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Sample records for marine algal neurotoxin

  1. 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...

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-03-01

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

  4. Biogenesis and biological function of marine algal oxylipins.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher J; Ramsdell, John S

    2005-01-01

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevetoxin in the mouse. Radiotelemetry was used to measure core temperature in the unrestrained mouse while it was housed in a temperature gradient allowing the exhibition of thermoregulatory behavior. Both maitotoxin (338 ng/kg) and brevetoxin (180 microg/kg) were shown to elicit profound hypothermic responses accompanied by a preference for cooler ambient temperatures in the gradient. This behavioral response would suggest that the toxins alter the central neural control of body temperature, resulting in a regulated reduction in body temperature. Following recovery from the acute hypothermic effects of brevetoxin, mice developed an elevation in their daytime core temperature that persisted for several days after exposure. This fever-like response may represent a delayed toxicological effect of the marine algal toxins that is manifested through the thermoregulatory system. Overall, algal toxins have acute and delayed effects on temperature regulation in the mouse. A better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the toxins on thermoregulation should lead to improved methods for treating victims of ciguatera and other toxin exposures. PMID:16111859

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Algal chloroplast produced camelid VH H antitoxins are capable of neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    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 (VH H) 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 VH H 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.

  9. Algal chloroplast produced camelid VH H antitoxins are capable of neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    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 (VH H) 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 VH H 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

  10. 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

  11. sxtA-based quantitative molecular assay to identify saxitoxin-producing harmful algal blooms in marine waters.

    PubMed

    Murray, Shauna A; Wiese, Maria; Stüken, Anke; Brett, Steve; Kellmann, Ralf; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Neilan, Brett A

    2011-10-01

    The recent identification of genes involved in the production of the potent neurotoxin and keystone metabolite saxitoxin (STX) in marine eukaryotic phytoplankton has allowed us for the first time to develop molecular genetic methods to investigate the chemical ecology of harmful algal blooms in situ. We present a novel method for detecting and quantifying the potential for STX production in marine environmental samples. Our assay detects a domain of the gene sxtA that encodes a unique enzyme putatively involved in the sxt pathway in marine dinoflagellates, sxtA4. A product of the correct size was recovered from nine strains of four species of STX-producing Alexandrium and Gymnodinium catenatum and was not detected in the non-STX-producing Alexandrium species, other dinoflagellate cultures, or an environmental sample that did not contain known STX-producing species. However, sxtA4 was also detected in the non-STX-producing strain of Alexandrium tamarense, Tasmanian ribotype. We investigated the copy number of sxtA4 in three strains of Alexandrium catenella and found it to be relatively constant among strains. Using our novel method, we detected and quantified sxtA4 in three environmental blooms of Alexandrium catenella that led to STX uptake in oysters. We conclude that this method shows promise as an accurate, fast, and cost-effective means of quantifying the potential for STX production in marine samples and will be useful for biological oceanographic research and harmful algal bloom monitoring.

  12. Secondary Metabolites from the Marine Algal-Derived Endophytic Fungi: Chemical Diversity and Biological Activity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Li, Xin; Wang, Bin-Gui

    2016-06-01

    Marine algal-derived endophytic fungi have attracted considerable attention in the most recent two decades due to their prolific production of structurally diverse secondary metabolites with various biological activities. This review summarizes a total of 182 natural products isolated from marine algal-derived endophytic fungi in the past two decades. The emphasis is on the unique chemical diversity of these metabolic products, together with relevant biological activities.

  13. Inhibitory effects of tunisian marine algal extracts on digestive lipases.

    PubMed

    Ben Rebah, Faouzi; Smaoui, Sana; Frikha, Fakher; Gargouri, Youssef; Miled, Nabil

    2008-10-01

    The lipase inhibitory activity of ethanol extracts obtained from some marine algae collected on the Tunisian coast was evaluated. Caulerpa prolifera extract markedly reduced both dog gastric (DGL) and human pancreatic lipase (HPL) activities. Generally, the inhibition reached 100% after 40 to 60 min of incubation depending on lipase types and on substrates used. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of C. prolifera extract on lipases appeared to be accelerated by adding bile salts, which likely modified the interface and allowed the inhibitory compound to inactivate the lipase. The separation of C. prolifera extract by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) resulted in eight fractions showing efficient inhibition rate against DGL, compared to the crude extract. In the case of HPL, TLC fractionation reduced the inhibitory rates, suggesting that the effect of algal extract on lipases may be caused by a synergetic action of several compounds within the extract. High-performance liquid chromatograph separation resulted in isolation of a major compound displaying high inhibition capacity of HPL activity. Caulerpa prolifera extract may therefore be useful in developing antiobesity drugs.

  14. The voltage-gated sodium channel: a major target of marine neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Mattei, César; Legros, Christian

    2014-12-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) are key components for nerve excitability. They initiate and propagate the action potential in excitable cells, throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, thus enabling a variety of physiological functions to be achieved. The rising phase of the action potential is driven by the opening of Nav channels which activate rapidly and carry Na(+) ions in the intracellular medium, and ends with the Na(+) current inactivation. The biophysical properties of these channels have been elucidated, through the use of pharmacological agents that disrupt the molecular mechanism of the channel functioning. Among them, marine toxins produced by venomous animals or microorganisms have been crucial to map the different allosteric binding sites of the channels, understand their mode of action and represent an emerging source of therapeutic agents to alleviate or cure Na(+) channels-linked human diseases. In this article, we review recent discoveries on the molecular and biophysical properties of the Na(+) channel as a target for marine neurotoxins, and present the ongoing developments of pharmacological agents as therapeutic tools.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-10-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. MARINE SULFUR CYCLE. Identification of the algal dimethyl sulfide-releasing enzyme: A missing link in the marine sulfur cycle.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

    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. PMID:26113722

  1. MARINE SULFUR CYCLE. Identification of the algal dimethyl sulfide-releasing enzyme: A missing link in the marine sulfur cycle.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27332715

  4. 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.

  5. Alpha neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Barber, Carmel M; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2013-05-01

    α-Neurotoxins have been isolated from hydrophid, elapid and, more recently, colubrid snake venoms. Also referred to as postsynaptic neurotoxins or 'curare mimetic' neurotoxins, they play an important role in the capture and/or killing of prey by binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the skeletal muscle disrupting neurotransmission. They are also thought to cause respiratory paralysis in envenomed humans. This review will discuss the historical background into the discovery, isolation, structure and mechanism of action of the α-neurotoxins, including targets and cellular outcomes, and then will examine the potential uses of α-neurotoxins as pharmacological tools and/or as drug leads.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26874470

  11. Effects of COX inhibitors on neurodegeneration and survival in mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin domoic acid.

    PubMed

    Ryan, James C; Cross, Cheryl A; Van Dolah, Frances M

    2011-01-01

    The marine neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) is a rigid analogue of the neurotransmitter glutamate and a potent agonist of kainate subtype glutamate receptors. Persistent activation of these receptor subtypes results in rapid excitotoxicity, calcium-dependent cell death, and neuronal degeneration in regions of the brain where glutamatergic pathways are concentrated. Previous work has shown that DA promotes the expression of inflammatory genes in the brain, such as cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). To investigate the impact of inflammation on the development of neurodegeneration, and ultimately survival following DA administration, we used selective (L745337, Merck) and non-selective (acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)) COX inhibitors in DA exposed mice. Adult male ICR mice were given a regime of either ASA or L23547 both before and after a single LD50 dose of DA. Mice were observed immediately after toxin introduction and then sacrificed at 2 days post exposure. Our lower dose of L23547 increased survival and was most effective at decreasing neuronal degeneration in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, areas especially sensitive to DA excitotoxicity. This study shows that COX2 plays a role in DA induced neurodegeneration and death, and that inhibitors may be of value for treatment in human and wildlife DA exposure. PMID:20934488

  12. 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.

  13. A universal method for flocculating harmful algal blooms in marine and fresh waters using modified sand.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Pan, Gang

    2013-05-01

    A universal environmental friendly method was developed to turn sand into effective flocculants for mitigating harmful algal blooms (HABs) in marine and freshwater systems. The isoelectric point of sand was largely increased from pH 4.5 to 10.5 after been modified by Moringa oleifera coagulant (MO) abstracted form MO seeds. However, when sand was modified by MO alone, maximum removal efficiencies of 80% and 20% for Amphidinium carterae (A.C.) and Chlorella sp. (C.S.) in seawater and 60% for Microcystis aeruginosa (M.A.) in fresh water were achieved in 30 min. The limited removal improvement was due to the form of only small flocs (20-100 μm) by surface charge modification only. Large flocs (270-800 μm) and high removal rate of 96% A.C. and C.S. cells in seawater and 90% of M.A. cells in fresh water were achieved within 30 min when the small MO-algae-sand flocs were linked and bridged by chitosan. High HAB removal rate is achievable when the sand is modified by the bicomponent mechanism of surface charge and netting-bridging modification using biodegradable modifiers such as MO and chitosan. The optimized dosage of modified sand depends on the property of algal cells and water conditions.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. QSAR based docking studies of marine algal anticancer compounds as inhibitors of protein kinase B (PKBβ).

    PubMed

    Davis, G Dicky John; Vasanthi, A Hannah Rachel

    2015-08-30

    Marine algae are prolific source of bioactive secondary metabolites and are found to be active against different cancer cell lines. QSAR studies will explicate the significance of a particular class of descriptor in eliciting anticancer activity against a cancer type. Marine algal compounds showing anticancer activity against six different cancer cell lines namely MCF-7, A431, HeLa, HT-29, P388 and A549 taken from Seaweed metabolite database were subjected to comprehensive QSAR modeling studies. A hybrid-GA (genetic algorithm) optimization technique for descriptor space reduction and multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) approach was used as fitness functions. Cell lines HeLa and MCF-7 showed good statistical quality (R(2)∼0.75, Q(2)∼0.65) followed by A431, HT29 and P388 cell lines with reasonable statistical values (R(2)∼0.70, Q(2)∼0.60). The models developed were interpretable, with good statistical and predictive significance. Molecular descriptor analyses revealed that Baumann's alignment-independent topological descriptors had a major role in variation of activity along with other descriptors. Incidentally, earlier QSAR analysis on a variety of chemically diverse PKBα inhibitors revealed Baumann's alignment-independent topological descriptors that differentiated the molecules binding to Protein kinase B (PKBα) kinase or PH domain, hence a docking study of two crystal structures of PKBβ was performed for identification of novel ATP-competitive inhibitors of PKBβ. Five compounds had a good docking score and Callophycin A showed better ligand efficiency than other PKBβ inhibitors. Furthermore in silico pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies also showed that Callophycin A had a high drug score (0.85) compared to the other inhibitors. These results encourages discovering novel inhibitors for cancer therapeutic targets by screening metabolites from marine algae.

  17. 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.

  18. Marine Neurotoxins: Ingestible Toxins.

    PubMed

    Stommel, Elijah W.; Watters, Michael R.

    2004-03-01

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

  19. Betaine yields from marine algal species utilized in the preparation of seaweed extracts used in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Blunden, Gerald; Morse, Peter F; Mathe, Imre; Hohmann, Judit; Critchleye, Alan T; Morrell, Stephen

    2010-04-01

    Ascophyllum nodosum, and to a lesser extent, Laminaria digitata, L. hyperborea and Fucus serratus, are marine algal species utilized in the commercial production of seaweed extracts used in agriculture. Betaines have been shown to be important constituents of these extracts, but there appears to have been no study made on whether there are variations in the betaine contents of these species based on either the place or date of collection. Samples of each of the four species were collected from widely separated areas at different times of the year. Also, in the case of A. nodosum, approximately monthly collections were made from one location. The betaines detected in the various collections of the same species showed little variation, although in the case ofA. nodosum, glycinebetaine was found as a minor constituent in some samples, but was not detected in others. Trigonelline was found in all the tested samples of the two Laminaria species; this is, to our knowledge, the first record of this betaine in marine algae. With the exception of trigonelline in the Laminaria species, the betaine yields from the various samples of L. digitata, L. hyperborea and F. serratus showed little variation, regardless of either the place or date of collection. The trigonelline contents of the Laminaria species collected at one location (Finavarra, Ireland), in particular of L. hyperborea, was substantially greater than those from the other places of collection. In the case of A. nodosum, the betaine yields from samples collected at one site (Dale, Pembrokeshire, UK) were significantly higher than those from the other places of collection, which were very similar to each other. There was no clear indication of seasonal variation in betaine yields from A. nodosum. PMID:20433077

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:18053711

  2. Ligand-binding assays for cyanobacterial neurotoxins targeting cholinergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Molgó, Jordi

    2010-07-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a threat to public health because of the capacity of some cyanobacterial species to produce potent hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. Cyanobacterial neurotoxins are involved in the rapid death of wild and domestic animals by targeting voltage gated sodium channels and cholinergic synapses, including the neuromuscular junction. Anatoxin-a and its methylene homologue homoanatoxin-a are potent agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Since the structural determination of anatoxin-a, several mass spectrometry-based methods have been developed for detection of anatoxin-a and, later, homoanatoxin-a. Mass spectrometry-based techniques provide accuracy, precision, selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, adequate limit of detection, and structural and quantitative information for analyses of cyanobacterial anatoxins from cultured and environmental cyanobacterial samples. However, these physicochemical techniques will only detect known toxins for which toxin standards are commercially available, and they require highly specialized laboratory personnel and expensive equipment. Receptor-based assays are functional methods that are based on the mechanism of action of a class of toxins and are thus, suitable tools for survey of freshwater reservoirs for cyanobacterial anatoxins. The competition between cyanobacterial anatoxins and a labelled ligand for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is measured radioactively or non-radioactively providing high-throughput screening formats for routine detection of this class of neurotoxins. The mouse bioassay is the method of choice for marine toxin monitoring, but has to be replaced by fully validated functional methods. In this paper we review the ligand-binding assays developed for detection of cyanobacterial and algal neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and for high-throughput screening of novel nicotinic agents.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:26634608

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25682049

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:24311541

  10. 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.

  11. Identification and characterization of potentially algal-lytic marine bacteria strongly associated with the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Ana M; Fuentes, María S; Ogalde, Sandra R; Venegas, Juan A; Suárez-Isla, Benjamín A

    2005-01-01

    The toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella isolated from fjords in Southern Chile produces several analogues of saxitoxin and has been associated with outbreaks of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Three bacterial strains, which remained in close association with this dinoflagellate in culture, were isolated by inoculating the dinoflagellate onto marine agar. The phenotypically different cultivable bacterial colonies were purified. Their genetic identification was done by polymerase chain reaction amplification of the 16S rRNA genes. Partial sequence analysis suggested that the most probable affiliations were to two bacterial phyla: Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga group. The molecular identification was complemented by morphological data and biochemical profiling. The three bacterial species, when grown separately from phytoplankton cells in high-nutrient media, released algal-lytic compounds together with aminopeptidase, lipase, glucosaminidase, and alkaline phosphatase. When the same bacteria, free of organic nutrients, were added back to the algal culture they displayed no detrimental effects on the dinoflagellate cells and recovered their symbiotic characteristics. This observation is consistent with phylogenetic analysis that reveals that these bacteria correspond to species distinct from other bacterial strains previously classified as algicidal bacteria. Thus, bacterial-derived lytic activities are expressed only in the presence of high-nutrient culture media and it is likely that in situ environmental conditions may modulate their expression. PMID:15926994

  12. Red to red - the marine bacterium Hahella chejuensis and its product prodigiosin for mitigation of harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dockyu; Kim, Jihyun F; Yim, Joung Han; Kwon, Soon-Kyeong; Lee, Choong Hwan; Lee, Hong Kum

    2008-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), commonly called red tides, are caused by some toxic phytoplanktons, and have made massive economic losses as well as marine environmental disturbances. As an effective and environment-friendly strategy to control HAB outbreaks, biological methods using marine bacteria capable of killing the harmful algae or algicidal extracellular compounds from them have been given attention. A new member of the gamma-Proteobacteria, Hahella chejuensis KCTC 2396, was originally isolated from the Korean seashore for its ability to secrete industrially useful polysaccharides, and was characterized to produce a red pigment. This pigment later was identified as an alkaloid compound, prodigiosin. During the past several decades, prodigiosin has been extensively studied for its medical potential as immunosuppressants and antitumor agents, owing to its antibiotic and cytotoxic activities. The lytic activity of this marvelous molecule against Cochlodinium polykrikoides cells at very low concentrations (1 ppb) was serendipitously detected, making H. chejuensis a strong candidate among the biological agents for HAB control. This review provides a brief overview of algicidal marine bacteria and their products, and describes in detail the algicidal characteristics, biosynthetic process, and genetic regulation of prodigiosin as a model among the compounds active against red-tide organisms from the biochemical and genetic viewpoints. PMID:18955809

  13. Red to red - the marine bacterium Hahella chejuensis and its product prodigiosin for mitigation of harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dockyu; Kim, Jihyun F; Yim, Joung Han; Kwon, Soon-Kyeong; Lee, Choong Hwan; Lee, Hong Kum

    2008-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), commonly called red tides, are caused by some toxic phytoplanktons, and have made massive economic losses as well as marine environmental disturbances. As an effective and environment-friendly strategy to control HAB outbreaks, biological methods using marine bacteria capable of killing the harmful algae or algicidal extracellular compounds from them have been given attention. A new member of the gamma-Proteobacteria, Hahella chejuensis KCTC 2396, was originally isolated from the Korean seashore for its ability to secrete industrially useful polysaccharides, and was characterized to produce a red pigment. This pigment later was identified as an alkaloid compound, prodigiosin. During the past several decades, prodigiosin has been extensively studied for its medical potential as immunosuppressants and antitumor agents, owing to its antibiotic and cytotoxic activities. The lytic activity of this marvelous molecule against Cochlodinium polykrikoides cells at very low concentrations (1 ppb) was serendipitously detected, making H. chejuensis a strong candidate among the biological agents for HAB control. This review provides a brief overview of algicidal marine bacteria and their products, and describes in detail the algicidal characteristics, biosynthetic process, and genetic regulation of prodigiosin as a model among the compounds active against red-tide organisms from the biochemical and genetic viewpoints.

  14. Picobiliphytes: a marine picoplanktonic algal group with unknown affinities to other eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Not, Fabrice; Valentin, Klaus; Romari, Khadidja; Lovejoy, Connie; Massana, Ramon; Töbe, Kerstin; Vaulot, Daniel; Medlin, Linda K

    2007-01-12

    Environmental sequencing has revealed unimagined diversity among eukaryotic picoplankton. A distinct picoplanktonic algal group, initially detected from 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences, was hybridized with rRNA-targeted probes, detected by tyramide signal amplification-fluorescent in situ hybridization, and showed an organelle-like body with orange fluorescence indicative of phycobilins. Using this fluorescence signal, cells were sorted by flow cytometry and probed. Hybridized cells contained a 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained organelle resembling a plastid with a nucleomorph. This suggests that they may be secondary endosymbiotic algae. Pending the isolation of living cells and their formal description, these algae have been termed picobiliphytes.

  15. A marine algicidal actinomycete and its active substance against the harmful algal bloom species Phaeocystis globosa.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiaowei; Zhang, Bangzhou; Zhang, Jinlong; Huang, Liping; Lin, Jing; Li, Xinyi; Zhou, Yanyan; Wang, Hui; Yang, Xiaoru; Su, Jianqiang; Tian, Yun; Zheng, Tianling

    2013-10-01

    A strain O4-6, which had pronounced algicidal effects to the harmful algal bloom causing alga Phaeocystis globosa, was isolated from mangrove sediments in the Yunxiao Mangrove National Nature Reserve, Fujian, China. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence and morphological characteristics, the isolate was found to be phylogenetically related to the genus Streptomyces and identified as Streptomyces malaysiensis O4-6. Heat stability, pH tolerance, molecular weight range and aqueous solubility were tested to characterize the algicidal compound secreted from O4-6. Results showed that the algicidal activity of this compound was not heat stable and not affected by pH changes. Residue extracted from the supernatant of O4-6 fermentation broth by ethyl acetate, was purified by Sephadex LH-20 column and silica gel column chromatography before further structure determination. Chemical structure of the responsible compound, named NIG355, was illustrated based on quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. And this compound showed a stronger algicidal activity compared with other reported algicides. Furthermore, this article represents the first report of an algicide against P. globosa, and the compound may be potentially used as a bio-agent for controlling harmful algal blooms.

  16. Lipid biosynthesis in the marine flatworm Convoluta roscoffensis and its algal symbiont Platymonas convoluta.

    PubMed

    Meyer, H; Provasoli, L; Meyer, F

    1979-06-21

    As a part of an investigations on the lipid metabolism in Platyhelminthes, the acoel Convoluta roscoffensis, which harbors the green alga Platymonas convoluta as a symbiont, was studied. Isotopic tracer experiments established that the acoel lacks the ability to synthesize de novo long-chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and depends on its algal symbiont for these compounds. The acoel's fatty acid composition closely resembles that of the alga but differs from those of other animals; the acoel's polyunsaturated fatty acids are of the plant type (omega 3 family) rather than of the animal type (omega 6 family). The acoel also lacks the ability to synthesize sterols de novo. It contains 24-methylenecholesterol synthesized by the algae and, in addition, significant amounts of cholesterol, which is probably a host modification product of the algal sterol. With fatty acids provided by the symbiont, the acoel has the ability to synthesize its own complex lipids. The acoel contains relatively large amounts of triglyceride, phosphatidylcholine, and ethanolamine plasmalogen. These compounds are either not present at all or present only in minute amounts in the symbiotic alga. Since acoels belong to the most primitive forms of the present-day flatworms, the observed metabolic defects in this organism suggest that mechanisms for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and sterols were lost early during the evolution of the Platyhelminthes, and that this phenomenon is widespread within the phylum.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26735877

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

    Domoic acid (DA) is a naturally occurring neurotoxin known to harm marine animals. DA-producing algal blooms are increasing in size and frequency. Although chronic exposure is known to produce brain lesions, the influence of DA toxicosis on behavior in wild animals is unknown. We showed, in a large sample of wild sea lions, that spatial memory deficits are predicted by the extent of right dorsal hippocampal lesions related to natural exposure to DA and that exposure also disrupts hippocampal-thalamic brain networks. Because sea lions are dynamic foragers that rely on flexible navigation, impaired spatial memory may affect survival in the wild. PMID:26668068

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  2. Molecular and Ecological Evidence for Species Specificity and Coevolution in a Group of Marine Algal-Bacterial Symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Ashen, Jon B.; Goff, Lynda J.

    2000-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of bacterial symbionts from three gall-bearing species in the marine red algal genus Prionitis (Rhodophyta) were inferred from 16S rDNA sequence analysis and compared to host phylogeny also inferred from sequence comparisons (nuclear ribosomal internal-transcribed-spacer region). Gall formation has been described previously on two species of Prionitis, P. lanceolata (from central California) and P. decipiens (from Peru). This investigation reports gall formation on a third related host, Prionitis filiformis. Phylogenetic analyses based on sequence comparisons place the bacteria as a single lineage within the Roseobacter grouping of the α subclass of the division Proteobacteria (99.4 to 98.25% sequence identity among phylotypes). Comparison of symbiont and host molecular phylogenies confirms the presence of three gall-bearing algal lineages and is consistent with the hypothesis that these red seaweeds and their bacterial symbionts are coevolving. The species specificity of these associations was investigated in nature by whole-cell hybridization of gall bacteria and in the laboratory by using cross-inoculation trials. Whole-cell in situ hybridization confirmed that a single bacterial symbiont phylotype is present in galls on each host. In laboratory trials, bacterial symbionts were incapable of inducing galls on alternate hosts (including two non-gall-bearing species). Symbiont-host specificity in Prionitis gall formation indicates an effective ecological separation between these closely related symbiont phylotypes and provides an example of a biological context in which to consider the organismic significance of 16S rDNA sequence variation. PMID:10877801

  3. [Neurotoxins from snake venom].

    PubMed

    Larréché, S; Mion, G; Clapson, P; Debien, B; Wybrecht, D; Goyffon, M

    2008-04-01

    Many snakes are able to quickly immobilize prey, thanks to their venom neurotoxins. Most of these snakes belong to families Elapidae or Hydrophidae but neurotoxins were also isolated from families Viperidae and Colubridae. Ophidian neurotoxins can be classified into several categories: neurotoxins which inhibit synaptic transmission (postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins) and neurotoxins which facilitate it excessively (dendrotoxin and fasciculin). Their toxicity is dose-dependent, and venom effects are extremely fast. The clinical feature is a potentially fatal neurological syndrome, the so called cobraic syndrome. Because death by respiratory arrest may occur quickly with cobraic syndrome, immunotherapy is a true emergency, because toxins irreversible fixing makes immunotherapy effect uncertain after a few hours passed.

  4. 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.

  5. Ethanol production from marine algal hydrolysates using Escherichia coli KO11.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nag-Jong; Li, Hui; Jung, Kwonsu; Chang, Ho Nam; Lee, Pyung Cheon

    2011-08-01

    Algae biomass is a potential raw material for the production of biofuels and other chemicals. In this study, biomass of the marine algae, Ulva lactuca, Gelidium amansii,Laminaria japonica, and Sargassum fulvellum, was treated with acid and commercially available hydrolytic enzymes. The hydrolysates contained glucose, mannose, galactose, and mannitol, among other sugars, at different ratios. The Laminaria japonica hydrolysate contained up to 30.5% mannitol and 6.98% glucose in the hydrolysate solids. Ethanogenic recombinant Escherichia coli KO11 was able to utilize both mannitol and glucose and produced 0.4g ethanol per g of carbohydrate when cultured in L. japonica hydrolysate supplemented with Luria-Bertani medium and hydrolytic enzymes. The strategy of acid hydrolysis followed by simultaneous enzyme treatment and inoculation with E. coli KO11 could be a viable strategy to produce ethanol from marine alga biomass. PMID:21640583

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. A marine algicidal Thalassospira and its active substance against the harmful algal bloom species Karenia mikimotoi.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiuhua; Zhou, Bin; Xu, Lili; Liu, Lin; Wang, Gangyuan; Liu, Xiaodong; Tang, Xuexi

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to obtain a marine bacterium active against Karenia mikimotoi from the East China Sea and to characterize its extracellular algicidal substances. Using preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (prep-HPLC) and electrospray ionization/quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometer coupled with a high-performance liquid chromatography (LC/MS-Q-TOF) system, we purified the alga-lysing substance produced by strain ZR-2 and determined its molecular structure. Based on morphology and l6S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis, the ZR-2 strain was highly homologous to Thalassospira species. Algicidal activity against K. mikimotoi was detected in the cell-free filtrate but not in bacterial cells. The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was ethanol-soluble and thermostable, with a retention time of 6.3 min and a measured elemental composition of C7H5O2 ([M-H](-) ion at m/z 121.0295). The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was determined to be benzoic acid. Compared with the negative control, both purified ZR-2 bacteria-free filtrate and standard benzoic acid promoted K. mikimotoi cell disruption and induced K. mikimotoi cell content leakage. Our study is the first to report benzoic acid activity against K. mikimotoi as well as production of benzoic acid by a Thalassospira species. PMID:26846742

  9. 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.

  10. A marine algicidal Thalassospira and its active substance against the harmful algal bloom species Karenia mikimotoi.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiuhua; Zhou, Bin; Xu, Lili; Liu, Lin; Wang, Gangyuan; Liu, Xiaodong; Tang, Xuexi

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to obtain a marine bacterium active against Karenia mikimotoi from the East China Sea and to characterize its extracellular algicidal substances. Using preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (prep-HPLC) and electrospray ionization/quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometer coupled with a high-performance liquid chromatography (LC/MS-Q-TOF) system, we purified the alga-lysing substance produced by strain ZR-2 and determined its molecular structure. Based on morphology and l6S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis, the ZR-2 strain was highly homologous to Thalassospira species. Algicidal activity against K. mikimotoi was detected in the cell-free filtrate but not in bacterial cells. The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was ethanol-soluble and thermostable, with a retention time of 6.3 min and a measured elemental composition of C7H5O2 ([M-H](-) ion at m/z 121.0295). The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was determined to be benzoic acid. Compared with the negative control, both purified ZR-2 bacteria-free filtrate and standard benzoic acid promoted K. mikimotoi cell disruption and induced K. mikimotoi cell content leakage. Our study is the first to report benzoic acid activity against K. mikimotoi as well as production of benzoic acid by a Thalassospira species.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections

    MedlinePlus

    ... years without side effects from long-term use. Immunity Because botulinum neurotoxin is a biological product, it ... for the body to create antibodies and develop immunity to the effects of the toxin. Measures are ...

  14. Aspertetranones A-D, Putative Meroterpenoids from the Marine Algal-Associated Fungus Aspergillus sp. ZL0-1b14.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuezhou; Qi, Shuang; Zhan, Ying; Zhang, Nanwen; Wu, An-An; Gui, Fu; Guo, Kai; Yang, Yanru; Cao, Shugeng; Hu, Zhiyu; Zheng, Zhonghui; Song, Siyang; Xu, Qingyan; Shen, Yuemao; Deng, Xianming

    2015-10-23

    Aspertetranones A-D (1-4), four new highly oxygenated putative rearranged triketide-sesquiterpenoid meroterpenes, were isolated from the marine algal-associated fungus Aspergillus sp. ZL0-1b14. On the basis of a comprehensive spectroscopic analysis, the planar structures of aspertetranones were determined to possess an unusual skeleton in the terpenoid part. The relative and absolute configurations of the aspertetranones were assigned on the basis of NOESY analysis, X-ray crystallography, and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Compounds 1-4 were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Aspertetranone D exhibited an inhibitory effect against IL-6 production with 69% inhibition at 40 μM.

  15. 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

  16. Botulinum neurotoxins: mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Tighe, Ann P; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2013-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are used clinically for conditions characterized by hyperexcitability of peripheral nerve terminals and hypersecretory syndromes. These neurotoxins are synthesized as precursor proteins with low activity, but their effects are mediated by the active form of the neurotoxin through a multistep mechanism. Following a high-affinity interaction with a protein receptor and polysialogangliosides on the synaptic membrane, botulinum neurotoxins enter the neuron and causes a sustained inhibition of synaptic transmission. The active neurotoxin is part of a high-molecular-weight complex that protects the neurotoxin from proteolytic degradation. Although complexing proteins do not affect diffusion of therapeutic neurotoxin, they may lead to the development of neutralizing antibodies that block responsiveness to it. Nerve terminal intoxication is reversible and its duration varies for different BoNT serotypes. Although it was previously assumed that botulinum neurotoxins exert effects only on the peripheral synapses, such as the neuromuscular junction, there is now substantial evidence that these neurotoxins affect neurotransmission at distal central nervous system sites as well.

