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Sample records for octocoral plexaura flexuosa

  1. Natural Prey Preferences and Spatial Variability of Predation Pressure by Cyphoma gibbosum (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on Octocoral Communities off La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Matthew Q.; Rodríguez, Luis R.; Sanabria, Duane J.

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the natural prey preferences and spatial variability of predation pressure (PP = proportion of colonies with snails and/or clear predation signs) by the gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum on octocoral communities off the La Parguera Natural Reserve, Puerto Rico. All octocoral colonies were checked for presence of C. gibbosum and/or clear predation signs in four permanent band-transects (2 × 10 m), along three depth intervals (0–5, 7–12, >15 m deep) in each of six reefs along an inshore offshore gradient. Results indicate that C. gibbosum preys on at least 16 species, six of which (Briareum asbestinum, Gorgonia ventalina, Pseudoterogorgia americana, P. acerosa, Plexaura flexuosa, and Pseudoplexaura porosa) consistently showed significantly higher (K-W, P < 0.05) (17–37%) PP compared to all other species. Plexaura flexuosa, P. americana, and P. porosa had significantly higher PP (11–38%) among inner and mid-shelf reefs, and G. ventalina had higher PP in shelf-edge reefs (16–20%). A combination of differential spatial distributions and octocoral species abundances seems to explain the observed patterns of predation by C. gibbosum. Prey preference and higher abundances of 3-dimensional octocorals providing increased refuge or microhabitats utilized for mating or egg-deposition could be driving the spatial distribution of C. gibbosum and the observed differential predation pressure. PMID:27433523

  2. [Effects of a submarine discharge of urban waste on octocoral (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) communities in Cuba].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Muñoz, Darlenys; Alcolado, Pedro M; Hernández-González, Miguel

    2008-03-01

    The composition and structure of octocoral communities on coral reefs close to a submarine outfall were studied at Reparto Flores, west of Havana City, Cuba. Octocoral community changes after the deployment of the submarine outfall in 2000 were monitored from June 2002 to September 2005, taking as baseline the data existing before its construction. The area also receives the influence of the polluted river Quibú that passes through a great part of the west side of the City. Sampling was done by means of SCUBA diving, counting and identifying colonies in situ within a 1 m2 frame that was randomly placed as many times as to warrant stabilized values of Shannon and Weaver's heterogeneity index H'. In agreement with the available hydrochemical information, changes in the diversity indexes (Shannon and Weaver's heterogeneity index H', Pielou's equitability index J', and Margalef's species richness index R1), the Herrera-Moreno's comparative pollution index (ICC), and density of some octocoral species at a depth of 10 m suggest a decrease in the influence of polluters from 1989 to 2005. Nevertheless, these indicators were affected in 2004 by a sudden intense but brief colonization of Briareum asbestinum, a species that is not typical of polluted places. At a depth of 20 m, a co-dominance of Plexaura kuekenthali and Eunicea clavigera (resistant and non resistant to pollution, respectively) and an increase of the comparative pollution index (ICC) was observed. The increase of P. kuekenthali, a pollution indicator, suggests a rise in the pollution effect 20 m in depth, because of the recent impact caused by the greater closeness of the outfall mouth 50 m deep. Results corroborate the hypothesis about the pollution indicator character of P. kuekenthali. However, this could not be explored for Eunicea flexuosa (also considered a pollution-indicator) due to an intensive illegal selective extraction for lucrative handicraft purposes, which led to a remarkable decrease in its

  3. [Structure and injuries of octocoral communities (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) of Ecological Reserve Siboney-Juticí, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba].

    PubMed

    Olivera Espinosa, Yunier; Hernández-Fernández, Leslie; Jover Capote, Abdiel

    2010-12-01

    In the spur-and-groove reefs of the Ecological Reserve Siboney-Juticí (Southeast Cuba) octocorals are one of the predominant components of the sessile fauna. Main objectives of the present paper are characterizing the composition, structure and conservation status of the octocoral communities and assessing on the prevailing environmental conditions in the study area. For data collection, six sampling sites were located every 2-3 km ranging from 12 m to 17 m depth along the spur-and-groove reefs. In each site, 22-26 lm2 quadrants were zigzag arranged every 2 m. The density of colonies was determined per site. The severity degree and predictability of environmental conditions were inferred by using the Heterogeneity and Equitability indexes, respectively. Hydrodynamic stress and the Comparative Pollution Index were also assessed. Current affectations of the octocoral communities were also determined and classified into four main categories: mechanical damage, diseases, predation and invertebrate and macroalgae overgrowth. As a result, 25 species represented by 752 colonies were recorded and Eunicea flexuosa and Gorgonia ventalina were the most abundant. The occurrence of Eunicea succinea forma succinea constituted the first report for Eastern Cuba. Site densities ranged from 3.58 +/- 1.84 to 7.58 +/- 2.16 colonies/m2 and considered from moderate to low. The biggest densities were reported at both sides of the San Juan River mouth. Despite of the composition and structure of the octocoral communities, low to high hydrodynamic stress and low and moderate levels of contamination were inferred, it is likely that these indexes could have been overestimated due to the sensitivity of the indicator species to other factors such as sedimentation. The environmental conditions were mostly favorable and stable. In general, the number of dead colonies was low and mostly caused by the detachment of the substrate and overgrowth of Millepora alcicornis. Injuries were mainly brought

  4. Symbiodinium Photosynthesis in Caribbean Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Ramsby, Blake D.; Shirur, Kartick P.

    2014-01-01

    Symbioses with the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium form the foundation of tropical coral reef communities. Symbiodinium photosynthesis fuels the growth of an array of marine invertebrates, including cnidarians such as scleractinian corals and octocorals (e.g., gorgonian and soft corals). Studies examining the symbioses between Caribbean gorgonian corals and Symbiodinium are sparse, even though gorgonian corals blanket the landscape of Caribbean coral reefs. The objective of this study was to compare photosynthetic characteristics of Symbiodinium in four common Caribbean gorgonian species: Pterogorgia anceps, Eunicea tourneforti, Pseudoplexaura porosa, and Pseudoplexaura wagenaari. Symbiodinium associated with these four species exhibited differences in Symbiodinium density, chlorophyll a per cell, light absorption by chlorophyll a, and rates of photosynthetic oxygen production. The two Pseudoplexaura species had higher Symbiodinium densities and chlorophyll a per Symbiodinium cell but lower chlorophyll a specific absorption compared to P. anceps and E. tourneforti. Consequently, P. porosa and P. wagenaari had the highest average photosynthetic rates per cm2 but the lowest average photosynthetic rates per Symbiodinium cell or chlorophyll a. With the exception of Symbiodinium from E. tourneforti, isolated Symbiodinium did not photosynthesize at the same rate as Symbiodinium in hospite. Differences in Symbiodinium photosynthetic performance could not be attributed to Symbiodinium type. All P. anceps (n = 9) and P. wagenaari (n = 6) colonies, in addition to one E. tourneforti and three P. porosa colonies, associated with Symbiodinium type B1. The B1 Symbiodinium from these four gorgonian species did not cluster with lineages of B1 Symbiodinium from scleractinian corals. The remaining eight E. tourneforti colonies harbored Symbiodinium type B1L, while six P. porosa colonies harbored type B1i. Understanding the symbioses between gorgonian corals and Symbiodinium will

  5. Octocoral diseases in a changing ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weil, Ernesto; Rogers, Caroline S.; Croquer, Aldo

    2017-01-01

    Octocorals (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) constitute a geographically widely distributed and common group of marine invertebrates commonly referred to as “soft-corals,” “sea fans,” “horny corals,” “sea feathers,” and “sea plumes.” They are found from shallow coastal habitats to mesophotic and abyssal depths. Octocorals are important members of most Atlantic-Caribbean, Indo-Pacific, and Mediterranean coastal and mesophotic reef communities; however, information about their susceptibility to diseases, predation, and competition, and their relationship with changing environmental conditions is limited. At least 19 diseases have been observed in at least 42 common octocoral species throughout their range. Twelve of these have been reported in the wider Caribbean (CA), one in Brazil (BR), two in the Mediterranean (ME), one in the Eastern Pacific (EP), and three in the western Pacific (WP). Pathogenic and/or environmental causes have been identified for eight diseases, including viruses, terrestrial fungi, protozoans, bacteria and cyanobacteria, filamentous algae, parasitic copepods, and high temperature. Only a few of the suspected pathogens have been tested with Koch’s postulates. At least eight disease outbreaks have led to extensive octocoral mortalities in the CA, ME, BR, and EP with detrimental ecological consequences. The fungal disease Aspergillosis has produced the highest mortalities in the CA and the EP. Other fungi, protozoans, and the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus were identified as potential causes of the death of millions of colonies in two Mediterranean disease outbreaks. Bacterial and fungal agents seemed to be responsible for the mass mortalities in Brazil and the WP. Most outbreaks in all regions were linked to high thermal anomalies associated with climate change, which seems to be the major driver. Other biological stressors such as predation and/or competition produce injuries that may contribute to the spread of infections and

  6. Octocoral bleaching during unusual thermal stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prada, C.; Weil, E.; Yoshioka, P. M.

    2010-03-01

    We describe a bleaching event in octocoral communities at four reefs in southwest Puerto Rico during October 2005 following a period of elevated sea surface temperatures. Percentages of colonies bleached varied among taxa, ranging from 0% for Pseudopterogorgia, Eunicea and Gorgonia to over 90% for Muricea. Other taxa exhibiting bleaching included Pseudoplexaura (22.3%), Muriceopsis (36.6%), Briareum (46.1%), Plexaurella (69.6%) and Pterogorgia (84.5%).

  7. Anti-inflammatory R-prostaglandins from Caribbean Colombian soft coral Plexaura homomalla.

    PubMed

    Reina, Eduardo; Ramos, Freddy A; Castellanos, Leonardo; Aragón, Marcela; Ospina, Luis F

    2013-11-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effect of prostaglandins isolated from soft coral Plexaura homomalla, collected in Colombian Caribbean Sea, on in vivo and in vitro inflammation models. Extracts from P. homomalla were fractionated and sequentially chromatographed to obtain the prostaglandins: (15R)-PGA2 (1), (15R)-PGA2 -Me (2), (15R)-O-Ac-PGA2 (3), (15R)-O-Ac-PGA2 -Me (4) and (15R)-PGE2 (5) in addition to three semi-synthetic prostaglandins obtained by transformations of the natural products. The anti-inflammatory properties of natural and semi-synthetic compounds were determined in vivo using 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear oedema model and in vitro leucocyte degranulation, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and elastase enzymatic activities from human polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). The cell viability was evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. In the in vivo assay, (15R)-PGE2 (1) and (15R)-O-Ac-PGA2 (3) showed anti-inflammatory activity, as well as in vitro inhibition of elastase release from PMNs. In the PMNs degranulation assay, (15R)-PGE2 (5), was the most active compound in the inhibition of MPO release. Finally, all the tested prostaglandins showed moderate inhibition for elastase enzyme activity, whereas none of the prostaglandins exhibit significative inhibition on MPO activity. (15R)-PGE2 (1) and (15R)-O-Ac-PGA2 (3) present significant inhibition on three important events related to the topical inflammatory response induced by TPA: the oedema formation, the PMNs degranulation, events that modulate MPO and elastase levels at inflammation site, and the inhibition of the enzyme activity. © 2013 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  8. Does elevated pCO2 affect reef octocorals?

    PubMed

    Gabay, Yasmin; Benayahu, Yehuda; Fine, Maoz

    2013-03-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pCO2 alters seawater chemistry, with potentially severe consequences for coral reef growth and health. Octocorals are the second most important faunistic component in many reefs, often occupying 50% or more of the available substrate. Three species of octocorals from two families were studied in Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba), comprising the zooxanthellate Ovabunda macrospiculata and Heteroxenia fuscescens (family Xeniidae), and Sarcophyton sp. (family Alcyoniidae). They were maintained under normal (8.2) and reduced (7.6 and 7.3) pH conditions for up to 5 months. Their biolological features, including protein concentration, polyp weight, density of zooxanthellae, and their chlorophyll concentration per cell, as well as polyp pulsation rate, were examined under conditions more acidic than normal, in order to test the hypothesis that rising pCO2 would affect octocorals. The results indicate no statistically significant difference between the octocorals exposed to reduced pH values compared to the control. It is therefore suggested that the octocorals' tissue may act as a protective barrier against adverse pH conditions, thus maintaining them unharmed at high levels of pCO2.

  9. Complete chloroplast genome of green tide algae Ulva flexuosa (Ulvophyceae, Chlorophyta) with comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Cai, Chuner; Wang, Lingke; Zhou, Lingjie; He, Peimin; Jiao, Binghua

    2017-01-01

    Ulva flexuosa, one kind of green tide algae, has outbroken in the Yellow Sea of China during the past ten years. In the present study, we sequenced the chloroplast genome of U. flexuosa followed by annotation and comparative analysis. It indicated that the chloroplast genomes had high conservation among Ulva spp., and high rearrangement outside them. Though U. flexuosa was closer to U. linza than U. fasciata in phylogenetic tree, the average Ka/Ks between U. flexuosa and U. linza assessed by 67 protein-coding genes was higher than those between U. flexuosa and other species in Ulva spp., due to the variation of psbZ, psbM and ycf20. Our results laid the foundation for the future studies on the evolution of chloroplast genomes of Ulva, as well as the molecular identification of U. flexuosa varieties.

  10. Complete chloroplast genome of green tide algae Ulva flexuosa (Ulvophyceae, Chlorophyta) with comparative analysis

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Binghua

    2017-01-01

    Ulva flexuosa, one kind of green tide algae, has outbroken in the Yellow Sea of China during the past ten years. In the present study, we sequenced the chloroplast genome of U. flexuosa followed by annotation and comparative analysis. It indicated that the chloroplast genomes had high conservation among Ulva spp., and high rearrangement outside them. Though U. flexuosa was closer to U. linza than U. fasciata in phylogenetic tree, the average Ka/Ks between U. flexuosa and U. linza assessed by 67 protein-coding genes was higher than those between U. flexuosa and other species in Ulva spp., due to the variation of psbZ, psbM and ycf20. Our results laid the foundation for the future studies on the evolution of chloroplast genomes of Ulva, as well as the molecular identification of U. flexuosa varieties. PMID:28863197

  11. Phylogenetic reconstruction using secondary structures of Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2, rDNA): finding the molecular and morphological gap in Caribbean gorgonian corals

    PubMed Central

    Grajales, Alejandro; Aguilar, Catalina; Sánchez, Juan A

    2007-01-01

    Background Most phylogenetic studies using current methods have focused on primary DNA sequence information. However, RNA secondary structures are particularly useful in systematics because they include characteristics, not found in the primary sequence, that give "morphological" information. Despite the number of recent molecular studies on octocorals, there is no consensus opinion about a region that carries enough phylogenetic resolution to solve intrageneric or close species relationships. Moreover, intrageneric morphological information by itself does not always produce accurate phylogenies; intra-species comparisons can reveal greater differences than intra-generic ones. The search for new phylogenetic approaches, such as by RNA secondary structure analysis, is therefore a priority in octocoral research. Results Initially, twelve predicted RNA secondary structures were reconstructed to provide the basic information for phylogenetic analyses; they accorded with the 6 helicoidal ring model, also present in other groups of corals and eukaryotes. We obtained three similar topologies for nine species of the Caribbean gorgonian genus Eunicea (candelabrum corals) with two sister taxa as outgroups (genera Plexaura and Pseudoplexaura) on the basis of molecular morphometrics of ITS2 RNA secondary structures only, traditional primary sequence analyses and maximum likelihood, and a Bayesian analysis of the combined data. The latter approach allowed us to include both primary sequence and RNA molecular morphometrics; each data partition was allowed to have a different evolution rate. In addition, each helix was partitioned as if it had evolved at a distinct rate. Plexaura flexuosa was found to group within Eunicea; this was best supported by both the molecular morphometrics and combined analyses. We suggest Eunicea flexuosa (Lamouroux, 1821) comb. nov., and we present a new species description including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of morphological

  12. Molecular basis of age-dependent vernalization in Cardamine flexuosa.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chuan-Miao; Zhang, Tian-Qi; Wang, Xi; Yu, Sha; Lian, Heng; Tang, Hongbo; Feng, Zheng-Yan; Zozomova-Lihová, Judita; Wang, Jia-Wei

    2013-05-31

    Plants flower in response to many varied cues, such as temperature, photoperiod, and age. The floral transition of Cardamine flexuosa, a herbaceous biennial-to-perennial plant, requires exposure to cold temperature, a treatment known as vernalization. C. flexuosa younger than 5 weeks old are not fully responsive to cold treatment. We demonstrate that the levels of two age-regulated microRNAs, miR156 and miR172, regulate the timing of sensitivity in response to vernalization. Age and vernalization pathways coordinately regulate flowering through modulating the expression of CfSOC1, a flower-promoting MADS-box gene. The related annual Arabidopsis thaliana, which has both vernalization and age pathways, does not possess an age-dependent vernalization response. Thus, the recruitment of age cue in response to environmental signals contributes to the evolution of life cycle in plants.

  13. Antiparasitic effect of a fraction enriched in tight-binding protease inhibitors isolated from the Caribbean coral Plexaura homomalla.

    PubMed

    Salas-Sarduy, Emir; Cabrera-Muñoz, Aymara; Cauerhff, Ana; González-González, Yamile; Trejo, Sebastián A; Chidichimo, Agustina; Chávez-Planes, Maria de Los Angeles; Cazzulo, Juan José

    2013-11-01

    Malaria and American Trypanosomiasis constitute major global health problems. The continued emergence and spreading of resistant strains and the limited efficacy and/or safety of currently available therapeutic agents require a constant search for new sources of antiparasitic compounds. In the present study, a fraction enriched in tight-binding protease inhibitors was isolated from the Caribbean coral Plexaura homomalla (Esper, 1792), functionally characterized and tested for their antiparasitic activity against Trypanosoma cruzi and Plasmodium falciparum. The resultant fraction was chromatographically enriched in tight-binding inhibitors active against Papain-like cysteine peptidases (92%) and Pepsin-like aspartyl peptidases (8%). Globally, the inhibitors present in the enriched fraction showed no competition with substrates and apparent Ki values of 1.99 and 4.81nM for Falcipain 2 and Cruzipain, the major cysteine peptidases from P. falciparum and T. cruzi, respectively. The inhibitor-enriched fraction showed promising antiparasitic activity in cultures. It reduced the growth of the chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum strain Dd2 (IC50=0.46μM) and promoted the apparent accumulation of trophozoites, both consistent with a blockade in the hemoglobin degradation pathway. At sub-micromolar concentrations, the inhibitor-enriched fraction reduced the infection of VERO cells by T. cruzi (CL Brener clone) trypomastigotes and interfered with intracellular differentiation and/or replication of the parasites. This study provides new scientific evidence that confirms P. homomalla as an excellent source of tight-biding protease inhibitors for different proteases with biomedical relevance, and suggests that either the individual inhibitors or the enriched fraction itself could be valuable as antiparasitic compounds.

  14. Briarane Diterpenoids Isolated from Octocorals between 2014 and 2016

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yin-Di; Su, Jui-Hsin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2017-01-01

    The structures, names, bioactivities, and references of 124 briarane-type natural products, including 66 new metabolites, isolated between 2014 and 2016 are summarized in this review article. All of the briarane diterpenoids mentioned in this review were isolated from octocorals, mainly from Briareum violacea, Dichotella gemmacea, Ellisella dollfusi, Junceella fragilis, Junceella gemmacea, and Pennatula aculeata. Some of these compounds exhibited potential biomedical activities, including anti-inflammatory activity, antibacterial activity, and cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. PMID:28218675

  15. Long-term variation of octocoral populations in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Elizabeth A.; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Lasker, Howard R.; Edmunds, Peter J.

    2015-12-01

    The decline in abundance of scleractinian corals over the past three decades in the Caribbean has raised the possibility that other important benthic taxa, such as octocorals, are also changing in abundance. We used photoquadrats taken over 20 yr from reefs (7-9 m depth) at six sites on the south coast of St. John, US Virgin Islands, to test the hypothesis that octocorals have changed in abundance since 1992. Octocorals were counted in 0.25 m2 photoquadrats at 2- to 3-yr intervals and identified to genus or family. Overall, there was variation over time in population density of octocorals (pooled among taxa, and also separately for Antillogorgia spp., Gorgonia spp., and plexaurids) at each site, and densities remained unchanged or increased over 20 yr; where increases in density occurred, the effects were accentuated after 2002. The local-scale analysis was expanded to the Caribbean (including the Florida Keys) by compiling data for octocoral densities from 31 studies for reefs at ≤25 m depth between 1968 and 2013. At this scale, analyses were limited by the paucity of historical data, and despite a weak trend of higher octocoral densities in recent decades, statistically, there was no change in octocoral abundance over time. Together with data from the whole Caribbean, the present analysis suggests that octocorals have not experienced a decadal-scale decline in population density, which has occurred for many scleractinian corals.

  16. Neighboring Deschampsia flexuosa and Trientalis europaea harbor contrasting root fungal endophytic communities.

    PubMed

    Tejesvi, Mysore V; Sauvola, Tiina; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Ruotsalainen, Anna Liisa

    2013-01-01

    Fungal endophytic communities and potential host preference of root-inhabiting fungi of boreal forest understory plants are poorly known. The objective of this study was to find out whether two neighboring plant species, Deschampsia flexuosa (Poaceae) and Trientalis europaea (Primulaceae), share similar root fungal endophytic communities and whether the communities differ between two sites. The study was carried out by analysis of pure culture isolates and root fungal colonization percentages. A total of 84 isolates from D. flexuosa and 27 isolates from T. europaea were obtained. The roots of D. flexuosa harbored 16 different isolate types based on macromorphological characteristics, whereas only 4 isolate types were found in T. europaea. The root colonization by dark septate and hyaline septate hyphae correlated with isolate numbers being higher in D. flexuosa compared to T. europaea. The different isolate types were further identified on the basis of internal transcribed spacer sequence and phylogenetic analysis. An isolate type identified as dark septate endophyte Phialocephala fortinii colonized 50 % of the T. europaea and 21 % of the D. flexuosa specimens. In addition, Meliniomyces variabilis, Phialocephala sphaeroides, and Umbelopsis isabellina were found colonizing the grass, D. flexuosa, for the first time and Mycena sp. was confirmed as an endophyte of D. flexuosa. Site-specific differences were observed in the abundance and diversity of endophytic fungi in the roots of both study plants, but the differences were not as predominant as those between plant species. It is concluded that D. flexuosa harbors both higher amount and more diverse community of endophytic fungi in its roots compared to T. europaea.

  17. Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quattrini, Andrea; Baums, Iliana B.; Shank, Timothy M.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2015-01-01

    The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200–1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species commonly occurs throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging from 400 to 900 m. We found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) across seven sites spanning 400 km of distance and 400 m of depth. A pattern of isolation by depth emerged, but geographical distance between sites may further limit gene flow. Water mass boundaries may serve to isolate populations across depth; however, adaptive divergence with depth is also a possible scenario. Microsatellite markers also revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.434) between C. delta and a closely related species, Callogorgia americana, demonstrating the utility of microsatellites in species delimitation of octocorals. Results provided support for the depth-differentiation hypothesis, strengthening the notion that factors covarying with depth serve as isolation mechanisms in deep-sea populations.

  18. Highly Variable Bacterial Communities Associated with the Octocoral Antillogorgia elisabethae

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Veronica; Haltli, Brad; McCauley, Erin P.; Overy, David P.; Kerr, Russell G.

    2016-01-01

    Antillogorgia elisabethae (synonymous with Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae) is a common branching octocoral in Caribbean reef ecosystems. A. elisabethae is a rich source of anti-inflammatory diterpenes, thus this octocoral has been the subject of numerous natural product investigations, yet relatively little is known regarding the composition, diversity and the geographic and temporal stability of its microbiome. To characterize the composition, diversity and stability of bacterial communities of Bahamian A. elisabethae populations, 17 A. elisabethae samples originating from five sites within The Bahamas were characterized by 16S rDNA pyrosequencing. A. elisabethae bacterial communities were less diverse and distinct from those of surrounding seawater samples. Analyses of α- and β-diversity revealed that A. elisabethae bacterial communities were highly variable between A. elisabethae samples from The Bahamas. This contrasts results obtained from a previous study of three specimens collected from Providencia Island, Colombia, which found A. elisabethae bacterial communities to be highly structured. Taxa belonging to the Rhodobacteriales, Rhizobiales, Flavobacteriales and Oceanospiralles were identified as potential members of the A. elisabethae core microbiome. PMID:27681917

  19. Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral

    PubMed Central

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Baums, Iliana B.; Shank, Timothy M.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2015-01-01

    The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200–1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species commonly occurs throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging from 400 to 900 m. We found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) across seven sites spanning 400 km of distance and 400 m of depth. A pattern of isolation by depth emerged, but geographical distance between sites may further limit gene flow. Water mass boundaries may serve to isolate populations across depth; however, adaptive divergence with depth is also a possible scenario. Microsatellite markers also revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.434) between C. delta and a closely related species, Callogorgia americana, demonstrating the utility of microsatellites in species delimitation of octocorals. Results provided support for the depth-differentiation hypothesis, strengthening the notion that factors covarying with depth serve as isolation mechanisms in deep-sea populations. PMID:25904664

  20. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Velásquez, Johanna; Sánchez, Juan A.

    2015-01-01

    Background What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs) and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum); whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown. Methods Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia) including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches. Results Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls) contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks). Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index) whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape. Discussion There was strong octocoral

  1. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs.

    PubMed

    Velásquez, Johanna; Sánchez, Juan A

    2015-01-01

    What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs) and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum); whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown. Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia) including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches. Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls) contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks). Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index) whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape. There was strong octocoral community structure with opposite diversity

  2. Reproductive phenology of Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae) in a coastal restinga environment in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mendes, F N; Valente, R M; Rêgo, M M C; Esposito, M C

    2017-03-01

    The buriti, Mauritia flexuosa, is the most common palm in Brazil, where it has considerable ecological and economic importance. However, few data are available on the phenology of the species, mainly in coastal restinga ecosystems. The present study monitored the reproductive phenology of M. flexuosa in the restinga of Barreirinhas, in the Brazilian Northeast, and investigated the relationship between phenophases and climatic variables. The presence/absence of flowers and fruits was recorded monthly in 25 individuals of each sex between August, 2009, and October, 2012. There was no difference in the phenology of male and female specimens, with flowering and fruiting occurring exclusively in the dry season. We believe that the specific abiotic characteristics of the study environment, such as the intense sunlight and availability of water in the soil, contribute to the reproductive success of M. flexuosa in the dry season, with consequent germination and establishment of seedlings occurring during the subsequent rainy season.

  3. Two new paralcyoniid octocorals from Japan (Anthozoa: Alcyonacea).

    PubMed

    Imahara, Yukimitsu

    2013-01-01

    Two new species of paralcyoniid octocorals are described from Japan. One of them, Ceeceenus retractus n. sp., is the fifth species of the genus, and the other, Nanalcyon sagamiense n. gen. n. sp., is proposed as a new genus. Nanalcyon is similar to the Mediterranean and Atlantic genera Maasella Poche, 1914 and Paralcyonium Milne Edwards and Haime, 1850, but the new genus clearly differs from these in having independent colonies not joined by stolons. The ultrastructure of the sclerites is compared among the new genus, Ceeceenus and Paralcyonium by means of SEM. All three genera display the same three main types of sclerites, flat platelets, rods and spindles, the ultrastructure of all consisting of non-branching fibrous crystals. In addition to these, two genera, Ceeceenus and Paralcyonium, have flat oval platelets with the ultrastructure showing branching dendritic crystals, lacking in Nanalcyon.

  4. Antiplasmodial metabolites isolated from the marine octocoral Muricea austera.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Capson, Todd L; Guzman, Héctor M; Gonzalez, José; Ortega-Barría, Eduardo; Quiñoa, Emilio; Riguera, Ricardo

    2006-10-01

    Bioassay-guided fractionation of the MeOH extract from the octocoral Muricea austera collected in the Pacific coast of Panama led to the isolation of eight compounds, including three tyramine derivatives (1-3), two steroidal pregnane glycosides (4, 5), and three sesquiterpenoids (6-8). Compounds 2-5 are new natural products, and their structures were determined on the basis of their spectroscopic data (HRMS, 1D and 2D NMR, and CD studies). The antiprotozoal activities of the natural compounds 1-8 as well as those of a series of synthetic glycosides (11-22) and tyramine derivatives (23-35) were evaluated in vitro against a drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum and intracellular form of Trypanosoma cruzi.

  5. Responses to high seawater temperatures in zooxanthellate octocorals.

    PubMed

    Sammarco, Paul W; Strychar, Kevin B

    2013-01-01

    Increases in Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) as a result of global warming have caused reef-building scleractinian corals to bleach worldwide, a result of the loss of obligate endosymbiotic zooxanthellae. Since the 1980's, bleaching severity and frequency has increased, in some cases causing mass mortality of corals. Earlier experiments have demonstrated that zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals from three families from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Faviidae, Poritidae, and Acroporidae) are more sensitive to heat stress than their hosts, exhibiting differential symptoms of programmed cell death - apoptosis and necrosis. Most zooxanthellar phylotypes are dying during expulsion upon release from the host. The host corals appear to be adapted or exapted to the heat increases. We attempt to determine whether this adaptation/exaptation occurs in octocorals by examining the heat-sensitivities of zooxanthellae and their host octocoral alcyonacean soft corals - Sarcophyton ehrenbergi (Alcyoniidae), Sinularia lochmodes (Alcyoniidae), and Xenia elongata (Xeniidae), species from two different families. The soft coral holobionts were subjected to experimental seawater temperatures of 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36°C for 48 hrs. Host and zooxanthellar cells were examined for viability, apoptosis, and necrosis (in hospite and expelled) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescent microscopy (FM), and flow cytometry (FC). As experimental temperatures increased, zooxanthellae generally exhibited apoptotic and necrotic symptoms at lower temperatures than host cells and were expelled. Responses varied species-specifically. Soft coral hosts were adapted/exapted to higher seawater temperatures than their zooxanthellae. As with the scleractinians, the zooxanthellae appear to be the limiting factor for survival of the holobiont in the groups tested, in this region. These limits have now been shown to operate in six species within five families and two orders of the Cnidaria

  6. Responses to High Seawater Temperatures in Zooxanthellate Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Sammarco, Paul W.; Strychar, Kevin B.

    2013-01-01

    Increases in Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) as a result of global warming have caused reef-building scleractinian corals to bleach worldwide, a result of the loss of obligate endosymbiotic zooxanthellae. Since the 1980’s, bleaching severity and frequency has increased, in some cases causing mass mortality of corals. Earlier experiments have demonstrated that zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals from three families from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Faviidae, Poritidae, and Acroporidae) are more sensitive to heat stress than their hosts, exhibiting differential symptoms of programmed cell death – apoptosis and necrosis. Most zooxanthellar phylotypes are dying during expulsion upon release from the host. The host corals appear to be adapted or exapted to the heat increases. We attempt to determine whether this adaptation/exaptation occurs in octocorals by examining the heat-sensitivities of zooxanthellae and their host octocoral alcyonacean soft corals – Sarcophyton ehrenbergi (Alcyoniidae), Sinularia lochmodes (Alcyoniidae), and Xenia elongata (Xeniidae), species from two different families. The soft coral holobionts were subjected to experimental seawater temperatures of 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36°C for 48 hrs. Host and zooxanthellar cells were examined for viability, apoptosis, and necrosis (in hospite and expelled) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescent microscopy (FM), and flow cytometry (FC). As experimental temperatures increased, zooxanthellae generally exhibited apoptotic and necrotic symptoms at lower temperatures than host cells and were expelled. Responses varied species-specifically. Soft coral hosts were adapted/exapted to higher seawater temperatures than their zooxanthellae. As with the scleractinians, the zooxanthellae appear to be the limiting factor for survival of the holobiont in the groups tested, in this region. These limits have now been shown to operate in six species within five families and two orders of the

  7. Diversity of algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae) in octocorals: the roles of geography and host relationships.

