organomineralic aggregates and pellets. In addition, framboidal pyrite (range of sizes from < 20 urn to < 1 ??m) and abundant agglutinated foraminifers are present in some units. The individual beds are commonly sharp-based and overlain by thin, silt lags. The tops of many of the beds have been homogenized and some regions of the pelleted laminasets contain small horizontal burrows. The organomineralic aggregates present in these mudstones are interpreted to be ancient examples of marine snow. This marine snow likely formed in the water column, particularly during phytoplankton blooms, and was then transported rapidly to the seafloor. The existence of the thin beds with homogenized tops and an in-situ infauna indicates that between blooms there was sufficient oxygen and time for a mixed layer to develop as a result of sediment colonization by diminutive organisms using either aerobic or dysaerobic metabolic pathways. These textures suggest that the constituents of these mudstones were delivered neither as a continuous rain of

  11. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

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

  12. Comparison of sea snake (Hydrophiidae) neurotoxin to cobra (Naja) neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Komori, Yumiko; Nagamizu, Masaya; Uchiya, Kei-Ichi; Nikai, Toshiaki; Tu, Anthony T

    2009-12-01

    Both sea snakes and cobras have venoms containing postsynaptic neurotoxins. Comparison of the primary structures indicates many similarities, especially the positions of the four disulfide bonds. However, detailed examination reveals differences in several amino acid residues. Amino acid sequences of sea snake neurotoxins were determined, and then compared to cobra neurotoxins by computer modeling. This allowed for easy comparison of the similarities and differences between the two types of postsynaptic neurotoxins. Comparison of computer models for the toxins of sea snakes and cobra will reveal the three dimensional difference of the toxins much clearer than the amino acid sequence alone.

  13. Loss and recovery potential of marine habitats: an experimental study of factors maintaining resilience in subtidal algal forests at the Adriatic sea.

    PubMed

    Perkol-Finkel, Shimrit; Airoldi, Laura

    2010-05-24

    Predicting and abating the loss of natural habitats present a huge challenge in science, conservation and management. Algal forests are globally threatened by loss and severe recruitment failure, but our understanding of resilience in these systems and its potential disruption by anthropogenic factors lags well behind other habitats. We tested hypotheses regarding triggers for decline and recovery potential in subtidal forests of canopy-forming algae of the genus Cystoseira. By using a combination of historical data, and quantitative in situ observations of natural recruitment patterns we suggest that recent declines of forests along the coasts of the north Adriatic Sea were triggered by increasing cumulative impacts of natural- and human-induced habitat instability along with several extreme storm events. Clearing and transplantation experiments subsequently demonstrated that at such advanced stages of ecosystem degradation, increased substratum stability would be essential but not sufficient to reverse the loss, and that for recovery to occur removal of the new dominant space occupiers (i.e., opportunistic species including turf algae and mussels) would be required. Lack of surrounding adult canopies did not seem to impair the potential for assisted recovery, suggesting that in these systems recovery could be actively enhanced even following severe depletions. We demonstrate that sudden habitat loss can be facilitated by long term changes in the biotic and abiotic conditions in the system, that erode the ability of natural ecosystems to absorb and recover from multiple stressors of natural and human origin. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mere restoration of environmental conditions preceding a loss, if possible, may be insufficient for ecosystem restoration, and is scarcely cost-effective. We conclude that the loss of complex marine habitats in human-dominated landscapes could be mitigated with appropriate consideration and management of incremental habitat

  14. Loss and Recovery Potential of Marine Habitats: An Experimental Study of Factors Maintaining Resilience in Subtidal Algal Forests at the Adriatic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Perkol-Finkel, Shimrit; Airoldi, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Background Predicting and abating the loss of natural habitats present a huge challenge in science, conservation and management. Algal forests are globally threatened by loss and severe recruitment failure, but our understanding of resilience in these systems and its potential disruption by anthropogenic factors lags well behind other habitats. We tested hypotheses regarding triggers for decline and recovery potential in subtidal forests of canopy-forming algae of the genus Cystoseira. Methodology/Principal Findings By using a combination of historical data, and quantitative in situ observations of natural recruitment patterns we suggest that recent declines of forests along the coasts of the north Adriatic Sea were triggered by increasing cumulative impacts of natural- and human-induced habitat instability along with several extreme storm events. Clearing and transplantation experiments subsequently demonstrated that at such advanced stages of ecosystem degradation, increased substratum stability would be essential but not sufficient to reverse the loss, and that for recovery to occur removal of the new dominant space occupiers (i.e., opportunistic species including turf algae and mussels) would be required. Lack of surrounding adult canopies did not seem to impair the potential for assisted recovery, suggesting that in these systems recovery could be actively enhanced even following severe depletions. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that sudden habitat loss can be facilitated by long term changes in the biotic and abiotic conditions in the system, that erode the ability of natural ecosystems to absorb and recover from multiple stressors of natural and human origin. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mere restoration of environmental conditions preceding a loss, if possible, may be insufficient for ecosystem restoration, and is scarcely cost-effective. We conclude that the loss of complex marine habitats in human-dominated landscapes could be mitigated with

  15. Algal blooms and public health

    SciTech Connect

    Epstein, P.R. . Harvard Medical School)

    1993-06-01

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

  16. First identification of the neurotoxin homoanatoxin-a from mats of Hydrocoleum lyngbyaceum (marine cyanobacterium) possibly linked to giant clam poisoning in New Caledonia.

    PubMed

    Méjean, Annick; Peyraud-Thomas, Caroline; Kerbrat, Anne Sophie; Golubic, Stjepko; Pauillac, Serge; Chinain, Mireille; Laurent, Dominique

    2010-10-01

    We report the first identification of homoanatoxin-a from benthic marine cyanobacteria (Hydrocoleum lyngbyaceum) samples collected in Lifou (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia), where cases of giant clams (Tridacna maxima) intoxications were recorded during a severe ciguatera fish poisoning outbreak. Homoanatoxin-a was also detected in extracts of giant clams harvested in the surroundings of the contaminated area suggesting the possible link between these poisoning events and the occurrence of potentially neurotoxic Hydrocoleum. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Coupling the Torpedo Microplate-Receptor Binding Assay with Mass Spectrometry to Detect Cyclic Imine Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M.; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility. PMID:23131021

  19. Coupling the Torpedo microplate-receptor binding assay with mass spectrometry to detect cyclic imine neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2012-12-04

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility.

  20. A Marine Snail Neurotoxin Shares with Scorpion Toxins a Convergent Mechanism of Blockade on the Pore of Voltage-Gated K Channels

    PubMed Central

    García, Esperanza; Scanlon, Martin; Naranjo, David

    1999-01-01

    κ-Conotoxin-PVIIA (κ-PVIIA) belongs to a family of peptides derived from a hunting marine snail that targets to a wide variety of ion channels and receptors. κ-PVIIA is a small, structurally constrained, 27-residue peptide that inhibits voltage-gated K channels. Three disulfide bonds shape a characteristic four-loop folding. The spatial localization of positively charged residues in κ-PVIIA exhibits strong structural mimicry to that of charybdotoxin, a scorpion toxin that occludes the pore of K channels. We studied the mechanism by which this peptide inhibits Shaker K channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes with the N-type inactivation removed. Chronically applied to whole oocytes or outside-out patches, κ-PVIIA inhibition appears as a voltage-dependent relaxation in response to the depolarizing pulse used to activate the channels. At any applied voltage, the relaxation rate depended linearly on the toxin concentration, indicating a bimolecular stoichiometry. Time constants and voltage dependence of the current relaxation produced by chronic applications agreed with that of rapid applications to open channels. Effective valence of the voltage dependence, zδ, is ∼0.55 and resides primarily in the rate of dissociation from the channel, while the association rate is voltage independent with a magnitude of 107–108 M−1 s−1, consistent with diffusion-limited binding. Compatible with a purely competitive interaction for a site in the external vestibule, tetraethylammonium, a well-known K-pore blocker, reduced κ-PVIIA's association rate only. Removal of internal K+ reduced, but did not eliminate, the effective valence of the toxin dissociation rate to a value <0.3. This trans-pore effect suggests that: (a) as in the α-KTx, a positively charged side chain, possibly a Lys, interacts electrostatically with ions residing inside the Shaker pore, and (b) a part of the toxin occupies an externally accessible K+ binding site, decreasing the degree of pore occupancy

  1. Algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Multispecies mass mortality of marine fauna linked to a toxic dinoflagellate bloom

    PubMed Central

    Starr, Michel; Lair, Stéphane; Michaud, Sonia; Scarratt, Michael; Quilliam, Michael; Lefaivre, Denis; Robert, Michel; Wotherspoon, Andrew; Michaud, Robert; Ménard, Nadia; Sauvé, Gilbert; Lessard, Sylvie; Béland, Pierre; Measures, Lena

    2017-01-01

    Following heavy precipitation, we observed an intense algal bloom in the St. Lawrence Estuary (SLE) that coincided with an unusually high mortality of several species of marine fish, birds and mammals, including species designated at risk. The algal species was identified as Alexandrium tamarense and was determined to contain a potent mixture of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST). Significant levels of PST were found in the liver and/or gastrointestinal contents of several carcasses tested as well as in live planktivorous fish, molluscs and plankton samples collected during the bloom. This provided strong evidence for the trophic transfer of PST resulting in mortalities of multiple wildlife species. This conclusion was strengthened by the sequence of mortalities, which followed the drift of the bloom along the coast of the St. Lawrence Estuary. No other cause of mortality was identified in the majority of animals examined at necropsy. Reports of marine fauna presenting signs of neurological dysfunction were also supportive of exposure to these neurotoxins. The event reported here represents the first well-documented case of multispecies mass mortality of marine fish, birds and mammals linked to a PST-producing algal bloom. PMID:28472048

  3. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    PubMed

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

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

  4. Algicidal Effects of a Novel Marine Pseudoalteromonas Isolate (Class Proteobacteria, Gamma Subdivision) on Harmful Algal Bloom Species of the Genera Chattonella, Gymnodinium, and Heterosigma

    PubMed Central

    Lovejoy, Connie; Bowman, John P.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    1998-01-01

    During a bacterial survey of the Huon Estuary in southern Tasmania, Australia, we isolated a yellow-pigmented Pseudoalteromonas strain (class Proteobacteria, gamma subdivision), designated strain Y, that had potent algicidal effects on harmful algal bloom species. This organism was identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as a strain with close affinities to Pseudoalteromonas peptidysin. This bacterium caused rapid cell lysis and death (within 3 h) of gymnodinoids (including Gymnodinium catenatum) and raphidophytes (Chattonella marina and Heterosigma akashiwo). It caused ecdysis of armored dinoflagellates (e.g., Alexandrium catenella, Alexandrium minutum, and Prorocentrum mexicanum), but the algal cultures then recovered over the subsequent 24 h. Strain Y had no effect on a cryptomonad (Chroomonas sp.), a diatom (Skeletonema sp.), a cyanobacterium (Oscillatoria sp.), and two aplastidic protozoans. The algicidal principle of strain Y was excreted into the seawater medium and lost its efficacy after heating. Another common bacterial species, Pseudoalteromonas carrageenovora, was isolated at the same time and did not have these algicidal effects. The minimum concentrations of strain Y required to kill G. catenatum were higher than the mean concentrations found in nature under nonbloom conditions. However, the new bacterium showed a chemotactic, swarming behavior that resulted in localized high concentrations around target organisms. These observations imply that certain bacteria could play an important role in regulating the onset and development of harmful algal blooms. PMID:9687434

  5. Carbon conversion efficiency and population dynamics of a marine algae-bacteria consortium growing on simplified synthetic digestate: first step in a bioprocess coupling algal production and anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, Christophe; Bougaran, Gaël; Garnier, Matthieu; Hamelin, Jérôme; Leboulanger, Christophe; Le Chevanton, Myriam; Mostajir, Behzad; Sialve, Bruno; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Fouilland, Eric

    2012-09-01

    Association of microalgae culture and anaerobic digestion seems a promising technology for sustainable algal biomass and biogas production. The use of digestates for sustaining the growth of microalgae reduces the costs and the environmental impacts associated with the substantial algal nutrient requirements. A natural marine algae-bacteria consortium was selected by growing on a medium containing macro nutrients (ammonia, phosphate and acetate) specific of a digestate, and was submitted to a factorial experimental design with different levels of temperature, light and pH. The microalgal consortium reached a maximum C conversion efficiency (i.e. ratio between carbon content produced and carbon supplied through light photosynthetic C conversion and acetate) of 3.6%. The presence of bacteria increased this maximum C conversion efficiency up to 6.3%. The associated bacterial community was considered beneficial to the total biomass production by recycling the carbon lost during photosynthesis and assimilating organic by-products from anaerobic digestion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Harmful Algal Bloom Webinar

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  7. Marine Neurotoxins: Envenomations and Contact Toxins.

    PubMed

    Watters, Michael R.; Stommel, Elijah W.

    2004-03-01

    Familiarity with the appearance and habitat of venomous sea creatures, the location of their stinging apparatus, and surveillance of population concentrations within recreational waters are essential in avoiding envenomations. Compared with the thermo-stable low molecular weighted ingestible seafood toxins, venomous toxins are often large molecular weight proteins and many are heat labile, which provides opportunity for therapeutic intervention. Heat therapy may denature the toxins, and provide immediate relief of pain in coelenterate and venomous fish envenomations. Injections of local anesthetic agents may also be used. First aid measures at the seashore may limit the spread of venom, and include immobilization of the affected sites, compression bandaging, and venous-lymphatic occlusive bandages. Measures to limit continued envenomation by attached stinging cells include topical vinegar for jellyfish tentacles and irrigation with debridment for spines of venomous fish. Antivenins are of limited availability and may be used for envenomations with sea snakes, Chironex box jellyfish, and some venomous fish. Sea snakes bites may be treated with antivenin from land snakes or with hemodialysis when antivenin is not available. Neuromuscular paralysis occurs with bites by sea snakes, cone snails, blue octopuses, and some jellyfish. Supportive treatment includes attention to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and intubation. Exposure to Pfeisteria may result in cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. Treatment with cholestyramine may be helpful in binding the toxin and improve recovery.

  8. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Algal Toxins Alter Copepod Feeding Behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pierce, R H; Henry, M S

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Henry, M. S.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Marine biogeochemistry: Methylmercury manufacture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossa, Daniel

    2013-10-01

    The neurotoxin methylmercury can accumulate in marine food webs, contaminating seafood. An analysis of the isotopic composition of fish in the North Pacific suggests that much of the mercury that enters the marine food web originates from low-oxygen subsurface waters.

  13. Anti-malarial, anti-algal, anti-tubercular, anti-bacterial, anti-photosynthetic, and anti-fouling activity of diterpene and diterpene isonitriles from the tropical marine sponge Cymbastela hooperi.

    PubMed

    Wright, Anthony D; McCluskey, Adam; Robertson, Mark J; MacGregor, Kylie A; Gordon, Christopher P; Guenther, Jana

    2011-01-21

    In an investigation into their potential ecological role(s), a group of mainly diterpene isonitriles, nine in total, isolated from the tropical marine sponge Cymbastela hooperi, and the sesquiterpene axisonitrile-3, isolated from the tropical marine sponge Acanthella kletra, were evaluated in a series of bioassays including anti-fouling, anti-algal, anti-photosynthetic, anti-bacterial (Gram +ve and -ve), anti-fungal, and anti-tubercular. The results of these assays showed that all of the tested compounds, with the exception of diterpene 9, were active in at least two of the applied test systems, with axisonitrile-3 (10) and diterpene isonitrile 1 being the two most active compounds overall, closely followed by diterpene isonitrile 3. Based on the results of the photosynthetic study a molecular modelling investigation was undertaken with all of the compounds used in that study. The results showed a positive correlation between reduction in photosynthetic activity and the interaction of the modelled compounds with a potential enzyme active site.

  14. Botulinum neurotoxin: the ugly duckling.

    PubMed

    Koussoulakos, Stauros

    2009-01-01

    This review presents a brief account of the most significant biological effects and clinical applications of botulinum neurotoxins, in a way comprehensive even for casual readers who are not familiar with the subject. The most toxic known substances in botulinum neurotoxins are polypeptides naturally synthesized by bacteria of the genus Clostridium. These polypeptides inhibit acetylcholine release at neuromuscular junctions, thus causing muscle paralysis involving both somatic and autonomic innervation. There is substantial evidence that this muscle-paralyzing feature of botulinum neurotoxins is useful for their beneficial influence on more than 50 pathological conditions such as spastic paralysis, cerebral palsy, focal dystonia, essential tremor, headache, incontinence and a variety of cosmetic interventions. Injection of adequate quantities of botulinum toxins in spastic muscles is considered as a highly hopeful procedure for the treatment of people who suffer from dystonia, cerebral palsy or have experienced a stroke. So far, numerous and reliable studies have established the safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxins and advocate wider clinical therapeutic and cosmetic applications.

  15. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Association of an unusual marine mammal mortality event with Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Blooms along the southern California coastline.

    PubMed

    de la Riva, Gretel Torres; Johnson, Christine Kreuder; Gulland, Frances M D; Langlois, Gregg W; Heyning, John E; Rowles, Teri K; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2009-01-01

    During 2002, 2,239 marine mammals stranded in southern California. This unusual marine mammal stranding event was clustered from April to June and consisted primarily of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis) with severe neurologic signs. Intoxication with domoic acid (DA), a marine neurotoxin produced during seasonal blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia spp., was suspected. Definitively linking harmful algal blooms to large-scale marine mammal mortalities presents a substantial challenge, as does determining the geographic extent, species composition, and potential population impacts of marine mammal die-offs. For this reason, time series cross-correlation analysis was performed to test the temporal correlations of Pseudo-nitzschia blooms with strandings occurring along the southern California coastline. Temporal correlations were identified between strandings and blooms for California sea lions, long-beaked common dolphins, and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Similar correlations were identified for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), but small sample sizes for these species made associations more speculative. The timing of the blooms and strandings of marine mammals suggested that both inshore and offshore foraging species were affected and that marine biotoxin programs should include offshore monitoring sites. In addition, California sea lion-strandings appear to be a very sensitive indicator of DA in the marine environment, and their monitoring should be included in public health surveillance plans.

  18. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin for the Treatment of Movement Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... FAMILIES Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections to Treat Movement Disorders People often associate botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) with ... studies on the effect of BoNT for treating movement disorders. What is botulinum neurotoxin and how does ...

  19. BOTDB: A Database for the Clostridial Neurotoxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    alpha-test phase of development and will become a publicly available web site. INTRODUCTION The neurotoxins from Clostridium botulinum and related...tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) from C. tetani , in contrast, causes spastic paralysis due to its net disinhibitory effect within the central nervous system... Clostridium botulinum and its neurotoxins: a metabolic and cellular perspective. Toxicon 2001;39:1703-1722. 6. Rossetto O, Seveso M, Caccin P, Schiavo G

  20. Draft Genome Sequence of Cellulophaga sp. E6, a Marine Algal Epibiont That Produces a Quorum-Sensing Inhibitory Compound Active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Lafleur, J. E.; Costa, S. K.; Bitzer, A. S.

    2015-01-01

    The genus Cellulophaga is composed of obligate aerobic Gram-negative bacteria commonly found in association with marine algae. We report the approximately 4.42-Mbp draft genome sequence of Cellulophaga sp. E6, which inhibits N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C12-HSL)–mediated quorum sensing (QS), lasB transcription, and biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PMID:25676769

  1. Pharmacological Studies on Clostridial Neurotoxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-08-01

    neuromuscular bl -kade caused by botulinum toxin typeL A, B and C aall-at I x 10O M0 and by tetanus toxin t3 ± -; Neither drua antaaonized the onset of... botulinum toxin ............. 14 6. Literature Cited ...................................... 19 7. Distribution List...The proposed mechanism of clo-tridial neurotoxin a action, using botulinum toxin (BT) as a prototype, can be "written as KI:1lows (Simpscn, 1981): I

  2. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Chatla, Kamalakar; Gaunt, Patricia S.; Petrie-Hanson, Lora; Ford, Lorelei; Hanson, Larry A.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight) at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg)/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins. PMID:27153088

  3. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. High substrate specificity factor ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase from eukaryotic marine algae and properties of recombinant cyanobacterial RubiSCO containing "algal" residue modifications.

    PubMed

    Read, B A; Tabita, F R

    1994-07-01

    Marine algae play an important role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In this investigation, we have determined the substrate specificity factor of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase from several marine chromophytic and rhodophytic algae. The enzymes were purified to homogeneity and all possessed significantly higher substrate specificity factors than the enzymes from terrestrial plants, green algae, or bacteria. There are substantial differences in the sequence in a helix 6 of the large subunit of these enzymes, which is intriguing since residues of this region had been previously shown to influence the ability of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase to discriminate between CO2 and O2, presumably by influencing the adjacent flexible loop 6 region. Sequence divergence at this and other key regions might contribute to the substantial differences in the substrate specificity factor of the chromophyte/rhodophyte enzyme. Initial studies on probing the basis for the high substrate specificity factor employed single amino acid substitutions in the recombinant cyanobacterial ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase. Residues in the vicinity of loop 6 were changed to reflect the corresponding residues in the chromophyte/rhodophyte large subunit. Some changes in the substrate specificity factor were noted, as were alterations in other important kinetic parameters. Since marine algae show little evidence of photorespiratory metabolism, the high substrate specificity of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase is consistent with the physiology of these organisms. The results of this study provide further evidence that the properties of this enzyme may evolve or change according to the environment in which the host organism is found.

  5. Indicators: Algal Toxins (microcystin)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  6. Chermesins A-D: Meroterpenoids with a Drimane-Type Spirosesquiterpene Skeleton from the Marine Algal-Derived Endophytic Fungus Penicillium chermesinum EN-480.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Li, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Yang; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Jia-Ning; Wang, Bin-Gui

    2016-04-22

    Chermesins A-D (1-4), four new spiromeroterpenoids containing a drimane-type sesquiterpene skeleton, were isolated and identified from the culture extract of Penicillium chermesinum EN-480, an endophytic fungus obtained from the inner tissue of the marine red alga Pterocladiella tenuis. The structures of these new spiromeroterpenoids were elucidated based on detailed spectroscopic analyses, and their absolute configurations were confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments and by ECD data. This is the first report of the crystal structures of spiromeroterpenoids that contain a drimane-type sesquiterpene skeleton with a rare cyclohexa-2,5-dienone unit, which resulted in the unambiguous assignment of their relative and absolute configurations. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited antibacterial activity against the opportunistic pathogen Micrococcus luteus, with an MIC value of 8 μg/mL.

  7. Driving south: a multi-gene phylogeny of the brown algal family Fucaceae reveals relationships and recent drivers of a marine radiation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding the processes driving speciation in marine ecosystems remained a challenge until recently, due to the unclear nature of dispersal boundaries. However, recent evidence for marine adaptive radiations and ecological speciation, as well as previously undetected patterns of cryptic speciation is overturning this view. Here, we use multi-gene phylogenetics to infer the family-level evolutionary history of Fucaceae (intertidal brown algae of the northern Pacific and Atlantic) in order to investigate recent and unique patterns of radiative speciation in the genus Fucus in the Atlantic, in contrast with the mainly monospecific extant genera. Results We developed a set of markers from 13 protein coding genes based on polymorphic cDNA from EST libraries, which provided novel resolution allowing estimation of ancestral character states and a detailed reconstruction of the recent radiative history. Phylogenetic reconstructions yielded similar topologies and revealed four independent trans-Arctic colonization events by Fucaceae lineages, two of which also involved transitions from hermaphroditism to dioecy associated with Atlantic invasions. More recently, reversion of dioecious ancestral lineages towards hermaphroditism has occurred in the genus Fucus, particularly coinciding with colonization of more extreme habitats. Novel lineages in the genus Fucus were also revealed in association with southern habitats. These most recent speciation events occurred during the Pleistocene glaciations and coincided with a shift towards selfing mating systems, generally southward shifts in distribution, and invasion of novel habitats. Conclusions Diversification of the family occurred in the Late-Mid Miocene, with at least four independent trans-Artic lineage crossings coincident with two reproductive mode transitions. The genus Fucus arose in the Pliocene but radiated within a relatively short time frame about 2.5 million years ago. Current species distributions of

  8. Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid.

    PubMed

    McKibben, S Morgaine; Peterson, William; Wood, A Michelle; Trainer, Vera L; Hunter, Matthew; White, Angelicque E

    2017-01-10

    Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish over the past 20 y in the Northern California Current regime is shown. The timing of elevated domoic acid is strongly related to warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Oceanic Niño Index, an indicator of El Niño events. Ocean conditions in the northeast Pacific that are associated with warm phases of these indices, including changes in prevailing currents and advection of anomalously warm water masses onto the continental shelf, are hypothesized to contribute to increases in this toxin. We present an applied domoic acid risk assessment model for the US West Coast based on combined climatic and local variables. Evidence of regional- to basin-scale controls on domoic acid has not previously been presented. Our findings have implications in coastal zones worldwide that are affected by this toxin and are particularly relevant given the increased frequency of anomalously warm ocean conditions.

  9. Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid

    PubMed Central

    McKibben, S. Morgaine; Peterson, William; Wood, A. Michelle; Trainer, Vera L.; Hunter, Matthew; White, Angelicque E.

    2017-01-01

    Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish over the past 20 y in the Northern California Current regime is shown. The timing of elevated domoic acid is strongly related to warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Oceanic Niño Index, an indicator of El Niño events. Ocean conditions in the northeast Pacific that are associated with warm phases of these indices, including changes in prevailing currents and advection of anomalously warm water masses onto the continental shelf, are hypothesized to contribute to increases in this toxin. We present an applied domoic acid risk assessment model for the US West Coast based on combined climatic and local variables. Evidence of regional- to basin-scale controls on domoic acid has not previously been presented. Our findings have implications in coastal zones worldwide that are affected by this toxin and are particularly relevant given the increased frequency of anomalously warm ocean conditions. PMID:28069959

  10. Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgaine McKibben, S.; Peterson, William; Wood, A. Michelle; Trainer, Vera L.; Hunter, Matthew; White, Angelicque E.

    2017-01-01

    Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish over the past 20 y in the Northern California Current regime is shown. The timing of elevated domoic acid is strongly related to warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Oceanic Niño Index, an indicator of El Niño events. Ocean conditions in the northeast Pacific that are associated with warm phases of these indices, including changes in prevailing currents and advection of anomalously warm water masses onto the continental shelf, are hypothesized to contribute to increases in this toxin. We present an applied domoic acid risk assessment model for the US West Coast based on combined climatic and local variables. Evidence of regional- to basin-scale controls on domoic acid has not previously been presented. Our findings have implications in coastal zones worldwide that are affected by this toxin and are particularly relevant given the increased frequency of anomalously warm ocean conditions.

  11. Algal Bloom Detection from HICO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, Ruhul; Gould, Richard

    2014-05-01

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

  12. The Algal Revolution.

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-01

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

  13. Improving photosynthesis for algal biofuels: toward a green revolution.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Patrick G; Moore, C Mark; Terry, Matthew J; Zubkov, Mikhail V; Bibby, Thomas S

    2011-12-01

    Biofuels derived from marine algae are a potential source of sustainable energy that can contribute to future global demands. The realisation of this potential will require manipulation of the fundamental biology of algal physiology to increase the efficiency with which solar energy is ultimately converted into usable biomass. This 'photosynthetic solar energy conversion efficiency' sets an upper limit on the potential of algal-derived biofuels. In this review, we outline photosynthetic molecular targets that could be manipulated to increase the efficiency and yield of algal biofuel production. We also highlight modern 'omic' and high-throughput technologies that might enable identification, selection and improvement of algal cell lines on timescales relevant for achieving significant contributions to future energy solutions.

  14. Algal diseases: spotlight on a black box.

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

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

  16. Harmful Algal Blooms Research

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Harmful Algal Blooms Research

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    2012-07-12

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

  19. Historical perspectives and guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surroundin...

  20. Novel symptomatology and changing epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): an increasing risk to marine mammal health

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, T; Mazet, J.A.K; Zabka, T.S; Langlois, G; Colegrove, K.M; Silver, M; Bargu, S; Van Dolah, F; Leighfield, T; Conrad, P.A; Barakos, J; Williams, D.C; Dennison, S; Haulena, M; Gulland, F.M.D

    2007-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms are increasing worldwide, including those of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. producing domoic acid off the California coast. This neurotoxin was first shown to cause mortality of marine mammals in 1998. A decade of monitoring California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) health since then has indicated that changes in the symptomatology and epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in this species are associated with the increase in toxigenic blooms. Two separate clinical syndromes now exist: acute domoic acid toxicosis as has been previously documented, and a second novel neurological syndrome characterized by epilepsy described here associated with chronic consequences of previous sub-lethal exposure to the toxin. This study indicates that domoic acid causes chronic damage to California sea lions and that these health effects are increasing. PMID:18006409

  1. Novel symptomatology and changing epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): an increasing risk to marine mammal health.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, T; Mazet, J A K; Zabka, T S; Langlois, G; Colegrove, K M; Silver, M; Bargu, S; Van Dolah, F; Leighfield, T; Conrad, P A; Barakos, J; Williams, D C; Dennison, S; Haulena, M; Gulland, F M D

    2008-02-07

    Harmful algal blooms are increasing worldwide, including those of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. producing domoic acid off the California coast. This neurotoxin was first shown to cause mortality of marine mammals in 1998. A decade of monitoring California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) health since then has indicated that changes in the symptomatology and epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in this species are associated with the increase in toxigenic blooms. Two separate clinical syndromes now exist: acute domoic acid toxicosis as has been previously documented, and a second novel neurological syndrome characterized by epilepsy described here associated with chronic consequences of previous sub-lethal exposure to the toxin. This study indicates that domoic acid causes chronic damage to California sea lions and that these health effects are increasing.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silver, M. W.; Bargu, S.

    2008-05-01

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

  4. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, John; Sarisky-Reed, Valerie

    2010-05-01

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

  5. Advanced Algal Systems Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Copper desorption from Gelidium algal biomass.

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  7. Three classes of plasmid (47-63 kb) carry the type B neurotoxin gene cluster of group II Clostridium botulinum.

    PubMed

    Carter, Andrew T; Austin, John W; Weedmark, Kelly A; Corbett, Cindi; Peck, Michael W

    2014-08-01

    Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and DNA sequence analysis of 26 strains of Group II (nonproteolytic) Clostridium botulinum type B4 showed that 23 strains carried their neurotoxin gene cluster on a 47-63 kb plasmid (three strains lacked any hybridization signal for the neurotoxin gene, presumably having lost their plasmid). Unexpectedly, no neurotoxin genes were found on the chromosome. This apparent constraint on neurotoxin gene transfer to the chromosome stands in marked contrast to Group I C. botulinum, in which neurotoxin gene clusters are routinely found in both locations. The three main classes of type B4 plasmid identified in this study shared different regions of homology, but were unrelated to any Group I or Group III plasmid. An important evolutionary aspect firmly links plasmid class to geographical origin, with one class apparently dominant in marine environments, whereas a second class is dominant in European terrestrial environments. A third class of plasmid is a hybrid between the other two other classes, providing evidence for contact between these seemingly geographically separated populations. Mobility via conjugation has been previously demonstrated for the type B4 plasmid of strain Eklund 17B, and similar genes associated with conjugation are present in all type B4 plasmids now described. A plasmid toxin-antitoxin system pemI gene located close to the neurotoxin gene cluster and conserved in each type B4 plasmid class may be important in understanding the mechanism which regulates this unique and unexpected bias toward plasmid-borne neurotoxin genes in Group II C. botulinum type B4.

  8. Ciguatera neurotoxin poisoning mimicking burning mouth syndrome.

    PubMed

    Heir, Gary M

    2005-01-01

    Burning mouth syndrome is a condition in which the patient perceives a sensation of intraoral burning, typically of the anterior tongue. This article presents a case report of a patient presenting for orofacial pain evaluation in whom ciguatera neurotoxin poisoning is diagnosed. The clinician should be aware of neurotoxin poisoning as a possible cause of symptoms of burning mouth, especially among patients who have recently traveled to a tropical area. Recognition of this condition in this case highlights the need for a detailed and accurate patient history.

  9. Stimulation of bacterial DNA synthesis by algal exudates in attached algal-bacterial consortia. [Amphora coffeaeformis; Vibrio proteolyticus

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, R.E.; Cooksey, K.E.; Priscu, J.C.