  17. Rapid downward transport of the neurotoxin domoic acid in coastal waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekula-Wood, Emily; Schnetzer, Astrid; Benitez-Nelson, Claudia R.; Anderson, Clarissa; Berelson, William M.; Brzezinski, Mark A.; Burns, Justina M.; Caron, David A.; Cetinic, Ivona; Ferry, John L.; Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth; Jones, Burton H.; Miller, Peter E.; Morton, Steve L.; Schaffner, Rebecca A.; Siegel, David A.; Thunell, Robert

    2009-04-01

    Toxic phytoplankton blooms threaten coastlines worldwide by diminishing beach quality and adversely affecting marine ecosystems and human health. The common diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia consists of several species known to produce the neurotoxin domoic acid. Recent studies suggest that algal blooms dominated by Pseudo-nitzschia are increasing in frequency and duration owing to changes in coastal nutrient regimes. However, few studies have examined the persistence or long-term biogeochemical cycling of domoic acid in marine waters. Here, we measure the concentration of domoic acid in surface waters and sediment traps-up to 800m in depth-off the coast of Southern California. We show that peaks in Pseudo-nitzschia abundance and domoic acid concentrations in surface waters coincide with peaks in diatom and toxin abundance at depth, suggesting rapid downward transport of the toxin. In some cases, the sinking particles contain over five times the United States federal limit of domoic acid. Detection of domoic acid in bottom sediments indicates that the toxin may persist long after the Pseudo-nitzschia blooms. Our results indicate that vertical fluxes of domoic acid are a substantial source of the toxin to deep-ocean food webs, and could explain high levels of domoic acid previously observed in benthic organisms.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2012-12-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Algicidal activity against Skeletonema costatum by marine bacteria isolated from a high frequency harmful algal blooms area in southern Chinese coast.

    PubMed

    Shi, Rongjun; Huang, Honghui; Qi, Zhanhui; Hu, Weian; Tian, Ziyang; Dai, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Four marine bacterial strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were isolated from the surface water and sediment of Mirs Bay in southern Chinese coast using the liquid infection method with 48-well plates. These bacteria were all shown to have algicidal activities against Skeletonema costatum. Based on morphological observations, biochemical tests and homology comparisons by 16S rDNA sequences, the isolated strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were identified as Halobacillus sp., Muricauda sp., Kangiella sp. and Roseivirga sp., respectively. Our results showed that bacterial strain P1 killed S. costatum by release of heat labile algicide, while strains P5, N5 and N21 killed them directly. The algicidal processes of four bacterial strains were different. Strains P1, N5 and N21 disrupted the chain structure and S. costatum appeared as single cells, in which the cellular components were aggregated and the individual cells were inflated and finally lysed, while strain P5 decomposed the algal chains directly. We also showed that the algicidal activities of the bacterial strains were concentration-dependent. More specifically, 10 % (v/v) of bacteria in algae showed the strongest algicidal activities, as all S. costatum cells were killed by strains N5 and N21 within 72 h and by strains P1 and P5 within 96 h. 5 % of bacteria in algae also showed significant algicidal activities, as all S. costatum were killed by strains N5, P5 and N21 within 72, 96 and 120 h, respectively, whereas at this concentration, only 73.4 % of S. costatum cells exposed to strain P1 were killed within 120 h. At the concentration of 1 % bacteria in algae, the number of S. costatum cells continued to increase and the growth rate of algae upon exposure to strain N5 was significantly inhibited. PMID:23054696

  6. Algicidal activity against Skeletonema costatum by marine bacteria isolated from a high frequency harmful algal blooms area in southern Chinese coast.

    PubMed

    Shi, Rongjun; Huang, Honghui; Qi, Zhanhui; Hu, Weian; Tian, Ziyang; Dai, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Four marine bacterial strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were isolated from the surface water and sediment of Mirs Bay in southern Chinese coast using the liquid infection method with 48-well plates. These bacteria were all shown to have algicidal activities against Skeletonema costatum. Based on morphological observations, biochemical tests and homology comparisons by 16S rDNA sequences, the isolated strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were identified as Halobacillus sp., Muricauda sp., Kangiella sp. and Roseivirga sp., respectively. Our results showed that bacterial strain P1 killed S. costatum by release of heat labile algicide, while strains P5, N5 and N21 killed them directly. The algicidal processes of four bacterial strains were different. Strains P1, N5 and N21 disrupted the chain structure and S. costatum appeared as single cells, in which the cellular components were aggregated and the individual cells were inflated and finally lysed, while strain P5 decomposed the algal chains directly. We also showed that the algicidal activities of the bacterial strains were concentration-dependent. More specifically, 10 % (v/v) of bacteria in algae showed the strongest algicidal activities, as all S. costatum cells were killed by strains N5 and N21 within 72 h and by strains P1 and P5 within 96 h. 5 % of bacteria in algae also showed significant algicidal activities, as all S. costatum were killed by strains N5, P5 and N21 within 72, 96 and 120 h, respectively, whereas at this concentration, only 73.4 % of S. costatum cells exposed to strain P1 were killed within 120 h. At the concentration of 1 % bacteria in algae, the number of S. costatum cells continued to increase and the growth rate of algae upon exposure to strain N5 was significantly inhibited.

  7. 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. PMID:22728186

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Origin of neurotoxins from defensins.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Mei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shun-Yi

    2015-06-25

    There are at least three conserved protein folds shared by ion channel-targeted neurotoxins and antimicrobial defensins, including cysteine-stabilized α-helix and β-sheet fold (CSαβ), inhibitor cystine knot fold (ICK) and β-defensin fold (BDF). Based on a combined data of sequences, structures and functions, it has been proposed that these neurotoxins could originate from related ancient antimicrobial defensins by neofunctionalization. This provides an ideal system to study how a novel function emerged from a conserved structural scaffold during evolution. The elucidation of functional novelty of proteins not only has great significance in evolutionary biology but also will be helpful in guiding rational molecular design. This review describes recent progresses in origin of neurotoxins, focusing on the three conserved protein scaffolds.

  13. Botulinum neurotoxin A: a review.

    PubMed

    Berry, M G; Stanek, Jan J

    2012-10-01

    Despite its ubiquity in cosmetic circles and broad general awareness, a literature search of botulinum neurotoxin in JPRAS and BJPS yielded a mere 4 articles germane to cosmesis. A pair each detailing its application in masseteric hypertrophy(1,2) and the use of cryoanalgesia.(3,4) Given that botulinum neurotoxin A is the most commonly used cosmetic treatment, with American figures being most accurate,(5) a review of the background, development and scientific evidence would be perhaps useful, if not overdue, as Plastic Surgeons increasingly incorporate non-surgical interventions into their practices as part of a comprehensive facial rejuvenation strategy.

  14. Botulinum neurotoxin A: a review.

    PubMed

    Berry, M G; Stanek, Jan J

    2012-10-01

    Despite its ubiquity in cosmetic circles and broad general awareness, a literature search of botulinum neurotoxin in JPRAS and BJPS yielded a mere 4 articles germane to cosmesis. A pair each detailing its application in masseteric hypertrophy(1,2) and the use of cryoanalgesia.(3,4) Given that botulinum neurotoxin A is the most commonly used cosmetic treatment, with American figures being most accurate,(5) a review of the background, development and scientific evidence would be perhaps useful, if not overdue, as Plastic Surgeons increasingly incorporate non-surgical interventions into their practices as part of a comprehensive facial rejuvenation strategy. PMID:22552262

  15. 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. PMID:19365125

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    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

  19. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    PubMed

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

    Production of algal crude oil has been achieved in various pilot scale facilities, but whether algal fuels can be produced in sufficient quantity to meaningfully displace petroleum fuels, has been largely overlooked. Limitations to commercialization of algal fuels need to be understood and addressed for any future commercialization. This review identifies the major constraints to commercialization of transport fuels from microalgae. Algae derived fuels are expensive compared to petroleum derived fuels, but this could change. Unfortunately, improved economics of production are not sufficient for an environmentally sustainable production, or its large scale feasibility. A low-cost point supply of concentrated carbon dioxide colocated with the other essential resources is necessary for producing algal fuels. An insufficiency of concentrated carbon dioxide is actually a major impediment to any substantial production of algal fuels. Sustainability of production requires the development of an ability to almost fully recycle the phosphorous and nitrogen nutrients that are necessary for algae culture. Development of a nitrogen biofixation ability to support production of algal fuels ought to be an important long term objective. At sufficiently large scale, a limited supply of freshwater will pose a significant limitation to production even if marine algae are used. Processes for recovering energy from the algal biomass left after the extraction of oil, are required for achieving a net positive energy balance in the algal fuel oil. The near term outlook for widespread use of algal fuels appears bleak, but fuels for niche applications such as in aviation may be likely in the medium term. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microalgae to boost production of fuel oil and ease its recovery, are essential for commercialization of algal fuels. Algae will need to be genetically modified for improved photosynthetic efficiency in the long term. PMID:23886651

  20. 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

  1. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:19204340

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Update on the botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, A; Carruthers, J

    2001-12-01

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BTX) are an exciting group of therapeutic agents with dramatically expanding clinical indications. The US FDA has approved BOTOX (BTX-A, Allergan) and Myobloc (BTX-B, Elan Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of cervical dystonia. TPP Canada has also approved BOTOX for the treatment of glabellar frown lines. The US FDA is expected to approve this new indication before the end of 2002. These changes will dramatically expand the marketing of BTXs. Concerns about risks and side-effects diminish as clinical experience increases with this "most poisonous of poisons". In particular, the incidence of secondary resistance to the toxin's effect has been dramatically diminished with the reduction of the non-toxic protein in current batches of BOTOX. PMID:11813096

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    MedlinePlus

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

  12. 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.

  13. Three Classes of Plasmid (47–63 kb) Carry the Type B Neurotoxin Gene Cluster of Group II Clostridium botulinum

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25079343

  14. 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

  15. Fetal exposure to environmental neurotoxins in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Neurotoxins and fillers for skin rejuvenation.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Jessica; Grunebaum, Lisa

    2014-02-01

    The ephemeral effects of neurotoxins and fillers are well described for facial remodeling and rejuvenation. Less is known about their long-term effects on skin rejuvenation and neocollagenesis. This article aims to review current available science and literature to support the use of these cosmetic procedures as lasting antiaging treatments.

  17. Binding assays for the quantitative detection of P. brevis polyether neurotoxins in biological samples and antibodies as therapeutic aids for polyether marine intoxication. Annual report, 1 December 1987-30 November 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Baden, D.G.

    1988-12-15

    The polyether lipid-soluble toxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) can be detected using two separate types of specific binding reaction. Using tritiated PbTx-3 as a specific probe for binding to voltage-dependent sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes or to specific polyclonal antibodies, binding equilibria and displacement by unlabeled brevetoxins were compared. Labeled toxin can be displaced in a competitive manner by any of the other 5 naturally-occurring toxins; the quantitative displacement ability of each appears to reflect individual potency in fish bioassay. A comparison of ED50 in Radioimmunoassay and ED50 in synaptosome binding assay indicates that the former assay is useful for detection of toxins which possess the structural backbone of PbTx-3, the immunizing hapten. Thus, the two assays have quantitative applicability; the sodium channel with respect to potency and the antibodies with respect to structure. Microtiter plate assays utilizing each specific brevetoxin binding component and enzyme-linked toxin hapten have been successful and indicate a general applicability of colorimetric prototypes. There, is however, considerable manipulation required to decrease non-specific binding of the hydrophobic toxin-enzyme complex to the plates. Preliminary studies aimed at producing monoclonal antibodies have been explored using brevetoxins linked to keyhole limpet hemocyanin.

  18. Structure and function of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Montecucco, C; Schiavo, G

    1995-11-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are produced by Clostridia and cause the neuroparalytic syndromes of tetanus and botulism. Tetanus neurotoxin acts mainly at the CNS synapse, while the seven botulinum neurotoxins act peripherally. Clostridial neurotoxins share a similar mechanism of cell intoxication: they block the release of neurotransmitters. They are composed of two disulfide-linked polypeptide chains. The larger subunit is responsible for neurospecific binding and cell penetration. Reduction releases the smaller chain in the neuronal cytosol, where it displays its zinc-endopeptidase activity specific for protein components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin and botulinum neurotoxins B, D, F and G recognize specifically VAMP/ synaptobrevin. This integral protein of the synaptic vesicle membrane is cleaved at single peptide bonds, which differ for each neurotoxin. Botulinum A, and E neurotoxins recognize and cleave specifically SNAP-25, a protein of the presynaptic membrane, at two different sites within the carboxyl-terminus. Botulinum neurotoxin type C cleaves syntaxin, another protein of the nerve plasmalemma. These results indicate that VAMP, SNAP-25 and syntaxin play a central role in neuroexocytosis. These three proteins are conserved from yeast to humans and are essential in a variety of docking and fusion events in every cell. Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins form a new group of zinc-endopeptidases with characteristic sequence, mode of zinc coordination, mechanism of activation and target recognition. They will be of great value in the unravelling of the mechanisms of exocytosis and endocytosis, as they are in the clinical treatment of dystonias.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. The zinc-dependent protease activity of the botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

    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).

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Algal functional annotation tool

    2012-07-12

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

  8. 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

  9. Algal sensory photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hegemann, Peter

    2008-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Comparison of oral toxicological properties of botulinum neurotoxin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the foodborne intoxications in humans. BoNTs in nature are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins known as neurotoxin-associated ...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Substrate recognition of VAMP-2 by botulinum neurotoxin B and tetanus neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Hall, Cherisse; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2008-07-25

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT; serotypes A-G) and tetanus neurotoxin elicit flaccid and spastic paralysis, respectively. These neurotoxins are zinc proteases that cleave SNARE proteins to inhibit synaptic vesicle fusion to the plasma membrane. Although BoNT/B and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) cleave VAMP-2 at the same scissile bond, their mechanism(s) of VAMP-2 recognition is not clear. Mapping experiments showed that residues 60-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient cleavage by BoNT/B and that residues 40-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient TeNT cleavage. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis and kinetic analysis identified three regions within VAMP-2 that were recognized by BoNT/B and TeNT: residues adjacent to the site of scissile bond cleavage (cleavage region) and residues located within N-terminal and C-terminal regions relative to the cleavage region. Analysis of residues within the cleavage region showed that mutations at the P7, P4, P2, and P1' residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/B cleavage (> or =32-fold), whereas mutations at P7, P4, P1', and P2' residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/TeNT cleavage (> or =64-fold). Residues within the cleavage region influenced catalysis, whereas residues N-terminal and C-terminal to the cleavage region influenced binding affinity. Thus, BoNT/B and TeNT possess similar organization but have unique residues to recognize and cleave VAMP-2. These studies provide new insights into how the clostridial neurotoxins recognize their substrates.

  17. Substrate Recognition of VAMP-2 by Botulinum Neurotoxin B and Tetanus Neurotoxin*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sheng; Hall, Cherisse; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT; serotypes A-G) and tetanus neurotoxin elicit flaccid and spastic paralysis, respectively. These neurotoxins are zinc proteases that cleave SNARE proteins to inhibit synaptic vesicle fusion to the plasma membrane. Although BoNT/B and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) cleave VAMP-2 at the same scissile bond, their mechanism(s) of VAMP-2 recognition is not clear. Mapping experiments showed that residues 60-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient cleavage by BoNT/B and that residues 40-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient TeNT cleavage. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis and kinetic analysis identified three regions within VAMP-2 that were recognized by BoNT/B and TeNT: residues adjacent to the site of scissile bond cleavage (cleavage region) and residues located within N-terminal and C-terminal regions relative to the cleavage region. Analysis of residues within the cleavage region showed that mutations at the P7, P4, P2, and P1′ residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/B cleavage (≥32- fold), whereas mutations at P7, P4, P1′, and P2′ residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/TeNT cleavage (≥64-fold). Residues within the cleavage region influenced catalysis, whereas residues N-terminal and C-terminal to the cleavage region influenced binding affinity. Thus, BoNT/B and TeNT possess similar organization but have unique residues to recognize and cleave VAMP-2. These studies provide new insights into how the clostridial neurotoxins recognize their substrates. PMID:18511417

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Botulinum neurotoxins: genetic, structural and mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2014-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and cause a persistent paralysis of peripheral nerve terminals, which is known as botulism. Neurotoxigenic clostridia belong to six phylogenetically distinct groups and produce more than 40 different BoNT types, which inactivate neurotransmitter release owing to their metalloprotease activity. In this Review, we discuss recent studies that have improved our understanding of the genetics and structure of BoNT complexes. We also describe recent insights into the mechanisms of BoNT entry into the general circulation, neuronal binding, membrane translocation and neuroparalysis.

  1. 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.

  2. Development of recombinant vaccines for botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Smith, L A

    1998-11-01

    Synthetic genes encoding non-toxic, carboxyl-terminal regions (approximately 50 kDa) of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A and B (referred to as fragment C or HC) were constructed and cloned into the methylotropic yeast, Pichia pastoris. Genes specifying BoNTA(HC) and BoNTB(HC) were expressed as both intracellular and secreted products. Recombinants, expressed intracellularly, yielded products with the expected molecular weight as judged by SDS PAGE and Western blot (immunoblot) analysis, while secreted products were larger due to glycosylation. Gene products were used to vaccinate mice and evaluated for their ability to elicit protective antibody titers in vivo. Mice given three intramuscular vaccinations with yeast supernatant containing glycosylated BoNTA(HC) were protected against an intraperitoneal challenge of 10(6) 50% mouse lethal doses (MLD50) of serotype A neurotoxin, a result not duplicated by its BoNTB(HC) counterpart. Vaccinating mice with cytoplasmically produced BoNTA(HC) and BoNTB(HC) protected animals from a challenge of 10(6) MLD50 of serotype A and B toxins, respectively. Because of the glycosylation encountered with secreted BoNT(HC), our efforts focused on the production and purification of products from intracellular expression. PMID:9792170

  3. Temporal characteristics of botulinum neurotoxin therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lebeda, Frank J; Cer, Regina Z; Stephens, Robert M; Mudunuri, Uma

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is a pharmaceutical treatment used for an increasing number of neurological and non-neurological indications, symptoms and diseases. Despite the wealth of clinical reports that involve the timing of the therapeutic effects of this toxin, few studies have attempted to integrate these data into unified models. Secondary reactions have also been examined including the development of adverse events, resistance to repeated applications, and nerve terminal sprouting. Our primary intent for conducting this review was to gather relevant pharmacodynamic data from suitable biomedical literature regarding botulinum neurotoxins via the use of automated data-mining techniques. We envision that mathematical models will ultimately be of value to those who are healthcare decision makers and providers, as well as clinical and basic researchers. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the combination of this computer-intensive approach with mathematical modeling will predict the percentage of patients who will favorably or adversely respond to this treatment and thus will eventually assist in developing the increasingly important area of personalized medicine. PMID:20021324

  4. Evolution of neurotoxins: from research modalities to clinical realities.

    PubMed

    Kostrzewa, Richard M

    2009-01-01

    In the 1950s, the discovery of anti-nerve growth factor, an immunotoxin stunting sympathetic neural development, signaled the advent of neurotoxins as research modalities. Other selective neurotoxins were discovered in rapid succession. In the 1960s, 6-hydroxydopamine and 6-hydroxydopa were shown to destroy noradrenergic and dopaminergic nerves. Excitotoxins (glutamate, aspartate, and analogs) were discovered in the 1970s. DSP-4 [N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine] proved to be selective for noradrenergic destruction, while 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamines were relatively selective for serotonin neurons. Additional neurotoxins were discovered, but it was MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) that predominated neurotoxicity research in the 1980s. Eventually, Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), discovered as a "poisonous" principle in the late 1800s, resurfaced in purified and standardized forms as a clinically useful drug. Neurotoxins represent chemical tools, useful not only for discerning neuronal mechanisms and animal modeling of neurological disorders, but also for their use in medicine and potential as treatments for medical disorders. This unit reviews the early discovery of neurotoxins, describes categories of neurotoxins, and finally characterizes their usefulness--first as research tools, and eventually as clinical therapeutic agents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Molecular assembly of botulinum neurotoxin progenitor complexes

    PubMed Central

    Benefield, Desirée A.; Dessain, Scott K.; Shine, Nancy; Ohi, Melanie D.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced by Clostridium botulinum and associates with nontoxic neurotoxin-associated proteins to form high-molecular weight progenitor complexes (PCs). The PCs are required for the oral toxicity of BoNT in the context of food-borne botulism and are thought to protect BoNT from destruction in the gastrointestinal tract and aid in absorption from the gut lumen. The PC can differ in size and protein content depending on the C. botulinum strain. The oral toxicity of the BoNT PC increases as the size of the PC increases, but the molecular architecture of these large complexes and how they contribute to BoNT toxicity have not been elucidated. We have generated 2D images of PCs from strains producing BoNT serotypes A1, B, and E using negative stain electron microscopy and single-particle averaging. The BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PCs were observed as ovoid-shaped bodies with three appendages, whereas the BoNT/E PC was observed as an ovoid body. Both the BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PCs showed significant flexibility, and the BoNT/B PC was documented as a heterogeneous population of assembly/disassembly intermediates. We have also determined 3D structures for each serotype using the random conical tilt approach. Crystal structures of the individual proteins were placed into the BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PC electron density maps to generate unique detailed models of the BoNT PCs. The structures highlight an effective platform that can be engineered for the development of mucosal vaccines and the intestinal absorption of oral biologics. PMID:23509303

  8. 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

  9. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms

    PubMed Central

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms.

    PubMed

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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].

  14. Antibiotic activity of lectins from marine algae against marine vibrios.

    PubMed

    Liao, W-R; Lin, J-Y; Shieh, W-Y; Jeng, W-L; Huang, R

    2003-07-01

    Saline and aqueous ethanol extracts of marine algae and the lectins from two red algal species were assayed for their antibiotic activity against marine vibrios. Experimental studies were also carried out on the influence of environmental factors on such activity, using batch cultures. The results indicated that many of the saline extracts of the algal species were active and that the activity was selective against those vibrios assayed. The algal extracts were active against Vibrio pelagius and the fish pathogen V. vulnificus, but inactive against V. neresis. Algal lectins from Eucheuma serra (ESA) and Galaxaura marginata (GMA) strongly inhibited V. vulnificus but were inactive against the other two vibrios. The antibacterial activity of algal extracts was inhibited by pretreatment with various sugars and glycoprotein. Extracts of the two red algae, E. serra and Pterocladia capillacea, in saline and aqueous ethanol, inhibited markedly the growth rate of V. vulnificus at very low concentrations. Culture results indicated that metabolites active against V. vulnificus were invariably produced in P. capillacea over a wide range of temperature, light intensity, and nutritional conditions. Enhanced antibacterial activity occurred when P. capillacea was grown under higher irradiance, severe nutrient stress and moderate temperature (20 degrees C), reflecting the specific antibiotic characteristics of this alga. The strong antibiotic activity of lectins towards fish pathogenic bacteria reveals one of the important roles played by algal lectins, as well as the potential high economic value of those marine algae assayed for aquaculture and for biomedical purposes. PMID:12884128

  15. 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

  16. Engineered botulinum neurotoxins as new therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Masuyer, Geoffrey; Chaddock, John A; Foster, Keith A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause flaccid paralysis by inhibiting neurotransmission at cholinergic nerve terminals. Each BoNT consists of three domains that are essential for toxicity: the binding domain, the translocation domain, and the catalytic light-chain domain. BoNT modular architecture is associated with a multistep mechanism that culminates in the intracellular proteolysis of SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive-fusion-protein attachment protein receptor) proteins, which prevents synaptic vesicle exocytosis. As the most toxic proteins known, BoNTs have been extensively studied and are used as pharmaceutical agents to treat an increasing variety of disorders. This review summarizes the level of sophistication reached in BoNT engineering and highlights the diversity of approaches taken to utilize the modularity of the toxin. Improved efficiency and applicability have been achieved by direct mutagenesis and interserotype domain rearrangement. The scope of BoNT activity has been extended to nonneuronal cells and offers the basis for novel biomolecules in the treatment of secretion disorders.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; 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.

  4. Characteristics of the labile neurotoxin associated with nervous coccidiosis.

    PubMed Central

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

    1987-01-01

    Reported are the results of preliminary attempts to characterize the molecular weight, heat sensitivity and other features of a labile neurotoxin identified in the serum of calves exhibiting neurological signs in association with coccidial enteritis. The labile neurotoxin activity is heat labile (60 degrees C for 30 min) and is lost upon exposure to acidic pH (5.5) and cysteine (1.75 g/100 mL serum). Activity can be recovered from the precipitate of a 30% wt/vol solution of (NH4)2SO4 in serum. Ultrafiltration trials suggest that labile neurotoxin activity may be linked to a molecule of over 300,000 MW. PMID:2955866

  5. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; 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

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

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin treatment of palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, Tessa; Solish, Nowell; Murray, Christian

    2014-10-01

    Palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis is relatively common and can have severe psychological and medical consequences for those afflicted. A multitude of treatments exist but are often inadequate especially for those with significant disease. In these cases botulinum neurotoxin provides a reliable method for reducing the symptoms and improving quality of life. Although actual administration is relatively straightforward, pain management is a crucial component that requires a mastery of several techniques. Patients have a high degree of satisfaction with botulinum neurotoxin treatment and are motivated to come back for repeat treatments, usually every 6 months.

  9. Aptamer-based electrochemical biosensor for Botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Wei, Fang; Ho, Chih-Ming

    2009-04-01

    We have developed an aptamer-based electrochemical sensor for detection of Botulinum neurotoxin, where steric hindrance is applied to achieve specific signal amplification via conformational change of the aptamer. The incubation time and potassium concentration of the reaction buffer were found to be key parameters affecting the sensitivity of detection of the recognition of Botulinum neurotoxin by the aptamer. Under optimized experimental conditions, a high signal-to-noise ratio was obtained within 24 h with a limit of detection (LOD) of 40 pg/ml by two standard deviation cutoffs above the noise level.

  10. Structure-based drug discovery for botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin is the most poisonous substance known to humans. It is a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard. The only therapeutics available is antibody treatment which will not be effective for post-exposure therapy. There are no drugs available for post-intoxication treatment. Accordingly, it is imperative to develop effective drugs to counter botulism. Available structural information on botulinum neurotoxins both alone and in complex with their substrates offers an efficient method for designing structure-based drugs to treat botulism.

  11. Prediction of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins by the increment of diversity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lei; Li, Qianzhong

    2009-03-01

    Presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins have very important application in basic research and drug design. The successful prediction of neurotoxin is becoming an important task in recent years. In this study, based on the concept of Chou's pseudo-amino acid compositions, an algorithm of increment of diversity (ID) is proposed for predicting presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins. The results of jackknife test show that the accuracies of prediction are 90.23% for presynaptic neurotoxins and 89.40% for postsynaptic neurotoxins. In addition, toxins and non-toxins are also predicted by using this algorithm.

  12. 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

  13. Botulinum Neurotoxin Research at the Western Regional Research Center

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent toxins to humans. The most common route of intoxication is through ingestion of contaminated food or drink. In addition, these toxins are likely targets for use in intentional adulteration of food or animal feeds and are thus classified as Se...

  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. Antibody Protection Against Botulinum Neurotoxin Intoxication In Mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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/...

  16. Botulinum neurotoxin: Where are we with detection technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

    The publication of a mini-review by Olivier De Clerck et al. in this issue of the Journal of Phycology presented an opportunity to open a dialogue on challenges faced by contemporary algal taxonomists. The Editorial Office solicited the following two additional contributions in response to De Clerck et al.'s paper; the responses were edited solely for clarity, space and format. PMID:27008510

  1. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies against Naja naja oxiana neurotoxin I.

    PubMed

    Stiles, B G; Sexton, F W; Guest, S B; Olson, M A; Hack, D C

    1994-10-01

    Seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed against neurotoxin I (NT-1), a protein from central Asian cobra (Naja naja oxiana) venom which binds specifically to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR). All of the mAbs cross-reacted with another long-chain post-synaptic neurotoxin, Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BT), but not Naja naja kaouthia alpha-cobratoxin, in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (e.l.i.s.a.). Short-chain post-synaptic neurotoxins like Naja naja atra cobrotoxin, Laticauda semifasciata erabutoxin b, or N. n. oxiana neurotoxin II did not cross-react with the NT-1 mAbs, but an antigen(s) found in Dendroaspis polylepis, Acanthophis antarcticus and Pseudechis australis venoms was immunoreactive. The e.l.i.s.a. readings for dithiothreitol-reduced NT-1 and NT-1 mAbs ranged from 13 to 27% of those for native toxin but reduced alpha-BT was not immunoreactive. Synthetic NT-1 peptides were used in epitope-mapping studies and two, non-contiguous regions (Cys15-Tyr23 and Lys25-Gly33 or Pro17-Lys25 and Asp29-Lys37) were recognized by the NT-1 mAbs. The NT-1 mAbs individually inhibited 31-71% of alpha-BT binding to AchR in vitro and afforded a slight protective effect in vivo with a toxin: antibody mole ratio of 1:1.5. This report is the first to describe mAbs which recognize and protect against a heterologous, long-chain, post-synaptic neurotoxin from snake venom.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roiha, Petra; Westerlund, Antti; Stipa, Tapani

    2010-05-01

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

  8. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Correlation between viscosity, temperature and total solid content of algal biomass.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Nico; Gerber, Mandy

    2014-10-01

    In this study equations have been set up allowing the calculation of the viscosity depending on temperature and total solid content of the algal sample and the shear rate. Therefore, the viscosity of the marine microalgae Nannochloropsis salina was determined experimentally at different temperatures and TS contents. Untreated, thermal pretreated and digested algal biomasses were investigated. For all samples a non-Newtonian and shear-thinning behavior was detected indicating pseudoplastic fluids. The viscosity of all samples increased with increasing TS content and decreased with increasing temperature. For the analyzed samples the resulting relative deviations between experimental and calculated viscosities were mainly within a range of ±4.0%.