    PubMed

    Van Oppen, M J H; Mieog, J C; Sánchez, C A; Fabricius, K E

    2005-07-01

    The presence, genetic identity and diversity of algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium) in 114 species from 69 genera (20 families) of octocorals from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the far eastern Pacific (EP) and the Caribbean was examined, and patterns of the octocoral-algal symbiosis were compared with patterns in the host phylogeny. Genetic analyses of the zooxanthellae were based on ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region. In the GBR samples, Symbiodinium clades A and G were encountered with A and G being rare. Clade B zooxanthellae have been previously reported from a GBR octocoral, but are also rare in octocorals from this region. Symbiodinium G has so far only been found in Foraminifera, but is rare in these organisms. In the Caribbean samples, only Symbiodinium clades B and C are present. Hence, Symbiodinium diversity at the level of phylogenetic clades is lower in octocorals from the Caribbean compared to those from the GBR. However, an unprecedented level of ITS1 diversity was observed within individual colonies of some Caribbean gorgonians, implying either that these simultaneously harbour multiple strains of clade B zooxanthellae, or that ITS1 heterogeneity exists within the genomes of some zooxanthellae. Intracladal diversity based on ITS should therefore be interpreted with caution, especially in cases where no independent evidence exists to support distinctiveness, such as ecological distribution or physiological characteristics. All samples from EP are azooxanthellate. Three unrelated GBR taxa that are described in the literature as azooxanthellate (Junceella fragilis, Euplexaura nuttingi and Stereonephthya sp. 1) contain clade G zooxanthellae, and their symbiotic association with zooxanthellae was confirmed by histology. These corals are pale in colour, whereas related azooxanthellate species are brightly coloured. The evolutionary loss or gain of zooxanthellae may have altered the light sensitivity of the host tissues, requiring the

  8. Mauritia flexuosa Presents In Vitro and In Vivo Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Activities

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Pérez, Wilson; Guzmán, Luis; Alarcón, Marcelo; Navarrete, Simón; Forero-Doria, Oscar; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most important species in Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Guyana. The present study aimed to investigate the antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa. The fatty acid contents were determined by gas chromatography—mass spectrometry. Oil extract of peel of Mauritia flexuosa was extracted by soxhlet extraction. The oil extract inhibited platelet secretion and aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, and TRAP-6 by a concentration-dependent way (0.1 to 1 mg/mL) without the participation of the adenylyl cyclase pathway and diminished platelet rolling and firm adhesion under flow conditions. Furthermore, the oil extract induced a marked increase in the rolling speed of leukocytes retained on the platelet surface, reflecting a reduction of rolling and less adhesion. At the concentrations used, the oil extract significantly decreased platelet release of sP-selectin, an atherosclerotic-related inflammatory mediator. Oil extract inhibited thrombus growth at the same concentration as that of aspirin, a classical reference drug. Finally, the data presented herein also demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge the protective effect of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa on platelet activation and thrombosis formation. PMID:24454503

  9. Mauritia flexuosa Presents In Vitro and In Vivo Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Activities.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Pérez, Wilson; Guzmán, Luis; Alarcón, Marcelo; Navarrete, Simón; Forero-Doria, Oscar; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most important species in Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Guyana. The present study aimed to investigate the antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa. The fatty acid contents were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Oil extract of peel of Mauritia flexuosa was extracted by soxhlet extraction. The oil extract inhibited platelet secretion and aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, and TRAP-6 by a concentration-dependent way (0.1 to 1 mg/mL) without the participation of the adenylyl cyclase pathway and diminished platelet rolling and firm adhesion under flow conditions. Furthermore, the oil extract induced a marked increase in the rolling speed of leukocytes retained on the platelet surface, reflecting a reduction of rolling and less adhesion. At the concentrations used, the oil extract significantly decreased platelet release of sP-selectin, an atherosclerotic-related inflammatory mediator. Oil extract inhibited thrombus growth at the same concentration as that of aspirin, a classical reference drug. Finally, the data presented herein also demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge the protective effect of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa on platelet activation and thrombosis formation.

  10. Role of food source and predator avoidance in habitat specialization by an octocoral-associated amphipod.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Naoki H

    2008-04-01

    Small marine invertebrates often use sessile organisms as microhabitats, which can provide food sources and/or serve as refugees from predators. Because of the availability of external food items such as epibionts and detritus in the marine environment, these invertebrates may not depend on the sessile organisms as sole food sources. In this study, I hypothesized that habitat specialization by a marine invertebrate is determined by factors other than food. Results of field surveys off the coast of the Izu Peninsula, on the eastern coast of Japan, showed that, with few exceptions, the distribution of the amphipod Incisocalliope symbioticus was restricted to the octocoral Melithaea flabellifera. When presented with several habitat options, I. symbioticus selected M. flabellifera most frequently, although some individuals chose the octocoral Acabaria japonica. The selection was proximately determined by water-borne cues from M. flabellifera that appear to be unrelated to the octocoral as a food source, since the amphipod preferred detritus to the octocoral. As a chemical refuge, M. flabellifera had an allelopathic effect that deterred fish predation on the exposed epifauna. With regard to octocoral habitat in the study area, I. symbioticus may be restricted to M. flabellifera because this was the only abundant octocoral consistently occurring in shallow water (< or =10 m), where predation is intensive. The relationship between I. symbioticus and M. flabellifera was commensal and was ultimately driven by the value of M. flabellifera as a chemical refuge from predation, rather than its food value. This study supports the idea that protection from predators, rather than food utilization, can promote ecological specialization.

  11. Environmental filtering and neutral processes shape octocoral community assembly in the deep sea.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Gómez, Carlos E; Cordes, Erik E

    2017-01-01

    The ecological and evolutionary processes that interact to shape community structure are poorly studied in the largest environment on earth, the deep sea. Phylogenetic data and morphological traits of octocorals were coupled with environmental factors to test hypotheses of community assembly in the deep (250-2500 m) Gulf of Mexico. We found lineage turnover at a depth of 800-1200 m, with isidids and chrysogorgiids at deeper depths and a diversity of species from across the phylogeny occupying shallower depths. Traits, including axis type, polyp shape, and polyp retraction, differed among species occupying the shallowest (250-800 m) and deepest (1200-2500 m) depths. Results also indicated that octocoral species sort along an environmental gradient of depth. Closely related octocoral species sorted into different depth strata on the upper to middle slope, likely due to barriers imposed by water masses followed by adaptive divergence. Within any given depth zone down to 2000 m, the phylogenetic relatedness of co-existing octocorals was random, indicating that stochastic processes, such as recruitment, also shape community structure. At depths >2000 m, octocorals were more closely related than expected by chance due to the diversification of chrysogorgiids and isidids, which retain conserved traits that impart survival at deeper and/or colder depths. Polyp density, size, and inter-polyp distance were significantly correlated with depth, particularly in plexaurids and isidids, highlighting trait lability across depth and supporting that environmental gradients influence octocoral morphology. Our community phylogenetics approach indicates that both environmental filtering and neutral processes shape community assembly in the deep sea.

  12. Crystal structure of a symbiosis-related lectin from octocoral.

    PubMed

    Kita, Akiko; Jimbo, Mitsuru; Sakai, Ryuichi; Morimoto, Yukio; Miki, Kunio

    2015-09-01

    D-Galactose-binding lectin from the octocoral, Sinularia lochmodes (SLL-2), distributes densely on the cell surface of microalgae, Symbiodinium sp., an endosymbiotic dinoflagellate of the coral, and is also shown to be a chemical cue that transforms dinoflagellate into a non-motile (coccoid) symbiotic state. SLL-2 binds with high affinity to the Forssman antigen (N-acetylgalactosamine(GalNAc)α1-3GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glc-ceramide), and the presence of Forssman antigen-like sugar on the surface of Symbiodinium CS-156 cells was previously confirmed. Here we report the crystal structures of SLL-2 and its GalNAc complex as the first crystal structures of a lectin involved in the symbiosis between coral and dinoflagellate. N-Linked sugar chains and a galactose derivative binding site common to H-type lectins were observed in each monomer of the hexameric SLL-2 crystal structure. In addition, unique sugar-binding site-like regions were identified at the top and bottom of the hexameric SLL-2 structure. These structural features suggest a possible binding mode between SLL-2 and Forssman antigen-like pentasaccharide.

  13. The Identification of Octocorals from the Northern Region of Straits of Malacca

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad, Mahadi; Apandi, Zaharatul Naa’imah; Marican, Hana Abdul Wahab; Kamphol, Nadthikphorn; Mubin, Nur Ain Amani Abdul; Salleh, Sazlina; Ismail, Md Nizam

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs in the northern region of the Straits of Malacca have a diverse group of octocorals growing on its bed. The octocorals identified in this study are from islands along the Straits. In this study, 23 specimens were identified, belonging to 4 sub-orders, which have been subdivided into 8 families. From these 8 families, 15 different genera have been identified. The identification process for this research was conducted based on five important keys; the external form and colouration, polyps or colonial and fundamental structure of colonies, monomorphic or dimorphic, the arrangement of polyps, and the arrangement of sclerites. PMID:27965745

  14. Recruitment and resilience of a harvested Caribbean octocoral.

    PubMed

    Lasker, Howard R

    2013-01-01

    Disturbance events are an important component of the ecology of coral reefs and increasingly frequent disturbances coupled with a lack of population resilience may contribute to changes in the structure of coral reef communities. The harvest of the Caribbean octocoral Antillogorgia elisabethae provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between adult abundance and recruitment and the manner in which recruitment contributes to the resilience of local populations. Recruitment of A. elisabethae was monitored in 20, 1-m(2) quadrats at 8 sites along the southern edge of the Little Bahama Bank from 2004 through 2007. A. elisabethae has been harvested in The Bahamas for over fifteen years and all of the sites had been harvested three times, including a harvest during the course of the study. Abundances of adult colonies at those sites as well as a location that had not been harvested were also determined. Recruitment was highly variable, differing between sites, transects within sites, and, depending on the site, between years. Recruitment was best correlated with adult abundance averaged across the surrounding site. Regression analyses suggest abundance on smaller scales had only small effects on recruitment. The effects of the harvesting were site specific ranging from a 38 to 67% reduction in the density of mature colonies. The sites with the most abundant A. elisabethae continued to have the highest abundances after harvesting and there was no significant difference in recruitment before and after harvesting. Population size-structure at 6 of 8 sites that have been harvested multiple times exhibited an overall depletion in small colonies suggesting long term suppression of recruitment and declining populations. Severe depression of adult abundances coupled with local recruitment can create a negative feedback and lead to the decline of local populations. Populations that are dependent on self-recruitment are not resilient to large disturbance events.

  15. Energy budget for the cultured, zooxanthellate octocoral Sinularia flexibilis.

    PubMed

    Khalesi, Mohammad K; Beeftink, H H; Wijffels, R H

    2011-12-01

    The zooxanthellate octocoral Sinularia flexibilis is a producer of potential pharmaceutically important metabolites such as antimicrobial and cytotoxic substances. Controlled rearing of the coral, as an alternative for commercial exploitation of these compounds, requires the study of species-specific growth requirements. In this study, phototrophic vs. heterotrophic daily energy demands of S. flexibilis was investigated through light and Artemia feeding trials in the laboratory. Rate of photosynthetic oxygen by zooxanthellae in light (≈200 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹) was measured for the coral colonies with and without feeding on Artemia nauplii. Respiratory oxygen was measured in the dark, again with and without Artemia nauplii. Photosynthesis-irradiance curve at light intensities of 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹ showed an increase in photosynthetic oxygen production up to a light intensity between 100 and 200 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹. The photosynthesis to respiration ratio (P/R > 1) confirmed phototrophy of S. flexibilis. Both fed and non-fed colonies in the light showed high carbon contribution by zooxanthellae to animal (host) respiration values of 111-127%. Carbon energy equivalents allocated to the coral growth averaged 6-12% of total photosynthesis energy (mg C g⁻¹ buoyant weight day⁻¹ and about 0.02% of the total daily radiant energy. "Light utilization efficiency (ε)" estimated an average ε value of 75% 12 h⁻¹ for coral practical energetics. This study shows that besides a fundamental role of phototrophy vs. heterotrophy in daily energy budget of S. flexibilis, an efficient fraction of irradiance is converted to useable energy.

  16. Recruitment and Resilience of a Harvested Caribbean Octocoral

    PubMed Central

    Lasker, Howard R.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbance events are an important component of the ecology of coral reefs and increasingly frequent disturbances coupled with a lack of population resilience may contribute to changes in the structure of coral reef communities. The harvest of the Caribbean octocoral Antillogorgia elisabethae provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between adult abundance and recruitment and the manner in which recruitment contributes to the resilience of local populations. Recruitment of A. elisabethae was monitored in 20, 1-m2 quadrats at 8 sites along the southern edge of the Little Bahama Bank from 2004 through 2007. A. elisabethae has been harvested in The Bahamas for over fifteen years and all of the sites had been harvested three times, including a harvest during the course of the study. Abundances of adult colonies at those sites as well as a location that had not been harvested were also determined. Recruitment was highly variable, differing between sites, transects within sites, and, depending on the site, between years. Recruitment was best correlated with adult abundance averaged across the surrounding site. Regression analyses suggest abundance on smaller scales had only small effects on recruitment. The effects of the harvesting were site specific ranging from a 38 to 67% reduction in the density of mature colonies. The sites with the most abundant A. elisabethae continued to have the highest abundances after harvesting and there was no significant difference in recruitment before and after harvesting. Population size-structure at 6 of 8 sites that have been harvested multiple times exhibited an overall depletion in small colonies suggesting long term suppression of recruitment and declining populations. Severe depression of adult abundances coupled with local recruitment can create a negative feedback and lead to the decline of local populations. Populations that are dependent on self-recruitment are not resilient to large disturbance events. PMID

  17. Terpenoids from the octocorals Menella sp. (Plexauridae) and Lobophytum crassum (Alcyonacea).

    PubMed

    Lee, Cheng-Hung; Kao, Chia-Ying; Kao, Shih-Yao; Chang, Chih-Han; Su, Jui-Hsin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2012-02-01

    A new germacrane-type sesquiterpenoid, menelloide E (1), and a new cembrane-type diterpenoid, lobocrassin F (2), were isolated from the octocorals Menella sp. and Lobophytum crassum, respectively. The structures of terpenoids 1 and 2 were determined by spectroscopic and chemical methods and compound 2 was found to display a significant inhibitory effect on the release of elastase by human neutrophils.

  18. Patterns of morphological integration in marine modular organisms: supra-module organization in branching octocoral colonies.

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Juan Armando; Lasker, Howard R

    2003-01-01

    Despite the relative simplicity of their modular growth, marine invertebrates such as arborescent gorgonian octocorals (Octocorallia: Cnidaria) generate complex colonial forms. Colony form in these taxa is a consequence of modular (polyp) replication, and if there is a tight integration among modular and supramodular traits (e.g. polyp aperture, inter-polyp spacing, branch thickness, internode and branch length), then changes at the module level may lead to changes in colony architecture. Alternatively, different groups of traits may evolve semi-independently (or conditionally independent). To examine the patterns of integration among morphological traits in Caribbean octocorals, we compared five morphological traits across 21 species, correcting for the effects of phylogenetic relationships among the taxa. Graphical modelling and phylogenetic independence contrasts among the five morphological characters indicate two groups of integrated traits based on whether they were polyp- or colony-level traits. Although all characters exhibited bivariate associations, multivariate analyses (partial correlation coefficients) showed the strongest integration among the colony-level characters (internode distance and branch length). It is a quantitative demonstration that branching characters within the octocorals studied are independent of characters of the polyps. Despite the universally recognized modularity of octocorals at the level of polyps, branching during colony development may represent an emergent level of integration and modularity. PMID:14561292

  19. Homoplasious colony morphology and mito-nuclear phylogenetic discordance among Eastern Pacific octocorals.

    PubMed

    Ament-Velásquez, Sandra L; Breedy, Odalisca; Cortés, Jorge; Guzman, Hector M; Wörheide, Gert; Vargas, Sergio

    2016-05-01

    Octocorals are a diverse and ecologically important group of cnidarians. However, the phylogenetic relationships of many octocoral groups are not well understood and are based mostly on mitochondrial sequence data. In addition, the discovery and description of new gorgonian species displaying unusual or intermediate morphologies and uncertain phylogenetic affinities further complicates the study of octocoral systematics and raises questions about the role played by processes such as plasticity, crypsis, and convergence in the evolution of this group of organisms. Here, we use nuclear (i.e. 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (mtMutS) markers and a sample of Eastern Pacific gorgonians thought to be remarkable from a morphological point of view to shed light on the morphological diversification among these organisms. Our study reveals the loss of the anastomosed colony morphology in two unrelated lineages of the seafan genus Pacifigorgia and offers strong evidence for the independent evolution of a whip-like morphology in two lineages of Eastern Pacific Leptogorgia. Additionally, our data revealed one instance of mito-nuclear discordance in the genera Leptogorgia and Eugorgia, which may be the results of incomplete lineage sorting or ancient hybridization-introgression events. Our study stresses the importance of comprehensive taxonomic sampling and the use of independent sources of evidence to address the phylogenetic relationships and clarifying the evolution of octocorals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The carbohydrate-binding module of xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa decreases its non-productive adsorption on lignin

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The enzymatic hydrolysis step converting lignocellulosic materials into fermentable sugars is recognized as one of the major limiting steps in biomass-to-ethanol process due to the low efficiency of enzymes and their cost. Xylanases have been found to be important in the improvement of the hydrolysis of cellulose due to the close interaction of cellulose and xylan. In this work, the effects of carbohydrate-binding module (CBM family II) of the xylanase 11 from Nonomuraea flexuosa (Nf Xyn11) on the adsorption and hydrolytic efficiency toward isolated xylan and lignocellulosic materials were investigated. Results The intact family 11 xylanase of N. flexuosa clearly adsorbed on wheat straw and lignin, following the Langmuir-type isotherm. The presence of the CBM in the xylanase increased the adsorption and hydrolytic efficiency on insoluble oat spelt xylan. But the presence of the CBM did not increase adsorption on pretreated wheat straw or isolated lignin. On the contrary, the CBM decreased the adsorption of the core protein to lignin containing substrates, indicating that the CBM of N. flexuosa xylanase did not contribute to the non-productive adsorption. Conclusion The CBM of the N. flexuosa xylanase was shown to be a xylan-binding module, which had low affinity on cellulose. The CBM of the N. flexuosa xylanase reduced the non-specific adsorption of the core protein to lignin and showed potential for improving the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials to platform sugars. PMID:23363927

  1. The carbohydrate-binding module of xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa decreases its non-productive adsorption on lignin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junhua; Moilanen, Ulla; Tang, Ming; Viikari, Liisa

    2013-01-30

    The enzymatic hydrolysis step converting lignocellulosic materials into fermentable sugars is recognized as one of the major limiting steps in biomass-to-ethanol process due to the low efficiency of enzymes and their cost. Xylanases have been found to be important in the improvement of the hydrolysis of cellulose due to the close interaction of cellulose and xylan. In this work, the effects of carbohydrate-binding module (CBM family II) of the xylanase 11 from Nonomuraea flexuosa (Nf Xyn11) on the adsorption and hydrolytic efficiency toward isolated xylan and lignocellulosic materials were investigated. The intact family 11 xylanase of N. flexuosa clearly adsorbed on wheat straw and lignin, following the Langmuir-type isotherm. The presence of the CBM in the xylanase increased the adsorption and hydrolytic efficiency on insoluble oat spelt xylan. But the presence of the CBM did not increase adsorption on pretreated wheat straw or isolated lignin. On the contrary, the CBM decreased the adsorption of the core protein to lignin containing substrates, indicating that the CBM of N. flexuosa xylanase did not contribute to the non-productive adsorption. The CBM of the N. flexuosa xylanase was shown to be a xylan-binding module, which had low affinity on cellulose. The CBM of the N. flexuosa xylanase reduced the non-specific adsorption of the core protein to lignin and showed potential for improving the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials to platform sugars.

  2. Cardamine occulta, the correct species name for invasive Asian plants previously classified as C. flexuosa, and its occurrence in Europe.

    PubMed

    Marhold, Karol; Šlenker, Marek; Kudoh, Hiroshi; Zozomová-Lihová, Judita

    2016-01-01

    The nomenclature of Eastern Asian populations traditionally assigned to Cardamine flexuosa has remained unresolved since 2006, when they were found to be distinct from the European species Cardamine flexuosa. Apart from the informal designation "Asian Cardamine flexuosa", this taxon has also been reported under the names Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis or Cardamine hamiltonii. Here we determine its correct species name to be Cardamine occulta and present a nomenclatural survey of all relevant species names. A lectotype and epitype for Cardamine occulta and a neotype for the illegitimate name Cardamine debilis (replaced by Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis and Cardamine hamiltonii) are designated here. Cardamine occulta is a polyploid weed that most likely originated in Eastern Asia, but it has also been introduced to other continents, including Europe. Here data is presented on the first records of this invasive species in European countries. The first known record for Europe was made in Spain in 1993, and since then its occurrence has been reported from a number of European countries and regions as growing in irrigated anthropogenic habitats, such as paddy fields or flower beds, and exceptionally also in natural communities such as lake shores.

  3. Impact of an alien octocoral, Carijoa riisei, on black corals in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahng, Samuel E.; Grigg, Richard W.

    2005-12-01

    In 2001 Carijoa riisei, an octocoral native to the tropical Western Atlantic, was discovered overgrowing black corals in the Au’au Channel in Hawaii. In this paper data from a 2001 survey are reanalyzed and combined with new data from 2003 and 2004 to assess the ecological impact in greater detail. C. riisei differentially affected reproductively mature black coral colonies with maximum impact between 80 and 105 m. The pattern of C. riisei overgrowth on black corals and C. riisei on the substrata appears to be bounded by high irradiance in shallow water and cold temperature in deep water. Evidence suggests that the C. riisei settlement on black corals is facilitated by other epifauna. Once established, C. riisei spreads vegetatively and smothers the coral. The success of the C. riisei invasion appears to be unaided by anthropogenic disturbance and is at least partially attributable to Hawaii’s depauperate shallow-water (<100 m) octocoral fauna.

  4. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current as a diversification trigger for deep-sea octocorals.

    PubMed

    Dueñas, Luisa F; Tracey, Dianne M; Crawford, Andrew J; Wilke, Thomas; Alderslade, Phil; Sánchez, Juan A

    2016-01-04

    Antarctica is surrounded by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the largest and strongest current in the world. Despite its potential importance for shaping biogeographical patterns, the distribution and connectivity of deep-sea populations across the ACC remain poorly understood. In this study we conducted the first assessment of phylogeographical patterns in deep-sea octocorals in the South Pacific and Southern Ocean, specifically a group of closely related bottlebrush octocorals (Primnoidae: Tokoprymno and Thourella), as a test case to study the effect of the ACC on the population structure of brooding species. We assessed the degree to which the ACC constitutes a barrier to gene flow between northern and southern populations and whether the onset of diversification of these corals coincides with the origin of the ACC (Oligocene-Miocene boundary). Based on DNA sequences of two nuclear genes from 80 individuals and a combination of phylogeographic model-testing approaches we found a phylogenetic break corresponding to the spatial occurrence of the ACC. We also found significant genetic structure among our four regional populations. However, we uncovered shared haplotypes among certain population pairs, suggesting long-distance, asymmetrical migration. Our divergence time analyses indicated that the separation of amphi-ACC populations took place during the Middle Miocene around 12.6 million years ago, i.e., after the formation of the ACC. We suggest that the ACC constitutes a semi-permeable barrier to these deep-sea octocorals capable of separating and structuring populations, while allowing short periods of gene flow. The fluctuations in latitudinal positioning of the ACC during the Miocene likely contributed to the diversification of these octocorals. Additionally, we provide evidence that the populations from each of our four sampling regions could actually constitute different species.

  5. Growth of the Antarctic octocoral Primnoella scotiae and predation by the anemone Dactylanthus antarcticus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, Lloyd S.; Brockington, Simon

    2013-08-01

    Growth rates in Antarctic marine ectotherms have been demonstrated to be slowed by two to five times compared to shallow-water temperate species, with no previous reports for octocorals. Here growth rates were estimated in the single axis, non-branching Antarctic octocoral Primnoella scotiae using repeated in situ length measures covering both summer and winter periods, for tagged colonies from three sites at Signy Island over a two year period. Mean rates of length increase at the different sites ranged from 0.96 mm yr-1 to 55.3 mm yr-1. The fastest individual colony growth rate at any site ranged from 2.55 mm yr-1 to 175.6 mm yr-1. The mean of the fastest growth rates across all sites was 33.0 mm yr-1±14.7 (s.e.). Growth was significantly different between sites, and also between seasons and years. The mean overall increase in diameter of the average sized colony in the study (222.5 mm in axis length) was 0.053 mm yr-1. This is the slowest reported growth rate of any octocoral to date, and is five times slower than growth in most cold water octocorals. During the study it was noted that colonies were being attacked and consumed by the anemone Dactylanthus antarcticus. At one of the sites studied, between 5% and 8% of colonies surveyed were attacked each month. Anemone dispersal was via whole body inflation and drifting to new prey colonies that were attached to using tentacle-like column protuberances.

  6. Floral polymorphism in Chamaecrista flexuosa (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae): a possible case of atypical enantiostyly?

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Natan Messias; Castro, Cibele Cardoso; Leite, Ana Virgínia; Novo, Reinaldo Rodrigo; Machado, Isabel Cristina

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Reciprocal herkogamy, including enantiostyly and heterostyly, involves reciprocity in the relative positions of the sexual elements within the flower. Such systems result in morphologically and, since pollen is deposited on and captured from different parts of the pollinator, functionally distinct floral forms. Deviations from the basic pattern may modify the functionality of these mechanisms. For heterostylous species, such deviations are generally related to environmental disturbances, pollination services and/or reduced numbers of one floral morph. Deviations for enantiostylous species have not yet been reported. This study aims to investigate enantiostyly in Chamaecrista flexuosa, in particular the presence of deviations from the standard form, in an area of coastal vegetation in north-east Brazil. Methods Observations and investigations of floral biology, the reproductive system, pollinator behaviour, floral morphology and morphometry were performed. Key Results In C. flexuosa flowers, anthers of different size but similar function are grouped. The flowers were self-compatible and set fruits after every treatment, except in the spontaneous self-pollination experiment, thereby indicating their dependence on pollen vectors. The flowers were pollinated by bees, especially Xylocopa cearensis and X. grisencens. Pollen is deposited and captured from the ventral portion of the pollinator's body. Variations in the spatial arrangement of floral elements allowed for the identification of floral morphs based on both morphological and functional criteria. Using morphological criteria, morphologically right (MR) and morphologically left (ML) floral morphs were identified. Three floral morphs were identified using functional criteria: functionally right (FR), functionally central (FC) and functionally left (FL). Combinations of morphologically and functionally defined morphs did not occur in equal proportions. There was a reduced frequency of the MR

  7. Octocoral Sarcophyton auritum Verseveldt & Benayahu, 1978: Microanatomy and Presence of Collagen Fibers.

    PubMed

    Mandelberg, Yael; Benayahu, Dafna; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2016-02-01

    The study presents the microanatomy of the polyps of the reef-dwelling octocoral Sarcophyton auritum. We demonstrate the presence of its unique collagen fibers in the colony by means of Masson Trichrome histological staining. Based on peptide profiling, mass spectroscopy analysis confirmed that the fiber proteins were homologous with those of mammalian collagen. Histological and electron microscopy results showed that six of the eight mesenterial filaments of the polyps possess an internal, coiled, spring-like collagen fiber. High-resolution electron microscopy revealed for the first time in cnidarian collagen the interwoven, three-dimensional arrangement of the fibrils that comprise the fibers. Some fibrils feature free ends, while others are bifurcated, the latter being attributed to collagen undergoing fibrogenesis. Along with the mass spectroscopy finding, the coiled nature of the fibers and the fibril microanatomy show a resemblance to those of vertebrates, demonstrating the conserved nature of collagen fibers at both the biochemical and ultrastructural levels. The location, arrangement, and small diameter of the fibers and fibrils of S. auritum may provide a highly protective factor against occasional rupture and injury during the bending of the octocoral's extended polyps under strong current conditions; that is, providing the octocoral with a hydromechanical support. The findings from the microanatomical features of these unique fibers in S. auritum, as well as their suggested function, raise the potential for translation to biomedical applications.

  8. The masquerade game: marine mimicry adaptation between egg-cowries and octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes-Pardo, Angela P.; Ní Almhain, Íde; Ardila-Espitia, Néstor E.; Cantera-Kintz, Jaime; Forero-Shelton, Manu

    2016-01-01

    Background. Background matching, as a camouflage strategy, is one of the most outstanding examples of adaptation, where little error or mismatch means high vulnerability to predation. It is assumed that the interplay of natural selection and adaptation are the main evolutionary forces shaping the great diversity of phenotypes observed in mimicry; however, there may be other significant processes that intervene in the development of mimicry such as phenotypic plasticity. Based on observations of background mismatching during reproduction events of egg-cowries, sea snails of the family Ovulidae that mimic the octocoral where they inhabit, we wondered if they match the host species diversity. Using observations in the field and molecular systematics, we set out to establish whether the different egg-cowrie color/shape polymorphisms correspond to distinct lineages restricted to specific octocoral species. Methods. Collection and observations of egg-cowries and their octocoral hosts were done using SCUBA diving between 2009 and 2012 at two localities in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP), Malpelo Island and Cabo Corrientes (Colombia). Detailed host preference observations were done bi-annually at Malpelo Island. We analyzed the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genes COIand 16S rDNA, extensively used in phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies, to assess the evolutionary relationship among different egg-cowrie colorations and morphologies. Results. No genetic divergence among egg-cowries associated to different species of the same octocoral genus was observed based on the two mitochondrial genes analyzed. For instance, all egg-cowrie individuals from the two sampled localities observed on 8 different Pacifigorgia-Eugorgia species showed negligible mitochondrial divergence yet large morphologic divergence, which suggests that morphologies belonging to at least two sea snail species, Simnia avena(=S. aequalis) and Simnialena rufa, can cross-fertilize. Discussion. Our study

  9. The masquerade game: marine mimicry adaptation between egg-cowries and octocorals.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Juan A; Fuentes-Pardo, Angela P; Ní Almhain, Íde; Ardila-Espitia, Néstor E; Cantera-Kintz, Jaime; Forero-Shelton, Manu

    2016-01-01

    Background. Background matching, as a camouflage strategy, is one of the most outstanding examples of adaptation, where little error or mismatch means high vulnerability to predation. It is assumed that the interplay of natural selection and adaptation are the main evolutionary forces shaping the great diversity of phenotypes observed in mimicry; however, there may be other significant processes that intervene in the development of mimicry such as phenotypic plasticity. Based on observations of background mismatching during reproduction events of egg-cowries, sea snails of the family Ovulidae that mimic the octocoral where they inhabit, we wondered if they match the host species diversity. Using observations in the field and molecular systematics, we set out to establish whether the different egg-cowrie color/shape polymorphisms correspond to distinct lineages restricted to specific octocoral species. Methods. Collection and observations of egg-cowries and their octocoral hosts were done using SCUBA diving between 2009 and 2012 at two localities in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP), Malpelo Island and Cabo Corrientes (Colombia). Detailed host preference observations were done bi-annually at Malpelo Island. We analyzed the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genes COIand 16S rDNA, extensively used in phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies, to assess the evolutionary relationship among different egg-cowrie colorations and morphologies. Results. No genetic divergence among egg-cowries associated to different species of the same octocoral genus was observed based on the two mitochondrial genes analyzed. For instance, all egg-cowrie individuals from the two sampled localities observed on 8 different Pacifigorgia-Eugorgia species showed negligible mitochondrial divergence yet large morphologic divergence, which suggests that morphologies belonging to at least two sea snail species, Simnia avena(=S. aequalis) and Simnialena rufa, can cross-fertilize. Discussion. Our study

  10. Microbiomes of Muricea californica and M. fruticosa: Comparative Analyses of Two Co-occurring Eastern Pacific Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Holm, Johanna B.; Heidelberg, Karla B.

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals are sources of novel but understudied microbial diversity. Conversely, scleractinian or reef-building coral microbiomes have been heavily examined in light of the threats of climate change. Muricea californica and Muricea fruticosa are two co-occurring species of gorgonian octocoral abundantly found in the kelp forests of southern California, and thus provide an excellent basis to determine if octocoral microbiomes are host specific. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing and replicate samples, we evaluated the microbiomes collected from multiple colonies of both species of Muricea to measure both inter- and intra-colony microbiome variabilities. In addition, microbiomes from overlying sea water and nearby zoanthids (another benthic invertebrate) were also included in the analysis to evaluate whether bacterial taxa specifically associate with octocorals. This is also the first report of microbiomes from these species of Muricea. We show that microbiomes isolated from each sample type are distinct, and specifically, that octocoral species type had the greatest effect on predicting the composition of the Muricea microbiome. Bacterial taxa contributing to compositional differences include distinct strains of Mycoplasma associated with either M. californica or M. fruticosa, an abundance of Spirochaetes observed on M. californica, and a greater diversity of γ-Proteobacteria associated with M. fruticosa. Many of the bacterial taxa contributing to these differences are known for their presence in photosymbiont-containing invertebrate microbiomes. PMID:27445997

  11. Microbiomes of Muricea californica and M. fruticosa: Comparative Analyses of Two Co-occurring Eastern Pacific Octocorals.