    1986-11-01

    Algal-bacterial consortia attached to polystyrene surfaces were prepared in the laboratory by using the marine diatom Amphora coffeaeformis and the marine bacterium Vibrio proteolytica (the approved name of this bacterium is Vibrio proteolyticus. The organisms were attached to the surfaces at cell densities of approximately 5 x 10/sup 4/ cells cm/sup -2/ (diatoms) and 5 x 10/sup 6/ cells cm/sup -2/ (bacteria). The algal-bacterial consortia consistently exhibited higher rates of (/sup 3/H)thymidine incorporation than did biofilms composed solely of bacteria. The rates of (/sup 3/H)thymidine incorporation by the algal-bacterial consortia were fourfold greater than the rates of incorporation by monobacterial biofilms 16 h after biofilm formation and were 16-fold greater 70 h after biofilm formation. Extracellular material released from the attached Amphora cells supported rates of bacterial activity (0.8 x 10/sup -21/ mol to 17.9 x 10/sup -21/ mol of (/sup 3/H)thymidine incorporated cell /sup -1/ h/sup -1/) and growth (doubling time, 29.5 to 1.4 days) comparable to values reported for a wide variety of marine and freshwater ecosystems. In the presence of sessile diatom populations, DNA synthesis by attached V. proteolytica cells was light dependent and increased with increasing algal abundance. The metabolic activity of diatoms thus appears to be the rate-limiting process in biofilm development on illuminated surfaces under conditions of low bulk-water dissolved organic carbon.

  10. Algal Lipids as Quantitative Paleosalinity Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Emerging Opportunities for Serotypes of Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Peng Chen, Zhongxing; Morris, J. Glenn; Rodriguez, Ramon L.; Shukla, Aparna Wagle; Tapia-Núñez, John; Okun, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Two decades ago, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) type A was introduced to the commercial market. Subsequently, the toxin was approved by the FDA to address several neurological syndromes, involving muscle, nerve, and gland hyperactivity. These syndromes have typically been associated with abnormalities in cholinergic transmission. Despite the multiplicity of botulinal serotypes (designated as types A through G), therapeutic preparations are currently only available for BoNT types A and B. However, other BoNT serotypes are under study for possible clinical use and new clinical indications; Objective: To review the current research on botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A-G, and to analyze potential applications within basic science and clinical settings; Conclusions: The increasing understanding of botulinal neurotoxin pathophysiology, including the neurotoxin’s effects on specific neuronal populations, will help us in tailoring treatments for specific diagnoses, symptoms and patients. Scientists and clinicians should be aware of the full range of available data involving neurotoxin subtypes A-G. PMID:23202312

  13. Neurotoxin Binding Site on the Acetylcholine Receptor

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-03-01

    Neurotoxins fron snakes belonging to the families Elapidae (cobras, kraits, mambas , and others) and Hydrophidae (sea snakes) are polypep- tides of 60-74... black mice were used as immunizing anrmals and as a soirce of feeder spleen cells. Mice were injected subcutaneously with j2-mer (50 nmol) emulsified in

  14. Fetal Exposure to Environmental Neurotoxins in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chuen-Bin; Hsi, Hsing-Cheng; Fan, Chun-Hua; Chien, Ling-Chu

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) are recognized neurotoxins in children that particularly affect neurodevelopment and intellectual performance. Based on the hypothesis that the fetal basis of adult disease is fetal toxic exposure that results in adverse outcomes in adulthood, we explored the concentrations of key neurotoxins (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd, and As) in meconium to identify the risk factors associated with these concentrations. From January 2007 to December 2009, 545 mother-infant pairs were recruited. The geometric mean concentrations of Pb and As in the meconium of babies of foreign-born mothers (22.9 and 38.1 µg/kg dry weight, respectively) were significantly greater than those of babies of Taiwan-born mothers (17.5 and 33.0 µg/kg dry weight, respectively). Maternal age (≥30 y), maternal education, use of traditional Chinese herbs during pregnancy, and fish cutlet consumption (≥3 meals/wk) were risk factors associated with concentrations of key prenatal neurotoxins. The Taiwan government should focus more attention on providing intervention programs for immigrant mothers to help protect the health of unborn babies. Further investigation on how multiple neurotoxins influence prenatal neurodevelopment is warranted. PMID:25299345

  15. The First Gene-encoded Amphibian Neurotoxin*

    PubMed Central

    You, Dewen; Hong, Jing; Rong, Mingqiang; Yu, Haining; Liang, Songping; Ma, Yufang; Yang, Hailong; Wu, Jing; Lin, Donghai; Lai, Ren

    2009-01-01

    Many gene-encoded neurotoxins with various functions have been discovered in fish, reptiles, and mammals. A novel 60-residue neurotoxin peptide (anntoxin) that inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) was purified and characterized from the skin secretions of the tree frog Hyla annectans (Jerdon). This is the first gene-encoded neurotoxin found in amphibians. The IC50 of anntoxin for the TTX-S channel was about 3.4 μm. Anntoxin shares sequence homology with Kunitz-type toxins but contains only two of three highly conserved cysteine bridges, which are typically found in these small, basic neurotoxin modules, i.e. snake dendrotoxins. Anntoxin showed an inhibitory ability against trypsin with an inhibitory constant (Ki) of 0.025 μm. Anntoxin was distributed in skin, brain, stomach, and liver with a concentration of 25, 7, 3, and 2 μg/g wet tissue, respectively. H. annectans lives on trees or other plants for its entire life cycle, and its skin contains the largest amount of anntoxin, which possibly helps defend against various aggressors or predators. A low dose of anntoxin was found to induce lethal toxicity for several potential predators, including the insect, snake, bird, and mouse. The tissue distribution and functional properties of the current toxin may provide insights into the ecological adaptation of tree-living amphibians. PMID:19535333

  16. Heavy metals in marine algae of the Kuwait coast

    SciTech Connect

    Buo-Olayan, A.H.; Subrahmanyam, M.N.V.

    1996-12-31

    Marine algae are considered as important primary producers in the coastal region. Several marine algal species are being considered as raw material for various economically important products and this has resulted in their increasing demand. Marine algal species also have been suggested to be the indicators of pollution. Keeping in view the importance of marine algal species for direct or indirect human and cattle consumption, it is necessary to monitor the bioaccumulation of certain elements in these species. This study was aimed at establishing the concentration levels of trace metals in marine algae of the Kuwait coast. 26 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  17. Bioactive Marine Drugs and Marine Biomaterials for Brain Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Grosso, Clara; Valentão, Patrícia; Ferreres, Federico; Andrade, Paula B.

    2014-01-01

    Marine invertebrates produce a plethora of bioactive compounds, which serve as inspiration for marine biotechnology, particularly in drug discovery programs and biomaterials development. This review aims to summarize the potential of drugs derived from marine invertebrates in the field of neuroscience. Therefore, some examples of neuroprotective drugs and neurotoxins will be discussed. Their role in neuroscience research and development of new therapies targeting the central nervous system will be addressed, with particular focus on neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In addition, the neuronal growth promoted by marine drugs, as well as the recent advances in neural tissue engineering, will be highlighted. PMID:24798925

  18. Climate Change and Algal Blooms =

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shengpan

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

  19. Marine Toxins Potently Affecting Neurotransmitter Release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meunier, Frédéric A.; Mattei, César; Molgó, Jordi

    Synapses are specialised structures where interneuronal communication takes place. Not only brain function is absolutely dependent on synaptic activity, but also most of our organs are intimately controlled by synaptic activity. Synapses re therefore an ideal target to act upon and poisonous species have evolved fascinating neurotoxins capable of shutting down neuronal communication by blocking or activating essential components of the synapse. By hijacking key proteins of the communication machinery, neurotoxins are therefore extremely valuable tools that have, in turn, greatly helped our understanding of synaptic biology. Moreover, analysis and understanding of the molecular strategy used by certain neurotoxins has allowed the design of entirely new classes of drugs acting on specific targets with high selectivity and efficacy. This chapter will discuss the different classes of marine neurotoxins, their effects on neurotransmitter release and how they act to incapacitate key steps in the process leading to synaptic vesicle fusion.

  20. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  1. Valuing algal bloom in the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria: a choice experiments approach.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Tim; Longo, Alberto

    2010-10-01

    Increased interest in water quality in coastal and marine areas stemming from the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive has led to important questions in relation to policies that address nutrient loadings. This paper presents the results from a choice experiment study to assess the recreational damage associated with algal blooms caused by nutrients flows into Varna Bay, Bulgaria. Varna Bay is an important beach destination on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. Algal bloom events have been experienced frequently in the area. A choice experiment questionnaire was developed and applied in the Varna Bay area to assess the extent to which the quantity of algal blooms and the duration of the bloom affect recreational activities. The amount of bloom was found to be important, as respondents were on average willing to pay a one off tax of 18.97 Leva (9.73 euro) for a program that provides beaches free from algal blooms.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-10-01

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

  4. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature

    PubMed Central

    Peck, Michael W.; Smith, Theresa J.; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Austin, John W.; Bano, Luca; Bradshaw, Marite; Cuervo, Paula; Cheng, Luisa W.; Derman, Yagmur; Dorner, Brigitte G.; Fisher, Audrey; Hill, Karen K.; Kalb, Suzanne R.; Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia; Lista, Florigio; Lúquez, Carolina; Mazuet, Christelle; Pirazzini, Marco; Popoff, Michel R.; Rossetto, Ornella; Rummel, Andreas; Sesardic, Dorothea; Singh, Bal Ram; Stringer, Sandra C.

    2017-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and more than 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surrounding these neurotoxins. Worldwide, researchers are faced with the possibility that toxins having identical sequences may be given different designations or novel toxins having unique sequences may be given the same designations on publication. In order to minimize these problems, an ad hoc committee consisting of over 20 researchers in the field of botulinum neurotoxin research was convened to discuss the clarification of the issues involved in botulinum neurotoxin nomenclature. This publication presents a historical overview of the issues and provides guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature in the future. PMID:28106761

  5. Predicting Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Neurotoxins by Developing Feature Selection Technique

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yunchun; Zhang, Chunmei; Chen, Rong; Huang, Po

    2017-01-01

    Presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins are proteins which act at the presynaptic and postsynaptic membrane. Correctly predicting presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins will provide important clues for drug-target discovery and drug design. In this study, we developed a theoretical method to discriminate presynaptic neurotoxins from postsynaptic neurotoxins. A strict and objective benchmark dataset was constructed to train and test our proposed model. The dipeptide composition was used to formulate neurotoxin samples. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was proposed to find out the optimal feature set which can produce the maximum accuracy. In the jackknife cross-validation test, the overall accuracy of 94.9% was achieved. We believe that the proposed model will provide important information to study neurotoxins. PMID:28303250

  6. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Peck, Michael W; Smith, Theresa J; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Austin, John W; Bano, Luca; Bradshaw, Marite; Cuervo, Paula; Cheng, Luisa W; Derman, Yagmur; Dorner, Brigitte G; Fisher, Audrey; Hill, Karen K; Kalb, Suzanne R; Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia; Lista, Florigio; Lúquez, Carolina; Mazuet, Christelle; Pirazzini, Marco; Popoff, Michel R; Rossetto, Ornella; Rummel, Andreas; Sesardic, Dorothea; Singh, Bal Ram; Stringer, Sandra C

    2017-01-18

    Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and more than 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surrounding these neurotoxins. Worldwide, researchers are faced with the possibility that toxins having identical sequences may be given different designations or novel toxins having unique sequences may be given the same designations on publication. In order to minimize these problems, an ad hoc committee consisting of over 20 researchers in the field of botulinum neurotoxin research was convened to discuss the clarification of the issues involved in botulinum neurotoxin nomenclature. This publication presents a historical overview of the issues and provides guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature in the future.

  7. Mechanism of Action of Presynaptic Neurotoxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-01

    cell system in order to directly assess the physiological relevance of the tetanus toxin receptor in the intoxication process and to study the events...the interactions of the Clostridlal neurotoxins with their physiological target tissues. The NI1-RE-105 cell line has receptors that are analogous to...L. A., and Tischler, A. S. (1982) PC12 Pheochromocytoma Cultures in Neurobiological Research. Adv. Cell. Neurobiol. •, 373-415. 18 Gundersen, C. B

  8. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Domains

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-06-01

    terminus in the enzyme’s substrate or product binding. Keywords: botulinum neurotoxin, tyrosine phosphorylation, zinc endoporotease, protease, clostridium ...associated membrane protein. These 150 kDa exotoxins are produced by strains of Clostridium botulinum as sevendistinct serotypes,designatedBoNT/A-G.After...A) anti-phosphotyrosine antibody Western blot (B). (A) Relative abundance of the m/z species representing phosphorylated LcB was plotted as a% of

  9. Neurologic uses of botulinum neurotoxin type A

    PubMed Central

    Ney, John P; Joseph, Kevin R

    2007-01-01

    This article reviews the current and most neurologic uses of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A), beginning with relevant historical data, neurochemical mechanism at the neuromuscular junction. Current commercial preparations of BoNT-A are reviewed, as are immunologic issues relating to secondary failure of BoNT-A therapy. Clinical uses are summarized with an emphasis on controlled clinical trials (as appropriate), including facial movement disorders, focal neck and limb dystonias, spasticity, hypersecretory syndromes, and pain. PMID:19300614

  10. Neuroprotective effects of marine algae.

    PubMed

    Pangestuti, Ratih; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2011-01-01

    The marine environment is known as a rich source of chemical structures with numerous beneficial health effects. Among marine organisms, marine algae have been identified as an under-exploited plant resource, although they have long been recognized as valuable sources of structurally diverse bioactive compounds. Presently, several lines of studies have provided insight into biological activities and neuroprotective effects of marine algae including antioxidant, anti-neuroinflammatory, cholinesterase inhibitory activity and the inhibition of neuronal death. Hence, marine algae have great potential to be used for neuroprotection as part of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and functional foods. This contribution presents an overview of marine algal neuroprotective effects and their potential application in neuroprotection.

  11. Unique Ganglioside Recognition Strategies for Clostridial Neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, Marc A.; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Baldwin, Michael R.

    2012-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin are the causative agents of the paralytic diseases botulism and tetanus, respectively. The potency of the clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) relies primarily on their highly specific binding to nerve terminals and cleavage of SNARE proteins. Although individual CNTs utilize distinct proteins for entry, they share common ganglioside co-receptors. Here, we report the crystal structure of the BoNT/F receptor-binding domain in complex with the sugar moiety of ganglioside GD1a. GD1a binds in a shallow groove formed by the conserved peptide motif E ... H ... SXWY ... G, with additional stabilizing interactions provided by two arginine residues. Comparative analysis of BoNT/F with other CNTs revealed several differences in the interactions of each toxin with ganglioside. Notably, exchange of BoNT/F His-1241 with the corresponding lysine residue of BoNT/E resulted in increased affinity for GD1a and conferred the ability to bind ganglioside GM1a. Conversely, BoNT/E was not able to bind GM1a, demonstrating a discrete mechanism of ganglioside recognition. These findings provide a structural basis for ganglioside binding among the CNTs and show that individual toxins utilize unique ganglioside recognition strategies.

  12. The Zinc-Dependent Protease Activity of the Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Lebeda, Frank J.; Cer, Regina Z.; Mudunuri, Uma; Stephens, Robert; Singh, Bal Ram; Adler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT, serotypes A-G) are some of the most toxic proteins known and are the causative agents of botulism. Following exposure, the neurotoxin binds and enters peripheral cholinergic nerve endings and specifically and selectively cleaves one or more SNARE proteins to produce flaccid paralysis. This review centers on the kinetics of the Zn-dependent proteolytic activities of these neurotoxins, and briefly describes inhibitors, activators and factors underlying persistence of toxin action. Some of the structural, enzymatic and inhibitor data that are discussed here are available at the botulinum neurotoxin resource, BotDB (http://botdb.abcc.ncifcrf.gov). PMID:22069621

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-04-01

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

  14. Cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in shark fins.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A; Mash, Deborah C

    2012-02-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA.

  15. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in Shark Fins

    PubMed Central

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2012-01-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  16. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Hendriksen, Peter J M; de Haan, Laura H J; Koning, Rosella; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Bovee, Toine F H

    2015-03-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on either the Na(+), K(+), or Ca(2+) channels or the Na(+)/K(+) ATP-ase pump, on the beating was assessed. Diphenhydramine, veratridine, isradipine, verapamil and ouabain induced specific beating arrests that were reversible and none of the concentrations tested induced cytotoxicity. Three K(+) channel blockers, amiodarone, clofilium and sematilide, and the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase pump inhibitor digoxin had no specific effect on the beating. In addition, two marine neurotoxins i.e. saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin elicited specific beating arrests in cardiomyocytes. Comparison of the results obtained with cardiomyocytes to those obtained with the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay revealed that the cardiomyocytes were generally somewhat more sensitive for the model compounds affecting Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels, but less sensitive for the compounds affecting K(+) channels. The stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were not as sensitive as the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay for saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin. It is concluded that the murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes provide a sensitive model for detection of specific neurotoxins and that the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay may be a more promising cell-based assay for the screening of marine biotoxins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Micro-algal biosensors.

    PubMed

    Brayner, Roberta; Couté, Alain; Livage, Jacques; Perrette, Catherine; Sicard, Clémence

    2011-08-01

    Fighting against water pollution requires the ability to detect pollutants for example herbicides or heavy metals. Micro-algae that live in marine and fresh water offer a versatile solution for the construction of novel biosensors. These photosynthetic microorganisms are very sensitive to changes in their environment, enabling the detection of traces of pollutants. Three groups of micro-algae are described in this paper: chlorophyta, cyanobacteria, and diatoms.

  18. TWO-DIMENSIONAL GEL ELECTROPHORESIS ANALYSIS OF BROWN ALGAL PROTEIN EXTRACTS(1).

    PubMed

    Contreras, Loretto; Ritter, Andrés; Dennett, Geraldine; Boehmwald, Freddy; Guitton, Nathalie; Pineau, Charles; Moenne, Alejandra; Potin, Philippe; Correa, Juan A

    2008-10-01

    High-quality protein extracts are required for proteomic studies, a field that is poorly developed for marine macroalgae. A reliable phenol extraction protocol using Scytosiphon gracilis Kogame and Ectocarpus siliculosus (Dillwyn) Lyngb. (Phaeophyceae) as algal models resulted in high-quality protein extracts. The performance of the new protocol was tested against four methods available for vascular plants and a seaweed. The protocol, which includes an initial step to remove salts from the algal tissues, allowed the use of highly resolving two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) protein analyses, providing the opportunity to unravel potentially novel physiological processes unique to this group of marine organisms.

  19. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Invasive algal mats degrade coral reef physical habitat quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Algal culture studies for CELSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  2. Therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck disorders

    PubMed Central

    Alshadwi, Ahmad; Nadershah, Mohammed; Osborn, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this article is to review the mechanism of action, physiological effects, and therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in the head and neck area. Study design An extensive literature search was performed using keywords. The resulting articles were analyzed for relevance in four areas: overview on botulinum neurotoxins, the role of botulinum neurotoxins in the management of salivary secretory disorders, the role of botulinum neurotoxins in the management of facial pain, and the role of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck movement disorders. Institutional review board approval was not needed due the nature of the study. Results Botulinum neurotoxin therapy was demonstrated to be a valuable alternative to conventional medical therapy for many conditions affecting the head and neck area in terms of morbidly, mortality, and patient satisfaction with treatment outcomes. Conclusion Botulinum neurotoxin therapy provides viable alternatives to traditional treatment modalities for some conditions affecting the head and neck region that have neurological components. This therapy can overcome some of the morbidities associated with conventional therapy. More research is needed to determine the ideal doses of botulinum neurotoxin to treat different diseases affecting the head and neck regions. PMID:25544809

  3. Reversal of Mitochondrial Damage Caused by Environmental Neurotoxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-10-01

    the progression of Parkinson’s disease and to the damaging effects of environmental neurotoxins. In year 1, we showed that MAO suppressed respiration...that reverse damage, can lead to improved methods to protect DA neurons from environmental neurotoxins and from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease .

  4. Transforming the domain structure of botulinum neurotoxins into novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Chaddock, John

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are comprised of multiple identifiable protein domains. Recent advances in understanding the relationships between domain structure and neurotoxin function have provided a number of opportunities to engineer innovative therapeutic proteins that utilise the neurotoxins and neurotoxin domains. For example, recent insights into the properties of the catalytic, translocation and binding domains open up opportunities to develop botulinum neurotoxins with enhanced properties of selectivity, potency and duration of action. In parallel, the broad scope for utilisation of the individual domains is becoming clearer as significant advancements are made to exploit the unique biology of the catalytic and translocation domains. These opportunities and the status of their development will be reviewed in this chapter.

  5. Sapphire Energy - Integrated Algal Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    White, Rebecca L.; Tyler, Mike

    2015-07-22

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

  6. Kelp canopy facilitates understory algal assemblage via competitive release during early stages of secondary succession.

    PubMed

    Benes, Kylla M; Carpenter, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Kelps are conspicuous foundation species in marine ecosystems that alter the composition of understory algal assemblages. While this may be due to changes in the competitive interactions between algal species, how kelp canopies mediate propagule supply and establishment success of understory algae is not well known. In Southern California, USA, Eisenia arborea forms dense kelp canopies in shallow subtidal environments and is associated with an understory dominated by red algal species. In canopy-free areas, however, the algal assemblage is comprised of mostly brown algal species. We used a combination of mensurative and manipulative experiments to test whether Eisenia facilitates the understory assemblage by reducing competition between these different types of algae by changes in biotic interactions and/or recruitment. Our results show Eisenia facilitates a red algal assemblage via inhibition of brown algal settlement into the canopy zone, allowing recruitment to occur by vegetative means rather than establishment of new individuals. In the canopy-free zone, however, high settlement and recruitment rates suggest competitive interactions shape the community there. These results demonstrate that foundation species alter the distribution and abundance of associated organisms by affecting not only interspecific interactions but also propagule supply and recruitment limitation.

  7. Epitope mapping of botulinum neurotoxins light chains

    PubMed Central

    Zdanovsky, Alexey; Zdanovsky, Denis; Zdanovskaia, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are listed among the most potent biothreat agents. Simultaneously, two out of seven known serotypes of these toxins are used in medicine and cosmetics. This situation calls for development of detailed epitope maps of these toxins. Such maps will help to develop new ways for decreasing damage caused by these toxins if they were to be used as weapons while retaining the therapeutic effect of these toxins used as medicine. Here, we used a library of random fragments of DNA encoding the catalytic domain of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A to identify short epitope-forming sequences. We demonstrated that knowledge of such sequences in a BoNT of one serotype can be used for identification of epitope-forming sequences in other serotypes of BoNTs. We also demonstrated a serodiagnostic value of identified sequences and their ability to retain epitope-specific structures and trigger production of corresponding antibodies, even when they are transferred into a background of a completely alien carrier protein. PMID:22922018

  8. Seismic Exploration for Pennsylvanian Algal Mounds, Paradox Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, B.; Grundy, R.

    1985-05-01

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

  9. Algal Systems for Hydrogen Photoproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, Maria L

    2015-10-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  11. MITIGATION OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS IN THE UNITED STATES USING CLAY: RESEARCH PROGRESS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout the United States, red tides and harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose a serious and recurrent threat to marine ecosystems, fisheries, human health, and coastal aesthetics. Here we report results from a research program investigating the use of clay dispersal for bloom cont...

  12. MITIGATION OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS IN THE UNITED STATES USING CLAY: RESEARCH PROGRESS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout the United States, red tides and harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose a serious and recurrent threat to marine ecosystems, fisheries, human health, and coastal aesthetics. Here we report results from a research program investigating the use of clay dispersal for bloom cont...

  13. Algal-bacterial co-variation in streams: a cross-stream comparison

    Treesearch

    Xueqing Gao; Ola A. Olapade; Mark W. Kershner; Laura G. Leff

    2004-01-01

    Algal-bacterial co-variation has been frequently observed in lentic and marine environments, but the existence of such relationships in lotic ecosystems is not well established. To examine possible co-variation, bacterial number and chlorophyll-a concentration in water and sediments of nine streams from different regions in the USA were examined. In the water, a strong...

  14. Algal and microbial exopolysaccharides: new insights as biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers.

    PubMed

    Paniagua-Michel, José de Jesús; Olmos-Soto, Jorge; Morales-Guerrero, Eduardo Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Currently, efforts are being made to utilize more natural biological systems as alternatives as a way to replace fossil forms of carbon. There is a growing concern at global level to have nontoxic, nonhazardous surface-active agents; contrary to synthetic surfactants, their biological counterparts or biosurfactants play a primary function, facilitating microbial presence in environments dominated by hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. Algal and microbial biosurfactants/bioemulsifiers from marine and deep-sea environments are attracting major interest due to their structural and functional diversity as molecules actives of surface and an alternative biomass to replace fossil forms of carbon. Algal and microbial surfactants are lipid in nature and classified as glycolipids, phospholipids, lipopeptides, natural lipids, fatty acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolic bioactive products are applicable in a number of industries and processes, viz., food processing, pharmacology, and bioremediation of oil-polluted environments. This chapter presents an update of the progress and potentialities of the principal producers of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-type biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers, viz., macro- and microalgae (cyanobacteria and diatoms) and bacteria from marine and extreme environments. Particular interest is centered into new sources and applications, viz., marine and deep-sea environments and promissory uses of these EPSs as biosurfactants/emulsifiers and other polymeric roles. The enormous benefits of these molecules encourage their discovery, exploitation, and development of new microbial EPSs that could possess novel industrial importance and corresponding innovations.

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

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Domoic acid as a developmental neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Costa, Lucio G; Giordano, Gennaro; Faustman, Elaine M

    2010-09-01

    Domoic acid (DomA) is an excitatory amino acid which can accumulate in shellfish and finfish under certain environmental conditions. DomA is a potent neurotoxin. In humans and in non-human primates, oral exposure to a few mg/kg DomA elicits gastrointestinal effects, while slightly higher doses cause neurological symptoms, seizures, memory impairment, and limbic system degeneration. In rodents, which appear to be less sensitive than humans or non-human primates, oral doses cause behavioral abnormalities (e.g. hindlimb scratching), followed by seizures and hippocampal degeneration. Similar effects are also seen in other species (from sea lions to zebrafish), indicating that DomA exerts similar neurotoxic effects across species. The neurotoxicity of DomA is ascribed to its ability to interact and activate the AMPA/KA receptors, a subfamily of receptors for the neuroexcitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Studies exploring the neurotoxic effects of DomA on the developing nervous system indicate that DomA elicits similar behavioral, biochemical and morphological effects as in adult animals. However, most importantly, developmental neurotoxicity is seen at doses of DomA that are one to two orders of magnitude lower than those exerting neurotoxicity in adults. This difference may be due to toxicokinetic and/or toxicodynamic differences. Estimated safe doses may be exceeded in adults by high consumption of shellfish contaminated with DomA at the current limit of 20 microg/g. Given the potential higher susceptibility of the young to DomA neurotoxicity, additional studies investigating exposure to, and effects of this neurotoxin during brain development are warranted. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. DOMOIC ACID AS A DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Lucio G.; Giordano, Gennaro; Faustman, Elaine M.

    2010-01-01

    Domoic acid (DomA) is an excitatory aminoacid which can accumulate in shellfish and finfish under certain environmental conditions. DomA is a potent neurotoxin. In humans and in non-human primates, oral exposure to a few mg/kg DomA elicits gastrointestinal effects, while slightly higher doses cause neurological symptoms, seizures, memory impairment, and limbic system degeneration. In rodents, which appear to be less sensitive than humans or non-human primates, oral doses cause behavioral abnormalities (e.g. hindlimb scratching), followed by seizures and hippocampal degeneration. Similar effects are also seen in other species (from sea-lions to zebrafish), indicating that DomA exerts similar neurotoxic effects across species. The neurotoxicity of DomA is ascribed to its ability to interact and activate the AMPA/KA receptors, a subfamily of receptors for the neuroexcitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Studies exploring the neurotoxic effects of DomA on the developing nervous system indicate that DomA elicits similar behavioral, biochemical and morphological effects as in adult animals. However, most importantly, developmental neurotoxicity is seen at doses of DomA that are one to two orders of magnitude lower than those exerting neurotoxicity in adults. This difference may be due to toxicokinetic and/or toxicodynamic differences. Estimated safe doses may be exceeded in adults by high consumption of shellfish contaminated with DomA at the current limit of 20 ug/g. Given the potential higher susceptibility of the young to DomA neurotoxicity, additional studies investigating exposure to, and effects of this neurotoxin during brain development are warranted. PMID:20471419

  18. Bromophenols in Marine Algae and Their Bioactivities

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming; Hansen, Poul Erik; Lin, Xiukun

    2011-01-01

    Marine algae contain various bromophenols that have been shown to possess a variety of biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-thrombotic effects. Here, we briefly review the recent progress of these marine algal biomaterials, with respect to structure, bioactivities, and their potential application as pharmaceuticals. PMID:21822416

  19. Botulinum neurotoxins: fundamentals for the facial plastic surgeon.

    PubMed

    Adelson, Robert Todd

    2007-01-01

    The most commonly performed nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the facial plastic surgery armamentarium involves the various commercial preparations of botulinum neurotoxins. These drugs have undergone a transformation from public health scourge to near ubiquitous therapeutic modality across the entire medical spectrum. Herein, the history of botulinum neurotoxins is reviewed, including an exploration of their pharmacology, neuromuscular junction physiology, a description of the commercially available preparations, and the recent research concerning the practicalities of their clinical use.

  20. Structure-Function Relationship of Hydrophiidae Postsynaptic Neurotoxins.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-29

    disulfide bonds. These are the most commonly found neurotoxins in Hydrophiidae (sea snake) venoms and also in Elapidae venoms. The amino acid...subfamilies, Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae. The amino acid sequence of purified toxins from Hydrophiinae, Laticaudinae, and land snake, Elapidae , were...different from those of land snake Elapidae neurotoxins. By careful ex- amination of the sequence of A. peronii major neuro- toxin, it is very clear that

  1. Global Updates on the Future Directions of Neurotoxins and Fillers

    PubMed Central

    Heningburg, Jade

    2016-01-01

    Summary: Neurotoxins and fillers continue to remain in high demand, comprising a large part of the growing business of cosmetic minimally invasive procedures. Multiple Food and Drug Administration–approved safe yet different products exist within each category, and the role of each product continues to expand. The authors review the literature to provide an overview of the use of neurotoxins and fillers and their future directions. PMID:28018777

  2. Rattlesnake Neurotoxin Structure, Mechanism of Action, Immunology and Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-10

    Aird, S. D., and Kaiser, I. I. (1988) Physiological and immunological properties of small myotoxins from -Zhe venom of the midget faded rattlesnake ...AD-A258 669 AD RATTLESNAKE NEUROTOXIN STRUCTURE, MECHANISM OF ACTION, IMMUNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY FINAL REPORT D TIC IVAN I. KAISER ELECTE S DEC...u m_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 6 2 7 8 7 A I 6 2 7 8 7 A 8 7 7 I A A [ ~A 3 1 7 8 2 1 (u) Rattlesnake neurotoxin structure

  3. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B.

    SciTech Connect

    SWAMINATHAN,S.; ESWARAMOORTHY,S.

    2001-11-19

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases [1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD{sub 50} for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg{sup -1} [2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization [3].

  5. Textural variation within Great Salt Lake algal mounds: Chapter 8.5 in Stromatolites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1976-01-01

    This chapter discusses textural variation within the Great Salt Lake algal mounds. Great Salt Lake algal mounds contain: (1) a framework of non-skeletal, algally induced aragonite precipitates; (2) internal sediment; and (3) inorganic cement. These three elements create a variety of laminated, poorly laminated, and unlaminated internal textures. Interior framework precipitates bear little resemblance to the present living film of the mound surface. Internal texture of the mounds is believed to be largely relict and to have resulted from precipitation by algae different than those presently living at the surface. The most probable cause of local extinction of the algal flora is change in brine salinity. Precipitated blue-green algal structures in ancient rocks may indicate other than normal marine salinity and near shore sedimentation. Extreme variation of internal texture reflects extreme environmental variability typical of closed basin lakes. Recognition of mounds similar to those in the Great Salt Lake can be a first step toward recognition of ancient hyper-saline lake deposits, if such an interpretation is substantiated by consideration of the entire depositional milieu of precipitated algal mounds.