  15. Approaches for the detection of harmful algal blooms using oligonucleotide interactions.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Karen L; Leterme, Sophie C; Ellis, Amanda V; Lenehan, Claire E

    2015-01-01

    Blooms of microscopic algae in our waterways are becoming an increasingly important environmental concern. Many are sources of harmful biotoxins that can lead to death in humans, marine life and birds. Additionally, their biomass can cause damage to ecosystems such as oxygen depletion, displacement of species and habitat alteration. Globally, the number and frequency of harmful algal blooms has increased over the last few decades, and monitoring and detection strategies have become essential for managing these events. This review discusses developments in the use of oligonucleotide-based 'molecular probes' for the selective monitoring of algal cell numbers. Specifically, hybridisation techniques will be a focus.

  16. Prediction of neurotoxins by support vector machine based on multiple feature vectors.

    PubMed

    Guang, Xuan-Min; Guo, Yan-Zhi; Wang, Xia; Li, Meng-Long

    2010-09-01

    Neurotoxin is a toxin which acts on nerve cells by interacting with membrane proteins. Different neurotoxins have different functions and sources. With much more knowledge of neurotoxins it would be greatly helpful for the development of drug design. The support vector machine (SVM) was used to predict the neurotoxin based on multiple feature vector descriptors, including the amino acid composition, length of the protein sequence, weight of the protein and the evolution information described by position specific scoring matrix (PSSM). After a five-fold cross-validation procedure, the method achieved an accuracy of 100% in discriminating neurotoxins from non-toxins. As for classifying neurotoxins based on their sources and functions, the accuracy was 99.50% and 99.38% respectively. At last, the method yielded a good performance in sub-classification of ion channels inhibitors with the total accuracy of 87.27%. These results indicate that this method outperforms previously described NTXpred method.

  17. 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?

  18. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    DOEpatents

    Lupton, Francis Stephen

    2016-09-27

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

  19. Aphicidal efficacy of scorpion- and spider-derived neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Pal, Narinder; Yamamoto, Takashi; King, Glenn F; Waine, Clement; Bonning, Bryony

    2013-08-01

    Insect-specific neurotoxins that act within the insect hemocoel (body cavity) represent an untapped resource for insect pest management. On the basis of recent advances made in development of appropriate delivery systems for transport of these toxins from the insect gut, across the gut epithelium to their target site, we screened neurotoxins derived from scorpion or spider venom for efficacy against the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. Toxins were selected to represent different modes of electrophysiological action, including activity on voltage-gated calcium channels (ω-TRTX-Gr1a, ω-agatoxin Aa4a, ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a), calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (charybdotoxin, maurotoxin), chloride channels (chlorotoxin) and voltage-gated sodium channels (LqhαIT). The Bacillus thuringiensis-derived toxin Cyt1Aa was also tested as a positive control for toxicity. In per os bioassays with both aphid species, toxicity was only seen for ω-TRTX-Gr1a and Cyt1Aa. On injection into the hemocoel of A. pisum, LD₅₀ values ranged from 1 to 8 ng/mg body weight, with ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a being the most toxic (1.02 ng/mg body weight). All neurotoxins caused rapid paralysis, with charybdotoxin, maurotoxin and chlorotoxin also causing melanization of injected aphids. These data represent the first comprehensive screen of neurotoxins against aphids, and highlight the potential for practical use of the insect-specific toxin ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a in aphid management. PMID:23651761

  20. Substrate recognition mechanism of VAMP/synaptobrevin-cleaving clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Sikorra, Stefan; Henke, Tina; Galli, Thierry; Binz, Thomas

    2008-07-25

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) inhibit neurotransmitter release by proteolyzing a single peptide bond in one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors SNAP-25, syntaxin, and vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)/synaptobrevin. TeNT and BoNT/B, D, F, and G of the seven known BoNTs cleave the synaptic vesicle protein VAMP/synaptobrevin. Except for BoNT/B and TeNT, they cleave unique peptide bonds, and prior work suggested that different substrate segments are required for the interaction of each toxin. Although the mode of SNAP-25 cleavage by BoNT/A and E has recently been studied in detail, the mechanism of VAMP/synaptobrevin proteolysis is fragmentary. Here, we report the determination of all substrate residues that are involved in the interaction with BoNT/B, D, and F and TeNT by means of systematic mutagenesis of VAMP/synaptobrevin. For each of the toxins, three or more residues clustered at an N-terminal site remote from the respective scissile bond are identified that affect solely substrate binding. These exosites exhibit different sizes and distances to the scissile peptide bonds for each neurotoxin. Substrate segments C-terminal of the cleavage site (P4-P4') do not play a role in the catalytic process. Mutation of residues in the proximity of the scissile bond exclusively affects the turnover number; however, the importance of individual positions at the cleavage sites varied for each toxin. The data show that, similar to the SNAP-25 proteolyzing BoNT/A and E, VAMP/synaptobrevin-specific clostridial neurotoxins also initiate substrate interaction, employing an exosite located N-terminal of the scissile peptide bond.

  1. Aphicidal efficacy of scorpion- and spider-derived neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Pal, Narinder; Yamamoto, Takashi; King, Glenn F; Waine, Clement; Bonning, Bryony

    2013-08-01

    Insect-specific neurotoxins that act within the insect hemocoel (body cavity) represent an untapped resource for insect pest management. On the basis of recent advances made in development of appropriate delivery systems for transport of these toxins from the insect gut, across the gut epithelium to their target site, we screened neurotoxins derived from scorpion or spider venom for efficacy against the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. Toxins were selected to represent different modes of electrophysiological action, including activity on voltage-gated calcium channels (ω-TRTX-Gr1a, ω-agatoxin Aa4a, ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a), calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (charybdotoxin, maurotoxin), chloride channels (chlorotoxin) and voltage-gated sodium channels (LqhαIT). The Bacillus thuringiensis-derived toxin Cyt1Aa was also tested as a positive control for toxicity. In per os bioassays with both aphid species, toxicity was only seen for ω-TRTX-Gr1a and Cyt1Aa. On injection into the hemocoel of A. pisum, LD₅₀ values ranged from 1 to 8 ng/mg body weight, with ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a being the most toxic (1.02 ng/mg body weight). All neurotoxins caused rapid paralysis, with charybdotoxin, maurotoxin and chlorotoxin also causing melanization of injected aphids. These data represent the first comprehensive screen of neurotoxins against aphids, and highlight the potential for practical use of the insect-specific toxin ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a in aphid management.

  2. 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.

  3. Injectable neurotoxins and fillers: there is no free lunch.

    PubMed

    Emer, Jason; Waldorf, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    Injection of neurotoxins and filling agents for the treatment of facial aesthetics has increased dramatically during the past few decades due to an increased interest in noninvasive aesthetic improvements. An aging but still youth-oriented population expects effective treatments with minimal recovery time and limited risk of complications. Injectable neurotoxins and soft tissue stimulators and fillers have filled this niche of "lunch-time" procedures. As demand for these procedures has increased, supply has followed with more noncore cosmetic specialty physicians, as well as unsupervised ancillary staff, becoming providers and advertising them as easy fixes. Despite an excellent record of safety and efficacy demonstrated in scores of published studies, injectable agents do carry risks of complications. These procedures require a physician with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and injection techniques to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. In general, adverse events are preventable and technique-dependent. Although most adverse events are minor and temporary, more serious complications can occur. The recognition, management, and treatment of poor outcomes are as important as obtaining the best aesthetic results. This review addresses important considerations regarding the complications of injectable neurotoxins and fillers used for "lunch-time" injectable procedures.

  4. A Novel Inhibitor Prevents the Peripheral Neuroparalysis of Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Leka, Oneda; Lista, Florigio; Fillo, Silvia; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C.; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare; Paradisi, Cristina; Mattarei, Andrea; Pirazzini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a large class of potent and deadly neurotoxins. Given their growing number, it is of paramount importance to discover novel inhibitors targeting common steps of their intoxication process. Recently, EGA was shown to inhibit the action of bacterial toxins and viruses exhibiting a pH-dependent translocation step in mammalian cells, by interfering with their entry route. As BoNTs act in the cytosol of nerve terminals, the entry into an appropriate compartment wherefrom they translocate the catalytic moiety is essential for toxicity. Herein we propose an optimized procedure to synthesize EGA and we show that, in vitro, it prevents the neurotoxicity of different BoNT serotypes by interfering with their trafficking. Furthermore, in mice, EGA mitigates botulism symptoms induced by BoNT/A and significantly decreases the lethality of BoNT/B and BoNT/D. This opens the possibility of using EGA as a lead compound to develop novel inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:26670952

  5. Sodium channels in presynaptic nerve terminals. Regulation by neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Regulation of Na+ channels by neurotoxins has been studied in pinched- off nerve endings (synaptosomes) from rat brain. Activation of Na+ channels by the steroid batrachotoxin and by the alkaloid veratridine resulted in an increase in the rate of influx of 22Na into the synaptosomes. In the presence of 145 mM Na+, these agents also depolarized the synaptosomes, as indicated by increased fluorescence in the presence of a voltage-sensitive oxacarbocyanine dye [diO-C5(3)]. Polypeptide neurotoxins from the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus and from the sea anemone Anthopleura xanthogrammica potentiated the stimulatory effects of batrachotoxin and veratridine on the influx of 22Na into synaptosomes. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin blocked the stimulatory effects of batrachotoxin and veratridine, both in the presence and absence of the polypeptide toxins, but did not affect control 22Na influx or resting membrane potential. A three-state model for Na+ channel operation can account for the effects of these neurotoxins on Na+ channels as determined both by Na+ flux measurements in vitro and by electrophysiological experiments in intact nerve and muscle. PMID:6252277

  6. Injectable neurotoxins and fillers: there is no free lunch.

    PubMed

    Emer, Jason; Waldorf, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    Injection of neurotoxins and filling agents for the treatment of facial aesthetics has increased dramatically during the past few decades due to an increased interest in noninvasive aesthetic improvements. An aging but still youth-oriented population expects effective treatments with minimal recovery time and limited risk of complications. Injectable neurotoxins and soft tissue stimulators and fillers have filled this niche of "lunch-time" procedures. As demand for these procedures has increased, supply has followed with more noncore cosmetic specialty physicians, as well as unsupervised ancillary staff, becoming providers and advertising them as easy fixes. Despite an excellent record of safety and efficacy demonstrated in scores of published studies, injectable agents do carry risks of complications. These procedures require a physician with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and injection techniques to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. In general, adverse events are preventable and technique-dependent. Although most adverse events are minor and temporary, more serious complications can occur. The recognition, management, and treatment of poor outcomes are as important as obtaining the best aesthetic results. This review addresses important considerations regarding the complications of injectable neurotoxins and fillers used for "lunch-time" injectable procedures. PMID:22014990

  7. Molding the business end of neurotoxins by diversifying evolution.

    PubMed

    Kozminsky-Atias, Adi; Zilberberg, Noam

    2012-02-01

    A diverse range of organisms utilize neurotoxins that target specific ion channels and modulate their activity. Typically, toxins are clustered into several multigene families, providing an organism with the upper hand in the never-ending predator-prey arms race. Several gene families, including those encoding certain neurotoxins, have been subject to diversifying selection forces, resulting in rapid gene evolution. Here we sought a spatial pattern in the distribution of both diversifying and purifying selection forces common to neurotoxin gene families. Utilizing the mechanistic empirical combination model, we analyzed various toxin families from different phyla affecting various receptors and relying on diverse modes of action. Through this approach, we were able to detect clear correlations between the pharmacological surface of a toxin and rapidly evolving domains, rich in positively selected residues. On the other hand, patches of negatively selected residues were restricted to the nontoxic face of the molecule and most likely help in stabilizing the tertiary structure of the toxin. We thus propose a mutual evolutionary strategy of venomous animals in which adaptive molecular evolution is directed toward the toxin active surface. Furthermore, we propose that the binding domains of unstudied toxins could be readily predicted using evolutionary considerations.

  8. A Novel Inhibitor Prevents the Peripheral Neuroparalysis of Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Leka, Oneda; Lista, Florigio; Fillo, Silvia; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare; Paradisi, Cristina; Mattarei, Andrea; Pirazzini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a large class of potent and deadly neurotoxins. Given their growing number, it is of paramount importance to discover novel inhibitors targeting common steps of their intoxication process. Recently, EGA was shown to inhibit the action of bacterial toxins and viruses exhibiting a pH-dependent translocation step in mammalian cells, by interfering with their entry route. As BoNTs act in the cytosol of nerve terminals, the entry into an appropriate compartment wherefrom they translocate the catalytic moiety is essential for toxicity. Herein we propose an optimized procedure to synthesize EGA and we show that, in vitro, it prevents the neurotoxicity of different BoNT serotypes by interfering with their trafficking. Furthermore, in mice, EGA mitigates botulism symptoms induced by BoNT/A and significantly decreases the lethality of BoNT/B and BoNT/D. This opens the possibility of using EGA as a lead compound to develop novel inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:26670952

  9. Algal blooms in the spread and persistence of cholera.

    PubMed

    Epstein, P R

    1993-01-01

    Cholera has been long associated with the seasonality of coastal algal blooms off Bangladesh. Using fluorescent antibody (FA) techniques, microbiologists have now identified a viable, non-cultivable form of Vibrio cholerae in a wide range of marine life, including cyanobacteria (Anabaena variabilis), diatoms (Skeletonema costatum), phaeophytes (Ascophyllum nodosum), in copepod molts, and in freshwater vascular aquatic plants (water hyacinths and duckweed). In unfavourable conditions V. cholerae assumes spore-like forms; with proper nutrients, pH and temperature, it reverts to a readily transmissible and infectious state. Nitrates and phosphates in sewage and fertilizers cause eutrophication, and scientists report an increase in intensity, duration and shifts in the biodiversity of algal blooms in many coastal, brackish and fresh waters worldwide. V. cholerae has been isolated from phyto- and zooplankton in marine and fresh waters near Lima, Peru. V. cholera 01, biotype El Tor, serotype Inaba, may have arrived in the Americas in the bilge of a Chinese freighter. There, in the abundant coastal sea life along the Latin American Pacific coast, nourished by the Humboldt current and eutrophication, it found a reservoir for surviving unfavourable conditions. It is hypothesized that the algae and Vibrio populations grew exponentially; consumed by fish, mollusks and crustacea, a heavy 'inoculum' of carriers infected with V. cholerae was generated and transported into multiple coastal communities. PMID:8155853

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. 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. PMID:15302536

  17. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. 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.

  1. Different mechanisms of inhibition of nerve terminals by botulinum and snake presynaptic neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Montecucco, Cesare; Rossetto, Ornella; Caccin, Paola; Rigoni, Michela; Carli, Luca; Morbiato, Laura; Muraro, Lucia; Paoli, Marco

    2009-10-01

    The different mode of action on peripheral nerve terminals of the botulinum neurotoxins and of the snake presynaptic phospholipase A2 neurotoxins is reviewed here. These two groups of toxins are highly toxic because they are neurospecific and at the same time are enzymes that can modify many substrate molecules before being inactivated. The similarity of symptoms they cause in humans derives from the fact that both botulinum neurotoxins (seven serotypes named A-G) and snake presynaptic PLA2 neurotoxins block the nerve terminals and that peripheral cholinergic terminals are major targets. Given this general similarity of targets and clinical symptoms, the specific molecular and cellular mechanisms at the basis of their action are very different. This difference appears evident from the beginning of intoxication, i.e. neurotoxins binding to peripheral nerve terminals and proceeds with the different site of actions and molecular targets.

  2. 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

  3. Management of Frey syndrome using botulinum neurotoxin: a case report.

    PubMed

    Ng, Samson; Torjek, Cathy; Hovan, Allan

    2009-11-01

    Frey syndrome is manifested clinically by hemifacial flushing and sweating after a gustatory stimulus. Frey syndrome is usually secondary to traumatic injury in the parotid region and is thought to be the result of misdirected re-sprouting of damaged autonomic nerve fibres. In this case report, we highlight the clinical and psychosocial aspects of Frey syndrome from a patient"s perspective, outline the pathophysiology of the condition and current management strategies, and describe the use of botulinum neurotoxin in the treatment of Frey syndrome. PMID:19900355

  4. Serological identification of botulinum neurotoxins: A critical overview.

    PubMed

    Giménez, Domingo F

    2016-08-01

    The reasons that gave rise to the controversy over the serological method (SerM) and genetics regarding the identification of an alleged novel botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), type H, have been concisely examined. This discussion will remain opened inasmuch as the SerM is not performed according to the recommended procedures outlined in this overview and thoroughly discussed on previous publications. If correctly performed and interpreted, the SerM will keep its preeminence in the identification, typing and taxonomy of BoNTs. PMID:27130373

  5. Brevetoxins, like ciguatoxins, are potent ichthyotoxic neurotoxins that accumulate in fish✩

    PubMed Central

    Naar, Jerome P.; Flewelling, Leanne J.; Lenzi, Allison; Abbott, Jay P.; Granholm, April; Jacocks, Henry M.; Gannon, Damon; Henry, Michael; Pierce, Richard; Baden, Daniel G.; Wolny, Jennifer; Landsberg, Jan H.

    2009-01-01

    Brevetoxins and ciguatoxins are closely related potent marine neurotoxins. Although ciguatoxins accumulate in fish to levels that are dangerous for human consumption, live fish have not been considered as potential sources of brevetoxin exposure in humans. Here we show that, analogous to ciguatoxins, brevetoxins can accumulate in live fish by dietary transfer. We experimentally identify two pathways leading to brevetoxin-contaminated omnivorous and planktivorous fish. Fish fed with toxic shellfish and Karenia brevis cultures remained healthy and accumulated high brevetoxin levels in their tissues (up to 2675 ng g−1 in viscera and 1540 ng g−1 in muscle). Repeated collections of fish from St. Joseph Bay in the Florida panhandle reveal that accumulation of brevetoxins in healthy fish occurs in the wild. We observed that levels of brevetoxins in the muscle of fish at all trophic levels rise significantly, but not to dangerous levels, during a K. brevis bloom. Concentrations were highest in fish liver and stomach contents, and increased during and immediately following the bloom. The persistence of brevetoxins in the fish food web was followed for 1 year after the K. brevis bloom. PMID:17675204

  6. 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.

  7. Mollusc-Algal Chloroplast Endosymbiosis. Photosynthesis, Thylakoid Protein Maintenance, and Chloroplast Gene Expression Continue for Many Months in the Absence of the Algal Nucleus1

    PubMed Central

    Green, Brian J.; Li, Wei-Ye; Manhart, James R.; Fox, Theodore C.; Summer, Elizabeth J.; Kennedy, Robert A.; Pierce, Sidney K.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2000-01-01

    Early in its life cycle, the marine mollusc Elysia chlorotica Gould forms an intracellular endosymbiotic association with chloroplasts of the chromophytic alga Vaucheria litorea C. Agardh. As a result, the dark green sea slug can be sustained in culture solely by photoautotrophic CO2 fixation for at least 9 months if provided with only light and a source of CO2. Here we demonstrate that the sea slug symbiont chloroplasts maintain photosynthetic oxygen evolution and electron transport activity through photosystems I and II for several months in the absence of any external algal food supply. This activity is correlated to the maintenance of functional levels of chloroplast-encoded photosystem proteins, due in part at least to de novo protein synthesis of chloroplast proteins in the sea slug. Levels of at least one putative algal nuclear encoded protein, a light-harvesting complex protein homolog, were also maintained throughout the 9-month culture period. The chloroplast genome of V. litorea was found to be 119.1 kb, similar to that of other chromophytic algae. Southern analysis and polymerase chain reaction did not detect an algal nuclear genome in the slug, in agreement with earlier microscopic observations. Therefore, the maintenance of photosynthetic activity in the captured chloroplasts is regulated solely by the algal chloroplast and animal nuclear genomes. PMID:10982447

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Presynaptic neurotoxins: an expanding array of natural and modified molecules.

    PubMed

    Davletov, Bazbek; Ferrari, Enrico; Ushkaryov, Yuri

    2012-01-01

    The process of neurotransmitter release from nerve terminals is a target for a wide array of presynaptic toxins produced by various species, from humble bacteria to arthropods to vertebrate animals. Unlike other toxins, most presynaptic neurotoxins do not kill cells but simply inhibit or activate synaptic transmission. In this review, we describe two types of presynaptic neurotoxins: clostridial toxins and latrotoxins, which are, respectively, the most potent blockers and stimulators of neurotransmitter release. These toxins have been instrumental in defining presynaptic functions and are now widely used in research and medicine. Here, we would like to analyse the diversity of these toxins and demonstrate how the knowledge of their structures and mechanisms of action can help us to design better tools for research and medical applications. We will look at natural and synthetic variations of these exquisite molecular machines, highlighting recent advances in our understanding of presynaptic toxins and questions that remain to be answered. If we can decipher how a given biomolecule is modified by nature to target different species, we will be able to design new variants that carry only desired characteristics to achieve specific therapeutic, agricultural or research goals. Indeed, a number of research groups have already initiated a quest to harness the power of natural toxins with the aim of making them more specifically targeted and safer for future research and medical applications.

  12. High-Throughput Screening Uncovers Novel Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitor Chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Bompiani, Kristin M; Caglič, Dejan; Krutein, Michelle C; Benoni, Galit; Hrones, Morgan; Lairson, Luke L; Bian, Haiyan; Smith, Garry R; Dickerson, Tobin J

    2016-08-01

    Botulism is caused by potent and specific bacterial neurotoxins that infect host neurons and block neurotransmitter release. Treatment for botulism is limited to administration of an antitoxin within a short time window, before the toxin enters neurons. Alternatively, current botulism drug development targets the toxin light chain, which is a zinc-dependent metalloprotease that is delivered into neurons and mediates long-term pathology. Several groups have identified inhibitory small molecules, peptides, or aptamers, although no molecule has advanced to the clinic due to a lack of efficacy in advanced models. Here we used a homogeneous high-throughput enzyme assay to screen three libraries of drug-like small molecules for new chemotypes that modulate recombinant botulinum neurotoxin light chain activity. High-throughput screening of 97088 compounds identified numerous small molecules that activate or inhibit metalloprotease activity. We describe four major classes of inhibitory compounds identified, detail their structure-activity relationships, and assess their relative inhibitory potency. A previously unreported chemotype in any context of enzyme inhibition is described with potent submicromolar inhibition (Ki = 200-300 nM). Additional detailed kinetic analyses and cellular cytotoxicity assays indicate the best compound from this series is a competitive inhibitor with cytotoxicity values around 4-5 μM. Given the potency and drug-like character of these lead compounds, further studies, including cellular activity assays and DMPK analysis, are justified. PMID:27314875

  13. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-11

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

  14. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-21

    Considerable research and development is underway to produce fuels from microalgae, one of several options being explored for increasing transportation fuel supplies and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This work models life-cycle GHG and on-site freshwater consumption for algal biofuels over a wide technology space, spanning both near- and long-term options. The environmental performance of algal biofuel production can vary considerably and is influenced by engineering, biological, siting, and land-use considerations. We have examined these considerations for open pond systems, to identify variables that have a strong influence on GHG and freshwater consumption. We conclude that algal biofuels can yield GHG reductions relative to fossil and other biobased fuels with the use of appropriate technology options. Further, freshwater consumption for algal biofuels produced using saline pond systems can be comparable to that of petroleum-derived fuels. PMID:22324757

  15. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The composition of lichen ecosystems except mycobiont and photobiont has not been evaluated intensively. In addition, recent studies to identify algal genotypes have raised questions about the specific relationship between mycobiont and photobiont. In the current study, we analyzed algal and fungal community structures in lichen species from King George Island, Antarctica, by pyrosequencing of eukaryotic large subunit (LSU) and algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) domains of the nuclear rRNA gene. The sequencing results of LSU and ITS regions indicated that each lichen thallus contained diverse algal species. The major algal operational taxonomic unit (OTU) defined at a 99% similarity cutoff of LSU sequences accounted for 78.7-100% of the total algal community in each sample. In several cases, the major OTUs defined by LSU sequences were represented by two closely related OTUs defined by 98% sequence similarity of ITS domain. The results of LSU sequences indicated that lichen-associated fungi belonged to the Arthoniomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes of the Ascomycota, and Tremellomycetes and Cystobasidiomycetes of the Basidiomycota. The composition of major photobiont species and lichen-associated fungal community were mostly related to the mycobiont species. The contribution of growth forms or substrates on composition of photobiont and lichen-associated fungi was not evident. PMID:25105247

  19. 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.

  20. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-10-01

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

  1. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

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

  2. Microflotation performance for algal separation.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  3. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution.

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Gaining ground: assays for therapeutics against botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Hakami, Ramin Mollaaghababa; Ruthel, Gordon; Stahl, Andrea M; Bavari, Sina

    2010-04-01

    Owing in part to recently heightened concern over bioterrorism, interest in the mechanism of action of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) and development of effective therapeutic strategies has dramatically increased. The emergence of BoNT as an effective treatment for a variety of neurological disorders and its growing use in the cosmetic industry have also increased interest in developing effective countermeasures. Although recent attempts to create effective vaccines appear promising, the multitude of clinical and cosmetic uses of BoNT make mass vaccination against the toxin undesirable and impractical, leading to intensified efforts to develop effective therapeutics to combat large-scale intoxications. In this review, we examine the relevant and available in vitro cell-based assays and in vivo assays for drug discovery and development, especially with regard to the potential for medium- to high-throughput automation and its use in identifying physiologically relevant inhibitors.

  10. Botulinum neurotoxin for pain management: insights from animal models.

    PubMed

    Pavone, Flaminia; Luvisetto, Siro

    2010-12-01

    The action of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) at the neuromuscular junction has been extensively investigated and knowledge gained in this field laid the foundation for the use of BoNTs in human pathologies characterized by excessive muscle contractions. Although much more is known about the action of BoNTs on the peripheral system, growing evidence has demonstrated several effects also at the central level. Pain conditions, with special regard to neuropathic and intractable pain, are some of the pathological states that have been recently treated with BoNTs with beneficial effects. The knowledge of the action and potentiality of BoNTs utilization against pain, with emphasis for its possible use in modulation and alleviation of chronic pain, still represents an outstanding challenge for experimental research. This review highlights recent findings on the effects of BoNTs in animal pain models.

  11. Complexity of botulinum neurotoxins: challenges for detection technology.

    PubMed

    Dorner, Martin B; Schulz, K Melanie; Kull, Skadi; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2013-01-01

    The detection of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) is extremely challenging due to their high toxicity and the multiple BoNT variants. To date, seven serotypes with more than 30 subtypes have been described, and even more subtypes are expected to be discovered. The fact that the BoNT molecules are released as large complexes of different size and composition adds further complexity to the issue. Currently, in the diagnostics of botulism, the mouse bioassay (MBA) is still considered as gold standard for the detection of BoNT in complex sample materials. Over the years, different functional, immunological, and spectrometric assays or combinations thereof have been developed, supplemented by DNA-based assays for the detection of the organism. In this review, advantages and limitations of the current technologies will be discussed, highlighting some of the intricacies of real sample analysis.

  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. Neurotoxins: Expanding Uses of Neuromodulators in Medicine--Headache.

    PubMed

    Nahabet, Edward; Janis, Jeffrey E; Guyuron, Bahman

    2015-11-01

    Over the course of the past 17 years, since the initial discovery of the association between botulinum toxin-A (BT-A) and the reduction of headache symptoms, the use of this neurotoxin has greatly evolved. BT-A has emerged as an alternative to prophylactic pharmacological therapies in the prevention of chronic migraine headaches, with an excellent safety profile and proven efficacy, and is Food and Drug Administration-approved for on-label use since October 2010. The mechanism of BT-A involves its effect at the neuromuscular junction, inhibition of neuropeptide and neurotransmitter release in peripheral sensory neurons, and retrograde axonal transport allowing for its direct effect on inhibiting central sensitization. Through its diagnostic and therapeutic utility, BT-A has proven to be an integral part in the treatment of chronic headache disorders.

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  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. 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.

  18. Insights into the different catalytic activities of Clostridium neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Karalewitz, Andrew P A; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2012-05-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins are among the most potent protein toxins for humans and are responsible for botulism, a flaccid paralysis elicited by the botulinum toxins (BoNT), and spastic paralysis elicited by tetanus toxin (TeNT). Seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) and tetanus toxin showed different toxicities and cleave their substrates with different efficiencies. However, the molecular basis of their different catalytic activities with respect to their substrates is not clear. BoNT/B light chain (LC/B) and TeNT light chain (LC/T) cleave vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2) at the same scissile bond but possess different catalytic activities and substrate requirements, which make them the best candidates for studying the mechanisms of their different catalytic activities. The recognition of five major P sites of VAMP2 (P7, P6, P1, P1', and P2') and fine alignment of sites P2 and P3 and sites P2 and P4 by LC/B and LC/T, respectively, contributed to their substrate recognition and catalysis. Significantly, we found that the S1 pocket mutation LC/T(K(168)E) increased the rate of native VAMP2 cleavage so that it approached the rate of LC/B, which explains the molecular basis for the lower k(cat) that LC/T possesses for VAMP2 cleavage relative to that of LC/B. This analysis explains the molecular basis underlying the VAMP2 recognition and cleavage by LC/B and LC/T and provides insight that may extend the pharmacologic utility of these neurological reagents.

  19. Inhibition of presynaptic neurotoxins in taipan venom by suramin.

    PubMed

    Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Smith, A Ian; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-04-01

    Taipans are amongst the most venomous snakes in the world, and neurotoxicity is a major life-threatening symptom of envenoming by these snakes. Three species of taipans exist, and the venom from each species contains a presynaptic neurotoxin which accounts for much of the neurotoxicity observed following human envenoming. The high cost of antivenom used to treat neurotoxicity has resulted in the need to develop alternative but effective therapies. Therefore, in this study, we examined the ability of the P2Y receptor antagonist suramin to prevent the in vitro neurotoxic effects of the three presynaptic neurotoxins in taipan venoms: taipoxin, paradoxin and cannitoxin. Toxins were purchased from commercial sources or purified in house, using multiple steps of gel filtration chromatography. All three toxins (11 nM) inhibited nerve-mediated twitches in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation within 300 min. The presence of suramin (0.3 mM) completely blocked the taipoxin and cannitoxin-mediated inhibition of nerve-mediated twitches within the course of the experiment (P < 0.0001). However, paradoxin induced a 32 % decrease in twitch height even in the presence of suramin within 360 min. This was significantly different compared to toxin alone (P < 0.0001). We also examined the effect of suramin on the neurotoxic effects of textilotoxin and the products of phospholipase A2 action. Each toxin alone or in the presence of suramin failed to inhibit the responses to exogenous agonists ACh, CCh or KCl. Our results warrant clinical studies aimed determining the efficacy of suramin in preventing the onset of neurotoxicity following taipan envenoming.