    PubMed

    Holm, Johanna B; Heidelberg, Karla B

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals are sources of novel but understudied microbial diversity. Conversely, scleractinian or reef-building coral microbiomes have been heavily examined in light of the threats of climate change. Muricea californica and Muricea fruticosa are two co-occurring species of gorgonian octocoral abundantly found in the kelp forests of southern California, and thus provide an excellent basis to determine if octocoral microbiomes are host specific. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing and replicate samples, we evaluated the microbiomes collected from multiple colonies of both species of Muricea to measure both inter- and intra-colony microbiome variabilities. In addition, microbiomes from overlying sea water and nearby zoanthids (another benthic invertebrate) were also included in the analysis to evaluate whether bacterial taxa specifically associate with octocorals. This is also the first report of microbiomes from these species of Muricea. We show that microbiomes isolated from each sample type are distinct, and specifically, that octocoral species type had the greatest effect on predicting the composition of the Muricea microbiome. Bacterial taxa contributing to compositional differences include distinct strains of Mycoplasma associated with either M. californica or M. fruticosa, an abundance of Spirochaetes observed on M. californica, and a greater diversity of γ-Proteobacteria associated with M. fruticosa. Many of the bacterial taxa contributing to these differences are known for their presence in photosymbiont-containing invertebrate microbiomes.

  12. Cardamine occulta, the correct species name for invasive Asian plants previously classified as C. flexuosa, and its occurrence in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Marhold, Karol; Šlenker, Marek; Kudoh, Hiroshi; Zozomová-Lihová, Judita

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The nomenclature of Eastern Asian populations traditionally assigned to Cardamine flexuosa has remained unresolved since 2006, when they were found to be distinct from the European species Cardamine flexuosa. Apart from the informal designation “Asian Cardamine flexuosa”, this taxon has also been reported under the names Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis or Cardamine hamiltonii. Here we determine its correct species name to be Cardamine occulta and present a nomenclatural survey of all relevant species names. A lectotype and epitype for Cardamine occulta and a neotype for the illegitimate name Cardamine debilis (replaced by Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis and Cardamine hamiltonii) are designated here. Cardamine occulta is a polyploid weed that most likely originated in Eastern Asia, but it has also been introduced to other continents, including Europe. Here data is presented on the first records of this invasive species in European countries. The first known record for Europe was made in Spain in 1993, and since then its occurrence has been reported from a number of European countries and regions as growing in irrigated anthropogenic habitats, such as paddy fields or flower beds, and exceptionally also in natural communities such as lake shores. PMID:27212882

  13. New findings on the pollination biology of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) in Roraima, Brazil: linking dioecy, wind, and habitat.

    PubMed

    Khorsand Rosa, Roxaneh; Koptur, Suzanne

    2013-03-01

    Despite the ecological, economic, and cultural importance of the palm Mauritia flexuosa in Amazonia, knowledge of its reproductive biology is scarce. Previous observations of this species suggested beetles as the probable pollinator, but experimental work to confirm this hypothesis was lacking. • We investigated the floral biology and pollination of M. flexuosa in undisturbed forest, undisturbed savanna/forest ecotone, and fragmented savanna within plantations of the exotic tree, Acacia mangium, in northern Brazilian Amazonia. In each habitat, we examined floral biology, combined floral visitor observations with laboratory analyses, and performed anemophily and exclusion experiments. • Fruit set was significantly greater in the visitor exclusion treatment than in the wind + visitor exclusion treatment and significantly lower in the wind + visitor exclusion treatment than the open control, but there was no difference in fruit set between the visitor exclusion treatment and the control. We found no significant difference in pollen dispersal among the three habitats. The presence of A. mangium appears to have no immediate effect on pollination of M. flexuosa, although it may indirectly affect other aspects of this native's reproductive ecology. • Floral visitors of M. flexuosa are not pollinators. This dioecious palm depends on wind as its primary pollen vector. Wind pollination is not necessarily most effective in open habitats. These findings are important because they re-evaluate traditional assumptions of wind pollination and can improve management strategies of this natural resource in the Amazon.

  14. Mauritia flexuosa L. protects against deficits in memory acquisition and oxidative stress in rat hippocampus induced by methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Leão, Luana K R; Herculano, Anderson M; Maximino, Caio; Brasil Costa, Alódia; Gouveia, Amauri; Batista, Evander O; Rocha, Fernando F; Crespo-Lopez, Maria Elena; Borges, Rosivaldo; Oliveira, Karen

    2017-06-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most toxic form of mercury that can affect humans through the food chain by bioaccumulation. Human organism is capable of triggering visual and cognitive disorders, neurodegeneration, as well as increased production of reactive species of O2 and depletion of natural anti-oxidant agents. In this context, Mauritia flexuosa L., a fruit rich in compounds with anti-oxidant properties, emerged as an important strategy to prevent the MeHg damages. So, this work has aimed to elucidate the protective effect of Mauritia flexuosa L. on the damage caused by the exposure of rats to MeHg. In order to evaluate the effect of MeHg on rat aversive memory acquisition and panic-like behavior, we have used elevated T-maze apparatus and after behavioral test, the hippocampus was removed to perfom lipid peroxidation. Our results demonstrated that the exposure to MeHg caused deficits in inhibitory avoidance acquisition (aversive conditioning) and in the learning process, and increased levels of lipid peroxidation in hippocampus tissue. However, the pretreatment with feed enriched with Mauritia flexuosa L. showed a protective effect against cognitive deficits caused by MeHg and also prevented the occurrence of cytoplasmic membrane damage induced by lipid peroxidation in the hippocampal region. Therefore, this study suggests that Mauritia flexuosa L. represents an important strategy to prevent neurocytotoxics and behavioral effects of MeHg.

  15. Higher species richness of octocorals in the upper mesophotic zone in Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba) compared to shallower reef zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoham, Erez; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2017-03-01

    Mesophotic coral-reef ecosystems (MCEs), which comprise the light-dependent communities of corals and other organisms found at depths between 30 and 150 m, have received very little study to date. However, current technological advances, such as remotely operated vehicles and closed-circuit rebreather diving, now enable their thorough investigation. Following the reef-building stony corals, octocorals are the second most common benthic component on many shallow reefs and a major component on deep reefs, the Red Sea included. This study is the first to examine octocoral community features on upper MCEs based on species-level identification and to compare them with the shallower reef zones. The study was carried out at Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea), comparing octocoral communities at two mesophotic reefs (30-45 m) and two shallow reef zones (reef flat and upper fore-reef) by belt transects. A total of 30 octocoral species were identified, with higher species richness on the upper MCEs compared to the shallower reefs. Although the MCEs were found to host a higher number of species than the shallower reefs, both featured a similar diversity. Each reef zone revealed a unique octocoral species composition and distinct community structure, with only 16% of the species shared by both the MCEs and the shallower reefs. This study has revealed an almost exclusive dominance of zooxanthellate species at the studied upper MCE reefs, thus indicating an adequate light regime for photosynthesis there. The findings should encourage similar studies on other reefs, aimed at understanding the spatiotemporal features and ecological role of octocorals in reef ecosystems down to the deepest limit of the MCEs.

  16. Search for mesophotic octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and their phylogeny. II. A new zooxanthellate species from Eilat, northern Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Benayahu, Yehuda; McFadden, Catherine S; Shoham, Erez; van Ofwegen, Leen P

    2017-01-01

    An octocoral survey conducted in the mesophotic coral ecosystem (MCE) of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea) yielded a new species of the speciose reef-dwelling genus Sinularia. It features encrusting colony morphology with a thin, funnel-shaped polypary. Sinularia mesophoticasp. n. (family Alcyoniidae) is described and compared to the other congeners with similar morphology. Both the morphological and molecular examination justified the establishment of the new species, also assigning it to a new genetic clade within Sinularia. The results highlight its unique phylogenetic position within the genus, and this is the first described species of a mesophotic zooxanthellate octocoral.

  17. Rapid assessment of octocoral diversity and habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    PubMed

    Etnoyer, Peter J; Wirshing, Herman H; Sánchez, Juan A

    2010-05-21

    Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2)), average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m) around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1) a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2) a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km) habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05), but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05). However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and emphasize

  18. Octocorals in a changing environment: Seasonal response of stress biomarkers in natural populations of Veretillum cynomorium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madeira, Carolina; Madeira, Diana; Vinagre, Catarina; Diniz, Mário

    2015-09-01

    Current concerns about climate change emphasize the need for an accurate monitoring of physiological conditions in wild populations. Therefore, the aims of this work were to a) assess the response of the octocoral Veretillum cynomorium to thermal variation in natural populations during low tide, by quantifying several biochemical indicators of thermal and oxidative stress and b) evaluate the effect of seasonality in the results and the adequacy of the use of biochemical indicators of stress in field monitoring studies in octocorals. Sampling took place during spring (April) and summer (June). Heat shock protein (Hsp70) and ubiquitin (Ub) content, enzyme activities - superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were assessed in rachis and peduncle tissues separately. The results showed significant seasonal fluctuations in the set of biomarkers tested. Differences were detected between spring and summer, with significant decreases in biomarker levels from April to June being a major observed trend. These results suggest that V. cynomorium is thermo-tolerant during summer low tide conditions. Seasonal variation seems to reflect a metabolic suppression strategy and/or may also be related to seasonal changes in food availability and reproductive status. Differences in activity between tissue types were also found significant for GST, LPO and Ub. Biomarker levels were correlated with total protein concentration, but not with wet body weight of the specimens. This study suggests that season influences the expression of biomarkers and must be taken into consideration in the preliminary stages of sampling design for climate change biomonitoring studies. In addition, the results suggest that this octocoral species is likely to survive in future challenging thermal conditions.

  19. Rapid Assessment of Octocoral Diversity and Habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wirshing, Herman H.; Sánchez, Juan A.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (∼2200 km2), average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15–50 m) around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1) a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2) a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (∼15 km) habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05), but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05). However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and emphasize the need for more

  20. Uprolides N, O and P from the Panamanian Octocoral Eunicea succinea.

    PubMed

    Torres-Mendoza, Daniel; González, Yisett; Gómez-Reyes, José Félix; Guzmán, Héctor M; López-Perez, José Luis; Gerwick, William H; Fernandez, Patricia L; Gutiérrez, Marcelino

    2016-06-22

    Three new diterpenes, uprolide N (1), uprolide O (2), uprolide P (3) and a known one, dolabellane (4), were isolated from the CH₂Cl₂-MeOH extract of the gorgonian octocoral Eunicea succinea, collected from Bocas del Toro, on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Their structures were determined using spectroscopic analyses, including 1D and 2D NMR and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) together with molecular modeling studies. Compounds 1-3 displayed anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting production of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and Interleukin (IL)-6 induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in murine macrophages.

  1. A phylogenetic approach to octocoral community structure in the deep Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Etnoyer, Peter J.; Doughty, Cheryl; English, Lisa; Falco, Rosalia; Remon, Natasha; Rittinghouse, Matthew; Cordes, Erik E.

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances, as fishing, hydrocarbon exploration and extraction, and mining activities extend into deeper water. Negative impacts from such activities were recently documented in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused substantial damage to a deep-water octocoral community. Although a faunal checklist and numerous museum records are currently available for the entire GoM, local-scale diversity and assemblage structure of octocoral communities remains unknown, particularly in deep water. On a series of recent cruises (2008-2011) using remotely operated vehicles, 435 octocorals were collected from 33 deep-water sites (250-2500 m) in the northern GoM. To elucidate species boundaries, the extended mitochondrial barcode (COI+igr1+msh) was successfully amplified and sequenced for 422 of these specimens, yielding a total of 64 haplotypes representing at least 52 species. Further, at least 29% of the species collected were either previously not known to occur in the GoM (12 species) or represent new species (at least three species). Overall, species richness at each site was fairly low (1-12 spp.). The greatest species richness occurred at the shallowest (<325 m: GC140, n=8 spp.) and the deepest (2100-2500 m: DC673, n=12 spp., DC583, n=10 spp.) sites, and minimum taxonomic and phylogenetic (Faith's Index) diversity was evident at 600-950 m. This pattern is the opposite of the typical pattern of deep-sea diversity in the GoM, which normally peaks at mid-slope depths. Sorensen's Index of taxonomic β-diversity indicated that six distinct (65-95% dissimilarity) species assemblages corresponded with five depth breaks at ~325, 425, 600, 1100, and 2100 m. Further assemblage structure was observed within certain depth zones. Of note, within the 425-600 m depth range, species assemblages at the West Florida Slope differed from the other sites, corresponding to an established

  2. Phylogenetic hypotheses of gorgoniid octocorals according to ITS2 and their predicted RNA secondary structures.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Catalina; Sánchez, Juan Armando

    2007-06-01

    Gorgoniid octocorals taxonomy (Cnidaria; Octocorallia; Gorgoniidae) includes diagnostic characters not well defined at the generic level, and based on the family diagnosis some species could be classified in either Gorgoniidae or Plexauridae. In this study, we used sequences from the Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) and their predicted RNA secondary structure to both correct the alignment and reconstruct phylogenies using molecular morphometrics for 24 octocorals mostly from the Atlantic. ITS2 exhibited the six-helicoidal ring-model structure found in eukaryotes, and provided 38 parsimony-informative characters. The proposed phylogenies, though differing between sequence- and structure-base results, provided consistent support for several clades. Genera considered part of the polyphyletic genus Leptogorgia, such as Filigorgia, were distantly related to the former in all phylogenetic hypotheses. Main differences among the hypotheses consisted in the placement of Muriceopsis (previously considered from the Plexauridae family) and Filigorgia. Excluding Muriceopsis and an undescribed octocoral from Tobago, Plexaurella and Pterogorgia grouped together as a sister branch of Pinnigorgia spp. but long-branch attraction was evident for the grouping of Plexaurella nutans (another plexaurid) and Pterogorgia citrina. Unexpected results were the divergence between Caribbean genera, Gorgonia and Pseudopterogorgia, which were placed basal respect to Pacifigorgia and Leptogorgia (=Lophogorgia). ITS2 provided support to corroborate observations based on sclerite morphology: species with "capstan sclerites" (e.g., Pacifigorgia and Leptogorgia) were characterized by a long helix IV with one internal loop and a helix V with four internal loops; "scaphoid sclerites" had a predominantly long helix V if compared to helix IV; "asymmetric spiny sclerites" (Muriceopsis, Pinnigorgia and the undescribed octocoral) exhibited one or two lateral bulges in the V helix. Remarkably, Muriceopsis

  3. Mauritic acid: a new dammarane triterpene from the roots of Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (Arecaceae).

    PubMed

    Koolen, Hector H F; Soares, Elzalina R; da Silva, Felipe M A; de Oliveira, Aimêe A; de Souza, Antonia Q L; de Medeiros, Lívia S; Rodrigues-Filho, Edson; Cavalcanti, Bruno C; Pessoa, Cláudia O; Moraes, Manoel O; Salvador, Marcos J; de Souza, Afonso D L

    2013-01-01

    A new dammarane triterpene named mauritic acid (1) was isolated from the roots of Mauritia flexuosa L.f. The complete structural assignment of this new compound was elucidated from spectroscopic methods. Moreover, this compound was evaluated for its cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines (OVCAR-8, PCM3, NCIH358M and different leukaemia cell strains). The mauritic acid presented significant cytotoxicity against OVCAR-8, PCM3 and NCIH358M cell lines with IC50 3.02, 2.39 and 6.19 μM, respectively. The triterpenes 1 and 2 were also tested for their antimicrobial activity against 15 strains of microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, with the best minimal inhibitory concentration values ranging from 50.8 to 203.5 μM.

  4. Identification and Expression Profiles of Six Transcripts Encoding Carboxylesterase Protein in Vitis flexuosa Infected with Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Zaherul; Yun, Hae Keun

    2016-01-01

    Plants protect themselves from pathogen attacks via several mechanisms, including hypersensitive cell death. Recognition of pathogen attack by the plant resistance gene triggers expression of carboxylesterase genes associated with hypersensitive response. We identified six transcripts of carboxylesterase genes, Vitis flexuosa carboxylesterase 5585 (VfCXE5585), VfCXE12827, VfCXE13132, VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674, which showed different expression patterns upon transcriptome analysis of V. flexuosa inoculated with Elsinoe ampelina. The lengths of genes ranged from 1,098 to 1,629 bp, and their encoded proteins consisted of 309 to 335 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed hydrolase like domains in all six transcripts and contained two conserved motifs, GXSXG of serine hydrolase characteristics and HGGGF related to the carboxylesterase family. The deduced amino acid sequence also contained a potential catalytic triad consisted of serine, aspartic acid and histidine. Of the six transcripts, VfCXE12827 showed upregulated expression against E. ampelina at all time points. Three genes (VfCXE5585, VfCXE12827, and VfCXE13132) showed upregulation, while others (VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674) were down regulated in grapevines infected with Botrytis cinerea. All transcripts showed upregulated expression against Rhizobium vitis at early and later time points except VfCXE12827, and were downregulated for up to 48 hours post inoculation (hpi) after upregulation at 1 hpi in response to R. vitis infection. All tested genes showed high and differential expression in response to pathogens, indicating that they all may play a role in defense pathways during pathogen infection in grapevines. PMID:27493610

  5. Recruitment potential of a green alga Ulva flexuosa Wulfen dark preserved zoospore and its development.

    PubMed

    Imchen, Temjensangba

    2012-01-01

    The recruitment potential and the ability of Ulva flexuosa Wulfen zoospores to survive darkness were tested under different conditions in the present study. The dark preserved zoospore was cultured under a two-factor experimental design to test the effect of salinity and nitrate, effect of salinity and phosphate, effect of light and salinity, and effect of light and phosphate. The recruitment (germination and growth) of zoospores was significantly affected by light and salinity. The nitrate concentration of 20 µmol.l(-1) was found to initiate the process of germination and its subsequent growth and, its effect appeared greatest under 25 psu condition. While nitrate enhances the growth of biomass more than phosphate, both show a positive interactive effect on biomass increase when crossed with salinity. The combined effect of 25 psu salinity and 8 µmol.l(-1) phosphate exhibited higher biomass growth. There was a significant effect of light and salinity on the biomass of zoospore, though there was no significant interaction between the two factors. There was an increase in biomass of growing zoospores to increase in light intensity and 80 µmol.m(-2).s(-1) of light intensity was considered optimal. Similarly, high light intensity condition favored higher biomass growth and there was significant interaction between light (80 µmol. m(-2). s(-1)) and phosphate (4 µmol. l(-1)) in high salinity (35 psu) condition. The result of this study showed that dark preserved zoospores of U. flexuosa have the potential for recruitment and it gives us an understanding how different factors play a role in the process of recruitment.

  6. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports a new family of octocorals and a new genus of Alcyoniidae (Octocorallia, Alcyonacea)

    PubMed Central

    McFadden, Catherine S.; van Ofwegen, Leen P.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Molecular phylogenetic evidence indicates that the octocoral family Alcyoniidae is highly polyphyletic, with genera distributed across Octocorallia in more than 10 separate clades. Most alcyoniid taxa belong to the large and poorly resolved Holaxonia–Alcyoniina clade of octocorals, but members of at least four genera of Alcyoniidae fall outside of that group. As a first step towards revision of the family, we describe a new genus, Parasphaerasclera gen. n., and family, Parasphaerascleridae fam. n., of Alcyonacea to accommodate species of Eleutherobia Pütter, 1900 and Alcyonium Linnaeus, 1758 that have digitiform to digitate or lobate growth forms, completely lack sclerites in the polyps, and have radiates or spheroidal sclerites in the colony surface and interior. Parasphaerascleridae fam. n. constitutes a well-supported clade that is phylogenetically distinct from all other octocoral taxa. We also describe a new genus of Alcyoniidae, Sphaerasclera gen. n., for a species of Eleutherobia with a unique capitate growth form. Sphaerasclera gen. n. is a member of the Anthomastus–Corallium clade of octocorals, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from Anthomastus Verrill, 1878 and Paraminabea Williams & Alderslade, 1999, two similar but dimorphic genera of Alcyoniidae that are its sister taxa. In addition, we have re-assigned two species of Eleutherobia that have clavate to capitate growth forms, polyp sclerites arranged to form a collaret and points, and spindles in the colony interior to Alcyonium, a move that is supported by both morphological and molecular phylogenetic evidence. PMID:24223488

  7. Radiocarbon evidence for annual growth rings in a deep sea octocoral (Primnoa resedaeformis)

    SciTech Connect

    Sherwood, O A; Scott, D B; Risk, M J; Guilderson, T P

    2005-04-05

    The deep-sea gorgonian octocoral Primnoa resedaeformis is distributed throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of 65-3200 m. It has a two-part skeleton of calcite and gorgonin. Towards the inside of the axial skeleton gorgonin and calcite are deposited in concentric growth rings, similar to tree rings. Colonies were collected from the Northeast Channel (northwest Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Nova Scotia, Canada) from depths of 250-475 m. Radiocarbon was measured in individual rings isolated from sections of each colony, after dissolution of calcite. Each {Delta}{sup 14}C measurement was paired with a ring age determined by three amateur ring counters. The precision of ring counts averaged better than {+-} 2 years. Accurate reconstruction of 20th century bomb-radiocarbon shows that (1) the growth rings are formed annually, (2) the gorgonin is derived from surface particulate organic matter (POM) and (3) useful environmental data are recorded in the organic endoskeletons of deep-sea octocorals. These results support the use of Primnoa resedaeformis as a long-term, high resolution monitor of surface ocean conditions, particularly in temperate and boreal environments where proxy data are lacking.

  8. Highly contrasted responses of Mediterranean octocorals to climate change along a depth gradient

    PubMed Central

    Pivotto, I. D.; Nerini, D.; Masmoudi, M.; Kara, H.; Chaoui, L.; Aurelle, D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has a strong impact on marine ecosystems, including temperate species. Analysing the diversity of thermotolerance levels within species along with their genetic structure enables a better understanding of their potential response to climate change. We performed this integrative study on the Mediterranean octocoral Eunicella cavolini, with samples from different depths and by means of a common garden experiment. This species does not host photosynthetic Symbiodinium, enabling us to focus on the cnidarian response. We compared the thermotolerance of individuals from 20 m and 40 m depths from the same site and with replicates from the same colony. On the basis of an innovative statistical analysis of necrosis kinetics and risk, we demonstrated the occurrence of a very different response between depths at this local scale, with lower thermotolerance of deep individuals. Strongly thermotolerant individuals were observed at 20 m with necrosis appearing at higher temperatures than observed in situ. On the basis of nine microsatellite loci, we showed that these marked thermotolerance differences occur within a single population. This suggests the importance of acclimatization processes in adaptation to these different depths. In addition, differences between replicates demonstrated the occurrence of a variability of response between fragments from the same colony with the possibility of an interaction with a tank effect. Our results provide a basis for studying adaptation and acclimatization in Mediterranean octocorals in a heterogeneous environment. PMID:26064654

  9. Deep-sea origin and in-situ diversification of chrysogorgiid octocorals.

    PubMed

    Pante, Eric; France, Scott C; Couloux, Arnaud; Cruaud, Corinne; McFadden, Catherine S; Samadi, Sarah; Watling, Les

    2012-01-01

    The diversity, ubiquity and prevalence in deep waters of the octocoral family Chrysogorgiidae Verrill, 1883 make it noteworthy as a model system to study radiation and diversification in the deep sea. Here we provide the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Chrysogorgiidae, and compare phylogeny and depth distribution. Phylogenetic relationships among 10 of 14 currently-described Chrysogorgiidae genera were inferred based on mitochondrial (mtMutS, cox1) and nuclear (18S) markers. Bathymetric distribution was estimated from multiple sources, including museum records, a literature review, and our own sampling records (985 stations, 2345 specimens). Genetic analyses suggest that the Chrysogorgiidae as currently described is a polyphyletic family. Shallow-water genera, and two of eight deep-water genera, appear more closely related to other octocoral families than to the remainder of the monophyletic, deep-water chrysogorgiid genera. Monophyletic chrysogorgiids are composed of strictly (Iridogorgia Verrill, 1883, Metallogorgia Versluys, 1902, Radicipes Stearns, 1883, Pseudochrysogorgia Pante & France, 2010) and predominantly (Chrysogorgia Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) deep-sea genera that diversified in situ. This group is sister to gold corals (Primnoidae Milne Edwards, 1857) and deep-sea bamboo corals (Keratoisidinae Gray, 1870), whose diversity also peaks in the deep sea. Nine species of Chrysogorgia that were described from depths shallower than 200 m, and mtMutS haplotypes sequenced from specimens sampled as shallow as 101 m, suggest a shallow-water emergence of some Chrysogorgia species.

  10. In vivo pH measurement at the site of calcification in an octocoral.

    PubMed

    Le Goff, C; Tambutté, E; Venn, A A; Techer, N; Allemand, D; Tambutté, S

    2017-09-11

    Calcareous octocorals are ecologically important calcifiers, but little is known about their biomineralization physiology, relative to scleractinian corals. Many marine calcifiers promote calcification by up-regulating pH at calcification sites against the surrounding seawater. Here, we investigated pH in the red octocoral Corallium rubrum which forms sclerites and an axial skeleton. To achieve this, we cultured microcolonies on coverslips facilitating microscopy of calcification sites of sclerites and axial skeleton. Initially we conducted extensive characterisation of the structural arrangement of biominerals and calcifying cells in context with other tissues, and then measured pH by live tissue imaging. Our results reveal that developing sclerites are enveloped by two scleroblasts and an extracellular calcifying medium of pH 7.97 ± 0.15. Similarly, axial skeleton crystals are surrounded by cells and a calcifying medium of pH 7.89 ± 0.09. In both cases, calcifying media are more alkaline compared to calcifying cells and fluids in gastrovascular canals, but importantly they are not pH up-regulated with respect to the surrounding seawater, contrary to what is observed in scleractinians. This points to a potential vulnerability of this species to decrease in seawater pH and is consistent with reports that red coral calcification is sensitive to ocean acidification.

  11. Deep-Sea Origin and In-Situ Diversification of Chrysogorgiid Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Pante, Eric; France, Scott C.; Couloux, Arnaud; Cruaud, Corinne; McFadden, Catherine S.; Samadi, Sarah; Watling, Les

    2012-01-01

    The diversity, ubiquity and prevalence in deep waters of the octocoral family Chrysogorgiidae Verrill, 1883 make it noteworthy as a model system to study radiation and diversification in the deep sea. Here we provide the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Chrysogorgiidae, and compare phylogeny and depth distribution. Phylogenetic relationships among 10 of 14 currently-described Chrysogorgiidae genera were inferred based on mitochondrial (mtMutS, cox1) and nuclear (18S) markers. Bathymetric distribution was estimated from multiple sources, including museum records, a literature review, and our own sampling records (985 stations, 2345 specimens). Genetic analyses suggest that the Chrysogorgiidae as currently described is a polyphyletic family. Shallow-water genera, and two of eight deep-water genera, appear more closely related to other octocoral families than to the remainder of the monophyletic, deep-water chrysogorgiid genera. Monophyletic chrysogorgiids are composed of strictly (Iridogorgia Verrill, 1883, Metallogorgia Versluys, 1902, Radicipes Stearns, 1883, Pseudochrysogorgia Pante & France, 2010) and predominantly (Chrysogorgia Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) deep-sea genera that diversified in situ. This group is sister to gold corals (Primnoidae Milne Edwards, 1857) and deep-sea bamboo corals (Keratoisidinae Gray, 1870), whose diversity also peaks in the deep sea. Nine species of Chrysogorgia that were described from depths shallower than 200 m, and mtMutS haplotypes sequenced from specimens sampled as shallow as 101 m, suggest a shallow-water emergence of some Chrysogorgia species. PMID:22723855

  12. Methane Flux of Amazonian Peatland Ecosystems: Large Ecosystem Fluxes with Substantial Contribution from Palm (maritia Flexuosa) STEM Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Haren, J. L. M.; Cadillo-Quiroz, H.

    2015-12-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions through plants have long been known in wetlands. However, most measurements have focused on stem tops and leaves. Recently, measurements at the lower parts of stems have shown that stem emissions can exceed soil CH4 emissions in Asian peatlands (Pangala et al. 2013). The addition of stem fluxes to soil fluxes for total ecosystem fluxes has the potential to bridge the discrepancy between modeled to measured and bottom-up to top-down flux estimates. Our measurements in peatlands of Peru show that especially Mauritia flexuosa, a palm species, can emit very large quantities of CH4, although most trees emitted at least some CH4. We used flexible stem chambers to adapt to stems of any size above 5cm in diameter. The chambers were sampled in closed loop with a Gasmet DX4015 for flux measurements, which lasted ~5 minutes after flushing with ambient air. We found that M. flexuosa stem fluxes decrease with height along the stem and were positively correlated with soil fluxes. Most likely CH4 is transported up the stem with the xylem water. Measured M. flexuosa stem fluxes below 1.5m averaged 11.2±1.5 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±95% CI) with a maximum of 123±3.5 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±SE), whereas soil fluxes averaged 6.7±1.7 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±95% CI) with a maximum of 31.6±0.4 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±SE). Significant CH4 fluxes were measured up to 5 m height along the stems. Combined with the high density of ~150 M. flexuosa individuals per hectare in these peatlands and the consistent diameter of ~30cm, the high flux rates add ~20% to the soil flux. With anywhere between 1 and 5 billion M. flexuosa stems across Amazon basin wetlands, stem fluxes from this palm species could represent a major addition to the overall Amazon basin CH4 flux.

  13. Australia's deep-water octocoral fauna: historical account and checklist, distributions and regional affinities of recent collections.

    PubMed

    Alderslade, Philip; Althaus, Franziska; Mcennulty, Felicity; Gowlett-Holmes, Karen; Williams, Alan

    2014-05-20

    The number of deep-water (>80 m) octocoral species recorded from Australian waters has more than tripled from 135 to 457 following six surveys undertaken between 1997 and 2008 on the deep continental margin of south-eastern, western and north-western Australia and the Tasman Sea.  This rapid increase in knowledge follows a slow accumulation of records since the earliest collections were made by vessels such as the Géographe and the Naturaliste in the early years of the 19 century. Consistent identification and alpha-labelling of the octocoral fauna between surveys has permitted a multi-region description and comparison.  We detail the identities, distributions and regional affinities of 457 octocoral species in 131 genera and 28 families from the orders Alcyonacea and Pennatulacea, including 69 new species, 17 new genera and 43 first records for Australia. Five of the more common genera were widely distributed (present at 35 and 66 sampling stations spanning all of the 4 survey regions), but two were restricted to south-eastern Australia-Pleurogorgia Versluys, 1902 and Tokoprymno Bayer, 1996-and were only sampled from depths below 700 m.  The great majority of species (81%) and nearly half of all genera (47%) were only sampled once or twice.  The highest average number of species per sampling station (3.2) was reported from the outer shelf. The proportion of new species was highest (22%) on the upper and lower slope bathomes, intermediate (13-15%) on the mid-slope bathome and lowest (8%) on the outer shelf bathome.  Species overlap between bathomes was low, but all families were shared across bathomes. Most described species (55 of 69) have an Indo-West Pacific affinity, 20 have an Indian Ocean affinity, while three were previously recorded from the Atlantic Ocean only; 20 appear to be Australian endemics. Octocorals can now be added to an emerging set of taxon-specific data sets-including fishes, ophiuroids and galatheids-that permit regional-scale analysis

  14. Culturable endophytic microbial communities in the circumpolar grass, Deschampsia flexuosa in a sub-Arctic inland primary succession are habitat and growth stage specific.

    PubMed

    Poosakkannu, Anbu; Nissinen, Riitta; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit

    2015-02-01

    Little is known about endophytic microbes in cold climate plants and how their communities are formed.We compared culturable putative endophytic bacteria and fungi in the ecologically important circumpolargrass, Deschampsia flexuosa growing in two successional stages of subarctic sand dune (68°29′N).Sequence analyses of partial 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of culturable endophytes showed that diverse bacteria and fungi inhabit different tissues of D. flexuosa. A total of 178 bacterial isolates representing seven taxonomic divisions, Alpha, Beta and Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Acidobacteria, and 30 fungal isolates representing the phylum Ascomycota were identified. Several endophytes were affiliated with specific plant tissues or successional stages. This first report of bacterial endophytes in D. flexuosa revealed that the genus Pseudomonas is tightly associated with D. flexuosa, and encompassed 39% of the bacterial isolates, and 58% of seed isolates. Based on 16S rRNA and ITS sequence data, most of the D. flexuosa endophytes were closely related to microbes from other cold environments. The majority of seed endophytic bacterial isolates were able to solubilize organic form of phosphate suggesting that these endophytes could play a role in resource mobilization in germinating seeds in nutrient-poor habitat.