  6. Fast-growing algicidal Streptomyces sp. U3 and its potential in harmful algal bloom controls.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaoqi; Cai, Guanjing; Wang, Hui; Hu, Zhong; Zheng, Wei; Lei, Xueqian; Zhu, Xiaoying; Chen, Yao; Chen, Qiuliang; Din, Hongyan; Xu, Hong; Tian, Yun; Fu, Lijun; Zheng, Tianling

    2018-01-05

    To find the potential algicidal microorganisms and apply them to prevent and terminate harmful algal blooms (HABs), we isolated an actinomycete U3 from Mangrove, which had a potent algicidal effect on the harmful alga Heterosigma akashiwo. It could completely lyse the algal cells by producing active compounds, which were highly sensitive to high temperature and strong alkaline, but resistant to acid. One μg/mL of crude extract of the fermentation supernatant could kill 70% of H. akashiwo cells in 3 d. Unlike most of the other known algicidal Streptomyces, U3 showed strong ability of proliferation with the algal inclusion as the nutrient source. The washed mycelial pellets also gradually exhibited significant algicidal effect during the visible growth in the algal culture. It suggests that U3 could efficiently absorb nutrients from algal culture to support its growth and produce algicidal compounds that might cause the autophagy of algal cells. Therefore, applying U3, as a long-term and environmentally friendly bio-agent to control the harmful blooms of H. akashiwo, would be effective and promising. And the decrease of bioavailable DOM and increase of bio-refractory DOM during the algicidal process of U3 provided new insights into the ecological influence of algicial microorganisms on marine ecosystem. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Advancing Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Increased Biomass Productivity and Technology Integration

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Xuemei; Sabarsky, Martin

    2013-09-30

    Cellana is a leading developer of algae-based bioproducts, and its pre-commercial production of marine microalgae takes place at Cellana?s Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF) in Hawaii. KDF is housing more than 70 high-performing algal strains for different bioproducts, of which over 30 have been grown outside at scale. So far, Cellana has produced more than 10 metric tons of algal biomass for the development of biofuels, animal feed, and high-value nutraceuticals. Cellana?s ALDUO algal cultivation technology allows Cellana to grow non-extremophile algal strains at large scale with no contamination disruptions. Cellana?s research and production at KDF have addressed three major areas that are crucial for the commercialization of algal biofuels: yield improvement, cost reduction, and the overall economics. Commercially acceptable solutions have been developed and tested for major factors limiting areal productivity of algal biomass and lipids based on years of R&D work conducted at KDF. Improved biomass and lipid productivity were achieved through strain improvement, culture management strategies (e.g., alleviation of self-shading, de-oxygenation, and efficient CO2 delivery), and technical advancement in downstream harvesting technology. Cost reduction was achieved through optimized CO2 delivery system, flue gas utilization technology, and energy-efficient harvesting technology. Improved overall economics was achieved through a holistic approach by integration of high-value co-products in the process, in addition to yield improvements and cost reductions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roiha, Petra; Westerlund, Antti; Stipa, Tapani

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Micro-structured surfaces for algal biofilm growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Early detection of protozoan grazers in algal biofuel cultures.

    PubMed

    Day, John G; Thomas, Naomi J; Achilles-Day, Undine E M; Leakey, Raymond J G

    2012-06-01

    Future micro-algal biofuels will most likely be derived from open-pond production systems. These are by definition open to "invasion" by grazers, which could devastate micro-algal mass-cultures. There is an urgent requirement for methodologies capable of early detection and control of grazers in dense algal cultures. In this study a model system employing the marine alga Nannochloropsis oculata was challenged by grazers including ciliates, amoebae and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate. A FlowCAM flow-cytometer was used to detect all grazers investigated (size range <20->80 μm in length) in the presence of algae. Detection limits were <10 cells ml(-1) for both "large" and "small" model grazers, Euplotes vannus (80 × 45 μm) and an unidentified holotrichous ciliate (~18 × 8 μm) respectively. Furthermore, the system can distinguish the presence of ciliates in N. oculata cultures with biotechnologically relevant cell densities; i.e. >1.4 × 10(8) cells ml(-1) (>0.5 g l(-1) dry wt.). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database (HfwADB): a laboratory LIMS and online biodiversity resource.

    PubMed

    Sherwood, Alison R; Wang, Norman; Carlile, Amy L; Neumann, Jessica M; Wolfgruber, Thomas K; Presting, Gernot G

    2012-10-25

    Biodiversity databases serve the important role of highlighting species-level diversity from defined geographical regions. Databases that are specially designed to accommodate the types of data gathered during regional surveys are valuable in allowing full data access and display to researchers not directly involved with the project, while serving as a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, or HfwADB, was modified from the Hawaiian Algal Database to showcase non-marine algal specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago by accommodating the additional level of organization required for samples including multiple species. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database is a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs of samples and collection sites, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic data and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique 10-digit accession numbers ("Isolate Accession"), the first five of which correspond to the collection site ("Environmental Accession"). Users can search online for sample information by accession number, various levels of taxonomy, habitat or collection site. HfwADB is hosted at the University of Hawaii, and was made publicly accessible in October 2011. At the present time the database houses data for over 2,825 samples of non-marine algae from 1,786 collection sites from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples include cyanobacteria, red and green algae and diatoms, as well as lesser representation from some other algal lineages. HfwADB is a digital repository that acts as a Laboratory Information Management System for Hawaiian non-marine algal data. Users can interact with the repository through the web to view relevant habitat data (including geo-referenced collection locations) and download images of collection sites, specimen photographs and micrographs, and DNA sequences. It is publicly

  12. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database (HfwADB): a laboratory LIMS and online biodiversity resource

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Biodiversity databases serve the important role of highlighting species-level diversity from defined geographical regions. Databases that are specially designed to accommodate the types of data gathered during regional surveys are valuable in allowing full data access and display to researchers not directly involved with the project, while serving as a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, or HfwADB, was modified from the Hawaiian Algal Database to showcase non-marine algal specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago by accommodating the additional level of organization required for samples including multiple species. Description The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database is a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs of samples and collection sites, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic data and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique 10-digit accession numbers (“Isolate Accession”), the first five of which correspond to the collection site (“Environmental Accession”). Users can search online for sample information by accession number, various levels of taxonomy, habitat or collection site. HfwADB is hosted at the University of Hawaii, and was made publicly accessible in October 2011. At the present time the database houses data for over 2,825 samples of non-marine algae from 1,786 collection sites from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples include cyanobacteria, red and green algae and diatoms, as well as lesser representation from some other algal lineages. Conclusions HfwADB is a digital repository that acts as a Laboratory Information Management System for Hawaiian non-marine algal data. Users can interact with the repository through the web to view relevant habitat data (including geo-referenced collection locations) and download images of collection sites, specimen photographs and

  13. Adsorption of Nanoplastics on Algal Photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, James; Bhattacharya, Priyanka; Lin, Sijie; Ke, Pu Chun

    2010-03-01

    The rapid accumulation of disposed plastics in the environment, especially in the Pacific Ocean, has become a global concern in recent years. Photo, chemical and physical degradations constantly fragment these plastics into a wide array of macroscopic to microscopic particles. As a result, marine organisms such as algae may be exposed to plastic particles through ingestion, adsorption and other forms of uptake. Such interactions, currently little understood, could potentially impact on the health state of the entire food chain. Here we report on polystyrene-algae interaction and its impact on algal photosynthesis. We first investigated the adsorption of polystyrene beads (20 nm) on a cellulose film coated on a 96-well plate. We derived a supralinear increase of the adsorption with the beads concentration for both positively and negatively charged polystyrene beads, with a saturation observed for the negatively charged polystyrene beads of concentration above 1.6 mg/mL. Using a bicarbonate indicator we discovered decreased carbon dioxide depletion due to polystyrene-algae binding. Since polystyrene beads also mediated algae aggregation, nanoplastics may alternatively be harnessed for waste water treatment.

  14. Biofilm-based algal cultivation systems.

    PubMed

    Gross, Martin; Jarboe, Darren; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Air pollutant production by algal cell cultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, F.; Funkhouser, E. A.

    1982-01-01

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

  17. Bacterial tracking of motile algae assisted by algal cell's vorticity field.

    PubMed

    Locsei, J T; Pedley, T J

    2009-07-01

    Previously published experimental work by other authors has shown that certain motile marine bacteria are able to track free-swimming algae by executing a zigzag path and steering toward the algae at each turn. Here, we propose that the apparent steering behaviour could be a hydrodynamic effect, whereby an algal cell's vorticity and strain-rate fields rotate a pursuing bacterial cell in the appropriate direction. Using simplified models for the bacterial and algal cells, we numerically compute the trajectory of a bacterial cell and demonstrate the plausibility of this hypothesis.

  18. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    SciTech Connect

    Lupton, Francis Stephen

    2016-09-27

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

  19. Alkaloids in Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Güven, Kasım Cemal; Percot, Aline; Sezik, Ekrem

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the alkaloids found in green, brown and red marine algae. Algal chemistry has interested many researchers in order to develop new drugs, as algae include compounds with functional groups which are characteristic from this particular source. Among these compounds, alkaloids present special interest because of their pharmacological activities. Alkaloid chemistry has been widely studied in terrestrial plants, but the number of studies in algae is insignificant. In this review, a detailed account of macro algae alkaloids with their structure and pharmacological activities is presented. The alkaloids found in marine algae may be divided into three groups: 1. Phenylethylamine alkaloids, 2. Indole and halogenated indole alkaloids, 3. Other alkaloids. PMID:20390105

  20. Energy-efficient photobioreactor configuration for algal biomass production.

    PubMed

    Pegallapati, Ambica Koushik; Arudchelvam, Yalini; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany

    2012-12-01

    An internally illuminated photobioreactor (IIPBR) design is proposed for energy-efficient biomass production. Theoretical rationale of the IIPBR design and its advantages over the traditional bubble column photobioreactors (PBRs) are presented, followed by experimental results from prototype scale cultivation of freshwater and marine algal strains in an 18L IIPBR. Based on theoretical considerations, the proposed IIPBR design has the potential to support 160% higher biomass density and higher biomass productivity per unit energy input, B/E, than a bubble column PBR of equal incident area per unit culture volume. Experimental B/E values recorded in this study with fresh water algae and marine algae (1.42 and 0.37 gW(-1)d(-1), respectively) are at least twice as those reported in the literature for comparable species cultivated in bubble column and airlift PBRs.

  1. Botulinum Neurotoxins: Biology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella; Eleopra, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    The study of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) is rapidly progressing in many aspects. Novel BoNTs are being discovered owing to next generation sequencing, but their biologic and pharmacological properties remain largely unknown. The molecular structure of the large protein complexes that the toxin forms with accessory proteins, which are included in some BoNT type A1 and B1 pharmacological preparations, have been determined. By far the largest effort has been dedicated to the testing and validation of BoNTs as therapeutic agents in an ever increasing number of applications, including pain therapy. BoNT type A1 has been also exploited in a variety of cosmetic treatments, alone or in combination with other agents, and this specific market has reached the size of the one dedicated to the treatment of medical syndromes. The pharmacological properties and mode of action of BoNTs have shed light on general principles of neuronal transport and protein-protein interactions and are stimulating basic science studies. Moreover, the wide array of BoNTs discovered and to be discovered and the production of recombinant BoNTs endowed with specific properties suggest novel uses in therapeutics with increasing disease/symptom specifity. These recent developments are reviewed here to provide an updated picture of the biologic mechanism of action of BoNTs, of their increasing use in pharmacology and in cosmetics, and of their toxicology. PMID:28356439

  2. [Botulinum neurotoxin--a therapy in migraine].

    PubMed

    Tajti, János; Szok, Délia; Tuka, Bernadett; Csáti, Anett; Kuris, Anikó; Majláth, Zsófia; Lukács, Melinda; Vécsei, László

    2012-03-30

    Although migraine is a common, paroxysmal, highly disabling disorder, the primary cause and the pathomechanism of migraine attacks are enigmatic. Experimental results suggest that activation of the trigeminovascular system is crucial in its pathogenesis. This activation leads to the release of vasoactive neuropeptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide - CGRP, and substance P - SP) and to neurogenic inflammation, and peripheral and central sensitisation are expressed. Botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A), a potent toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, affects the nervous system through specific cleavage of the soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor complex (SNARE), like synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). The result of this multistage process is blockade of the presynaptic release of pain neurotransmitters such as CGRP, SP and glutamate. A pooled analysis of the data from two programmes of Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy (PREEMPT 1 and 2) with BoNT-A in chronic migraine demonstrated significant benefit of BoNT-A over placebo with regard to the numbers of headache days and migraine episodes. BoNT-A diminished the frequency of acute headache pain medication intake, and resulted in reductions in headache impact and improvements in scores on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire. The treatments with BoNT-A proved safe and were well tolerated.

  3. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Ophthalmology

    PubMed Central

    Başar, Emel; Arıcı, Ceyhun

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the first biological toxin used in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases and to decrease skin wrinkles as an aesthetic agent. When used appropriately, it weakens the force of muscular contraction and/or inhibits glandular secretion. The most common areas for botulinum toxin treatment are the upper face, including the glabella, forehead, brows, and lateral canthal lines, or crow’s feet. By relaxing the muscles causing wrinkles, non-permanent results may be achieved with its use. BoNT has gained widespread use in a variety of ophthalmic diseases. The effect of BoNT is temporary, but the therapeutic benefit is usually maintained even after repeated injections. Treatment is usually well tolerated. Complications and side effects associated with the treatment are rare and temporary. Complications occur due to weakness (chemodenervation) of adjacent muscle groups, immunological mechanisms and injection technique. Current therapeutic indications, doses, complications and contraindications of BoNT use in the following disorders related to ophthalmology were investigated: aesthetic use, strabismus, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, eyelid retraction, entropion, lacrimal hypersecretion syndrome, and facial paralysis. PMID:28050326

  4. Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A in Neurology: Update

    PubMed Central

    Orsini, Marco; Leite, Marco Antonio Araujo; Chung, Tae Mo; Bocca, Wladimir; de Souza, Jano Alves; de Souza, Olivia Gameiro; Moreira, Rayele Priscila; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Teixeira, Silmar; Oliveira, Acary Bulle; Moraes, Bruno da Silva; Matta, André Palma; Jacinto, Luis Jorge

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews the current and most neurological (central nervous system, CNS) uses of the botulinum neurotoxin type A. The effect of these toxins at neuromuscular junction lends themselves to neurological diseases of muscle overactivity, particularly abnormalities of muscle control. There are seven serotypes of the toxin, each with a specific activity at the molecular level. Currently, serotypes A (in two preparations) and B are available for clinical purpose, and they have proved to be safe and effective for the treatment of dystonia, spasticity, headache, and other CNS disorders in which muscle hyperactivity gives rise to symptoms. Although initially thought to inhibit acetylcholine release only at the neuromuscular junction, botulinum toxins are now recognized to inhibit acetylcholine release at autonomic cholinergic nerve terminals, as well as peripheral release of neuro-transmitters involved in pain regulation. Its effects are transient and nondestructive, and largely limited to the area in which it is administered. These effects are also graded according to the dose, allowing individualized treatment of patients and disorders. It may also prove to be useful in the control of autonomic dysfunction and sialorrhea. In over 20 years of use in humans, botulinum toxin has accumulated a considerable safety record, and in many cases represents relief for thousands of patients unaided by other therapy. PMID:26487928

  5. Structures of engineered Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Masuyer, Geoffrey; Stancombe, Patrick; Chaddock, John A.; Acharya, K. Ravi

    2011-01-01

    Targeted secretion inhibitors (TSIs) are a new class of engineered biopharmaceutical molecules derived from the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). They consist of the metalloprotease light chain (LC) and translocation domain (Hn) of BoNT; they thus lack the native toxicity towards motor neurons but are able to target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment receptor (SNARE) proteins. These functional fragment (LHn) derivatives are expressed as single-chain proteins and require post-translational activation into di-chain molecules for function. A range of BoNT derivatives have been produced to demonstrate the successful use of engineered SNARE substrate peptides at the LC–Hn interface that gives these molecules self-activating capabilities. Alternatively, recognition sites for specific exoproteases can be engineered to allow controlled activation. Here, the crystal structures of three LHn derivatives are reported between 2.7 and 3.0 Å resolution. Two of these molecules are derivatives of serotype A that contain a SNARE peptide. Additionally, a third structure corresponds to LHn serotype B that includes peptide linkers at the exoprotease activation site. In all three cases the added engineered segments could not be modelled owing to disorder. However, these structures highlight the strong interactions holding the LHn fold together despite the inclusion of significant polypeptide sequences at the LC–Hn interface. PMID:22139146

  6. Neurotoxins: Free Radical Mechanisms and Melatonin Protection

    PubMed Central

    Reiter, Russel J.; Manchester, Lucien C.; Tan, Dun-Xian

    2010-01-01

    Toxins that pass through the blood-brain barrier put neurons and glia in peril. The damage inflicted is usually a consequence of the ability of these toxic agents to induce free radical generation within cells but especially at the level of the mitochondria. The elevated production of oxygen and nitrogen-based radicals and related non-radical products leads to the oxidation of essential macromolecules including lipids, proteins and DNA. The resultant damage is referred to as oxidative and nitrosative stress and, when the molecular destruction is sufficiently severe, it causes apoptosis or necrosis of neurons and glia. Loss of brain cells compromises the functions of the central nervous system expressed as motor, sensory and cognitive deficits and psychological alterations. In this survey we summarize the publications related to the following neurotoxins and the protective actions of melatonin: aminolevulinic acid, cyanide, domoic acid, kainic acid, metals, methamphetamine, polychlorinated biphenyls, rotenone, toluene and 6-hydroxydopamine. Given the potent direct free radical scavenging activities of melatonin and its metabolites, their ability to indirectly stimulate antioxidative enzymes and their efficacy in reducing electron leakage from mitochondria, it would be expected that these molecules would protect the brain from oxidative and nitrosative molecular mutilation. The studies summarized in this review indicate that this is indeed the case, an action that is obviously assisted by the fact that melatonin readily crosses the blood brain barrier. PMID:21358970

  7. Botulinum neurotoxin: a marvel of protein design.

    PubMed

    Montal, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of botulism, is acknowledged to be the most poisonous protein known. BoNT proteases disable synaptic vesicle exocytosis by cleaving their cytosolic SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) substrates. BoNT is a modular nanomachine: an N-terminal Zn(2+)-metalloprotease, which cleaves the SNAREs; a central helical protein-conducting channel, which chaperones the protease across endosomes; and a C-terminal receptor-binding module, consisting of two subdomains that determine target specificity by binding to a ganglioside and a protein receptor on the cell surface and triggering endocytosis. For BoNT, functional complexity emerges from its modular design and the tight interplay between its component modules--a partnership with consequences that surpass the simple sum of the individual component's action. BoNTs exploit this design at each step of the intoxication process, thereby achieving an exquisite toxicity. This review summarizes current knowledge on the structure of individual modules and presents mechanistic insights into how this protein machine evolved to this level of sophistication. Understanding the design principles underpinning the function of such a dynamic modular protein remains a challenging task.

  8. Comparison and Overview of Currently Available Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Thomas J.; Dayan, Steven H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Botulinum toxin has been in use since the 1970s. Over the last few years, the indications for botulinum toxin use have extended for cosmetic and noncosmetic applications. Three preparations of botulinum toxin type A and one preparation of botulinum toxin type B are commercially available and approved for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Objective: To review the most recent literature on all commercially available botulinum toxins in the United States, their indications, Food and Drug Administration approvals, and handling (reconstitution, storage, and dilution). Methods: A literature review (not Cochrane type analysis) using several databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, textbooks, Food and Drug Administration homepage, and manufacturer information) was performed. Conclusion: Several different preparations of botulinum toxins exist worldwide, none of which are identical or interchangeable. Manufacturer recommendations on all available botulinum neurotoxins advise the use of unpreserved saline for reconstitution. Side effects are mostly mild and always self-limited. More serious complications are associated with higher doses, improper injection techniques, and occur in patients with underlying comorbidities. PMID:24587850

  9. Positive regulation of botulinum neurotoxin gene expression by CodY in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhen; Dahlsten, Elias; Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia

    2014-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin, produced mainly by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is the most poisonous biological substance known. Here, we show that CodY, a global regulator conserved in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria, positively regulates the botulinum neurotoxin gene expression. Inactivation of codY resulted in decreased expression of botA, encoding the neurotoxin, as well as in reduced neurotoxin synthesis. Complementation of the codY mutation in trans rescued neurotoxin synthesis, and overexpression of codY in trans caused elevated neurotoxin production. Recombinant CodY was found to bind to a 30-bp region containing the botA transcription start site, suggesting regulation of the neurotoxin gene transcription through direct interaction. GTP enhanced the binding affinity of CodY to the botA promoter, suggesting that CodY-dependent neurotoxin regulation is associated with nutritional status.

  10. Positive Regulation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Gene Expression by CodY in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhen; Dahlsten, Elias; Korkeala, Hannu

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin, produced mainly by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is the most poisonous biological substance known. Here, we show that CodY, a global regulator conserved in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria, positively regulates the botulinum neurotoxin gene expression. Inactivation of codY resulted in decreased expression of botA, encoding the neurotoxin, as well as in reduced neurotoxin synthesis. Complementation of the codY mutation in trans rescued neurotoxin synthesis, and overexpression of codY in trans caused elevated neurotoxin production. Recombinant CodY was found to bind to a 30-bp region containing the botA transcription start site, suggesting regulation of the neurotoxin gene transcription through direct interaction. GTP enhanced the binding affinity of CodY to the botA promoter, suggesting that CodY-dependent neurotoxin regulation is associated with nutritional status. PMID:25281376

  11. Inhibition of vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase antagonizes the effects of clostridial neurotoxins but not phospholipase A2 neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Simpson, L L; Coffield, J A; Bakry, N

    1994-04-01

    Bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase, was tested for its ability to antagonize botulinum neurotoxins (serotypes A-G), tetanus toxin and phospholipase A2 neurotoxins (notexin, beta-bungarotoxin, taipoxin and textilotoxin) on the mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation. Bafilomycin itself produced concentration-dependent blockade of neuromuscular transmission without blocking nerve action potentials or muscle action potentials. This effect may have been due to inhibition of the proton pump that regulates acetylcholine transport into vesicles. At submaximal concentrations, bafilomycin was very effective in delaying the onset of paralysis due to all clostridial neurotoxins, but it had no protective effect against phospholipase A2 neurotoxins. Experiments were done to determine which of the three steps in clostridial neurotoxin action was antagonized by bafilomycin (e.g., binding, internalization and intracellular poisoning). Both pharmacological experiments and ligand-binding experiments showed that the drug did not block toxin binding to the plasma membrane. Similarly, pharmacological experiments on the time-dependent effects of bafilomycin showed that the drug did not antagonize the intracellular actions of toxins. The data indicated that bafilomycin acted at the intermediate step of internalization. This is in keeping with the facts that: 1) bafilomycin inhibits vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase, which in turn leads to inhibition of acidification in endosomes and 2) clostridial neurotoxins depend upon acidification of endosomes for translocation to the cytosol. The finding that bafilomycin antagonizes tetanus toxin may provide important clues for understanding how this toxin can act locally to produce flaccid paralysis. The finding that bafilomycin is a universal antagonist that protects against all clostridial neurotoxins may have important implications for developing therapeutic drugs.

  12. An overview on the origin and production of tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Jal, S; Khora, S S

    2015-10-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a deadly neurotoxin which selectively inhibits Na(+) activation mechanism of nerve impulse, without affecting the permeability of K(+) ions. Because of this sodium channel blocking action, it is majorly being studied for biomedical applications. TTX is present in taxonomically diverse groups of animals inhabiting terrestrial, marine, fresh water and brackish water environments, still its origin remains unclear. The extensive study of the toxin has revealed a few possibilities of its origin. This review reports on the aspects of the origin of TTX, where the primary focus is on its exogenous origin. The significance of bacterial, cellular and environmental factors in its biogenesis and accumulation is also discussed. The possible facets for engineering the bacterial genomics to modulate the gene expression for TTX production are also outlined. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Remote sensing of ALGAL pigments to determine coastal phytoplankton dynamics in Florida Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, L.L.; Ambrosia, V.G.

    1997-06-01

    An important component of remote sensing of marine and coastal environments is the detection of phytoplankton to estimate biological activity. Traditionally the focus has been on detection of chlorophyll a, a photosynthetic pigment common to all algal groups. Recent advances in remote sensing instrumentation, in particular the development of hyperspectral imaging sensors, allow detection of additional algal pigments that include taxonomically significant photosynthetic and photoprotective accessory pigments. We are working with the hyperspectral imaging sensor AVIRIS (the Airborne Visible-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) to characterize phytoplankton blooms in Florida Bay. Our data analysis focuses on intersection of image data (and image-derived spectral data) with our in-house library of algal pigment signatures.

  14. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    2016-10-01

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

  15. Uric acid deposits in symbiotic marine algae.

    PubMed

    Clode, Peta L; Saunders, Martin; Maker, Garth; Ludwig, Martha; Atkins, Craig A

    2009-02-01

    The symbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellate algae is not understood at the cell or molecular level, yet this relationship is responsible for the formation of thousands of square kilometres of coral reefs. We have investigated the nature of crystalline material prominent within marine algal symbionts of Aiptasia sp. anemones. This material, which has historically been considered to be calcium oxalate, is shown to be uric acid. We demonstrate that these abundant uric acid stores can be mobilized rapidly, thereby allowing the algal symbionts to flourish in an otherwise N-poor environment. This is the first report of uric acid accumulation by symbiotic marine algae. These data provide new insight and considerations for understanding the physiological basis of algal symbioses, and represent a new and previously unconsidered aspect of N metabolism in cnidarian, and a variety of other, marine symbioses.

  16. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  17. Synaptic vesicle chips to assay botulinum neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    BoNTs (botulinum neurotoxins), considered to be the most toxic of all biological substances, inhibit neurotransmission through proteolytic cleavage of SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) proteins [VAMP (vesicle-associated membrane protein, or synaptobrevin), SNAP-25 (25 kDa synaptosome-associated protein) or syntaxin]. Expansion in the use of BoNTs as therapeutic and cosmetic agents, and the potential threat they constitute as biological weapons, underlines the need for rapid and sensitive in vitro assays. Here, we present new automatized bioassays to detect VAMP cleavage by BoNT/B and F. Western blotting and SPR (surface plasmon resonance) methods revealed that BoNT/B and F totally cleave their substrate on immunoisolated SVs (synaptic vesicles). Real-time monitoring of the immunocapture of native SVs from crude lysates on SPR sensor chips enabled the detection of picogram amounts of different SV proteins. Pre-incubation of a membrane fraction containing SVs with BoNT specifically inhibited capture by anti-VAMP antibodies, and amounts as low as 0.1 pg of BoNT/B were detected. This automated SPR assay is approx. 200 times more sensitive, and 25 times more rapid, than the in vivo BoNT/B test currently used. Moreover, the method can be performed using a few thousand cultured neurons and constitutes a new screening assay for inhibitors. Our data indicate that native VAMP is an optimal substrate for in vitro BoNT assays that can be monitored by SPR. PMID:16011482

  18. Subunit vaccine efficacy against Botulinum neurotoxin subtypes.

    PubMed

    Henkel, James S; Tepp, William H; Przedpelski, Amanda; Fritz, Robert B; Johnson, Eric A; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2011-10-13

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are classified into 7 serotypes (A-G) based upon neutralization by serotype-specific anti-sera. Several recombinant serotype-specific subunit BoNT vaccines have been developed, including a subunit vaccine comprising the receptor binding domain (HCR) of the BoNTs. Sequencing of the genes encoding BoNTs has identified variants (subtypes) that possess up to 32% primary amino acid variation among different BoNT serotypes. Studies were conducted to characterize the ability of the HCR of BoNT/A to protect against challenge by heterologous BoNT/A subtypes (A1-A3). High dose vaccination with HCR/A subtypes A1-A4 protected mice from challenge by heterologous BoNT/A subtype A1-A3, while low dose HCR vaccination yielded partial protection to heterologous BoNT/A subtype challenge. Absolute IgG titers to HCRs correlated to the dose of HCR used for vaccination, where HCR/A1 elicited an A1 subtype-specific IgG response, which was not observed with HCR/A2 vaccination. Survival of mice challenged to heterologous BoNT/A2 following low dose HCR/A1 vaccination correlated with elevated IgG titers directed to the denatured C-terminal sub-domain of HCR/A2, while survival of mice to heterologous BoNT/A1 following low dose HCR/A2 vaccination correlated to elevated IgG titers directed to native HCRc/A1. This implies that low dose vaccinations with HCR/A subtypes elicit unique IgG responses, and provides a basis to define how the host develops a neutralizing immune response to BoNT intoxication. These results may provide a reference for the development of pan-BoNT vaccines.

  19. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Protease Domains

    PubMed Central

    Toth, Stephen; Brueggmann, Ernst E.; Oyler, George A.; Smith, Leonard A.; Hines, Harry B.; Ahmed, S. Ashraf

    2012-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are most potent of all toxins. Their N-terminal light chain domain (Lc) translocates into peripheral cholinergic neurons to exert its endoproteolytic action leading to muscle paralysis. Therapeutic development against these toxins is a major challenge due to their in vitro and in vivo structural differences. Although three-dimensional structures and reaction mechanisms are very similar, the seven serotypes designated A through G vastly vary in their intracellular catalytic stability. To investigate if protein phosphorylation could account for this difference, we employed Src-catalyzed tyrosine phosphorylation of the Lc of six serotypes namely LcA, LcB, LcC1, LcD, LcE, and LcG. Very little phosphorylation was observed with LcD and LcE but LcA, LcB, and LcG were maximally phosphorylated by Src. Phosphorylation of LcA, LcB, and LcG did not affect their secondary and tertiary structures and thermostability significantly. Phosphorylation of Y250 and Y251 made LcA resistant to autocatalysis and drastically reduced its kcat/Km for catalysis. A tyrosine residue present near the essential cysteine at the C-terminal tail of LcA, LcB, and LcG was readily phosphorylated in vitro. Inclusion of a competitive inhibitor protected Y426 of LcA from phosphorylation, shedding light on the role of the C-terminus in the enzyme’s substrate or product binding. PMID:22675300

  20. SV2 Mediates Entry of Tetanus Neurotoxin into Central Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Felix L.; Dong, Min; Yao, Jun; Tepp, William H.; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A.; Chapman, Edwin R.

    2010-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin causes the disease tetanus, which is characterized by rigid paralysis. The toxin acts by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters from inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord that innervate motor neurons and is unique among the clostridial neurotoxins due to its ability to shuttle from the periphery to the central nervous system. Tetanus neurotoxin is thought to interact with a high affinity receptor complex that is composed of lipid and protein components; however, the identity of the protein receptor remains elusive. In the current study, we demonstrate that toxin binding, to dissociated hippocampal and spinal cord neurons, is greatly enhanced by driving synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Moreover, tetanus neurotoxin entry and subsequent cleavage of synaptobrevin II, the substrate for this toxin, was also dependent on synaptic vesicle recycling. Next, we identified the potential synaptic vesicle binding protein for the toxin and found that it corresponded to SV2; tetanus neurotoxin was unable to cleave synaptobrevin II in SV2 knockout neurons. Toxin entry into knockout neurons was rescued by infecting with viruses that express SV2A or SV2B. Tetanus toxin elicited the hyper excitability in dissociated spinal cord neurons - due to preferential loss of inhibitory transmission - that is characteristic of the disease. Surprisingly, in dissociated cortical cultures, low concentrations of the toxin preferentially acted on excitatory neurons. Further examination of the distribution of SV2A and SV2B in both spinal cord and cortical neurons revealed that SV2B is to a large extent localized to excitatory terminals, while SV2A is localized to inhibitory terminals. Therefore, the distinct effects of tetanus toxin on cortical and spinal cord neurons are not due to differential expression of SV2 isoforms. In summary, the findings reported here indicate that SV2A and SV2B mediate binding and entry of tetanus neurotoxin into central neurons. PMID:21124874

  1. Arctic spring awakening - Steering principles behind the phenology of vernal ice algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leu, E.; Mundy, C. J.; Assmy, P.; Campbell, K.; Gabrielsen, T. M.; Gosselin, M.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Gradinger, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems at high latitudes are characterized by extreme seasonal changes in light conditions, as well as a limited period of high primary production during spring and early summer. As light returns at the end of winter to Arctic ice-covered seas, a first algal bloom takes place in the bottom layer of the sea ice. This bottom ice algae community develops through three distinct phases in the transition from winter to spring, starting with phase I, a predominantly net heterotroph community that has limited interaction with the pelagic or benthic realms. Phase II begins in the spring once light for photosynthesis becomes available at the ice bottom, although interaction with the water column and benthos remains limited. The transition to the final phase III is then mainly driven by a balance of atmospheric and oceanographic forcing that induce structural changes in the sea ice and ultimately the removal of algal biomass from the ice. Due to limited data availability an incomplete understanding exists of all the processes determining ice algal bloom phenology and the considerable geographic differences in sympagic algal standing stocks and primary production. We present here the first pan-Arctic compilation of available time-series data on vernal sea ice algal bloom development and identify the most important factors controlling its development and termination. Using data from the area surrounding Resolute Bay (Nunavut, Canada) as an example, we support previous investigations that snow cover on top of the ice influences sea ice algal phenology, with highest biomass development, but also earliest termination of blooms, under low snow cover. We also provide a pan-Arctic overview of sea ice algae standing stocks and primary production, and discuss the pertinent processes behind the geographic differences we observed. Finally, we assess potential future changes in vernal algal bloom phenology as a consequence of climate change, including their importance to

  2. Neuroprotective Effects of Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Pangestuti, Ratih; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2011-01-01

    The marine environment is known as a rich source of chemical structures with numerous beneficial health effects. Among marine organisms, marine algae have been identified as an under-exploited plant resource, although they have long been recognized as valuable sources of structurally diverse bioactive compounds. Presently, several lines of studies have provided insight into biological activities and neuroprotective effects of marine algae including antioxidant, anti-neuroinflammatory, cholinesterase inhibitory activity and the inhibition of neuronal death. Hence, marine algae have great potential to be used for neuroprotection as part of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and functional foods. This contribution presents an overview of marine algal neuroprotective effects and their potential application in neuroprotection. PMID:21673890

  3. Botulinum neurotoxin type B--a rapid wrinkle reducer.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Carolyn I

    2003-06-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for temporary muscle paralysis for over 13 years. The off label use of neurotoxins include treatment of dynamic lines on the face and treatment of hyperhidrosis. Several forms of botulinum toxin exist, but only 2 serotypes are available commercially. Botulinum toxin B (BoTX B) is a recently US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved neurotoxin used for the treatment of cervical dystonia. Investigations into the use of BoTX B for skin rejuvenation have shown rapid paralysis and reduction of wrinkles. This overview highlights the current reports on the efficacy, duration, and safety of BoTX B when used for cosmetic procedures.