  20. The long journey of botulinum neurotoxins into the synapse.

    PubMed

    Rummel, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) cause the disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. They are also very effective, widely used medicines applied locally in sub-nanogram quantities. BoNTs are released together with several non-toxic, associated proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PCT) by Clostridium botulinum to become highly potent oral poisons ingested via contaminated food. They block the neurotransmission in susceptible animals and humans already in nanogram quantities due to their specific ability to enter motoneurons and to cleave only selected neuronal proteins involved in neuroexocytosis. BoNTs have developed a sophisticated strategy to passage the gastrointestinal tract and to be absorbed in the intestine of the host to finally attack neurons. A non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) forms a binary complex with BoNT to protect it from gastrointestinal degradation. This binary M-PTC is one component of the bi-modular 14-subunit ∼760 kDa large progenitor toxin complex. The other component is the structurally and functionally independent dodecameric hemagglutinin (HA) complex which facilitates the absorption on the intestinal epithelium by glycan binding. Subsequent to its transcytosis the HA complex disrupts the tight junction of the intestinal barrier from the basolateral side by binding to E-cadherin. Now, the L-PTC can also enter the circulation by paracellular routes in much larger quantities. From here, the dissociated BoNTs reach the neuromuscular junction and accumulate via interaction with polysialo gangliosides, complex glycolipids, on motoneurons at the neuromuscular junction. Subsequently, additional specific binding to luminal segments of synaptic vesicles proteins like SV2 and synaptotagmin leads to their uptake. Finally, the neurotoxins shut down the synaptic vesicle cycle, which they had exploited before to enter their target cells, via specific cleavage of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Phylogenetic placement of "zoochlorellae" (Chlorophyta), algal symbiont of the temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Louise A; Muller-Parker, Gisèle

    2004-10-01

    At northern latitudes the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima and its congener A. xanthogrammica contain unidentified green chlorophytes (zoochlorellae) in addition to dinophytes belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. This dual algal symbiosis, involving members of distinct algal phyla in one host, has been extensively studied from the perspective of the ecological and energetic consequences of hosting one symbiotic type over the other. However, the identity of the green algal symbiont has remained elusive. We determined the phylogenetic position of the marine zoochlorellae inhabiting A. elegantissima by comparing sequence data from two cellular compartments, the nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene region and the plastid-encoded rbcL gene. The results support the inclusion of these zoochlorellae in a clade of green algae that form symbioses with animal (Anthopleura elegantissima), fungal (the lichen genus Nephroma), and seed plant (Ginkgo) partners. This clade is distinct from the Chlorella symbionts of Hydra. The phylogenetic diversity of algal hosts observed in this clade indicates a predisposition for this group of algae to participate in symbioses. An integrative approach to the study of these algae, both within the host and in culture, should yield important clues about how algae become symbionts in other organisms. PMID:15501850

  4. 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. PMID:16042112

  5. 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

  6. Characterization of the binding of the Ptychodiscus brevis neurotoxin T17 to sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Poli, M.A.

    1985-01-01

    The lipid-soluble polyether neurotoxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) have been determined to bind to a unique receptor site associated with the voltage-sensitive sodium channel in rat brain synaptosomes. Reduction of the C/sub 42/ aldehyde function of T34 to the alcohol function of T17 using NaB/sup 3/H/sub 4/ yielded /sup 3/H-T17 with a specific activity of 15 Ci;/mmol. Using this specific probe, binding to sodium channels was measured at 4/sup 0/CC, 22/sup 0/C, and 37/sup 0/C. Rosenthal analysis of the binding data yielded a K/sub d/ of 2.9 nM and B/sub max/ of 6.8 pmoles /sup 3/H-T17 per mg of synaptosomal protein at 4/sup 0/C. Both K/sub d/ and B/sub max/ were found to be temperature dependent. Depolarization of the synaptosomes by osmotic lysis resulted in the loss of 34% of the available receptor sites, with no decrease in binding affinity. Unlabeled T17, T34, and synthetic T17 (reduced T34) were equipotent in their ability to displace /sup 3/H-T17 from its specific receptor site. Competition experiments using natural toxin probes specific for sites I-IV on the voltage-sensitive sodium channel demonstrate that /sup 3/H-T17 does not bind to any of the previously-described neurotoxin receptor sites. A fifth site is proposed.

  7. 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. PMID:12056805

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-07-14

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

  11. Ultrastructural confirmation of neuronal protection by melatonin against the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine cell damage.

    PubMed

    Mayo, J C; Sainz, R M; Antolín, I; Rodriguez, C

    1999-02-13

    6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is a neurotoxin used in the induction of experimental Parkinson's disease in both animals and cultured neuronal cells. Biochemical and molecular approaches showed previously that low doses of 6-OHDA induced apoptosis in PC12 cells, while high doses of this neurotoxin induced necrosis. Melatonin has been shown to protect against the neuronal programmed cell death induced by 6-OHDA, although it was not able to prevent the massive necrotic cellular death occurring after the addition of high doses of the neurotoxin. In the present work, we demonstrate by ultrastructural analysis that although low doses of 6-OHDA induced apoptosis in PC12 cells, it also damaged the non-apoptotic cells, morphologically corresponding this damage to incipient and reversible necrotic lesions. When the doses of the neurotoxin increase, there are still apoptotic cells, although most of the cells show necrotic irreversible lesions. We also found that melatonin partially prevents the incipient necrotic lesions caused by low doses of 6-OHDA. The fact that melatonin was shown in previous work to prevent apoptosis caused by low doses of 6-OHDA, but not necrosis induced by high doses of the neurotoxin, seemed to indicate that this agent is only able to protect against apoptosis. However, our present results, melatonin preventing also the incipient necrotic neuronal lesions, suggest that this hormone may provide a general protection against cell death, suggesting that higher doses should be tried in order to prevent the necrotic cell death induced by high doses of the neurotoxin.

  12. 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.

  13. Discovery of Nuclear-Encoded Genes for the Neurotoxin Saxitoxin in Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Stüken, Anke; Orr, Russell J. S.; Kellmann, Ralf; Murray, Shauna A.; Neilan, Brett A.; Jakobsen, Kjetill S.

    2011-01-01

    Saxitoxin is a potent neurotoxin that occurs in aquatic environments worldwide. Ingestion of vector species can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning, a severe human illness that may lead to paralysis and death. In freshwaters, the toxin is produced by prokaryotic cyanobacteria; in marine waters, it is associated with eukaryotic dinoflagellates. However, several studies suggest that saxitoxin is not produced by dinoflagellates themselves, but by co-cultured bacteria. Here, we show that genes required for saxitoxin synthesis are encoded in the nuclear genomes of dinoflagellates. We sequenced >1.2×106 mRNA transcripts from the two saxitoxin-producing dinoflagellate strains Alexandrium fundyense CCMP1719 and A. minutum CCMP113 using high-throughput sequencing technology. In addition, we used in silico transcriptome analyses, RACE, qPCR and conventional PCR coupled with Sanger sequencing. These approaches successfully identified genes required for saxitoxin-synthesis in the two transcriptomes. We focused on sxtA, the unique starting gene of saxitoxin synthesis, and show that the dinoflagellate transcripts of sxtA have the same domain structure as the cyanobacterial sxtA genes. But, in contrast to the bacterial homologs, the dinoflagellate transcripts are monocistronic, have a higher GC content, occur in multiple copies, contain typical dinoflagellate spliced-leader sequences and eukaryotic polyA-tails. Further, we investigated 28 saxitoxin-producing and non-producing dinoflagellate strains from six different genera for the presence of genomic sxtA homologs. Our results show very good agreement between the presence of sxtA and saxitoxin-synthesis, except in three strains of A. tamarense, for which we amplified sxtA, but did not detect the toxin. Our work opens for possibilities to develop molecular tools to detect saxitoxin-producing dinoflagellates in the environment. PMID:21625593

  14. SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL COMPARISON OF ALGAL BIODIVERSITY AND BENTHIC COVER AT GARDNER PINNACLES, NORTHWESTERN HAWAI`IAN ISLANDS(1).

    PubMed

    Vroom, Peter S; Timmers, Molly A V

    2009-04-01

    Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands is the second largest marine protected area in the world, providing an opportunity for scientists to understand natural ecosystem fluctuations in subtropical marine communities with little anthropogenic impact. Gardner Pinnacles is composed of two emergent basaltic rocks and has the smallest land area of any island in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Island chain but has among the largest submerged reef area. Gardner Pinnacles is also among the least anthropogenically impacted island in the Hawai`ian Archipelago, although a thriving lobster and bottomfish industry existed in the area for many years. This study assesses nearshore algal biodiversity and percent cover at Gardner Pinnacles to examine interannual differences in community dynamics and places them in an ecosystem context by also examining associated invertebrate and fish communities. Biodiversity surveys increased the number of known eukaryotic algal species occurring in marine environments immediately adjacent to the emergent portion of Gardner Pinnacles from 31 to 77. Algal percent cover, specifically populations of the green alga Microdictyon setchellianum M. Howe, varied dramatically between sampling years, possibly in response to seasonal differences. Towed-diver surveys revealed that macroalgae covered >90% of the substrate during the 2003 sampling period but returned to 2000 levels (1%-35% cover) by 2004 without any detectable damage to other reef organisms. Fish communities remained statistically similar between sampling years, and percent cover of live coral around the island did not exceed 7%.

  15. 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

    2010-01-01

    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.

  16. Ultraviolet radiation dose calculation for algal suspensions using UVA and UVB extinction coefficients.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Enrique; Muñiz, Selene; Korkaric, Muris; Wagner, Bettina; de Cáceres, Miquel; Behra, Renata

    2014-03-01

    Although the biological importance of ultraviolet light (UVR) attenuation has been recognised in marine and freshwater environments, it is not generally considered in in vitro ecotoxicological studies using algal cell suspensions. In this study, UVA and UVB extinction were determined for cultures of algae with varying cell densities, and the data were used to calculate the corresponding extinction coefficients for both UVA and UVB wavelength ranges. Integrating the Beer-Lambert equation to account for changes in the radiation intensity reaching each depth, from the surface until the bottom of the experimental vessel, we obtained the average UVA and UVB intensity to which the cultured algal cells were exposed. We found that UVR intensity measured at the surface of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cultures lead to a overestimation of the UVR dose received by the algae by 2-40 times. The approach used in this study allowed for a more accurate estimation of UVA and UVB doses. PMID:24607609

  17. Spectral modeling for the identification and quantification of algal blooms: A test of approach

    SciTech Connect

    Malthus, T.J.; Grieve, L.; Harwar, M.D.

    1997-06-01

    The aim of this paper is to develop and test a Monte Carlo modelling approach for the characterization of reflectance for different bloom-forming marine phytoplankton species. The model was tested on optical data for four species (Dunaliella salina, Pavlova pinguis, Emiliania huxleyi and Synechocystes spp.) and simulations performed over a range of chlorophyll concentrations. Discriminant analysis identified 10 key wavelengths which could be used to maximize the separation between the four species. The resulting wavelengths were combined in a neural network to show 100% accuracy in classifying species type. Further simulations were undertaken to investigate the effect of aquatic humus on reflectance characteristics and the change in wavelengths for algal discrimination. The implications for the development of algorithms for the identification of algal bloom species type by remote sensing are briefly discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. Update on neurotoxins for facial rejuvenation: what they are, how they work, and how to effectively and safely use them.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Connie

    2015-01-01

    The formal aesthetic introduction of botulinum toxin (i.e., neurotoxins) more than a decade ago has revolutionized the nonsurgical aesthetic market and transformed society's view of facial rejuvenation. Understanding the similarities and differences between U.S. commercially available neurotoxins, their characteristics and composition, where they are effective, their mechanism of action, and how to safely administer them will enable the aesthetic provider to successfully utilize this powerful tool and ultimately deliver optimal facial rejuvenation outcomes. An update on neurotoxins on the horizon is also provided. Please note that this article discusses neurotoxin use in treatment areas that are considered "off label" by the Food and Drug Administration.

  20. Norwegian remote sensing spectrometry for mapping and monitoring of algal blooms and pollution - NORSMAP-89

    SciTech Connect

    Pettersson, L.H.; Johannessen, O.M.; Frette, O. )

    1990-01-09

    During the late spring of 1988 an extensive bloom of the toxic algae Chrysocromulina polylepis occurred in the Skagerrak region influencing most life in the upper 30 meter of the ocean. The algal front was advected northward with the Norwegian Coastal Current along the coast of southern Norway, where it became a severe threat to the Norwegian seafarming industry. An ad-hoc expert team was established to monitor and forecast the movement of the algae front. Remote sensing of sea surface temperature from the operational US NOAA satellites monitored the movement of the algal front, consistent with a warm ocean front. The lack of any optical remote sensing instrumentation was recognized as a major de-efficiency during this algal bloom. To prepare for similar events in the future Nansen Remote Sensing Center initiated a three week pilot study in the Oslofjord and Skagerrak region, during May 1989. The Canadian Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) was installed in the surveillance aircraft. Extensive in situ campaigns was also carried out by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and Institute of Marine Research. A ship-borne non-imaging spectrometer was operated from the vessels participating in the field campaign. As a contribution from a joint campaign (EISAC '89) between the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Community and the European Space Agency (ESA) both the Canadian Fluorescence Line Imager (FLI) and the US 64-channel GER scanner was operated simultaneously at the NORSMAP 89 test site. Regions of different biological and physical conditions were covered during the pilot study and preliminary analysis are obtained from oil slicks, suspended matter from river, as well as minor algal bloom. The joint analysis of the data collected during the NORSMAP 89 campaign and conclussions will be presented, as well as suggestions for future utilization of airborne spectroscopy systems for operational monitoring of algal bloom and water pollution.

  1. Using hyperspectral imagery to monitor algal persence

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-08-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions. PMID:21977667

  4. Identification of the amino acid residues rendering TI-VAMP insensitive toward botulinum neurotoxin B.

    PubMed

    Sikorra, Stefan; Henke, Tina; Swaminathan, Subramanyam; Galli, Thierry; Binz, Thomas

    2006-03-24

    Botulinum neurotoxins types B, D, F, and G, and tetanus neurotoxin inhibit vesicular fusion via proteolytic cleavage of VAMP/Synaptobrevin, a core component of the membrane fusion machinery. Thus, these neurotoxins became widely used tools for investigating vesicular trafficking routes. Except for VAMP-1, VAMP-2, and Cellubrevin, no other member of the VAMP family represents a substrate for these neurotoxins. The molecular basis for this discrepancy is not known. A 34 amino acid residue segment of VAMP-2 was previously suggested to mediate the interaction with botulinum neurotoxin B, but the validity of the data was later questioned. To check whether this segment alone controls the susceptibility toward botulinum neurotoxin B, it was used to replace the corresponding segment in TI-VAMP. The resulting VAMP hybrid and VAMP-2 were hydrolysed at virtually identical rates. Resetting the VAMP-2 portion in the hybrid from either end to TI-VAMP residues gradually reduced the cleavability. A hybrid encompassing merely the VAMP-2 segment 71-80 around the Gln76/Phe77 scissile bond was still hydrolysed, albeit at a approximately tenfold lower cleavage rate. The contribution of each non-conserved amino acid of the whole 34-mer segment to the interaction was investigated employing VAMP-2. We find that the eight non-conserved residues of the 71-80 segment are all necessary for efficient cleavage. Mutation of an additional six residues located upstream and downstream of this segment affects substrate hydrolysis as well. Vice versa, a readily cleavable TI-VAMP molecule requires at the least the replacement of Ile158, Thr161, and the section 165-174 by Asp64, Ala67, and the 71-80 segment of VAMP-2, respectively. However, the insensitivity of TI-VAMP to botulinum neurotoxin B relies on at least 12 amino acid changes versus VAMP-2. These are scattered along an interface of 22 amino acid residues in length.

  5. Use of pharmacologic antagonists to deduce commonalities of biologic activity among clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Simpson, L L

    1988-06-01

    The pharmacologic activity of several clostridial neurotoxins was assayed on the mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation. The substances that were assayed included botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, C and E and tetanus toxin. Experiments were done in the presence or absence of antagonists that inhibit either the internalization of toxins or intracellular expression of toxicity. Ammonium chloride and methylamine hydrochloride, agents that inhibit toxins that enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, antagonized botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins. The magnitude of antagonism was substantial for all toxins. Calcium, 3,4-diaminopyridine and guanidine, agents that alter the intracellular expression of toxicity, produced a variable result. They were effective antagonists of botulinum neurotoxin type A, but they were less effective or inactive against the other neurotoxins. The ability of 3,4-diaminopyridine and guanidine to antagonize botulinum neurotoxin type A was highly calcium dependent. When ambient levels of the cation were reduced from 1.8 to 1.0 mM, the activity of the drugs was substantially reduced. The ability of these drugs to produce antagonism was also time dependent. When added simultaneously with toxin, they were maximally active; when added at later times, activity was diminished. A host of agents that alter intracellular levels of cyclic AMP, including theophylline, forskolin, isobutylmethylxanthine and cholera toxin, were evaluated as potential neurotoxin antagonists. Theophylline and isobutylmethylxanthine produced a transient increase in nerve-evoked muscle twitch. None of the drugs that alter tissue levels of cyclic AMP had a universal effect in antagonizing clostridial toxins. The data here have been compared with published data on drugs that antagonize binding of botulinum toxin and tetanus toxin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2455038

  6. 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

  7. Botulinum neurotoxins in the treatment of refractory pain.

    PubMed

    Jabbari, Bahman

    2008-12-01

    The proper management of pain is a critical issue in the practice of medicine. Despite the availability of a large number of analgesic medications, management of pain that is refractory to conventional treatments remains a challenge for both clinicians and surgeons. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has recently emerged as a potential novel approach to control pain. Animal studies have revealed a number of mechanisms by which BoNTs can influence and alleviate chronic pain, including inhibition of pain peptide release from nerve terminals and sensory ganglia, anti-inflammatory and antiglutaminergic effects, reduction of sympathetic neural discharge, and inhibition of muscle spindle discharge. In humans, prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have also provided evidence for effectiveness of BoNT therapy in a number of painful disorders. These include cervical dystonia, pelvic pain, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, postsurgical painful spasms, myofascial pain syndromes, migraine, and chronic daily headaches. Long-term studies on cervical dystonia and low back pain have demonstrated safety and sustained efficacy after repeated injections. This Review focuses on the analgesic effects of BoNT and the mechanisms of its pain control as revealed by animal models, and provides evidence-based data on the efficacy of BoNT therapy in various pain syndromes in humans. PMID:19043424

  8. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Protease Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bing; Pai, Ramdas; Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Peet, Norton P.; Moir, Donald T.; Bavari, Sina; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2010-01-01

    NSC 240898 was previously identified as a botulinum neurotoxin A light chain (BoNT/A LC) endopeptidase inhibitor by screening the National Cancer Institute Open Repository diversity set. Two types of analogs have been synthesized and shown to inhibit BoNT/A LC in a FRET-based enzyme assay, with confirmation in an HPLC-based assay. These two series of compounds have also been evaluated for inhibition of anthrax lethal factor (LF), an unrelated metalloprotease, to examine enzyme specificity of the BoNT/A LC inhibition. The most potent inhibitor against BoNT/A LC in these two series is compound 12 (IC50 = 2.5 µM, FRET assay), which is 4.4-fold more potent than the lead structure, and 11.2-fold more selective for BoNT/A LC versus the anthrax LF metalloproteinase. Structure-activity relationship studies have revealed structural features important to potency and enzyme specificity. PMID:20155918

  9. 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.

  10. The blockade of the neurotransmitter release apparatus by botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Pantano, Sergio; Montecucco, Cesare

    2014-03-01

    The high toxicity of the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A to G), together with their specificity and reversibility, includes them in the list A of potential bioterrorism weapons and, at the same time, among the therapeutics of choice for a variety of human syndromes. They invade nerve terminals and cleave specifically the three proteins which form the heterotrimeric SNAP REceptors (SNARE) complex that mediates neurotransmitter release. The BoNT-induced cleavage of the SNARE proteins explains by itself the paralysing activity of the BoNTs because the truncated proteins cannot form the SNARE complex. However, in the case of BoNT/A, the most widely used toxin in therapy, additional factors come into play as it only removes a few residues from the synaptosomal associate protein of 25 kDa C-terminus and this results in a long duration of action. To explain these facts and other experimental data, we present here a model for the assembly of the neuroexocytosis apparatus in which Synaptotagmin and Complexin first assist the zippering of the SNARE complex, and then stabilize and clamp an octameric radial assembly of the SNARE complexes.

  11. Synaptic vesicle proteins: targets and routes for botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Ahnert-Hilger, Gudrun; Münster-Wandowski, Agnieszka; Höltje, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles (SV) are key organelles of neuronal communication. SV are responsible for the storage of neurotransmitters, which are released by Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis. After release and interaction with postsynaptic receptors, transmitters rapidly diffuse out of the synaptic cleft and are sequestered by plasma membrane transporters (in some cases following enzymatic conversion). SVs undergo endocytosis and are refilled by specific vesicular transmitter transporters different in the various neuronal subtypes. Besides these differences, SVs in general are equipped with a remarkable common set of proteins. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release from almost all types of neurons by cleaving proteins required for membrane fusion localized either to SVs (synaptobrevin) or to the plasma membrane (SNAP-25 and syntaxin) depending on the BoNT serotype. To enter the neuronal cytoplasm, BoNTs specifically interact with the luminal domain of SV proteins (synaptotagmin or SV2, depending on serotype) transiently exposed during exocytotic membrane fusion and occurring in almost every neuron. Thus, the highly specific interaction with luminal domains of SV proteins commonly expressed on all SV types is one reason why BoNTs exhibit such a high neuronal specificity but attack almost every neuron type.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sequence characterization of a novel alpha-neurotoxin from the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    PubMed

    Chang, C C; Huang, T Y; Kuo, K W; Chen, S W; Huang, K F; Chiou, S H

    1993-02-26

    Several postsynaptic neurotoxins (alpha-neurotoxins) with distinct pharmacological and biochemical properties were isolated and purified from the King cobra venom (Ophiophagus hannah) by employing sequentially preparative-scale cation-exchange chromatography on SP-Sephadex C-25 coupled with gel filtration and reversed-phase HPLC. The complete sequence of one neurotoxin was determined by N-terminal Edman degradation with the automatic pulsed-liquid phase sequencer on some peptide fragments generated from the endopeptidases, i.e. trypsin, S. aureus V8 protease and lysyl endopeptidase. This novel neurotoxin is a basic polypeptide of pI 9.05, consisting of 72 amino-acid residues with 10 cysteine residues. It is found to share about 60% sequence homology with Toxins a and b isolated from the same venom and the well established alpha-bungarotoxin, a major postsynaptic toxic ligand for acetylcholine receptor isolated from Bungarus multicinctus. The characterized alpha-neurotoxin molecules were also shown to bind specifically with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the electric eel, Torpedo californica.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:20071329

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Improved algal harvesting using suspended air flotation.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Antibody protection against botulinum neurotoxin intoxication in mice.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Luisa W; Stanker, Larry H; Henderson, Thomas D; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D

    2009-10-01

    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 serotype A (BoNT/A), based on monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) F1-2 and F1-40, has been developed and used in complex matrices. The epitope for F1-2 has been mapped to the heavy chain of BoNT/A, and the epitope of F1-40 has been mapped to the light chain. The ability of these MAbs to provide therapeutic protection against BoNT/A intoxication in mouse intravenous and oral intoxication models was tested. High dosages of individual MAbs protected mice well both pre- and postexposure to BoNT/A holotoxin. A combination therapy consisting of antibodies against both the light and heavy chains of the toxin, however, significantly increased protection, even at a lower MAb dosage. An in vitro peptide assay for measuring toxin activity showed that pretreatment of toxin with these MAbs did not block catalytic activity but instead blocked toxin entry into primary and cultured neuronal cells. The timing of antibody rescue in the mouse intoxication models revealed windows of opportunity for antibody therapeutic treatment that correlated well with the biologic half-life of the toxin in the serum. Knowledge of BoNT intoxication and antibody clearance in these mouse models and understanding of the pharmacokinetics of BoNT are invaluable for future development of antibodies and therapeutics against intoxication by BoNT.

  2. Proconvulsant actions of intrahippocampal botulinum neurotoxin B in the rat.

    PubMed

    Bröer, S; Zolkowska, D; Gernert, M; Rogawski, M A

    2013-11-12

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) may affect the excitability of brain circuits by inhibiting neurotransmitter release at central synapses. There is evidence that local delivery of BoNT serotypes A and E, which target SNAP-25, a component of the release machinery specific to excitatory synapses, can inhibit seizure generation. BoNT serotype B (BoNT/B) targets VAMP2, which is expressed in both excitatory and inhibitory terminals. Here we assessed the effects of unilateral intrahippocampal infusion of BoNT/B in the rat on intravenous pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) seizure thresholds, and on the expression of spontaneous behavioral and electrographic seizures. Infusion of BoNT/B (500 and 1,000 unit) by convection-enhanced delivery caused a reduction in myoclonic twitch and clonic seizure thresholds in response to intravenous PTZ beginning about 6 days after the infusion. Handling-evoked and spontaneous convulsive seizures were observed in many BoNT/B-treated animals but not in vehicle-treated controls. Spontaneous electrographic seizure discharges were recorded in the dentate gyrus of animals that received local BoNT/B infusion. In addition, there was an increased frequency of interictal epileptiform spikes and sharp waves at the same recording site. BoNT/B-treated animals also exhibited tactile hyperresponsivity in comparison with vehicle-treated controls. This is the first demonstration that BoNT/B causes a delayed proconvulsant action when infused into the hippocampus. Local infusion of BoNT/B could be useful as a focal epilepsy model.

  3. Botulinum neurotoxins and botulism: a novel therapeutic approach.

    PubMed

    Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2011-05-01

    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 (V(H)H) that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/V(H)H phage display library. The V(H)H 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 V(H)H and the toxin but also an insertion of the V(H)H CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the V(H)H to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP), the CPP-V(H)H 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Calpains participate in nerve terminal degeneration induced by spider and snake presynaptic neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Duregotti, Elisa; Tedesco, Erik; Montecucco, Cesare; Rigoni, Michela

    2013-03-15

    α-latrotoxin and snake presynaptic phospholipases A2 neurotoxins target the presynaptic membrane of axon terminals of the neuromuscular junction causing paralysis. These neurotoxins display different biochemical activities, but similarly alter the presynaptic membrane permeability causing Ca(2+) overload within the nerve terminals, which in turn induces nerve degeneration. Using different methods, here we show that the calcium-activated proteases calpains are involved in the cytoskeletal rearrangements that we have previously documented in neurons exposed to α-latrotoxin or to snake presynaptic phospholipases A2 neurotoxins. These results indicate that calpains, activated by the massive calcium influx from the extracellular medium, target fundamental components of neuronal cytoskeleton such as spectrin and neurofilaments, whose cleavage is functional to the ensuing nerve terminal fragmentation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Three-finger snake neurotoxins and Ly6 proteins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: pharmacological tools and endogenous modulators.

    PubMed

    Tsetlin, Victor I

    2015-02-01

    Snake venom neurotoxins and lymphocyte antigen 6 (Ly6) proteins, most of the latter being membrane tethered by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, have a variety of biological activities, but their three-finger (3F) folding combines them in one Ly6/neurotoxin family. Subsets of two groups, represented by α-neurotoxins and Lynx1, respectively, interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and, hence, are of therapeutic interest for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, pain, and cancer. Information on the mechanisms of action and 3D structure of the binding sites, which is required for drug design, is available from the 3D structure of α-neurotoxin complexes with nAChR models. Here, I compare the structural and functional features of α-neurotoxins versus Lynx1 and its homologs to get a clearer picture of Lynx1-nAChR interactions that is necessary for fundamental science and practical applications.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Prevention of paralytic neurotoxin action on voltage-sensitive sodium channels. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Catterall, W.A.

    1993-10-11

    This final report summarizes the conclusions from research in the first half of this contract that was presented in detail in the midterm report, presents a detailed description of the research carried out in the second half of this contract, and, where appropriate proposes potentially fruitful directions for future research on the mechanisms of action of paralytic neurotoxins and on approaches to prevention of their action. The presentation is organized in sequence according to the ten Tasks undertaken as proposed in the original contract. Sections describing Experimental Procedures, Results, Discussion, and Figures are presented for each Task undertaken. RA I, Lab animals, Rats, Rabbits, Synthetic peptides, Neurotoxins, Sodium channels, Receptor sites.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:24874081

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23992682

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Algal populations controlled by fish herbivory across a wave exposure gradient on southern temperate shores.

    PubMed

    Taylor, David I; Schiel, David R

    2010-01-01

    Consumers that forage across habitats can affect communities by altering the abundance and distribution of key species. In marine communities, studies of trophic interactions have generally focused on the effects of herbivorous and predatory invertebrates on benthic algae and mussel populations. However, large mobile consumers that move across habitats, such as fishes, can strongly affect community dynamics through consumption of habitat-dominating species, but their effects often vary over environmental gradients. On temperate rocky shores, herbivorous fishes are generally a small part of the fish fauna compared to the tropics, and there is sparse evidence that they play a major direct role in algal community dynamics, particularly of large brown algae that dominate many reefs. In New Zealand, however, a wide-ranging herbivorous fish, Odax pullus, feeds exclusively on macroalgae, including Durvillaea antarctica, a large low-intertidal fucoid reaching 10 m in length and 70 kg in mass. In four experiments we tested the extent of fish herbivory and how it was affected by algal canopy structure across a gradient of wave exposure at multiple sites. Exclusion experiments showed that fish impacts greatly reduced the cover and biomass of Durvillaea and that these effects decreased with increasing wave stress and algal canopy cover, effectively restricting the alga to exposed conditions. Almost all plants were entirely removed by fish where there was a sparse algal canopy in sheltered and semi-exposed sites, but there was significantly less grazing in exposed sites. Recruit Durvillaea beneath canopies were less affected by fish grazing, but they grew slowly. Successful natural recruitment, therefore, occurred almost exclusively on exposed shores outside canopies where many plants escaped severe grazing, and growth to maturity was far greater than elsewhere. Such large and direct impacts on the local and regional distribution of large brown algal populations by mobile

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Clinical differences between botulinum neurotoxin type A and B.