  15. Coordination modes of tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes: magnetic circular dichroism studies of Plexaura homomalla allene oxide synthase, Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis protein-2744c, and bovine liver catalase in their ferric and ferrous states

    PubMed Central

    Bandara, D. M. Indika; Sono, Masanori; Bruce, Grant S.; Brash, Alan R.; Dawson, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Bovine liver catalase (BLC), catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from Plexaura homomalla, and a recently isolated protein from the cattle pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP-2744c (MAP)) are all tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes whose crystal structures have been reported. cAOS and MAP have low (< 20%) sequence similarity to, and significantly different catalytic functions from, BLC. cAOS transforms 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid to an allene epoxide, whereas the MAP protein is an organic peroxide-dependent peroxidase. To shed light on the functional differences among these three proteins, we have investigated the heme iron coordination properties of these tyrosinate-ligated heme proteins in their ferric and ferrous states using magnetic circular dichroism and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. The MAP protein shows remarkable spectral similarities to cAOS and BLC in its native Fe(III) state, but clear differences from ferric His93Tyr Mb, which may be attributed to the presence of an Arg+-Nω-H … O-Tyr (proximal heme axial ligand) hydrogen bond in the first three heme proteins. Furthermore, the spectra of Fe(III)-CN−, Fe(III)-NO, Fe(II)-NO (except for five-coordinate MAP), Fe(II)-CO, and Fe(II)-O2 states of cAOS and MAP, but not H93Y Mb, are also similar to the corresponding six-coordinate complexes of BLC, suggesting that a tyrosinate (Tyr-O−) is the heme axial ligand trans to the bound ligands in these complexes. The Arg+-Nω-H to −O-Tyr hydrogen bond would be expected to modulate the donor properties of the proximal tyrosinate oxyanion and, combined with the subtle differences in the catalytic site structures, affect the activities of cAOS, MAP and BLC. PMID:22104301

  16. Coordination modes of tyrosinate-ligated catalase-type heme enzymes: magnetic circular dichroism studies of Plexaura homomalla allene oxide synthase, Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis protein-2744c, and bovine liver catalase in their ferric and ferrous states.

    PubMed

    Bandara, D M Indika; Sono, Masanori; Bruce, Grant S; Brash, Alan R; Dawson, John H

    2011-12-01

    Bovine liver catalase (BLC), catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from Plexaura homomalla, and a recently isolated protein from the cattle pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP-2744c (MAP)) are all tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes whose crystal structures have been reported. cAOS and MAP have low (<20%) sequence similarity to, and significantly different catalytic functions from, BLC. cAOS transforms 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid to an allene epoxide, whereas the MAP protein is a putative organic peroxide-dependent peroxidase. To elucidate factors influencing the functions of these and related heme proteins, we have investigated the heme iron coordination properties of these tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes in their ferric and ferrous states using magnetic circular dichroism and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. The MAP protein shows remarkable spectral similarities to cAOS and BLC in its native Fe(III) state, but clear differences from ferric proximal heme ligand His93Tyr Mb (myoglobin) mutant, which may be attributed to the presence of an Arg(+)-N(ω)-H···¯O-Tyr (proximal heme axial ligand) hydrogen bond in the first three heme proteins. Furthermore, the spectra of Fe(III)-CN¯, Fe(III)-NO, Fe(II)-NO (except for five-coordinate MAP), Fe(II)-CO, and Fe(II)-O(2) states of cAOS and MAP, but not H93Y Mb, are also similar to the corresponding six-coordinate complexes of BLC, suggesting that a tyrosinate (Tyr-O¯) is the heme axial ligand trans to the bound ligands in these complexes. The Arg(+)-N(ω)-H to ¯O-Tyr hydrogen bond would be expected to modulate the donor properties of the proximal tyrosinate oxyanion and, combined with the subtle differences in the catalytic site structures, affect the activities of cAOS, MAP and BLC. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Non-cyclooxygenase prostaglandin synthesis in the sea whip coral, Plexaura homomalla: an 8(R)-lipoxygenase pathway leads to formation of an alpha-ketol and a Racemic prostanoid

    SciTech Connect

    Brash, A.R.; Baertschi, S.W.; Ingram, C.D.; Harris, T.M.

    1987-11-25

    Plexaura homomalla is a rich natural source of prostaglandins and recent evidence suggest the prostaglandin biosynthesis could occur through a lipoxygenase pathway. We have investigated the metabolism of arachidonic acid in homogenates and acetone powders of the fresh frozen coral. The biosynthesis of natural prostaglandins was not detected. However, we find a prominent 8(R)-lipoxygenase pathway leading to an alpha-ketol, characterized by high pressure liquid chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and NMR as 8-hydroxy, 9-keto-eicosa-5Z, 11Z, 14Z-trienoic acid, and a prostaglandin A-like cyclopentenone identified as 9-oxo-(8, 12-cis)-prosta-5Z, 10, 14Z-trienoic acid. These reactions appear analogous to the transformation of linolenic acid hydroperoxide by isomerase and cyclase of corn and flaxseed. From analysis of the absolute configurations of the coral products, and from additional stable isotope labeling experiments in H/sub 2//sup 18/O and D/sub 2/O, we deduce that both compounds arise via conversion of 8(R)-HPETE to an 8(R), 9-allene oxide, 8R,9-oxido-eicosa-5Z, 9, 11Z, 14Z-tetraenoic acid. This unstable intermediate undergoes hydrolysis to form the alpha-ketol or cyclization to give the cyclopentenone. Significantly, we find that the prostaglandin-like product is a racemic mixture of cis side chain enantiomers, pointing to its nonenzymatic origin from the allene oxide. The alpha-ketol is formed with partial racemization and inversion of configuration, also compatible with formation in a nonenzymatic reaction. We conclude that the isomerase and cyclase reactions may merely reflect nonenzymatic breakdown of the enzymatically formed allene oxide.

  18. Two new species of gorgonian octocorals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific Biogeographic Region (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Gorgoniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Breedy, Odalisca; Williams, Gary C; Guzman, Hector M

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The gorgoniid Eugorgia is exclusively an eastern Pacific genus. It has a wide geographic and bathymetric range of distribution, found from California to Perú and extends down to 65 m deep. Two new species are herein described. The morphological characters were analyzed and illustrated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Eugorgia beebei sp. n. can be distinguished by its white, ascending, sparse colony growth. Eugorgia mutabilis sp. n. can be distinguished by its white colony that changes color after collection, and the conspicuous sharp-crested disc sclerites. From a morphological point of view the new species are related to the daniana-group, the rubens-group and the siedenburgae-group of Eugorgia; their affiliations, and the proposal of a new group are discussed. These new species increases the number of species in the genus to 15, and contribute to the knowledge of the eastern Pacific octocoral biodiversity. PMID:24294084

  19. Two new species of gorgonian octocorals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific Biogeographic Region (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Gorgoniidae).

    PubMed

    Breedy, Odalisca; Williams, Gary C; Guzman, Hector M

    2013-01-01

    The gorgoniid Eugorgia is exclusively an eastern Pacific genus. It has a wide geographic and bathymetric range of distribution, found from California to Perú and extends down to 65 m deep. Two new species are herein described. The morphological characters were analyzed and illustrated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Eugorgia beebei sp. n. can be distinguished by its white, ascending, sparse colony growth. Eugorgia mutabilis sp. n. can be distinguished by its white colony that changes color after collection, and the conspicuous sharp-crested disc sclerites. From a morphological point of view the new species are related to the daniana-group, the rubens-group and the siedenburgae-group of Eugorgia; their affiliations, and the proposal of a new group are discussed. These new species increases the number of species in the genus to 15, and contribute to the knowledge of the eastern Pacific octocoral biodiversity.

  20. Deep-water octocorals (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) from Brazil: Family Chrysogorgiidae Verrill, 1883.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Ralf T S; Castro, Clovis B; Pérez, Carlos D

    2015-12-15

    Current knowledge about the Brazilian deep-water octocoral fauna remains scarce, fragmented, and mostly based on unpublished, regional scale surveys. The present work provides the first comprehensive study of the family Chrysogorgidae Verrill, 1883 in Brazil, based on morphological analysis of specimens collected in the last decade and those currently placed in museums. Members of this family are common mainly at great depths and remarkable for the iridescent aspect of their colonies. In Brazil, to the present, only four species were reported: Chrysogorgia elegans (Verrill, 1883), Chrysogorgia multiflora Deichmann, 1936, Stephanogorgia rattoi Castro, Medeiros & Loiola, 2010 and Trichogorgia brasiliensis Castro, Medeiros & Loiola, 2010-the last two are shallow-water species. In this study, three new deep-water species are described, Chrysogorgia tuberculata, Chrysogorgia upsilonia and Radicipes kopelatos, and a new record to Brazil is reported, Chrysogorgia fewkesii Verrill, 1883, as well as latitudinal expansions in distributions of Chrysogorgia elegans and Chrysogorgia multiflora are presented.

  1. Pre- and post-1998 ENSO records of shallow-water octocorals (Alcyonacea) in the Chagos Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Schleyer, Michael H; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2010-12-01

    When compared, principal octocorals collected in the Chagos Archipelago before and after the 1998 ENSO shared many common taxa. While a few discontinuities in their biodiversity revealed subtle changes in more persistent genera (Lobophytum, Sarcophyton), some fast-growing "fugitive" genera (e.g. Cespitularia, Efflatounaria, Heteroxenia) disappeared after the ENSO-related coral bleaching. Such transient fugitives might thus be eliminated from soft coral communities on isolated reef systems, possibly in the long term, by events of this nature. The appearance of Carijoa riseii, a species often considered a fouling organism, even an invasive, may well be indicative of reef degradation during the ENSO event. The post-ENSO recovery manifested by this fauna nevertheless gives cause for hope for their survival in the face of climate change. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular and Morphological Species Boundaries in the Gorgonian Octocoral Genus Pterogorgia (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae).

    PubMed

    Wirshing, Herman H; Baker, Andrew C

    2015-01-01

    Most gorgonian octocoral species are described using diagnostic characteristics of their sclerites (microscopic skeletal components). Species in the genus Pterogorgia, however, are separated primarily by differences in their calyx and branch morphology. Specimens of a morphologically unusual Pterogorgia collected from Saba Bank in the NE Caribbean Sea were found with calyx morphology similar to P. citrina and branch morphology similar to P. guadalupensis. In order to test morphological species boundaries, and the validity of calyx and branch morphology as systematic characters, a phylogenetic analysis was undertaken utilizing partial gene fragments of three mitochondrial (mtMutS, cytochrome b, and igr4; 726bp total) and two nuclear (ITS2, 166bp; and SRP54 intron, 143bp) loci. The datasets for nuclear and mitochondrial loci contained few phylogenetically informative sites, and tree topologies did not resolve any of the morphological species as monophyletic groups. Instead, the mitochondrial loci and SRP54 each recovered two clades but were slightly incongruent, with a few individuals of P. guadalupensis represented in both clades with SRP54. A concatenated dataset of these loci grouped all P. anceps and P. guadalupensis in a clade, and P. citrina and the Pterogorgia sp. from Saba Bank in a sister clade, but with minimal variation/resolution within each clade. However, in common with other octocoral taxa, the limited genetic variation may not have been able to resolve whether branch variation represents intraspecific variation or separate species. Therefore, these results suggest that there are at least two phylogenetic lineages of Pterogorgia at the species level, and the atypical Pterogorgia sp. may represent an unusual morphotype of P. citrina, possibly endemic to Saba Bank. Branch morphology does not appear to be a reliable morphological character to differentiate Pterogorgia species (e.g., branches "flat" or "3-4 edges" in P. guadalupensis and P. anceps

  3. Contrasting preferences of arbuscular mycorrhizal and dark septate fungi colonizing boreal and subarctic Avenella flexuosa.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, M; Raveala, K; Wäli, P R; Ruotsalainen, A L

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi are ubiquitous in grass roots, but their colonizations may vary according to latitudinal gradient and site conditions. We investigated how vegetation zone (boreal vs. subarctic), humus thickness, and site openness affect root fungal colonizations of the grass Avenella flexuosa. More precisely, we hypothesized that AM and DSE fungal colonizations would have different responses to environmental conditions such that AM fungi could be more common in boreal zone, whereas we expected DSE fungi to be more affected by the amount of humus. We found site openness to affect AM and DSE fungi in a contrasting manner, in interaction with the vegetation zone. AM colonization was high at open coastal dunes, whereas DSE fungi were more common at forested sites, in the boreal zone. Humus thickness affected AM fungi negatively and DSE fungi positively. To conclude, the observed AM and DSE fungal colonization patterns were largely contrasting. AM fungi were favored in seashore conditions characterized by thin humus layer, whereas DSE fungi were favored in conditions of higher humus availability.

  4. Sampling Rhodnius neglectus in Mauritia flexuosa palm trees: a field study in the Brazilian savanna.

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, R; Palma, A R T; Menezes, M N A; Leite, R N; Cuba, C A C

    2003-09-01

    Two sampling methods (manual capture and live-baited adhesive traps) were compared for collecting the bug Rhodnius neglectus Lent (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) from palm trees, Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae), in the savanna of Brasília DF. R. neglectus was found in 19/50 (38%) of palm trees sampled. The detection rate was much higher by visual inspection and manual capture (18/50=36%) than by our trapping method (5/50=10%), although one tree was found to be positive by trapping but not by manual capture. Bugs collected manually were mostly (146/154=95%) found among the dead organic material in palm crowns. In combination, these sampling techniques are useful for quick detection of triatomine bug infestation in palm trees, especially in areas of high ecological value where the palms should not be cut and dissected, but arboreal Rhodnius are suspected to transmit enzootic Trypanosoma cruzi that might represent a risk of causing human cases of Chagas disease.

  5. A new genus and species of octocoral with aragonite calcium-carbonate skeleton (Octocorallia, Helioporacea) from Okinawa, Japan.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Yu; Reimer, James Davis

    2015-01-01

    A new genus and species of octocoral with a calcium-carbonate skeleton, Naniporakamurai sp. n., is described from a shallow coral reef in Okinawa, Japan. Contrary to most octocorals, the skeleton is composed of crystalline aragonite as in blue coral Heliopora. The results of molecular phylogenetic analyses of sequences of mtMutS, COI, and ITS1-5.8s-ITS2-28S region suggest Nanipora gen. n. specimens should be included in order Helioporacea. Based on morphological results compared with other Helioporacea including the genus Epiphaxum (family Lithotelestidae), we establish the new genus Nanipora within Lithotelestidae. This is the first time that a close molecular phylogenetic relationship between Heliopora and a related genus within Helioporacea has been revealed.

  6. A new genus and species of octocoral with aragonite calcium-carbonate skeleton (Octocorallia, Helioporacea) from Okinawa, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Yu; Reimer, James Davis

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of octocoral with a calcium-carbonate skeleton, Nanipora kamurai sp. n., is described from a shallow coral reef in Okinawa, Japan. Contrary to most octocorals, the skeleton is composed of crystalline aragonite as in blue coral Heliopora. The results of molecular phylogenetic analyses of sequences of mtMutS, COI, and ITS1-5.8s-ITS2-28S region suggest Nanipora gen. n. specimens should be included in order Helioporacea. Based on morphological results compared with other Helioporacea including the genus Epiphaxum (family Lithotelestidae), we establish the new genus Nanipora within Lithotelestidae. This is the first time that a close molecular phylogenetic relationship between Heliopora and a related genus within Helioporacea has been revealed. PMID:26257549

  7. Levels of infection, pathology and nodule size of Onchocerca flexuosa (Nematoda: Onchocercidae) in red deer (Cervus elaphus) from northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, M R; Martínez, A; Carreño, R A; González, S; Ferreras, M C; Díez, N

    2015-05-01

    Between 2005 and 2007, the presence of Onchocerca flexuosa (Wedl, 1856) was discovered and investigated in 110 red deer (Cervus elaphus) shot in the Riaño Regional Hunting Reserve, in the province of León (north-western Spain). Nodules containing O. flexuosa were located in the dorsal region and flanks of the deer. These were collected and measured, and some adult parasites were extracted from the nodules and identified by morphology and by obtaining mitochondrial 12S rDNA sequences, which were identical to those of previously published sequences for O. flexuosa. Some nodules were prepared for histology, embedded in paraffin, sectioned and stained with haematoxylin-eosin. Histologically, the worms were found in several compartments separated by an infiltrated fibrous tissue. These compartments were inhabited by several females and males, surrounded by a fibrous capsule. A total of 85.45% (95% confidence interval (CI): 78.86-92.04%) of red deer were parasitized, with a mean intensity of 9.53 ± 12.27 nodules/host, ranging between 1 and 74 nodules/deer. Significant differences in prevalence and intensity of infection were found between young and adult red deer, and also between seasons. However, no significant differences between males and females were observed. Five hundred and ninety-seven nodules were measured (15.81 ± 3.94 mm) and classified by sizes into small ( < 10 mm), medium (10-20 mm) and large (>20 mm). No relation was found between the size of the nodules and the time of infection. The high values found in the studied parameters show that northern Spain is an area of high-intensity infection for deer.

  8. Effects of an in situ diesel oil spill on oxidative stress in the clam Anomalocardia flexuosa.

    PubMed

    Sardi, Adriana E; Renaud, Paul E; Morais, Gisele C; Martins, César C; da Cunha Lana, Paulo; Camus, Lionel

    2017-07-21

    Intensive exploitation and transport of oil and derivatives are increasing the risk of coastal contamination by either dramatic disasters or diffuse sources. Tools for monitoring diffuse contamination, such as diesel oil that leaks from marine vessels are much needed. We experimentally tested the efficiency of antioxidant biomarkers as indicators of chronic exposure to diesel oil in a mudflat from the subtropical Bay of Paranaguá, in southern Brazil. We examined the effects of three successive diesel oil spills, with two weeks of recovery time between exposures, on the edible clam Anomalocardia flexuosa. Previous studies have highlighted its potential as a bioindicator species for diesel oil contamination in subtropical and tropical ecosystems. Endpoints measured in gill and digestive gland homogenates included the activity of antioxidant enzymes SOD, GPx, GST and levels of lipid peroxides. PAHs concentration in sediments and soft tissue were also quantified. GST and SOD were the most responsive biomarkers to the exposure. There were significant but non-cumulative departures from control levels in organisms from treated samples, which were, in all cases, more common 48 h after each experimental spill. Biomarker responses were more evident in the digestive gland than in gills. This work validated the short-term responsiveness of biomarkers as measures of repeated pulsed in situ exposure to low concentrations of diesel oil. For their routine implementation into monitoring programs for tropical estuaries our general recommendations are 1) to include several reference sites, 2) to analyze biomarker data using a logarithmic-scale and 3) to interpret deviations from "normal" activity as multiplicative interval differences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The mitochondrial genome of Paraminabea aldersladei (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia) supports intramolecular recombination as the primary mechanism of gene rearrangement in octocoral mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Brockman, Stephanie A; McFadden, Catherine S

    2012-01-01

    Sequencing of the complete mitochondrial genome of the soft coral Paraminabea aldersladei (Alcyoniidae) revealed a unique gene order, the fifth mt gene arrangement now known within the cnidarian subclass Octocorallia. At 19,886 bp, the mt genome of P. aldersladei is the second largest known for octocorals; its gene content and nucleotide composition are, however, identical to most other octocorals, and the additional length is due to the presence of two large, noncoding intergenic regions. Relative to the presumed ancestral octocoral gene order, in P. aldersladei a block of three protein-coding genes (nad6-nad3-nad4l) has been translocated and inverted. Mapping the distribution of mt gene arrangements onto a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny of Octocorallia suggests that all of the known octocoral gene orders have evolved by successive inversions of one or more evolutionarily conserved blocks of protein-coding genes. This mode of genome evolution is unique among Metazoa, and contrasts strongly with that observed in Hexacorallia, in which extreme gene shuffling has occurred among taxonomic orders. Two of the four conserved gene blocks found in Octocorallia are, however, also conserved in the linear mt genomes of Medusozoa and in one group of Demospongiae. We speculate that the rate and mechanism of gene rearrangement in octocorals may be influenced by the presence in their mt genomes of mtMutS, a putatively active DNA mismatch repair protein that may also play a role in mediating intramolecular recombination.

  10. The Mitochondrial Genome of Paraminabea aldersladei (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia) Supports Intramolecular Recombination as the Primary Mechanism of Gene Rearrangement in Octocoral Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Brockman, Stephanie A.; McFadden, Catherine S.

    2012-01-01

    Sequencing of the complete mitochondrial genome of the soft coral Paraminabea aldersladei (Alcyoniidae) revealed a unique gene order, the fifth mt gene arrangement now known within the cnidarian subclass Octocorallia. At 19,886 bp, the mt genome of P. aldersladei is the second largest known for octocorals; its gene content and nucleotide composition are, however, identical to most other octocorals, and the additional length is due to the presence of two large, noncoding intergenic regions. Relative to the presumed ancestral octocoral gene order, in P. aldersladei a block of three protein-coding genes (nad6–nad3–nad4l) has been translocated and inverted. Mapping the distribution of mt gene arrangements onto a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny of Octocorallia suggests that all of the known octocoral gene orders have evolved by successive inversions of one or more evolutionarily conserved blocks of protein-coding genes. This mode of genome evolution is unique among Metazoa, and contrasts strongly with that observed in Hexacorallia, in which extreme gene shuffling has occurred among taxonomic orders. Two of the four conserved gene blocks found in Octocorallia are, however, also conserved in the linear mt genomes of Medusozoa and in one group of Demospongiae. We speculate that the rate and mechanism of gene rearrangement in octocorals may be influenced by the presence in their mt genomes of mtMutS, a putatively active DNA mismatch repair protein that may also play a role in mediating intramolecular recombination. PMID:22975720

  11. Complete mitochondrial genomes elucidate phylogenetic relationships of the deep-sea octocoral families Coralliidae and Paragorgiidae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Diego F.; Baco, Amy R.

    2014-01-01

    In the past decade, molecular phylogenetic analyses of octocorals have shown that the current morphological taxonomic classification of these organisms needs to be revised. The latest phylogenetic analyses show that most octocorals can be divided into three main clades. One of these clades contains the families Coralliidae and Paragorgiidae. These families share several taxonomically important characters and it has been suggested that they may not be monophyletic; with the possibility of the Coralliidae being a derived branch of the Paragorgiidae. Uncertainty exists not only in the relationship of these two families, but also in the classification of the two genera that make up the Coralliidae, Corallium and Paracorallium. Molecular analyses suggest that the genus Corallium is paraphyletic, and it can be divided into two main clades, with the Paracorallium as members of one of these clades. In this study we sequenced the whole mitochondrial genome of five species of Paragorgia and of five species of Corallium to use in a phylogenetic analysis to achieve two main objectives; the first to elucidate the phylogenetic relationship between the Paragorgiidae and Coralliidae and the second to determine whether the genera Corallium and Paracorallium are monophyletic. Our results show that other members of the Coralliidae share the two novel mitochondrial gene arrangements found in a previous study in Corallium konojoi and Paracorallium japonicum; and that the Corallium konojoi arrangement is also found in the Paragorgiidae. Our phylogenetic reconstruction based on all the protein coding genes and ribosomal RNAs of the mitochondrial genome suggest that the Coralliidae are not a derived branch of the Paragorgiidae, but rather a monophyletic sister branch to the Paragorgiidae. While our manuscript was in review a study was published using morphological data and several fragments from mitochondrial genes to redefine the taxonomy of the Coralliidae. Paracorallium was subsumed

  12. Infestation of Mauritia flexuosa palms by triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli in the Brazilian savanna.

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Cura, Carolina; Schijman, Alejandro G; Cuba, César A Cuba

    2012-02-01

    To determine the infestation and trypanosome infection of triatomines captured in Mauritia flexuosa palm trees across its geographic distribution in the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), we sampled 42 localities in eight states and in the Federal District, Brazil, between July 2005 and January 2010. Overall, 2154 specimens of the species Rhodnius neglectus, Psammolestes tertius, Triatoma sordida, and Microtriatoma borbai, were collected. Among the 341 palms sampled, 182 (53.3%) were infested with R. neglectus, which resulted in the capture of 1639 specimens (9.0 insects per infested palm). P. tertius occurred in 26 palms (8%), which resulted in the capture of 484 specimens (19 insects per infested palm). T. sordida (n=30) and M. borbai (n=1) occurred in only one location. From 537 R. neglectus examined, 44 were infected (8%) with Trypanosoma rangeli and/or Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc Id). M. flexuosa was previously recognized as a suitable breeding ecotope for R. neglectus in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Goiás, Tocantins and the Federal District. Our results expand this distribution to other states (São Paulo, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Maranhão and Piauí), and also show that this particular palm tree harbors other triatomine species. Finally, we show that R. neglectus plays an important role in maintaining the enzootic circulation of T. cruzi and T. rangeli in the Brazilian savanna.

  13. Search for mesophotic octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and their phylogeny: I. A new sclerite-free genus from Eilat, northern Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Benayahu, Yehuda; McFadden, Catherine S; Shoham, Erez

    2017-01-01

    This communication describes a new octocoral, Altumia delicatagen. n. & sp. n. (Octocorallia: Clavulariidae), from mesophotic reefs of Eilat (northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea). This species lives on dead antipatharian colonies and on artificial substrates. It has been recorded from deeper than 60 m down to 140 m and is thus considered to be a lower mesophotic octocoral. It has no sclerites and features no symbiotic zooxanthellae. The new genus is compared to other known sclerite-free octocorals. Molecular phylogenetic analyses place it in a clade with members of families Clavulariidae and Acanthoaxiidae, and for now we assign it to the former, based on colony morphology. The polyphyletic family Clavulariidae is, however, in need of a thorough revision once the morphological distinctions among its phylogenetically distinct clades are better understood.

  14. Search for mesophotic octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) and their phylogeny: I. A new sclerite-free genus from Eilat, northern Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Benayahu, Yehuda; McFadden, Catherine S.; Shoham, Erez

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This communication describes a new octocoral, Altumia delicata gen. n. & sp. n. (Octocorallia: Clavulariidae), from mesophotic reefs of Eilat (northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea). This species lives on dead antipatharian colonies and on artificial substrates. It has been recorded from deeper than 60 m down to 140 m and is thus considered to be a lower mesophotic octocoral. It has no sclerites and features no symbiotic zooxanthellae. The new genus is compared to other known sclerite-free octocorals. Molecular phylogenetic analyses place it in a clade with members of families Clavulariidae and Acanthoaxiidae, and for now we assign it to the former, based on colony morphology. The polyphyletic family Clavulariidae is, however, in need of a thorough revision once the morphological distinctions among its phylogenetically distinct clades are better understood. PMID:28769713

  15. Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra D.

    2016-01-01

    Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, this is the first study to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. Samples from five colonies of P. placomus were collected from Baltimore Canyon (379–382 m depth) in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States of America. DNA was extracted from the coral samples and 16S rRNA gene amplicons were pyrosequenced using V4-V5 primers. Three samples sequenced deeply (>4,000 sequences each) and were further analyzed. The dominant microbial phylum was Proteobacteria, but other major phyla included Firmicutes and Planctomycetes. A conserved community of bacterial taxa held in common across the three P. placomus colonies was identified, comprising 68–90% of the total bacterial community depending on the coral individual. The bacterial community of P. placomus does not appear to include the genus Endozoicomonas, which has been found previously to be the dominant bacterial associate in several temperate and tropical gorgonians. Inferred functionality suggests the possibility of nitrogen cycling by the core bacterial community. PMID:27703865

  16. Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra D.

    2016-01-01

    Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, this is the first study to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. Samples from five colonies of P. placomus were collected from Baltimore Canyon (379–382 m depth) in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States of America. DNA was extracted from the coral samples and 16S rRNA gene amplicons were pyrosequenced using V4-V5 primers. Three samples sequenced deeply (>4,000 sequences each) and were further analyzed. The dominant microbial phylum was Proteobacteria, but other major phyla included Firmicutes and Planctomycetes. A conserved community of bacterial taxa held in common across the three P. placomuscolonies was identified, comprising 68–90% of the total bacterial community depending on the coral individual. The bacterial community of P. placomusdoes not appear to include the genus Endozoicomonas, which has been found previously to be the dominant bacterial associate in several temperate and tropical gorgonians. Inferred functionality suggests the possibility of nitrogen cycling by the core bacterial community.

  17. Molecular and ultrastructural studies of a fibrillar collagen from octocoral (Cnidaria).

    PubMed

    Orgel, Joseph P R O; Sella, Ido; Madhurapantula, Rama S; Antipova, Olga; Mandelberg, Yael; Kashman, Yoel; Benayahu, Dafna; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2017-07-13

    We report here the biochemical, molecular and ultrastructural features of a unique organization of fibrillar collagen extracted from the octocoral Sarcophyton ehrenbergi Collagen, the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom, is often defined as a structural component of extra-cellular matrices in metazoans. In the present study, collagen fibers were extracted from the mesenteries of S. ehrenbergi polyps. These fibers are organized as filaments and further compacted as coiled fibers. The fibers are uniquely long, reaching an unprecedented length of tens of centimeters. The diameter of these fibers is 9 ±0.37 µm.The amino acid content of these fibers was identified using chromatography and revealed close similarity in content to mammalian type I and II collagens. The ultrastructural organization of the fibers was characterized by means of high resolution microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The fibers are composed of fibrils and fibril bundles in the range of 15 to 35 nm. These data indicate a fibrillar collagen possessing structural aspects of both types I and II, a highly interesting and newly described form of fibrillar collagen organization. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Cloning and characterization of a lectin from the octocoral Sinularia lochmodes.

    PubMed

    Jimbo, Mitsuru; Koike, Kazuhiko; Sakai, Ryuichi; Muramoto, Koji; Kamiya, Hisao

    2005-04-29

    In the present study, the entire amino acid sequence and cDNA structure encoding the d-galactose-binding lectin, SLL-2, isolated from the octocoral Sinularia lochmodes, were determined. SLL-2 regulates the morphology of symbiotic dinoflagellates Symbiodinium spp. through unknown mechanisms. Here, three cDNAs that encode SLL-2 were cloned and characterized. All the SLL-2 cDNAs encoded 142 amino acids with high similarity to each other. The mature subunit of SLL-2 was found to be composed of 94 amino acids and to contain one putative glycosylation site common to all three SLL-2. N-Glycopeptidase F treatment of SLL-2 resulted in a protein band shift from 16.5 to 9.5kDa in SDS-PAGE, confirming that SLL-2s are glycoproteins. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the deglycosylated SLL-2 indicated a presence of three polypeptides as encoded in SLL-2 cDNAs. The deduced sequences of SLL-2 cDNAs had a similarity to the C-terminal region of discoidin I, the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum lectin.

  19. IN VITRO AND IN VIVO ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF BURITI FRUIT (MAURITIA FLEXUOSA L.F.).

    PubMed

    da Rocha Romero, Amanda Batista; de Carvalho e Martins, Maria do Carmo; Moreira Nunes, Paulo Humberto; Ravenna Trindade Ferreira, Nayara; da Silva Brito, Ana Karolinne; Marinho da Cunha, Polliana Farias; de Lima, Alessandro; de Assis, Regina Célia; Moreira Araújo, Eva

    2015-11-01

    Introducción: estudios previos han demostrado que la fruta Burití (Mauritia flexuosa L.f). posee una alta concentración de ácidos grasos monoinsaturados, carotenoides, polifenoles y ácido ascórbico. Este estudio evaluó la actividad antioxidante in vitro e in vivo del Burití. Métodos: fueron determinadas la composición química, el contenido de compuestos fenólicos y de carotenoides tanto de la pulpa del Burití como de las raciones de alimento. La actividad antioxidante in vitro fue analizada utilizando el ensayo del radical 2,2-difenil-1-picrilhidrazil (DPPH). Ratas Wistar (21 días de edad) fueron asignadas al azar (n = 10) en grupos controles y grupos experimentales (alimentación enriquecida con pulpa de Burití). Después de 60 días, la actividad antioxidante in vivo se evaluó mediante la actividad enzimática de la catalasa y grupos sulfhidrílo no proteico (NPSH) en el hígado, y se cuantificó el malondialdehído (MDA) en plasma y tejidos. Resultados: la pulpa del Burití presentó alto contenido de ácido graso oleico (73,3%), compuestos fenólicos (192 ± 0,3 mg/100 g) y carotenoides (23,9 ± 0,5 mg/100 g), así como una elevada actividad antioxidante in vitro. La dieta enriquecida tenía mayor contenido de fenoles y carotenoides, y una mayor actividad antioxidante en comparación con la alimentación estándar (p < 0,05). No se observaron diferencias entre los grupos con respecto a la actividad de la catalasa en el hígado y las concentraciones de MDA en plasma, hígado y riñones. Las ratas macho del grupo experimental tuvieron concentraciones hepáticas más altas de NPSH (p < 0,05). Conclusión: estos resultados pueden corroborar la hipótesis de que la fruta Burití es un alimento funcional antioxidante y su consumo es conveniente en una dieta nutricionalmente equilibrada.