  4. Genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I and Group II.

    PubMed

    Carter, Andrew T; Peck, Michael W

    2015-05-01

    Recent developments in whole genome sequencing have made a substantial contribution to understanding the genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I (proteolytic C. botulinum) and C. botulinum Group II (non-proteolytic C. botulinum). Two different approaches are used to study genomics in these bacteria; comparative whole genome microarrays and direct comparison of complete genome DNA sequences. The properties of the different types of neurotoxin formed, and different neurotoxin gene clusters found in C. botulinum Groups I and II are explored. Specific examples of botulinum neurotoxin genes are chosen for an in-depth discussion of neurotoxin gene evolution. The most recent cases of foodborne botulism are summarised.

  5. Genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I and Group II

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Andrew T.; Peck, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in whole genome sequencing have made a substantial contribution to understanding the genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I (proteolytic C. botulinum) and C. botulinum Group II (non-proteolytic C. botulinum). Two different approaches are used to study genomics in these bacteria; comparative whole genome microarrays and direct comparison of complete genome DNA sequences. The properties of the different types of neurotoxin formed, and different neurotoxin gene clusters found in C. botulinum Groups I and II are explored. Specific examples of botulinum neurotoxin genes are chosen for an in-depth discussion of neurotoxin gene evolution. The most recent cases of foodborne botulism are summarised. PMID:25445012

  6. Metabolic systems analysis to advance algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  7. Sustainable Algal Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William E.

    2012-07-14

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Cyd E.

    2014-03-25

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

  9. Botulinum neurotoxin: Where are we with detection technologies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The poisonous nature of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) poses a great risk to humans and also can be exploited as a possible bioterrorism and biological warfare agent. BoNT serotypes A and B have emerged as effective treatments for a variety of neurological disorders, in addition to their applicability ...

  10. Antibody Protection Against Botulinum Neurotoxin Intoxication In Mice

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Adulteration of food or feed with any of the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a potential bioterrorism concern. Currently, there is strong interest in the development of detection reagents, vaccines, therapeutics and other countermeasures. A sensitive immunoassay for detecting BoNT/...

  11. Excitotoxicity of lathyrus sativus neurotoxin in leech retzius neurons.

    PubMed

    Cemerikic, D; Nedeljkov, V; Lopicic, S; Dragovic, S; Beleslin, B

    2001-01-01

    The effects of Lathyrus sativus neurotoxin were studied on the cell membrane potential and cellular cation composition in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga, with ion-selective microelectrodes using liquid ion-exchangers. Bath application of 10(-4) mol/l Lathyrus sativus neurotoxin for 3 min depolarized the cell membrane potential and decreased the input resistance of directly polarized membrane in Retzius neurons. At the same time the cellular Na+ activity increased and cellular K+ activity decreased with slow but complete recovery, while the intracellular Ca2+ concentration was not changed. Na+-free Ringer solutions inhibited the depolarizing effect of the neurotoxin on the cell membrane potential. Zero-Ca2+ Ringer solution or Ni2+-Ringer solution had no influence on the depolarizing effect of the neurotoxin on the cell membrane potential. It is obvious that the increase in membrane conductance and depolarization of the cell membrane potential are due to an influx of Na+ into the cell accompanied by an efflux of K+ from the cell.

  12. Botulinum neurotoxin: a deadly protease with applications to human medicine

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent biological toxins to humans. They are synthesized by the gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum. BoNT is secreted from the bacterium as a ~150 kDa polypeptide which is cleaved by bacterial or host proteases into a ~50 kD...

  13. Reversal of Mitochondrial Damage Caused by Environmental Neurotoxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-10-01

    on electron transport and respiration of mitochondria. In turn, damage to mitochondria can contribute to the progression of Parkinson’s disease and...leads concerning thiol redox status (viz., oxidation of GSH, formation of PrSSG) can lead to improved methods to protect DA neurons from damage by environmental neurotoxins or from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease .

  14. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes Detected by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Alison C.; Buckley, Nicholas; Halliwell, Jennifer; Gwenin, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is one of the deadliest biological toxins known to mankind and is able to cause the debilitating disease botulism. The rapid detection of the different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin is essential for both diagnosis of botulism and identifying the presence of toxin in potential cases of terrorism and food contamination. The modes of action of botulinum neurotoxins are well-established in literature and differ for each serotype. The toxins are known to specifically cleave portions of the SNARE proteins SNAP-25 or VAMP; an interaction that can be monitored by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. This study presents a SNAP-25 and a VAMP biosensors for detecting the activity of five botulinum neurotoxin serotypes (A–E) using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The biosensors are able to detect concentrations of toxins as low as 25 fg/mL, in a short time-frame compared with the current standard methods of detection. Both biosensors show greater specificity for their compatible serotypes compared with incompatible serotypes and denatured toxins. PMID:25954998

  15. Botulinum neurotoxin serotypes detected by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Savage, Alison C; Buckley, Nicholas; Halliwell, Jennifer; Gwenin, Christopher

    2015-05-06

    Botulinum neurotoxin is one of the deadliest biological toxins known to mankind and is able to cause the debilitating disease botulism. The rapid detection of the different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin is essential for both diagnosis of botulism and identifying the presence of toxin in potential cases of terrorism and food contamination. The modes of action of botulinum neurotoxins are well-established in literature and differ for each serotype. The toxins are known to specifically cleave portions of the SNARE proteins SNAP-25 or VAMP; an interaction that can be monitored by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. This study presents a SNAP-25 and a VAMP biosensors for detecting the activity of five botulinum neurotoxin serotypes (A-E) using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The biosensors are able to detect concentrations of toxins as low as 25 fg/mL, in a short time-frame compared with the current standard methods of detection. Both biosensors show greater specificity for their compatible serotypes compared with incompatible serotypes and denatured toxins.

  16. Estimates of nuclear DNA content in red algal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Kapraun, Donald F.; Freshwater, D. Wilson

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Neushul, M. )

    1991-07-01

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

  18. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-21

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

  1. Climate Adaptation and Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  2. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    SciTech Connect

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

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

  3. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    SciTech Connect

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

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

  4. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Health benefits of algal polysaccharides in human nutrition.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    The interest in functional food, both freshwater and marine algal products with their possible promotional health effects, increases also in regions where algae are considered as rather exotic food. Increased attention about algae as an abundant source of many nutrients and dietary fiber from the nutrition point of view, as well as from the scientific approaches to explore new nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, is based on the presence of many bioactive compounds including polysaccharides extracted from algal matter. Diverse chemical composition of dietary fiber polysaccharides is responsible for their different physicochemical properties, such as their ability to be fermented by the human colonic microbiota resulted in health benefit effects. Fundamental seaweed polysaccharides are presented by alginates, agars, carrageenans, ulvanes, and fucoidans, which are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industry and also in other branches of industry. Moreover, freshwater algae and seaweed polysaccharides have emerged as an important source of bioactive natural compounds which are responsible for their possible physiological effects. Especially, sulfate polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory, antitumor, antithrombotic, anticoagulant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities including anti-HIV infection, herpes, and hepatitis viruses. Generally, biological activity of sulfate polysaccharides is related to their different composition and mainly to the extent of the sulfation of their molecules. Significant attention has been recently focused on the use of both freshwater algae and seaweed for developing functional food by reason of a great variety of nutrients that are essential for human health. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    DOEpatents

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

    2014-10-14

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

  8. Marine algal fucoxanthin inhibits the metastatic potential of cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Chung, Tae-Wook; Choi, Hee-Jung; Lee, Ji-Yeon; Jeong, Han-Sol; Kim, Cheorl-Ho; Joo, Myungsoo; Choi, Jun-Yong; Han, Chang-Woo; Kim, So-Yeon; Choi, Jae-Sue; Ha, Ki-Tae

    2013-10-04

    Metastasis is major cause of malignant cancer-associated mortality. Fucoxanthin has effect on various pharmacological activities including anti-cancer activity. However, the inhibitory effect of fucoxanthin on cancer metastasis remains unclear. Here, we show that fucoxanthin isolated from brown alga Saccharina japonica has anti-metastatic activity. To check anti-metastatic properties of fucoxanthin, in vitro models including assays for invasion, migration, actin fiber organization and cancer cell-endothelial cell interaction were used. Fucoxanthin inhibited the expression and secretion of MMP-9 which plays a critical role in tumor invasion and migration, and also suppressed invasion of highly metastatic B16-F10 melanoma cells as evidenced by transwell invasion assay. In addition, fucoxanthin diminished the expressions of the cell surface glycoprotein CD44 and CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) which play roles in migration, invasion and cancer-endothelial cell adhesion. Fucoxanthin markedly suppressed cell migration in wound healing assay and inhibited actin fiber formation. The adhesion of B16-F10 melanoma cells to the endothelial cells was significantly inhibited by fucoxanthin. Moreover, in experimental lung metastasis in vivo assay, fucoxanthin resulted in significant reduction of tumor nodules. Taken together, we demonstrate, for the first time, that fucoxanthin suppresses metastasis of highly metastatic B16-F10 melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo.

  9. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Environmental neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and mercury in shark cartilage dietary supplements.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Broc Glover, W; Murch, Susan J; Liu, Guangliang; Cai, Yong; Davis, David A; Mash, Deborah C

    2014-08-01

    Shark cartilage products are marketed as dietary supplements with claimed health benefits for animal and human use. Shark fin and cartilage products sold as extracts, dry powders and in capsules are marketed based on traditional Chinese medicine claims that it nourishes the blood, enhances appetite, and energizes multiple internal organs. Shark cartilage contains a mixture of chondroitin and glucosamine, a popular nutritional supplement ingested to improve cartilage function. Sharks are long-lived apex predators, that bioaccumulate environmental marine toxins and methylmercury from dietary exposures. We recently reported detection of the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in the fins of seven different species of sharks from South Florida coastal waters. Since BMAA has been linked to degenerative brain diseases, the consumption of shark products may pose a human risk for BMAA exposures. In this report, we tested sixteen commercial shark cartilage supplements for BMAA by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-FD) with fluorescence detection and ultra performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Total mercury (Hg) levels were measured in the same shark cartilage products by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS). We report here that BMAA was detected in fifteen out of sixteen products with concentrations ranging from 86 to 265μg/g (dry weight). All of the shark fin products contained low concentrations of Hg. While Hg contamination is a known risk, the results of the present study demonstrate that shark cartilage products also may contain the neurotoxin BMAA. Although the neurotoxic potential of dietary exposure to BMAA is currently unknown, the results demonstrate that shark cartilage products may contain two environmental neurotoxins that have synergistic toxicities.

  11. Tetracyclic polyprenoids: Indicators of freshwater (lacustrine) algal input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holba, Albert G.; Tegelaar, Erik; Ellis, Leroy; Singletary, M. S.; Albrecht, Pierre

    2000-03-01

    Because of the great variety of lacustrine-source depositional characteristics and biological consortia, identification of a universally applicable indicator of freshwater or brackish-water organic input for crude oils and rock extracts has proven elusive. Tetracyclic polyprenoid compounds (TPP) are present in relatively high concentrations in oils and associated source rocks deposited under freshwater or brackish-water conditions, but typically are present in relatively low concentrations in samples from marine or coal-forming depositional environments. A TPP ratio, constructed from the gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry peak areas of a C30 tetracyclic polyprenoid divided by the sum of the peak areas of the C26 27-norcholestanes, revealed great specificity in identifying freshwater or brackish-water algal input, particularly in crude oils.

  12. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of neurotoxin gene from an environmental isolate of Clostridium sp.: comparison with other clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Dixit, Aparna; Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Singh, Lokendra

    2006-07-01

    A Clostridium sp. isolated from intestine of decaying fish exhibited 99% sequence identity with C. tetani at 16S rRNA level. It produced a neurotoxin that was neutralized by botulinum antitoxin (A+B+E) as well as tetanus antitoxin. The gene fragments for light chain, C-terminal and N-terminal regions of the heavy chain of the toxin were amplified using three reported primer sets for tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT). The neurotoxin gene fragments were cloned in Escherichia coli and sequenced. The sequences obtained exhibited approximately 98, 99 and 98% sequence identity with reported gene sequences of TeNT/LC, TeNT/HC and TeNT/HN, respectively. The phylogenetic interrelationship between the neurotoxin gene of Clostridium sp. with previously reported gene sequences of Clostridium botulinum A to G and C. tetani was examined by analysis of differences in the nucleotide sequences. Six amino acids were substituted at four different positions in the light chain of neurotoxin from the isolate when compared with the reported closest sequence of TeNT. Of these, four were located in the beta15 motif at a solvent inaccessible, buried region of the protein molecule. One of these substitutions were on the solvent accessible surface residue of alpha1 motif, previously shown to have strong sequence conservation. A substitution of two amino acids observed in N-terminal region of heavy chain were buried residues, located in the beta21 and beta37 motifs showing variability in other related sequences. The C-terminal region responsible for binding to receptor was conserved, showing no changes in the amino acid sequence.

  13. Advances in genetic engineering of marine algae.

    PubMed

    Qin, Song; Lin, Hanzhi; Jiang, Peng

    2012-01-01

    Algae are a component of bait sources for animal aquaculture, and they produce abundant valuable compounds for the chemical industry and human health. With today's fast growing demand for algae biofuels and the profitable market for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals made from algal natural products, the genetic engineering of marine algae has been attracting increasing attention as a crucial systemic technology to address the challenge of the biomass feedstock supply for sustainable industrial applications and to modify the metabolic pathway for the more efficient production of high-value products. Nevertheless, to date, only a few marine algae species can be genetically manipulated. In this article, an updated account of the research progress in marine algal genomics is presented along with methods for transformation. In addition, vector construction and gene selection strategies are reviewed. Meanwhile, a review on the progress of bioreactor technologies for marine algae culture is also revisited.

  14. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-08-16

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds.

  15. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A.; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S.; Murch, Susan J.; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  16. Biological importance of marine algae.

    PubMed

    El Gamal, Ali A

    2010-01-01

    Marine organisms are potentially prolific sources of highly bioactive secondary metabolites that might represent useful leads in the development of new pharmaceutical agents. Algae can be classified into two main groups; first one is the microalgae, which includes blue green algae, dinoflagellates, bacillariophyta (diatoms)… etc., and second one is macroalgae (seaweeds) which includes green, brown and red algae. The microalgae phyla have been recognized to provide chemical and pharmacological novelty and diversity. Moreover, microalgae are considered as the actual producers of some highly bioactive compounds found in marine resources. Red algae are considered as the most important source of many biologically active metabolites in comparison to other algal classes. Seaweeds are used for great number of application by man. The principal use of seaweeds as a source of human food and as a source of gums (phycocollides). Phycocolloides like agar agar, alginic acid and carrageenan are primarily constituents of brown and red algal cell walls and are widely used in industry.

  17. A Simple Proxy System Model of High-Latitude Encrusting Algal Oxygen Isotope Composition (δ18O)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, B.; Thompson, D. M.; Crowley, M.; Moulton, M.; Ng, J.; Halfar, J.

    2016-12-01

    The calcitic skeletons of marine crustose coralline algae yield important reconstructions of oceanic change spanning the past several centuries. The alga Clathromorphum spp. is abundant in coastal regions throughout the mid-to-high latitude northern hemisphere, forms an annually layered structure, and may grow for 850 years or more. In this alga, the stable oxygen isotopic composition (δ18O) of the skeleton reflects seawater temperature and/or δ18O composition of the seawater during the time of calcification. Here, we build and assess a simple, empirical proxy system model (PSM) of algal δ18O to better evaluate incorporation of the environmental parameters into the skeleton of the algae for future paleoclimate reconstructions. To develop the coralline algal PSM, we first determine the response season (in which the alga incorporates the ambient environmental signals) for four specimens spanning the algal growth range in the northern hemisphere. We find that the alga significantly records ambient seawater temperatures during summer months, but shows no relationship with salinity. This yields a simple, univariate proxy system model of pseodoalgal-δ18O = αSST + error, where α is the slope of the algal-δ18O to SST relationship determined by regressing temperature during the response season with algal-δ18O across the habitat range. We find the coefficients vary within a narrow range from -0.135 to -0.17, depending on the algal location and gridded dataset used, supporting a coherent relationship between seawater temperature and algal-δ18O. Using the average coefficient and associated uncertainty range, we create pseudoalgae records for four locations within the Clathromorphum spp. northern hemisphere range to compare with the observed algal records and assess variability and secular trends over the past century.

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

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-01

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

  20. Early diagenesis of a phylloid algal-mound complex, Laborcita Formation, southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, W.B.; Meyers, W.J.; Goldstein, R.

    1985-02-01

    Marine carbonate cementation was the initial stage in the paragenesis of phylloid algal mounds in the Laborcita Formation (Wolfcampian), Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico, and the cements are almost identical to those in Holocene coral reefs of Belize. These cements include relics of botryoids and crusts of needle crystals, in part defined by inclusion patterns and luminescent ghosts in mosaic calcite. Individual needle crystals are pseudohexagonal in cross section and range from less than 1 to 30 ..mu..m wide. These nonluminescent early cements line cavity walls, coat phylloid-algal blades and stromatolites, and are interlayered with marine sediment. Early cements also include bladed, fibrous, and rare radiaxial fibrous calcites, which are microdolomite-rich. They have a proximal nonluminescent zone, a central bright-luminescent zone, and a distal blotchy, moderate-luminescent zone. The bright zone may be time equivalent to bright-luminescent micritic coatings on botryoids and grains. Botryoids are encrusted by isopachous bladed cement, some of which has prismatic overgrowths containing an early inclusion-rich zone. This initial cementation was followed closely by: (1) dissolution of algal blades and mollusks, (2) in-situ brecciation, and (3) cementation by blocky calcite. Botryoidal and acicular cements are interpreted as originally marine aragonite precipitates, based on morphology, occurrence, susceptibility to diagenesis, and similarity to Holocene reef cements. The same criteria, plus the microdolomite inclusions, indicate that the bladed, fibrous, and radiaxial cements had a marine Mg-calcite precursor. This assemblage followed by prismatic overgrowths, dissolution, and blocky-calcite cementation indicates an evolution from marine to freshwater diagenesis.

  1. Algal Energy Conversion and Capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazendonk, P.

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Characterization of Clostridium sp. RKD producing botulinum-like neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Dixit, Aparna; Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Singh, Lokendra

    2005-07-01

    A Gram positive, motile, rod-shaped, strictly anaerobic bacterium isolated from intestine of decaying fish was identified as Clostridium sp. RKD and produced a botulinum type B-like neurotoxin as suggested by mouse bioassay and protection with anti botulinum antibodies. The neurotoxicity was functionally characterized by the phrenic nerve hemi-diaphragm assay. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequence, placed it at a different position from the reported strains of Clostridium botulinum. The strain exhibited differences from both Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani with respect to morphological, biochemical and chemotaxonomic characteristics. Botulinum group specific and serotype specific primers amplified the DNA fragments of 260 and 727 bp, respectively, indicating presence of botulinum type 'B' toxin gene. Sequence of nearly 700 bp amplified using primers specific for botulinum neurotoxin type B gene, did not show any significant match in the database when subjected to BLAST search.

  3. What is the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin?

    PubMed

    Exley, Christopher

    2014-06-01

    Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al(3+) (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans. Aluminium is present in the human brain and it accumulates with age. The most recent research demonstrates that a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain. What are the symptoms of chronic aluminium intoxication in humans? What if neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are the manifestation of the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? How might such an (outrageous) hypothesis be tested?

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin homologs in non-Clostridium species.

    PubMed

    Mansfield, Michael J; Adams, Jeremy B; Doxey, Andrew C

    2015-01-30

    Clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are the deadliest toxins known and the causative agents of botulism and tetanus. Despite their structural and functional complexity, no CNT homologs are currently known outside Clostridium. Here, we report the first homologs of Clostridium CNTs within the genome of the rice fermentation organism Weissella oryzae SG25. One gene in W. oryzae S25 encodes a protein with a four-domain architecture and HExxH protease motif common to botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). An adjacent gene with partial similarity to CNTs is also present, and both genes seem to have been laterally transferred into the W. oryzae genome from an unknown source. Identification of mobile, CNT-related genes outside of Clostridium has implications for our understanding of the evolution of this important toxin family. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Wind-driven marine phytoplank blooms: Satellite observation and analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, DanLing

    2016-07-01

    Algal bloom is defined as a rapid increase or accumulation in biomass in an aquatic system. It not only can increase the primary production but also could result in negative ecological consequence, e.g.,Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). According to the classic theory for the formation of algal blooms "critical depth" and "eutrophication", oligotrophic sea area is usually difficult to form a large area of algal blooms, and actuallythe traditional observation is only sporadic capture to the existence of algal blooms.Taking full advantage of multiple data of satellite remote sensing , this study introduces "Wind-driven algal blooms in open oceans: observation and mechanisms" It explained except classic coastal Ekman transport, the wind through a variety of mechanisms affecting the formation of algal blooms. Proposed a conceptual model of "Strong wind -upwelling-nutrient-phytoplankton blooms" in Western South China Sea (SCS) to assess role of wind-induced advection transport in phytoplankton bloom formation. It illustrates the nutrient resources that support long-term offshore phytoplankton blooms in the western SCS; (2)Proposal of the theory that "typhoons cause vertical mixing, induce phytoplankton blooms", and quantify their important contribution to marine primary production; Proposal a new ecological index for typhoon. Proposed remote sensing inversion models. (3)Finding of the spatial and temporaldistributions pattern of harmful algal bloom (HAB)and species variations of HAB in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea, and in the Pearl River estuary, and their oceanic dynamic mechanisms related with monsoon; The project developed new techniques and generated new knowledge, which significantly improved understanding of the formation mechanisms of algal blooms. The proposed "wind-pump" mechanism integrates theoretical system combined "ocean dynamics, development of algal blooms, and impact on primary production", which will benefit fisheries management. These

  6. Study on the dynamics of algal bloom and its influence factors in Tolo Harbour, Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Li, Y S; Chen, X; Wai, Onyx W H; King, B

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the semi-enclosed bay named Tolo Harbour and Channel in Hong Kong, which was frequently attacked by red tides, was used as a case study. Data sets related to marine water quality, river nutrients, and meteorological conditions recorded between 1988 and 1999 were chosen for statistical analysis. A multivariate analysis showed that algal growth, represented by the chlorophyll a concentration, had obvious spatial and temporal variations in the study area. The chlorophyll a concentration had a consistently decreasing trend from the inner part of the Harbour and surface waters to the outer part and bottom waters. The temporal variations had a markedly seasonal variation with high bioproductivity in spring and winter. There were long-term fluctuations in the chlorophyll a concentration with a high-low-high pattern in the study period. Nutrients and hydrological and meteorological conditions were important factors of algal bloom. Besides nitrogen, which was the most critical factor of algal bloom for the whole water body, total phosphorus in the surface waters and phosphate (PO4) and silica (SiO2) in the bottom waters also showed strongly positive or negative correlations with the chlorophyll a level. For the meteorological conditions, global solar radiation was the key factor of massive algal bloom in the study period, while rainfall and wind direction were the most important factors of seasonal variation.

  7. The Hawaiian Algal Database: a laboratory LIMS and online resource for biodiversity data.

    PubMed

    Wang, Norman; Sherwood, Alison R; Kurihara, Akira; Conklin, Kimberly Y; Sauvage, Thomas; Presting, Gernot G

    2009-09-04

    Organization and presentation of biodiversity data is greatly facilitated by databases that are specially designed to allow easy data entry and organized data display. Such databases also have the capacity to serve as Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). The Hawaiian Algal Database was designed to showcase specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago, enabling users around the world to compare their specimens with our photographs and DNA sequence data, and to provide lab personnel with an organizational tool for storing various biodiversity data types. We describe the Hawaiian Algal Database, a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic checklists and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique accession numbers. Users can search online for sample information by accession number, numerous levels of taxonomy, or collection site. At the present time the database contains data representing over 2,000 samples of marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples are primarily red algae, although other taxa are being added. The Hawaiian Algal Database is a digital repository for Hawaiian algal samples and acts as a LIMS for the laboratory. Users can make use of the online search tool to view and download specimen photographs and micrographs, DNA sequences and relevant habitat data, including georeferenced collecting locations. It is publicly available at http://algae.manoa.hawaii.edu.

  8. The Hawaiian Algal Database: a laboratory LIMS and online resource for biodiversity data

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Norman; Sherwood, Alison R; Kurihara, Akira; Conklin, Kimberly Y; Sauvage, Thomas; Presting, Gernot G

    2009-01-01

    Background Organization and presentation of biodiversity data is greatly facilitated by databases that are specially designed to allow easy data entry and organized data display. Such databases also have the capacity to serve as Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). The Hawaiian Algal Database was designed to showcase specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago, enabling users around the world to compare their specimens with our photographs and DNA sequence data, and to provide lab personnel with an organizational tool for storing various biodiversity data types. Description We describe the Hawaiian Algal Database, a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic checklists and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique accession numbers. Users can search online for sample information by accession number, numerous levels of taxonomy, or collection site. At the present time the database contains data representing over 2,000 samples of marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples are primarily red algae, although other taxa are being added. Conclusion The Hawaiian Algal Database is a digital repository for Hawaiian algal samples and acts as a LIMS for the laboratory. Users can make use of the online search tool to view and download specimen photographs and micrographs, DNA sequences and relevant habitat data, including georeferenced collecting locations. It is publicly available at . PMID:19728892

  9. Platy algal banks: Modern and ancient

    SciTech Connect

    Brinton, L. )

    1990-05-01

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

  10. Algal swimming velocities signal fatty acid accumulation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Mass spectrometry-based methods for detection and differentiation of botulinum neurotoxins

    DOEpatents

    Schmidt, Jurgen G.; Boyer, Anne E.; Kalb, Suzanne R.; Moura, Hercules; Barr, John R.; Woolfitt, Adrian R.

    2009-11-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for detecting the presence of clostridial neurotoxins in a sample by mixing a sample with a peptide that can serve as a substrate for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin; and measuring for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin by a mass spectroscopy technique. In one embodiment, the peptide can have an affinity tag attached at two or more sites.

  12. Host Response to Botulinum Neurotoxins for Developing Diagnostics and Antidotes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-18

    EA, Simpson LL. (1999) Pure botulinum neurotoxin is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine and produces peripheral neuromuscular blockade ...produces peripheral neuromuscular blockade . Infect. Immun. 67, 4708-4712. Matsumura, T., Jin, Y., Kabumoto, Y., Takegahara, Y., Oguma, K., Lencer, W.I...serves as a powerful tool to treat a myriad of neuromuscular disorders, and in cosmetic applications (Klien, 2004; Bhidayasiri and Troung, 2005

  13. Mechanism of Action of the Presynaptic Neurotoxin Tetanus Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-01-31

    of a new neurotransmitter/neuromodulator system, the nitric oxide (NO)/NO synthase pathway (for reviews see (6,15,17)). It now appears that NO is...an important question arises from these new developments. Do Clostridial neurotoxins somehow interfere with NO production by altering NO synthase ...activity In neural cells? Thus a series of experiments were performed with PC1 2 cells to examine the diversity of expression of NO synthase and its

  14. Central nervous system toxicity after botulinum neurotoxin injection.

    PubMed

    Ilkhchoui, Yashar; Ghaly, Ramsis F; Knezevic, N Nick; Candido, Kenneth D

    2013-01-01

    Since Its first description of botulism toxicity in 1820s, specific formulations of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) have been introduced with different clinical benefits. However, there is increasing number of adverse events reported to Food and Drug Administration. This report presents the case of 62-year-old woman with Parkinson's disease who received BoNT injections to treat painful spasticity in her hands. She developed severe generalized dystonia shortly after BoNT injections.

  15. Central Nervous System Toxicity After Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection

    PubMed Central

    Ilkhchoui, Yashar; Ghaly, Ramsis F.; Knezevic, N. Nick; Candido, Kenneth D

    2013-01-01

    Since Its first description of botulism toxicity in 1820s, specific formulations of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) have been introduced with different clinical benefits. However, there is increasing number of adverse events reported to Food and Drug Administration. This report presents the case of 62-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease who received BoNT injections to treat painful spasticity in her hands. She developed severe generalized dystonia shortly after BoNT injections. PMID:24223367

  16. Rattlesnake Neurotoxin Structure, Mechanism of Action, Immunology and Molecular Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-09-01

    from the venom of the midget faded . rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis concolor . Toxicon 2&, 319- 323. Rehm, H. and Betz, H. (1982) Binding of B...8217determined. It was shown to have great similarity to the basic subunits of related toxins from the venoms of the South American and midget faded ...AD-A228 003 CONTRACT NO.: DAMD17-89-C-9007 TITLE: RATTLESNAKE NEUROTOXIN STRUCTURE, MECHANISM OF ACTION, IMMUNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY PRINCIPAL

  17. The effect of neurotoxin on rabies virus binding to mouse neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Briggs, D J; Phillips, R M

    1991-08-01

    Mouse neuroblastoma cells were exposed to alpha bungarotoxin, a neurotoxin known to inhibit rabies virus binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor located at the neuromuscular junction in muscle tissue. The total amount of 3H-CVS virus that bound to neurotoxin treated cells was separated into specific and non-specific binding using a cold competition assay. Comparison of untreated and neurotoxin treated cells demonstrated that the majority of cell-associated virus in untreated cells was of a specific nature whereas the majority of the cell-associated virus in neurotoxin treated cells was due to non-specific binding.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Halogenated Compounds from Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Cabrita, Maria Teresa; Vale, Carlos; Rauter, Amélia Pilar

    2010-01-01

    Marine algae produce a cocktail of halogenated metabolites with potential commercial value. Structures exhibited by these compounds go from acyclic entities with a linear chain to complex polycyclic molecules. Their medical and pharmaceutical application has been investigated for a few decades, however other properties, such as antifouling, are not to be discarded. Many compounds were discovered in the last years, although the need for new drugs keeps this field open as many algal species are poorly screened. The ecological role of marine algal halogenated metabolites has somehow been overlooked. This new research field will provide valuable and novel insight into the marine ecosystem dynamics as well as a new approach to comprehending biodiversity. Furthermore, understanding interactions between halogenated compound production by algae and the environment, including anthropogenic or global climate changes, is a challenging target for the coming years. Research of halogenated metabolites has been more focused on macroalgae than on phytoplankton. However, phytoplankton could be a very promising material since it is the base of the marine food chain with quick adaptation to environmental changes, which undoubtedly has consequences on secondary metabolism. This paper reviews recent progress on this field and presents trends on the role of marine algae as producers of halogenated compounds. PMID:20948909

  20. Halogenated compounds from marine algae.

    PubMed

    Cabrita, Maria Teresa; Vale, Carlos; Rauter, Amélia Pilar

    2010-08-09

    Marine algae produce a cocktail of halogenated metabolites with potential commercial value. Structures exhibited by these compounds go from acyclic entities with a linear chain to complex polycyclic molecules. Their medical and pharmaceutical application has been investigated for a few decades, however other properties, such as antifouling, are not to be discarded. Many compounds were discovered in the last years, although the need for new drugs keeps this field open as many algal species are poorly screened. The ecological role of marine algal halogenated metabolites has somehow been overlooked. This new research field will provide valuable and novel insight into the marine ecosystem dynamics as well as a new approach to comprehending biodiversity. Furthermore, understanding interactions between halogenated compound production by algae and the environment, including anthropogenic or global climate changes, is a challenging target for the coming years. Research of halogenated metabolites has been more focused on macroalgae than on phytoplankton. However, phytoplankton could be a very promising material since it is the base of the marine food chain with quick adaptation to environmental changes, which undoubtedly has consequences on secondary metabolism. This paper reviews recent progress on this field and presents trends on the role of marine algae as producers of halogenated compounds.

  1. Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2016-08-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-07-14

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-14

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

  4. Recovery of a strain of Clostridium botulinum producing both neurotoxin A and neurotoxin B from canned macrobiotic food.