    PubMed

    Bentivoglio, Anna Rita; Del Grande, Alessandra; Petracca, Martina; Ialongo, Tamara; Ricciardi, Lucia

    2015-12-01

    In humans, the therapeutic use of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) is well recognized and continuously expanding. Four BoNTs are widely available for clinical practice: three are serotype A and one is serotype B: onabotulinumtoxinA (A/Ona), abobotulinumtoxinA (A/Abo) and incobotulinumtoxinA (A/Inco), rimabotulinumtoxinB (B/Rima). A/Abo, A/Inco, A/Ona and B/Rima are all licensed worldwide for cervical dystonia. In addition, the three BoNT/A products are approved for blepharospasm and focal dystonias, spasticity, hemifacial spasm, hyperhidrosis and facial lines, with remarkable regional differences. These toxin brands differ for specific activity, packaging, constituents, excipient, and storage. Comparative literature assessing the relative safety and efficacy of different BoNT products is limited, most data come from reports on small samples, and only a few studies meet criteria of evidence-based medicine. One study compared the effects of BoNT/A and BoNT/B on muscle activity of healthy volunteers, showing similar neurophysiological effects with a dose ratio of 1:100. In cervical dystonia, when comparing the effects of BoNT/A and BoNT/B, results are more variable, some studies reporting roughly similar peak effect and overall duration (at a ratio of 1:66, others reporting substantially shorter duration of BoNT/B than BoNT/A (at a ratio 1/24). Although the results of clinical studies are difficult to compare for methodological differences (dose ratio, study design, outcome measures), it is widely accepted that: BoNT/B is clinically effective using appropriate doses as BoNT/A (1:40-50), injections are generally more painful, in most of the studies on muscular conditions, efficacy is shorter, and immunogenicity higher. Since the earliest clinical trials, it has been reported that autonomic side effects are more frequent after BoNT/B injections, and this observation encouraged the use of BoNT/B for sialorrhea, hyperhidrosis and other non-motor symptoms. In these

  9. 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.

  10. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine algal toxins are extremely toxic and can represent a major health problem to humans and animals. Temperature regulation is one of many processes to be affected by exposure to these toxins. Mice and rats become markedly hypothermic when subjected to acute exposure to the ma...

  11. 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…

  12. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non-toxic derivatives of Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) have potential use as neuron-targeting delivery vehicles, and as reagents to study intracellular trafficking. We have designed and expressed an atoxic derivative of BoNT/A (BoNT/A ad) as a full-length 150kDa molecule consisting of a 50 kDa lig...

  13. Correcting age-related changes in the face by use of injectable fillers and neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Mark G; Cox, Sue Ellen; Kaminer, Michael S; Solish, Nowell

    2014-06-01

    Many patients seeking rejuvenation treatment have readily apparent age-related changes in facial features. Others exhibit more subtle changes that nonetheless can be corrected to achieve a more youthful appearance. In the following article, four specialists in aesthetic dermatology discuss how injectable hyaluronic acid-based fillers and neurotoxins can achieve rejuvenation without surgery.

  14. A monoclonal antibody based capture ELISA for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B: toxin detection in food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalyic disease caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We repo...

  15. Inhibiting oral intoxication of botulinum neurotoxin A by carbohydrate receptor mimics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism manifested by flaccid paralysis that could be fatal to humans and animals. Oral ingestion of the toxin with contaminated food is one of the most common routes of BoNT intoxication, where BoNT assembles with several auxiliary proteins to surviv...

  16. Rapid microfluidic assay for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin in animal sera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potent botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) represent a threat to public health and safety. Botulism is a disease caused by BoNT intoxication that results in muscle paralysis that can be fatal. Sensitive assays capable of detecting BoNTs from different substrates and settings are essential to limit f...

  17. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxins and associated proteins across intestinal epithelial cells(Abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins(BoNTs)secreted by Clostridium botulinum are some of the most poisonous toxins in nature and considered to be major bioterrorism threats. To date, seven BoNT subtypes (A to G) have been identified. When secreted from bacteria, some BoNTs associate with a non-toxic, non hemagglu...

  18. Use of monoclonal antibodies in the sensitive detection and neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are some of nature’s most potent toxins. Due to potential food contamination and bioterrorism concerns, the development of detection reagents, therapeutics and countermeasures are of urgent interest. Recently, we have developed sensitive electrochemiluminescent (ECL) i...

  19. Complete Assignment of (1)H-NMR Resonances of the King Cobra Neurotoxin CM-11.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yu-Xi; Liu, Wei-Dong; Liu, Ai-Zhuo; Pei, Feng-Kui

    1997-01-01

    The king cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah) neurotoxin CM-Il is long-chain peptide with 72 amino acid residues. Its complete assignment of (1)H-NMR resonances was obtained using various 2D-NMR technologies, including DQF-COSY, clean-TOCSY and NOESY.

  20. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) bioassay for visceral toxicosis of catfish and botulinum neurotoxin serotype E

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Visceral toxicosis of catfish (VTC), a sporadic disease of cultured channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) often with high mortality, is caused by botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E). Presumptive diagnosis of VTC is based on characteristic clinical signs and lesions, and the production of these ...

  1. Structure of a bimodular botulinum neurotoxin complex provides insights into its oral toxicity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent oral poisons produced by Clostridium botulinum. BoNTs are secreted along with several auxiliary proteins forming progenitor toxin complexes (PTC). Here, we report the structure of a ~760 kDa 14-subunit PTC using a combination of X-ray crystallography a...

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

    PubMed

    Rasooly, Reuven; Do, Paula M

    2010-12-01

    Foodborne botulism is caused by the ingestion of foods containing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). To study the heat stability of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, we needed to measure and compare the activity of botulinum neurotoxins, serotypes A and B, under various pasteurization conditions. 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. In this study, noninvasive methods were used to simultaneously detect and distinguish between active BoNT serotypes A and B in one reaction and sample. We developed an enzymatic activity assay employing internally quenched fluorogenic peptides corresponding to SNAP-25, for BoNT-A, and VAMP2, for BoNT-B, as an alternative method to the mouse bioassay. Because each peptide is labeled with different fluorophores, we were able to distinguish between these two toxins. We used this method to analyze the heat stability of BoNT-A and BoNT-B. This study reports that conventional milk pasteurization (63 °C, 30 min) inactivated BoNT serotype A; however, serotype B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization. Using this activity assay, we also showed that the commonly used food processes such as acidity and pasteurization, which are known to inhibit C. botulinum growth and toxin production, are more effective in inactivating BoNT serotype A than serotype B when conventional pasteurization (63 °C, 30 min) is used.

  3. Development of a quail embryo model for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Clostridium botulinum is a ubiquitous microorganism that under anaerobic conditions produces botulinum neurotoxins. In regards to both food-borne illness and the potential use of botulinum toxin as a biological weapon, the capability to assess the amount of toxin in a food or environmental sample e...

  4. Maculotoxin: a neurotoxin from the venom glands of the octopus Hapalochlaena maculosa identified as tetrodotoxin.

    PubMed

    Sheumack, D D; Howden, M E; Spence, I; Quinn, R J

    1978-01-13

    Maculotoxin, a potent neurotoxin isolated from the posterior salivary glands of the blue-ringed octopus. Hapalochlaena maculosa, has now been identified as tetrodotoxin. This is the first reported case in which tetrodotoxin has been found to occur in a venom. PMID:619451

  5. Atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A as a prototype vehicle for targeted delivery to neuronal cytoplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have previously described genetic constructs and expression systems that enable facile production of recombinant derivatives of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) that retain the structural and trafficking properties of wt BoNTs. In this report we describe the properties of one such derivative, BoNT/A...

  6. Comparison of Toxicological Properties of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes A and B in Mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most toxic biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the human foodborne intoxications. In this study, we compared the toxicological properties of BoNT serotype A and B holotoxins and compl...

  7. Substrates and controls for the quantitative detection of active botulinum neurotoxin in protease-containing samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) enjoy a wide variety of medical applications. However, limited pharmacokinetic data on active BoNT is available. Monitoring BoNT activity in the circulation is a challenging task, due to BoNT’s enormous toxicity, rapid neuronal uptake, and removal from the bloodstream. ...

  8. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) have the unique capacity to cross epithelial barriers, target neuromuscular junctions, and translocate active metalloprotease component to the cytosol of motor neurons. We have taken advantage of the molecular carriers responsible for this trafficking to create a family ...

  9. Antibody-mediated neutralization and binding-reversal studies on alpha-neurotoxins from Micrurus nigrocinctus nigrocinctus (coral snake) venom.

    PubMed

    Alape-Giron, A; Stiles, B G; Gutierrez, J M

    1996-03-01

    An ELISA based, non-radioactive acetylcholine receptor (AchR) binding assay was used to detect the alpha-neurotoxins present in Micrurus nigrocinctus nigrocinctus venom. Sera from horses hyperimmunized against M. nigrocinctus venom contain antibodies which inhibit the binding of M. n. nigrocinctus alpha-neurotoxins to AchR and reverse the binding of toxins already complexed with the receptor. This result supports the importance of using antivenom therapeutically in M. n. nigrocinctus envenomations even after the onset of neurological symptoms. M. nigrocinctus antivenoms cross-reacted in an ELISA with several elapid alpha-neurotoxins and inhibited the binding of Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin and Naja naja oxiana neurotoxin II to AchR in vitro, suggesting the presence of short-chain and long-chain alpha-neurotoxins in M. nigrocinctus venom. In vivo neutralization experiments with M. nigrocinctus antivenom demonstrate that M. nigrocinctus venom contains short-chain alpha-neurotoxin(s) which share common neutralizing epitope(s) with Naja naja oxiana neurotoxin II.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-19

    Rubisco, the most abundant enzyme on the Earth and responsible for all photosynthetic carbon fixation, is often thought of as a highly conserved and sluggish enzyme. Yet, different algal Rubiscos demonstrate a range of kinetic properties hinting at a history of evolution and adaptation. Here, we show that algal Rubisco has indeed evolved adaptively during ancient and distinct geological periods. Using DNA sequences of extant marine algae of the red and Chromista lineage, we define positive selection within the large subunit of Rubisco, encoded by rbcL, to occur basal to the radiation of modern marine groups. This signal of positive selection appears to be responding to changing intracellular concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) triggered by physiological adaptations to declining atmospheric CO(2). Within the ecologically important Haptophyta (including coccolithophores) and Bacillariophyta (diatoms), positive selection occurred consistently during periods of falling Phanerozoic CO(2) and suggests emergence of carbon-concentrating mechanisms. During the Proterozoic, a strong signal of positive selection after secondary endosymbiosis occurs at the origin of the Chromista lineage (approx. 1.1 Ga), with further positive selection events until 0.41 Ga, implying a significant and continuous decrease in atmospheric CO(2) encompassing the Cryogenian Snowball Earth events. We surmise that positive selection in Rubisco has been caused by declines in atmospheric CO(2) and hence acts as a proxy for ancient atmospheric CO(2).

  11. Cell death in a harmful algal bloom causing species Alexandrium tamarense upon an algicidal bacterium induction.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huajun; Lv, Jinglin; Peng, Yun; Zhang, Su; An, Xinli; Xu, Hong; Zhang, Jun; Tian, Yun; Zheng, Wei; Zheng, Tianling

    2014-09-01

    Harmful algal blooms occur throughout the world, destroying aquatic ecosystems and threatening human health. The culture supernatant of the marine algicidal bacteria DHQ25 was able to lysis dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Loss of photosynthetic pigments, accompanied by a decline in Photosystem II (PSII) photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), in A. tamarense was detected under bacterial supernatant stress. Transmission electron microscope analysis showed obvious morphological modifications of chloroplast dismantling as a part of the algicidal process. The PSII electron transport chain was seriously blocked, with its reaction center damaged. This damage was detected in a relative transcriptional level of psbA and psbD genes, which encode the D1 and D2 proteins in the PSII reaction center. And the block in the electron transport chain of PSII might generate excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) which could destroy the membrane system and pigment synthesis and activated enzymic antioxidant systems including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). This study indicated that marine bacteria with indirect algicidal activity played an important role in the changes of photosynthetic process in a harmful algal bloom species.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Recognizes Its Protein Receptor SV2 by a Different Mechanism than Botulinum Neurotoxin B Synaptotagmin

    PubMed Central

    Weisemann, Jasmin; Stern, Daniel; Mahrhold, Stefan; Dorner, Brigitte G.; Rummel, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit extraordinary potency due to their exquisite neurospecificity, which is achieved by dual binding to complex polysialo-gangliosides and synaptic vesicle proteins. The luminal domain 4 (LD4) of the three synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 isoforms, SV2A‐C, identified as protein receptors for the most relevant serotype BoNT/A, binds within the 50 kDa cell binding domain HC of BoNT/A. Here, we deciphered the BoNT/A‐SV2 interactions in more detail. In pull down assays, the binding of HCA to SV2-LD4 isoforms decreases from SV2C >> SV2A > SV2B. A binding constant of 200 nM was determined for BoNT/A to rat SV2C-LD4 in GST pull down assay. A similar binding constant was determined by surface plasmon resonance for HCA to rat SV2C and to human SV2C, the latter being slightly lower due to the substitution L563F in LD4. At pH 5, as measured in acidic synaptic vesicles, the binding constant of HCA to hSV2C is increased more than 10-fold. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals that the quadrilateral helix of SV2C-LD4 already exists in solution prior to BoNT/A binding. Hence, the BoNT/A‐SV2C interaction is of different nature compared to BoNT/B‐Syt-II. In particular, the preexistence of the quadrilateral β-sheet helix of SV2 and its pH-dependent binding to BoNT/A via backbone–backbone interactions constitute major differences. Knowledge of the molecular details of BoNT/A‐SV2 interactions drives the development of high affinity peptides to counteract BoNT/A intoxications or to capture functional BoNT/A variants in innovative detection systems for botulism diagnostic. PMID:27196927

  15. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Recognizes Its Protein Receptor SV2 by a Different Mechanism than Botulinum Neurotoxin B Synaptotagmin.

    PubMed

    Weisemann, Jasmin; Stern, Daniel; Mahrhold, Stefan; Dorner, Brigitte G; Rummel, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit extraordinary potency due to their exquisite neurospecificity, which is achieved by dual binding to complex polysialo-gangliosides and synaptic vesicle proteins. The luminal domain 4 (LD4) of the three synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 isoforms, SV2A-C, identified as protein receptors for the most relevant serotype BoNT/A, binds within the 50 kDa cell binding domain HC of BoNT/A. Here, we deciphered the BoNT/A-SV2 interactions in more detail. In pull down assays, the binding of HCA to SV2-LD4 isoforms decreases from SV2C > SV2A > SV2B. A binding constant of 200 nM was determined for BoNT/A to rat SV2C-LD4 in GST pull down assay. A similar binding constant was determined by surface plasmon resonance for HCA to rat SV2C and to human SV2C, the latter being slightly lower due to the substitution L563F in LD4. At pH 5, as measured in acidic synaptic vesicles, the binding constant of HCA to hSV2C is increased more than 10-fold. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals that the quadrilateral helix of SV2C-LD4 already exists in solution prior to BoNT/A binding. Hence, the BoNT/A-SV2C interaction is of different nature compared to BoNT/B-Syt-II. In particular, the preexistence of the quadrilateral β-sheet helix of SV2 and its pH-dependent binding to BoNT/A via backbone-backbone interactions constitute major differences. Knowledge of the molecular details of BoNT/A-SV2 interactions drives the development of high affinity peptides to counteract BoNT/A intoxications or to capture functional BoNT/A variants in innovative detection systems for botulism diagnostic. PMID:27196927

  16. 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

  17. Presynaptic snake beta-neurotoxins produce tetanic fade and endplate potential run-down during neuromuscular blockade in mouse diaphragm.

    PubMed

    Wilson, H I; Nicholson, G M

    1997-11-01

    The present study investigated the ability of a number of presynaptic snake neurotoxins (snake beta-neurotoxins) to produce nerve-evoked train-of-four fade, tetanic fade and endplate potential run-down during the development of neuromuscular blockade in the isolated mouse phrenic-hemidiaphragm nerve-muscle preparation. All the snake beta-neurotoxins tested, with the exception of notexin, produced train-of-four and tetanic fade of nerve-evoked isometric muscle contractions. Train-of-four fade was not present during the initial depressant or facilitatory phases of muscle tension produced by the snake beta-neurotoxins but developed progressively during the final depressant phase that precedes complete neuromuscular blockade. The 'non-neurotoxic' bovine pancreatic phospholipase A2 and the 'low-toxicity' phospholipase A2 from Naja naja atra venom failed to elicit train-of-four fade, indicating that the phospholipase activity of the snake beta-neurotoxins is not responsible for the development of fade. Intracellular recording of endplate potentials (EPPs) elicited by nerve-evoked trains of stimuli showed a progressive run-down in EPP amplitude during the train following incubation with all snake beta-neurotoxins except notexin. Again this run-down in EPP amplitude was confined to the final depressant phase of snake beta-neurotoxin action. However when EPP amplitude fell to near uniquantal levels (< 3 mV) the extent of toxin induced-fade was reduced. Unlike postjunctional snake alpha-neurotoxins, prejunctional snake beta-neurotoxins interfere with acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction during the development of neuromuscular blockade. This study provides further support for the hypothesis that fade in twitch and tetanic muscle tension is due to an underlying rundown in EPP amplitude resulting from a prejunctional alteration of transmitter release rather than a use-dependent block of postjunctional nicotinic receptors.

  18. Three enzymatically active neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum strain Af84: BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5.

    PubMed

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Baudys, Jakub; Smith, Theresa J; Smith, Leonard A; Barr, John R

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by various species of clostridia and are potent neurotoxins which cause the disease botulism, by cleaving proteins needed for successful nerve transmission. There are currently seven confirmed serotypes of BoNTs, labeled A-G, and toxin-producing clostridia typically only produce one serotype of BoNT. There are a few strains (bivalent strains) which are known to produce more than one serotype of BoNT, producing either both BoNT/A and /B, BoNT/A and /F, or BoNT/B and /F, designated as Ab, Ba, Af, or Bf. Recently, it was reported that Clostridium botulinum strain Af84 has three neurotoxin gene clusters: bont/A2, bont/F4, and bont/F5. This was the first report of a clostridial organism containing more than two neurotoxin gene clusters. Using a mass spectrometry based proteomics approach, we report here that all three neurotoxins, BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5, are produced by C. botulinum Af84. Label free MS(E) quantification of the three toxins indicated that toxin composition is 88% BoNT/A2, 1% BoNT/F4, and 11% BoNT/F5. The enzymatic activity of all three neurotoxins was assessed by examining the enzymatic activity of the neurotoxins upon peptide substrates, which mimic the toxins' natural targets, and monitoring cleavage of the substrates by mass spectrometry. We determined that all three neurotoxins are enzymatically active. This is the first report of three enzymatically active neurotoxins produced in a single strain of Clostridium botulinum.

  19. Hoplonemertine worms -- a new source of pyridine neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Kem, W R; Scott, K N; Duncan, J H

    1976-06-15

    Two pyridine bases were isolated from the marine hoplonemertine Amphiporus angulatus (Fabricius) and identified by mass and PMR-spectroscopy as 2, 3'-bipyridyl and 3, 2'; 3', 2"; 4", 3"'-tetrapyridyl (Nemertelline). Nemertelline, the first tetrapyridyl natural product to be reported, shows a structural resemblance to the tobacco constituent nicotelline. The crustacean toxicity of 2, 3' -bipyridyl is very similar to that of nicotine, but its mammalian toxicity is negligible.

  20. 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

  1. Structure- and Substrate- Based Inhibitor Design for Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A*

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran,D.; Rawat, R.; Ludivico, M.; Ahmed, S.; Swaminathan, S.

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins cleave specific soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex proteins and block the release of neurotransmitters that cause flaccid paralysis and are considered potential bioweapons. Botulinum neurotoxin type A is the most potent among the clostridial neurotoxins, and to date there is no post-exposure therapeutic intervention available. To develop inhibitors leading to drug design, it is imperative that critical interactions between the enzyme and the substrate near the active site are known. Although enzyme-substrate interactions at exosites away from the active site are mapped in detail for botulinum neurotoxin type A, information about the active site interactions is lacking. Here, we present the crystal structures of botulinum neurotoxin type A catalytic domain in complex with four inhibitory substrate analog tetrapeptides, viz. RRGC, RRGL, RRGI, and RRGM at resolutions of 1.6-1.8 Angstroms . These structures show for the first time the interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site and delineate residues important for substrate stabilization and catalytic activity. We show that OH of Tyr366 and NH2 of Arg363 are hydrogen-bonded to carbonyl oxygens of P1 and P1' of the substrate analog and position it for catalytic activity. Most importantly, the nucleophilic water is replaced by the amino group of the N-terminal residue of the tetrapeptide. Furthermore, the S1' site is formed by Phe194, Thr215, Thr220, Asp370, and Arg363. The Ki of the best inhibitory tetrapeptide is 157 nm.

  2. Peptide neurotoxins that affect voltage-gated calcium channels: a close-up on ω-agatoxins.

    PubMed

    Pringos, Emilie; Vignes, Michel; Martinez, Jean; Rolland, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    Peptide neurotoxins found in animal venoms have gained great interest in the field of neurotransmission. As they are high affinity ligands for calcium, potassium and sodium channels, they have become useful tools for studying channel structure and activity. Peptide neurotoxins represent the clinical potential of ion-channel modulators across several therapeutic fields, especially in developing new strategies for treatment of ion channel-related diseases. The aim of this review is to overview the latest updates in the domain of peptide neurotoxins that affect voltage-gated calcium channels, with a special focus on ω-agatoxins.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmful and nuisance algal blooms have been increasing in size and extent since about 2000. In recent years, the release of the algal toxin microcystin has become a growing concern and has resulted in the inability to use water from Lake Erie as a drinking water source to the 400,000 residents of T...

  8. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    DOEpatents

    Das, Keshav C; Cannon, Benjamin R; Bhatnagar, Ashish; Chinnasamy, Senthil

    2014-05-13

    A system and method for culturing algae are presented. The system and method utilize a fog of growth medium that is delivered to an algal mat generator along with a stream of CO.sub.2 to promote growth of algal cells contained in the generator.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-15

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

  15. 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.

  16. Consuming algal products: trophic interactions of bacteria and a diatom species determined by RNA stable isotope probing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapp, Melanie; Gerdts, Gunnar; Wellinger, Marco; Wichels, Antje

    2008-09-01

    Heterotrophic marine bacteria utilise a wide range of carbon sources. Recently, techniques were developed to link bacterial identity and physiological capacity of microorganisms within natural communities. One of these methods is stable isotope probing (SIP) which allows an identification of active microorganisms using particular growth substrates. In this study, we present the first attempt to analyse bacterial communities associated with microalgae by rRNA-SIP. This approach was used to analyse bacterial populations consuming algal products of Thalassiosira rotula by applying SIP followed by reverse transcription of 16S rRNA and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Generally, our results indicate that bacteria which consume algal products can be detected by isotope arrays coupled with fingerprinting methods.

  17. 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

  18. Toxicity testing with the marine algae, Symbiodinium kawagutii (Dinophyceae)

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrie, J.R.; Bidwell, J.R.; Rippingale, R.J.

    1994-12-31

    The dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium kawagutii, is among the algal taxa which exist in symbiosis with a range of marine invertebrates. S. kawagutii is commonly found in association with the Hawaiian stony coral, Montipora verrucosa. The algae has been successfully cultured in the laboratory using a common marine algal growth media (Guillard f/2), and sufficient cell densities were achieved in a 96-hr bioassay to allow statistical evaluation of toxicity data. A 96-hr EC{sub 50} of 6.47 mg/L (95% C.I.: 3.54--9.88 mg/L) was calculated after exposure to potassium dichromate. Wide distribution of the coral host and ecological importance of the symbiosis make S. kawagutii an excellent candidate species for hazard evaluation in tropical marine ecosystems. Continuing research will seek to further refine the bioassay, including the use of a microplate technique for more rapid testing.

  19. No evidence for the induction of brown algal chemical defense by the phytohormones jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate.

    PubMed

    Wiesemeier, Theresa; Jahn, Karsten; Pohnert, Georg

    2008-12-01

    Induced chemical defense reactions are widespread in marine brown algae. Despite the evidence that the biosynthesis of defense metabolites can be up-regulated upon herbivory, we do not know how this regulation of biosynthetic pathways to secondary metabolites is achieved in brown algae. In higher plants, the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) is crucial for the mediation of induced chemical defenses, and several findings of this metabolite from marine sources have been reported. We tested the hypothesis that JA or related metabolites play a role in induced brown algal defense. Quantification of oxylipins with a detection limit around 20 ng g(-1) algal tissue did not reveal the presence of JA in the seven examined brown algal species Dictyota dichotoma, Colpomenia peregrina, Ectocarpus fasciculatus, Fucus vesiculosus, Himanthalia elongata, Saccharina latissima (formerly Laminaria saccharina), and Sargassum muticum. Moreover, treatment with ecologically relevant concentrations of JA and methyl jasmonate did not lead to a significant change in the profile of medium- and non-polar metabolites of the tested algae. Only when high concentrations of > or =500 microg ml(-1) medium of the phytohormones were applied that a metabolic response which could be attributed to unspecific stress was observed. Bioassays with D. dichotoma that focused on medium- and non-polar compounds confirmed the lack of a biological role of JA and methyl jasmonate in the induction of algal induced chemical defenses. The phytohormone-treated samples did not exhibit any increased defense potential towards the amphipod Ampithoe longimana and the isopod Paracerceis caudata. JA and related phytohormones, known to be active in higher plants, thus appear to play no role in brown algae for induction of the defense chemicals studied here. PMID:19020937

  20. No evidence for the induction of brown algal chemical defense by the phytohormones jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate.

    PubMed

    Wiesemeier, Theresa; Jahn, Karsten; Pohnert, Georg

    2008-12-01

    Induced chemical defense reactions are widespread in marine brown algae. Despite the evidence that the biosynthesis of defense metabolites can be up-regulated upon herbivory, we do not know how this regulation of biosynthetic pathways to secondary metabolites is achieved in brown algae. In higher plants, the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) is crucial for the mediation of induced chemical defenses, and several findings of this metabolite from marine sources have been reported. We tested the hypothesis that JA or related metabolites play a role in induced brown algal defense. Quantification of oxylipins with a detection limit around 20 ng g(-1) algal tissue did not reveal the presence of JA in the seven examined brown algal species Dictyota dichotoma, Colpomenia peregrina, Ectocarpus fasciculatus, Fucus vesiculosus, Himanthalia elongata, Saccharina latissima (formerly Laminaria saccharina), and Sargassum muticum. Moreover, treatment with ecologically relevant concentrations of JA and methyl jasmonate did not lead to a significant change in the profile of medium- and non-polar metabolites of the tested algae. Only when high concentrations of > or =500 microg ml(-1) medium of the phytohormones were applied that a metabolic response which could be attributed to unspecific stress was observed. Bioassays with D. dichotoma that focused on medium- and non-polar compounds confirmed the lack of a biological role of JA and methyl jasmonate in the induction of algal induced chemical defenses. The phytohormone-treated samples did not exhibit any increased defense potential towards the amphipod Ampithoe longimana and the isopod Paracerceis caudata. JA and related phytohormones, known to be active in higher plants, thus appear to play no role in brown algae for induction of the defense chemicals studied here.

  1. Algal toxin profiles in Nigerian coastal waters (Gulf of Guinea) using passive sampling and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; Kadiri, Medina; Herrenknecht, Christine; Nézan, Elisabeth; Mazzeo, Antonia; Hess, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Algal toxins may accumulate in fish and shellfish and thus cause poisoning in consumers of seafood. Such toxins and the algae producing them are regularly surveyed in many countries, including Europe, North America, Japan and others. However, very little is known regards the occurrence of such algae and their toxins in most African countries. This paper reports on a survey of phytoplankton and algal toxins in Nigerian coastal waters. Seawater samples were obtained from four sites for phytoplankton identification, on three occasions between the middle of October 2014 and the end of February 2015 (Bar Beach and Lekki in Lagos State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State). The phytoplankton community was generally dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria; however several species of dinoflagellates were also identified: Dinophysis caudata, Lingulodinium polyedrum and two benthic species of Prorocentrum. Passive samplers (containing Diaion(®) HP-20 resin) were deployed for several 1-week periods on the same four sites to obtain profiles of algal toxins present in the seawater. Quantifiable amounts of okadaic acid (OA) and pectenotoxin 2 (PTX2), as well as traces of dinophysistoxin 1 (DTX1) were detected at several sites. Highest concentrations (60 ng OA g(-1) HP-20 resin) were found at Lekki and Bar Beach stations, which also had the highest salinities. Non-targeted analysis using full-scan high resolution mass spectrometry showed that algal metabolites differed from site to site and for different sampling occasions. Screening against a marine natural products database indicated the potential presence of cyanobacterial compounds in the water column, which was also consistent with phytoplankton analysis. During this study, the occurrence of the marine dinoflagellate toxins OA and PTX2 has been demonstrated in coastal waters of Nigeria, despite unfavourable environmental conditions, with regards to the low salinities measured. Hence shellfish samples

  2. 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. 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. PMID:26108504

  4. Stability of alginate-immobilized algal cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies. PMID:25502920

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored. PMID:25220843

  9. Architecture of the botulinum neurotoxin complex: a molecular machine for protection and delivery

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Kwok-Ho; Jin, Rongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely poisonous protein toxins that cause the fatal paralytic disease botulism. They are naturally produced in bacteria with several nontoxic neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) and together they form a progenitor toxin complex (PTC), the largest bacterial toxin complex known. In foodborne botulism, the PTC functions as a molecular machine that helps BoNT breach the host defense in the gut. Here, we discuss the substantial recent advance in elucidating the atomic structures and assembly of the 14-subunit PTC, including structures of BoNT and four NAPs. These structural studies shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which BoNT is protected against the acidic environment and proteolytic destruction in the gastrointestinal tract, and how it is delivered across the intestinal epithelial barrier. PMID:25889616

  10. VAMP/synaptobrevin cleavage by tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins is strongly enhanced by acidic liposomes.