  20. [Role of mammals on seed dispersal and predation processes of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) in the Colombian Amazon].

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Quintero, Juan Fernando; Zamora-Abrego, Joan Gastón

    2016-03-01

    Mammals and palms are important elements of fauna and flora in the Neotropics, and their interactions, such as fruit consumption and seed dispersal, are one of the most important ecological relationships in these ecosystems. The main objective of this study was to identify the relative importance of mammals in the dispersal and predation of Mauritia flexuosa palm fruits. We installed camera-traps in front of palm fallen seeds and clusters with fruits. A catalog of species was prepared with the recorded videos and the foraging behaviors exhibited were classified and identified. In addition, two exclusion treatments with three repetitions each were used. In the semi-open treatment, a plot was fenced with metal mesh leaving four open- ings in order to allow access only to small and medium sized mammals, while in the open treatment, the small, medium and large sized mammals had free access. In both cases, seed removal was evaluated. We recorded a total of 19 species of mammals, nine of which fed on palm fruits and the other five were seed dispersers. We reported for the first time the consumption of Mauritia flexuosa fruits by Atelocynus microtis. The species with the highest relative importance was Dasyprocta fuliginosa, which showed the highest percentage of seed dispersal (63.5%) compared to the other species. Tayassu peccary was identified as an in situ consumer, eating 45.3% of seeds without dispersing them. The number of seeds consumed in situ in the open treatment showed significant differences regarding the semi-open treatment, suggesting greater involvement of large mammals in this process. In conclusion, the fruits of M. flexuosa are an important food source for the local mammal com- munity. Additionally, the consumption of seeds under the canopy of the mother palm is proportionally greater than their dispersion. Generally, the pressure of frugivorous species over seeds may determine the reproductive strategies of plants. However, research on effective

  1. New taxa and revisionary systematics of alcyonacean octocorals from the Pacific coast of North America (Cnidaria, Anthozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Gary C.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A taxonomic assessment of four species of octocorals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean (British Columbia to California) is provided. Included here are a new species of clavulariid stolonifieran Cryptophyton, a new species of the nephtheid soft coral Gersemia, an undetermined species of soft coral in the genus Alcyonium that has been referred in the literature by several other names, and a new genus is named for a plexaurid sea fan originally described in the Indo-Pacific genus Euplexaura. Discussions are included that compare the species to related taxa, or provide revisionary assessments. PMID:23794840

  2. New taxa and revisionary systematics of alcyonacean octocorals from the Pacific coast of North America (Cnidaria, Anthozoa).

    PubMed

    Williams, Gary C

    2013-01-01

    A taxonomic assessment of four species of octocorals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean (British Columbia to California) is provided. Included here are a new species of clavulariid stolonifieran Cryptophyton, a new species of the nephtheid soft coral Gersemia, an undetermined species of soft coral in the genus Alcyonium that has been referred in the literature by several other names, and a new genus is named for a plexaurid sea fan originally described in the Indo-Pacific genus Euplexaura. Discussions are included that compare the species to related taxa, or provide revisionary assessments.

  3. Light-mediated 15N fractionation in Caribbean gorgonian octocorals: implications for pollution monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, D. M.; Kim, K.; Andras, J. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2011-09-01

    The stable nitrogen isotope ratio ( δ 15N) of coral tissue is a useful recorder of anthropogenic pollution in tropical marine ecosystems. However, little is known of the natural environmentally induced fractionations that affect our interpretation of coral δ 15N values. In symbiotic scleractinians, light affects metabolic fractionation of N during photosynthesis, which may confound the identification of N pollution between sites of varied depth or turbidity. Given the superiority of octocorals for δ 15N studies, our goal was to quantify the effect of light on gorgonian δ 15N in the context of monitoring N pollution sources. Using field collections, we show that δ 15N declined by 1.4‰ over 20 m depth in two species of gorgonians, the common sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, and the slimy sea plume, Pseudopterogorgia americana. An 8-week laboratory experiment with P. americana showed that light, not temperature causes this variation, whereby the lowest fractionation of the N source was observed in the highest light treatment. Finally, we used a yearlong reciprocal depth transplant experiment to quantify the time frame over which δ 15N changes in G. ventalina as a function of light regime . Over the year, δ 15N was unchanged and increased slightly in the deep control colonies and shallow colonies transplanted to the deep site, respectively. Within 6 months, colonies transplanted from deep to shallow became enriched by 0.8‰, mirroring the enrichment observed in the shallow controls, which was likely due to the combined effect of an increase in the source δ 15N and reduced fractionation. We conclude that light affects gorgonian δ 15N fractionation and should be considered in sampling designs for N pollution monitoring. However, these fractionations are small relative to differences observed between natural and anthropogenic N sources.

  4. Late Holocene radiocarbon and aspartic acid racemization dating of deep-sea octocorals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherwood, Owen A.; Scott, David B.; Risk, Michael J.

    2006-06-01

    Primnoa resedaeformis is a deep-sea gorgonian coral with a two-part skeleton of calcite and gorgonin (a fibrillar protein), potentially containing long-term records of valuable paleo-environmental information. For various reasons, both radiocarbon and U/Th dating of these corals is problematic over the last few centuries. This paper explores aspartic acid racemization dating of the gorgonin fraction in modern and fossil specimens collected from the NW Atlantic Ocean. Radiocarbon dating of the fossil specimen indicates a lifespan of 700 ± 100 years, the longest yet documented for any octocoral. Gorgonin amino acid compositions were identical in the fossil and modern specimens, indicating resistance to organic diagenesis. Similar to bone collagen, the fibrillar protein of gorgonin may impose conformational constraints on the racemization of Asp at low temperatures. The rate of racemization of aspartic acid ( D/ L-Asp) was similar to previously published results from an 1800 year old anemone ( Gerardia). The age equation was: age (years BP 2000 AD) = [( D/ L - 0.020 (±.002))/.0011 (±.0001)] 2 ( r2 = 0.97, p < .001). The error in an age estimate calculated by D/ L-Asp was marginally better than that for 14C dating over the most recent 50-200 years, although the dating error may be improved by inclusion of more samples over a broader time range. These results suggest that D/ L-Asp dating may be useful in augmenting 14C dating in cases where 14C calibrations yield two or more intercept ages, or in screening samples for further 14C or U/Th dating.

  5. Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses.

    PubMed

    Baker, David M; Freeman, Christopher J; Knowlton, Nancy; Thacker, Robert W; Kim, Kiho; Fogel, Marilyn L

    2015-12-01

    Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the Caribbean. While current research has focused on the phylo- and population genetics of gorgonian symbiont types and their photo-physiology, relatively less work has focused on biogeochemical benefits conferred to the host and how these benefits vary across host species. Here we examine this symbiosis among 11 gorgonian species collected in Bocas del Toro, Panama. By coupling light and dark bottle incubations (P/R) with (13)C-bicarbonate tracers, we quantified the link between holobiont oxygen metabolism with carbon assimilation and translocation from symbiont to host. Our data show that P/R varied among species, and was correlated with colony morphology and polyp size. Sea fans and sea plumes were net autotrophs (P/R>1.5), while nine species of sea rods were net heterotrophs with most below compensation (P/R<1.0). (13)C assimilation corroborated the P/R results, and maximum δ(13)Chost values were strongly correlated with polyp size, indicating higher productivity by colonies with high polyp SA:V. A survey of gorgonian-Symbiodinium associations revealed that productive species maintain specialized, obligate symbioses and are more resistant to coral bleaching, whereas generalist and facultative associations are common among sea rods that have higher bleaching sensitivities. Overall, productivity and polyp size had strong phylogenetic signals with carbon fixation and polyp size showing evidence of trait covariance.

  6. Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Baker, David M; Freeman, Christopher J; Knowlton, Nancy; Thacker, Robert W; Kim, Kiho; Fogel, Marilyn L

    2015-01-01

    Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the Caribbean. While current research has focused on the phylo- and population genetics of gorgonian symbiont types and their photo-physiology, relatively less work has focused on biogeochemical benefits conferred to the host and how these benefits vary across host species. Here we examine this symbiosis among 11 gorgonian species collected in Bocas del Toro, Panama. By coupling light and dark bottle incubations (P/R) with 13C-bicarbonate tracers, we quantified the link between holobiont oxygen metabolism with carbon assimilation and translocation from symbiont to host. Our data show that P/R varied among species, and was correlated with colony morphology and polyp size. Sea fans and sea plumes were net autotrophs (P/R>1.5), while nine species of sea rods were net heterotrophs with most below compensation (P/R<1.0). 13C assimilation corroborated the P/R results, and maximum δ13Chost values were strongly correlated with polyp size, indicating higher productivity by colonies with high polyp SA:V. A survey of gorgonian-Symbiodinium associations revealed that productive species maintain specialized, obligate symbioses and are more resistant to coral bleaching, whereas generalist and facultative associations are common among sea rods that have higher bleaching sensitivities. Overall, productivity and polyp size had strong phylogenetic signals with carbon fixation and polyp size showing evidence of trait covariance. PMID:25989369

  7. In situ growth rates of deep-water octocorals determined from 3D photogrammetric reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennecke, Swaantje; Kwasnitschka, Tom; Metaxas, Anna; Dullo, Wolf-Christian

    2016-12-01

    Growth rates of deep-water corals provide important information on the recovery potential of these ecosystems, for example from fisheries-induced impacts. Here, we present in situ growth dynamics that are currently largely unknown for deep-water octocorals, calculated by applying a non-destructive method. Videos of a boulder harbouring multiple colonies of Paragorgia arborea and Primnoa resedaeformis in the Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area at the entrance to the Gulf of Maine at 863 m depth were collected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Photogrammetric reconstructions of the boulder and the fauna yielded georeferenced 3D models for all sampling years. Repeated measurements of total length and cross-sectional area of the same colonies allowed the observation of growth dynamics. Growth rates of total length of Paragorgia arborea decreased over time with higher rates between 2006 and 2010 than between 2010 and 2014, while growth rates of cross-sectional area remained comparatively constant. A general trend of decreasing growth rates of total length with size of the coral colony was documented. While no growth was observed for the largest colony (165 cm in length) between 2010 and 2014, a colony 50-65 cm in length grew 3.7 cm yr-1 between 2006 and 2010. Minimum growth rates of 1.6-2.7 cm yr-1 were estimated for two recruits (<23 cm in 2014) of Primnoa resedaeformis. We successfully extracted biologically meaningful data from photogrammetric models and present the first in situ growth rates for these coral species in the Northwest Atlantic.

  8. Arthropods associated with the crown of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) palm trees in three different environments from Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Palma, Alexandre R T; Motta, Paulo C; Bar, Maria E; Cuba, Cesar A C

    2006-01-01

    Canopy arthropods, mainly from palm trees, are little known in the Brazilian Cerrado. In order to describe the arthropod community structure associated with the crown of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae), we sampled 150 palm trees in six "veredas" of the Federal District, Brazil, in wild, rural and periurban areas in the rainy season. The arthropods within abandoned bird nests, mammal refuges, leaves and organic matter were manually collected, preserved in ethanol 70% and separated by order, family, morphospecies and feeding guilds. Stem height and diameter of the palm crowns were measured and leaves and bird nests were counted. We collected 3,862 arthropods, from 15 orders, 45 families and 135 morphospecies. The most abundant orders were Coleoptera (28.6%), Blattodea (21.8%), Collembola (11.4%) and Hemiptera (10.2%). The families Blaberidae, Entomobryidae, Reduviidae, Oniscidae, Staphylinidae, Carabidae and Formicidae, represented 82.1% of all individuals collected. The majority of morphospecies was not abundant, 71 (52.6%) were represented by less than 1 individual/tree. Coleopterans accounted for the highest number of morphospecies (43.7%) followed by Araneae (20.0%). The analysis of the arthropod feeding guilds showed prevalence of predatory/hematophagous ones (36.0%). Arthropod richness and abundance presented smaller values for periurban environment. The number of bird nests presented positive correlation with abundance and richness; this was not found when considering the measurements of the palm trees. The importance of M. flexuosa for the maintenance of the arthropod fauna of the "veredas" in Cerrado biome is discussed.

  9. Studies on the minor constituents of the Caribbean gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum Pallas. Isolation and structure determination of the eunicellin-based diterpenoids briarellins E--I.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, A D; Cóbar, O M

    1995-11-01

    Five new eunicellin-type diterpenoids, briarellins E--I, along with several known diterpenoids of the asbestinane, briarane and eunicellane classes, were isolated from the Caribbean gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum collected in Puerto Rico. The structures of these compounds were established on the basis of spectroscopic evidence.

  10. An alternative to ITS, a hypervariable, single-copy nuclear intron in corals, and its use in detecting cryptic species within the octocoral genus Carijoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Concepcion, G. T.; Crepeau, M. W.; Wagner, D.; Kahng, S. E.; Toonen, R. J.

    2008-06-01

    Here we report a highly variable nuclear marker that can be used for both soft and stony corals. Primers that amplify a ˜177 bp fragment from the nuclear gene encoding the 54 kDa subunit of the signal recognition particle (SRP54) were developed for the octocoral genus Carijoa. Cloning results from 141 individuals suggest that this hypervariable nuclear locus is a single-copy gene. Sequencing revealed a potential cryptic species previously thought to be Carijoa riisei. Results from an Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) explained <10% of the variation between Atlantic and Pacific samples of C. riisei ( F st = 0.47), whereas the same comparison with SRP54 explained >33% of the variation ( F st = 0.54). Using previously reported degenerate primers for SRP54, high levels of sequence variation were found at this locus across both scleractinian and octocorals. For example, pairwise sequence divergence within octocorals was ˜8 13 times greater with SRP54 than with mtDNA, and, up to 2.8% pairwise sequence divergence was found in SRP54 among individuals of Pocillopora whereas no variation at all was found in mtDNA markers. This case study with the octocoral C. riisei shows that variation in SRP54 appears sufficient to address questions of phylogeography as well as systematics of closely related species.

  11. Octocoral mitochondrial genomes provide insights into the phylogenetic history of gene order rearrangements, order reversals, and cnidarian phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Diego F; Baco, Amy R

    2014-12-24

    We use full mitochondrial genomes to test the robustness of the phylogeny of the Octocorallia, to determine the evolutionary pathway for the five known mitochondrial gene rearrangements in octocorals, and to test the suitability of using mitochondrial genomes for higher taxonomic-level phylogenetic reconstructions. Our phylogeny supports three major divisions within the Octocorallia and show that Paragorgiidae is paraphyletic, with Sibogagorgia forming a sister branch to the Coralliidae. Furthermore, Sibogagorgia cauliflora has what is presumed to be the ancestral gene order in octocorals, but the presence of a pair of inverted repeat sequences suggest that this gene order was not conserved but rather evolved back to this apparent ancestral state. Based on this we recommend the resurrection of the family Sibogagorgiidae to fix the paraphyly of the Paragorgiidae. This is the first study to show that in the Octocorallia, mitochondrial gene orders have evolved back to an ancestral state after going through a gene rearrangement, with at least one of the gene orders evolving independently in different lineages. A number of studies have used gene boundaries to determine the type of mitochondrial gene arrangement present. However, our findings suggest that this method known as gene junction screening may miss evolutionary reversals. Additionally, substitution saturation analysis demonstrates that while whole mitochondrial genomes can be used effectively for phylogenetic analyses within Octocorallia, their utility at higher taxonomic levels within Cnidaria is inadequate. Therefore for phylogenetic reconstruction at taxonomic levels higher than subclass within the Cnidaria, nuclear genes will be required, even when whole mitochondrial genomes are available.

  12. Application of DNA barcoding in biodiversity studies of shallow-water octocorals: molecular proxies agree with morphological estimates of species richness in Palau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFadden, C. S.; Brown, A. S.; Brayton, C.; Hunt, C. B.; van Ofwegen, L. P.

    2014-06-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to anthozoan cnidarians has been hindered by their slow rates of mitochondrial gene evolution and the failure to identify alternative molecular markers that distinguish species reliably. Among octocorals, however, multilocus barcodes can distinguish up to 70 % of morphospecies, thereby facilitating the identification of species that are ecologically important but still very poorly known taxonomically. We tested the ability of these imperfect DNA barcodes to estimate species richness in a biodiversity survey of the shallow-water octocoral fauna of Palau using multilocus ( COI, mtMutS, 28S rDNA) sequences obtained from 305 specimens representing 38 genera of octocorals. Numbers and identities of species were estimated independently (1) by a taxonomic expert using morphological criteria and (2) by assigning sequences to molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) using predefined genetic distance thresholds. Estimated numbers of MOTUs ranged from 73 to 128 depending on the barcode and distance threshold applied, bracketing the estimated number of 118 morphospecies. Concordance between morphospecies identifications and MOTUs ranged from 71 to 75 % and differed little among barcodes. For the speciose and ecologically dominant genus Sinularia, however, we were able to identify 95 % of specimens correctly simply by comparing mtMutS sequences and in situ photographs of colonies to an existing vouchered database. Because we lack a clear understanding of species boundaries in most of these taxa, numbers of morphospecies and MOTUs are both estimates of the true species diversity, and we cannot currently determine which is more accurate. Our results suggest, however, that the two methods provide comparable estimates of species richness for shallow-water Indo-Pacific octocorals. Use of molecular barcodes in biodiversity surveys will facilitate comparisons of species richness and composition among localities and over time, data that do not

  13. Identification of a functional allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase fusion protein in the soft coral Gersemia fruticosa suggests the generality of this pathway in octocorals.

    PubMed

    Lõhelaid, Helike; Järving, Reet; Valmsen, Karin; Varvas, Külliki; Kreen, Malle; Järving, Ivar; Samel, Nigulas

    2008-02-01

    The conversion of fatty acid hydroperoxides to allene epoxides is catalysed by a cytochrome P450 in plants. In contrast, in the coral Plexaura homomalla, a catalase-related hemoprotein fused to the lipoxygenase (LOX) was found to function as an allene oxide synthase. This work reports the homology-based RT-PCR cloning and functional expression of a Gersemia fruticosa analogue of the allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase (AOS-LOX) fusion protein. The G. fruticosa mRNA codes for a protein with 84% sequence identity to the P. homomalla AOS-LOX. Our data indicate that the AOS-LOX fusion protein pathway is used by another coral and P. homomalla represents no exception.

  14. seco-Briarellinone and briarellin S, two new eunicellin-based diterpenoids from the Panamanian octocoral Briareum asbestinum.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Reyes, José Félix; Salazar, Ana; Guzmán, Héctor M; González, Yisett; Fernández, Patricia L; Ariza-Castolo, Armando; Gutiérrez, Marcelino

    2012-11-21

    Two new eunicellin-based diterpenes, seco-briarellinone (1) and briarellin S (2), and a known seco-asbestinin (3) have been isolated from the methanolic extract of the common octocoral Briareum asbestinum collected in Bocas del Toro, Caribbean of Panama. The structures and relative stereochemistry of the compounds were defined using extensive spectroscopic analysis including 1D, 2D-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Compounds 1 and 2 displayed anti-inflammatory properties inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production induced by lipopolisacharide (LPS) in macrophages with an Inhibitory concentration 50% (IC₅₀) of 4.7 μM and 20.3 μM, respectively. This is the first report of briarellin diterpenes containing a ketone group at C-12.

  15. Antiplasmodial activity of bacilosarcin A isolated from the octocoral-associated bacterium Bacillus sp. collected in Panama

    PubMed Central

    Boya, Cristopher A.; Herrera, Liuris; Guzman, Hector M.; Gutierrez, Marcelino

    2012-01-01

    Aim: This study was designed for isolating and characterizing antiplasmodial compounds from marine octocoral-associated bacteria. Materials and Methods: The organic extract of the Bacillus sp. was subjected to purification using several chromatography techniques guided by bioassays to yield three isocoumarin derivatives (1–3). Chemical structures of the compounds were elucidated on the basis of HRMS spectra and NMR spectroscopy. The antiplasmodial activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated in vitro against the chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain W2. Results: Isolated compounds were identified as bacilosarcin A (1), AI77-F (2), and AI77-H (3). Bacilosarcin A (1) displayed a low micromolar activity (IC50 = 2.2 μM) against P. falciparum while compounds 2 and 3 showed no activity. Conclusions: Bacilosarcin A was found to be responsible for the antiplasmodial activity observed in the crude extract obtained from the Bacillus sp. PMID:22368402

  16. Octocoral Mitochondrial Genomes Provide Insights into the Phylogenetic History of Gene Order Rearrangements, Order Reversals, and Cnidarian Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Figueroa, Diego F.; Baco, Amy R.

    2015-01-01

    We use full mitochondrial genomes to test the robustness of the phylogeny of the Octocorallia, to determine the evolutionary pathway for the five known mitochondrial gene rearrangements in octocorals, and to test the suitability of using mitochondrial genomes for higher taxonomic-level phylogenetic reconstructions. Our phylogeny supports three major divisions within the Octocorallia and show that Paragorgiidae is paraphyletic, with Sibogagorgia forming a sister branch to the Coralliidae. Furthermore, Sibogagorgia cauliflora has what is presumed to be the ancestral gene order in octocorals, but the presence of a pair of inverted repeat sequences suggest that this gene order was not conserved but rather evolved back to this apparent ancestral state. Based on this we recommend the resurrection of the family Sibogagorgiidae to fix the paraphyly of the Paragorgiidae. This is the first study to show that in the Octocorallia, mitochondrial gene orders have evolved back to an ancestral state after going through a gene rearrangement, with at least one of the gene orders evolving independently in different lineages. A number of studies have used gene boundaries to determine the type of mitochondrial gene arrangement present. However, our findings suggest that this method known as gene junction screening may miss evolutionary reversals. Additionally, substitution saturation analysis demonstrates that while whole mitochondrial genomes can be used effectively for phylogenetic analyses within Octocorallia, their utility at higher taxonomic levels within Cnidaria is inadequate. Therefore for phylogenetic reconstruction at taxonomic levels higher than subclass within the Cnidaria, nuclear genes will be required, even when whole mitochondrial genomes are available. PMID:25539723

  17. Contrasting reproductive strategies in three deep-sea octocorals from eastern Canada: Primnoa resedaeformis, Keratoisis ornata, and Anthomastus grandiflorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier, A.; Hamel, J.-F.

    2011-06-01

    Various aspects of reproduction were studied in three deep-sea octocorals belonging to the order Alcyonacea that co-occur at bathyal depths on the continental edge and the slope of eastern Canada. The main goals were to expand knowledge of deep-water heterotrophic corals and ascertain whether reproductive strategies could explain the known patterns of occurrence. Anthomastus grandiflorus is a gonochoric species with a female-biased sex ratio that exhibits internal fertilization and brooding of planula larvae. Conversely, Primnoa resedaeformis and Keratoisis ornata rely on broadcast spawning and external fertilization; their sexuality remains undetermined as spermatocysts were not found. In P. resedaeformis, the presence of mixed size classes of oocytes in samples from all months, depths, and locations studied suggests continuous oogenesis or overlapping development of oocyte cohorts, indicative of a gametogenic cycle spanning more than a year. No evidence of periodicity was found in this species, although it could have been masked by the striking bathymetric variation in potential relative fecundity (oocytes polyp-1). The two other octocorals displayed a clear annual breeding pattern. Spawning in K. ornata and larval release in A. grandiflorus occurred in late summer and fall, respectively, possibly in response to environmental factors, as supported by shifts in the reproductive peak of A. grandiflorus across latitudes. The three species are presumed to share a nonfeeding larval mode, and data on their reproductive potential do not present any striking disparities. Published data on bycatches and video surveys in Atlantic Canada indicate that the gonochoric brooder A. grandiflorus is more widely distributed than the two free spawners, P. resedaeformis and K. ornata, which is contrary to common dispersal potential paradigms.

  18. Effect of acidic amino acids engineered into the active site cleft of Thermopolyspora flexuosa GH11 xylanase.

    PubMed

    Li, He; Turunen, Ossi

    2015-01-01

    Thermopolyspora flexuosa GH11 xylanase (XYN11A) shows optimal activity at pH 6-7 and 75-80 °C. We studied how mutation to aspartic acid (N46D and V48D) in the vicinity of the catalytic acid/base affects the pH activity of highly thermophilic GH11 xylanase. Both mutations shifted the pH activity profile toward acidic pH. In general, the Km values were lower at pH 4-5 than at pH 6, and in line with this, the rate of hydrolysis of xylotetraose was slightly faster at pH 4 than at pH 6. The N46D mutation and also lower pH in XYN11A increased the hydrolysis of xylotriose. The Km value increased remarkably (from 2.5 to 11.6 mg/mL) because of V48D, which indicates the weakening of binding affinity of the substrate to the active site. Xylotetraose functioned well as a substrate for other enzymes, but with lowered reaction rate for V48D. Both N46D and V48D increased the enzyme inactivation by ionic liquid [emim]OAc. In conclusion, the pH activity profile could be shifted to acidic pH due to an effect from two different directions, but the tightly packed GH11 active site can cause steric problems for the mutations.

  19. [Spatial distribution of Triatominae populations (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in Mauritia flexuosa palm trees in Federal District of Brazil].

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Duarte, Marco Antônio; Ramalho, Eduardo Dias; Palma, Alexandre Ramlo Torre; Romaña, Christine Agueda; Cuba-Cuba, César Augusto

    2004-01-01

    To determine and analyze the distribution of Triatominae sylvatic populations in the Federal District of Brazil, 150 Mauritia flexuosa palm trees were sampled in six veredas of different landscapes (sylvatic, rural and peri-urban) in the rainy season. Triatomines were morphologically identified and grouped by sex and nymphal stage and were examined to verify infection by Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli. Twenty eight (18.6%) palm trees were infested by Rhodnius neglectus and fourteen (9.5%) by Psammolestes tertius. The frequency of Triatominae in palm trees with and without nests was significantly different being higher in palm trees with bird and mammal nests in the crown. The higher average number of insects/palm tree was observed in rural areas with estimates of up to 838 insects/hectare. The species age makeup presented a different pattern, with nymphs predominant for Rhodnius neglectus and adults predominant for Psammolestes tertius. Also, many Rhodnius neglectus eggs were collected, which indicates a reproductive event in February 2003. Among the nests found in palm trees, that of the Phacellodomus ruber (Furnariidae) bird had the greatest abundance of Triatominae, occurring on 42% of palm trees. The relative abundance of Rhodnius neglectus and Psammolestes tertius was greater in rural areas which contained higher number of nests in palm trees and lesser density of palms per hectare. None of the 96 triatomines examined were infected by Trypanosoma cruzi or Trypanosoma rangeli, despite our finding of Rhodnius neglectus infection by those parasites in former studies.

  20. A shift from arbuscular mycorrhizal to dark septate endophytic colonization in Deschampsia flexuosa roots occurs along primary successional gradient.

    PubMed

    Huusko, K; Ruotsalainen, A L; Markkola, A M

    2017-02-01

    Soil fungal community and dominant mycorrhizal types are known to shift along with plant community changes during primary succession. However, it is not well understood how and why root fungal symbionts and colonization types vary within the plant host when the host species is able to thrive both at young and at old successional stages with different light and nutrient resource availability. We asked (i) how root fungal colonization of Deschampsia flexuosa (Poaceae) by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and dark septate endophytes (DSE) changes along a postglacial primary successional land uplift gradient. As neighboring vegetation may play a role in root fungal colonization, we also asked (ii) whether removal of the dominant neighbor, Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum (Ericaceae), affects root fungal colonization of Deschampsia. We also studied whether (iii) foliar carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) concentration of Deschampsia is related to successional changes along a land uplift gradient. AM colonization decreased (-50 %), DSE colonization increased (+200 %), and foliar C declined in Deschampsia along with increasing successional age, whereas foliar N was not affected. Empetrum removal did not affect AM colonization but increased DSE sclerotial colonization especially at older successional stages. The observed decrease in foliar C coincides with an increase in canopy closure along with increasing successional age. We suggest that the shift from an AM-dominated to a DSE-dominated root fungal community in Deschampsia along a land uplift successional gradient may be related to different nutritional benefits gained through these root fungal groups.

  1. The mitochondrial genome of a deep-sea bamboo coral (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Isididae): genome structure and putative origins of replication are not conserved among octocorals.

    PubMed

    Brugler, Mercer R; France, Scott C

    2008-08-01

    Octocoral mitochondrial (mt) DNA is subject to an exceptionally low rate of substitution, and it has been suggested that mt genome content and structure are conserved across the subclass, an observation that has been supported for most octocorallian families by phylogenetic analyses using PCR products spanning gene boundaries. However, failure to recover amplification products spanning the nad4L-msh1 gene junction in species from the family Isididae (bamboo corals) prompted us to sequence the complete mt genome of a deep-sea bamboo coral (undescribed species). Compared to the "typical" octocoral mt genome, which has 12 genes transcribed on one strand and 5 genes on the opposite (cox2, atp8, atp6, cox3, trnM), in the bamboo coral genome a contiguous string of 5 genes (msh1, rnl, nad2, nad5, nad4) has undergone an inversion, likely in a single event. Analyses of strand-specific compositional asymmetry suggest that (i) the light-strand origin of replication was also inverted and is adjacent to nad4, and (ii) the orientation of the heavy-strand origin of replication (OriH) has reversed relative to that of previously known octocoral mt genomes. Comparative analyses suggest that intramitochondrial recombination and errors in replication at OriH may be responsible for changes in gene order in octocorals and hexacorals, respectively. Using primers flanking the regions at either end of the inverted set of five genes, we examined closely related taxa and determined that the novel gene order is restricted to the deep-sea subfamily Keratoisidinae; however, we found no evidence for strand-specific mutational biases that may influence phylogenetic analyses that include this subfamily of bamboo corals.

  2. Heat stability and effect of pH on enzyme activity of polyphenol oxidase in buriti (Mauritia flexuosa Linnaeus f.) fruit extract.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira Carvalho, Jhonatam; Orlanda, José Fábio França

    2017-10-15

    Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) was extracted and characterized from ripe fruit of Mauritia flexuosa. Buriti PPO showed optimum activity at pH 7.0 and 35°C, with complete inactivation in between 2.0≤pH>10, using catechol as substrate. The enzyme had optimum temperaturet 35°C and was relatively stable at 77°C, with 59.93% loss of activity. These results demonstrate that the enzyme has heat stability at higher temperatures and the possibility of being used to construct biosensors and other analytical methods in various fields of science. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The socio-cultural importance of Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) and implications for multi-use management in two Maijuna communities of the Peruvian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) is harvested throughout the Peruvian Amazon for subsistence and commercial purposes. Recent estimates suggest that residents of Iquitos, the largest city in the region, consume approximately 148.8 metric tons of aguaje fruit per month, the vast majority of which is harvested by felling and killing adult female trees. In this study, we sought to better understand and document the importance of M. flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) in two Maijuna indigenous communities to inform the sustainable management of this habitat and species. Methods Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and household surveys were carried out to assess the significance of aguajales and their associated plant and animal resources as well as to determine how the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed over time. Results Aguajales and their associated resources are culturally significant and useful to the Maijuna in a wide variety of ways. In addition to M. flexuosa, the Maijuna use over 60 different species of plants from aguajales. When M. flexuosa is in fruit, aguajales are important hunting areas with a total of 20 different animal species hunted. The Maijuna also have traditional beliefs about aguajales, believing that malevolent supernatural beings reside in them. Notably, the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed considerably over the years as aguaje fruit went from a subsistence item collected opportunistically from the ground to a market good destructively harvested beginning in the early 1990s. The Maijuna are concerned not only about how this has affected the future commercial harvest of aguaje but also about its effects on game animals given the importance of hunting to Maijuna cultural identity, subsistence, and income generation. Conclusions In order to meet the multiple socio-cultural and economic needs of the Maijuna, sustainable management efforts must be expanded to not

  4. Equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic studies on the biosorption of reactive acid dye on Enteromorpha flexuosa and Gracilaria corticata.

    PubMed

    Sivasamy, A; Nethaji, S; Nisha, L L Josmin Lalli

    2012-06-01

    Biosorption is an emerging, eco-friendly and economical method for treating the wastewater effluents. Compared to many other biological materials, algae biomass proved to be the better biosorbent due to the presence of cell wall polymers in them. Algal biomasses namely Enteromorpha flexuosa and Gracilaria corticata were dried, crushed and used as biosorbents. Ponceau S, a diazo dye was used as a model adsorbate for the biosorption studies. The biosorbents were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy, FT-IR and zero point charge. Batch studies were performed by varying pH, biosorbent dosage and initial dye concentrations. Adsorption isotherms, kinetic and thermodynamic analyses were carried out. The effect of electrolytes was also studied. Batch desorption studies were also carried out using various reagents. Isotherm data were tested with Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models and the results suggested that the Freundlich isotherm fitted the data well. Kinetic studies were performed with varying initial dye concentrations and the data were incorporated with pseudo first-order and pseudo second-order kinetic equations and was found that the studied biosorption processes followed pseudo second-order kinetic equation. Thermodynamic parameters were evaluated at three different temperatures 293 K, 300 K and 313 K. About 95% of the dye could be desorbed from both the biosorbents. Both the algal biomasses had heterogeneous surfaces and followed pseudo second-order chemical kinetics. Thermodynamic parameters proved that the biosorption by both the biomasses were spontaneous, feasible and endothermic processes. Desorption studies proved the worth of the algal biomasses as biosorbents in industrial level.