    PubMed Central

    Franciosa, G; Fenicia, L; Pourshaban, M; Aureli, P

    1997-01-01

    A rare strain of Clostridium botulinum subtype Ab was isolated from a canned macrobiotic food suspected of being linked to a fatal case of food-borne botulism. The strain was recovered and identified by conventional methods modified by the inclusion of a PCR assay (G. Franciosa, J.L. Ferreira, and C.L. Hatheway, J. Clin. Microbiol. 32:1911-1917, 1994). The titers of neurotoxins produced by the strain were evaluated by a mouse bioassay. PMID:9055430

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  6. Harmful Algal Blooms – Special Sampling and Response Actions

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  7. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  8. Intraspecific Diversity and Ecological Zonation in Coral-Algal Symbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Rob; Knowlton, Nancy

    1995-03-01

    All reef-building corals are obligately associated with photosynthetic microalgal endosymbionts called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthella taxonomy has emphasized differences between species of hosts, but the possibility of ecologically significant zooxanthella diversity within hosts has been the subject of speculation for decades. Analysis of two dominant Caribbean corals showed that each associates with three taxa of zooxanthellae that exhibit zonation with depth-the primary environmental gradient for light-dependent marine organisms. Some colonies apparently host two taxa of symbionts in proportions that can vary across the colony. This common occurrence of polymorphic, habitat-specific symbioses challenges conventional understanding of the units of biodiversity but also illuminates many distinctive aspects of marine animal-algal associations. Habitat specificity provides ecological explanations for the previously documented poor concordance between host and symbiont phylogenies and the otherwise surprising lack of direct, maternal transmission of symbionts in many species of hosts. Polymorphic symbioses may underlie the conspicuous and enigmatic variability characteristic of responses to environmental stress (e.g., coral "bleaching") and contribute importantly to the phenomenon of photoadaptation.

  9. Saline wastewater treatment by Chlorella vulgaris with simultaneous algal lipid accumulation triggered by nitrate deficiency.

    PubMed

    Shen, Qiao-Hui; Gong, Yu-Peng; Fang, Wen-Zhe; Bi, Zi-Cheng; Cheng, Li-Hua; Xu, Xin-Hua; Chen, Huan-Lin

    2015-10-01

    Chlorella vulgaris, a marine microalgae strain adaptable to 0-50 g L(-1) of salinity, was selected for studying the coupling system of saline wastewater treatment and lipid accumulation. The effect of total nitrogen (T N) concentration was investigated on algal growth, nutrients removal as well as lipid accumulation. The removal efficiencies of TN and total phosphorus (TP) were found to be 92.2-96.6% and over 99%, respectively, after a batch cultivation of 20 days. To illustrate the response of lipid accumulation to nutrients removal, C. vulgaris was further cultivated in the recycling experiment of tidal saline water within the photobioreactor. The lipid accumulation was triggered upon the almost depletion of nitrate (<5 mg L(-1)), till the final highest lipid content of 40%. The nitrogen conversion in the sequence of nitrate, nitrite, and then to ammonium in the effluents was finally integrated with previous discussions on metabolic pathways of algal cell under nitrogen deficiency.

  10. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

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

  11. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

  12. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

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

  13. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

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

  14. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

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

  15. Characterization of marine isoprene-degrading communities.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Laura Acuña; Exton, Daniel A; Timmis, Kenneth N; Suggett, David J; McGenity, Terry J

    2009-12-01

    Isoprene is a volatile and climate-altering hydrocarbon with an atmospheric concentration similar to that of methane. It is well established that marine algae produce isoprene; however, until now there was no specific information about marine isoprene sinks. Here we demonstrate isoprene consumption in samples from temperate and tropical marine and coastal environments, and furthermore show that the most rapid degradation of isoprene coincides with the highest rates of isoprene production in estuarine sediments. Isoprene-degrading enrichment cultures, analysed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and by culturing, were generally dominated by Actinobacteria, but included other groups such as Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, previously not known to degrade isoprene. In contrast to specialist methane-oxidizing bacteria, cultivated isoprene degraders were nutritionally versatile, and nearly all of them were able to use n-alkanes as a source of carbon and energy. We therefore tested and showed that the ubiquitous marine hydrocarbon-degrader, Alcanivorax borkumensis, could also degrade isoprene. A mixture of the isolates consumed isoprene emitted from algal cultures, confirming that isoprene can be metabolized at low, environmentally relevant concentrations, and suggesting that, in the absence of spilled petroleum hydrocarbons, algal production of isoprene could maintain viable populations of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes. This discovery of a missing marine sink for isoprene is the first step in obtaining more robust predictions of its flux, and suggests that algal-derived isoprene provides an additional source of carbon for diverse microbes in the oceans.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kurotani, Atsushi; Yamada, Yutaka

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kurotani, Atsushi; Yamada, Yutaka; Sakurai, Tetsuya

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Hyperspectral and Physiological Analyses of Coral-Algal Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Barott, Katie; Smith, Jennifer; Dinsdale, Elizabeth; Hatay, Mark; Sandin, Stuart; Rohwer, Forest

    2009-01-01

    Space limitation leads to competition between benthic, sessile organisms on coral reefs. As a primary example, reef-building corals are in direct contact with each other and many different species and functional groups of algae. Here we characterize interactions between three coral genera and three algal functional groups using a combination of hyperspectral imaging and oxygen microprofiling. We also performed in situ interaction transects to quantify the relative occurrence of these interaction on coral reefs. These studies were conducted in the Southern Line Islands, home to some of the most remote and near-pristine reefs in the world. Our goal was to determine if different types of coral-coral and coral-algal interactions were characterized by unique fine-scale physiological signatures. This is the first report using hyperspectral imaging for characterization of marine benthic organisms at the micron scale and proved to be a valuable tool for discriminating among different photosynthetic organisms. Consistent patterns emerged in physiology across different types of competitive interactions. In cases where corals were in direct contact with turf or macroalgae, there was a zone of hypoxia and altered pigmentation on the coral. In contrast, interaction zones between corals and crustose coralline algae (CCA) were not hypoxic and the coral tissue was consistent across the colony. Our results suggest that at least two main characteristic coral interaction phenotypes exist: 1) hypoxia and coral tissue disruption, seen with interactions between corals and fleshy turf and/or some species of macroalgae, and 2) no hypoxia or tissue disruption, seen with interactions between corals and some species of CCA. Hyperspectral imaging in combination with oxygen profiling provided useful information on competitive interactions between benthic reef organisms, and demonstrated that some turf and fleshy macroalgae can be a constant source of stress for corals, while CCA are not. PMID

  19. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    DOE PAGES

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Characterization of the neurotoxin produced by isolates associated with avian botulism.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Masato; Tsukamoto, Kentaro; Kohda, Tomoko; Matsui, Miki; Mukamoto, Masafumi; Kozaki, Shunji

    2005-09-01

    Several varieties of birds are affected by type C botulism. We conducted neutralization tests of culture supernatants of isolates from cases of avian botulism. Whereas the toxin produced by isolates derived from mammalian botulism was neutralized only with type C antitoxin, the toxins of all isolates related to avian botulism were neutralized with both type C and D antitoxins. An analysis of nucleotide sequences with several strains revealed that the neurotoxin gene in the isolates from avian botulism comprises two thirds of the type C neurotoxin gene and one third of the type D neurotoxin gene. This indicates that the neurotoxin of avian isolates is a mosaic of type C and D neurotoxins. We prepared three sets of primers to differentiate the gene for the mosaic form from the conserved genes of type C and D neurotoxins. The results of polymerase chain reaction with these primers indicated that all avian botulism-related isolates and specimens possess the gene for the mosaic form of the neurotoxin. The toxins purified from avian and mammalian isolates exhibited the same degree of lethality in mice, but the former showed greater toxicity to chickens than the latter. These results indicate that the mosaic neurotoxin is probably a pathogenic agent causing some forms of avian botulism.

  2. Cloning and purification of alpha-neurotoxins from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    PubMed

    He, Ying-Ying; Lee, Wei-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2004-09-01

    Thirteen complete and three partial cDNA sequences were cloned from the constructed king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom gland cDNA library. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of king cobra with those from other snake venoms revealed that obtained cDNAs are highly homologous to snake venom alpha-neurotoxins. Alignment of deduced mature peptide sequences of the obtained clones with those of other reported alpha-neurotoxins from the king cobra venom indicates that our obtained 16 clones belong to long-chain neurotoxins (seven), short-chain neurotoxins (seven), weak toxin (one) and variant (one), respectively. Up to now, two out of 16 newly cloned king cobra alpha-neurotoxins have identical amino acid sequences with CM-11 and Oh-6A/6B, which have been characterized from the same venom. Furthermore, five long-chain alpha-neurotoxins and two short-chain alpha-neurotoxins were purified from crude venom and their N-terminal amino acid sequences were determined. The cDNAs encoding the putative precursors of the purified native peptide were also determined based on the N-terminal amino acid sequencing. The purified alpha-neurotoxins showed different lethal activities on mice.

  3. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxin serotype a and associated proteins across the intestinal epithelia

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins and considered to be a major venue of bioterrorist threat. BoNTs associate with neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs), forming large complexes. NAPs have been shown to shield the BoNT holotoxin from the harsh environment of ...

  4. Signaling Pathways that Medicine Neurotoxin-Induced Death of Dopamine Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    4-phenyl-1,2,3,tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or the pesticide rotenone . These neurotoxins inhibit complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain...neurodegeneration, apoptosis, dopamine neurons, MPTP, rotenone , intrinsic death pathway 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF...prevent death. Our overall working hypothesis is that the Parkinsonian neurotoxins, MPP+ and rotenone , share a common mechanism of action to

  5. Probiotic microorganisms inhibit epithelial cell internalization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) complex (holotoxin with neurotoxin-associated proteins) bind and transit through the intestinal...

  6. Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Foodborne botulism is caused by the ingestion of foods containing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). Currently, the only accepted assay to detect active C. botulinum neurotoxin is an in vivo mouse bioassay, which raises ethical concerns with regard to the use of experimental animals. Therefore, there is...

  7. Current methods for detecting the presence of botulinum neurotoxins in food and other biological samples

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Current methods for detecting the presence of botulinum neurotoxins in food and other biological samples Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the causative agents of botulism, are among the most lethal human bacterial toxins and the causative agent of botulism. BoNTs are also classified as Select Agents ...

  8. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs). The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presenc...

  9. Detection of the neurotoxin BMAA within cyanobacteria isolated from freshwater in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Aifeng; Tian, Zhijia; Li, Jing; Yu, Rencheng; Banack, Sandra Anne; Wang, Zhenyu

    2010-05-01

    The cyanobacterial neurotoxin, beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), has been suggested as an important environmental factor for neurodegenerative disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis- Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) in Guam. BMAA was detected within the majority of cyanobacterial isolates surveyed in both free and symbiotic cyanobacteria, living in freshwater as well as marine environments. In this study, we report two methods using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) each coupled with a different type of hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) column to detect BMAA. A third method using AQC-derivatized BMAA was also used for comparison. Axenic cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa and Nostoc sp. isolated from Chinese freshwater were analyzed for both free and protein-bound BMAA at the exponential growth stage. Cultures of two strains of M. aeruginosa collected at four growth stages were also analyzed for the presence of BMAA. BMAA was detected in the Nostoc sp. at very low concentrations (<0.07pmoles on column) only when precolumn AQC derivatization was used. No BMAA was detected in the Chinese derived axenic cultures of Microcystis; detection limits for the LC-ESI-MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS without precolumn derivatization were 10ng and 2pg BMAA on column, respectively. We suggest that cyanobacteria grown under some culture conditions may be relatively free of BMAA.

  10. Molecular Structures and Functional Relationships in Clostridial Neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Swaminathan S.

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here.

  11. Molecular structures and functional relationships in clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here.

  12. Sensing the Deadliest Toxin: Technologies for Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    PubMed Central

    Čapek, Petr; Dickerson, Tobin J.

    2010-01-01

    Sensitive and rapid detection of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most poisonous substances known to date, is essential for studies of medical applications of BoNTs and detection of poisoned food, as well as for response to potential bioterrorist threats. Currently, the most common method of BoNT detection is the mouse bioassay. While this assay is sensitive, it is slow, quite expensive, has limited throughput and requires sacrificing animals. Herein, we discuss and compare recently developed alternative in vitro detection methods and assess their ability to supplement or replace the mouse bioassay in the analysis of complex matrix samples. PMID:22069545

  13. Sensing the deadliest toxin: technologies for botulinum neurotoxin detection.

    PubMed

    Capek, Petr; Dickerson, Tobin J

    2010-01-01

    Sensitive and rapid detection of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most poisonous substances known to date, is essential for studies of medical applications of BoNTs and detection of poisoned food, as well as for response to potential bioterrorist threats. Currently, the most common method of BoNT detection is the mouse bioassay. While this assay is sensitive, it is slow, quite expensive, has limited throughput and requires sacrificing animals. Herein, we discuss and compare recently developed alternative in vitro detection methods and assess their ability to supplement or replace the mouse bioassay in the analysis of complex matrix samples.

  14. Exploration of new functional endpoints in neuro-2a cells for the detection of the marine biotoxins saxitoxin, palytoxin and tetrodotoxin.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Bovee, Toine F H; Kamelia, Lenny; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Hendriksen, Peter J M

    2015-12-25

    Marine neurotoxins accumulate in seafood and therewith represent a threat for consumers. At the European level, the use of in vivo bioassays is banned from 2015 onwards, except for the control of production areas. Cytotoxicity in the neuro-2a assay has been shown a promising in vitro alternative. However, given that cytotoxicity may be sensitive to confounding factors the current study investigates the suitability of functional endpoints as alternatives to cytotoxicity for the detection of marine neurotoxins. Microarray analyses were performed following exposure of neuro-2a cells to three marine neurotoxins (palytoxin (PlTx), saxitoxin (STX) and tetrodotoxin (TTX)) to identify genes up- or down-regulated that can be used as biomarkers for screening purposes. In addition to microarrays, the voltage dependent fluorescent probe bisoxonol was used to assess changes in cellular membrane potential. Biomarkers based on mRNA expression were detected for PlTx but not for STX and TTX. STX and TTX decreased the fluorescence of bisoxonol while PlTx showed no effect. When using cytotoxicity as the read out the neuro-2a assay detects these three neurotoxins at similar concentrations. Therefore it is concluded that the newly investigated endpoints in the neuro-2a assay are not preferred over cytotoxicity in a suitable broad and sensitive bioassay for the detection of marine neurotoxins in real practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Individual Specialization to Non-Optimal Hosts in a Polyphagous Marine Invertebrate Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Baumgartner, Finn A.; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla B.

    2014-01-01

    Factors determining the degree of dietary generalism versus specialism are central in ecology. Species that are generalists at the population level may in fact be composed of specialized individuals. The optimal diet theory assumes that individuals choose diets that maximize fitness, and individual specialization may occur if individuals' ability to locate, recognize, and handle different food types differ. We investigate if individuals of the marine herbivorous slug Elysia viridis, which co-occur at different densities on several green macroalgal species in the field, are specialized to different algal hosts. Individual slugs were collected from three original algal host species (Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris and Codium fragile) in the field, and short-term habitat choice and consumption, as well as long-term growth (proxy for fitness), on four algal diet species (the original algal host species and Chaetomorpha melagonium) were studied in laboratory experiments. Nutritional (protein, nitrogen, and carbon content) and morphological (dry weight, and cell/utricle volume) algal traits were also measured to investigate if they correlated with the growth value of the different algal diets. E. viridis individuals tended to choose and consume algal species that were similar to their original algal host. Long-term growth of E. viridis, however, was mostly independent of original algal host, as all individuals reached a larger size on the non-host C. melagonium. E. viridis growth was positively correlated to algal cell/utricle volume but not to any of the other measured algal traits. Because E. viridis feeds by piercing individual algal cells, the results indicate that slugs may receive more cytoplasm, and thus more energy per unit time, on algal species with large cells/utricles. We conclude that E. viridis individuals are specialized on different hosts, but host choice in natural E. viridis populations is not determined by the energetic value of seaweed diets

  16. Individual specialization to non-optimal hosts in a polyphagous marine invertebrate herbivore.

    PubMed

    Baumgartner, Finn A; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla B

    2014-01-01

    Factors determining the degree of dietary generalism versus specialism are central in ecology. Species that are generalists at the population level may in fact be composed of specialized individuals. The optimal diet theory assumes that individuals choose diets that maximize fitness, and individual specialization may occur if individuals' ability to locate, recognize, and handle different food types differ. We investigate if individuals of the marine herbivorous slug Elysia viridis, which co-occur at different densities on several green macroalgal species in the field, are specialized to different algal hosts. Individual slugs were collected from three original algal host species (Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris and Codium fragile) in the field, and short-term habitat choice and consumption, as well as long-term growth (proxy for fitness), on four algal diet species (the original algal host species and Chaetomorpha melagonium) were studied in laboratory experiments. Nutritional (protein, nitrogen, and carbon content) and morphological (dry weight, and cell/utricle volume) algal traits were also measured to investigate if they correlated with the growth value of the different algal diets. E. viridis individuals tended to choose and consume algal species that were similar to their original algal host. Long-term growth of E. viridis, however, was mostly independent of original algal host, as all individuals reached a larger size on the non-host C. melagonium. E. viridis growth was positively correlated to algal cell/utricle volume but not to any of the other measured algal traits. Because E. viridis feeds by piercing individual algal cells, the results indicate that slugs may receive more cytoplasm, and thus more energy per unit time, on algal species with large cells/utricles. We conclude that E. viridis individuals are specialized on different hosts, but host choice in natural E. viridis populations is not determined by the energetic value of seaweed diets

  17. Mixotrophy in the Marine Plankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoecker, Diane K.; Hansen, Per Juel; Caron, David A.; Mitra, Aditee

    2017-01-01

    Mixotrophs are important components of the bacterioplankton, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, and (sometimes) zooplankton in coastal and oceanic waters. Bacterivory among the phytoplankton may be important for alleviating inorganic nutrient stress and may increase primary production in oligotrophic waters. Mixotrophic phytoflagellates and dinoflagellates are often dominant components of the plankton during seasonal stratification. Many of the microzooplankton grazers, including ciliates and Rhizaria, are mixotrophic owing to their retention of functional algal organelles or maintenance of algal endosymbionts. Phototrophy among the microzooplankton may increase gross growth efficiency and carbon transfer through the microzooplankton to higher trophic levels. Characteristic assemblages of mixotrophs are associated with warm, temperate, and cold seas and with stratification, fronts, and upwelling zones. Modeling has indicated that mixotrophy has a profound impact on marine planktonic ecosystems and may enhance primary production, biomass transfer to higher trophic levels, and the functioning of the biological carbon pump.

  18. An unprecedented coastwide toxic algal bloom linked to anomalous ocean conditions

    PubMed Central

    Hickey, Barbara M.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Adams, Nicolaus G.; Bill, Brian D.; Gulland, Frances M. D.; Thomson, Richard E.; Cochlan, William P.; Trainer, Vera L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A coastwide bloom of the toxigenic diatom Pseudo‐nitzschia in spring 2015 resulted in the largest recorded outbreak of the neurotoxin, domoic acid, along the North American west coast. Elevated toxins were measured in numerous stranded marine mammals and resulted in geographically extensive and prolonged closures of razor clam, rock crab, and Dungeness crab fisheries. We demonstrate that this outbreak was initiated by anomalously warm ocean conditions. Pseudo‐nitzschia australis thrived north of its typical range in the warm, nutrient‐poor water that spanned the northeast Pacific in early 2015. The seasonal transition to upwelling provided the nutrients necessary for a large‐scale bloom; a series of spring storms delivered the bloom to the coast. Laboratory and field experiments confirming maximum growth rates with elevated temperatures and enhanced toxin production with nutrient enrichment, together with a retrospective analysis of toxic events, demonstrate the potential for similarly devastating ecological and economic disruptions in the future. PMID:27917011

  19. An unprecedented coastwide toxic algal bloom linked to anomalous ocean conditions.

    PubMed

    McCabe, Ryan M; Hickey, Barbara M; Kudela, Raphael M; Lefebvre, Kathi A; Adams, Nicolaus G; Bill, Brian D; Gulland, Frances M D; Thomson, Richard E; Cochlan, William P; Trainer, Vera L

    2016-10-16

    A coastwide bloom of the toxigenic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia in spring 2015 resulted in the largest recorded outbreak of the neurotoxin, domoic acid, along the North American west coast. Elevated toxins were measured in numerous stranded marine mammals and resulted in geographically extensive and prolonged closures of razor clam, rock crab, and Dungeness crab fisheries. We demonstrate that this outbreak was initiated by anomalously warm ocean conditions. Pseudo-nitzschia australis thrived north of its typical range in the warm, nutrient-poor water that spanned the northeast Pacific in early 2015. The seasonal transition to upwelling provided the nutrients necessary for a large-scale bloom; a series of spring storms delivered the bloom to the coast. Laboratory and field experiments confirming maximum growth rates with elevated temperatures and enhanced toxin production with nutrient enrichment, together with a retrospective analysis of toxic events, demonstrate the potential for similarly devastating ecological and economic disruptions in the future.

  20. An unprecedented coastwide toxic algal bloom linked to anomalous ocean conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCabe, Ryan M.; Hickey, Barbara M.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Adams, Nicolaus G.; Bill, Brian D.; Gulland, Frances M. D.; Thomson, Richard E.; Cochlan, William P.; Trainer, Vera L.

    2016-10-01

    A coastwide bloom of the toxigenic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia in spring 2015 resulted in the largest recorded outbreak of the neurotoxin, domoic acid, along the North American west coast. Elevated toxins were measured in numerous stranded marine mammals and resulted in geographically extensive and prolonged closures of razor clam, rock crab, and Dungeness crab fisheries. We demonstrate that this outbreak was initiated by anomalously warm ocean conditions. Pseudo-nitzschia australis thrived north of its typical range in the warm, nutrient-poor water that spanned the northeast Pacific in early 2015. The seasonal transition to upwelling provided the nutrients necessary for a large-scale bloom; a series of spring storms delivered the bloom to the coast. Laboratory and field experiments confirming maximum growth rates with elevated temperatures and enhanced toxin production with nutrient enrichment, together with a retrospective analysis of toxic events, demonstrate the potential for similarly devastating ecological and economic disruptions in the future.

  1. Effects of acid stress on aerobic decomposition of algal and aquatic macrophyte detritus: Direct comparison in a radiocarbon assay

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenberg, S.A.; Benner, R.; Armstrong, A.; Sobecky, P.; Hodson, R.E. )

    1990-01-01

    Radiolabeled phytoplankton and macrophyte lignocelluloses were incubated at pHs 4 and 7 in water from a naturally acidic freshwater wetland (Okefenokee Swamp; ambient pH, 3.8 to 4.2), a freshwater reservoir (L-Lake; pH 6.7 to 7.2), and a marine marsh (Sapelo Island; pH {approximately}7.8). The data suggest that acidity is an important factor in explaining the lower decomposition rates of algae in Okefenokee Swamp water relative to L-Lake or Sapelo Island water. The decomposition of algal substrate was less sensitive to low pH ({approximately}5 to 35% inhibition) than was the decomposition of lignocellulose ({approximately}30 to 70% inhibition). These substrate-dependent differences were greater and more consistent in salt marsh than in L-lake incubations. In both freshwater sites, the extent to which decomposition was suppressed by acidity was greater for green algal substrate than for mixed diatom or blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) substrates. The use of different bases to adjust pH or incubation in a defined saltwater medium had no significant effect on substrate-dependent differences. Although pH differences with lignocellulose were larger in marine incubations, amendment of lake water with marine bacteria or with calcium, known to stabilize exoenzymes in soils, did not magnify the sensitivity of decomposition to acid stress.

  2. Substrate recognition strategy for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

    PubMed

    Breidenbach, Mark A; Brunger, Axel T

    2004-12-16

    Clostridal neurotoxins (CNTs) are the causative agents of the neuroparalytic diseases botulism and tetanus. CNTs impair neuronal exocytosis through specific proteolysis of essential proteins called SNAREs. SNARE assembly into a low-energy ternary complex is believed to catalyse membrane fusion, precipitating neurotransmitter release; this process is attenuated in response to SNARE proteolysis. Site-specific SNARE hydrolysis is catalysed by the CNT light chains, a unique group of zinc-dependent endopeptidases. The means by which a CNT properly identifies and cleaves its target SNARE has been a subject of much speculation; it is thought to use one or more regions of enzyme-substrate interaction remote from the active site (exosites). Here we report the first structure of a CNT endopeptidase in complex with its target SNARE at a resolution of 2.1 A: botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) protease bound to human SNAP-25. The structure, together with enzyme kinetic data, reveals an array of exosites that determine substrate specificity. Substrate orientation is similar to that of the general zinc-dependent metalloprotease thermolysin. We observe significant structural changes near the toxin's catalytic pocket upon substrate binding, probably serving to render the protease competent for catalysis. The novel structures of the substrate-recognition exosites could be used for designing inhibitors specific to BoNT/A.

  3. A human monoclonal antibody that binds serotype A botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Adekar, Sharad P; Jones, R Mark; Elias, M D; Al-Saleem, Fetweh H; Root, Michael J; Simpson, Lance L; Dessain, Scott K

    2008-02-01

    Monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated significant potential as therapeutics for botulinum neurotoxin exposures. We previously described a hybridoma method for cloning native human antibodies that uses a murine myeloma cell line that ectopically expresses the human telomerase catalytic subunit gene (hTERT) and the murine interleukin-6 gene (mIL-6). Here we describe a heterohybridoma cell line that ectopically expresses mIL-6 and hTERT and has improved stability of hTERT expression. We fused this cell line to human peripheral blood B cells from a subject who had received the botulinum toxoid vaccine, cloning a high-affinity antibody (13A) specific for serotype A botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT/A). The 13A antibody is an affinity-matured, post-germinal center IgG(1) lambda antibody that has partial neutralization activity in vivo. 13A binds an epitope on BoNT/A that overlaps the binding epitope of an IgG antibody previously shown to fully neutralize a lethal dose of BoNT/A in vivo. The 13A antibody may be useful for diagnostic testing or for incorporation into an oligoclonal therapeutic to counteract BoNT/A exposure.

  4. Labile neurotoxin in serum of calves with "nervous" coccidiosis.

    PubMed Central

    Isler, C M; Bellamy, J E; Wobeser, G A

    1987-01-01

    Mouse inoculation was used to test for the presence of a toxin in the serum, cerebrospinal fluid, and intestinal contents collected from cases of bovine enteric coccidiosis, with and without neurological signs, and from control calves. Intravenous inoculation of mice with 10 mL/kg of serum from calves showing nervous signs caused effects significantly different from those caused by the inoculation of serum from calves not showing nervous signs and from control calves. The effect was particularly evident in female mice. At this dosage severe neurological signs such as loss of righting reflex, seizures and death occurred only with serum from calves with "nervous coccidiosis". The results suggest that serum from the calves with neurological signs contains a neurotoxin. This toxin appears to be highly labile. It was not present in the cerebrospinal fluid at levels comparable to those in the serum. The significance of this labile neurotoxin with respect to the pathogenesis of the neurological signs associated with bovine enteric coccidiosis is unknown. PMID:2955865

  5. Dolichospermum and Aphanizomenon as neurotoxins producers in some Russian freshwaters.

    PubMed

    Chernova, Ekaterina; Sidelev, Sergey; Russkikh, Iana; Voyakina, Ekaterina; Babanazarova, Olga; Romanov, Roman; Kotovshchikov, Anton; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna

    2017-05-01

    Last decades, cyanobacterial blooms have been commonly reported in Russia. Among the boom-forming species, potential toxin producers have been identified. The aim of this paper was to study the presence of neurotoxic compounds - saxitoxins and anatoxin-a - in water bodies from different regions of Russia. We also made attempts to identify the neurotoxin-producing genera. The good convergence of the results obtained by light microscopy, PCR and LC-MS/MS analyses indicated the presence of active neurotoxin producing species in all investigated water bodies. Saxitoxin was detected in phytoplankton from 4 water bodies in Central European Russia and West Siberia, including lake and reservoirs used as a source for potable water. The water bodies differed with the respect of saxitoxin producers which belonged to Aphanizomenon and/or Dolichospermum genera. For the first time, we obtained quantitative data on the intracellular saxitoxin concentration in Russian freshwaters using LC-MS/MS. Anatoxin-a was detected only in lakes of Northwestern Russia. In the eutrophic shallow Lower Suzdal Lake, Aphanizomenon was the stated anatoxin-a-producing genus. In the large shallow artificial hypertrophic Sestroretskij Razliv Lake, it was very likely that both dominant species - Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Dolichospermum planctonicum - were anatoxin-a producers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Phototaxis and chemotaxis of brown algal swarmers.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Nana; Nagasato, Chikako; Motomura, Taizo

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Collection and conversion of algal lipid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ching-Chieh

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

  11. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-10

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

  15. Liquid transportation fuels from algal oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Daichuan

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

  16. Botulinum neurotoxin type A in the masseter muscle: Effects on incisor eruption in rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Navarrete, Alfonso L.; Rafferty, Katherine L.; Liu, Zi Jun; Ye, Wenmin; Greenlee, Geoffrey M.; Herring, Susan W.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for the paralytic food poisoning, botulism. Commercial formulations such as botulinum neurotoxin type A are increasingly used for various conditions, including cosmetic recontouring of the lower face by injection of the large masseter muscles. The paralysis of a major muscle of mastication lowers occlusal force and thus might affect tooth eruption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of unilateral masseter muscle injection of botulinum neurotoxin type A on the rate of eruption of incisors in a rabbit model. We hypothesized that the teeth would overerupt in an underloaded environment. Methods Forty rabbits were injected with either botulinum neurotoxin type A or saline solution in 1 masseter muscle. Mastication and muscle force production were monitored, and incisor eruption rate was assessed by caliper measurement of grooved teeth. Results The injection of saline solution had no effect. The masseter muscle injected with botulinum neurotoxin type A showed a dramatic loss of force 3 weeks after injection despite apparently normal mastication. Incisor eruption rate was significantly decreased for the botulinum neurotoxin type A group, an effect attributed to decreased attrition. Conclusions This study has implications for orthodontics. Although findings from ever-growing rabbit incisors cannot be extrapolated to human teeth, it is clear that botulinum neurotoxin type A caused a decrease in bite force that could influence dental eruption. PMID:23561411

  17. Coralline algal Barium as indicator for 20th century northwestern North Atlantic surface ocean freshwater variability

    PubMed Central

    Hetzinger, S.; Halfar, J.; Zack, T.; Mecking, J. V.; Kunz, B. E.; Jacob, D. E.; Adey, W. H.

    2013-01-01

    During the past decades climate and freshwater dynamics in the northwestern North Atlantic have undergone major changes. Large-scale freshening episodes, related to polar freshwater pulses, have had a strong influence on ocean variability in this climatically important region. However, little is known about variability before 1950, mainly due to the lack of long-term high-resolution marine proxy archives. Here we present the first multidecadal-length records of annually resolved Ba/Ca variations from Northwest Atlantic coralline algae. We observe positive relationships between algal Ba/Ca ratios from two Newfoundland sites and salinity observations back to 1950. Both records capture episodical multi-year freshening events during the 20th century. Variability in algal Ba/Ca is sensitive to freshwater-induced changes in upper ocean stratification, which affect the transport of cold, Ba-enriched deep waters onto the shelf (highly stratified equals less Ba/Ca). Algal Ba/Ca ratios therefore may serve as a new resource for reconstructing past surface ocean freshwater changes. PMID:23636135

  18. Coralline algal barium as indicator for 20th century northwestern North Atlantic surface ocean freshwater variability.

    PubMed

    Hetzinger, S; Halfar, J; Zack, T; Mecking, J V; Kunz, B E; Jacob, D E; Adey, W H

    2013-01-01

    During the past decades climate and freshwater dynamics in the northwestern North Atlantic have undergone major changes. Large-scale freshening episodes, related to polar freshwater pulses, have had a strong influence on ocean variability in this climatically important region. However, little is known about variability before 1950, mainly due to the lack of long-term high-resolution marine proxy archives. Here we present the first multidecadal-length records of annually resolved Ba/Ca variations from Northwest Atlantic coralline algae. We observe positive relationships between algal Ba/Ca ratios from two Newfoundland sites and salinity observations back to 1950. Both records capture episodical multi-year freshening events during the 20th century. Variability in algal Ba/Ca is sensitive to freshwater-induced changes in upper ocean stratification, which affect the transport of cold, Ba-enriched deep waters onto the shelf (highly stratified equals less Ba/Ca). Algal Ba/Ca ratios therefore may serve as a new resource for reconstructing past surface ocean freshwater changes.

  19. Tracking the Effect of Algal Mats on Coral Bleaching Using Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Askary, H. M.; Johnson, S. H.; Idris, N.; Qurban, M. A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Benthic habitats rely on relatively stable environmental conditions for survival. The introduction of algal mats into an ecosystem can have a notable effect on the livelihood of organisms such as coral reefs by causing changes in the biogeochemistry of the surrounding water. Increasing levels of acidity and new competition for sunlight caused by congregations of cyanobacteria essentially starve coral reefs of natural resources. These changes are particularly prevalent in waters near quickly developing population centers, such as the ecologically diverse Arabian Gulf. While ground-truthing studies to determine the extensiveness of coral death proves useful on a microcosmic level, new ventures in remote sensing research allow scientists to utilize satellite data to track these changes on a broader scale. Satellite images acquired from Landsat 5, 1987, Landsat 7, 2000, and Landsat 8, 2013 along with higher resolution IKONOS data are digitally analyzed in order to create spectral libraries for relevant benthic types, which in turn can be used to perform supervised classifications and change detection analyses over a larger area. The supervised classifications performed over the three scenes show five significant marine-related classes, namely coral, mangroves, macro-algae, and seagrass, in different degrees of abundance, yet here we focus only on the algal mats impact on corals bleaching. The change detection analysis is introduced to study see the degree of algal mats impact on coral bleaching over the course of time with possible connection to the local meteorology and current climate scenarios.