    PubMed

    Caccin, Paola; Rossetto, Ornella; Rigoni, Michela; Johnson, Eric; Schiavo, Giampietro; Montecucco, Cesare

    2003-05-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins (TeNT and BoNTs) block neuroexocytosis via specific cleavage and inactivation of SNARE proteins. Such activity is exerted by the N-terminal 50 kDa light chain (L) domain, which is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. TeNT, BoNT/B, /D, /F and /G cleave vesicle associated membrane protein (VAMP), a protein of the neurotransmitter-containing small synaptic vesicles, at different single peptide bonds. Since the proteolytic activity of these metalloproteases is higher on native VAMP inserted in synaptic vesicles than on recombinant VAMP, we have investigated the influence of liposomes of different lipid composition on this activity. We found that the rate of VAMP cleavage with all neurotoxins tested here is strongly enhanced by negatively charged lipid mixtures. This effect is at least partially due to the binding of the metalloprotease to the lipid membranes, with electrostatic interactions playing an important role.

  11. [Analysis of Phytoplankton in Tsimlyansk Reservoir (RUSSIA) for the Presence of Cyanobacterial Hepato- and Neurotoxins].

    PubMed

    Sidelev, S I; Golokolenova, T B; Chernova, E N; Russkikh, I V

    2015-01-01

    Although the water bodies of southern Russia experience the most extreme effects of cyanobacterial blooms, molecular genetic data on the composition of toxigenic cyanobacteria in this region have been absent. Screening for the genes responsible for the synthesis of hepatotoxins (microcystins and cylindrospermopsin) and neurotoxins (anatoxin-a and saxitoxins) in cyanobacteria from the Tsimlyansk reservoir on the Don River was carried out. The presence of microcystin-producing Microcystis and Planktothrix populations, as well as of cyanobacteria capable of synthesis of a neurotoxin anatoxin-a was revealed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A hypothesis of the presence of anatoxin-a-producing Planktothrix rubescens population in the phytoplankton of the Tsimlyansk reservoir is proposed. The obtained PCR data were confirmed by the results of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and liquid chromatography/mass-spectrometry (LC/MS). Anatoxin-a and five microcystin variants were identified in the phytoplankton biomass.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins.

  15. Substrate Binding Mode and its Implication on Drug Design for Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran, D.; Rawat, R; Ahmed, A; Swaminathan, S

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared them as Category A biowarfare agents. The most potent among them, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), cleaves its substrate synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). An efficient drug for botulism can be developed only with the knowledge of interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site. Here, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A with its uncleavable SNAP-25 peptide 197QRATKM202 and its variant 197RRATKM202 to 1.5 A and 1.6 A, respectively. This is the first time the structure of an uncleavable substrate bound to an active botulinum neurotoxin is reported and it has helped in unequivocally defining S1 to S5? sites. These substrate peptides make interactions with the enzyme predominantly by the residues from 160, 200, 250 and 370 loops. Most notably, the amino nitrogen and carbonyl oxygen of P1 residue (Gln197) chelate the zinc ion and replace the nucleophilic water. The P1?-Arg198, occupies the S1? site formed by Arg363, Thr220, Asp370, Thr215, Ile161, Phe163 and Phe194. The S2? subsite is formed by Arg363, Asn368 and Asp370, while S3? subsite is formed by Tyr251, Leu256, Val258, Tyr366, Phe369 and Asn388. P4?-Lys201 makes hydrogen bond with Gln162. P5?-Met202 binds in the hydrophobic pocket formed by the residues from the 250 and 200 loop. Knowledge of interactions between the enzyme and substrate peptide from these complex structures should form the basis for design of potent inhibitors for this neurotoxin.

  16. A Protein Microarray ELISA for the Detection of Botulinum neurotoxin A

    SciTech Connect

    Varnum, Susan M.

    2007-06-01

    An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) microarray was developed for the specific and sensitive detection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), using high-affinity recombinant monoclonal antibodies against the receptor binding domain of the heavy chain of BoNT/A. The ELISA microarray assay, because of its sensitivity, offers a screening test with detection limits comparable to the mouse bioassay, with results available in hours instead of days.

  17. Lectins from Triticum vulgaris and Limax flavus are universal antagonists of botulinum neurotoxin and tetanus toxin.

    PubMed

    Bakry, N; Kamata, Y; Simpson, L L

    1991-09-01

    Lectins from Anguilla anguilla, Artocarpus integrifolia, Canavalia ensiformis, Datora stramonium, Glycine max, Limax flavus, Ricinus communis and Triticum vulgaris were tested for their abilities to antagonize the binding of botulinum neurotoxin and tetanus toxin to rat brain membranes and to antagonize the ability of these toxins to block neuromuscular transmission in mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations. Lectins from Limax flavus and Triticum vulgaris, both of which have affinity for sialic acid, were antagonists of the various serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin and tetanus toxin. When tested against the high affinity binding site for botulinum neurotoxin type B, the lectin from Limax flavus had a Ki of 3.1 x 10(-7) M and the lectin from Triticum vulgaris had a Ki of 3.75 x 10(-7) M. When tested against the high affinity binding site for tetanus toxin, the lectins from Limax flavus and Triticum vulgaris had Ki values of 1.5 x 10(-7) and 1 x 10(-6) M, respectively. In all cases the lectins behaved as competitive antagonists. In reverse experiments, neither botulinum toxin nor tetanus toxin was a very effective antagonist of lectin binding to brain membranes. Studies on isolated neuromuscular preparations showed that the lectin from Triticum vulgaris did not affect transmission at concentrations of 10(-6) to 10(-3) M, but at a concentration of 3 x 10(-5) M the lectin produced highly statistically significant antagonism of the neuromuscular blocking properties of botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, C, D, E and F as well as tetanus toxin. The lectin did not antagonize beta-bungarotoxin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Substrate Recognition Mechanism of VAMP/Synaptobrevin-cleaving Clostridial Neurotoxins*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Sikorra, Stefan; Henke, Tina; Galli, Thierry; Binz, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) inhibit neurotransmitter release by proteolyzing a single peptide bond in one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors SNAP-25, syntaxin, and vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)/synaptobrevin. TeNT and BoNT/B, D, F, and G of the seven known BoNTs cleave the synaptic vesicle protein VAMP/synaptobrevin. Except for BoNT/B and TeNT, they cleave unique peptide bonds, and prior work suggested that different substrate segments are required for the interaction of each toxin. Although the mode of SNAP-25 cleavage by BoNT/A and E has recently been studied in detail, the mechanism of VAMP/synaptobrevin proteolysis is fragmentary. Here, we report the determination of all substrate residues that are involved in the interaction with BoNT/B, D, and F and TeNT by means of systematic mutagenesis of VAMP/synaptobrevin. For each of the toxins, three or more residues clustered at an N-terminal site remote from the respective scissile bond are identified that affect solely substrate binding. These exosites exhibit different sizes and distances to the scissile peptide bonds for each neurotoxin. Substrate segments C-terminal of the cleavage site (P4-P4′) do not play a role in the catalytic process. Mutation of residues in the proximity of the scissile bond exclusively affects the turnover number; however, the importance of individual positions at the cleavage sites varied for each toxin. The data show that, similar to the SNAP-25 proteolyzing BoNT/A and E, VAMP/synaptobrevin-specific clostridial neurotoxins also initiate substrate interaction, employing an exosite located N-terminal of the scissile peptide bond. PMID:18511418

  19. Lasers, fillers, and neurotoxins: avoiding complications in the cosmetic facial practice.

    PubMed

    Hassouneh, Basil; Newman, James P

    2013-11-01

    Lasers, injectable fillers, and neurotoxins are widely used in facial restoration and rejuvenation by a variety of practitioners. Although they are less invasive than traditional surgical modalities, they still carry risks for both transient as well as permanent complications. It is paramount for the practitioner to understand these complications, optimize their prevention, and initiate appropriate treatment when they are encountered. This article reviews early, often transient, complications as well as delayed, often prolonged or permanent, complications, with particular focus on prevention and management.

  20. Neurotoxins from Australo-Papuan elapids: a biochemical and pharmacological perspective.

    PubMed

    Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Smith, A Ian; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2008-01-01

    Most of the medically important snakes in Papua New Guinea and Australia belong to the family Elapidae and are referred to as "Australo-Papuan" elapids. Neurotoxicity is often a life-threatening symptom of envenoming by these snakes; therefore, much attention has been paid to the isolation and detailed pharmacological and biochemical characterization of the presynaptic (beta) and postsynaptic (alpha) neurotoxins from these elapid venoms. These studies have highlighted the potential for these toxins to be used as highly potent and selective probes for biomedical research and, perhaps, the potential for their use as lead compounds for the development of pharmaceutical agents. Historically, the potency of neurotoxins/crude venoms has been determined using murine LD50 (lethal dose) assays. However, a different rank order of potency often results when crude venoms/toxins are ranked based on their in vitro pharmacological parameters (e.g., t90 values). The lack of neurotoxicity following envenoming by brown snakes, despite the presence of a potent neurotoxin in their venom, has puzzled clinical toxinologists for years. This paradox also appears to include envenoming by the Stephen's banded snake. Lastly, the in vitro studies examining the effectiveness of antivenoms as well as the potential for alternative compounds to reverse/prevent neurotoxicity are discussed. This review presents for the first time a detailed comparative analysis of the pharmacology and biochemistry of neurotoxins isolated from the Australo-Papuan elapids, placing emphasis on the time taken for onset of action, receptor binding parameters, reversibility, and the methods for determining potency.

  1. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fillipelli, Gabriel M.; Risch, Martin R.; Laidlaw, Mark A. S.; Nichols, Deborah E.; Crewe, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But the legacy of these sources remains in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg). The greatest human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for toxic Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Overall, there is a paradigmatic shift from reaction to and remediation of acute exposures towards a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic cycling of persistent environmental contaminants with resultant widespread and chronic exposure of inner-city dwellers, leading to chronic toxic illness and disability at substantial human and social cost.

  2. Neurotoxin-conjugated upconversion nanoprobes for direct visualization of tumors under near-infrared irradiation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xue-Feng; Sun, Zhengbo; Li, Min; Xiang, Yang; Wang, Qu-Quan; Tang, Fenfen; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2010-11-01

    We report the development of neurotoxin-mediated upconversion nanoprobes for tumor targeting and visualization in living animals. The nanoprobes were synthesized by preparing polyethylenimine-coated hexagonal-phase NaYF(4):Yb,Er/Ce nanoparticles and conjugating them with recombinant chlorotoxin, a typical peptide neurotoxin that could bind with high specificity to many types of cancer cells. Nanoprobes that specifically targeted glioma cells were visualized by laser scanning upconversion fluorescence microscopy. Good probe biocompatibility was displayed with cellular and animal toxicity determinations. Animal studies were performed using Balb-c nude mice injected intravenously with the nanoprobes. The obtained high-contrast images demonstrated highly specific tumor binding and direct tumor visualization with bright red fluorescence under 980-nm near-infrared irradiation. The high sensitivity and high specificity of the neurotoxin-mediated upconversion nanoprobes and the simplification of the required optical device for tumor visualization suggest an approach that may help improve the effectiveness of the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities available for tumor patients.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. ECOSYSTEM EFFECTS OF CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful cyanobacterial blooms represent one of the most serious ecological stressors in lakes, rivers, estuaries and marine environments. When there are persistent or frequent blooms with high biomass of cyanobacterial cells, colonies or filaments in the water, a wide range of i...

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

    PubMed

    Schumacher, G; Sekoulov, I

    2002-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Brevetoxicosis: red tides and marine mammal mortalities.

    PubMed

    Flewelling, Leanne J; Naar, Jerome P; Abbott, Jay P; Baden, Daniel G; Barros, Nélio B; Bossart, Gregory D; Bottein, Marie-Yasmine D; Hammond, Daniel G; Haubold, Elsa M; Heil, Cynthia A; Henry, Michael S; Jacocks, Henry M; Leighfield, Tod A; Pierce, Richard H; Pitchford, Thomas D; Rommel, Sentiel A; Scott, Paula S; Steidinger, Karen A; Truby, Earnest W; Van Dolah, Frances M; Landsberg, Jan H

    2005-06-01

    Potent marine neurotoxins known as brevetoxins are produced by the 'red tide' dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. They kill large numbers of fish and cause illness in humans who ingest toxic filter-feeding shellfish or inhale toxic aerosols. The toxins are also suspected of having been involved in events in which many manatees and dolphins died, but this has usually not been verified owing to limited confirmation of toxin exposure, unexplained intoxication mechanisms and complicating pathologies. Here we show that fish and seagrass can accumulate high concentrations of brevetoxins and that these have acted as toxin vectors during recent deaths of dolphins and manatees, respectively. Our results challenge claims that the deleterious effects of a brevetoxin on fish (ichthyotoxicity) preclude its accumulation in live fish, and they reveal a new vector mechanism for brevetoxin spread through food webs that poses a threat to upper trophic levels. PMID:15944690

  13. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    PubMed

    Kull, Skadi; Schulz, K Melanie; Weisemann, Jasmin; Kirchner, Sebastian; Schreiber, Tanja; Bollenbach, Alexander; Dabrowski, P Wojtek; Nitsche, Andreas; Kalb, Suzanne R; Dorner, Martin B; Barr, John R; Rummel, Andreas; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2015-01-01

    Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT). Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed toxin function might

  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. Pigment-Based Chemotaxonomy - A Quick Alternative to Determine Algal Assemblages in Large Shallow Eutrophic Lake?

    PubMed Central

    Tamm, Marju; Freiberg, René; Tõnno, Ilmar; Nõges, Peeter; Nõges, Tiina

    2015-01-01

    Pigment-based chemotaxonomy and CHEMTAX software have proven to be a valuable phytoplankton monitoring tool in marine environments, but are yet underdeveloped to determine algal assemblages in freshwater ecosystems. The main objectives of this study were (1) to compare the results of direct microscopy and CHEMTAX in describing phytoplankton community composition dynamics in a large, shallow and eutrophic lake; (2) to analyze the efficiency of the pigment-based method to detect changes in phytoplankton seasonal dynamics and during rapid bloom periods; (3) to assess the suitability of specific marker pigments and available marker pigment:chlorophyll a ratios to follow seasonal changes in eutrophic freshwater environment. A 5-year (2009-2013) parallel phytoplankton assessment by direct microscopy and by CHEMTAX was conducted using published marker pigment:chlorophyll a ratios. Despite displaying some differences from microscopy results, the pigment-based method successfully described the overall pattern of phytoplankton community dynamics during seasonal cycle in a eutrophic lake. Good agreement between the methods was achieved for most phytoplankton groups - cyanobacteria, chlorophytes, diatoms and cryptophytes. The agreement was poor in case of chrysophytes and dinoflagellates. Our study shows clearly that published marker pigment:chlorophyll a ratios can be used to describe algal class abundances, but they need to be calibrated for specific freshwater environment. Broader use of this method would enable to expand monitoring networks and increase measurement frequencies of freshwater ecosystems to meet the goals of the Water Framework Directive. PMID:25803038

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration.

  20. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration. PMID:26754171

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  2. The algal lift: Buoyancy-mediated sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication: Examining linkages from selected coastal regions of the United States.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M; Burkholder, Joann M; Cochlan, William P; Glibert, Patricia M; Gobler, Christopher J; Heil, Cynthia A; Kudela, Raphael; Parsons, Michael L; Rensel, J E Jack; Townsend, David W; Trainer, Vera L; Vargo, Gabriel A

    2008-12-01

    Coastal waters of the United States (U.S.) are subject to many of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) poisoning syndromes and impacts. These include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and various other HAB phenomena such as fish kills, loss of submerged vegetation, shellfish mortalities, and widespread marine mammal mortalities. Here, the occurrences of selected HABs in a selected set of regions are described in terms of their relationship to eutrophication, illustrating a range of responses. Evidence suggestive of changes in the frequency, extent or magnitude of HABs in these areas is explored in the context of the nutrient sources underlying those blooms, both natural and anthropogenic. In some regions of the U.S., the linkages between HABs and eutrophication are clear and well documented, whereas in others, information is limited, thereby highlighting important areas for further research.

  5. Tropical harmful algal blooms: an emerging threat to coral reef communities?

    PubMed

    Bauman, Andrew G; Burt, John A; Feary, David A; Marquis, Elise; Usseglio, Paolo

    2010-11-01

    Tropical harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing in frequency and intensity and are substantially affecting marine communities. In October/November 2008 a large-scale HAB event (> 500 km(2), dinoflagellate Cochlodinium polykrikoides) in the Gulf of Oman caused the complete loss of the branching corals, Pocillopora and Acropora spp., and substantial reductions in the abundance, richness and trophic diversity of the associated coral reef fish communities. Although the causative agents of this C. polykrikoides bloom are unknown, increased coastal enrichment, natural oceanographic mechanisms, and the recent expansion of this species within ballast water discharge are expected to be the main agents. With rapid changes in oceanic climate, enhanced coastal eutrophication and increased global distribution of HAB species within ballast water, large-scale HAB events are predicted to increase dramatically in both intensity and distribution and can be expected to have increasingly negative effects on coral reef communities globally.

  6. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication: Examining linkages from selected coastal regions of the United States.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M; Burkholder, Joann M; Cochlan, William P; Glibert, Patricia M; Gobler, Christopher J; Heil, Cynthia A; Kudela, Raphael; Parsons, Michael L; Rensel, J E Jack; Townsend, David W; Trainer, Vera L; Vargo, Gabriel A

    2008-12-01

    Coastal waters of the United States (U.S.) are subject to many of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) poisoning syndromes and impacts. These include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and various other HAB phenomena such as fish kills, loss of submerged vegetation, shellfish mortalities, and widespread marine mammal mortalities. Here, the occurrences of selected HABs in a selected set of regions are described in terms of their relationship to eutrophication, illustrating a range of responses. Evidence suggestive of changes in the frequency, extent or magnitude of HABs in these areas is explored in the context of the nutrient sources underlying those blooms, both natural and anthropogenic. In some regions of the U.S., the linkages between HABs and eutrophication are clear and well documented, whereas in others, information is limited, thereby highlighting important areas for further research. PMID:19956363

  7. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication: Examining linkages from selected coastal regions of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald M.; Burkholder, JoAnn M.; Cochlan, William P.; Glibert, Patricia M.; Gobler, Christopher J.; Heil, Cynthia A.; Kudela, Raphael; Parsons, Michael L.; Rensel, J. E. Jack; Townsend, David W.; Trainer, Vera L.; Vargo, Gabriel A.

    2008-01-01

    Coastal waters of the United States (U.S.) are subject to many of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) poisoning syndromes and impacts. These include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and various other HAB phenomena such as fish kills, loss of submerged vegetation, shellfish mortalities, and widespread marine mammal mortalities. Here, the occurrences of selected HABs in a selected set of regions are described in terms of their relationship to eutrophication, illustrating a range of responses. Evidence suggestive of changes in the frequency, extent or magnitude of HABs in these areas is explored in the context of the nutrient sources underlying those blooms, both natural and anthropogenic. In some regions of the U.S., the linkages between HABs and eutrophication are clear and well documented, whereas in others, information is limited, thereby highlighting important areas for further research. PMID:19956363

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  9. Sixty years in algal physiology and photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Pirson, A

    1994-06-01

    This personal perspective records research experiences in chemistry and biology at four German universities, two before and two after World War II. The research themes came from cytophysiology of green unicellular algae, in particular their photosynthesis. The function of inorganic ions in photosynthesis and dark respiration was investigated at different degrees of specific mineral stress (deficiencies), and the kinetics of recovery followed after the addition of the missing element. Two types of recovery of photosynthesis were observed: indirect restitution via growth processes and immediate normalisation. From the latter case (K(+), phosphate, Mn(++)) the effect of manganese was emphasized as its role in photosynthetic O2 evolution became established during our research. Other themes of our group, with some bearing on photosynthesis were: synchronization of cell growth by light-dark change and effects of blue (vs. red) light on the composition of green cells. Some experiences in connection with algal mass cultures are included. Discussion of several editorial projects shows how photosynthesis, as an orginally separated field of plant biochemistry and biophysics, became included into general cell physiology and even ecophysiology of green plants. The paper contains an appreciation of the authors' main mentor Kurt Noack (1888-1963) and of Ernst Georg Pringsheim (1881-1970), founder of experimental phycology.

  10. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  11. Marine biology

    SciTech Connect

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index.

  12. The death mechanism of the harmful algal bloom species Alexandrium tamarense induced by algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi; Zhu, Hong; Lei, Xueqian; Zhang, Huajun; Cai, Guanjing; Chen, Zhangran; Fu, Lijun; Xu, Hong; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause a variety of deleterious effects on aquatic ecosystems, especially the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense, which poses a serious threat to marine economic and human health based on releasing paralytic shellfish poison into the environment. The algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35 which can induce growth inhibition on A. tamarense was used to investigate the functional mechanism. The growth status, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, photosynthetic system and the nuclear system of algal cells were determined under algicidal activity. A culture of strain Y35 not only induced overproduction of ROS in algal cells within only 0.5 h of treatment, also decrease the total protein content as well as the response of the antioxidant enzyme. Meanwhile, lipid peroxidation was induced and cell membrane integrity was lost. Photosynthetic pigments including chlorophyll a and carotenoid decreased along with the photosynthetic efficiency being significantly inhibited. At the same time, photosynthesis-related gene expression showed down-regulation. More than, the destruction of cell nuclear structure and inhibition of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) related gene expression were confirmed. The potential functional mechanism of the algicidal bacterium on A. tamarense was investigated and provided a novel viewpoint which could be used in HABs control. PMID:26441921

  13. The death mechanism of the harmful algal bloom species Alexandrium tamarense induced by algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi; Zhu, Hong; Lei, Xueqian; Zhang, Huajun; Cai, Guanjing; Chen, Zhangran; Fu, Lijun; Xu, Hong; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause a variety of deleterious effects on aquatic ecosystems, especially the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense, which poses a serious threat to marine economic and human health based on releasing paralytic shellfish poison into the environment. The algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35 which can induce growth inhibition on A. tamarense was used to investigate the functional mechanism. The growth status, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, photosynthetic system and the nuclear system of algal cells were determined under algicidal activity. A culture of strain Y35 not only induced overproduction of ROS in algal cells within only 0.5 h of treatment, also decrease the total protein content as well as the response of the antioxidant enzyme. Meanwhile, lipid peroxidation was induced and cell membrane integrity was lost. Photosynthetic pigments including chlorophyll a and carotenoid decreased along with the photosynthetic efficiency being significantly inhibited. At the same time, photosynthesis-related gene expression showed down-regulation. More than, the destruction of cell nuclear structure and inhibition of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) related gene expression were confirmed. The potential functional mechanism of the algicidal bacterium on A. tamarense was investigated and provided a novel viewpoint which could be used in HABs control. PMID:26441921

  14. The death mechanism of the harmful algal bloom species Alexandrium tamarense induced by algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi; Zhu, Hong; Lei, Xueqian; Zhang, Huajun; Cai, Guanjing; Chen, Zhangran; Fu, Lijun; Xu, Hong; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause a variety of deleterious effects on aquatic ecosystems, especially the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense, which poses a serious threat to marine economic and human health based on releasing paralytic shellfish poison into the environment. The algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35 which can induce growth inhibition on A. tamarense was used to investigate the functional mechanism. The growth status, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, photosynthetic system and the nuclear system of algal cells were determined under algicidal activity. A culture of strain Y35 not only induced overproduction of ROS in algal cells within only 0.5 h of treatment, also decrease the total protein content as well as the response of the antioxidant enzyme. Meanwhile, lipid peroxidation was induced and cell membrane integrity was lost. Photosynthetic pigments including chlorophyll a and carotenoid decreased along with the photosynthetic efficiency being significantly inhibited. At the same time, photosynthesis-related gene expression showed down-regulation. More than, the destruction of cell nuclear structure and inhibition of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) related gene expression were confirmed. The potential functional mechanism of the algicidal bacterium on A. tamarense was investigated and provided a novel viewpoint which could be used in HABs control.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. A Distinct Functional Site in Ω-Neurotoxins: Novel Antagonists of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors from Snake Venom.

    PubMed

    Hassan-Puttaswamy, Varuna; Adams, David J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2015-12-18

    Snake venom α-neurotoxins from the three-finger toxin (3FTx) family are competitive antagonists with nanomolar affinity and high selectivity for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Here, we report the characterization of a new group of competitive nAChR antagonists: Ω-neurotoxins. Although they belong to the 3FTx family, the characteristic functional residues of α-neurotoxins are not conserved. We evaluated the subtype specificity and structure-function relationships of Oh9-1, an Ω-neurotoxin from Ophiophagus hannah venom. Recombinant Oh9-1 showed reversible postsynaptic neurotoxicity in the micromolar range. Experiments with different nAChR subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes indicated Oh9-1 is selective for rat muscle type α1β1εδ (adult) and α1β1γδ (fetal) and rat neuronal α3β2 subtypes. However, Oh9-1 showed low or no affinity for other human and rat neuronal subtypes. Twelve individual alanine-scan mutants encompassing all three loops of Oh9-1 were evaluated for binding to α1β1εδ and α3β2 subtypes. Oh9-1's loop-II residues (M25, F27) were the most critical for interactions and formed the common binding core. Mutations at T23 and F26 caused a significant loss in activity at α1β1εδ receptors but had no effect on the interaction with the α3β2 subtype. Similarly, mutations at loop-II (H7, K22, H30) and -III (K45) of Oh9-1 had a distinctly different impact on its activity with these subtypes. Thus, Oh9-1 interacts with these nAChRs via distinct residues. Unlike α-neurotoxins, the tip of loop-II is not involved. We reveal a novel mode of interaction, where both sides of the β-strand of Oh9-1's loop-II interact with α1β1εδ, but only one side interacts with α3β2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed functional organization of the Ω-neurotoxins independent of α-neurotoxins. Thus, Ω-neurotoxin: Oh9-1 may be a new, structurally distinct class of 3FTxs that, like α-neurotoxins, antagonize nAChRs. However, Oh9-1 binds to the ACh

  17. Insights into Nitrogen Isotopic Fractionation During Algal Assimilation of Nitrate and Ammonium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, S. L.; Swart, P. K.; Capo, T. R.

    2008-12-01

    Nitrogen availability is an important factor controlling algal growth in marine environments, representing a limiting nutrient throughout much of the global ocean. Anthropogenic inputs to the coastal zone may shift the nutrient regime, leading to questions regarding the extent of anthropogenic nutrient impacts in near-shore environments. A large body of work has been completed relating the δ15N of algae, seagrasses, and other benthic organisms to anthropogenic nutrient sources. However, previous work by our research group characterizing the δ15N of organic material associated with waste water discharge points, and in reef and embayment environments of the south Florida coastal zone, has suggested that δ15N values alone do not provide unequivocal evidence of anthropogenic nitrogen loading. Greater understanding of nitrogen processing and isotopic fractionation in coastal benthic organisms is necessary before blanket assumptions regarding nutrient uptake and source association can be universally accepted. Closed system mesocosm incubations examining fractionation associated with assimilation of nitrate and ammonium in cultured red algae, Gracilaria sp. and Agardhiella sp., were completed under varied nitrate and ammonium concentrations from 10 to 500 μM with initial nitrogen isotopic compositions of 2.7-3 ‰. Following 8-day incubations, the isotopic composition of new algal growth ranged between +2.43 and -5.77 ‰, with more depleted values coincident with higher N-availability. Rayleigh fractionation calculations yield fractionation factors of 4-9 ‰ (α values of 1.0045 to 1.008), which represent significantly larger values than those previously reported in the literature for macroalgae. 15N-tracer experiments (initial δ15N = 1000 ‰) were also conducted to assess nutrient preferences in the cultured algae. Isotopic composition of new algal growth varied from -1.3 to +495.0 ‰ with only Agardhiella exhibiting an obvious preference for ammonium

  18. Settlement of marine periphytic algae in a tropical estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nayar, S.; Goh, B. P. L.; Chou, L. M.

    2005-08-01

    This note describes settlement studies of marine periphytic algae on glass substrata in a tropical estuary in Singapore. The rates of production in terms of 14C radiotracer uptake, biomass in terms of chlorophyll a, community structure and cell abundance were measured from the settled periphytic algae at various depths in the water column and compared with the prevailing hydrographical conditions. Relatively higher periphytic algal settlement was observed at 1 m depth, even though it was not statistically different from other depths. Diatoms such as Skeletonema costatum and Thalassiosira rotula dominated the assemblage, together with the marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. The three settlement parameters viz., periphytic algal production, chlorophyll a and cell counts showed significant differences between the days of settlement, with no significant differences observed for different depths. The periphytic algal community in this study comprised 30 microalgal species, dominated by diatoms (78%), followed by cyanobacteria (19% - primarily Synechococcus sp.), green flagellates (1%), dinoflagellates (1%) and other forms accounting for the remaining 1% of the total cell counts. Correlation studies and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant influence of silicate concentrations in the water column with the settlement of periphytic algae in this estuary. Though photoinhibited at the surface, photosynthetically available radiation did not seem to influence the overall settlement of periphytic algae. Diatoms and Synechococcus in the periphytic algal community were influenced by water temperature, PAR, pH and dissolved oxygen as seen in the PCA plots.

  19. Marine Biomedicine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bang, Frederik B.

    1977-01-01

    Describes early scientific research involving marine invertebrate pathologic processes that may have led to new insights into human disease. Discussed are inquiries of Metchnikoff, Loeb, and Cantacuzene (immunolgic responses in sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and marine worms, respectively). Describes current research stemming from these early…

  20. Marine Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  1. Carbon and light limitation in mass algal culture

    SciTech Connect

    Brune, D.E.

    1980-01-01

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

  2. Methylation of inorganic mercury in polar marine waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, Igor; St. Louis, Vincent L.; Hintelmann, Holger; Kirk, Jane L.