  5. Contrasting patterns of population structure and gene flow facilitate exploration of connectivity in two widely distributed temperate octocorals.

    PubMed

    Holland, L P; Jenkins, T L; Stevens, J R

    2017-07-01

    Connectivity is an important component of metapopulation dynamics in marine systems and can influence population persistence, migration rates and conservation decisions associated with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In this study, we compared the genetic diversity, gene flow and population structure of two octocoral species, Eunicella verrucosa and Alcyonium digitatum, in the northeast Atlantic (ranging from the northwest of Ireland and the southern North Sea, to southern Portugal), using two panels of 13 and 8 microsatellite loci, respectively. Our results identified regional genetic structure in E. verrucosa partitioned between populations from southern Portugal, northwest Ireland and Britain/France; subsequent hierarchical analysis of population structure also indicated reduced gene flow between southwest Britain and northwest France. However, over a similar geographical area, A. digitatum showed little evidence of population structure, suggesting high gene flow and/or a large effective population size; indeed, the only significant genetic differentiation detected in A. digitatum occurred between North Sea samples and those from the English Channel/northeast Atlantic. In both species the vast majority of gene flow originated from sample sites within regions, with populations in southwest Britain being the predominant source of contemporary exogenous genetic variants for the populations studied. Overall, historical patterns of gene flow appeared more complex, though again southwest Britain appeared to be an important source of genetic variation for both species. Our findings have major conservation implications, particularly for E. verrucosa, a protected species in UK waters and listed by the IUCN as 'Vulnerable', and for the designation and management of European MPAs.

  6. Effects of predator exclusion on recruit survivorship in an octocoral ( Briareum asbestinum) and a scleractinian coral ( Porites astreoides)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M. J.; Coffroth, M. A.; Lasker, H. R.

    2013-06-01

    Recruits of the Caribbean scleractinian coral Porites astreoides and the octocoral Briareum asbestinum were established on artificial substrata and reared on a reef in cages designed to exclude various classes of organisms known to feed on corals. Post-settlement survivorship of recruits was measured for periods of 2 weeks ( B. asbestinum) and 1 month ( P. astreoides) on East Turtle Reef in the Florida Keys during May and June 2010. Predator exclusion did not affect survivorship among P. astreoides recruits during the study. Recruits of B. asbestinum experienced lower survivorship in treatments that allowed access by fish compared with fish exclusion treatments. The results indicate that predation may be an important determinant of post-settlement mortality among B. asbestinum recruits, and fishes are the primary contributors to predation-induced mortality. B. asbestinum recruit survivorship differed by an order of magnitude between recruits in the control condition and those in the predator exclusion (0.087 and 0.372, respectively). The findings illustrate the need to consider the effects of interactions early in life on the survival, propagation, and recovery of coral populations.

  7. The D-galactose-binding lectin of the octocoral Sinularia lochmodes: characterization and possible relationship to the symbiotic dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Jimbo, M; Yanohara, T; Koike, K; Koike, K; Sakai, R; Muramoto, K; Kamiya, H

    2000-02-01

    A D-galactose binding lectin (SLL-2) was isolated from Sinularia lochmodes, an octocoral, by a combination of affinity chromatography on acid-treated agarose and FPLC on Superdex 200. SLL-2 agglutinated rabbit and horse erythrocytes while SLL-1, a minor component, reacted only with rabbit erythrocytes. SLL-2 is a glycoprotein with a molecular mass of 122 kDa and is composed of eight identical subunits (15 kDa). The sequence of the amino terminal region of SLL-2 did not show any apparent homology to the sequences of other animal and plant lectins. D-Galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, lactose, and melibiose were moderate inhibitors to the agglutination of rabbit erythrocytes. In contrast, horse erythrocytes were much more susceptible to agglutination by SLL-2, which was inhibited by sugars and glycoproteins such as D-galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, lactose, melibiose, and porcine stomach mucin. SLL-2 showed considerable tolerance to heating and kept its activity after heating at 80 degrees C for 60 min. In immuno-histochemical studies using an anti-SLL-2 antiserum and protein A gold conjugate, SLL-2 was found to be present in high amounts in the nematocysts. SLL-2 was also detected on the surface of symbiotic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium sp. cells irrespective whether they were surrounded with or without host cells. These observations suggest the presence of lectin-mediated interaction between symbiotic dinoflagellates and S. lochmodes.

  8. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    .... sulphurea Plexaura flexuosa, Bent sea rod P. homomalla, Black sea rod Plexaurella dichotoma, Slit-pore sea... Siderastrea radians, Lesser starlet S. siderea, Massive starlet 4. Black Corals—Order Antipatharia Antipathes spp., Bushy black coral Stichopathes spp., Wire coral II. Aquarium Trade Species in the...

  9. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    .... sulphurea Plexaura flexuosa, Bent sea rod P. homomalla, Black sea rod Plexaurella dichotoma, Slit-pore sea... Siderastrea radians, Lesser starlet S. siderea, Massive starlet 4. Black Corals—Order Antipatharia Antipathes spp., Bushy black coral Stichopathes spp., Wire coral II. Aquarium Trade Species in the...

  10. High stability and low competitive inhibition of thermophilic Thermopolyspora flexuosa GH10 xylanase in biomass-dissolving ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Anbarasan, Sasikala; Wahlström, Ronny; Hummel, Michael; Ojamo, Heikki; Sixta, Herbert; Turunen, Ossi

    2017-02-01

    Thermophilic Thermopolyspora flexuosa GH10 xylanase (TfXYN10A) was studied in the presence of biomass-dissolving hydrophilic ionic liquids (ILs) [EMIM]OAc, [EMIM]DMP and [DBNH]OAc. The temperature optimum of TfXYN10A with insoluble xylan in the pulp was at 65-70 °C, with solubilised 1 % xylan at 70-75 °C and with 3 % xylan at 75-80 °C. Therefore, the amount of soluble substrate affects the enzyme activity at high temperatures. The experiments with ILs were done with 1 % substrate. TfXYN10A can partially hydrolyse soluble xylan even in the presence of 40 % (v/v) ILs. Although ILs decrease the apparent temperature optimum, a surprising finding was that at the inactivating temperatures (80-90 °C), especially [EMIM]OAc increases the stability of TfXYN10A indicating that the binding of IL molecules strengthens the protein structure. Earlier kinetic studies showed an increased K m with ILs, indicating that ILs function as competitive inhibitors. TfXYN10A showed low increase of K m, which was 2-, 3- and 4-fold with 15 % [EMIM]OAc, [DBNH]OAc and [EMIM]DMP, respectively. One reason for the low competitive inhibition could be the high affinity to the substrate (low K m). Xylanases with low K m (~1 mg/mL) appear to show higher tolerance to ILs than xylanases with higher K m (~2 mg/mL). Capillary electrophoresis showed that TfXYN10A hydrolyses xylan to the end-products in 15-35 % ILs practically as completely as without IL, also indicating good binding of the short substrate molecules by TfXYN10A despite of major apparent IL binding sites above the catalytic residues. Substrate binding interactions in the active site appear to explain the high tolerance of TfXYN10A to ILs.

  11. Interactive effects of elevated CO2, warming, and drought on photosynthesis of Deschampsia flexuosa in a temperate heath ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Albert, K R; Ro-Poulsen, H; Mikkelsen, T N; Michelsen, A; van der Linden, L; Beier, C

    2011-08-01

    Global change factors affect plant carbon uptake in concert. In order to investigate the response directions and potential interactive effects, and to understand the underlying mechanisms, multifactor experiments are needed. The focus of this study was on the photosynthetic response to elevated CO(2) [CO2; free air CO(2) enrichment (FACE)], drought (D; water-excluding curtains), and night-time warming (T; infrared-reflective curtains) in a temperate heath. A/C(i) curves were measured, allowing analysis of light-saturated net photosynthesis (P(n)), light- and CO(2)-saturated net photosynthesis (P(max)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), the maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation (V(cmax)), and the maximal rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration (J(max)) along with leaf δ(13)C, and carbon and nitrogen concentration on a monthly basis in the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. Seasonal drought reduced P(n) via g(s), but severe (experimental) drought decreased P(n) via a reduction in photosynthetic capacity (P(max), J(max), and V(cmax)). The effects were completely reversed by rewetting and stimulated P(n) via photosynthetic capacity stimulation. Warming increased early and late season P(n) via higher P(max) and J(max). Elevated CO(2) did not decrease g(s), but stimulated P(n) via increased C(i). The T×CO2 synergistically increased plant carbon uptake via photosynthetic capacity up-regulation in early season and by better access to water after rewetting. The effects of the combination of drought and elevated CO(2) depended on soil water availability, with additive effects when the soil water content was low and D×CO2 synergistic stimulation of P(n) after rewetting. The photosynthetic responses appeared to be highly influenced by growth pattern. The grass has opportunistic water consumption, and a biphasic growth pattern allowing for leaf dieback at low soil water availability followed by rapid re-growth of active leaves when rewetted and possibly a large resource

  12. Interactive effects of elevated CO2, warming, and drought on photosynthesis of Deschampsia flexuosa in a temperate heath ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Albert, K. R.; Ro-Poulsen, H.; Mikkelsen, T. N.; Michelsen, A.; van der Linden, L.; Beier, C.

    2011-01-01

    Global change factors affect plant carbon uptake in concert. In order to investigate the response directions and potential interactive effects, and to understand the underlying mechanisms, multifactor experiments are needed. The focus of this study was on the photosynthetic response to elevated CO2 [CO2; free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)], drought (D; water-excluding curtains), and night-time warming (T; infrared-reflective curtains) in a temperate heath. A/Ci curves were measured, allowing analysis of light-saturated net photosynthesis (Pn), light- and CO2-saturated net photosynthesis (Pmax), stomatal conductance (gs), the maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax), and the maximal rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration (Jmax) along with leaf δ13C, and carbon and nitrogen concentration on a monthly basis in the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. Seasonal drought reduced Pn via gs, but severe (experimental) drought decreased Pn via a reduction in photosynthetic capacity (Pmax, Jmax, and Vcmax). The effects were completely reversed by rewetting and stimulated Pn via photosynthetic capacity stimulation. Warming increased early and late season Pn via higher Pmax and Jmax. Elevated CO2 did not decrease gs, but stimulated Pn via increased Ci. The T×CO2 synergistically increased plant carbon uptake via photosynthetic capacity up-regulation in early season and by better access to water after rewetting. The effects of the combination of drought and elevated CO2 depended on soil water availability, with additive effects when the soil water content was low and D×CO2 synergistic stimulation of Pn after rewetting. The photosynthetic responses appeared to be highly influenced by growth pattern. The grass has opportunistic water consumption, and a biphasic growth pattern allowing for leaf dieback at low soil water availability followed by rapid re-growth of active leaves when rewetted and possibly a large resource allocation capability mediated by the rhizome. This growth

  13. Characterization of a novel allergenic protein from the octocoral Scleronephthya gracillima (Kuekenthal) that corresponds to a new GFP-like family named Akane.

    PubMed

    Kato, Yuko; Jimbo, Mitsuru; Sakakibara, Youichi; Onizuka, Reiko; Takahashi, Tatsuya; Matsuhashi, Sachiko; Mita, Hajime; Amada, Kei; Imahara, Yukimitsu; Tanabe, Kimiko; Toda, Akihisa; Kamiya, Hisao

    2017-09-01

    Certain marine organisms have been known to cause allergic reactions among occupational fishermen. We have previously reported that bronchial asthma among the workers engaged in spiny lobster fishing in Japan was caused by octocorals such as Dendronephthya sp. and Scleronephthya gracillima (previously named Alcyonium gracillimum). Now we have found another octocoral, Scleronephthya gracillima (Kuekenthal), which causes the allergic disease in fishermen. The octocoral was characterized as a new green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like family. The new allergen has a molecular mass of 27 kDa in 1D and 2D SDS-PAGE under reduced conditions. The 27 kDa component was determined to be an allergen by western blotting, ECL immune staining method and absorption of patient sera with the antigen. Furthermore, the combination of analysis with LC-ESI-MS/MS and MASCOT search in the NCBInr database concluded the 27 kDa component had the sequence YPADI/LPDYFK, and that the 22 kDa component had the sequence QSFPEGFSWER, which both matched a GFP-like protein in Acropora aculeus and in Montastraea annularis. Further analysis by MALDI-TOF/MS/MS and MASCOT search in the NCBInr database of all 27 kDa eight spot components from 2D SDS-PAGE indicated that the sequence QSFPEGFSWER also matched as GFP-like protein in Lobophyllia hemprichii and Scleractinia sp. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the new allergenic protein that corresponds to a new GFP-like protein named Akane, and which has fluorescent emissions in the red and green part of the spectra at 628 nm and 508 nm, respectively. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. A Semi-Automatic Method to Extract Canal Pathways in 3D Micro-CT Images of Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Morales Pinzón, Alfredo; Orkisz, Maciej; Rodríguez Useche, Catalina María; Torres González, Juan Sebastián; Teillaud, Stanislas; Sánchez, Juan Armando; Hernández Hoyos, Marcela

    2014-01-01

    The long-term goal of our study is to understand the internal organization of the octocoral stem canals, as well as their physiological and functional role in the growth of the colonies, and finally to assess the influence of climatic changes on this species. Here we focus on imaging tools, namely acquisition and processing of three-dimensional high-resolution images, with emphasis on automated extraction of canal pathways. Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the whole process, to point out and solve – if possible – technical problems related to the specimen conditioning, to determine the best acquisition parameters and to develop necessary image-processing algorithms. The pathways extracted are expected to facilitate the structural analysis of the colonies, namely to help observing the distribution, formation and number of canals along the colony. Five volumetric images of Muricea muricata specimens were successfully acquired by X-ray computed tomography with spatial resolution ranging from 4.5 to 25 micrometers. The success mainly depended on specimen immobilization. More than of the canals were successfully detected and tracked by the image-processing method developed. Thus obtained three-dimensional representation of the canal network was generated for the first time without the need of histological or other destructive methods. Several canal patterns were observed. Although most of them were simple, i.e. only followed the main branch or “turned” into a secondary branch, many others bifurcated or fused. A majority of bifurcations were observed at branching points. However, some canals appeared and/or ended anywhere along a branch. At the tip of a branch, all canals fused into a unique chamber. Three-dimensional high-resolution tomographic imaging gives a non-destructive insight to the coral ultrastructure and helps understanding the organization of the canal network. Advanced image-processing techniques greatly reduce human observer's effort and

  15. A semi-automatic method to extract canal pathways in 3D micro-CT images of Octocorals.

    PubMed

    Morales Pinzón, Alfredo; Orkisz, Maciej; Rodríguez Useche, Catalina María; Torres González, Juan Sebastián; Teillaud, Stanislas; Sánchez, Juan Armando; Hernández Hoyos, Marcela

    2014-01-01

    The long-term goal of our study is to understand the internal organization of the octocoral stem canals, as well as their physiological and functional role in the growth of the colonies, and finally to assess the influence of climatic changes on this species. Here we focus on imaging tools, namely acquisition and processing of three-dimensional high-resolution images, with emphasis on automated extraction of canal pathways. Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the whole process, to point out and solve - if possible - technical problems related to the specimen conditioning, to determine the best acquisition parameters and to develop necessary image-processing algorithms. The pathways extracted are expected to facilitate the structural analysis of the colonies, namely to help observing the distribution, formation and number of canals along the colony. Five volumetric images of Muricea muricata specimens were successfully acquired by X-ray computed tomography with spatial resolution ranging from 4.5 to 25 micrometers. The success mainly depended on specimen immobilization. More than [Formula: see text] of the canals were successfully detected and tracked by the image-processing method developed. Thus obtained three-dimensional representation of the canal network was generated for the first time without the need of histological or other destructive methods. Several canal patterns were observed. Although most of them were simple, i.e. only followed the main branch or "turned" into a secondary branch, many others bifurcated or fused. A majority of bifurcations were observed at branching points. However, some canals appeared and/or ended anywhere along a branch. At the tip of a branch, all canals fused into a unique chamber. Three-dimensional high-resolution tomographic imaging gives a non-destructive insight to the coral ultrastructure and helps understanding the organization of the canal network. Advanced image-processing techniques greatly reduce human observer

  16. Environmental influences on the Indo-Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Rowley, Sonia J; Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo-Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippurisLinnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests-but does not confirm-that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulataNutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblastaZou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the Isididae is in

  17. Environmental influences on the Indo–Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo–Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippuris Linnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests—but does not confirm—that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulata Nutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblasta Zou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the

  18. Management of Protected Areas and Its Effect on an Ecosystem Function: Removal of Prosopis flexuosa Seeds by Mammals in Argentinian Drylands

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Valeria E.; Miguel, Florencia; Cona, Mónica I.

    2016-01-01

    The ecological function of animal seed dispersal depends on species interactions and can be affected by drivers such as the management interventions applied to protected areas. This study was conducted in two protected areas in the Monte Desert: a fenced reserve with grazing exclusion and absence of large native mammals (the Man and Biosphere Ñacuñán Reserve; FR) and an unfenced reserve with low densities of large native and domestic animals (Ischigualasto Park; UFR). The study focuses on Prosopis flexuosa seed removal by different functional mammal groups: “seed predators”, “scatter-hoarders”, and “opportunistic frugivores”. Under both interventions, the relative contribution to seed removal by different functional mammal groups was assessed, as well as how these groups respond to habitat heterogeneity (i.e. vegetation structure) at different spatial scales. Camera traps were used to identify mammal species removing P. flexuosa seeds and to quantify seed removal; remote sensing data helped analyze habitat heterogeneity. In the FR, the major fruit removers were a seed predator (Graomys griseoflavus) and a scatter-hoarder (Microcavia asutralis). In the UFR, the main seed removers were the opportunistic frugivores (Lycalopex griseus and Dolichotis patagonum), who removed more seeds than the seed predator in the FR. The FR shows higher habitat homogeneity than the UFR, and functional groups respond differently to habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales. In the FR, because large herbivores are locally extinct (e.g. Lama guanicoe) and domestic herbivores are excluded, important functions of large herbivores are missing, such as the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity, which provides habitats for medium-sized opportunistic frugivores with consequent improvement of quality and quantity of seed dispersal services. In the UFR, with low densities of large herbivores, probably one important ecosystem function this group performs is to increase

  19. Management of Protected Areas and Its Effect on an Ecosystem Function: Removal of Prosopis flexuosa Seeds by Mammals in Argentinian Drylands.

    PubMed

    Campos, Claudia M; Campos, Valeria E; Miguel, Florencia; Cona, Mónica I

    The ecological function of animal seed dispersal depends on species interactions and can be affected by drivers such as the management interventions applied to protected areas. This study was conducted in two protected areas in the Monte Desert: a fenced reserve with grazing exclusion and absence of large native mammals (the Man and Biosphere Ñacuñán Reserve; FR) and an unfenced reserve with low densities of large native and domestic animals (Ischigualasto Park; UFR). The study focuses on Prosopis flexuosa seed removal by different functional mammal groups: "seed predators", "scatter-hoarders", and "opportunistic frugivores". Under both interventions, the relative contribution to seed removal by different functional mammal groups was assessed, as well as how these groups respond to habitat heterogeneity (i.e. vegetation structure) at different spatial scales. Camera traps were used to identify mammal species removing P. flexuosa seeds and to quantify seed removal; remote sensing data helped analyze habitat heterogeneity. In the FR, the major fruit removers were a seed predator (Graomys griseoflavus) and a scatter-hoarder (Microcavia asutralis). In the UFR, the main seed removers were the opportunistic frugivores (Lycalopex griseus and Dolichotis patagonum), who removed more seeds than the seed predator in the FR. The FR shows higher habitat homogeneity than the UFR, and functional groups respond differently to habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales. In the FR, because large herbivores are locally extinct (e.g. Lama guanicoe) and domestic herbivores are excluded, important functions of large herbivores are missing, such as the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity, which provides habitats for medium-sized opportunistic frugivores with consequent improvement of quality and quantity of seed dispersal services. In the UFR, with low densities of large herbivores, probably one important ecosystem function this group performs is to increase habitat

  20. Mauritia flexuosa palm swamp communities: natural or human-made? A palynological study of the Gran Sabana region (northern South America) within a neotropical context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rull, Valentí; Montoya, Encarni

    2014-09-01

    Mauritia flexuosa L.f. is one of the more widely distributed neotropical palms and is intensively used by humans. This palm can grow in tropical rainforests or can develop a particular type of virtually monospecific communities restricted to warm and wet lowlands of the Orinoco and Amazon basins. It has been proposed that, during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Mauritia swamp communities were restricted to the core of the Amazon basin from where they expanded favoured by the Holocene warmer and wetter climates. It has also been suggested that some of these palm communities might have been the result of human dispersal during the last millennia. Here, we evaluate both hypotheses using the case study of the Venezuelan Gran Sabana (GS) region, where the M. flexuosa swamp communities (locally called morichales) are common and well developed. The morichales did not reach the GS until the last 2000 years, as manifested by sudden increases of Mauritia pollen parallelled by similar trends in charcoal particles as proxies for fire. During the last two millennia, the situation was very similar to the present, characterised by extensive burning practices affecting savannas and savanna-forest ecotones but rarely morichales (selective burning). This strongly suggests that human activities could have been responsible for the penetration of the morichales to the GS. A meta-analysis of the available records of Mauritia pollen across northern South America shows that this palm has been present in the region since at least the last four glacial cycles. During the LGM, Mauritia was likely restricted to few but widespread sites of favourable microclimatic conditions (microrefugia) from where the palm expanded during the Holocene. During the last 2000 years, Mauritia underwent a remarkable expansion in northern South America, which includes the GS. It is proposed that humans could have played a role in this regional expansion of Mauritia communities.

  1. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata)

    PubMed Central

    Mahmoud, Talal Suleiman; do Nascimento, Guilherme Nobre L.; da Silva, Juliana Fonseca Moreira

    2016-01-01

    Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml−1. Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. PMID:27529077

  2. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata).

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Adriana Idalina Torcato; Mahmoud, Talal Suleiman; do Nascimento, Guilherme Nobre L; da Silva, Juliana Fonseca Moreira; Pimenta, Raphael Sanzio; de Morais, Paula Benevides

    2016-01-01

    Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml(-1). Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries.

  3. Engaging plant anatomy and local knowledge on the buriti palm (Mauritia flexuosa L.f.: Arecaceae): the microscopic world meets the golden grass artisan's perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viana, Rebeca V. R.; Scatena, Vera L.; Eichemberg, Mayra T.; Sano, Paulo T.

    2016-11-01

    Considering that both Western Science and Local Knowledge Systems share a common ground—observations of the natural world—the dialogue between them should not only be possible, but fruitful. Local communities whose livelihoods depend on traditional uses of the local biodiversity not only develop knowledge about nature, making several uses of such knowledge, but, with that process, several inquiries about nature can be raised. Here we present our experience with the engagement of Western Science with golden grass artisan's knowledge about the buriti palm (M. flexuosa). We applied 25 semi-directive interviews, combined with field diary and participative observation, in two quilombola communities from Jalapão region (Central-Brazil). One of the inquiries that emerged from the artisan's perspectives was about the differences between male and female buriti palms' fiber. We then engaged both local and scientific perspectives regarding this issue using plant anatomy as a dialogue instrument. Here we describe this experience and resort to Paulo Freire's ideas on dialogue to argue that, to integrate Western Science and Local Knowledge Systems in a collaborative and contextualized perspective, the research should be faced as a mutual learning practice.

  4. Large-Scale Genotyping-by-Sequencing Indicates High Levels of Gene Flow in the Deep-Sea Octocoral Swiftia simplex (Nutting 1909) on the West Coast of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Everett, Meredith V.; Park, Linda K.; Berntson, Ewann A.; Elz, Anna E.; Whitmire, Curt E.; Keller, Aimee A.; Clarke, M. Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Deep-sea corals are a critical component of habitat in the deep-sea, existing as regional hotspots for biodiversity, and are associated with increased assemblages of fish, including commercially important species. Because sampling these species is so difficult, little is known about the connectivity and life history of deep-sea octocoral populations. This study evaluates the genetic connectivity among 23 individuals of the deep-sea octocoral Swiftia simplex collected from Eastern Pacific waters along the west coast of the United States. We utilized high-throughput restriction-site associated DNA (RAD)-tag sequencing to develop the first molecular genetic resource for the deep-sea octocoral, Swiftia simplex. Using this technique we discovered thousands of putative genome-wide SNPs in this species, and after quality control, successfully genotyped 1,145 SNPs across individuals sampled from California to Washington. These SNPs were used to assess putative population structure across the region. A STRUCTURE analysis as well as a principal coordinates analysis both failed to detect any population differentiation across all geographic areas in these collections. Additionally, after assigning individuals to putative population groups geographically, no significant FST values could be detected (FST for the full data set 0.0056), and no significant isolation by distance could be detected (p = 0.999). Taken together, these results indicate a high degree of connectivity and potential panmixia in S. simplex along this portion of the continental shelf. PMID:27798660

  5. Large-Scale Genotyping-by-Sequencing Indicates High Levels of Gene Flow in the Deep-Sea Octocoral Swiftia simplex (Nutting 1909) on the West Coast of the United States.

    PubMed

    Everett, Meredith V; Park, Linda K; Berntson, Ewann A; Elz, Anna E; Whitmire, Curt E; Keller, Aimee A; Clarke, M Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Deep-sea corals are a critical component of habitat in the deep-sea, existing as regional hotspots for biodiversity, and are associated with increased assemblages of fish, including commercially important species. Because sampling these species is so difficult, little is known about the connectivity and life history of deep-sea octocoral populations. This study evaluates the genetic connectivity among 23 individuals of the deep-sea octocoral Swiftia simplex collected from Eastern Pacific waters along the west coast of the United States. We utilized high-throughput restriction-site associated DNA (RAD)-tag sequencing to develop the first molecular genetic resource for the deep-sea octocoral, Swiftia simplex. Using this technique we discovered thousands of putative genome-wide SNPs in this species, and after quality control, successfully genotyped 1,145 SNPs across individuals sampled from California to Washington. These SNPs were used to assess putative population structure across the region. A STRUCTURE analysis as well as a principal coordinates analysis both failed to detect any population differentiation across all geographic areas in these collections. Additionally, after assigning individuals to putative population groups geographically, no significant FST values could be detected (FST for the full data set 0.0056), and no significant isolation by distance could be detected (p = 0.999). Taken together, these results indicate a high degree of connectivity and potential panmixia in S. simplex along this portion of the continental shelf.

  6. Natural heterotrophic feeding by a temperate octocoral with symbiotic zooxanthellae: a contribution to understanding the mechanisms of die-off events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coma, Rafel; Llorente-Llurba, Eduard; Serrano, Eduard; Gili, Josep-Maria; Ribes, Marta

    2015-06-01

    Octocorals are among the most emblematic and representative organisms of sublittoral communities in both tropical and temperate seas. Eunicella singularis is the most abundant gorgonian in shallow waters and the only gorgonian with symbiotic zooxanthellae in the Mediterranean Sea. We studied the natural diet and prey capture rate of this species over an annual cycle and characterized prey digestion time over the natural temperature regime. The species captured zooplankton prey between 40 and 920 µm. A mean content of 0.14 ± 0.02 prey polyp-1 was observed throughout the year. The strong pattern of decrease in digestion time with temperature increase (from 25 h at 13 °C to 8 h at 21 °C) allowed us to estimate that the prey capture rate was 0.017 ± 0.002 prey polyp-1 h-1 (mean ± SE); the ingestion rate exhibited a seasonal pattern with higher values in spring (0.007 µg C polyp-1 h-1). Feeding on zooplankton had a low contribution to the respiratory expenses of E. singularis except in early spring. Then, heterotrophic nutrition in the natural environment seems unable to meet basal metabolic requirements, especially in summer and fall. This result, in conjunction with the documented collapse of photosynthetic capacity above a warm temperature threshold, indicates the occurrence of a resource acquisition limitation that may play a role in the repeated summer die-off events of the species.

  7. A Pseudopterane Diterpene Isolated From the Octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa Inhibits the Inflammatory Response Mediated by TLR-Ligands and TNF-Alpha in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    González, Yisett; Doens, Deborah; Santamaría, Ricardo; Ramos, Marla; Restrepo, Carlos M.; Barros de Arruda, Luciana; Lleonart, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Fernández, Patricia L.

    2013-01-01

    Several diterpenoids isolated from terrestrial and marine environments have been identified as important anti-inflammatory agents. Although considerable progress has been made in the area of anti-inflammatory treatment, the search for more effective and safer compounds is a very active field of research. In this study we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a known pseudopterane diterpene (referred here as compound 1) isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on the tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α) and TLRs- induced response in macrophages. Compound 1 inhibited the expression and secretion of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), ciclooxygenase (COX)-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) induced by LPS in primary murine macrophages. This effect was associated with the inhibition of IκBα degradation and subsequent activation of NFκB. Compound 1 also inhibited the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, which is a hallmark of macrophage activation and consequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. The anti-inflammatory effect was not exclusive to LPS because compound 1 also inhibited the response of macrophages to TNF-α and TLR2 and TLR3 ligands. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an anti-inflammatory molecule, which modulates a variety of processes occurring in macrophage activation. PMID:24358331

  8. A pseudopterane diterpene isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa inhibits the inflammatory response mediated by TLR-ligands and TNF-alpha in macrophages.

    PubMed

    González, Yisett; Doens, Deborah; Santamaría, Ricardo; Ramos, Marla; Restrepo, Carlos M; Barros de Arruda, Luciana; Lleonart, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Fernández, Patricia L

    2013-01-01

    Several diterpenoids isolated from terrestrial and marine environments have been identified as important anti-inflammatory agents. Although considerable progress has been made in the area of anti-inflammatory treatment, the search for more effective and safer compounds is a very active field of research. In this study we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a known pseudopterane diterpene (referred here as compound 1) isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on the tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α) and TLRs- induced response in macrophages. Compound 1 inhibited the expression and secretion of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), ciclooxygenase (COX)-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) induced by LPS in primary murine macrophages. This effect was associated with the inhibition of IκBα degradation and subsequent activation of NFκB. Compound 1 also inhibited the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, which is a hallmark of macrophage activation and consequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. The anti-inflammatory effect was not exclusive to LPS because compound 1 also inhibited the response of macrophages to TNF-α and TLR2 and TLR3 ligands. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an anti-inflammatory molecule, which modulates a variety of processes occurring in macrophage activation.

  9. A Five-Year, In Situ Growth Study on Shallow-Water Populations of the Gorgonian Octocoral Calcigorgia spiculifera in the Gulf of Alaska.

    PubMed

    Stone, Robert P; Malecha, Patrick W; Masuda, Michele M

    2017-01-01

    Gorgonian octocorals are the most abundant corals in Alaska where they provide important structural habitat for managed species of demersal fish and invertebrates. Fifty-nine gorgonian species have been reported from Alaska waters but little is known about their life history characteristics to help us gauge their ability to recover from seafloor disturbance. Colonies of the holaxonian Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged beginning in 1999 at three sites in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, using scuba and their growth measured annually for up to 5 years. Colonies were video recorded, and computer image analysis tools provided calibration of video images for measuring the length of several branches. Growth data indicate that C. spiculifera grows much slower (6.0 mm yr-1) than other gorgonians in Alaska for which there are data and that intraspecific growth is highly variable. We fit a Bayesian linear mixed-effects model that showed that average colony growth was significantly reduced with warmer temperature and presence of necrosis. The model further indicated that growth may slow among larger (older) colonies. Based on these results and previous studies, we propose that gorgonian growth rates are taxonomically constrained at the Suborder level and that holaxonians grow the slowest followed by scleraxonians and calcaxonians (2-3 times as fast). Findings of this study indicate that it would take approximately 60 years for C. spiculifera to grow to its maximum size and depending on the location and size of the parental standing stock, at least one and possibly 10 additional years for recruitment to occur. Our results further indicate that colonies that are injured, perhaps chronically in areas of frequent disturbance, grow at slower rates and if the current trend of ocean warming continues then we can expect these corals to grow more slowly, and the habitats they form will require more time to recover from disturbance.