  20. Evaluation of algal biofilms on indium tin oxide (ITO) for use in biophotovoltaic platforms based on photosynthetic performance.

    PubMed

    Ng, Fong-Lee; Phang, Siew-Moi; Periasamy, Vengadesh; Yunus, Kamran; Fisher, Adrian C

    2014-01-01

    In photosynthesis, a very small amount of the solar energy absorbed is transformed into chemical energy, while the rest is wasted as heat and fluorescence. This excess energy can be harvested through biophotovoltaic platforms to generate electrical energy. In this study, algal biofilms formed on ITO anodes were investigated for use in the algal biophotovoltaic platforms. Sixteen algal strains, comprising local isolates and two diatoms obtained from the Culture Collection of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP), USA, were screened and eight were selected based on the growth rate, biochemical composition and photosynthesis performance using suspension cultures. Differences in biofilm formation between the eight algal strains as well as their rapid light curve (RLC) generated using a pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometer, were examined. The RLC provides detailed information on the saturation characteristics of electron transport and overall photosynthetic performance of the algae. Four algal strains, belonging to the Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria) Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105), Spirulina platensis. (UMACC 159) and the Chlorophyta Chlorella vulgaris (UMACC 051), and Chlorella sp. (UMACC 313) were finally selected for investigation using biophotovoltaic platforms. Based on power output per Chl-a content, the algae can be ranked as follows: Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105) (6.38×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Chlorella vulgaris UMACC 051 (2.24×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Chlorella sp.(UMACC 313) (1.43×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Spirulina platensis (UMACC 159) (4.90×10(-6) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a). Our study showed that local algal strains have potential for use in biophotovoltaic platforms due to their high photosynthetic performance, ability to produce biofilm and generation of electrical power.

  1. Evaluation of Algal Biofilms on Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) for Use in Biophotovoltaic Platforms Based on Photosynthetic Performance

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Fong-Lee; Phang, Siew-Moi; Periasamy, Vengadesh; Yunus, Kamran; Fisher, Adrian C.

    2014-01-01

    In photosynthesis, a very small amount of the solar energy absorbed is transformed into chemical energy, while the rest is wasted as heat and fluorescence. This excess energy can be harvested through biophotovoltaic platforms to generate electrical energy. In this study, algal biofilms formed on ITO anodes were investigated for use in the algal biophotovoltaic platforms. Sixteen algal strains, comprising local isolates and two diatoms obtained from the Culture Collection of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP), USA, were screened and eight were selected based on the growth rate, biochemical composition and photosynthesis performance using suspension cultures. Differences in biofilm formation between the eight algal strains as well as their rapid light curve (RLC) generated using a pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometer, were examined. The RLC provides detailed information on the saturation characteristics of electron transport and overall photosynthetic performance of the algae. Four algal strains, belonging to the Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria) Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105), Spirulina platensis. (UMACC 159) and the Chlorophyta Chlorella vulgaris (UMACC 051), and Chlorella sp. (UMACC 313) were finally selected for investigation using biophotovoltaic platforms. Based on power output per Chl-a content, the algae can be ranked as follows: Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105) (6.38×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Chlorella vulgaris UMACC 051 (2.24×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Chlorella sp.(UMACC 313) (1.43×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Spirulina platensis (UMACC 159) (4.90×10−6 Wm−2/µgChl-a). Our study showed that local algal strains have potential for use in biophotovoltaic platforms due to their high photosynthetic performance, ability to produce biofilm and generation of electrical power. PMID:24874081

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  3. Algal taxonomy: a road to nowhere?

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  4. Multigene phylogeny of the red algal subclass Nemaliophycidae.

    PubMed

    Lam, Daryl W; Verbruggen, Heroen; Saunders, Gary W; Vis, Morgan L

    2016-01-01

    The red algae (Rhodophyta) are a lineage of primary endosymbionts whose ancestors represent some of the first photosynthetic eukaryotes on the planet. They primarily inhabit marine ecosystems, with only ∼5% of species found in freshwater systems. The subclass Nemaliophycidae is very diverse in ecological and life history features and therefore a useful model to study these traits, but the phylogenetic relationships among the orders are, for the most part, poorly resolved. To elucidate the phylogeny of the Nemaliophycidae, we constructed a nine-gene dataset comprised of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial markers for 67 red algal specimens. The resulting maximum likelihood (ML) phylogeny confirmed the monophyly of all orders. The sister relationship of the Acrochaetiales and Palmariales received high support and the relationship of the Balliales with Balbianiales and Entwisleiales with Colaconematales was moderately supported. The Nemaliales, Entwisleiales, Colaconematales, Palmariales and Acrochaetiales formed a highly supported clade. Unfortunately, all other relationships among the orders had low bootstrap support. Although the ML analysis did not resolve many of the relationships, further analyses suggested that a resolution is possible. A Phycas analysis supported a dichotomously branching tree and Bayesian analysis showed a similar topology with all relationships highly supported. Simulations extrapolating the number of nucleotide characters beyond the current size of the dataset suggested that most nodes in the phylogeny would be resolved if more data become available. Phylogenomic approaches will be necessary to provide a well-supported phylogeny of this subclass with all relationships resolved such that the evolution of freshwater species from marine ancestors as well as reproductive traits can be explored. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular synapses: phylogenetic differences detected by snake alpha-neurotoxins.

    PubMed Central

    Burden, S J; Hartzell, H C; Yoshikami, D

    1975-01-01

    Phylogenetic differences in acetylcholine receptors from skeletal neuromuscular synapses of various species of snakes and lizards have been investigated, using the snake venom alpha-neurotoxins alpha-atratoxin (cobrotoxin) and alpha-bungarotoxin. The acetylcholine receptors of the phylogenetically primitive lizards, like those from all other vertebrates previously tested, are blocked by these alpha-neurotoxins. In contrast, receptors from snakes and advanced lizards are insensitive to one or both of the toxins. It is suggested that toxin-resistant acetylcholine receptors appeared early in the evolution of Squamata and preceded the appearance of alpha-neurotoxins. Images PMID:1081230

  6. Lifespan extension of rotifers by treatment with red algal extracts

    PubMed Central

    Snare, David J.; Fields, Allison M.; Snell, Terry W.; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-01-01

    Aging results from an accumulation of damage to macromolecules inhibiting cellular replication, repair, and other necessary functions. Damage may be due to environmental stressors such as metal toxicity, oxidative stress caused by imperfections in electron transfer reactions, or other metabolic processes. In an effort to discover medical treatments that counteract this damage, we initiated a search for small molecule drugs from natural sources using life table experiments which, through their unbiased approach, present the opportunity to discover first-in-class molecules. We have identified marine red algae as a source of natural products that slow aging of the invertebrate rotifer Brachionus manjavacas. Rotifers are a promising model organism for life extension studies as they maintain a short, measurable lifespan while also having an extensive literature related to aging. Rotifer lifespan was increased 9–14% by exposure to three of a total of 200 screened red algal extracts. Bioassay guided fractionation led to semi-purified extracts composed primarily of lipids responsible for rotifer life extension. The life extending mixture from the red alga Acanthophora spicifera contained eicosanoic, octadecanoic, and hexadecanoic acids as well as several unidentified unsaturated fatty acids. The life extending effects of these small molecule mixtures are not a result of their direct antioxidant capacity; other unknown mechanisms of action are likely involved. An understanding of how these natural products interact with their molecular targets could lead to selective and effective treatments for slowing aging and reducing age related diseases. PMID:24120568

  7. Lifespan extension of rotifers by treatment with red algal extracts.

    PubMed

    Snare, David J; Fields, Allison M; Snell, Terry W; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-12-01

    Aging results from an accumulation of damage to macromolecules inhibiting cellular replication, repair, and other necessary functions. Damage may be due to environmental stressors such as metal toxicity, oxidative stress caused by imperfections in electron transfer reactions, or other metabolic processes. In an effort to discover medical treatments that counteract this damage, we initiated a search for small molecule drugs from natural sources using life table experiments which, through their unbiased approach, present the opportunity to discover first-in-class molecules. We have identified marine red algae as a source of natural products that slow aging of the invertebrate rotifer Brachionus manjavacas. Rotifers are a promising model organism for life extension studies as they maintain a short, measurable lifespan while also having an extensive literature related to aging. Rotifer lifespan was increased 9-14% by exposure to three of a total of 200 screened red algal extracts. Bioassay guided fractionation led to semi-purified extracts composed primarily of lipids responsible for rotifer life extension. The life extending mixture from the red alga Acanthophora spicifera contained eicosanoic, octadecanoic, and hexadecanoic acids as well as several unidentified unsaturated fatty acids. The life extending effects of these small molecule mixtures are not a result of their direct antioxidant capacity; other unknown mechanisms of action are likely involved. An understanding of how these natural products interact with their molecular targets could lead to selective and effective treatments for slowing aging and reducing age related diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Universal and specific quantitative detection of botulinum neurotoxin genes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Clostridium botulinum, an obligate anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, produces seven antigenic variants of botulinum toxin that are distinguished serologically and termed "serotypes". Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions resulting in flaccid paralysis. The potential lethality of the disease warrants a fast and accurate means of diagnosing suspected instances of food contamination or human intoxication. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-accepted assay to detect and type botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) is the mouse protection bioassay. While specific and sensitive, this assay requires the use of laboratory animals, may take up to four days to achieve a diagnosis, and is unsuitable for high-throughput analysis. We report here a two-step PCR assay that identifies all toxin types, that achieves the specificity of the mouse bioassay while surpassing it in equivalent sensitivity, that has capability for high-throughput analysis, and that provides quantitative results within hours. The first step of our assay consists of a conventional PCR that detects the presence of C. botulinum regardless of the neurotoxin type. The second step uses quantitative PCR (qPCR) technology to determine the specific serotype of the neurotoxin. Results We assayed purified C. botulinum DNA and crude toxin preparations, as well as food and stool from healthy individuals spiked with purified BoNT DNA, and one stool sample from a case of infant botulism for the presence of the NTNH gene, which is part of the BoNT gene cluster, and for the presence of serotype-specific BoNT genes. The PCR surpassed the mouse bioassay both in specificity and sensitivity, detecting positive signals in BoNT preparations containing well below the 1 LD50 required for detection via the mouse bioassay. These results were type-specific and we were reliably able to quantify as few as 10 genomic copies. Conclusions While other studies have reported

  13. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible solutions to pollutants in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mostofa, Khan M G; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Ogawa, Hiroshi

    2013-11-01

    Algal toxins or red-tide toxins produced during algal blooms are naturally-derived toxic emerging contaminants (ECs) that may kill organisms, including humans, through contaminated fish or seafood. Other ECs produced either naturally or anthropogenically ultimately flow into marine waters. Pharmaceuticals are also an important pollution source, mostly due to overproduction and incorrect disposal. Ship breaking and recycle industries (SBRIs) can also release various pollutants and substantially deteriorate habitats and marine biodiversity. Overfishing is significantly increasing due to the global food crisis, caused by an increasing world population. Organic matter (OM) pollution and global warming (GW) are key factors that exacerbate these challenges (e.g. algal blooms), to which acidification in marine waters should be added as well. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of these challenges to marine ecosystems are discussed, including their eventual impact on all forms of life including humans.

  14. Algal supplementation of vegetarian eating patterns improves plasma and serum docosahexaenoic acid concentrations and omega-3 indices: a systematic literature review.

    PubMed

    Craddock, J C; Neale, E P; Probst, Y C; Peoples, G E

    2017-04-17

    Vegetarians are likely to have lower intakes of preformed docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) than omnivorous populations who consume fish and animal products. As such, vegetarian populations have omega-3 indices up to 60% lower than those who consume marine products. Algae, the primary producer of DHA in the marine food chain, offer an alternative source of DHA for those who do not consume marine or animal products. This systematic review aims to examine the evidence for the relationship between supplementation with algal forms of DHA and increased DHA concentrations in vegetarian populations. The SCOPUS, Science Direct and Web of Science scientific databases were searched to identify relevant studies assessing the effect of algal DHA consumption by vegetarian (including vegan) populations. Four randomised controlled trials and two prospective cohort studies met the inclusion criteria. All included studies reported algal sources of DHA significantly improve DHA concentrations (including plasma, serum, platelet and red blood cell fractions), as well as omega-3 indices, in vegetarian populations. An evident time or dose response was not apparent given the small number of studies to date. Future studies should address long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiencies in vegetarian populations using algal DHA and explore the potential physiological and health improvements in these individuals. © 2017 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.

  15. The Impact of Harmful Algal Blooms on USACE Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Experimental Protocol for Biodiesel Production with Isolation of Alkenones as Coproducts from Commercial Isochrysis Algal Biomass

    PubMed Central

    O'Neil, Gregory W.; Williams, John R.; Wilson-Peltier, Julia; Knothe, Gerhard; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean biodiesel have generally fallen out of favor. There is thus great interest in the development of methods for the production of liquid fuels from domestic and superior non-edible sources. Here we describe a detailed procedure for the production of a purified biodiesel from the marine microalgae Isochrysis. Additionally, a unique suite of lipids known as polyunsaturated long-chain alkenones are isolated in parallel as potentially valuable coproducts to offset the cost of biodiesel production. Multi-kilogram quantities of Isochrysis are purchased from two commercial sources, one as a wet paste (80% water) that is first dried prior to processing, and the other a dry milled powder (95% dry). Lipids are extracted with hexanes in a Soxhlet apparatus to produce an algal oil ("hexane algal oil") containing both traditional fats (i.e., triglycerides, 46-60% w/w) and alkenones (16-25% w/w). Saponification of the triglycerides in the algal oil allows for separation of the resulting free fatty acids (FFAs) from alkenone-containing neutral lipids. FFAs are then converted to biodiesel (i.e., fatty acid methyl esters, FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed esterification while alkenones are isolated and purified from the neutral lipids by crystallization. We demonstrate that biodiesel from both commercial Isochrysis biomasses have similar but not identical FAME profiles, characterized by elevated polyunsaturated fatty acid contents (approximately 40% w/w). Yields of biodiesel were consistently higher when starting from the Isochrysis wet paste (12% w/w vs. 7% w/w), which can be traced to lower amounts of hexane algal oil obtained from the powdered Isochrysis product. PMID:27404113

  17. Experimental Protocol for Biodiesel Production with Isolation of Alkenones as Coproducts from Commercial Isochrysis Algal Biomass.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Gregory W; Williams, John R; Wilson-Peltier, Julia; Knothe, Gerhard; Reddy, Christopher M

    2016-06-24

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean biodiesel have generally fallen out of favor. There is thus great interest in the development of methods for the production of liquid fuels from domestic and superior non-edible sources. Here we describe a detailed procedure for the production of a purified biodiesel from the marine microalgae Isochrysis. Additionally, a unique suite of lipids known as polyunsaturated long-chain alkenones are isolated in parallel as potentially valuable coproducts to offset the cost of biodiesel production. Multi-kilogram quantities of Isochrysis are purchased from two commercial sources, one as a wet paste (80% water) that is first dried prior to processing, and the other a dry milled powder (95% dry). Lipids are extracted with hexanes in a Soxhlet apparatus to produce an algal oil ("hexane algal oil") containing both traditional fats (i.e., triglycerides, 46-60% w/w) and alkenones (16-25% w/w). Saponification of the triglycerides in the algal oil allows for separation of the resulting free fatty acids (FFAs) from alkenone-containing neutral lipids. FFAs are then converted to biodiesel (i.e., fatty acid methyl esters, FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed esterification while alkenones are isolated and purified from the neutral lipids by crystallization. We demonstrate that biodiesel from both commercial Isochrysis biomasses have similar but not identical FAME profiles, characterized by elevated polyunsaturated fatty acid contents (approximately 40% w/w). Yields of biodiesel were consistently higher when starting from the Isochrysis wet paste (12% w/w vs. 7% w/w), which can be traced to lower amounts of hexane algal oil obtained from the powdered Isochrysis product.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-10-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-10-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-10-24

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-10-24

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

  5. Phytoplankton Microcosm: An Oceanic Study on Algal Blooms and Ciliate Community Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grattepanche, J. D.; Juarez, D.; McManus, G. B.; Katz, L. A.

    2016-02-01

    To understand the dynamics of microbes in marine food webs, we conducted an environmental study on the effects of algal blooms on ciliate communities. To date, there is limited information on how microbial communities function in marine settings. We assessed whether differences in size of prey influence community composition based on the basic principle that the bigger you are, the more you will eat. To represent the blooms, we used four treatments: control (No phytoplankton addition), Phaeodactylum tricornutum (diatom), Tetraselmis chuii (chlorophyte) and Isochrysis galbana (haptophyte). By using DGGE, a molecular fingerprinting technique, we are elucidating the impact of bloom on ciliate community composition.Our preliminary data suggest (1) the size does not matter: there is very little difference in responses by nanosized and microsized ciliate, (2) the chlorophyte seems to support a more diverse community, and (3) incubation affects ciliate communities (T0).

  6. Structural Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type G Receptor Binding

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, John; Karalewitz, Andrew; Benefield, Desire A.; Mushrush, Darren J.; Pruitt, Rory N.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2010-10-19

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds peripheral neurons at the neuromuscular junction through a dual-receptor mechanism that includes interactions with ganglioside and protein receptors. The receptor identities vary depending on BoNT serotype (A-G). BoNT/B and BoNT/G bind the luminal domains of synaptotagmin I and II, homologous synaptic vesicle proteins. We observe conditions under which BoNT/B binds both Syt isoforms, but BoNT/G binds only SytI. Both serotypes bind ganglioside G{sub T1b}. The BoNT/G receptor-binding domain crystal structure provides a context for examining these binding interactions and a platform for understanding the physiological relevance of different Syt receptor isoforms in vivo.

  7. Regulation of Myocyte Enhancer Factor-2 Transcription Factors by Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    She, Hua; Mao, Zixu

    2011-01-01

    Various isoforms of myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF2) constitute a group of nuclear proteins found to play important roles in increasing types of cells. In neurons, MEF2s are required to regulate neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, as well as survival. MEF2s promote the survival of several types of neurons under different conditions. In cellular models, negative regulation of MEF2s by stress and toxic signals contributes to neuronal death. In contrast, enhancing MEF2 activity not only protects cultured primary neurons from death in vitro but also attenuates the loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta in a 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. In this work, the mechanisms of regulation of MEF2 function by several well-known neurotoxins and their implications in various neurodegenerative diseases are reviewed. PMID:21741404

  8. Lathyrus sativus (grass pea) and its neurotoxin ODAP.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ze-Yi; Spencer, Peter S; Li, Zhi-Xiao; Liang, Yong-Min; Wang, Ya-Fu; Wang, Chun-Ying; Li, Fen-Min

    2006-01-01

    Lathyrus sativus (grass pea) is a high-yielding, drought-resistant legume consumed as a food in Northern India and neighboring countries as well as in Ethiopia. Its development into an important food legume, however, has been hindered by the presence of the neurotoxin - beta-N-oxalyl-L-alpha,beta-diaminopropionic acid (beta-ODAP) in seeds which, if consumed in large quantities for prolonged periods, can cause irreversible paralysis. Recently, some low-toxin lines have been developed that may prove safe for both animal and human foods. Cultivation of L. sativus should thus be considered in suitable regions because the demand for legume animal feed protein products is expected to increase. This paper addresses advances in understanding L. sativus from the perspective of its taxonomy, genetics, ecology, chemistry, nutrition, medicine, biology and for animal nutrition.

  9. Botulinum Neurotoxin Is Shielded by NTNHA in an Interlocked Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Shenyan; Rumpel, Sophie; Zhou, Jie; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Bigalke, Hans; Perry, Kay; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2012-03-28

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstroms. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.

  10. Molecular Methods for Identification of Clostridium tetani by Targeting Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Nagoba, Basavraj; Dharne, Mahesh; Gohil, Kushal N

    2017-01-01

    Tetanus is a potentially fatal muscle spasm disease. It is an important public health problem, especially in rural/tribal areas of developing countries. Tetanus toxin, a neurotoxin (tetanospasmin ), is the most important virulence factor that plays a key role in the pathogenicity of tetanus . Confirmation of virulence by confirming the production of tetanospasmin by infecting species forms the most important part in the diagnosis of tetanus . Various molecular methods have been devised for confirmation of diagnosis by targeting different genes. The most common molecular methods are tetanospasmin producing (TetX) gene-targeted methods using TetX-specific primers. Here, we describe various molecular methods targeting TetX gene such as polymerase chain reaction, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, Southern blotting, loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay, etc. to confirm the virulence of Cl. tetani.

  11. Potent neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin by recombinant oligoclonal antibody

    PubMed Central

    Nowakowski, A.; Wang, C.; Powers, D. B.; Amersdorfer, P.; Smith, T. J.; Montgomery, V. A.; Sheridan, R.; Blake, R.; Smith, L. A.; Marks, J. D.

    2002-01-01

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the paralytic human disease botulism and are one of the highest-risk threat agents for bioterrorism. To generate a pharmaceutical to prevent or treat botulism, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were generated by phage display and evaluated for neutralization of BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) in vivo. Although no single mAb significantly neutralized toxin, a combination of three mAbs (oligoclonal Ab) neutralized 450,000 50% lethal doses of BoNT/A, a potency 90 times greater than human hyperimmune globulin. The potency of oligoclonal Ab was primarily due to a large increase in functional Ab binding affinity. The results indicate that the potency of the polyclonal humoral immune response can be deconvoluted to a few mAbs binding nonoverlapping epitopes, providing a route to drugs for preventing and treating botulism and diseases caused by other pathogens and biologic threat agents. PMID:12177434

  12. Peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin by mRNA display

    SciTech Connect

    Yiadom, Kwabena P.A.B.; Muhie, Seid; Yang, David C.H. . E-mail: yangdc@georgetown.edu

    2005-10-07

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely toxic. The metalloproteases associated with the toxins cleave proteins essential for neurotransmitter secretion. Inhibitors of the metalloprotease are currently sought to control the toxicity of BoNTs. Toward that goal, we produced a synthetic cDNA for the expression and purification of the metalloprotease of BoNT/A in Escherichia coli as a biotin-ubiquitin fusion protein, and constructed a combinatorial peptide library to screen for BoNT/A light chain inhibitors using mRNA display. A protease assay was developed using immobilized intact SNAP-25 as the substrate. The new peptide inhibitors showed a 10-fold increase in affinity to BoNT/A light chain than the parent peptide. Interestingly, the sequences of the new peptide inhibitors showed abundant hydrophobic residues but few hydrophilic residues. The results suggest that mRNA display may provide a general approach in developing peptide inhibitors of BoNTs.

  13. Potential role of marine algae on female health, beauty, and longevity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Se-Kwon; Pangestuti, Ratih

    2011-01-01

    Marine environment has been known as a rich source of chemical structures with numerous health benefit effects. Among marine organisms, marine algae have been identified as an underexploited plant resource although they have long been recognized as valuable sources of structurally diverse bioactive compounds. Presently, several lines of studies have provided insight into biological activities of marine algae in promoting female health, beauty, and longevity. Hence, marine algae have a great potential to be used as a part of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and functional foods. This contribution presents an overview of marine algal potential effect in promoting female health, beauty, and longevity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin Producing Clostridial Strains

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svennson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2006-07-06

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore forming rod-shaped bacteria which have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and even death in humans and various other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains were examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A-G). Analysis of the16S rRNA sequences confirmed earlier reports of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (Groups I-IV) each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT serotypes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution, and can be used to further subdivide the four groups into sub-groups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from serotypes A, B and E in multiple strains confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes, and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven serotypes of BoNT were compared and show varying degrees of interrelatedness and recombination as has been previously noted for the NTNH gene which is linked to BoNT. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for treatment of botulism.

  15. Genetic diversity among Botulinum Neurotoxin-producing clostridial strains.

    PubMed

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svensson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2007-02-01

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria that have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and death in humans and other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains was examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine the genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A to BoNT/G). Analysis of the16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed previous identifications of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (groups I to IV), each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT genes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution and could be used to further subdivide the four groups into subgroups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from multiple strains of serotypes A, B, and E confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven toxin genes of the serotypes were compared and showed various degrees of interrelatedness and recombination, as was previously noted for the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin gene, which is linked to the BoNT gene. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment of botulism.

  16. Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E by a Humanized Antibody

    PubMed Central

    Derman, Yağmur; Selby, Katja; Miethe, Sebastian; Frenzel, André; Liu, Yvonne; Rasetti-Escargueil, Christine; Avril, Arnaud; Pelat, Thibaut; Urbain, Remi; Fontayne, Alexandre; Thullier, Philippe; Sesardic, Dorothea; Lindström, Miia; Hust, Michael; Korkeala, Hannu

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause botulism and are the deadliest naturally-occurring substances known to humans. BoNTs have been classified as one of the category A agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating their potential use as bioweapons. To counter bio-threat and naturally-occurring botulism cases, well-tolerated antibodies by humans that neutralize BoNTs are relevant. In our previous work, we showed the neutralizing potential of macaque (Macaca fascicularis)-derived scFv-Fc (scFv-Fc ELC18) by in vitro endopeptidase immunoassay and ex vivo mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm assay by targeting the light chain of the botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E). In the present study, we germline-humanized scFv-Fc ELC18 into a full IgG hu8ELC18 to increase its immunotolerance by humans. We demonstrated the protection and prophylaxis capacity of hu8ELC18 against BoNT/E in a mouse model. A concentration of 2.5 ng/mouse of hu8ELC18 protected against 5 mouse lethal dose (MLD) in a mouse protection assay and complete neutralization of 1 LD50 of pure BoNT/E toxin was achieved with 8 ng of hu8ELC18 in mouse paralysis assay. Furthermore, hu8ELC18 protected mice from 5 MLD if injected up to 14 days prior to intraperitoneal BoNT/E administration. This newly-developed humanized IgG is expected to have high tolerance in humans. PMID:27626446

  17. Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E by a Humanized Antibody.

    PubMed

    Derman, Yağmur; Selby, Katja; Miethe, Sebastian; Frenzel, André; Liu, Yvonne; Rasetti-Escargueil, Christine; Avril, Arnaud; Pelat, Thibaut; Urbain, Remi; Fontayne, Alexandre; Thullier, Philippe; Sesardic, Dorothea; Lindström, Miia; Hust, Michael; Korkeala, Hannu

    2016-09-12

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause botulism and are the deadliest naturally-occurring substances known to humans. BoNTs have been classified as one of the category A agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating their potential use as bioweapons. To counter bio-threat and naturally-occurring botulism cases, well-tolerated antibodies by humans that neutralize BoNTs are relevant. In our previous work, we showed the neutralizing potential of macaque (Macaca fascicularis)-derived scFv-Fc (scFv-Fc ELC18) by in vitro endopeptidase immunoassay and ex vivo mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm assay by targeting the light chain of the botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E). In the present study, we germline-humanized scFv-Fc ELC18 into a full IgG hu8ELC18 to increase its immunotolerance by humans. We demonstrated the protection and prophylaxis capacity of hu8ELC18 against BoNT/E in a mouse model. A concentration of 2.5 ng/mouse of hu8ELC18 protected against 5 mouse lethal dose (MLD) in a mouse protection assay and complete neutralization of 1 LD50 of pure BoNT/E toxin was achieved with 8 ng of hu8ELC18 in mouse paralysis assay. Furthermore, hu8ELC18 protected mice from 5 MLD if injected up to 14 days prior to intraperitoneal BoNT/E administration. This newly-developed humanized IgG is expected to have high tolerance in humans.

  18. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Purification and characterization of a neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    PubMed

    Chang, Long-Sen; Liou, Jau-Cheng; Lin, Shinne-Ren; Huang, Hsien-Bin

    2002-06-14

    A neurotoxin, Oh9-1, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that Oh9-1 consists of 57 amino acids and eight cysteine residues. This protein was mainly constituted with beta-sheet as evidenced by CD spectrum. Oh9-1 inhibited carbachol-induced muscle contraction in an irreversible manner and the dose for achieving 50% inhibition was approximately fourfold that of alpha-bungarotoxin. Since the residues in alpha-neurotoxins closely involve in the binding with acetylcholine receptors are not highly conserved in this toxin molecule, Oh9-1 represents a novel type of neurotoxin structurally distinct from alpha-neurotoxins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Plant and algal interference in bacterial beta-D-galactosidase and beta-D-glucuronidase assays.

    PubMed Central

    Davies, C M; Apte, S C; Peterson, S M; Stauber, J L

    1994-01-01

    Several commonly occurring freshwater and marine plants and algae were screened for beta-D-galactosidase and beta-D-glucuronidase activities by using a 60-min enzyme assay based on the hydrolysis by these enzymes of 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-galactoside and 4-methylumbelliferyl- beta-glucuronide, respectively. All freshwater plant extracts tested showed beta-D-galactosidase activity several at relatively high levels, and a number also showed beta-D-glucuronidase activity. A number of the macroalgae showed no activity of either enzyme, but those showing beta-D-galactosidase activity also showed beta-D-glucuronidase activity. The majority of microalgae showed some beta-D-galactosidase activity, but few showed beta-D-glucuronidase activity. Further studies, using the commercial Colilert test and the marine water formulation of Colilert, revealed that 2 of 11 of the microalgal species and several of the plant extracts tested caused positive reactions. It was concluded that several plant extracts and algae could significantly interfere with the detection of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli with the use of rapid assays, on the basis of their production of beta-D-galactosidase and beta-D-glucuronidase, respectively. The significance of the plant and algal interferences in tests such as Colilert is dependent on the levels of enzymes released under natural conditions, the dilution which they may undergo, and the numbers of algal cells present. This also applies to interferences in rapid enzyme assays.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7993085

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Separation of Betti Reaction Product Enantiomers: Absolute Configuration and Inhibition of Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-01

    of Betti Reaction Product Enantiomers : Absolute Configuration and Inhibition of Botulinum Neurotoxin A John H. Cardellina II,† Rebecca C. Vieira...observing sufficient resolution of the two enantiomers on a Chiralcel OD column to permit semipreparative purification of adequate quantities of (þ)-1...comparison of the botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) inhibitory activity of the (þ) and () enantiomers of 1 was accomplished via an HPLC-based assay

  6. Molecular Basis of Paralytic Neurotoxin Action on Voltage-Sensitive Sodium Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-10-14

    saxitoxin which are low molecular weight heterocyclic guanidines . It is likely that it occupies a larger binding surface than tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin...The guanidine moieties of the multiple arginine residues of GTX II may allow it to interact with neurotoxin receptor site 1 directly in adition to...ion conductance. Grayanotoxin and the alkaloids veratridine, batrachotoxin, and aconitine bind to neurotoxin receptor site 2 and cause persistent

  7. Characterization of the Ptychodiscus brevis Polyether Neurotoxin Binding Component in Excitable Membranes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-31

    Centruroides suffusus suffusus toxin II to neurotoxin receptoi Site 4 by the brevetoxins. Catterall and Gainer (16) suggested that the brevetoxins bind at a...binding of 1251 Centruroides suffusus suffusus toxin 11 on neurotoxin receptor site 4. Purification of both alpha- and beta-scorpion toxins is...guinguestraitus venom (site 3), or Centruroides sculpturatus venom (site 4) (Fig 13 ). Tritiated brevetoxin binding is slightly enhanced (5-10%) in the presence

  8. [Modification of bioelectric functions in the nervous system as a result of neurotoxin action].

    PubMed

    Stankiewicz, M; Panek, I; Grajpel, B; Tegowska, E; Kadziela, W; Pelhate, M

    2000-01-01

    Natural neurotoxins are promising molecules in the actual search for the development of alternative pest management since chemical insecticides pose unacceptable risks to the environment and to health. The aim of the article is to describe the application of two electrophysiological methods (double-oil-gap technique used on cockroach isolated giant axon and microelectrode technique used on cockroach neurosecretory DUM cells in situ) to study neurotoxin effects on insect nervous system function.