    2011-05-01

    Monomethylmercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in marine organisms, with serious implications for human health. The toxin is of particular concern to northern Inuit peoples, for example, whose traditional diets are composed primarily of marine mammals and fish. The ultimate source of monomethylmercury to marine organisms has remained uncertain, although various potential sources have been proposed, including export from coastal and deep-sea sediments and major river systems, atmospheric deposition and water-column production. Here, we report results from incubation experiments in which we added isotopically labelled inorganic mercury and monomethylmercury to seawater samples collected from a range of sites in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Monomethylmercury formed from the methylation of inorganic mercury in all samples. Demethylation of monomethylmercury was also observed in water from all sites. We determined steady-state concentrations of monomethylmercury in marine waters by incorporating the rate constants for monomethylmercury formation and degradation derived from these experiments into a numerical model. We estimate that the conversion of inorganic mercury to monomethylmercury in the water column accounts for around 47% (+/-62%, standard deviation) of the monomethylmercury present in polar marine waters, with site-to-site differences in inorganic mercury and monomethylmercury levels accounting for most of the variability. We suggest that water-column methylation of inorganic mercury is a significant source of monomethylmercury in pelagic marine food webs in the Arctic, and possibly in the world's oceans in general.

  3. Contribution of arsenic species in unicellular algae to the cycling of arsenic in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elliott G; Maher, William A; Foster, Simon D

    2015-01-01

    This review investigates the arsenic species produced by and found in marine unicellular algae to determine if unicellular algae contribute to the formation of arsenobetaine (AB) in higher marine organisms. A wide variety of arsenic species have been found in marine unicellular algae including inorganic species (mainly arsenate--As(V)), methylated species (mainly dimethylarsenate (DMA)), arsenoribosides (glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate) and metabolites (dimethylarsenoethanol (DMAE)). Subtle differences in arsenic species distributions exist between chlorophyte and heterokontophyte species with As(V) commonly found in water-soluble cell fractions of chlorophyte species, while DMA is more common in heterokontophyte species. Additionally, different arsenoriboside species are found in each phyla with glycerol and phosphate arsenoribosides produced by chlorophytes, whereas glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate arsenoribosides are produced by heterokontophytes, which is similar to existing data for marine macro-algae. Although arsenoribosides are the major arsenic species in many marine unicellular algal species, AB has not been detected in unicellular algae which supports the hypothesis that AB is formed in marine animals via the ingestion and further metabolism of arsenoribosides. The observation of significant DMAE concentrations in some unicellular algal cultures suggests that unicellular algae-based detritus contains arsenic species that can be further metabolized to form AB in higher marine organisms. Future research establishing how environmental variability influences the production of arsenic species by marine unicellular algae and what effect this has on arsenic cycling within marine food webs is essential to clarify the role of these organisms in marine arsenic cycling. PMID:25443092

  4. Contribution of arsenic species in unicellular algae to the cycling of arsenic in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elliott G; Maher, William A; Foster, Simon D

    2015-01-01

    This review investigates the arsenic species produced by and found in marine unicellular algae to determine if unicellular algae contribute to the formation of arsenobetaine (AB) in higher marine organisms. A wide variety of arsenic species have been found in marine unicellular algae including inorganic species (mainly arsenate--As(V)), methylated species (mainly dimethylarsenate (DMA)), arsenoribosides (glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate) and metabolites (dimethylarsenoethanol (DMAE)). Subtle differences in arsenic species distributions exist between chlorophyte and heterokontophyte species with As(V) commonly found in water-soluble cell fractions of chlorophyte species, while DMA is more common in heterokontophyte species. Additionally, different arsenoriboside species are found in each phyla with glycerol and phosphate arsenoribosides produced by chlorophytes, whereas glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate arsenoribosides are produced by heterokontophytes, which is similar to existing data for marine macro-algae. Although arsenoribosides are the major arsenic species in many marine unicellular algal species, AB has not been detected in unicellular algae which supports the hypothesis that AB is formed in marine animals via the ingestion and further metabolism of arsenoribosides. The observation of significant DMAE concentrations in some unicellular algal cultures suggests that unicellular algae-based detritus contains arsenic species that can be further metabolized to form AB in higher marine organisms. Future research establishing how environmental variability influences the production of arsenic species by marine unicellular algae and what effect this has on arsenic cycling within marine food webs is essential to clarify the role of these organisms in marine arsenic cycling.

  5. Cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of marine macro algae (Dictyotaceae and Ulvaceae) from the Persian Gulf.

    PubMed

    Mashjoor, Sakineh; Yousefzadi, Morteza; Esmaeili, Mohamad Ali; Rafiee, Roya

    2016-10-01

    Pharmaceutical industry now accept the worlds ocean which contains a vast array of organisms with unique biological properties, as a major frontier for medical investigation. Bioactive compounds with different modes of action, such as, antiproliferative, antioxidant, antimicrotubule, have been isolated from marine sources, specifically macro and micro algae, and cyanobacteria. The aim of this work was to investigate antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of the extracts of marine macro algae Ulva flexuosa, Padina antillarum and Padina boergeseni from the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf, Qeshm Island, Iran, against three cell lines including MCF7, HeLa and Vero, as well as their inhibitory effects against a wide array (i.e. n = 11) of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Antimicrobial activity of the marine macro algal extracts was assessed using a disc diffusion method; an MTT cytotoxicity assay was employed to test the effects of the extracts on each cancer cell line. The algal extracts showed considerable antimicrobial activity against the majority of the tested bacteria and fungi. Both ethyl acetate and methanol extracts at the highest concentration (100 µg/ml) caused cell death, with the IC50 values calculated for each cell type and each algal extracts. Results are exhibited a higher decrease in the viability of the cells treated at the highest concentration of marine macro algal ethyl acetate extracts compared to the methanol extracts (78.9 % death in Vero cells by ethyl acetate extracts from U. flexuosa). Despite, the ethyl acetate extracts with lower dose- response of cells, exhibited better cytotoxic activity than methanol extracts (IC50: 55.26 μg/ml in Vero cells by ethyl acetate extracts from U. flexuosa). Based on the findings, it is concluded that the marine macro algal extracts from the Persian Gulf possess antibacterial and cytotoxic potential, which could be considered for future applications in medicine and identifying novel drugs from the

  6. Geochemical Legacies and the Future Health of Cities: An Analysis of two Neurotoxins in Urban Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippelli, G. M.; Risch, M.

    2015-12-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between geochemical processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are very poorly studied, yet have materialized as perhaps the greatest threat to large-scale population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But these legacy Pb sources are still around in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a pernicious and widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg), although very little work has been done to understand human exposures to low levels of this element in soils. The most documented human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for above average dietary Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Many aspects of the dose-response curves for individual elements and mixtures are poorly understood, especially at lower levels, leaving unanswered several interesting and provocative questions about environmental impacts on neurological and

  7. Structural and Functional Interactions between Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Subfamily 1 and Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. There are eight serologically distinct botulinum neurotoxin isoforms (serotypes A–H). Currently, botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT⁄A) is commonly used for the treatment of many disorders, such as hyperactive musculoskeletal disorders, dystonia, and pain. However, the effectiveness of BoNT⁄A for pain alleviation and the mechanisms that mediate the analgesic effects of BoNT⁄A remain unclear. To define the antinociceptive mechanisms by which BoNT/A functions, the interactions between BoNT⁄A and the transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1 (TRPV1) were investigated using immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, and western blot analysis in primary mouse embryonic dorsal root ganglion neuronal cultures. Results 1) Three-week-old cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons highly expressed transient TRPV1, synaptic vesicle 2A (SV2A) and synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25). SV2A and SNAP-25 are the binding receptor and target protein, respectively, of BoNT⁄A. 2) TRPV1 colocalized with both BoNT⁄A and cleaved SNAP-25 when BoNT⁄A was added to dorsal root ganglia neuronal cultures. 3) After 24 hours of BoNT⁄A treatment (1 nmol⁄l), both TRPV1 and BoNT⁄A positive bands were detected in western blots of immunoprecipitated pellets. 4) Blocking TRPV1 with a specific antibody decreased the cleavage of SNAP-25 by BoNT⁄A. Conclusion BoNT/A interacts with TRPV1 both structurally and functionally in cultured mouse embryonic dorsal root ganglion neurons. These results suggest that an alternative mechanism is used by BoNT⁄A to mediate pain relief. PMID:26745805

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin C1 blocks neurotransmitter release by means of cleaving HPC-1/syntaxin.

    PubMed Central

    Blasi, J; Chapman, E R; Yamasaki, S; Binz, T; Niemann, H; Jahn, R

    1993-01-01

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces several related neurotoxins that block exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in nerve terminals and that are responsible for the clinical manifestations of botulism. Recently, it was reported that botulinum neurotoxin type B as well as tetanus toxin act as zinc-dependent proteases that specifically cleave synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of synaptic vesicles (Link et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 189, 1017-1023; Schiavo et al., Nature, 359, 832-835). Here we report that inhibition of neurotransmitter release by botulinum neurotoxin type C1 was associated with the proteolysis of HPC-1 (= syntaxin), a membrane protein present in axonal and synaptic membranes. Breakdown of HPC-1/syntaxin was selective since no other protein degradation was detectable. In vitro studies showed that the breakdown was due to a direct interaction between HPC-1/syntaxin and the toxin light chain which acts as a metallo-endoprotease. Toxin-induced cleavage resulted in the generation of a soluble fragment of HPC-1/syntaxin that is 2-4 kDa smaller than the native protein. When HPC-1/syntaxin was translated in vitro, cleavage occurred only when translation was performed in the presence of microsomes, although a full-length product was obtained in the absence of membranes. However, susceptibility to toxin cleavage was restored when the product of membrane-free translation was subsequently incorporated into artificial proteoliposomes. In addition, a translated form of HPC-1/syntaxin, which lacked the putative transmembrane domain at the C-terminus, was soluble and resistant to toxin action. We conclude that HPC-1/syntaxin is involved in exocytotic membrane fusion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images PMID:7901002

  9. Re-engineering clostridial neurotoxins for the treatment of chronic pain: current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Andy

    2010-06-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins from the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) family are protein complexes, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which potently inhibit acetylcholine release and result in a reversible blockade of the neuromuscular junction. This feature led to the clinical development of BoNT-A for a number of neuromuscular disorders. BoNT-A toxins are commercially available as three different preparations: Dysport/Azzalure, Botox/Vistabel, and Xeomin/Bocouture. Although BoNT-A preparations have not yet been approved for the treatment of pain, a substantial body of preclinical and clinical evidence shows that BoNT-A is effective in treating a number of different types of pain. It is thought to exert an analgesic effect both via muscle-relaxant properties and also directly, via inhibition of nociceptive neuropeptides. This review explores the mechanistic basis of this analgesic effect, summarizing current knowledge of the structure-function relationship of BoNT and discussing effects on both motor and pain neurons. For a complete picture of the analgesic properties of BoNT-A, clinical evidence of efficacy in myofascial pain and neuropathic pain is considered in tandem with a mechanistic rationale for activity. Patients experiencing chronic pain are clear candidates for treatment with a modified clostridial endopeptidase that would provide enduring inhibition of neurotransmitter release. A strong preclinical evidence base underpins the concept that re-engineering of BoNT could be used to enhance the analgesic potential of this neurotoxin, and it is hoped that the first clinical studies examining re-engineered BoNT-A will confirm this potential. PMID:20462283

  10. Interactions of the Neurotoxin Vipoxin in Solution Studied by Dynamic Light Scattering

    PubMed Central

    Georgieva, Dessislava Nikolova; Genov, Nicolay; Hristov, Krassimir; Dierks, Karsten; Betzel, Christian

    2004-01-01

    The neurotoxin vipoxin is the lethal component of the venom of Vipera ammodytes meridionalis. It is a heterodimer of a basic toxic His-48 phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and an acidic nontoxic Gln-48 PLA2. The shape of the neurotoxin and its separated components in solution as well as their interactions with calcium, the brain phospholipid phosphatidylcholine, and two inhibitors, elaidoylamide and vitamin E, were investigated by dynamic light scattering. Calcium binding is connected with a conformational change in vipoxin observed as a change of the hydrodynamic shape from oblate ellipsoid to a shape closer to a sphere. The Ca2+-bound form of vipoxin, which is catalytically active, is more compact and symmetric than the calcium-free heterodimer. Similar changes were observed as a result of the Ca2+-binding to the two separated subunits. In the presence of aggregated phosphatidylcholine, the neurotoxic complex dissociates to subunits. It is supposed that only the toxic component binds to the substrate, and the other subunit, which plays a chaperone function, remains in solution. The inhibition of vipoxin with the synthetic inhibitor elaidoylamide and the natural compound vitamin E changes the shape of the toxin from oblate to prolate ellipsoid. The inhibited toxin is more asymmetric in comparison to the native one. Similar, but not so pronounced, effects were observed after the inhibition of the monomeric and homodimeric forms of the toxic His-48 PLA2. Circular dichroism measurements in the presence of urea, methylurea, and ethylurea indicate a strong hydrophobic stabilization of the neurotoxin. Hydrophobic interactions stabilize not only the folded regions but also the regions of intersubunit contacts. PMID:14695289

  11. Properties and use of botulinum toxin and other microbial neurotoxins in medicine.

    PubMed Central

    Schantz, E J; Johnson, E A

    1992-01-01

    Crystalline botulinum toxin type A was licensed in December 1989 by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of certain spasmodic muscle disorders following 10 or more years of experimental treatment on human volunteers. Botulinum toxin exerts its action on a muscle indirectly by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the nerve ending, resulting in reduced muscle activity or paralysis. The injection of only nanogram quantities (1 ng = 30 mouse 50% lethal doses [U]) of the toxin into a spastic muscle is required to bring about the desired muscle control. The type A toxin produced in anaerobic culture and purified in crystalline form has a specific toxicity in mice of 3 x 10(7) U/mg. The crystalline toxin is a high-molecular-weight protein of 900,000 Mr and is composed of two molecules of neurotoxin (ca. 150,000 Mr) noncovalently bound to nontoxic proteins that play an important role in the stability of the toxic unit and its effective toxicity. Because the toxin is administered by injection directly into neuromuscular tissue, the methods of culturing and purification are vital. Its chemical, physical, and biological properties as applied to its use in medicine are described. Dilution and drying of the toxin for dispensing causes some detoxification, and the mouse assay is the only means of evaluation for human treatment. Other microbial neurotoxins may have uses in medicine; these include serotypes of botulinum toxins and tetanus toxin. Certain neurotoxins produced by dinoflagellates, including saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin, cause muscle paralysis through their effect on the action potential at the voltage-gated sodium channel. Saxitoxin used with anaesthetics lengthens the effect of the anaesthetic and may enhance the effectiveness of other medical drugs. Combining toxins with drugs could increase their effectiveness in treatment of human disease. PMID:1579114

  12. Differential role of molten globule and protein folding in distinguishing unique features of botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Raj; Kukreja, Roshan V; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal R

    2014-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are proteins of great interest not only because of their extreme toxicity but also paradoxically for their therapeutic applications. All the known serotypes (A-G) have varying degrees of longevity and potency inside the neuronal cell. Differential chemical modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination have been suggested as possible mechanisms for their longevity, but the molecular basis of the longevity remains unclear. Since the endopeptidase domain (light chain; LC) of toxin apparently survives inside the neuronal cells for months, it is important to examine the structural features of this domain to understand its resistance to intracellular degradation. Published crystal structures (both botulinum neurotoxins and endopeptidase domain) have not provided adequate explanation for the intracellular longevity of the domain. Structural features obtained from spectroscopic analysis of LCA and LCB were similar, and a PRIME (PReImminent Molten Globule Enzyme) conformation appears to be responsible for their optimal enzymatic activity at 37°C. LCE, on the other hand, was although optimally active at 37°C, but its active conformation differed from the PRIME conformation of LCA and LCB. This study establishes and confirms our earlier finding that an optimally active conformation of these proteins in the form of PRIME exists for the most poisonous poison, botulinum neurotoxin. There are substantial variations in the structural and functional characteristics of these active molten globule related structures among the three BoNT endopeptidases examined. These differential conformations of LCs are important in understanding the fundamental structural features of proteins, and their possible connection to intracellular longevity could provide significant clues for devising new countermeasures and effective therapeutics. PMID:24568862

  13. Re-engineering clostridial neurotoxins for the treatment of chronic pain: current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Andy

    2010-06-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins from the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) family are protein complexes, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which potently inhibit acetylcholine release and result in a reversible blockade of the neuromuscular junction. This feature led to the clinical development of BoNT-A for a number of neuromuscular disorders. BoNT-A toxins are commercially available as three different preparations: Dysport/Azzalure, Botox/Vistabel, and Xeomin/Bocouture. Although BoNT-A preparations have not yet been approved for the treatment of pain, a substantial body of preclinical and clinical evidence shows that BoNT-A is effective in treating a number of different types of pain. It is thought to exert an analgesic effect both via muscle-relaxant properties and also directly, via inhibition of nociceptive neuropeptides. This review explores the mechanistic basis of this analgesic effect, summarizing current knowledge of the structure-function relationship of BoNT and discussing effects on both motor and pain neurons. For a complete picture of the analgesic properties of BoNT-A, clinical evidence of efficacy in myofascial pain and neuropathic pain is considered in tandem with a mechanistic rationale for activity. Patients experiencing chronic pain are clear candidates for treatment with a modified clostridial endopeptidase that would provide enduring inhibition of neurotransmitter release. A strong preclinical evidence base underpins the concept that re-engineering of BoNT could be used to enhance the analgesic potential of this neurotoxin, and it is hoped that the first clinical studies examining re-engineered BoNT-A will confirm this potential.

  14. Early onset of neurological symptoms in fragile X premutation carriers exposed to neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Ripon; Pessah, Isaac N.; Gane, Louise; Ono, Michele; Hagerman, Paul J.; Brunberg, James A.; Tassone, Flora; Bourgeois, James A.; Adams, Patrick E.; Nguyen, Danh V.; Hagerman, Randi

    2014-01-01

    We present four cases of fragile X premutation carriers with early neurological symptoms, including symptoms consistent with multiple sclerosis (MS) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Each patient had significant exposure to one or more environmental neurotoxicants that have documented neurotoxicity (i.e. hexachlorocyclopentadiene or C56, Agent Orange, and 2,4- or 2,6-toluene diisocyanate and dichlormate). We hypothesize that premutation carriers are a vulnerable group to neurotoxins because elevated mRNA in the premutation can lead to early cell death and brain disease, leading to neuropsychiatric and neurological symptoms consistent with FXTAS. PMID:20466021

  15. Separation of Betti Reaction Product Enantiomers: Absolute Configuration and Inhibition of Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The racemic product of the Betti reaction of 5-chloro-8-hydroxyquinoline, benzaldehyde, and 2-aminopyridine was separated by chiral HPLC to determine which enantiomer inhibited botulinum neurotoxin serotype A. When the enantiomers unexpectedly proved to have comparable activity, the absolute structures of (+)-(R)-1 and (−)-(S)-1 were determined by comparison of calculated and observed circular dichroism spectra. Molecular modeling studies were undertaken in an effort to understand the observed bioactivity and revealed different ensembles of binding modes, with roughly equal binding energies, for the two enantiomers. PMID:22102940

  16. Presence of antibotulinum neurotoxin antibodies in selected wild canids in Israel.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Amir; Millet, Neta; Frenkel, Chana; King, Roni; Shpigel, Nahum Y

    2007-07-01

    Serum samples from 35 golden jackals (Canis aureus syriacus), eight wolves (Canis lupus), and four red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from various regions of Israel were collected during the years 2001-04 and tested for antibodies to Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types C and D. Antibodies against BoNT types C and D were detected in 10 (29%) and in 3 (9%) of 35 golden jackals, respectively, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This report describes detection of anti BoNT antibodies in wild canids other than coyotes (Canis latrans) for the first time and demonstrates that C. botulinum type C is prevalent in Israel. PMID:17699099

  17. Early onset of neurological symptoms in fragile X premutation carriers exposed to neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Paul, Ripon; Pessah, Isaac N; Gane, Louise; Ono, Michele; Hagerman, Paul J; Brunberg, James A; Tassone, Flora; Bourgeois, James A; Adams, Patrick E; Nguyen, Danh V; Hagerman, Randi

    2010-08-01

    We present four cases of fragile X premutation carriers with early neurological symptoms, including symptoms consistent with multiple sclerosis (MS) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Each patient had significant exposure to one or more environmental neurotoxicants that have documented neurotoxicity (i.e. hexachlorocyclopentadiene or C56, Agent Orange, and 2,4- or 2,6-toluene diisocyanate and dichlormate). We hypothesize that premutation carriers are a vulnerable group to neurotoxins because elevated mRNA in the premutation can lead to early cell death and brain disease, leading to neuropsychiatric and neurological symptoms consistent with FXTAS. PMID:20466021

  18. Computer modeling of the neurotoxin binding site of acetylcholine receptor spanning residues 185 through 196

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garduno-Juarez, R.; Shibata, M.; Zielinski, T. J.; Rein, R.

    1987-01-01

    A model of the complex between the acetylcholine receptor and the snake neurotoxin, cobratoxin, was built by molecular model building and energy optimization techniques. The experimentally identified functionally important residues of cobratoxin and the dodecapeptide corresponding to the residues 185-196 of acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit were used to build the model. Both cis and trans conformers of cyclic L-cystine portion of the dodecapeptide were examined. Binding residues independently identified on cobratoxin are shown to interact with the dodecapeptide AChR model.

  19. Presence of antibotulinum neurotoxin antibodies in selected wild canids in Israel.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Amir; Millet, Neta; Frenkel, Chana; King, Roni; Shpigel, Nahum Y

    2007-07-01

    Serum samples from 35 golden jackals (Canis aureus syriacus), eight wolves (Canis lupus), and four red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from various regions of Israel were collected during the years 2001-04 and tested for antibodies to Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types C and D. Antibodies against BoNT types C and D were detected in 10 (29%) and in 3 (9%) of 35 golden jackals, respectively, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This report describes detection of anti BoNT antibodies in wild canids other than coyotes (Canis latrans) for the first time and demonstrates that C. botulinum type C is prevalent in Israel.

  20. Infant botulism with prolonged faecal excretion of botulinum neurotoxin and Clostridium botulinum for 7 months.

    PubMed

    Derman, Y; Korkeala, H; Salo, E; Lönnqvist, T; Saxen, H; Lindström, M

    2014-02-01

    In Finland in April 2010, a 3-month old baby was diagnosed with type A infant botulism. He excreted botulinum neurotoxin and/or Clostridium botulinum in his faeces until November 2010. Five months of excretion was after clinical recovery and discharge from hospital. C. botulinum isolates recovered from the household dust in the patient's home were genetically identical to those found in the infant's stool samples. Long-term faecal excretion of C. botulinum may pose a possible health risk for the parents and others in close contact with the infant.

  1. Toxicity of the cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine to three aquatic animal species.

    PubMed

    Purdie, Esme L; Metcalf, James S; Kashmiri, Shereen; Codd, Geoffrey A

    2009-01-01

    Beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxin and candidate contributory cause of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is produced by aquatic and terrestrial cyanobacteria. We have determined BMAA toxicity to three aquatic animal species: zebra fish (Danio rerio), brine shrimp (Artemia salina) and the protozoan Nassula sorex. Responses included: clonus convulsions and abnormal spinal axis formation (D. rerio), loss of phototaxis (A. salina) and mortalities (all species). These systems offer potential to further understand BMAA toxicity and the bioaccumulation and fates of BMAA in aquatic food chains leading to potential human exposure.

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

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-01

    While modeling algal productivity outdoors is crucial to assess the economic and environmental performance of full-scale cultivation, most of the models hitherto developed for this purpose have not been validated under fully relevant conditions, especially with regard to temperature variations. The objective of this study was to independently validate a model of algal biomass productivity accounting for both light and temperature and constructed using parameters experimentally derived using short-term indoor experiments. To do this, the accuracy of a model developed for Chlorella vulgaris was assessed against data collected from photobioreactors operated outdoor (New Zealand) over different seasons, years, and operating conditions (temperature-control/no temperature-control, batch, and fed-batch regimes). The model accurately predicted experimental productivities under all conditions tested, yielding an overall accuracy of ±8.4% over 148 days of cultivation. For the purpose of assessing the feasibility of full-scale algal cultivation, the use of the productivity model was therefore shown to markedly reduce uncertainty in cost of biofuel production while also eliminating uncertainties in water demand, a critical element of environmental impact assessments. Simulations at five climatic locations demonstrated that temperature-control in outdoor photobioreactors would require tremendous amounts of energy without considerable increase of algal biomass. Prior assessments neglecting the impact of temperature variations on algal productivity in photobioreactors may therefore be erroneous.

  3. Effects of acidification on algal assemblages in temporary ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Glackin, M.E.; Pratt, J.R.

    1994-12-31

    Atmospheric deposition monitoring in Pennsylvania has characterized a steep gradient of acidic ion depositions across the north-central portion of the state. This study evaluated acidification effects on the composition of algal assemblages in temporary ponds in two forested areas exposed to atmospheric deposition that varied in degree of acidity. Artificial substrates were used to sample and compare the algal assemblages in the two areas. Colonized communities were also transplanted to lower pH ponds to observe changes in species composition. A laboratory microcosm experiment manipulating pH was conducted to reduce the variables that differed between the two areas. Fewer algal taxa were present in lower pH ponds, on colonized substrates after transplant to lower pH ponds, and in lower pH laboratory treatments. Species composition was altered in the lower pH conditions. Most taxa that were excluded from the lower pH ponds naturally also did not survive when experimentally introduced to those conditions. These results suggest that acidification of temporary ponds can alter the structure of algal communities. There is interest in a possible link between acid deposition and reports of worldwide declines in amphibian populations. Algae are an important food source for larval amphibians, such as the wood frog, which require temporary ponds to breed. Changes in algal species composition could potentially impact the temporary pond and forest ecosystem.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Towards an Autonomous Space In-Situ Marine Sensorweb

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chien, S.; Doubleday, J.; Tran, D.; Thompson, D.; Mahoney, G.; Chao, Y.; Castano, R.; Ryan, J.; Kudela, R.; Palacios, S.; Foley, D.; Balasuriya, A.; Schmidt, H.; Schofield, O.; Arrott, M.; Meisinger, M.; Mandl, D.; Frye, S.; Ong, L.; Cappelaere, P.

    2009-01-01

    We describe ongoing efforts to integrate and coordinate space and marine assets to enable autonomous response to dynamic ocean phenomena such as algal blooms, eddies, and currents. Thus far we have focused on the use of remote sensing assets (e.g. satellites) but future plans include expansions to use a range of in-situ sensors such as gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, and buoys/moorings.

  6. Anatomy of a phylloid algal buildup, Raytown Limestone, Iola Formation, Pennsylvanian, Southeast Kansas, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, William C.; Carozzi, Albert V.

    1986-05-01

    Quantitative petrography and temporal-spatial relationships of microfacies were used to interpret the depositional history of Iola carbonates. The Paola Limestone, consisting of four microfacies, was deposited on a carbonate ramp and appears to record the maximum transgression within the Iola cycle of deposition. The overlying Raytown Limestone was composed of nineteen microfacies arranged in three vertically successive depositional models of similar general configuration. These models revealed an initial bioclastic bar evolving upward into a complex bioaccumulated-bioconstructed phylloid algal buildup. The latter was replaced landward by a siliciclastic distal deltaic environment and graded basinward into upper ramp and lower ramp carbonates. Locally, restricted circulation caused the development of hypersaline conditions. The shallowing-upward depositional evolution of the phylloid algal buildup consisted of four distinct stages: bioclastic (hydrodynamic buildup), bioaccumulation, bioconstruction, and bioclastic (destruction in storm-dominated conditions and intermittent emergence). Diagenesis of Iola microfacies was complex and included: marine phreatic 1 (bioturbation, syneresis, micritization, micrite lithification, and hardground genesis; freshwater vadose—phreatic undersaturated 1 (dissolution of evaporites, moldic dissolution, collapse brecciation, and vadose silt infiltration); marine phreatic 2 (isopachous rim and botryoidal cementation); freshwater phreatic saturated 2 (sparite cementation, and extensive neomorphism); deep burial (anhydritization, dolomitization, stylolitization, and silicification); and late uplift (fracturation and cementation). Most of the diagenesis was microfacies specific.

  7. Arctic sea-ice decline archived by multicentury annual-resolution record from crustose coralline algal proxy.

    PubMed

    Halfar, Jochen; Adey, Walter H; Kronz, Andreas; Hetzinger, Steffen; Edinger, Evan; Fitzhugh, William W

    2013-12-01

    Northern Hemisphere sea ice has been declining sharply over the past decades and 2012 exhibited the lowest Arctic summer sea-ice cover in historic times. Whereas ongoing changes are closely monitored through satellite observations, we have only limited data of past Arctic sea-ice cover derived from short historical records, indirect terrestrial proxies, and low-resolution marine sediment cores. A multicentury time series from extremely long-lived annual increment-forming crustose coralline algal buildups now provides the first high-resolution in situ marine proxy for sea-ice cover. Growth and Mg/Ca ratios of these Arctic-wide occurring calcified algae are sensitive to changes in both temperature and solar radiation. Growth sharply declines with increasing sea-ice blockage of light from the benthic algal habitat. The 646-y multisite record from the Canadian Arctic indicates that during the Little Ice Age, sea ice was extensive but highly variable on subdecadal time scales and coincided with an expansion of ice-dependent Thule/Labrador Inuit sea mammal hunters in the region. The past 150 y instead have been characterized by sea ice exhibiting multidecadal variability with a long-term decline distinctly steeper than at any time since the 14th century.

  8. Arctic sea-ice decline archived by multicentury annual-resolution record from crustose coralline algal proxy

    PubMed Central

    Halfar, Jochen

    2013-01-01

    Northern Hemisphere sea ice has been declining sharply over the past decades and 2012 exhibited the lowest Arctic summer sea-ice cover in historic times. Whereas ongoing changes are closely monitored through satellite observations, we have only limited data of past Arctic sea-ice cover derived from short historical records, indirect terrestrial proxies, and low-resolution marine sediment cores. A multicentury time series from extremely long-lived annual increment-forming crustose coralline algal buildups now provides the first high-resolution in situ marine proxy for sea-ice cover. Growth and Mg/Ca ratios of these Arctic-wide occurring calcified algae are sensitive to changes in both temperature and solar radiation. Growth sharply declines with increasing sea-ice blockage of light from the benthic algal habitat. The 646-y multisite record from the Canadian Arctic indicates that during the Little Ice Age, sea ice was extensive but highly variable on subdecadal time scales and coincided with an expansion of ice-dependent Thule/Labrador Inuit sea mammal hunters in the region. The past 150 y instead have been characterized by sea ice exhibiting multidecadal variability with a long-term decline distinctly steeper than at any time since the 14th century. PMID:24248344

  9. Neurotoxin formation from pilot-scale incineration of synthetic ester turbine lubricants with a triaryl phosphate additive.