  10. Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Activity of Pseudopterosins and seco-Pseudopterosins Isolated from the Octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia Islands (Southwest Caribbean Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Correa, Hebelin; Aristizabal, Fabio; Duque, Carmenza; Kerr, Russell

    2011-01-01

    To expand the potential of pseudopterosins and seco-pseudopterosins isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia islands (southwest Caribbean Sea), we report the anti-microbial profile against four pathogenic microorganisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans) and report a more complete cytotoxic profile against five human cells lines (HeLa, PC-3, HCT116, MCF-7 and BJ) for the compounds PsG, PsP, PsQ, PsS, PsT, PsU, 3-O-acetyl-PsU, seco-PsJ, seco-PsK and IMNGD. For the cytotoxic profiles, all compounds evaluated showed moderate and non-selective activity against both tumor and normal cell lines, where PsQ and PsG were the most active compounds (GI50 values between 5.8 μM to 12.0 μM). With respect to their anti-microbial activity the compounds showed good and selective activity against the Gram-positive bacteria, while they did not show activity against the Gram-negative bacterium or yeast. PsU, PsQ, PsS, seco-PsK and PsG were the most active compounds (IC50 2.9–4.5 μM) against S. aureus and PsG, PsU and seco-PsK showed good activity (IC50 3.1–3.8 μM) against E. faecalis, comparable to the reference drug vancomycin (4.2 μM). PMID:21556163

  11. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity of pseudopterosins and seco-pseudopterosins isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia Islands (Southwest Caribbean Sea).

    PubMed

    Correa, Hebelin; Aristizabal, Fabio; Duque, Carmenza; Kerr, Russell

    2011-03-04

    To expand the potential of pseudopterosins and seco-pseudopterosins isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia islands (southwest Caribbean Sea), we report the anti-microbial profile against four pathogenic microorganisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans) and report a more complete cytotoxic profile against five human cells lines (HeLa, PC-3, HCT116, MCF-7 and BJ) for the compounds PsG, PsP, PsQ, PsS, PsT, PsU, 3-O-acetyl-PsU, seco-PsJ, seco-PsK and IMNGD. For the cytotoxic profiles, all compounds evaluated showed moderate and non-selective activity against both tumor and normal cell lines, where PsQ and PsG were the most active compounds (GI₅₀ values between 5.8 μM to 12.0 μM). With respect to their anti-microbial activity the compounds showed good and selective activity against the Gram-positive bacteria, while they did not show activity against the Gram-negative bacterium or yeast. PsU, PsQ, PsS, seco-PsK and PsG were the most active compounds (IC₅₀ 2.9-4.5 μM) against S. aureus and PsG, PsU and seco-PsK showed good activity (IC₅₀ 3.1-3.8 μM) against E. faecalis, comparable to the reference drug vancomycin (4.2 μM).

  12. Decline in condition of gorgonian octocorals on mesophotic reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico: before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wickes, Leslie N.; Silva, Mauricio; Dubick, J. D.; Balthis, Len; Salgado, Enrique; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2016-03-01

    Hard-bottom `mesophotic' reefs along the `40-fathom' (73 m) shelf edge in the northern Gulf of Mexico were investigated for potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill from the Macondo well in April 2010. Alabama Alps Reef, Roughtongue Reef, and Yellowtail Reef were near the well, situated 60-88 m below floating oil discharged during the DWH spill for several weeks and subject to dispersant applications. In contrast, Coral Trees Reef and Madison Swanson South Reef were far from the DWH spill site and below the slick for less than a week or not at all, respectively. The reefs were surveyed by ROV in 2010, 2011, and 2014 and compared to similar surveys conducted one and two decades earlier. Large gorgonian octocorals were present at all sites in moderate abundance including Swiftia exserta, Hypnogorgia pendula, Thesea spp., and Placogorgia spp. The gorgonians were assessed for health and condition in a before-after-control-impact (BACI) research design using still images captured from ROV video transects. Injury was modeled as a categorical response to proximity and time using logistic regression. Condition of gorgonians at sites near Macondo well declined significantly post-spill. Before the spill, injury was observed for 4-9 % of large gorgonians. After the spill, injury was observed in 38-50 % of large gorgonians. Odds of injury for sites near Macondo were 10.8 times higher post-spill, but unchanged at far sites. The majority of marked injured colonies in 2011 declined further in condition by 2014. Marked healthy colonies generally remained healthy. Background stresses to corals, including fishing activity, fishing debris, and coral predation, were noted during surveys, but do not appear to account for the decline in condition at study sites near Macondo well.

  13. A Five-Year, In Situ Growth Study on Shallow-Water Populations of the Gorgonian Octocoral Calcigorgia spiculifera in the Gulf of Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Robert P.; Malecha, Patrick W.; Masuda, Michele M.

    2017-01-01

    Gorgonian octocorals are the most abundant corals in Alaska where they provide important structural habitat for managed species of demersal fish and invertebrates. Fifty-nine gorgonian species have been reported from Alaska waters but little is known about their life history characteristics to help us gauge their ability to recover from seafloor disturbance. Colonies of the holaxonian Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged beginning in 1999 at three sites in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, using scuba and their growth measured annually for up to 5 years. Colonies were video recorded, and computer image analysis tools provided calibration of video images for measuring the length of several branches. Growth data indicate that C. spiculifera grows much slower (6.0 mm yr-1) than other gorgonians in Alaska for which there are data and that intraspecific growth is highly variable. We fit a Bayesian linear mixed-effects model that showed that average colony growth was significantly reduced with warmer temperature and presence of necrosis. The model further indicated that growth may slow among larger (older) colonies. Based on these results and previous studies, we propose that gorgonian growth rates are taxonomically constrained at the Suborder level and that holaxonians grow the slowest followed by scleraxonians and calcaxonians (2–3 times as fast). Findings of this study indicate that it would take approximately 60 years for C. spiculifera to grow to its maximum size and depending on the location and size of the parental standing stock, at least one and possibly 10 additional years for recruitment to occur. Our results further indicate that colonies that are injured, perhaps chronically in areas of frequent disturbance, grow at slower rates and if the current trend of ocean warming continues then we can expect these corals to grow more slowly, and the habitats they form will require more time to recover from disturbance. PMID:28068374

  14. Bioactive marine prostanoids from octocoral Clavularia viridis.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yun-Sheng; Khalil, Ashraf Taha; Chiou, Shih-Hwa; Kuo, Yuh-Chi; Cheng, Yuan-Bin; Liaw, Chia-Ching; Shen, Ya-Ching

    2008-05-01

    Chemical investigation of the nonpolar extract of soft coral Clavularia viridis resulted in isolation of five new prostanoids, designated as claviridic acids A-E (1-5, resp.), in addition to the known clavulones I-III. Their structures were determined on the basis of spectroscopic techniques, especially HR-ESI-MS, CD, and 2D-NMR experiments. The isolated marine prostanoids exhibited potent inhibitory effect on PHA-induced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as significant cytotoxic activity against human gastric cancer cells (AGS).

  15. Actions of octocoral and tobacco cembranoids on nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Ferchmin, P A; Pagán, Oné R; Ulrich, Henning; Szeto, Ada C; Hann, Richard M; Eterović, Vesna A

    2009-12-15

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are pentameric proteins that form agonist-gated cation channels through the plasma membrane. AChR agonists and antagonists are potential candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Cembranoids are naturally occurring diterpenoids that contain a 14-carbon ring. These diterpenoids interact with AChRs in complex ways: as irreversible inhibitors at the agonist sites, as noncompetitive inhibitors, or as positive modulators, but no cembranoid was ever shown to have agonistic activity on AChRs. The cembranoid eupalmerin acetate displays positive modulation of agonist-induced currents in the muscle-type AChR and in the related gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor. Moreover, cembranoids display important biological effects, many of them mediated by nicotinic receptors. Cembranoids from tobacco are neuroprotective through a nicotinic anti-apoptotic mechanism preventing excitotoxic neuronal death which in part could result from anti-inflammatory properties of cembranoids. Moreover, tobacco cembranoids also have anti-inflammatory properties which could enhance their neuroprotective properties. Cembranoids from tobacco affect nicotine-related behavior: they increase the transient initial ataxia caused by first nicotine injection into naive rats and inhibit the expression of locomotor sensitization to repeated injections of nicotine. In addition, cembranoids are known to act as anti-tumor compounds. In conclusion, cembranoids provide a promising source of lead drugs for many clinical areas, including neuroprotection, smoking-cessation, and anti-cancer therapies.

  16. Nine microsatellite loci developed from the octocoral, Paragorgia arborea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coykendall, Dolly K.; Morrison, Cheryl L.

    2015-01-01

    Paragorgia arborea, or bubblegum coral, occurs in continental slope habitats worldwide, which are increasingly threatened by human activities such as energy development and fisheries practices. From 101 putative loci screened, nine microsatellite markers were developed from samples taken from Baltimore canyon in the western North Atlantic Ocean. The number of alleles ranged from two to thirteen per locus and each displayed equilibrium. These nuclear resources will help further research on population connectivity in threatened coral species where mitochondrial markers are known to lack fine-scale genetic diversity.

  17. A new alcyonacean octocoral (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Octocorallia) from Chilean fjords.

    PubMed

    Breedy, Odalisca; Cairns, Stephen D; Häussermann, Verena

    2015-02-17

    A new species, Swiftia comauensis, is described from Chile. It occurs in shallow waters from 18 to 59 m in the Patagonian fjord region and seems to be endemic to the northern part of the region. The species is characterized by having straggly colonies with sparse branching and long drooping branches, prominent polyp mounds, and long, thin spindles; the colonies are bright orange with pale yellow polyp mounds. A sharp decline in colony abundance was observed between 2003 and 2013, and in January 2014 a proposal was submitted to the IUCN for the addition of this taxon to the Red List of Threatened Species.

  18. Norcembranoidal diterpenes from the cultured-type octocoral Sinularia numerosa.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wu-Fu; Yin, Chen-Ting; Cheng, Ching-Hsiao; Lu, Mei-Chin; Fang, Lee-Shing; Wang, Wei-Hsien; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Chen, Jih-Jung; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2015-02-03

    A known norcembranoidal diterpene, 5-episinuleptolide (1), along with a new analogue, 4α-hydroxy-5-episinuleptolide (2), were isolated from a cultured-type soft coral Sinularia numerosa. The structures of 1 and 2 were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods and by comparison of the data with those of the related metabolites. Cytotoxicity of metabolites 1 and 2 against a panel of tumor cells is also described. Compound 2 exhibited moderate cytotoxicity toward CCRF-CEM cells with an IC50 value 4.21 μg/mL. Preliminary SAR (structure activity relationship) information was obtained from these two compounds.

  19. New prostanoids with cytotoxic activity from Taiwanese octocoral Clavularia viridis.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ya-Ching; Cheng, Yuan-Bin; Lin, Yu-Chi; Guh, Jih-Hwa; Teng, Che-Ming; Ko, Chin-Lien

    2004-04-01

    Bioassay-directed fractionation of the CH(2)Cl(2)-MeOH extract of Clavularia viridis collected in Taiwan has afforded seven new prostanoids, designated as 4-deacetoxyl-12-O-deacetylclavulone I (1), 4-deacetoxyl-12-O-deacetylclavulone II (2), bromovulone II (4), iodovulone II (5), 4-deacetoxyl-12-O-deacetylclavulone III (6), bromovulone III (7), and iodovulone III (8), in addition to seven known prostanoids (clavulones I, II, III, 7-acetoxy-7,8-dihydroiodovulone, chlorovulones II, III, and 4-deacetoxylclavulone II (3, claviridenone E)). The structures of compounds 1-8 were determined on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR techniques including COSY, HSQC, and HMBC experiments. Pharmacological study revealed that bromovulone III (7) and chlorovulone II exhibited the most promising cytotoxicity against human prostate (PC-3) and colon (HT29) cancer cells.

  20. Purification and catalytic activities of the two domains of the allene oxide synthase-lipoxygenase fusion protein of the coral Plexaura homomalla.

    PubMed

    Boutaud, O; Brash, A R

    1999-11-19

    The conversion of fatty acid hydroperoxides to allene epoxides is catalyzed by a cytochrome P450 in plants and, in coral, by a 43-kDa catalase-related hemoprotein fused to the lipoxygenase that synthesizes the 8R-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HPETE) substrate. We have expressed the separate lipoxygenase and allene oxide synthase (AOS) domains of the coral protein in Escherichia coli (BL21 cells) and purified the proteins; this system gives high expression (1.5 and 0.3 micromol/liter, respectively) of catalytically active enzymes. Both domains show fast reaction kinetics. Catalytic activity of the lipoxygenase domain is stimulated 5-fold by high concentrations of monovalent cations (500 mM Na(+), Li(+), or K(+)), and an additional 5-fold by 10 mM Ca(2+). The resulting rates of reaction are approximately 300 turnovers/s, 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than mammalian lipoxygenases. This makes the coral lipoxygenase well suited for partnership with the AOS domain, which shows maximum rates of approximately 1400 turnovers/s in the conversion of 8R-HPETE to the allene oxide. Some unusual catalytic activities of the two domains are described. The lipoxygenase domain converts 20.3omega6 partly to the bis-allylic hydroperoxide (10-hydroperoxyeicosa-8,11,14-trienoic acid). Metabolism of the preferred substrate of the AOS domain, 8R-HPETE, is inhibited by the enantiomer 8S-HPETE. Although the AOS domain has homology to catalase in primary structure, it is completely lacking in catalatic action on H(2)O(2); catalase itself, as expected from its preference for small hydroperoxides, is ineffective in allene oxide synthesis from 8R-HPETE.

  1. A revision of the octocoral genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 (Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Xeniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Halász, Anna; McFadden, Catherine S.; Aharonovich, Dafna; Toonen, Robert; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The family Xeniidae (Octocorallia) constitutes an abundant benthic component on many Indo-West Pacific coral reefs and is ecologically important in the Red Sea. The genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 was recently established to accommodate previous Xenia species with sclerites comprised of a mass of minute corpuscle-shaped microscleres. The aim of the present study was to examine type material of Xenia species in order to verify their generic affiliation. We present here a comprehensive account of the genus Ovabunda, using scanning electron microscopy to depict sclerite microstructure. We assign three Xenia species to the genus: O. ainex comb. n., O. gohari comb. n., and O. crenata comb. n.; and synonymize several other species of Ovabunda. We provide a key to Ovabunda species and conclude that they are mainly confined to the Red Sea, with some occurrence in the West Indian Ocean. PMID:24493958

  2. A revision of the octocoral genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 (Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Xeniidae).

    PubMed

    Halász, Anna; McFadden, Catherine S; Aharonovich, Dafna; Toonen, Robert; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2014-01-01

    The family Xeniidae (Octocorallia) constitutes an abundant benthic component on many Indo-West Pacific coral reefs and is ecologically important in the Red Sea. The genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 was recently established to accommodate previous Xenia species with sclerites comprised of a mass of minute corpuscle-shaped microscleres. The aim of the present study was to examine type material of Xenia species in order to verify their generic affiliation. We present here a comprehensive account of the genus Ovabunda, using scanning electron microscopy to depict sclerite microstructure. We assign three Xenia species to the genus: O. ainex comb. n., O. gohari comb. n., and O. crenata comb. n.; and synonymize several other species of Ovabunda. We provide a key to Ovabunda species and conclude that they are mainly confined to the Red Sea, with some occurrence in the West Indian Ocean.

  3. Lipoxygenase-allene oxide synthase pathway in octocoral thermal stress response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lõhelaid, H.; Teder, T.; Samel, N.

    2015-03-01

    Marine ecosystems are sensitive to elevated seawater temperature, with stony corals serving as model organisms for temperature-imposed declines in population viability and diversity. Several stress markers, including heat shock proteins, have been used for the detection and prediction of stress responses in stony corals. However, the stress indicators in soft corals remain elusive. In higher animals and plants, oxylipins synthesized by fatty acid di- and monooxygenases contribute to stress-induced signaling; however, the role of eicosanoid pathways in corals remains unclear. The eicosanoid gene specific to corals encodes for a natural fusion protein of allene oxide synthase and lipoxygenase ( AOS- LOX). In this work, using the easily cultivated soft coral Capnella imbricata as the stress response model, we monitored the expression of the AOS-LOX and the formation of arachidonic acid metabolites in response to an acute rise in water temperature. Gene expression profiles of two 70 kDa heat shock proteins ( Hsps: Hsp70 and Grp78) were used as a positive control for the stress response. In comparison with normal seawater temperature (23 °C), AOS- LOXa and Hsps were all up-regulated after modest (28 °C) and severe (31 °C) temperature elevation. While the up-regulation of AOS- LOXa and Grp78 was more sensitive to moderate temperature changes, Hsp70s were more responsive to severe heat shock. Concurrently, endogenous and exogenous AOS-LOXa-derived eicosanoids were up-regulated. Thus, together with the up-regulation of AOS- LOX by other abiotic and biotic stress stimuli, these data implicate AOS-LOX as part of the general stress response pathway in corals.

  4. Demographic responses to warming: reproductive maturity and sex influence vulnerability in an octocoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arizmendi-Mejía, Rosana; Ledoux, Jean-Baptiste; Civit, Sergi; Antunes, Agostinho; Thanopoulou, Zoi; Garrabou, Joaquim; Linares, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Ocean warming, caused by climate change, is critically impacting marine coastal ecosystems. Benthic organisms, such as anthozoans, are increasingly submitted to high temperatures that cause massive mortalities in tropical and temperate seas. To broaden our understanding of their response to thermal stress, we tested the putative role of reproductive maturity and sex in the susceptibility of the Mediterranean red gorgonian, Paramuricea clavata, to high temperatures. We experimentally compared the response to thermal stress of sexually immature (i.e., juveniles) versus mature individuals (i.e., adults), and of males versus females. Colonies' response was firstly assessed by measuring the percentage of tissue area exhibiting necrosis. Then, the reproductive output (i.e., fertility, size, and number of gonads) of both sexes was characterized. When compared to juveniles, adults showed a significantly higher percentage of necrosis, suggesting that during the reproductive period they are more vulnerable to high temperatures. Males and females showed a similar percentage of tissue damage and a significant decrease in their reproductive output. However, females' reproduction was more impacted, suggesting that females are more susceptible to thermal stress than males. A differential energy investment in reproduction may be the underlying cause of the observed responses. Adults invest a large proportion of their energy budget in reproduction; hence, they have fewer resources available to cope with stress, compared to juveniles. A similar situation seems to apply to females, with respect to males. Considering the current ocean-warming trend, our results imply that the long-term viability of shallow populations of long-lived anthozoans may be jeopardized in the future. This study reveals potential demographic consequences of warming that go beyond its associated increment of mortality rates. Given the important ecological role of many anthozoan species, these results can help better predict the future effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems.

  5. Aspergillus sydowii and Other Potential Fungal Pathogens in Gorgonian Octocorals of the Ecuadorian Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Soler-Hurtado, M. Mar; Sandoval-Sierra, José Vladimir; Machordom, Annie; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases are threatening ecosystems and have increased in recent decades. In corals, the prevalence and consequences of these infections have also increased in frequency and severity. Coral reefs are affected by an emerging fungal disease named aspergillosis, caused by Aspergillus sydowii. This disease and its pathogen have been reported along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Colombia. Despite this, an important number of coral reefs worldwide have not been investigated for the presence of this pathogen. In this work, we carried out the surveillance of the main coral reef of the Ecuadorian Pacific with a focus on the two most abundant and cosmopolitan species of this ecosystem, Leptogorgia sp. and Leptogorgia obscura. We collected 59 isolates and obtained the corresponding sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacers (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. These were phylogenetically analyzed using MrBayes, which indicated the presence of two isolates of the coral reef pathogen A. sydowii, as well as 16 additional species that are potentially pathogenic to corals. Although the analyzed gorgonian specimens appeared healthy, the presence of these pathogens, especially of A. sydowii, alert us to the potential risk to the health and future survival of the Pacific Ecuadorian coral ecosystem under the current scenario of increasing threats and stressors to coral reefs, such as habitat alterations by humans and global climate change. PMID:27902710

  6. A new genus and species of pennatulacean octocoral from equatorial West Africa (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Virgulariidae)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Gary C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of sea pen or virgulariid pennatulacean from the Gulf of Guinea in the tropical eastern Atlantic is described, and a key to the genera of the Virgulariidae is included. The new genus and species described here adds to the previously described five other genera of the family. It is distinguished by unique sclerite and polyp leaf characters from the superficially-similar genus Virgularia, which lacks conspicuous sclerites in the polyp leaves and coenenchyme (other than minute oval bodies that are generally <0.01 mm in length). PMID:26798304

  7. Fuscoside E: a strong anti-inflammatory diterpene from Caribbean octocoral Eunicea fusca.

    PubMed

    Reina, Eduardo; Puentes, Carlos; Rojas, Juan; García, Josué; Ramos, Freddy A; Castellanos, Leonardo; Aragón, Marcela; Ospina, Luis F

    2011-10-01

    The screen of 10 soft coral extracts collected from the Colombian Caribbean Sea in the TPA-induced ear edema model allowed us to identify Eunicea fusca extract among others as an interesting source of active compounds. The new diterpene, fuscoside E (1), along with the known fuscoside B (2), fuscol (3), (+)-germacrene D (4) and a mixture of six sterols (5-10), were isolated from this soft coral. Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy techniques. Fuscoside E (1) absolute stereochemistry was determined by chiroptical methods. Fuscoside E (1) and B (2) showed strong anti-inflammatory in the above mentioned bioassay. Additionally, fuscoside E (1) and the sterol mixture (5-10) presented antifouling activity against bacterial strains involved in surface colonization.

  8. Aspergillus sydowii and Other Potential Fungal Pathogens in Gorgonian Octocorals of the Ecuadorian Pacific.

    PubMed

    Soler-Hurtado, M Mar; Sandoval-Sierra, José Vladimir; Machordom, Annie; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases are threatening ecosystems and have increased in recent decades. In corals, the prevalence and consequences of these infections have also increased in frequency and severity. Coral reefs are affected by an emerging fungal disease named aspergillosis, caused by Aspergillus sydowii. This disease and its pathogen have been reported along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Colombia. Despite this, an important number of coral reefs worldwide have not been investigated for the presence of this pathogen. In this work, we carried out the surveillance of the main coral reef of the Ecuadorian Pacific with a focus on the two most abundant and cosmopolitan species of this ecosystem, Leptogorgia sp. and Leptogorgia obscura. We collected 59 isolates and obtained the corresponding sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacers (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. These were phylogenetically analyzed using MrBayes, which indicated the presence of two isolates of the coral reef pathogen A. sydowii, as well as 16 additional species that are potentially pathogenic to corals. Although the analyzed gorgonian specimens appeared healthy, the presence of these pathogens, especially of A. sydowii, alert us to the potential risk to the health and future survival of the Pacific Ecuadorian coral ecosystem under the current scenario of increasing threats and stressors to coral reefs, such as habitat alterations by humans and global climate change.

  9. Polyoxygenated Steroids from the Octocoral Leptogorgia punicea and in Vitro Evaluation of Their Cytotoxic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Moritz, Maria Izabel G.; Marostica, Lucas Lourenço; Bianco, Éverson M.; Almeida, Maria Tereza R.; Carraro, João L.; Cabrera, Gabriela M.; Palermo, Jorge A.; Simões, Cláudia M. O.; Schenkel, Eloir P.

    2014-01-01

    Five new polyoxygenated marine steroids—punicinols A–E (1–5)—were isolated from the gorgonian Leptogorgia punicea and characterized by spectroscopic methods (IR, MS, 1H, 13C and 2-D NMR). The five compounds induced in vitro cytotoxic effects against lung cancer A549 cells, while punicinols A and B were the most active, with IC50 values of 9.7 μM and 9.6 μM, respectively. The synergistic effects of these compounds with paclitaxel, as well as their effects on cell cycle distribution and their performance in the clonogenic assay, were also evaluated. Both compounds demonstrated significant synergistic effects with paclitaxel. PMID:25486111

  10. Physiological correlates of symbiont migration during bleaching of two octocoral species.

    PubMed

    Netherton, Sarah E; Scheer, Daniele M; Morrison, Patrick R; Parrin, Austin P; Blackstone, Neil W

    2014-05-01

    Perturbed colonies of Phenganax parrini and Sarcothelia sp. exhibit migration of symbionts of Symbiodinium spp. into the stolons. Densitometry and visual inspection indicated that polyps bleached while stolons did not. When migration was triggered by temperature, light and confinement, colonies of Sarcothelia sp. decreased rates of oxygen formation in the light (due to the effects of perturbation on photosynthesis and respiration) and increased rates of oxygen uptake in the dark (due to the effects of perturbation on respiration alone). Colonies of P. parrini, by contrast, showed no significant changes in either aspect of oxygen metabolism. When migration was triggered by light and confinement, colonies of Sarcothelia sp. showed decreased rates of oxygen formation in the light and increased rates of oxygen uptake in the dark, while colonies of P. parrini maintained the former and increased the latter. During symbiont migration into their stolons, colonies of both species showed dramatic increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS), as visualized with a fluorescent probe, with stolons of Sarcothelia sp. exhibiting a nearly immediate increase of ROS. Differences in symbiont type may explain the greater sensitivity of colonies of Sarcothelia sp. Using fluorescent probes, direct measurements of migrating symbionts in the stolons of Sarcothelia sp. showed higher levels of reactive nitrogen species and lower levels of ROS than the surrounding host tissue. As measured by native fluorescence, levels of NAD(P)H in the stolons were unaffected by perturbation. Symbiont migration thus correlates with dramatic physiological changes and may serve as a marker for coral condition.

  11. Effects of gastropod predation on the reproductive output of an overexploited deep octocoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, C.; Erra, F.; Angiolillo, M.; Santangelo, G.

    2015-03-01

    The study presented herein is aimed at quantifying the effects of the partial predation exerted by the gastropod Pseudosimnia carnea on the reproductive features of the highly valuable, slow-growing, and long-lived red coral, Corallium rubrum. Seventy-five colonies were collected just before annual spawning from a red coral population living between 85 and 90 m deep in the NW Mediterranean; of these, 35 % were affected by P. carnea. Female colonies were more frequently preyed upon than males (3:1 ratio). Overall, 1,100 polyps were dissected and examined for their reproductive content. The mean number of polyps per colony and the mean fecundity of female polyps and colonies were significantly reduced by gastropod predation, which affected colonies independently of their size; in particular, colony fecundity was reduced by 81 %. The consequent reduction in population reproductive output is likely to have long-term effects on preyed-upon populations and thereby limit their resilience to intense commercial harvesting.

  12. A new genus and species of pennatulacean octocoral from equatorial West Africa (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Virgulariidae).

    PubMed

    Williams, Gary C

    2015-01-01

    A new genus and species of sea pen or virgulariid pennatulacean from the Gulf of Guinea in the tropical eastern Atlantic is described, and a key to the genera of the Virgulariidae is included. The new genus and species described here adds to the previously described five other genera of the family. It is distinguished by unique sclerite and polyp leaf characters from the superficially-similar genus Virgularia, which lacks conspicuous sclerites in the polyp leaves and coenenchyme (other than minute oval bodies that are generally <0.01 mm in length).

  13. Biosorption of metal ions using a low cost modified adsorbent (Mauritia flexuosa): experimental design and mathematical modeling.

    PubMed

    Melo, Diego de Quadros; Vidal, Carla Bastos; Medeiros, Thiago Coutinho; Raulino, Giselle Santiago Cabral; Dervanoski, Adriana; Pinheiro, Márcio do Carmo; Nascimento, Ronaldo Ferreira do

    2016-09-01

    Buriti fibers were subjected to an alkaline pre-treatment and tested as an adsorbent to investigate the adsorption of copper, cadmium, lead and nickel in mono- and multi-element aqueous solutions, the results showed an increase in the adsorption capacity compared to the unmodified Buriti fiber. The effects of pH, adsorbent mass, agitation rate and initial metal ions concentration on the efficiency of the adsorption process were studied using a fractional 2(4-1) factorial design, and the results showed that all four parameters influenced metal adsorption differently. Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence analysis were used to identify the groups that participated in the adsorption process and suggest its mechanisms and they indicated the probable mechanisms involved in the adsorption process are mainly ion exchange. Kinetic and thermodynamic equilibrium parameters were determined. The adsorption kinetics were adjusted to the homogeneous diffusion model. The adsorption equilibrium was reached in 30 min for Cu(2+) and Pb(2+), 20 min for Ni(2+) and instantaneously for Cd(2+). The results showed a significant difference was found in the competitiveness for the adsorption sites. A mathematical model was used to simulate the breakthrough curves in multi-element column adsorption considering the influences of external mass transfer and intraparticle diffusion resistance.

  14. Buriti oil (Mauritia flexuosa L.) negatively impacts somatic growth and reflex maturation and increases retinol deposition in young rats.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Maria C; Aquino, Jailane S; Soares, Juliana; Figueiroa, Edigleide B; Mesquita, Hanni M; Pessoa, Debora C; Stamford, Tania M

    2015-11-01

    Buriti oil contains nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamins, which are directly involved with neonates' development. However, the refining process of this oil can change its nutrient profile. This study investigated the effects of maternal consumption of Buriti oil (crude or refined), on reflex and somatic development and retinol levels in neonatal rats. Thirty-six Wistar male neonate rats born from mothers who consumed diet with 7% lipids during gestation and lactation were used. Rats were randomized into three groups: rats receiving diet added of soybean oil (control-CG), crude Buriti oil (CB) and refined Buriti oil (RB). Offspring weight, tail length, reflex ontogeny and somatic maturation were assessed during lactation. At the end of the experiment, serum and liver retinol concentrations were measured. Animals from CB and RB groups showed delayed onset of palm grasp, righting reflex and cliff avoidance reflexes compared to the control group (CG). However, animals from RB group showed anticipation of auditory startle compared to those from BC group. Regarding somatic maturation indicators, animals from RB group showed delayed eye opening and eruption of superior and inferior incisors in relation to control and anticipation in the auditory conduit opening in relation to CB group. Rats from CB and RB groups showed higher serum and liver vitamin A contents. Buriti oil delays physical parameters and reflex maturation and increases serum and liver retinol deposition among neonatal rats.

  15. Low cytotoxicity of creams and lotions formulated with Buriti oil (Mauritia flexuosa) assessed by the neutral red release test.

    PubMed

    Zanatta, Cinthia Fernanda; Ugartondo, Vanessa; Mitjans, Montserrat; Rocha-Filho, Pedro A; Vinardell, María Pilar

    2008-08-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate possible cytotoxic effects of topical creams and lotions produced with Buriti oil and commercial surfactants on human keratinocytes HaCat and 3T3 embryonic mouse fibroblast cultures. We also aimed to assess the cytotoxicity of the surfactants used to produce the emulsions. The neutral red release (NRR) assay was performed as an in vitro method to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the emulsions in HaCat and 3T3 cell lines and predict potential skin irritation. The Buriti oil emulsions presented low cytotoxicity to the cells at high concentrations and the addition of Vitamin E increased cell viability. Among the surfactant tested, Unitol CE 200F proved to be the most cytotoxic, presenting an IC(50) significantly lower than the others. Emulsions formulated with Buriti oil and commercial surfactants could be non irritant to the skin due to their low cytotoxicity, especially when enhanced with vitamin E. When emulsified with Buriti oil, water and Brij 72, Unitol CE 200F showed less cytotoxic effects than when tested alone.

  16. Photoprotective potential of emulsions formulated with Buriti oil (Mauritia flexuosa) against UV irradiation on keratinocytes and fibroblasts cell lines.

    PubMed

    Zanatta, C F; Mitjans, M; Urgatondo, V; Rocha-Filho, P A; Vinardell, M P

    2010-01-01

    Considering the belief that natural lipids are safer for topical applications and that carotenoids are able to protect cells against photooxidative damage, we have investigated whether topical creams and lotions, produced with Buriti oil and commercial surfactants, can exert photoprotective effect against UVA and UVB irradiation on keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cell treatment was divided into two steps, prior and after exposition to 30 min of UVA plus UVB radiation or to 60 min of UVA radiation. Emulsions prepared with ethoxylated fatty alcohols as surfactants and containing alpha-tocopherol caused phototoxic damage to the cells, especially when applied prior to UV exposure. Damage reported was due to prooxidant activity and phototoxic effect of the surfactant. Emulsions prepared with Sorbitan Monooleate and PEG-40 castor oil and containing panthenol as active ingredient, were able to reduce the damages caused by radiation when compared to non-treated cells. When the two cell lines used in the study were compared, keratinocytes showed an increase in cell viability higher than fibroblasts. The Buriti oil emulsions could be considered potential vehicles to transport antioxidants precursors and also be used as adjuvant in sun protection, especially in after sun formulations.

  17. Effects of Dietary Brazilian Palm Oil (Mauritia flexuosa L.) on Cholesterol Profile and Vitamin A and E Status of Rats.