  9. Centriole asymmetry determines algal cell geometry

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Wallace F.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

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

  11. Carbon Sequestration through Sustainably Sourced Algal Fertilizer: Deep Ocean Water.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Drawing down carbon from the atmosphere happens in the oceans when marine plants are growing due to the use of carbon dioxide for biological processes and by raising the pH of the water. Macro- and microscopic marine photosynthesizers are limited in their growth by the availability of light and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, iron, etc.) Deep ocean water (DOW), oceanic water from bellow about 1000m, is a natural medium for marine algae, which contains all (except in rare circumstances) necessary components for algal growth and represents over 90% of the volume of the ocean. The introduction of DOW to a tropical or summer sea can increase chlorophyll from near zero to 60 mg per M3 or more. The form of the utilization infrastructure for DOW can roughly be divided into two effective types; the unconstrained release and the open pond system. Unconstrained release has the advantage of having relatively low infrastructure investment and is available to any area of the ocean. The open pond system has high infrastructure costs but enables intensive use of DOW for harvesting macro- and microalgae and sustainable mariculture. It also enables greater concomitant production of DOW's other potential products such as electricity or potable water. However, unlike an unconstrained release the open pond system can capture much of the biomaterial from the water and limits the impact to the surrounding ecosystem. The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System (TIESystem), is an open pond that is to be constructed on a continental shelf. It harnesses the tidal flux to pump DOW into the pond on the rising tide and then uses the falling tide to pump biologically rich material out of the pond. This biomaterial represents fixed CO2 and can be used for biofuel or fertilizers. The TIESystem benefits from an economy of scale that increases at a rate that is roughly equal to the relationship of the circumference of a circle (the barrier that creates the open pond) to the area of the pond

  12. Detection of the genes encoding botulinum neurotoxin types A to E by the polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Szabo, E A; Pemberton, J M; Desmarchelier, P M

    1993-01-01

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used as the basis for the development of highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tests for organisms harboring botulinum neurotoxin type A through E genes. Synthetic DNA primers were selected from nucleic acid sequence data for Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. Individual components of the PCR for each serotype (serotypes A through E) were adjusted for optimal amplification of the target fragment. Each PCR assay was tested with organisms expressing each of the botulinum neurotoxin types (types A through G), Clostridium tetani, genetically related nontoxigenic organisms, and unrelated strains. Each assay was specific for the intended target. The PCR reliably identified multiple strains having the same neurotoxin type. The sensitivity of the test was determined with different concentrations of genomic DNA from strains producing each toxin type. As little as 10 fg of DNA (approximately three clostridial cells) was detected. C. botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, and E, which are most commonly associated with human botulism, could be amplified from crude DNA extracts, from vegetative cells, and from spore preparations. This suggests that there is great potential for the PCR in the identification and detection of botulinum neurotoxin-producing strains. Images PMID:8215372

  13. Ethyl acetate extract from black tea prevents neuromuscular blockade by botulinum neurotoxin type A in vitro.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Eiki

    2005-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the strongest neurotoxin and causes botulism in mammals. The current study aimed to find an inactivator for botulinum neurotoxin in black, oolong, roasted, and green teas. The ability of the four teas to inactivate the neuromuscular blocking action of botulinum neurotoxin was determined. Water extracts from black, oolong, and roasted teas protected against the toxicity of botulinum neurotoxin type A in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations. The order of potency of the water extracts was black tea > oolong tea > roasted tea > green tea (no effect). The effects of several organic solvent extracts of black tea water extract were examined, and the order of potency was ethyl acetate extract > butanol extract = remaining extract > chloroform extract (no effect). Ethyl acetate extracts from oolong, roasted, and green tea water extracts also exhibited a stronger protecting effect than chloroform, butanol, and remaining extracts from these teas, but they had weaker protective effect than ethyl acetate extract from black tea water extract. These protective effects occurred only when each extract was pre-mixed with the toxin before the assay, and they were not modified by mixing each extract with bovine serum albumin (BSA) before adding the toxin. These results indicate that ethyl acetate extract from black tea is the best source for searching for tea-derived inactivating substance(s) of botulinum neurotoxin.

  14. Marine Careers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Bernard L.

    The five papers in this publication on marine careers were selected so that science teachers, guidance councilors, and students could benefit from the experience and knowledge of individuals active in marine science. The areas considered are indicated by the titles: Professional Careers in Marine Science with the Federal Government, Marine Science…

  15. Marine Careers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Bernard L.

    The five papers in this publication on marine careers were selected so that science teachers, guidance councilors, and students could benefit from the experience and knowledge of individuals active in marine science. The areas considered are indicated by the titles: Professional Careers in Marine Science with the Federal Government, Marine Science…

  16. Algal Lectins as Potential HIV Microbicide Candidates

    PubMed Central

    Huskens, Dana; Schols, Dominique

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Exploiting algal NADPH oxidase for biophotovoltaic energy

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-01-29

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

  18. Exploiting algal NADPH oxidase for biophotovoltaic energy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

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

  20. Potential of carbon nanotubes in algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  2. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-01

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

  3. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-13

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

  6. Safety evaluation of Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. A meta-analysis shows that docosahexaenoic acid from algal oil reduces serum triglycerides and increases HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in persons without coronary heart disease.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Adam M; Ding, Eric L; Willett, Walter C; Rimm, Eric B

    2012-01-01

    Certain algae contain the (n-3) fatty acid DHA, yet the relation between algal oil supplementation and cardiovascular disease risk factors has not been systematically examined. Our objective was to examine the relation between algal oil supplementation and cardiovascular disease risk factors. We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published between 1996 and 2011 examining the relation between algal oil supplementation and cardiovascular disease risk factors and performed a meta-analysis of the association between algal oil DHA supplementation and changes in the concentrations of TG, LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C). We identified 11 randomized controlled trials with 485 healthy participants that evaluated the relation between algal oil DHA supplementation and TG, LDL-C, and HDL-C. The median dose of algal DHA was 1.68 g/d. The pooled estimate for the change in TG concentration was -0.20 mmol/L (95% CI: -0.27 to -0.14), 0.23 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.16-0.30) for LDL-C, and 0.07 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.05-0.10) for HDL-C. DHA supplementation from algal oil, a marine source of (n-3) fatty acids not extracted from fish, may reduce serum TG and increase HDL-C and LDL-C in persons without coronary heart disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Environmental biology of the marine Roseobacter lineage.

    PubMed

    Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Biebl, Hanno

    2006-01-01

    The Roseobacter lineage is a phylogenetically coherent, physiologically heterogeneous group of alpha-Proteobacteria comprising up to 25% of marine microbial communities, especially in coastal and polar oceans, and it is the only lineage in which cultivated bacteria are closely related to environmental clones. Currently 41 subclusters are described, covering all major marine ecological niches (seawater, algal blooms, microbial mats, sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates). Members of the Roseobacter lineage play an important role for the global carbon and sulfur cycle and the climate, since they have the trait of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxidize the greenhouse gas carbon monoxide, and produce the climate-relevant gas dimethylsulfide through the degradation of algal osmolytes. Production of bioactive metabolites and quorum-sensing-regulated control of gene expression mediate their success in complex communities. Studies of representative isolates in culture, whole-genome sequencing, e.g., of Silicibacter pomeroyi, and the analysis of marine metagenome libraries have started to reveal the environmental biology of this important marine group.

  12. Botulinum and Tetanus Neurotoxin Induced Blockage of Synaptic Transmission in Networked Cultures of Human and Rodent Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-11-28

    CONTRACT NUMBER Networked Cultures of Human and Rodent Neurons 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Beske, PH, Bradford AB...Neurotoxin-Induced Blockade of Synaptic Transmission in Networked Cultures of Human and Rodent Neurons Phillip H. Beske, Aaron B. Bradford, Justin O...as well as human andmouse stem cell-derived neurons exposed to botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A–G and tetanus neurotoxin. The sensitivity and

  13. Characterization of the D/C mosaic neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum associated with bovine botulism in Japan.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Keiji; Kohda, Tomoko; Umeda, Kaoru; Yamamoto, Hideyuki; Mukamoto, Masafumi; Kozaki, Shunji

    2010-01-06

    Clostridium botulinum types C and D are related to avian and mammalian botulism. Bovine botulism occurred at various farms from 2004 to 2007 in Japan. Since culture supernatants of isolates from cases of bovine botulism were neutralized completely and partially with type D and C antitoxins, respectively, we attempted to confirm the nucleotide sequences of the neurotoxin gene in isolates. The neurotoxin gene comprised two-thirds of the type D neurotoxin gene and one-third of the type C neurotoxin gene, indicating that the neurotoxin of bovine isolates is a mosaic of type D and C neurotoxins, D/C mosaic neurotoxin. We prepared four sets of primers to differentiate the genes of the mosaic and authentic forms with PCR. The results showed that all bovine botulism-related isolates possess the gene for the D/C mosaic form. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis demonstrated that isolates from bovine botulism which had occurred between 2004 and 2007 were genetically homologous, except for the isolate from one area. We further examined the biological and antigenic properties of the D/C mosaic neurotoxin, which was found to exhibit the highest lethal activity in mice compared with other types of neurotoxins. In the D/C mosaic neurotoxin, three epitopes recognized by monoclonal antibodies that specifically react to and neutralize the toxin were located in the carboxyl-terminal domain of the heavy chain. These results indicate that D/C mosaic neurotoxin is a pathogenic agent causing bovine botulism and has unique characteristics different from other type C and D neurotoxins.

  14. Precursors of Androctonus australis Scorpion Neurotoxins. Structures of Precursors, Processing Outcomes, and Expression of a Functional Recombinant Toxin II

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-05-24

    precursors of toxins contained signal peptides of about 20 amino acids. In addition, the scorpion neurotoxins active on mammals had diverse peptide extensions... peptides of about 20 amino acids. In addition, the scorpion neurotoxins active on mammals had diverse peptide extensions at their C-terminal ends...homologous toxins (11), * chemically modified toxins (12) and model synthetic peptides (13). Thus, while scorpion neurotoxins are polymorphic proteins

  15. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Lant, Paul; Pratt, Steven

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Harmful algal blooms and climate change: Learning from the past and present to forecast the future.

    PubMed

    Wells, Mark L; Trainer, Vera L; Smayda, Theodore J; Karlson, Bengt S O; Trick, Charles G; Kudela, Raphael M; Ishikawa, Akira; Bernard, Stewart; Wulff, Angela; Anderson, Donald M; Cochlan, William P

    2015-11-01

    Climate change pressures will influence marine planktonic systems globally, and it is conceivable that harmful algal blooms may increase in frequency and severity. These pressures will be manifest as alterations in temperature, stratification, light, ocean acidification, precipitation-induced nutrient inputs, and grazing, but absence of fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms driving harmful algal blooms frustrates most hope of forecasting their future prevalence. Summarized here is the consensus of a recent workshop held to address what currently is known and not known about the environmental conditions that favor initiation and maintenance of harmful algal blooms. There is expectation that harmful algal bloom (HAB) geographical domains should expand in some cases, as will seasonal windows of opportunity for harmful algal blooms at higher latitudes. Nonetheless there is only basic information to speculate upon which regions or habitats HAB species may be the most resilient or susceptible. Moreover, current research strategies are not well suited to inform these fundamental linkages. There is a critical absence of tenable hypotheses for how climate pressures mechanistically affect HAB species, and the lack of uniform experimental protocols limits the quantitative cross-investigation comparisons essential to advancement. A HAB "best practices" manual would help foster more uniform research strategies and protocols, and selection of a small target list of model HAB species or isolates for study would greatly promote the accumulation of knowledge. Despite the need to focus on keystone species, more studies need to address strain variability within species, their responses under multifactorial conditions, and the retrospective analyses of long-term plankton and cyst core data; research topics that are departures from the norm. Examples of some fundamental unknowns include how larger and more frequent extreme weather events may break down natural biogeographic barriers

  18. Harmful algal blooms and climate change: Learning from the past and present to forecast the future

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Mark L.; Trainer, Vera L.; Smayda, Theodore J.; Karlson, Bengt S.O.; Trick, Charles G.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Ishikawa, Akira; Bernard, Stewart; Wulff, Angela; Anderson, Donald M.; Cochlan, William P.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change pressures will influence marine planktonic systems globally, and it is conceivable that harmful algal blooms may increase in frequency and severity. These pressures will be manifest as alterations in temperature, stratification, light, ocean acidification, precipitation-induced nutrient inputs, and grazing, but absence of fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms driving harmful algal blooms frustrates most hope of forecasting their future prevalence. Summarized here is the consensus of a recent workshop held to address what currently is known and not known about the environmental conditions that favor initiation and maintenance of harmful algal blooms. There is expectation that harmful algal bloom (HAB) geographical domains should expand in some cases, as will seasonal windows of opportunity for harmful algal blooms at higher latitudes. Nonetheless there is only basic information to speculate upon which regions or habitats HAB species may be the most resilient or susceptible. Moreover, current research strategies are not well suited to inform these fundamental linkages. There is a critical absence of tenable hypotheses for how climate pressures mechanistically affect HAB species, and the lack of uniform experimental protocols limits the quantitative cross-investigation comparisons essential to advancement. A HAB “best practices” manual would help foster more uniform research strategies and protocols, and selection of a small target list of model HAB species or isolates for study would greatly promote the accumulation of knowledge. Despite the need to focus on keystone species, more studies need to address strain variability within species, their responses under multifactorial conditions, and the retrospective analyses of long-term plankton and cyst core data; research topics that are departures from the norm. Examples of some fundamental unknowns include how larger and more frequent extreme weather events may break down natural biogeographic

  19. Detection of cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine within shellfish in the diet of an ALS patient in Florida.

    PubMed

    Banack, Sandra Anne; Metcalf, James S; Bradley, Walter G; Cox, Paul Alan

    2014-11-01

    Cyanobacteria produce the neurotoxic amino acid β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which in contaminated marine waters has been found to accumulate in shellfish. Exposure to BMAA has been associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease. Analysis of blinded samples found BMAA to be present in neuroproteins of individuals who died from ALS and ALS/PDC, but generally not in the brains of patients who died of causes unrelated to neurodegeneration or Huntington's disease, an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease. We here report support for a link between a patient with ALS and chronic exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA via shellfish consumption. The patient had frequently eaten lobsters collected in Florida Bay for approximately 30 years. LC-MS/MS analysis of two lobsters which this ALS patient had placed in his freezer revealed BMAA at concentrations of 27 and 4 μg/g, respectively, as well as the presence of 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB), a BMAA isomer. Two additional lobsters recently collected from Florida Bay also contained the neurotoxins BMAA and DAB. These data suggest that invertebrates collected in water where cyanobacterial blooms are present, if consumed, may result in direct human exposure to these neurotoxic amino acids. The data support the assertion that prolonged exposure to BMAA may have played a role in the etiology of ALS in this patient. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Abundance and Size Distribution of the Sacoglossan Elysia viridis on Co-Occurring Algal Hosts on the Swedish West Coast

    PubMed Central

    Baumgartner, Finn A.; Toth, Gunilla B.

    2014-01-01

    Sacoglossans are specialized marine herbivores that tend to have a close evolutionary relationship with their macroalgal hosts, but the widely distributed species Elysia viridis can associate with several algal species. However, most previous investigations on the field abundance and size distribution of E. viridis have focussed on Codium spp. in the British Isles, and algae from this genus are considered superior hosts for E. viridis. In the present study, we investigated the abundance and size distribution of E. viridis on 6 potential host algae with differing morphologies (the septate species Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris, Chaetomorpha melagonium, and Ceramium virgatum, as well as the siphonaceous species Codium fragile and Bryopsis sp.) at 2 sites on the Swedish west coast over the course of a year. In spring, slugs were almost absent from all algal hosts. In summer and autumn, E. viridis consistently occurred on several of the algal species at both sites. The highest number of small E. viridis were found on C. sericea, intermediate numbers of significantly larger E. viridis were found on C. rupestris, while fewer, intermediate sized animals were found on C. fragile. Throughout the study period, only a few E. viridis individuals were found on C. melagonium, Bryopsis sp., and C. virgatum. Our results indicate that E. viridis is an annual species in Sweden, capable of exploiting co-occurring congeneric and intergeneric algal hosts with differing morphologies. These results corroborate previous findings that E. viridis can exploit several different algal species, but does not indicate that C. fragile is a superior host. PMID:24647524

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Biological importance of marine algae

    PubMed Central

    El Gamal, Ali A.

    2009-01-01

    Marine organisms are potentially prolific sources of highly bioactive secondary metabolites that might represent useful leads in the development of new pharmaceutical agents. Algae can be classified into two main groups; first one is the microalgae, which includes blue green algae, dinoflagellates, bacillariophyta (diatoms)… etc., and second one is macroalgae (seaweeds) which includes green, brown and red algae. The microalgae phyla have been recognized to provide chemical and pharmacological novelty and diversity. Moreover, microalgae are considered as the actual producers of some highly bioactive compounds found in marine resources. Red algae are considered as the most important source of many biologically active metabolites in comparison to other algal classes. Seaweeds are used for great number of application by man. The principal use of seaweeds as a source of human food and as a source of gums (phycocollides). Phycocolloides like agar agar, alginic acid and carrageenan are primarily constituents of brown and red algal cell walls and are widely used in industry. PMID:23960716

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. The ecology of algal biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Val H; Sturm, Belinda S M; Denoyelles, Frank J; Billings, Sharon A

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable energy production represents one of the most formidable problems of the 21st century, and plant-based biofuels offer significant promise. We summarize the potential advantages of using pond-grown microalgae as feedstocks relative to conventional terrestrial biofuel crop production. We show how pond-based algal biofuel production, which requires significantly less land area than agricultural crop-based biofuel systems, can offer additional ecological benefits by reducing anthropogenic pollutant releases to the environment and by requiring much lower water subsidies. We also demonstrate how key principles drawn from the science of ecology can be used to design efficient pond-based microalgal systems for the production of biodiesel fuels.

  6. The dynamics of heterotrophic algal cultures.

    PubMed

    De la Hoz Siegler, H; Ben-Zvi, A; Burrell, R E; McCaffrey, W C

    2011-05-01

    In this work, the time varying characteristics of microalgal cultures are investigated. Microalgae are a promising source of biofuels and other valuable chemicals; a better understanding of their dynamic behavior is, however, required to facilitate process scale-up, optimization and control. Growth and oil production rates are evaluated as a function of carbon and nitrogen sources concentration. It is found that nitrogen has a major role in controlling the productivity of microalgae. Moreover, it is shown that there exists a nitrogen source concentration at which biomass and oil production can be maximized. A mathematical model that describes the effect of nitrogen and carbon source on growth and oil production is proposed. The model considers the uncoupling between nutrient uptake and growth, a characteristic of algal cells. Validity of the proposed model is tested on fed-batch cultures.

  7. Combined algal processing: A novel integrated biorefinery process to produce algal biofuels and bioproducts

    DOE PAGES

    Dong, Tao; Knoshaug, Eric P.; Davis, Ryan; ...

    2016-01-18

    Here, the development of an integrated biorefinery process capable of producing multiple products is crucial for commercialization of microalgal biofuel production. Dilute acid pretreatment has been demonstrated as an efficient approach to utilize algal biomass more fully, by hydrolyzing microalgal carbohydrates into fermentable sugars, while making the lipids more extractable, and a protein fraction available for other products. Previously, we have shown that sugar-rich liquor could be separated from solid residue by solid-liquid separation (SLS) to produce ethanol via fermentation. However, process modeling has revealed that approximately 37% of the soluble sugars were lost in the solid cake after themore » SLS. Herein, a Combined Algal Processing (CAP) approach with a simplified configuration has been developed to improve the total energy yield. In CAP, whole algal slurry after acid pretreatment is directly used for ethanol fermentation. The ethanol and microalgal lipids can be sequentially recovered from the fermentation broth by thermal treatment and solvent extraction. Almost all the monomeric fermentable sugars can be utilized for ethanol production without compromising the lipid recovery. The techno-economic analysis (TEA) indicates that the CAP can reduce microalgal biofuel cost by $0.95 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE), which is a 9% reduction compared to the previous biorefinery scenario.« less

  8. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies.

  9. Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection and Differentiation by Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Hercules; Boyer, Anne E.; Woolfitt, Adrian R.; Kalb, Suzanne R.; Pavlopoulos, Antonis; McWilliams, Lisa G.; Schmidt, Jurgen G.; Martinez, Rodolfo A.; Ashley, David L.

    2005-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are proteases that cleave specific cellular proteins essential for neurotransmitter release. Seven BoNT serotypes (A–G) exist; 4 usually cause human botulism (A, B, E, and F). We developed a rapid, mass spectrometry–based method (Endopep-MS) to detect and differentiate active BoNTs A, B, E, and F. This method uses the highly specific protease activity of the toxins with target peptides specific for each toxin serotype. The product peptides derived from the endopeptidase activities of BoNTs are detected by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. In buffer, this method can detect toxin equivalents of as little as 0.01 mouse lethal dose (MLD)50 and concentrations as low as 0.62 MLD50/mL. A high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method for quantifying active toxin, where the amount of toxin can be correlated to the amount of product peptides, is also described. PMID:16318699

  10. 'Is MDMA a human neurotoxin?': diverse views from the discussants.

    PubMed

    Turner, J J; Parrott, A C

    2000-01-01

    Every discussant at the Novartis symposium was invited to submit a 250-word abstract, giving their views upon the question: 'Is MDMA a human neurotoxin?'. These abstracts are presented here. They illustrate a wide range of viewpoints and opinions, as might be expected from experts in such diverse fields: animal neuroscience, human cognitive testing, police pathology laboratory, psychotherapeutic institute and psychiatric hospital. Some abstracts emphasized the methodological weaknesses of the human empirical data: the uncertain nature of 'Ecstasy' tablets, the reliance on self-report data, and the contributory factors of heat, dancing/exertion, poor diet and other illicit drugs. These factors may lead to psychobiological changes, which could be misinterpreted as neural damage. The absence of gliosis in animal models was also noted, which led to suggestions that there might be alternative interpretations for the neural changes which have been observed in rats and monkeys. Others noted the absence of neural/behavioural change following a single Ecstasy tablet, or commented upon the therapeutic benefits of MDMA in a quiet supportive environment. Nevertheless, novel studies from England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Wales confirmed and extended the range of cognitive, behavioural, EEG and neurological deficits, displayed by drug-free Ecstasy users. Moreover, these deficits often remained when other illicit drug use was statistically controlled. If MDMA neurotoxicity in humans is a myth, then it is a myth with a heavy serotonergic component. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

  11. Botulinum neurotoxin devoid of receptor binding domain translocates active protease.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Audrey; Mushrush, Darren J; Lacy, D Borden; Montal, Mauricio

    2008-12-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) causes flaccid paralysis by disabling synaptic exocytosis. Intoxication requires the tri-modular protein to undergo conformational changes in response to pH and redox gradients across endosomes, leading to the formation of a protein-conducting channel. The approximately 50 kDa light chain (LC) protease is translocated into the cytosol by the approximately 100 kDa heavy chain (HC), which consists of two modules: the N-terminal translocation domain (TD) and the C-terminal Receptor Binding Domain (RBD). Here we exploited the BoNT modular design to identify the minimal requirements for channel activity and LC translocation in neurons. Using the combined detection of substrate proteolysis and single-channel currents, we showed that a di-modular protein consisting only of LC and TD was sufficient to translocate active protease into the cytosol of target cells. The RBD is dispensable for cell entry, channel activity, or LC translocation; however, it determined a pH threshold for channel formation. These findings indicate that, in addition to its individual functions, each module acts as a chaperone for the others, working in concert to achieve productive intoxication.

  12. Time-dependent botulinum neurotoxin serotype A metalloprotease inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Pai, Ramdas; Nuss, Jonathan E.; Peet, Norton P.; Bavari, Sina; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal of biological substances, and are categorized as class A biothreat agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no drugs to treat the deadly flaccid paralysis resulting from BoNT intoxication. Among the seven BoNT serotypes, the development of therapeutics to counter BoNT/A is a priority (due to its long half-life in the neuronal cytosol and its ease of production). In this regard, the BoNT/A enzyme light chain (LC) component, a zinc metalloprotease responsible for the intracellular cleavage of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa, is a desirable target for developing post-BoNT/A intoxication rescue therapeutics. In an earlier study, we reported the high throughput screening of a library containing 70,000 compounds, and uncovered a novel class of benzimidazole acrylonitrile-based BoNT/A LC inhibitors. Herein, we present both structure-activity relationships and a proposed mechanism of action for this novel inhibitor chemotype. PMID:22082667

  13. Excellent storage stability and sensitive detection of neurotoxin quinolinic acid.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ranjana; Kashyap, Sunayana; Kumar, Suveen; Abraham, Shiju; Gupta, Tejendra K; Kayastha, Arvind M; Malhotra, Bansi D; Saxena, Preeti Suman; Srivastava, Anchal; Singh, Ranjan K

    2017-04-15

    Quinolinic acid (QA) is a metabolite of tryptophan degradation obtained through kynurenine pathway, produced naturally in the mammalian brain as well as in the human cerebrospinal fluid. The presence of QA ~10-40µM is a clear indicator of many neurological disorders as well as deficiency of vitamin B6 in human being. In the present work; rapid, sensitive and cost-effective bio-electrodes were prepared to detect the trace amount of endogenous neurotoxin (QA). Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) studies were carried out to measure the electrochemical response of the fabricated bio-electrodes as a function of QA concentrations. These devices were found to exhibit desirable sensitivity of ~7.86mAμM(-1)cm(-2) in wide concentration range (6.5μM-65mM). The lower detection limit of this device is as low as 6.5μM and it has excellent storage stability of ~30 days. The capability of the proposed electrochemical bio-sensor was also checked to detect QA in the real samples (human serum). These results reveal that the use of this electrochemical bio-sensor may provide a potential platform for the detection of QA in the real samples for the prior detection of many diseases.

  14. Botulinum Neurotoxin Devoid of Receptor Binding Domain Translocates Active Protease

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Audrey; Mushrush, Darren J.; Lacy, D. Borden; Montal, Mauricio

    2008-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) causes flaccid paralysis by disabling synaptic exocytosis. Intoxication requires the tri-modular protein to undergo conformational changes in response to pH and redox gradients across endosomes, leading to the formation of a protein-conducting channel. The ∼50 kDa light chain (LC) protease is translocated into the cytosol by the ∼100 kDa heavy chain (HC), which consists of two modules: the N-terminal translocation domain (TD) and the C-terminal Receptor Binding Domain (RBD). Here we exploited the BoNT modular design to identify the minimal requirements for channel activity and LC translocation in neurons. Using the combined detection of substrate proteolysis and single-channel currents, we showed that a di-modular protein consisting only of LC and TD was sufficient to translocate active protease into the cytosol of target cells. The RBD is dispensable for cell entry, channel activity, or LC translocation; however, it determined a pH threshold for channel formation. These findings indicate that, in addition to its individual functions, each module acts as a chaperone for the others, working in concert to achieve productive intoxication. PMID:19096517

  15. Using llama derived single domain antibodies to target botulinum neurotoxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swain, Marla D.; Anderson, George P.; Bernstein, Rachael D.; Liu, Jinny L.; Goldman, Ellen R.

    2010-04-01

    Llama serum contains both conventional IgG as well as unique forms of antibody that contain only heavy chains where antigen binding is mediated through a single variable domain. These variable domains can be expressed recombinantly and are referred to as single domain antibodies (sdAb). SdAb are among the smallest known naturally derived antigen binding fragments, possess good solubility, thermal stability, and can refold after heat and chemical denaturation. Llamas were immunized with either BoNT A or B toxoid and phage display libraries prepared. Single domain antibodies (sdAb) that were able to detect botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A and B were selected from their respective libraries. Here, the binders obtained by panning the BoNT B library on either BoNT B toxoid or BoNT B complex toxoid coated plates or BoNT B toxin coupled microspheres are described. Using these panning methods, we selected for binders that showed specificity for BoNT B. Phage displayed binders were screened, moved to a protein expression vector and soluble sdAb was produced. Using a Luminex flow cytometer binders were evaluated in direct binding assays. We have exploited the unique properties of sdAb and used them as biological recognition elements in immuno-based sensors that can detect BoNT B.

  16. Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Fucoidan from Marine Algae.

    PubMed

    Mussatto, Solange I

    2015-01-01

    Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) is a technique that can be applied to extract compounds from different natural resources. In this chapter, the use of this technique to extract fucoidan from marine algae is described. The method involves a closed MAE system, ultrapure water as extraction solvent, and suitable conditions of time, pressure, and algal biomass/water ratio. By using this procedure under the specified conditions, the penetration of the electromagnetic waves into the material structure occurs in an efficient manner, generating a distributed heat source that promotes the fucoidan extraction from the algal biomass.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  19. Demonstration of transgressive overyielding of algal mixed cultures in microdroplets.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, David N; Byun, Chang Kyu; Cardinale, Bradley J; Lin, Xiaoxia Nina

    2017-08-14

    Algae are ubiquitous in natural ecosystems and have been studied extensively for biofuel production due to their unique metabolic capabilities. Most studies to date have approached biofuel optimization through synthetic biology and process engineering with few industrial scale projects considering algal community interactions. Such interactions can potentially lead to increased productivity and reduced community invasability, both important characteristics for scalable algal biofuel production. It is estimated that over a million species of algae exist such that elucidating the interactions that might be beneficial for biofuel production remains extremely resource and time intensive. Here we describe a strategy for rapid, high-throughput screening of algal community combinations using a microfluidic platform to generate millions of parallel, nanoliter-scale algal mixed cultures for estimation of biomass accumulation. Model communities were first studied in a bench scale flask experiment and then examined using microfluidic droplets. These experiments showed consistent results for both positively interacting algal bicultures that increase biomass when together, and negatively interacting bicultures that decrease biomass. Specifically, these included enhanced performance of two bicultures, Ankistrodesmus falcatus and Chlorella sorokiniana, Chlorella sorokiniana and Selenastrum minutum, and reduced performance of a biculture consisting of Selenastrum capricornutum and Scenedesmus ecornis. While the ultimate techno-economic feasibility of algal bioproducts hinges on an amalgamation of scientific fields, rapid screening of algal communities will prove imperative for efficiently discovering community interactions.

  20. Cultivation of algal biofilm using different lignocellulosic materials as carriers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi; Liu, Cuixia; Li, Yubiao; Yu, Zhigang; Chen, Zhihua; Ye, Ting; Wang, Xun; Hu, Zhiquan; Liu, Shiming; Xiao, Bo; Jin, Shiping

    2017-01-01

    Algal biofilm technology is recently supposed to be a promising method to produce algal biomass as the feedstock for the production of biofuels. However, the carrier materials currently used to form algal biofilm are either difficult to be obtained at a low price or undurable. Commercialization of the biofilm technology for algal biomass production extremely requires new and inexpensive materials as biofilm carriers with high biomass production performances. Four types of lignocellulosic materials were investigated to evaluate their performance of acting as carriers for algal cells attachment and the relevant effects on the algal biomass production in this study. The cultivation of algal biofilm was processed in a self-designed flat plate photo-bioreactor. The biofilm production and chemical composition of the harvested biomass were determined. The surface physics properties of the materials were examined through a confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Algal biomass production varied significantly with the variation of the carriers (P < 0.05). All the lignocellulosic materials showed better performances in biofilm production than poly methyl methacrylate, and the application of pine sawdust as the carrier could gain the maximum biofilm productivity of 10.92 g m(-2) day(-1) after 16-day cultivation. In addition, 20.10-23.20% total lipid, 30.35-36.73% crude proteins, and 20.29-25.93% carbohydrate were achieved from the harvested biomasses. Biomass productivity increased linearly as the increase of surface roughness, and Wenzel's roughness factor of the tested materials, and surface roughness might significantly affect the biomass production through the size of surface morphology and the area of surface (P < 0.05). The results showed that lignocellulosic materials can be efficient carriers for low-cost cultivation of algal biofilm and the enhancement of biomass productivity.

  1. Fungal farmers or algal escorts: lichen adaptation from the algal perspective.

    PubMed

    Piercey-Normore, Michele D; Deduke, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Domestication of algae by lichen-forming fungi describes the symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic (green alga or cyanobacterium; photobiont) and fungal (mycobiont) partnership in lichen associations (Goward 1992). The algal domestication implies that the mycobiont cultivates the alga as a monoculture within its thallus, analogous to a farmer cultivating a food crop. However, the initial photobiont 'selection' by the mycobiont may be predetermined by the habitat rather than by the farmer. When the mycobiont selects a photobiont from the available photobionts within a habitat, the mycobiont may influence photobiont growth and reproduction (Ahmadjian & Jacobs 1981) only after the interaction has been initiated. The theory of ecological guilds (Rikkinen et al. 2002) proposes that habitat limits the variety of photobionts available to the fungal partner. While some studies provide evidence to support the theory of ecological guilds in cyanobacterial lichens (Rikkinen et al. 2002), other studies propose models to explain variation in symbiont combinations in green algal lichens (Ohmura et al. 2006; Piercey-Normore 2006; Yahr et al. 2006) hypothesizing the existence of such guilds. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Peksa & Škaloud (2011) test the theory of ecological guilds and suggest a relationship between algal habitat requirements and lichen adaptation in green algal lichens of the genus Lepraria. The environmental parameters examined in this study, exposure to rainfall, altitude and substratum type, are integral to lichen biology. Lichens have a poikilohydric nature, relying on the availability of atmospheric moisture for metabolic processes. Having no known active mechanism to preserve metabolic thallus moisture in times of drought, one would expect a strong influence of the environment on symbiont adaptation to specific habitats. Adaptation to changes in substrata and its properties would be expected with the intimate contact between crustose

  2. Hemagglutinin-33 of type A botulinum neurotoxin complex binds with synaptotagmin II.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yu; Foss, Sean; Lindo, Paul; Sarkar, Hemanta; Singh, Bal Ram

    2005-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), the most toxic substance known to mankind, is produced by Clostridium botulinum type A as a complex with a group of neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) through polycistronic expression of a clustered group of genes. NAPs are known to protect BoNT against adverse environmental conditions and proteolytic digestion. Hemagglutinin-33 (Hn-33) is a 33 kDa subcomponent of NAPs that is resistant to protease digestion, a feature likely to be involved in the protection of the botulinum neurotoxin from proteolysis. However, it is not known whether Hn-33 plays any role other than the protection of BoNT. Using immunoaffinity column chromatography and pull-down assays, we have now discovered that Hn-33 binds to synaptotagmin II, the putative receptor of botulinum neurotoxin. This finding provides important information relevant to the design of novel anti-botulism therapeutic agents targeted to block the entry of botulinum neurotoxin into nerve cells.