    PubMed

    Rubey, W A; Striebich, R C; Bush, J; Centers, P W; Wright, R L

    1996-01-01

    The high-temperature combustion of synthetic ester turbine engine lubricants has been performed by diluting the lubricant 5, 15, or 25% in diesel fuel and burning the mixture in a pilot-scale boiler facility. The effluent gas from this combustion system was carefully monitored for the formation of a potent neurotoxin, trimethylolpropane phosphate (TMPP). Although TMPP was not detected in the gaseous effluent, elevated levels of the neurotoxin were found in scrapings from the inside of the boiler system. Because of the extreme toxicity of this compound, significant dermal exposure could be a potential risk to incinerator operation and maintenance personnel. PMID:8783815

  10. Neurotoxin formation from pilot-scale incineration of synthetic ester turbine lubricants with a triaryl phosphate additive.

    PubMed

    Rubey, W A; Striebich, R C; Bush, J; Centers, P W; Wright, R L

    1996-01-01

    The high-temperature combustion of synthetic ester turbine engine lubricants has been performed by diluting the lubricant 5, 15, or 25% in diesel fuel and burning the mixture in a pilot-scale boiler facility. The effluent gas from this combustion system was carefully monitored for the formation of a potent neurotoxin, trimethylolpropane phosphate (TMPP). Although TMPP was not detected in the gaseous effluent, elevated levels of the neurotoxin were found in scrapings from the inside of the boiler system. Because of the extreme toxicity of this compound, significant dermal exposure could be a potential risk to incinerator operation and maintenance personnel.

  11. Acute sialadenitis secondary to submandibular calculi after botulinum neurotoxin injection for sialorrhea in a child with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Mike; Shelton, Jean

    2011-12-01

    Children with cerebral palsy and other neurologic diseases often present with sialorrhea. Intraglandular botulinum neurotoxin is being increasingly reported to be clinically effective for the treatment of sialorrhea. This treatment is becoming more popular in recent years because of being less invasive than surgical procedures. In addition, fewer adverse effects have been documented compared with oral or topical anticholinergic medication. We report the first case in a child with cerebral palsy who developed serious acute sialadenitis with submandibular sialolithiasis after intraglandular botulinum neurotoxin injection for sialorrhea.

  12. Associations between marine phytoplankton and symptoms of illness among recreational beachgoers in Puerto Rico, 2009

    EPA Science Inventory

    While phytoplankton generally have crucial roles in marine ecosystems, a small subset can release toxins and produce harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs can be a threat to human health as symptoms from exposure range from neurological impairment to gastrointestinal (GI), dermal, a...

  13. Global warming and cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Paul, Valerie J

    2008-01-01

    The Earth and the oceans have warmed significantly over the past four decades, providing evidence that the Earth is undergoing long-term climate change. Increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have been documented. Cyanobacteria have a long evolutionary history, with their first occurrence dating back at least 2.7 billion years ago. Cyanobacteria often dominated the oceans after past mass extinction events. They evolved under anoxic conditions and are well adapted to environmental stress including exposure to UV, high solar radiation and temperatures, scarce and abundant nutrients. These environmental conditions favor the dominance of cyanobacteria in many aquatic habitats, from freshwater to marine ecosystems. A few studies have examined the ecological consequences of global warming on cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton over the past decades in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments, with varying results. The responses of cyanobacteria to changing environmental patterns associated with global climate change are important subjects for future research. Results of this research will have ecological and biogeochemical significance as well as management implications.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  15. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  16. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Microbubbles were added to an algal solution with the goal of improving cell disruption efficiency and the net energy balance for algal biofuel production. Experimental results showed that disruption increases with increasing peak rarefaction ultrasound pressure over the range studied: 1.90 to 3.07 MPa. Additionally, ultrasound cell disruption increased by up to 58% by adding microbubbles, with peak disruption occurring in the range of 108 microbubbles/ml. The localization of energy in space and time provided by the bubbles improve efficiency: energy requirements for such a process were estimated to be one-fourth of the available heat of combustion of algal biomass and one-fifth of currently used cell disruption methods. This increase in energy efficiency could make microbubble enhanced ultrasound viable for bioenergy applications and is expected to integrate well with current cell harvesting methods based upon dissolved air flotation. PMID:25311188

  17. Small herbivores suppress algal accumulation on Agatti atoll, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernohorsky, Nicole H.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Babu, Idrees; Horsák, Michal

    2015-12-01

    Despite large herbivorous fish being generally accepted as the main group responsible for preventing algal accumulation on coral reefs, few studies have experimentally examined the relative importance of herbivore size on algal communities. This study used exclusion cages with two different mesh sizes (1 × 1 cm and 6 × 6 cm) to investigate the impact of different-sized herbivores on algal accumulation rates on the shallow (<2 m) back-reef of Agatti atoll, Lakshadweep. The fine-mesh cages excluded all visible herbivores, which had rapid and lasting effects on the benthic communities, and, after 127 d of deployment, there was a visible and significant increase in algae (mainly macroalgae) with algal volume being 13 times greater than in adjacent open areas. The coarse-mesh cages excluded larger fishes (>8 cm body depth) while allowing smaller fishes to access the plots. In contrast to the conclusions of most previous studies, the exclusion of large herbivores had no significant effect on the accumulation of benthic algae and the amount of algae present within the coarse-mesh cages was relatively consistent throughout the experimental period (around 50 % coverage and 1-2 mm height). The difference in algal accumulation between the fine-mesh and coarse-mesh cages appears to be related to the actions of small individuals from 12 herbivorous fish species (0.17 ind. m-2 and 7.7 g m-2) that were able to enter through the coarse mesh. Although restricted to a single habitat, these results suggest that when present in sufficient densities and diversity, small herbivorous fishes can prevent the accumulation of algal biomass on coral reefs.

  18. Chemical Structures and Bioactivities of Sulfated Polysaccharides from Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Guangling; Yu, Guangli; Zhang, Junzeng; Ewart, H. Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Sulfated polysaccharides and their lower molecular weight oligosaccharide derivatives from marine macroalgae have been shown to possess a variety of biological activities. The present paper will review the recent progress in research on the structural chemistry and the bioactivities of these marine algal biomaterials. In particular, it will provide an update on the structural chemistry of the major sulfated polysaccharides synthesized by seaweeds including the galactans (e.g., agarans and carrageenans), ulvans, and fucans. It will then review the recent findings on the anticoagulant/antithrombotic, antiviral, immuno-inflammatory, antilipidemic and antioxidant activities of sulfated polysaccharides and their potential for therapeutic application. PMID:21566795

  19. Recent developments with metalloprotease inhibitor class of drug candidates for Botulinum neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins are the most poisonous of all toxins with lethal dose in nanogram quantities. They are also potential biological warfare and bioterrorism agents due to their high toxicity and ease of preparation. On the other hand BoNTs are also being increasingly used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and with that the chances of accidental overdose are increasing. And despite the potential damage they could cause to human health, there are no post-intoxication drugs available so far. But progress is being made in this direction. The crystal structures in native form and bound with substrate peptides have been determined, and these are enabling structure-based drug discovery possible. High throughput assays have also been designed to speed up the screening progress. Substrate-based and small molecule inhibitors have been identified. But turning high affinity inhibitors into clinically viable drug candidates has remained a challenge. We discuss here the latest developments and the future challenges in drug discovery for Botulinum neurotoxins.

  20. New Elements To Consider When Modeling the Hazards Associated with Botulinum Neurotoxin in Food

    PubMed Central

    Mura, Ivan; Malakar, Pradeep K.; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W.; Barker, G. C.

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological substances known to mankind. BoNTs are the agents responsible for botulism, a rare condition affecting the neuromuscular junction and causing a spectrum of diseases ranging from mild cranial nerve palsies to acute respiratory failure and death. BoNTs are a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard, since outbreaks of foodborne botulism are caused by the ingestion of preformed BoNTs in food. Currently, mathematical models relating to the hazards associated with C. botulinum, which are largely empirical, make major contributions to botulinum risk assessment. Evaluated using statistical techniques, these models simulate the response of the bacterium to environmental conditions. Though empirical models have been successfully incorporated into risk assessments to support food safety decision making, this process includes significant uncertainties so that relevant decision making is frequently conservative and inflexible. Progression involves encoding into the models cellular processes at a molecular level, especially the details of the genetic and molecular machinery. This addition drives the connection between biological mechanisms and botulism risk assessment and hazard management strategies. This review brings together elements currently described in the literature that will be useful in building quantitative models of C. botulinum neurotoxin production. Subsequently, it outlines how the established form of modeling could be extended to include these new elements. Ultimately, this can offer further contributions to risk assessments to support food safety decision making. PMID:26350137

  1. Domain Organization in Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Type E is Unique: Its Implication in Faster Translocation

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran, D.; Eswaramoorthy, S; Furey, W; Navaza, J; Sax, M; Swaminathan, S

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct neurotoxins [C. botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) A-G] sharing a significant sequence homology. Based on sequence and functional similarity, it was believed that their three-dimensional structures will also be similar. Indeed, the crystal structures of BoNTs A and B exhibit similar fold and domain association where the translocation domain is flanked on either side by binding and catalytic domains. Here, we report the crystal structure of BoNT E holotoxin and show that the domain association is different and unique, although the individual domains are similar to those of BoNTs A and B. In BoNT E, both the binding domain and the catalytic domain are on the same side of the translocation domain, and all three have mutual interfaces. This unique association may have an effect on the rate of translocation, with the molecule strategically positioned in the vesicle for quick entry into cytosol. Botulism, the disease caused by BoNT E, sets in faster than any other serotype because of its speedy internalization and translocation, and the present structure offers a credible explanation. We propose that the translocation domain in other BoNTs follows a two-step process to attain translocation-competent conformation as in BoNT E. We also suggest that this translocation-competent conformation in BoNT E is a probable reason for its faster toxic rate compared to BoNT A. However, this needs further experimental elucidation.

  2. Mechanism of substrate recognition by the novel Botulinum Neurotoxin subtype F5

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jiubiao; Chan, Edward Wai Chi; Chen, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the causative agents of botulism, which act by potently inhibiting the neurotransmitter release in motor neurons. Seven serotypes of BoNTs designated as BoNT/A-G have been identified. Recently, two novel types of Botulinum neurotoxins, which cleave a novel scissile bond, L54-E55, of VAMP-2 have been reported including BoNT/F subtype F5 and serotype H. However, little has been known on how these BoNTs recognize their substrates. The present study addressed for the first time the unique substrate recognition mechanism of LC/F5. Our data indicated that the optimal peptide required for efficient LC/F5 substrate cleavage is VAMP-2 (20–65). Interestingly, the overall mode of substrate recognition adopted by LC/F5 was similar to LC/F1, except that its recognition sites were shifted one helix toward the N-terminus of VAMP-2 when compared to that of LC/F1. The composition of LC/F5 pockets were found to have changed accordingly to facilitate specific recognition of these new sites of VAMP-2, including the P2′, P1′, P2, P3, B3, B2 and B1 sites. The study provides direct evidence of the evolutionary adaption of BoNT to recognize its substrate which is useful for effective antitoxin and inhibitor development. PMID:26794648

  3. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Callista B.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R.; Morgan, Garry P.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  4. Inhibition of botulinum neurotoxins interchain disulfide bond reduction prevents the peripheral neuroparalysis of botulism.

    PubMed

    Zanetti, Giulia; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Pirazzini, Marcon; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C; Fillo, Silvia; Lista, Florigio; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a growing family of metalloproteases with a unique specificity either for VAMP, SNAP25 or syntaxin. The BoNTs are grouped in seven different serotypes indicated by letters from A to G. These neurotoxins enter the cytosol of nerve terminals via a 100 kDa chain which binds to the presynaptic membrane and assists the translocation of a 50 kDa metalloprotease chain. These two chains are linked by a single disulfide bridge which plays an essential role during the entry of the metalloprotease chain in the cytosol, but thereafter it has to be reduced to free the proteolytic activity. Its reduction is mediated by thioredoxin which is continuously regenerated by its reductase. Here we show that inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase or of thioredoxin prevent the specific proteolysis of VAMP by the four VAMP-specific BoNTs: type B, D, F and G. These compounds are effective not only in primary cultures of neurons, but also in preventing the in vivo mouse limb neuroparalysis. In addition, one of these inhibitors, Ebselen, largely protects mice from the death caused by a systemic injection. Together with recent results obtained with BoNTs specific for SNAP25 and syntaxin, the present data demonstrate the essential role of the thioredoxin-thioredoxin reductase system in reducing the interchain disulfide during the nerve intoxication mechanism of all serotypes. Therefore its inhibitors should be considered for a possible use to prevent botulism and for treating infant botulism.

  5. A Simple, Rapid and Sensitive FRET Assay for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B Detection

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuechen; Chen, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most potent naturally-occurring neurotoxins known to humans, comprise seven distinct serotypes (BoNT/A-G), each of which exhibits unique substrate specificity. Many methods have been developed for BoNT detection, in particular for BoNT/A, with various complexity and sensitivity, while substrate based FRET assay is considered as the most widely used approach due to its simplicity and sensitivity. In this study, we designed a vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2) based FRET assay based on the understanding of the VAMP2 and light chain/B (LC/B) interactions in our previous studies. The current design constituted the shortest peptide, VAMP2 (63–85), with FRET dyes (EDAN and Dabcyl) labelled at position 76 and 85, respectively, which showed minimal effect on VAMP2 substrate catalysis by LC/B and therefore enhanced the sensitivity of the assay. The FRET peptide, designated as FVP-B, was specific to LC/B, with a detection sensitivity as low as ∼20 pM in 2 h. Importantly, FVP-B showed the potential to be scaled up and used in high throughput screening of LC/B inhibitor. The currently developed FRET assay is one of the most economic and rapid FRET assays for LC/B detection. PMID:25437190

  6. Unconventional amino acid sequence of the sun anemone (Stoichactis helianthus) polypeptide neurotoxin

    SciTech Connect

    Kem, W.; Dunn, B.; Parten, B.; Pennington, M.; Price, D.

    1986-05-01

    A 5000 dalton polypeptide neurotoxin (Sh-NI) purified by G50 Sephadex, P-cellulose, and SP-Sephadex chromatography was homogeneous by isoelectric focusing. Sh-NI was highly toxic to crayfish (LD/sub 50/ 0.6 ..mu..g/kg) but without effect upon mice at 15,000 ..mu..g/kg (i.p. injection). The reduced, /sup 3/H-carboxymethylated toxin and its fragments were subjected to automatic Edman degradation and the resulting PTH-amino acids were identified by HPLC, back hydrolysis, and scintillation counting. Peptides resulting from proteolytic (clostripain, staphylococcal protease) and chemical (tryptophan) cleavage were sequenced. The sequence is: AACKCDDEGPDIRTAPLTGTVDLGSCNAGWEKCASYYTIIADCCRKKK. This sequence differs considerably from the homologous Anemonia and Anthopleura toxins; many of the identical residues (6 half-cystines, G9, P10, R13, G19, G29, W30) are probably critical for folding rather than receptor recognition. However, the Sh-NI sequence closely resembles Radioanthus macrodactylus neurotoxin III and r. paumotensis II. The authors propose that Sh-NI and related Radioanthus toxins act upon a different site on the sodium channel.

  7. Botulinum neurotoxin type C protease induces apoptosis in differentiated human neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Rust, Aleksander; Leese, Charlotte; Binz, Thomas; Davletov, Bazbek

    2016-05-31

    Neuroblastomas constitute a major cause of cancer-related deaths in young children. In recent years, a number of translation-inhibiting enzymes have been evaluated for killing neuroblastoma cells. Here we investigated the potential vulnerability of human neuroblastoma cells to protease activity derived from botulinum neurotoxin type C. We show that following retinoic acid treatment, human neuroblastoma cells, SiMa and SH-SY5Y, acquire a neuronal phenotype evidenced by axonal growth and expression of neuronal markers. Botulinum neurotoxin type C which cleaves neuron-specific SNAP25 and syntaxin1 caused apoptotic death only in differentiated neuroblastoma cells. Direct comparison of translation-inhibiting enzymes and the type C botulinum protease revealed one order higher cytotoxic potency of the latter suggesting a novel neuroblastoma-targeting pathway. Our mechanistic insights revealed that loss of ubiquitous SNAP23 due to differentiation coupled to SNAP25 cleavage due to botulinum activity may underlie the apoptotic death of human neuroblastoma cells. PMID:27121208

  8. Chemical modification of tryptophan residues in alpha-neurotoxins from Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom.

    PubMed

    Chang, C C; Lin, P M; Chang, L S; Kuo, K W

    1995-02-01

    Two alpha-neurotoxins, Oh-4 and Oh-7, from the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom were subjected to Trp modification with 2-nitrophenylsulfenyl chloride (NPS-Cl). One major NPS derivative was isolated from the modified mixtures of Oh-4 and two from Oh-7 by HPLC. Amino acid analysis and sequence determination revealed that Trp-27 in Oh-4, and Trp-30 and Trp-26 and 30 in the two Oh-7 derivatives, were modified, respectively. Sulfenylation of Trp-27 in Oh-4 caused about 70% drop in lethal toxicity and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-binding activity. Modification of Trp-30 in Oh-7 resulted in the decrease of lethal toxicity by 36% and binding activity by 61%. The activities were further lost when the conserved Trp-26 in Oh-7 was modified. Sulfenylation of the Trp residues did not significantly affect the secondary structure of the toxins as revealed by the CD spectra. These results indicate that the Trp residues in these two long alpha-neurotoxins may be involved in the receptor binding.

  9. Acute Radiation Disease : Cutaneous Syndrome and Toxic properties of Radiomimetics -Radiation Neurotoxins and Hematotoxins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Cutaneous injury is an important complication of a general or local acute irradiation. A type of a skin and tissues lesions depends on a type, intensity, and period of irradiation. Also, the clinical picture, signs, and manifestations of the cutaneous syndrome depend on a type of the radiation toxins circulated in lymph and blood of irradiated mammals. Radiation Toxins were isolated from lymph of the mammals that were irradiated and developed different forms of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) -Cerebrovascular, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, and Hematopoietic. Radiation Toxins can be divided into the two important types of toxins (Neu-rotoxins and Hematotoxins) or four groups. The effects of Radiation Neurotoxins include severe damages and cell death of brain, heart, gastrointestinal tissues and endothelial cells of blood and lymphatic vessels. The hematotoxicity of Hematotoxic Radiation Toxins includes lym-phopenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia in the blood circulation and transitory lymphocytosis and leukocytosis in the Central Lymphatic System. In all cases, administration of the Radiomimetics (Radiation Toxins) intramuscularly or intravenously to healthy, radiation naive mammals had induced and developed the typical clinical manifestations of the ARS. In all cases, administration of Radiomimetics by subtoxic doses had demonstrated development of typical clinical signs of the cutaneous syndrome such as hair loss, erythema, swelling, desqua-mation, blistering and skin necrosis. In animal-toxic models, we have activated development of the local skin and tissue injury after injection of Radiation Toxins with cytoxic properties.

  10. Sialorrhea in patients with Parkinson's disease: safety and administration of botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Egevad, Gustav; Petkova, Valentina Yankova; Vilholm, Ole Jakob

    2014-01-01

    Sialorrhea may present as a troublesome symptom in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Current options for treatment include anticholinergic drugs, irradiation, surgery, oral-motor and behavioural therapies, and injection of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in the salivary glands. The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety and administration of BoNT as a treatment for sialorrhea in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) based on a review of the studies conducted so far in this field. A PubMed search was conducted using the major keywords sialorrhea, botulinum neurotoxin, botulinum toxin and Parkinson's disease. The literature search identified 12 articles, which were selected for further analysis. Few adverse effects were described in the studies included in this present review. Various treatment strategies, including different medication dosages, were applied in the studies. BoNT treatment is safe for sialorrhea in patients with PD. Positive effect is well documented, and there have been relatively few reported adverse effects, which have been mild and transient. Based on this review, a treatment algorithm is proposed. Ultrasound guidance may not be necessary when injecting the parotid gland but may improve the effect and safety of administration, especially when injecting the submandibular glands.

  11. Recent developments with metalloprotease inhibitor class of drug candidates for Botulinum neurotoxins

    DOE PAGES

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins are the most poisonous of all toxins with lethal dose in nanogram quantities. They are also potential biological warfare and bioterrorism agents due to their high toxicity and ease of preparation. On the other hand BoNTs are also being increasingly used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and with that the chances of accidental overdose are increasing. And despite the potential damage they could cause to human health, there are no post-intoxication drugs available so far. But progress is being made in this direction. The crystal structures in native form and bound with substrate peptides have been determined, andmore » these are enabling structure-based drug discovery possible. High throughput assays have also been designed to speed up the screening progress. Substrate-based and small molecule inhibitors have been identified. But turning high affinity inhibitors into clinically viable drug candidates has remained a challenge. We discuss here the latest developments and the future challenges in drug discovery for Botulinum neurotoxins.« less

  12. Exploration of endogenous substrate cleavage by various forms of botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiubiao; Wang, Jinglin; Chan, Edward Waichi; Chen, Sheng

    2015-06-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins are the most potent protein neurotoxin known to human. The dual roles of BoNTs as both the causative agent of human botulism and a widely used protein-based therapeutic agent for treatment of numerous neuromuscular disorders/cosmetic uses make it an extremely hot topic of research. Biochemical characterization of these toxins was mainly confined to the recombinant light chains and substrate and little is known about their efficiency on the cleavage of endogenous substrates. In the present study, we showed that BoNTs exhibited variable activities on their endogenous substrates and that their efficiency to cleave recombinant and endogenous substrate was not consistent, presumably due to the differential recognition of their respective substrates in the natural SNARE complex format. Through testing the combinatorial effects of different BoNTs on cleavage of endogenous substrates, we showed that the combinations of LC/A and LC/B, as well as LC/A and LC/F, could enhance the activity of each individual BoNT. This finding may shed light on the future development of new BoNT serotypes for clinical application, and formulation of combinatorial uses of different BoNTs to minimize the development of immuno-resistance by using a lower amount of individual type. PMID:25912942

  13. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    SciTech Connect

    Teng, Y. G.; Berger, W. T.; Nesbitt, N. M.; Kumar, K.; Balius, T. E.; Rizzo, R. C.; Tonge, P. J.; Ojima, I.; Swaminathan, S.

    2015-07-27

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation into the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput virtual screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in-silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogues of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogues showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds

  14. Botulinum neurotoxin type C protease induces apoptosis in differentiated human neuroblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Rust, Aleksander; Leese, Charlotte; Binz, Thomas; Davletov, Bazbek

    2016-01-01

    Neuroblastomas constitute a major cause of cancer-related deaths in young children. In recent years, a number of translation-inhibiting enzymes have been evaluated for killing neuroblastoma cells. Here we investigated the potential vulnerability of human neuroblastoma cells to protease activity derived from botulinum neurotoxin type C. We show that following retinoic acid treatment, human neuroblastoma cells, SiMa and SH-SY5Y, acquire a neuronal phenotype evidenced by axonal growth and expression of neuronal markers. Botulinum neurotoxin type C which cleaves neuron-specific SNAP25 and syntaxin1 caused apoptotic death only in differentiated neuroblastoma cells. Direct comparison of translation-inhibiting enzymes and the type C botulinum protease revealed one order higher cytotoxic potency of the latter suggesting a novel neuroblastoma-targeting pathway. Our mechanistic insights revealed that loss of ubiquitous SNAP23 due to differentiation coupled to SNAP25 cleavage due to botulinum activity may underlie the apoptotic death of human neuroblastoma cells. PMID:27121208

  15. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    DOE PAGES

    Teng, Y. G.; Berger, W. T.; Nesbitt, N. M.; Kumar, K.; Balius, T. E.; Rizzo, R. C.; Tonge, P. J.; Ojima, I.; Swaminathan, S.

    2015-07-27

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation intomore » the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput virtual screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in-silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogues of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogues showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds« less

  16. Identification of a Unique Ganglioside Binding Loop within Botulinum Neurotoxins C and D-SA

    SciTech Connect

    Karalewitz, Andrew P.-A.; Kroken, Abby R.; Fu, Zhuji; Baldwin, Michael R.; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-09-22

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent protein toxins for humans. There are seven serotypes of BoNTs (A-G) based on a lack of cross antiserum neutralization. BoNTs utilize gangliosides as components of the host receptors for binding and entry into neurons. Members of BoNT/C and BoNT/D serotypes include mosaic toxins that are organized in D/C and C/D toxins. One D/C mosaic toxin, BoNT/D-South Africa (BoNT/D-SA), was not fully neutralized by immunization with BoNT serotype C or D, which stimulated this study. Here the crystal structures of the receptor binding domains of BoNT/C, BoNT/D, and BoNT/D-SA are presented. Biochemical and cell binding studies show that BoNT/C and BoNT/D-SA possess unique mechanisms for ganglioside binding. These studies provide new information about how the BoNTs can enter host cells as well as a basis for understanding the immunological diversity of these neurotoxins.

  17. Two protein trafficking processes at motor nerve endings unveiled by botulinum neurotoxin E.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Gary; Wang, Jiafu; Chion, C K N Kwo; Aoki, K Roger; Dolly, J Oliver

    2007-01-01

    The unique ability of a family of botulinum neurotoxins to block neuroexocytosis specifically-by selective interaction with peripheral cholinergic nerve endings, endocytotic uptake, translocation to the cytosol, and enzymic cleavage of essential proteins-underlies their increasing therapeutic applications. Although clinical use of type A is most widespread due to its prolonged inactivation of the synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa, botulinum neurotoxin E cleaves this same target but at a different bond and exhibits faster onset of neuromuscular paralysis. Herein, insights were gained into the different dynamics of action of types A and E toxins, which could help in designing variants with new pharmacological profiles. Natural and recombinant type E dichain forms showed similar proteolytic and neuromuscular paralytic activities. The neuroparalysis induced by type E toxin was accelerated between 21 and 35 degrees C and attenuated by bafilomycin A1. Temperature elevation also revealed an unanticipated bipartite dose response indicative of two distinct internalization processes, one being independent of temperature and the other dependent. Although elevating the temperature also hastened intoxication by type A, a second uptake mechanism was not evident. Increasing the frequency of nerve stimulation raised the uptake of type E via both processes, but the enhanced trafficking through the temperature-dependent pathway was only seen at 35 degrees C. These novel observations reveal that two membrane retrieval mechanisms are operative at motor nerve terminals which type E toxin exploits to gain entry via an acidification-dependent step, whereas A uses only one.

  18. Extravesicular intraneuronal migration of internalized botulinum neurotoxins without detectable inhibition of distal neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Gary W; Ovsepian, Saak V; Wang, Jiafu; Aoki, K Roger; Dolly, J Oliver

    2012-01-01

    Intracellular protein transport routes can be studied using toxins that exploit these to enter cells. BoNTA (botulinum neurotoxin type A) is a protease that binds to peripheral nerve terminals, becomes endocytosed and causes prolonged blockade of transmitter release by cleaving SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa). Retrograde transport of the toxin has been suggested, but not of the transient muscle relaxant, BoNTE (botulinum neurotoxin type E). In the present study, dispersal of these proteases in compartmented cultures of rat sympathetic neurons was examined after focal application of BoNTA or BoNTE to neurites. A majority of cleaved SNAP-25 was seen locally, but some appeared along neurites and accumulated in the soma over several weeks. BoNTE yielded less cleaved SNAP-25 at distal sites due to shorter-lived enzymic activity. Neurite transection prevented movement of BoNTA. The BoNTA protease could be detected only in the supernatants of neurites or cell body lysates, hence these proteases must move along neuronal processes in the axoplasm or are reversibly associated with membranes. Substitution into BoNTE of the BoNTA acceptor-binding domain did not alter its potency or mobility. Spontaneous or evoked transmission to cell bodies were not inhibited by retrogradely migrated BoNTA except with high doses, concurring with the lack of evidence for a direct central action when used clinically.

  19. Identification of a unique ganglioside binding loop within botulinum neurotoxins C and D-SA .

    PubMed

    Karalewitz, Andrew P-A; Kroken, Abby R; Fu, Zhuji; Baldwin, Michael R; Kim, Jung-Ja P; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2010-09-21

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent protein toxins for humans. There are seven serotypes of BoNTs (A-G) based on a lack of cross antiserum neutralization. BoNTs utilize gangliosides as components of the host receptors for binding and entry into neurons. Members of BoNT/C and BoNT/D serotypes include mosaic toxins that are organized in D/C and C/D toxins. One D/C mosaic toxin, BoNT/D-South Africa (BoNT/D-SA), was not fully neutralized by immunization with BoNT serotype C or D, which stimulated this study. Here the crystal structures of the receptor binding domains of BoNT/C, BoNT/D, and BoNT/D-SA are presented. Biochemical and cell binding studies show that BoNT/C and BoNT/D-SA possess unique mechanisms for ganglioside binding. These studies provide new information about how the BoNTs can enter host cells as well as a basis for understanding the immunological diversity of these neurotoxins.

  20. Current status and future directions of botulinum neurotoxins for targeting pain processing.

    PubMed

    Pellett, Sabine; Yaksh, Tony L; Ramachandran, Roshni

    2015-11-04

    Current evidence suggests that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) A1 and B1, given locally into peripheral tissues such as skin, muscles, and joints, alter nociceptive processing otherwise initiated by inflammation or nerve injury in animal models and humans. Recent data indicate that such locally delivered BoNTs exert not only local action on sensory afferent terminals but undergo transport to central afferent cell bodies (dorsal root ganglia) and spinal dorsal horn terminals, where they cleave SNAREs and block transmitter release. Increasing evidence supports the possibility of a trans-synaptic movement to alter postsynaptic function in neuronal and possibly non-neuronal (glial) cells. The vast majority of these studies have been conducted on BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B1, the only two pharmaceutically developed variants. However, now over 40 different subtypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have been identified. By combining our existing and rapidly growing understanding of BoNT/A1 and /B1 in altering nociceptive processing with explorations of the specific characteristics of the various toxins from this family, we may be able to discover or design novel, effective, and long-lasting pain therapeutics. This review will focus on our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms whereby BoNTs alter pain processing, and future directions in the development of these agents as pain therapeutics.