  3. Re-engineering the target specificity of Clostridial neurotoxins - a route to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Foster, K A; Adams, E J; Durose, L; Cruttwell, C J; Marks, E; Shone, C C; Chaddock, J A; Cox, C L; Heaton, C; Sutton, J M; Wayne, J; Alexander, F C G; Rogers, D F

    2006-04-01

    The ability to chemically couple proteins to LH(N)-fragments of clostridial neurotoxins and create novel molecules with selectivity for cells other than the natural target cell of the native neurotoxin is well established. Such molecules are able to inhibit exocytosis in the target cell and have the potential to be therapeutically beneficial where secretion from a particular cell plays a causative role in a disease or medical condition. To date, these molecules have been produced by chemical coupling of the LH(N)-fragment and the targeting ligand. This is, however, not a suitable basis for producing pharmaceutical agents as the products are ill defined, difficult to control and heterogeneous. Also, the molecules described to date have targeted neuroendocrine cells that are susceptible to native neurotoxins, and therefore the benefit of creating a molecule with a novel targeting domain has been limited. In this paper, the production of a fully recombinant fusion protein from a recombinant gene encoding both the LH(N)-domain of a clostridial neurotoxin and a specific targeting domain is described, together with the ability of such recombinant fusion proteins to inhibit secretion from non-neuronal target cells. Specifically, a novel protein consisting of the LH(N)-domains of botulinum neurotoxin type C and epidermal growth factor (EGF) that is able to inhibit secretion of mucus from epithelial cells is reported. Such a molecule has the potential to prevent mucus hypersecretion in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  4. Snake and Spider Toxins Induce a Rapid Recovery of Function of Botulinum Neurotoxin Paralysed Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Duregotti, Elisa; Zanetti, Giulia; Scorzeto, Michele; Megighian, Aram; Montecucco, Cesare; Pirazzini, Marco; Rigoni, Michela

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and some animal neurotoxins (β-Bungarotoxin, β-Btx, from elapid snakes and α-Latrotoxin, α-Ltx, from black widow spiders) are pre-synaptic neurotoxins that paralyse motor axon terminals with similar clinical outcomes in patients. However, their mechanism of action is different, leading to a largely-different duration of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) blockade. BoNTs induce a long-lasting paralysis without nerve terminal degeneration acting via proteolytic cleavage of SNARE proteins, whereas animal neurotoxins cause an acute and complete degeneration of motor axon terminals, followed by a rapid recovery. In this study, the injection of animal neurotoxins in mice muscles previously paralyzed by BoNT/A or /B accelerates the recovery of neurotransmission, as assessed by electrophysiology and morphological analysis. This result provides a proof of principle that, by causing the complete degeneration, reabsorption, and regeneration of a paralysed nerve terminal, one could favour the recovery of function of a biochemically- or genetically-altered motor axon terminal. These observations might be relevant to dying-back neuropathies, where pathological changes first occur at the neuromuscular junction and then progress proximally toward the cell body. PMID:26670253

  5. Snake phospholipase A2 neurotoxins enter neurons, bind specifically to mitochondria, and open their transition pores.

    PubMed

    Rigoni, Michela; Paoli, Marco; Milanesi, Eva; Caccin, Paola; Rasola, Andrea; Bernardi, Paolo; Montecucco, Cesare

    2008-12-05

    Snake presynaptic neurotoxins with phospholipase A(2) activity are potent inducers of paralysis through inhibition of the neuromuscular junction. These neurotoxins were recently shown to induce exocytosis of synaptic vesicles following the production of lysophospholipids and fatty acids and a sustained influx of Ca(2+) from the medium. Here, we show that these toxins are able to penetrate spinal cord motor neurons and cerebellar granule neurons and selectively bind to mitochondria. As a result of this interaction, mitochondria depolarize and undergo a profound shape change from elongated and spaghetti-like to round and swollen. We show that snake presynaptic phospholipase A(2) neurotoxins facilitate opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, an inner membrane high-conductance channel. The relative potency of the snake neurotoxins was similar for the permeability transition pore opening and for the phospholipid hydrolysis activities, suggesting a causal relationship, which is also supported by the effect of phospholipid hydrolysis products, lysophospholipids and fatty acids, on mitochondrial pore opening. These findings contribute to define the cellular events that lead to intoxication of nerve terminals by these snake neurotoxins and suggest that mitochondrial impairment is an important determinant of their toxicity.

  6. [Recent advances in marine bacterial ecology--a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Zhou, Yanyan; Zheng, Tianling

    2010-03-01

    The role of marine bacteria playing in the marine ecosystem and the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, and the advances in microbial loop research were reviewed in this paper. The community structure and function and especially the bacterial activity in marine environment and the ecological function of phycosphere bacteria in the frequent occurrence area of Harmful algal blooms (HABs) were discussed as well. The importance and urgency to carry out the study on the coupling effect of "microbial loop--HABs--key microbial groups" were suggested based on the need of frontier research topics.

  7. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    DOEpatents

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  8. Quorum sensing is a language of chemical signals and plays an ecological role in algal-bacterial interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jin; Lyu, Yihua; Richlen, Mindy; Anderson, Donald M.; Cai, Zhonghua

    2017-01-01

    Algae are ubiquitous in the marine environment, and the ways in which they interact with bacteria are of particular interest in marine ecology field. The interactions between primary producers and bacteria impact the physiology of both partners, alter the chemistry of their environment, and shape microbial diversity. Although algal-bacterial interactions are well known and studied, information regarding the chemical-ecological role of this relationship remains limited, particularly with respect to quorum sensing (QS), which is a system of stimuli and response correlated to population density. In the microbial biosphere, QS is pivotal in driving community structure and regulating behavioral ecology, including biofilm formation, virulence, antibiotic resistance, swarming motility, and secondary metabolite production. Many marine habitats, such as the phycosphere, harbour diverse populations of microorganisms and various signal languages (such as QS-based autoinducers). QS-mediated interactions widely influence algal-bacterial symbiotic relationships, which in turn determine community organization, population structure, and ecosystem functioning. Understanding infochemicals-mediated ecological processes may shed light on the symbiotic interactions between algae host and associated microbes. In this review, we summarize current achievements about how QS modulates microbial behavior, affects symbiotic relationships, and regulates phytoplankton chemical ecological processes. Additionally, we present an overview of QS-modulated co-evolutionary relationships between algae and bacterioplankton, and consider the potential applications and future perspectives of QS.

  9. Lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity within Pennsylvanian phylloid algal mounds, western Orogrande basin, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Giles, K.A.; Soreghan, G.S.

    1996-12-31

    Pennsylvanian strata within the San Andres Mountains (western Orogrande basin) contain very well-developed phylloid algal bioherms, but these bioherms remain understudied owing to their location within the bounds of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range. The exposed Upper Pennsylvanian section within Hembrillo Canyon affords a three-dimensional view of mound structure, and thus an excellent opportunity for characterizing lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity that may prove useful for exploration/exploitation efforts in analogous petroliferous systems. The mounds are developed within a mixed carbonate-clastic shallow marine section punctuated by shoaling-upward cycles. Each mound site consists of a slack of individual biohermal growth events characterized by a subtidal wackestone initiation phase, core boundstone phase, and peritidal to subaerially exposed packstone/grainstone terminal phase. Individual biohermal growth events range up to 30 m in thickness; vertical stacking of these bioherms has produced aggregate mounds reaching up to 100 m in stratigraphic thickness and 300 m in diameter. Individual blohermal thicknesses decrease abruptly and markedly away from mound sites, and calcareous mudstones dominate in intermound regions. The controlling influences of paleogeography and glacioeustasy, respectively, produced the pronounced lateral and vertical heterogeneity characterizing these and analogous phylloid algal mound systems. Reservoirs within these systems are highly compartmentalized: wackestone initiation phases and peritidal to subaerial termination phases that envelope core facies may serve as porosity and permeability barriers that effectively partition the reservoir. Recognition of the scale, character, and probable controls on these lateral and vertical changes is important for effective exploration and exploitation in phylloid algal mound systems.

  10. Lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity within Pennsylvanian phylloid algal mounds, western Orogrande basin, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Giles, K.A. ); Soreghan, G.S. )

    1996-01-01

    Pennsylvanian strata within the San Andres Mountains (western Orogrande basin) contain very well-developed phylloid algal bioherms, but these bioherms remain understudied owing to their location within the bounds of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range. The exposed Upper Pennsylvanian section within Hembrillo Canyon affords a three-dimensional view of mound structure, and thus an excellent opportunity for characterizing lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity that may prove useful for exploration/exploitation efforts in analogous petroliferous systems. The mounds are developed within a mixed carbonate-clastic shallow marine section punctuated by shoaling-upward cycles. Each mound site consists of a slack of individual biohermal growth events characterized by a subtidal wackestone initiation phase, core boundstone phase, and peritidal to subaerially exposed packstone/grainstone terminal phase. Individual biohermal growth events range up to 30 m in thickness; vertical stacking of these bioherms has produced aggregate mounds reaching up to 100 m in stratigraphic thickness and 300 m in diameter. Individual blohermal thicknesses decrease abruptly and markedly away from mound sites, and calcareous mudstones dominate in intermound regions. The controlling influences of paleogeography and glacioeustasy, respectively, produced the pronounced lateral and vertical heterogeneity characterizing these and analogous phylloid algal mound systems. Reservoirs within these systems are highly compartmentalized: wackestone initiation phases and peritidal to subaerial termination phases that envelope core facies may serve as porosity and permeability barriers that effectively partition the reservoir. Recognition of the scale, character, and probable controls on these lateral and vertical changes is important for effective exploration and exploitation in phylloid algal mound systems.

  11. Filamentous brown algae infected by the marine, holocarpic oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii

    PubMed Central

    Tsirigoti, Amerssa; Kuepper, Frithjof C; Gachon, Claire MM; Katsaros, Christos

    2013-01-01

    The important role of the cytoskeletal scaffold is increasingly recognized in host-pathogen interactions. The cytoskeleton potentially functions as a weapon for both the plants defending themselves against fungal or oomycete parasites, and for the pathogens trying to overcome the resisting barrier of the plants. This concept, however, had not been investigated in marine algae so far. We are opening this scientific chapter with our study on the functional implications of the cytoskeleton in 3 filamentous brown algal species infected by the marine oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii. Our observations suggest that the cytoskeleton is involved in host defense responses and in fundamental developmental stages of E. dicksonii in its algal host. PMID:24025487

  12. Marine pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Albaiges, J. )

    1989-01-01

    This book covers the following topics: Transport of marine pollutants; Transformation of pollutants in the marine environment; Biological effects of marine pollutants; Sources and transport of oil pollutants in the Persian Gulf; Trace metals and hydrocarbons in Syrian coastal waters; and Techniques for analysis of trace pollutants.

  13. Structural and functional characterization of a novel homodimeric three-finger neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    PubMed

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2010-03-12

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (alphabetagammadelta) and neuronal (alpha(7), alpha(3)beta(2), and alpha(4)beta(2)) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for alpha(7)-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 A) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like kappa-neurotoxins, which target neuronal alpha(3)beta(2)- and alpha(4)beta(2)-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain alpha-neurotoxins and kappa-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of alpha(7)-nAChRs (IC(50) 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain alpha-neurotoxins nor kappa-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain alpha-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal alpha(7)-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs.

  14. PEG precipitation coupled with chromatography is a new and sufficient method for the purification of botulinum neurotoxin type B [corrected].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yao; Kang, Lin; Gao, Shan; Gao, Xing; Xin, Wenwen; Wang, Jinglin

    2012-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat a variety of neuro-muscular disorders, as well as in cosmetology. The increased demand requires efficient methods for the production and purification of these toxins. In this study, a new purification process was developed for purifying type B neurotoxin. The kinetics of C.botulinum strain growth and neurotoxin production were determined for maximum yield of toxin. The neurotoxin was purified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation and chromatography. Based on design of full factorial experiment, 20% (w/v) PEG-6000, 4 °C, pH 5.0 and 0.3 M NaCl were optimal conditions to obtain a high recovery rate of 87% for the type B neurotoxin complex, as indicated by a purification factor of 61.5 fold. Furthermore, residual bacterial cells, impurity proteins and some nucleic acids were removed by PEG precipitation. The following purification of neurotoxin was accomplished by two chromatography techniques using Sephacryl™ S-100 and phenyl HP columns. The neurotoxin was recovered with an overall yield of 21.5% and the purification factor increased to 216.7 fold. In addition, a mouse bioassay determined the purified neurotoxin complex possessed a specific toxicity (LD(50)) of 4.095 ng/kg.

  15. Ionic mechanisms involved in the nodal swelling of myelinated axons caused by marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Evelyne; Mattei, Cesar; Ouanounou, Gilles; Meunier, Frederic A; Suput, Dusan; Le Gall, Frederic; Marquais, Michel; Dechraoui, Marie Y; Molgo, Jordi

    2002-01-01

    This review describes the ionic mechanisms involved in the nodal swelling of frog myelinated axons caused by specific marine neurotoxins (ciguatoxins, brevetoxins, Conus consors toxin and equinatoxin-II), analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. We have focussed on toxins that either target neuronal voltage-dependent Na+ channels, or that form cation-selective pores and indirectly affect the functioning of the Na(+)-Ca(++)exchanger.

  16. Amino acid sequence similarity between rabies virus glycoprotein and snake venom curaremimetic neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Lentz, T L; Wilson, P T; Hawrot, E; Speicher, D W

    1984-11-16

    Evidence was presented earlier that a host-cell receptor for the highly neurotropic rabies virus might be the acetylcholine receptor. The amino acid sequence of the glycoprotein of rabies virus was compared by computer analysis with that of snake venom curaremimetic neurotoxins, potent ligands of the acetylcholine receptor. A statistically significant sequence relation was found between a segment of the rabies glycoprotein and the entire sequence of long neurotoxins. The greatest identity occurs with residues considered most important in neurotoxicity, including those interacting with the acetylcholine binding site of the acetylcholine receptor. Because of the similarity between the glycoprotein and the receptor-binding region of the neurotoxins, this region of the viral glycoprotein may function as a recognition site for the acetylcholine receptor. Direct binding of the rabies virus glycoprotein to the acetylcholine receptor could contribute to the neurotropism of this virus.

  17. Molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a natural neurotoxin from the star fruit: A computational study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pichierri, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Using density functional theory calculations we investigate the molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a neurotoxin recently isolated from the star fruit Averroha carambola. Among the seven conformers that exist within an energy window of ∼16.0 kcal/mol, two of them are the most favored ones with an energy difference of less than 2.0 kcal/mol. The computed chemical shifts of these two low-energy conformers are in good agreement with the experimental values determined in deuterated dimethylsulfoxide thus confirming the 2D chemical structure assigned to the neurotoxin. A topological analysis of the theoretical electronic charge density of four caramboxin conformers reveals the existence of intramolecular CH⋯O/N interactions which, in addition to the classical OH⋯O/N H-bonding interactions, contribute to decrease the conformational freedom of the neurotoxin.

  18. Synthetic peptide antigens derived from long-chain alpha-neurotoxins: Immunogenicity effect against elapid venoms.

    PubMed

    de la Rosa, Guillermo; Pastor, Nina; Alagón, Alejandro; Corzo, Gerardo

    2017-02-01

    Three-finger toxins (3FTXs), especially α-neurotoxins, are the most poorly neutralized elapid snake toxins by current antivenoms. In this work, the conserved structural similarity and motif arrangements of long-chain α-neurotoxins led us to design peptides with consensus sequences. Eight long-chain α-neurotoxins (also known as Type II) were used to generate a consensus sequence from which two peptides were chemically synthesized, LCP1 and LCP2. Rabbit sera raised against them were able to generate partially-neutralizing antibodies, which delayed mice mortality in neutralization assays against Naja haje, Dendrospis polylepis and Ophiophagus hannah venoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Large-scale marine ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Odell, D.K.

    2008-01-01

    Papers in this Special Feature stem from a symposium on large-scale ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals convened at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in June 2006. Major changes are occurring in multiple aspects of the marine environment at unprecedented rates, within the life spans of some individual marine mammals. Drivers of change include shifts in climate, acoustic pollution, disturbances to trophic structure, fisheries interactions, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants. This Special Feature provides an in-depth examination of 3 issues that are particularly troublesome. The 1st article notes the huge spatial and temporal scales of change to which marine mammals are showing ecological responses, and how these species can function as sentinels of such change. The 2nd paper describes the serious problems arising from conflicts with fisheries, and the 3rd contribution reviews the growing issues associated with underwater noise. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  20. The Structure of Algal Population in the Presence of Toxicants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatova, Valentina; Prokhotskaya, Valeria; Dmitrieva, Aida

    Algal bioassays are routinely employed as part of a battery of toxicity tests to assess the environmental impacts of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems. This estimation is an essential component of the ecological risk assessment.

  1. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

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

  2. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Actionable Research for Tribal Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) from algae, cyanobacteria and golden algae may occur naturally. However, human activities appear to be increasing the frequency of some HABs. HABs can have a variety of ecological, economic and human health impacts.

  3. A seasnake's colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling.

    PubMed

    Shine, R; Brischoux, F; Pile, A J

    2010-08-22

    Evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic life modify selective forces on an animal's coloration. For example, light penetrates differently through water than air, and a new suite of predators and visual backgrounds changes the targets of selection. We suggest that an aquatic animal's coloration may also affect its susceptibility to algal fouling. In a colour-polymorphic field population of seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in New Caledonia, black individuals supported higher algal cover than did banded conspecifics. In experimental tests, black snake models (plastic tubes) accumulated more algae than did banded models. Algal cover substantially reduced snake activity (in the field) and swimming speeds (in the laboratory). Effects of algal cover on a snake's hydrodynamic efficiency and/or its rate of cutaneous gas exchange thus may impose selection on the colours of aquatic organisms.

  4. Enhancement of algal growth and productivity by grazing zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Porter, K G

    1976-06-25

    Colonies of the common planktonic green alga, Sphaerocystis schroeteri, are only partially disrupted and assimilated by Daphnia magna, a natural predator. The Daphnia break up the outer protective gelatinous sheath that surrounds Sphaerocystis colonies, but most of the algal cells emerge from Daphnia guts intact and in viable condition. During gut passage, these viable cells take up nutrients, such as phosphorus, both from algal remains and from Daphnia metabolites. This nutrient supply stimulates algal carbon fixation and cell division. Enhanced algal growth, observed after gut passage, can compensate for the minor losses to the population caused by grazing. Nutrients regenerated by grazers may produce the summer bloom of gelatinous green algae during the seasonal succession of lake phytoplankton.

  5. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Actionable Research for Tribal Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) from algae, cyanobacteria and golden algae may occur naturally. However, human activities appear to be increasing the frequency of some HABs. HABs can have a variety of ecological, economic and human health impacts.

  6. Airborne Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms over Lake Erie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John

    2013-01-01

    The Hyperspectral Imager mounted to an aircraft was used to develop a remote sensing capability to detect the pigment Phycocyanin, an indicator of Microcystis, in low concentration as an early indicator of harmful algal bloom prediction.

  7. Photos of Lakes Before and After Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nutrient pollution can cause algal blooms that are sometimes toxic and always unsightly. The photos on this page show lakes and ponds around the country that have been impacted by this environmental problem.

  8. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium Botulinum Strain PS-5.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ajay K; Sachdeva, Amita; Degrasse, Jeffrey A; Croley, Timothy R; Stanker, Larry H; Hodge, David; Sharma, Shashi K

    2013-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins. The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presence of NT genes was validated by PCR amplification of toxin specific fragments from genomic DNA of Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5 which indicated the presence of both serotype A and B genes on PS-5 genome. Further, TC was purified and characterized by Western blotting, Digoxin-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, endopeptidase activity assay, and Liquid chromatography-Mass spectrometry. The data showed the presence of serotype A specific neurotoxin. Based on the analysis of neurotoxin genes and characterization of TC, PS-5 strain appears as a serotype A (B) strain of C. botulinum which produces only serotype A specific TC in the cell culture medium.

  9. Benzoquinones as Inhibitors of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    PubMed Central

    Bremer, Paul T.; Hixon, Mark S.; Janda, Kim D.

    2014-01-01

    Although botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is known for its use in cosmetics, it causes a potentially fatal illness, botulism, and can be used as a bioterror weapon. Many compounds have been developed that inhibit the BoNTA zinc-metalloprotease light chain (LC), however, none of these inhibitors have advanced to clinical trials. In this study, a fragment-based approach was implemented to develop novel covalent inhibitors of BoNT/A LC. First, electrophilic fragments were screened against BoNT/A LC, and benzoquinone (BQ) derivatives were found to be active. In kinetic studies, BQ compounds acted as irreversible inhibitors that presumably covalently modify cysteine 165 of BoNT/A LC. Although most BQ derivatives were highly reactive toward glutathione in vitro, a few compounds such as natural product naphthazarin displayed low thiol reactivity and good BoNT/A inhibition. In order to increase the potency of the BQ fragment, computational docking studies were employed to elucidate a scaffold that could bind to sites adjacent to Cys165 while positioning a BQ fragment at Cys165 for covalent modification; 2-amino-N-arylacetamides met these criteria and when linked to BQ displayed at least a 20-fold increase in activity to low μM IC50 values. Unlike BQ alone, the linked-BQ compounds demonstrated only weak irreversible inhibition and therefore acted mainly as non-covalent inhibitors. Further kinetic studies revealed a mutual exclusivity of BQ covalent inactivation and competitive inhibitor binding to sites adjacent to Cys165, refuting the viability of the current strategy for developing more potent irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors. The highlights of this study include the discovery of BQ compounds as irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors and the rational design of low μM IC50 competitive inhibitors that depend on the BQ moiety for activity. PMID:24984937

  10. Botulinum Neurotoxins and Botulism: A Novel Therapeutic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2011-01-01

    Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma) together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably by blocking the binding of receptor binding (R) domain to the neuronal receptors; thus inhibiting cellular entry of the holo-BoNT. The antibody cannot neutralize the intracellular toxin. Moreover, a conventional antibody with relatively large molecular size (150 kDa) is not accessible to the enzymatic groove and, thus, cannot directly inhibit the BoNT zinc metalloprotease activity. Recently, a 15–20 kDa single domain antibody (VHH) that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage display library. The VHH has high sequence homology (>80%) to the human VH and could block the enzymatic activity of the BoNT. Molecular docking revealed not only the interface binding between the VHH and the toxin but also an insertion of the VHH CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the VHH to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP), the CPP-VHH fusion protein would be able to traverse the hydrophobic cell membrane into the cytoplasm and inhibit the intracellular BoNT. This presents a novel and safe immunotherapeutic strategy for botulism by using a cell penetrating, humanized-single domain antibody that inhibits the BoNT by means of a direct blockade of the groove of the menace enzyme. PMID:22069720

  11. Metal Ions Effectively Ablate the Action of Botulinum Neurotoxin A.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Paul T; Pellett, Sabine; Carolan, James P; Tepp, William H; Eubanks, Lisa M; Allen, Karen N; Johnson, Eric A; Janda, Kim D

    2017-05-31

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) causes a debilitating and potentially fatal illness known as botulism. The toxin is also a bioterrorism threat, yet no pharmacological antagonist to counteract its effects has reached clinical approval. Existing strategies to negate BoNT/A intoxication have looked to antibodies, peptides, or organic small molecules as potential therapeutics. In this work, a departure from the traditional drug discovery mindset was pursued, in which the enzyme's susceptibility to metal ions was exploited. A screen of a series of metal salts showed marked inhibitory activity of group 11 and 12 metals against the BoNT/A light chain (LC) protease. Enzyme kinetics revealed that copper (I) and (II) cations displayed noncompetitive inhibition of the LC (Ki ≈ 1 μM), while mercury (II) cations were 10-fold more potent. Crystallographic and mutagenesis studies elucidated a key binding interaction between Cys165 on BoNT/A LC and the inhibitory metals. As potential copper prodrugs, ligand-copper complexes were examined in a cell-based model and were found to prevent BoNT/A cleavage of the endogenous protein substrate, SNAP-25, even at low μM concentrations of complexes. Further investigation of the complexes suggested a bioreductive mechanism causing intracellular release of copper, which directly inhibited the BoNT/A protease. In vivo experiments demonstrated that copper (II) dithiocarbamate and bis(thiosemicarbazone) complexes could delay BoNT/A-mediated lethality in a rodent model, indicating their potential for treating the harmful effects of BoNT/A intoxication. Our studies illustrate that metals can be therapeutically viable enzyme inhibitors; moreover, enzymes that share homology with BoNT LCs may be similarly targeted with metals.

  12. Research, development, and demonstration of algal production raceway (APR) systems for the production of hydrocarbon resources

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, E.A.

    1984-02-01

    A fractional factorial experimental design was used to determine the maximum production and photosynthetic efficiency that could be achieved in shallow algal mass culture systems (SAMCS) of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Dilution rate and CO/sub 2/ supply were found to be the most important system parameters. Maximum production was found to be about 25 g dry wt m/sup -2/d/sup -1/. This production corresponded to a photosynthetic efficiency of 5.6%. These figures are 50 to 100% better than the production rates achieved in earlier P. tricornutum cultures using conventional culture techniques. The results are consistent with a theoretical model of the impact of the flashing light effect on algal mass culture production. This model predicts that at the typical irradiances in Hawaii, full utilization of the flashing light effect should enhance production by 70% to over 200%. It was concluded that the use of foil arrays in the experimental flume creates systematic vertical mixing on a time scale suitable for utilizing the flashing light effect. Production of P. tricornutum culture is probably limited by temperature. P. tricornutum cannot survive at temperatures in excess of 25/sup 0/C in outdoor mass cultures. Growth of mesophilic species in the temperature range 30 to 35/sup 0/C may well result in even higher production than that achieved with P. tricornutum.

  13. Fish-seastar facilitation leads to algal forest restoration on protected rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Galasso, Nicola M; Bonaviri, Chiara; Di Trapani, Francesco; Picciotto, Mariagrazia; Gianguzza, Paola; Agnetta, Davide; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2015-07-22

    Although protected areas can lead to recovery of overharvested species, it is much less clear whether the return of certain predator species or a diversity of predator species can lead to re-establishment of important top-down forces that regulate whole ecosystems. Here we report that the algal recovery in a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area did not derive from the increase in the traditional strong predators, but rather from the establishment of a previously unknown interaction between the thermophilic fish Thalassoma pavo and the seastar Marthasterias glacialis. The interaction resulted in elevated predation rates on sea urchins responsible for algal overgrazing. Manipulative experiments and field observations revealed that the proximity of the seastars triggered an escape response in sea urchins, extending their tube feet. Fishes exploited this behavior by feeding on the exposed tube feet, thus impairing urchin movement, and making them vulnerable to predation by the seastars. These findings suggest that predator diversity generated by MPA establishment can activate positive interactions among predators, with subsequent restoration of the ecosystem structure and function through cascading consumer impacts.

  14. Fish-seastar facilitation leads to algal forest restoration on protected rocky reefs

    PubMed Central

    Galasso, Nicola M.; Bonaviri, Chiara; Trapani, Francesco Di; Picciotto, Mariagrazia; Gianguzza, Paola; Agnetta, Davide; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Although protected areas can lead to recovery of overharvested species, it is much less clear whether the return of certain predator species or a diversity of predator species can lead to re-establishment of important top-down forces that regulate whole ecosystems. Here we report that the algal recovery in a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area did not derive from the increase in the traditional strong predators, but rather from the establishment of a previously unknown interaction between the thermophilic fish Thalassoma pavo and the seastar Marthasterias glacialis. The interaction resulted in elevated predation rates on sea urchins responsible for algal overgrazing. Manipulative experiments and field observations revealed that the proximity of the seastars triggered an escape response in sea urchins, extending their tube feet. Fishes exploited this behavior by feeding on the exposed tube feet, thus impairing urchin movement, and making them vulnerable to predation by the seastars. These findings suggest that predator diversity generated by MPA establishment can activate positive interactions among predators, with subsequent restoration of the ecosystem structure and function through cascading consumer impacts. PMID:26198539

  15. Herbivore-Algal relationships on a coastal rock platform (Cape Banks, N.S.W.).

    PubMed

    May, Valerie; Bennett, Isobel; Thompson, T E

    1970-03-01

    A fifty-three metre inter-tidal transect on a headland near Sydney, New South Wales, has been studied. Its profile, fauna and flora are illustrated and described.Figures were prepared indicating the herbivore standing crop on this transect at various seasons, and some evidence of seasonal changes in the marine algal flora is presented.All macroscopic herbivorous animals were removed from the transect at two-weekly intervals during a twelve month period. After the initiation of this treatment no species of alga in the transect appeared outside the zone in which it normally occurred. There was thus no indication that animal browsing normally restricts algae to particular (vertical) zones on this rock platform. The abundance of certain species was, however, affected by the removal of the herbivores. First to flourish were the green algae; contrary to results obtained in other parts of the world, brown algae did not then become established to form a climax community. It is suggested that the rapid reinvasion by herbivores noted at Cape Banks may account for differences in these results from those recorded elsewhere.Some algal taxonomic notes are appended.

  16. Inorganic carbon acquisition in algal communities: are the laboratory data relevant to the natural ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Mercado, Jesús M; Gordillo, F J L

    2011-09-01

    Most of the experimental work on the effects of ocean acidification on the photosynthesis of algae has been performed in the laboratory using monospecific cultures. It is frequently assumed that the information obtained from these cultures can be used to predict the acclimation response in the natural environment. CO(2) concentration is known to regulate the expression and functioning of the CCMs in the natural communities; however, ambient CO(2) can become quite variable in the marine ecosystems even in the short- to mid-term. We propose that the degree of saturation of the photosynthesis for a given algal community should be defined in relation to the particular characteristics of its habitat, and not only in relation to its taxonomic composition. The convenience of high CO(2) experiments to infer the degree of photosynthesis saturation by CO(2) in the natural algal communities under the present ocean conditions, as well as its trend in a coming future is discussed taking into account other factors such as the availability of light and nutrients, and seasonality.

  17. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. The state of technology for producing algal biofuels continues to mature with ongoing investment by DOE and the private sector, but additional research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is needed to achieve widespread deployment of affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  18. The Regulation of Gene Expression in Cnidarian-Algal Associations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-07-13

    symbiotic cnidarians , Aiptasia pallida, Anthopleura eligantissima, synbiosis-specific proteins, cDNA libraries, O. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OP REPORT...gene expression in cnidarian -algal associations Award Period: 1 July 1995-30 June 1998 Objectives: A. To identify and characterize heat shock...Exploring Symbiosis-Specific Gene Expression in Cnidarian /Algal Associations. In: Molecular Approaches to the Study of the Ocean.. Ed. K. Cooksey, Chapman

  19. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis mediates the entry of tetanus neurotoxin into hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Matteoli, Michela; Verderio, Claudia; Rossetto, Ornella; Iezzi, Numa; Coco, Silvia; Schiavo, Giampietro; Montecucco, Cesare

    1996-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin causes the spastic paralysis of tetanus by blocking neurotransmitter release at inhibitory synapses of the spinal cord. This is due to the penetration of the toxin inside the neuronal cytosol where it cleaves specifically VAMP/synaptobrevin, an essential component of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Here we show that tetanus neurotoxin is internalized inside the lumen of small synaptic vesicles following the process of vesicle reuptake. Vesicle acidification is essential for the toxin translocation in the cytosol, which results in the proteolytic cleavage of VAMP/synaptobrevin and block of exocytosis. PMID:8917587

  20. Recent developments on algal biochar production and characterization.

    PubMed

    Yu, Kai Ling; Lau, Beng Fye; Show, Pau Loke; Ong, Hwai Chyuan; Ling, Tau Chuan; Chen, Wei-Hsin; Ng, Eng Poh; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2017-08-05

    Algal biomass is known as a promising sustainable feedstock for the production of biofuels and other valuable products. However, since last decade, massive amount of interests have turned to converting algal biomass into biochar. Due to their high nutrient content and ion-exchange capacity, algal biochars can be used as soil amendment for agriculture purposes or adsorbents in wastewater treatment for the removal of organic or inorganic pollutants. This review describes the conventional (e.g., slow and microwave-assisted pyrolysis) and newly developed (e.g., hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction) methods used for the synthesis of algae-based biochars. The characterization of algal biochar and a comparison between algal biochar with biochar produced from other feedstocks are also presented. This review aims to provide updated information on the development of algal biochar in terms of the production methods and the characterization of its physical and chemical properties to justify and to expand their potential applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.