    PubMed

    Aquino, Jailane de Souza; Soares, Juliana Késsia Barbosa; Magnani, Marciane; Stamford, Thayza Christina Montenegro; Mascarenhas, Robson de Jesus; Tavares, Renata Leite; Stamford, Tânia Lúcia Montenegro

    2015-05-19

    In vitro studies have been carried out to establish the nutritional differences between crude and refined vegetable oils; however, the impact of the consumption of these foods on metabolism, in particular the effect of buriti oil, needs to be further evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biochemical and murine parameters and the vitamin A and E status in young rats fed with diets supplemented with crude or refined buriti oil. The animals (n = 30) were randomized into three groups receiving diet added of soybean oil (control), crude buriti oil (CBO) and refined buriti oil (RBO) for 28 days. Rats fed with diet added of refined buriti oil (RBO) showed reduced total cholesterol (up to 60.27%), LDL (64.75%), triglycerides (55.47%) and enzyme aspartate transaminase (21.57%) compared to those fed with diet added of crude oil. Serum and hepatic retinol and tocopherol were higher by two to three times in CBO and RBO groups compared to the control group, but no differences were observed for murine parameters. The results indicate that buriti oil is an important source of the antioxidant vitamins A and E, and refined buriti oil is suggested as alternative to improve the lipid profile of healthy rats.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity or speciation? A case from a clonal marine organism

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Clonal marine organisms exhibit high levels of morphological variation. Morphological differences may be a response to environmental factors but also they can be attributed to accumulated genetic differences due to disruption of gene flow among populations. In this study, we examined the extensive morphological variation (of 14 characters) in natural populations observed in the gorgonian Eunicea flexuosa, a widely distributed Caribbean octocoral. Eco-phenotypic and genetic effects were evaluated by reciprocal transplants of colonies inhabiting opposite ends of the depth gradient and analysis of population genetics of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, respectively. Results Significant differences (P < 0.001) in 14 morphological traits were found among colonies inhabiting 12 locations distributed in seven reefs in southwest Puerto Rico. Results from principal component analysis indicated the presence of two groups based on depth distribution, suggesting the presence of two discrete morphotypes (i.e. shallow type < 5 m and deep type > 17 m). A discriminant function analysis based on a priori univariate and multivariate analyses (which separated the colonies in morphotypes) correctly classified 93% of the colonies for each environment. Light, water motion and sediment transport might influence the distribution of the two morphotypes. Reaction norms of morphological characters of colonies reciprocally transplanted showed gradual significant changes through the 15 months of transplantation. Sclerites of shallow water colonies became larger when transplanted to deeper environments and vice versa, but neither of the two transplanted groups overlapped with the residents' morphology. Genetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes suggested that such discrete morphology and non-overlapping phenotypic plasticity is correlated with the presence of two independent evolutionary lineages. The distribution of the lineages is non-random and may be related to

  19. Strong natural selection on juveniles maintains a narrow adult hybrid zone in a broadcast spawner.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2014-12-01

    Natural selection can maintain and help form species across different habitats, even when dispersal is high. Selection against inferior migrants (immigrant inviability) acts when locally adapted populations suffer high mortality on dispersal to unsuitable habitats. Habitat-specific populations undergoing divergent selection via immigrant inviability should thus show (1) a change in the ratio of adapted to nonadapted individuals among age/size classes and (2) a cline (defined by the environmental gradient) as selection counterbalances migration. Here we examine the frequencies of two depth-segregated lineages in juveniles and adults of a Caribbean octocoral, Eunicea flexuosa. Distributions of the two lineages in both shallow and deep environments were more distinct when inferred from adults than juveniles. Despite broad larval dispersal, we also found an extremely narrow hybrid zone (<100 m), with coincident clines for molecular and morphological characters of the host coral and its algal symbiont. Effective dispersal estimates derived from the hybrid zone are remarkably small (<20 m) for a broadcast spawner. The large selection coefficient against mismatched genotypes derived from cohort data is consistent with that from field transplant experiments. Narrow hybrid zones and limited effective dispersal may be a common outcome of long periods of postsettlement, prereproductive selection across steep ecological gradients. Strong diversifying selection provides a mechanism to explain the prevalence of depth-segregated sibling species in the sea.

  20. Population structure among octocoral adults and recruits identifies scale dependent patterns of population isolation in The Bahamas

    PubMed Central

    Porto-Hannes, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of dispersal and connectivity of the Caribbean gorgonian Antillogorgia elisabethae in The Bahamas were assessed in both adults and recently settled recruits from 13 sites using microsatellite loci. Adult populations along the Little Bahama Bank (LBB) exhibited a clear pattern of isolation by distance (IBD) which described 86% of the variance in pairwise genetic distances. Estimates of dispersal based on the IBD model suggested dispersal distances along the LBB on the order of 100 m. Increasing the spatial scale to include sites separated by open ocean generated an apparent IBD signal but the relationship had a greater slope and explained less of the variance. This relationship with distance reflected both stepping stone based IBD and regional differentiation probably created by ocean currents and barriers to dispersal that are correlated with geographic distance. Analysis of recruits from 4 sites on the LBB from up to 6 years did not detect differences between years nor differences with adult populations. The result suggests that neither selection on recruits nor inter-annual variation in dispersal affected adult population structure. Assignment tests of recruits indicated the most likely sources of the recruits were the local or adjacent populations. Most of the patterning in population structure in the northern Bahamas can be explained by geographic distance and oceanographic connectivity. Recognition of these complex patterns is important in developing management plans for A. elisabethae and in understanding the effects of disturbance to adult populations of A. elisabethae and similar species with limited dispersal. PMID:26157606

  1. Species boundaries in the absence of morphological, ecological or geographical differentiation in the Red Sea octocoral genus Ovabunda (Alcyonacea: Xeniidae).

    PubMed

    McFadden, Catherine S; Haverkort-Yeh, Roxanne; Reynolds, Alexandra M; Halàsz, Anna; Quattrini, Andrea M; Forsman, Zac H; Benayahu, Yehuda; Toonen, Robert J

    2017-07-01

    The development of coalescent-based and other multilocus methods for species delimitation has facilitated the identification of cryptic species complexes across the tree of life. A recent taxonomic revision of the ecologically important soft coral genus Ovabunda validated 11morphospecies, all with type localities and overlapping geographic ranges in the Red Sea. A subsequent molecular phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial and 28S nrDNA genes divided the genus into just two clades, with no apparent genetic distinctions among morphospecies. To further explore species boundaries among morphospecies of Ovabunda we sequenced three additional nuclear genes (ITS, ATPSα, ATPSβ), and obtained data for 1332 unlinked SNPs from restriction-site associated DNA sequencing. Both coalescent-based and allele-sharing species delimitation analyses supported four species of Ovabunda, each of which included multiple morphotypes encompassing the full range of morphological variation observed within the genus. All four species occurred over the same depth range of 5-41m, and were sympatric at sites separated by 1100km in the Red Sea. The only characters that have been found to distinguish three of the four species are diagnostic substitutions in the nuclear genome; the fourth differs by exhibiting polyp pulsation, a behavioral trait that can be assessed only in live colonies. The lack of any obvious morphological, life history, ecological or geographical differences among these four species begs the question of what drove the evolution and maintenance of reproductive isolating mechanisms in this cryptic species complex. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Niche divergence by deep-sea octocorals in the genus Callogorgia across the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Georgian, Samuel E; Byrnes, Luke; Stevens, Alex; Falco, Rosalia; Cordes, Erik E

    2013-08-01

    Environmental variables that are correlated with depth have been suggested to be among the major forces underlying speciation in the deep sea. This study incorporated phylogenetics and ecological niche models (ENM) to examine whether congeneric species of Callogorgia (Octocorallia: Primnoidae) occupy different ecological niches across the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) and whether this niche divergence could be important in the evolution of these closely related species. Callogorgia americana americana, Callogorgia americana delta and Callogorgia gracilis were documented at 13 sites in the GoM (250-1000 m) from specimen collections and extensive video observations. On a first order, these species were separated by depth, with C. gracilis occurring at the shallowest sites, C. a. americana at mid-depths and C. a. delta at the deepest sites. Callogorgia a. delta was associated with areas of increased seep activity, whereas C. gracilis and C. a. americana were associated with narrow, yet warmer, temperature ranges and did not occur near cold seeps. ENM background and identity tests revealed little to no overlap in ecological niches between species. Temporal calibration of the phylogeny revealed the formation of the Isthmus of Panama was a vicariance event that may explain some of the patterns of speciation within this genus. These results elucidate the potential mechanisms for speciation in the deep sea, emphasizing both bathymetric speciation and vicariance events in the evolution of a genus across multiple regions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Variation in lipid and free fatty acid content during spawning in two temperate octocorals with different reproductive strategies: surface versus internal brooder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viladrich, Núria; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Tsounis, Georgios; Chocarro, Blanca; Martínez-Quitana, Angela; Ambroso, Stefano; Madurell, Teresa; Rossi, Sergio

    2016-09-01

    This study investigates the energetic investment during spawning of two Mediterranean gorgonians characterized by different reproductive strategies: Corallium rubrum (internal brooder) and Paramuricea clavata (surface brooder). Sexual products (number of oocytes and spermatic sacs) were quantified, and biochemical characteristics (lipid content and free fatty acid content and composition) were determined to investigate the parental energetic investment and demand in reproduction. Results suggested that the majority of the energetic cost was due to reproductive activity (i.e., gametogenesis and spawning). The two species exhibited different life history strategies, with P. clavata investing more energy in reproduction than C. rubrum. However, P. clavata is reproductively more sensitive to inter-annual changes in environmental conditions.

  4. Effectiveness of a deep-water coral conservation area: Evaluation of its boundaries and changes in octocoral communities over 13 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennecke, Swaantje; Metaxas, Anna

    2017-03-01

    Over the past 15 years, multiple areas in the North Atlantic have been closed to destructive fishing practices to protect vulnerable deep-water coral ecosystems, known to provide habitat for diverse associated fauna. Despite the growing number of conservation measures, long-term studies on the recovery of deep-water coral communities from fisheries impacts remain scarce. In the Gulf of Maine, the Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area (NECCCA)1

  5. 50 CFR 622.3 - Relation to other laws and regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock.... Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do not apply... National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart P). (2) Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (15...

  6. 50 CFR 622.3 - Relation to other laws and regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... section. (b) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and... application. Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do...) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart P). (2) Gray's Reef National...

  7. 50 CFR 622.3 - Relation to other laws and regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ...) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock.... Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do not apply... National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart P). (2) Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (15...

  8. 50 CFR 622.3 - Relation to other laws and regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    .... 622.3 Section 622.3 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock.... Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do not...

  9. 50 CFR 622.3 - Relation to other laws and regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... section. (b) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and... application. Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do...) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart P). (2) Gray's Reef National Marine...

  10. 50 CFR 622.222 - Prohibited gear and methods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... ATLANTIC Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region § 622.222... tool may not be used in the South Atlantic EEZ to take allowable octocoral, prohibited coral, or...

  11. 50 CFR 622.222 - Prohibited gear and methods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... ATLANTIC Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region § 622.222... tool may not be used in the South Atlantic EEZ to take allowable octocoral, prohibited coral, or...

  12. A new steroidal glycoside from a Caribbean gorgonian, Eunicea sp.1.

    PubMed

    Cóbar, O M; Rodríguez, A D; Padilla, O L

    1997-11-01

    A new saponin possessing a pregnene-derived aglycon (1) has been isolated from the Caribbean gorgonian octocoral Eunicea sp. The structure of the new compound was assigned on the basis of chemical and spectral studies.

  13. 76 FR 59373 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Generic Annual Catch Limits...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-26

    ...) for Reef Fish Resources, Red Drum, Shrimp, and Coral and Coral Reefs for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for... Coral and Coral Reefs FMP. The majority of harvest of octocorals occurs in waters under the...

  14. Antifouling activities against colonizer marine bacteria of extracts from marine invertebrates collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina).

    PubMed

    Mora-Cristancho, Jennyfer A; Arévalo-Ferro, Catalina; Ramos, Freddy A; Tello, Edisson; Duque, Carmenza; Lhullier, Cintia; Falkenberg, Miriam; Schenkel, Eloir Paulo

    2011-01-01

    The growth inhibition of 12 native marine bacteria isolated from Aplysina sponge surfaces, the shell of a bivalve, and Phytagel immersed for 48 h in sea water were used as indicator of the antifouling activity of the extracts of 39 marine organisms (octocorals, sponges, algae, and zoanthid) collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina). Gram-negative bacteria represented 75% of the isolates; identified strains belonged to Oceanobacillus iheyensis, Ochrobactrum pseudogrignonense, Vibrio campbellii, Vibrio harveyi, and Bacillus megaterium species and seven strains were classified at genus level by the 16S rRNA sequencing method. The extracts of the octocorals Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, four Eunicea octocorals, and the sponges Topsentia ophiraphidites, Agelas citrina, Neopetrosia carbonaria, Monanchora arbuscula, Cliona tenuis, Iotrochota imminuta, and Ptilocaulis walpersii were the most active, thus suggesting those species as antifoulant producers. This is the first study of natural antifoulants from marine organisms collected on the Colombian and Brazilian coasts.

  15. Fish, fans and hydroids: host species of pygmy seahorses.

    PubMed

    Reijnen, Bastian T; van der Meij, Sancia E T; van Ofwegen, Leen P

    2011-01-01

    An overview of the octocoral and hydrozoan host species of pygmy seahorses is provided based on literature records and recently collected field data for Hippocampus bargibanti, Hippocampus denise and Hippocampus pontohi. Seven new associations are recognized and an overview of the so far documented host species is given. A detailed re-examination of octocoral type material and a review of the taxonomic history of the alcyonacean genera Annella (Subergorgiidae) and Muricella (Acanthogorgiidae) are included as baseline for future revisions. The host specificity and colour morphs of pygmy seahorses are discussed, as well as the reliability of (previous) identifications and conservation issues.

  16. Fish, fans and hydroids: host species of pygmy seahorses

    PubMed Central

    Reijnen, Bastian T.; van der Meij, Sancia E.T.; van Ofwegen, Leen P.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract An overview of the octocoral and hydrozoan host species of pygmy seahorses is provided based on literature records and recently collected field data for Hippocampus bargibanti, Hippocampus denise and Hippocampus pontohi. Seven new associations are recognized and an overview of the so far documented host species is given. A detailed re-examination of octocoral type material and a review of the taxonomic history of the alcyonacean genera Annella (Subergorgiidae) and Muricella (Acanthogorgiidae) are included as baseline for future revisions. The host specificity and colour morphs of pygmy seahorses are discussed, as well as the reliability of (previous) identifications and conservation issues. PMID:21747677

  17. The Impacts of Climate Change on Mauritia Felxuosa and Biodiversity in Neotropical Cerrãdo Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Mayle, F.; Iriarte, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most widely distributed palms in the Neotropics. They are found in in warm, wet lowland environments ranging from dense tropical rainforests to monospecific communities restricted to flooded drainage basins. The monospecific stands of M. flexuosa communities provide structural complexity and habitat diversity for unique terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna. These communities contribute to enhanced Neotropical diversity from both a taxonomic (α- diversity) and landscape (β-diversity) perspective. Conservation plans have begun to target M. flexuosa palm wetlands as potential refugia and their role in protection of watersheds. However, the long-term development and evolution of these systems is poorly understood. Numerous paleoecological studies from Amazonia suggest that the present day species distribution of M. flexuosa underwent a dramatic increase during the Late Holocene (after ca. 3000 cal yr. BP) that is often coupled with an increased in charcoal accumulation. Some researchers have interpreted these data as evidence for extensive human landscape modification. However, archaeological evidence supporting human landscape modification of M. flexuosa habitats is lacking. To investigate the long-term development of M. flexuosa, a 15,000-year high-resolution sedimentary record was analyzed for charcoal, phytolith and isotope data from Huanchaca Mesetta, Bolivia. To date, there is no evidence for human modification on the plateau, thus this records provides a control study to investigate the role of natural climate variability in the evolution of M. flexuosa communities. Increased insolation driven by Milankovitch precessional forcing resulted in an expansion of the South American Summer Monsoon, increased precipitation and a lengthening of the wet season, supporting the establishment of the modern palm swamp vegetation after 5,000 cal yr BP. Increased charcoal accumulation is likely associated with increased lightning ignitions

  18. The condition of scleractinian corals and associated reef fauna in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, octocorals, sponges, fishes, and foraminifera were assessed at 24 sites near La Parguera, Puerto Rico in fall 2008. Sites were selected to coincide with locations sampled by NOAA in 2005 for sediment contaminants. Our goals were to evaluate the sensitivity o...

  19. Coral reef condition and benthic sedimentation threat in four regions of south Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, gorgonian octocorals, sponges and fishes were assessed near the cities of LaParguera, Guánica, Guayanilla, and Jobos along the southern coast of Puerto Rico in November – December 2010. Survey sites were targeted near areas with varying benthic...

  20. Characterization of bacterial communities associated with deep-sea corals on Gulf of Alaska seamounts.

    PubMed

    Penn, Kevin; Wu, Dongying; Eisen, Jonathan A; Ward, Naomi

    2006-02-01

    Although microbes associated with shallow-water corals have been reported, deepwater coral microbes are poorly characterized. A cultivation-independent analysis of Alaskan seamount octocoral microflora showed that Proteobacteria (classes Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria), Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria dominate and vary in abundance. More sampling is needed to understand the basis and significance of this variation.

  1. Coral reef condition and benthic sedimentation threat in four regions of south Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, gorgonian octocorals, sponges and fishes were assessed near the cities of LaParguera, Guánica, Guayanilla, and Jobos along the southern coast of Puerto Rico in November – December 2010. Survey sites were targeted near areas with varying benthic...

  2. Seasonal Stability in the Microbiomes of Temperate Gorgonians and the Red Coral Corallium rubrum Across the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    van de Water, Jeroen A J M; Voolstra, Christian R; Rottier, Cecile; Cocito, Silvia; Peirano, Andrea; Allemand, Denis; Ferrier-Pagès, Christine

    2017-07-05

    Populations of key benthic habitat-forming octocoral species have declined significantly in the Mediterranean Sea due to mass mortality events caused by microbial disease outbreaks linked to high summer seawater temperatures. Recently, we showed that the microbial communities of these octocorals are relatively structured; however, our knowledge on the seasonal dynamics of these microbiomes is still limited. To investigate their seasonal stability, we collected four soft gorgonian species (Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, Eunicella verrucosa and Leptogorgia sarmentosa) and the precious red coral (Corallium rubrum) from two coastal locations with different terrestrial impact levels in the Mediterranean Sea, and used next-generation amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The microbiomes of all soft gorgonian species were dominated by the same 'core microbiome' bacteria belonging to the Endozoicomonas and the Cellvibrionales clade BD1-7, whereas the red coral microbiome was primarily composed of 'core' Spirochaetes, Oceanospirillales ME2 and Parcubacteria. The associations with these bacterial taxa were relatively consistent over time at each location for each octocoral species. However, differences in microbiome composition and seasonal dynamics were observed between locations and could primarily be attributed to locally variant bacteria. Overall, our data provide further evidence of the intricate symbiotic relationships that exist between Mediterranean octocorals and their associated microbes, which are ancient and highly conserved over both space and time, and suggest regulation of the microbiome composition by the host, depending on local conditions.

  3. 50 CFR 622.224 - Area closures to protect South Atlantic corals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., AND SOUTH ATLANTIC Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region § 622.224 Area closures to protect South Atlantic corals. (a) Allowable octocoral closed area. No person... corals. 622.224 Section 622.224 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT,...

  4. ROLE OF CORAL DISEASES AND ANTHROPOGENIC STRESSORS ON TROPIC MARINE CORAL REEFS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stony (scleractinian) and soft (octocorals) corals throughout the Western Atlantic have been affected by several fatal diseases in the last two decades. In many locations the communities have not recovered from these diseases and the ecosystem has permanently changed. Several hyp...

  5. ROLE OF CORAL DISEASES AND ANTHROPOGENIC STRESSORS ON TROPIC MARINE CORAL REEFS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stony (scleractinian) and soft (octocorals) corals throughout the Western Atlantic have been affected by several fatal diseases in the last two decades. In many locations the communities have not recovered from these diseases and the ecosystem has permanently changed. Several hyp...

  6. [Secondary metabolites, lethality and antimicrobial activity of extracts from three corals and three marine mollusks from Sucre, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Ordaz, Gabriel; D'Armas, Haydelba; Yáñez, Dayanis; Hernández, Juan; Camacho, Angel

    2010-06-01

    The study of biochemical activity of extracts obtained from marine organisms is gaining interest as some have proved to have efficient health or industrial applications. To evaluate lethality and antimicrobial activities, some chemical tests were performed on crude extracts of the octocorals Eunicea sp., Muricea sp. and Pseudopterogorgia acerosa and the mollusks Pteria colymbus, Phyllonotus pomum and Chicoreus brevifrons, collected in Venezuelan waters. The presence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, unsaturated sterols and pentacyclic triterpenes in all invertebrates, was evidenced. Additionally, sesquiterpenlactones, saponins, tannins, cyanogenic and cardiotonic glycosides were also detected in some octocoral extracts, suggesting that biosynthesis of these metabolites is typical in this group. From the lethality bioassays, all extracts resulted lethal to Artemia salina (LC50<1000 microg/ml) with an increased of lethal activity with exposition time. P. pomum extract showed the highest lethality rate (LC50=46.8 microg/ml). Compared to the octocorals, mollusks extracts displayed more activity and a greater action spectrum against different bacterial strains, whereas octocorals also inhibited some fungi strains growth. Staphylococcus aureus was the most susceptible to the antimicrobial power of the extracts (66.7%), whereas Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger were not affected. The antibiosis shown by marine organisms extracts indicates that some of their biosynthesized metabolites are physiologically active, and may have possible cytotoxic potential or as a source of antibiotic components.

  7. Briareolate Esters from the Gorgonian Briareum asbestinum

    PubMed Central

    Meginley, Rian J.; Gupta, Prasoon; Schulz, Thomas C.; McLean, Amanda B.; Robins, Allan J.; West, Lyndon M.

    2012-01-01

    Two new briarane diterpenoids briareolate esters J (1) and K (2) were isolated from the methanolic extract of the octocoral Briareum asbestinum collected off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida. The structures of briaranes 1 and 2 were elucidated by interpretation of spectroscopic data. Briareolate ester K (2) showed weak growth inhibition activity against human embryonic stem cells (BG02). PMID:23015768

  8. 76 FR 17839 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Northeast Region Permit Family of Forms

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-31

    ...--Permit Transfer, Notification Harvest Activity-- Aquaculture Live Rock, Request for Octocoral or... Form, South Atlantic Golden Crab Vessel Form, Colombian Treaty Vessel Form, Aquaculture Live Rock Site... minutes; Aquaculture Live Rock Site Evaluation Report, 45 minutes; Rock Shrimp Vessel Operator Permit Card...

  9. Characterization of Bacterial Communities Associated with Deep-Sea Corals on Gulf of Alaska Seamounts†

    PubMed Central

    Penn, Kevin; Wu, Dongying; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Ward, Naomi

    2006-01-01

    Although microbes associated with shallow-water corals have been reported, deepwater coral microbes are poorly characterized. A cultivation-independent analysis of Alaskan seamount octocoral microflora showed that Proteobacteria (classes Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria), Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria dominate and vary in abundance. More sampling is needed to understand the basis and significance of this variation. PMID:16461727

  10. The condition of scleractinian corals and associated reef fauna in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, octocorals, sponges, fishes, and foraminifera were assessed at 24 sites near La Parguera, Puerto Rico in fall 2008. Sites were selected to coincide with locations sampled by NOAA in 2005 for sediment contaminants. Our goals were to evaluate the sensitivity o...

  11. Species of Elasmogorgia and Euplexaura (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from Japan with a discussion about the genus Filigella

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Asako K.; van Ofwegen, Leen P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Octocorals with thread-like colony shape have been re-examined, mainly from Japanese waters. The holotypes of Elasmogorgia filiformis and Filigella boninensis and a syntype of Filigella mitsukurii have been studied. Euplexaura arbuscula is identified and Euplexaura yayoii sp. n. described. PMID:27408532

  12. Species of Elasmogorgia and Euplexaura (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from Japan with a discussion about the genus Filigella.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Asako K; van Ofwegen, Leen P

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals with thread-like colony shape have been re-examined, mainly from Japanese waters. The holotypes of Elasmogorgia filiformis and Filigella boninensis and a syntype of Filigella mitsukurii have been studied. Euplexaura arbuscula is identified and Euplexaura yayoii sp. n. described.

  13. Influences of Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains, plant genotypes, and tissue types on the induction of transgenic hairy roots in Vitis species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated induction of transgenic hairy roots was previously demonstrated in Vitis vinifera L. and a few other Vitis species. In this study, 13 Vitis species, including V. aestivalis, V. afghanistan, V. champinii, V. doaniana, V. flexuosa, V. labrusca, V. nesbittiana, V. pal...

  14. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... flexuosa, Bent sea rod P. homomalla, Black sea rod Plexaurella dichotoma, Slit-pore sea rod P. fusifera P... starlet S. siderea, Massive starlet 4. Black Corals—Order Antipatharia Antipathes spp., Bushy black coral... Table 2 of Appendix A to Part 622—Caribbean Reef Fish Lutjanidae—Snappers Unit 1 Black snapper,...

  15. Effect of rice hull mulch on nutrient concentration of fertilized irrigation water

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Parboiled rice hulls are an effective mulch for controlling weeds in nursery containers. A layer of rice hulls between 1.25 and 2.5 cm deep has been shown to provide effective control of liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha), bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa), and creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata...

  16. Health of the coral reefs at the US Navy Base, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba: a preliminary report based on isotopic records from gorgonians.

    PubMed

    Risk, Michael J; Burchell, Meghan; Brunton, Dalston A; McCord, Michael R

    2014-06-15

    Specimens of the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla were sampled from several areas along the fringing reefs fronting the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Sample coverage extended from apparently healthy reefs in oceanic waters to declining reefs located in the plume of the drainage from upper parts of Guantánamo Bay. Tentacle tips were excised, and trunk sections were cut and polished. Stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (δ(15)N) and carbon indicate a strong correlation of reef health with proximity to the plume of the river. Of all the worldwide cases in which land-based sources of pollution have impacted reefs, this one may well be the most intractable. The US Navy has jurisdiction over the reefs, with the obligation to protect them, yet the threat comes down the river from Cuba.

  17. Allene oxide synthases and allene oxides.

    PubMed

    Tijet, Nathalie; Brash, Alan R

    2002-08-01

    Allene oxides are unstable epoxides formed by the enzymatic dehydration of the lipoxygenase products of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The allene oxide synthases are of two structurally-unrelated types. In plants, a subfamily of cytochromes P450, designated as CYP74A, use the hydroperoxides of linoleic and linolenic acids as substrate. Both the 9- and 13-hydroperoxides may be converted to allene oxides and subsequently give rise to plant signaling molecules. In corals, a catalase-related hemoprotein functions as the allene oxide synthase. These marine invertebrates, as well as starfish, form allene oxides from the 8R-hydroperoxide of arachidonic acid. The coral allene oxide synthase from Plexaura homomalla occurs as the N-terminal domain of a natural fusion protein with the 8R-lipoxygenase that forms its substrate. This enzyme may be involved in biosynthesis of the cyclopentenone eicosanoids such as the clavulones.

  18. The structure of coral allene oxide synthase reveals a catalase adapted for metabolism of a fatty acid hydroperoxide

    PubMed Central

    Oldham, Michael L.; Brash, Alan R.; Newcomer, Marcia E.

    2005-01-01

    8R-Lipoxygenase and allene oxide synthase (AOS) are parts of a naturally occurring fusion protein from the coral Plexaura homomalla. AOS catalyses the production of an unstable epoxide (an allene oxide) from the fatty acid hydroperoxide generated by the lipoxygenase activity. Here, we report the structure of the AOS domain and its striking structural homology to catalase. Whereas nominal sequence identity between the enzymes had been previously described, the extent of structural homology observed was not anticipated, given that this enzyme activity had been exclusively associated with the P450 superfamily, and conservation of a catalase fold without catalase activity is unprecedented. Whereas the heme environment is largely conserved, the AOS heme is planar and the distal histidine is flanked by two hydrogen-bonding residues. These critical differences likely facilitate the switch from a catalatic activity to that of a fatty acid hydroperoxidase. PMID:15625113

  19. The structure of coral allene oxide synthase reveals a catalase adapted for metabolism of a fatty acid hydroperoxide.

    PubMed

    Oldham, Michael L; Brash, Alan R; Newcomer, Marcia E

    2005-01-11

    8R-Lipoxygenase and allene oxide synthase (AOS) are parts of a naturally occurring fusion protein from the coral Plexaura homomalla. AOS catalyses the production of an unstable epoxide (an allene oxide) from the fatty acid hydroperoxide generated by the lipoxygenase activity. Here, we report the structure of the AOS domain and its striking structural homology to catalase. Whereas nominal sequence identity between the enzymes had been previously described, the extent of structural homology observed was not anticipated, given that this enzyme activity had been exclusively associated with the P450 superfamily, and conservation of a catalase fold without catalase activity is unprecedented. Whereas the heme environment is largely conserved, the AOS heme is planar and the distal histidine is flanked by two hydrogen-bonding residues. These critical differences likely facilitate the switch from a catalatic activity to that of a fatty acid hydroperoxidase.

  20. Polyhydroxylated Steroids from the Bamboo Coral Isis hippuris

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei-Hua; Wang, Shang-Kwei; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2011-01-01

    In previous studies on the secondary metabolites of the Taiwanese octocoral Isis hippuris, specimens have always been collected at Green Island. In the course of our studies on bioactive compounds from marine organisms, the acetone-solubles of the Taiwanese octocoral I. hippuris collected at Orchid Island have led to the isolation of five new polyoxygenated steroids: hipposterone M–O (1–3), hipposterol G (4) and hippuristeroketal A (5). The structures of these compounds were determined on the basis of their spectroscopic and physical data. The anti-HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) activity of 1–5 and their cytotoxicity against selected cell lines were evaluated. Compound 2 exhibited inhibitory activity against HCMV, with an EC50 value of 6.0 μg/mL. PMID:22072998

  1. Polyhydroxylated steroids from the bamboo coral Isis hippuris.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Hua; Wang, Shang-Kwei; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2011-01-01

    In previous studies on the secondary metabolites of the Taiwanese octocoral Isis hippuris, specimens have always been collected at Green Island. In the course of our studies on bioactive compounds from marine organisms, the acetone-solubles of the Taiwanese octocoral I. hippuris collected at Orchid Island have led to the isolation of five new polyoxygenated steroids: hipposterone M-O (1-3), hipposterol G (4) and hippuristeroketal A (5). The structures of these compounds were determined on the basis of their spectroscopic and physical data. The anti-HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) activity of 1-5 and their cytotoxicity against selected cell lines were evaluated. Compound 2 exhibited inhibitory activity against HCMV, with an EC(50) value of 6.0 μg/mL.

  2. Diversity of Zoanthids (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia) on Hawaiian Seamounts: Description of the Hawaiian Gold Coral and Additional Zoanthids

    PubMed Central

    Sinniger, Frederic; Ocaña, Oscar V.; Baco, Amy R.

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian gold coral has a history of exploitation from the deep slopes and seamounts of the Hawaiian Islands as one of the precious corals commercialised in the jewellery industry. Due to its peculiar characteristic of building a scleroproteic skeleton, this zoanthid has been referred as Gerardia sp. (a junior synonym of Savalia Nardo, 1844) but never formally described or examined by taxonomists despite its commercial interest. While collection of Hawaiian gold coral is now regulated, globally seamounts habitats are increasingly threatened by a variety of anthropogenic impacts. However, impact assessment studies and conservation measures cannot be taken without consistent knowledge of the biodiversity of such environments. Recently, multiple samples of octocoral-associated zoanthids were collected from the deep slopes of the islands and seamounts of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The molecular and morphological examination of these zoanthids revealed the presence of at least five different species including the gold coral. Among these only the gold coral appeared to create its own skeleton, two other species are simply using the octocoral as substrate, and the situation is not clear for the final two species. Phylogenetically, all these species appear related to zoanthids of the genus Savalia as well as to the octocoral-associated zoanthid Corallizoanthus tsukaharai, suggesting a common ancestor to all octocoral-associated zoanthids. The diversity of zoanthids described or observed during this study is comparable to levels of diversity found in shallow water tropical coral reefs. Such unexpected species diversity is symptomatic of the lack of biological exploration and taxonomic studies of the diversity of seamount hexacorals. PMID:23326345

  3. Diversity of zoanthids (anthozoa: hexacorallia) on Hawaiian seamounts: description of the Hawaiian gold coral and additional zoanthids.

    PubMed

    Sinniger, Frederic; Ocaña, Oscar V; Baco, Amy R

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian gold coral has a history of exploitation from the deep slopes and seamounts of the Hawaiian Islands as one of the precious corals commercialised in the jewellery industry. Due to its peculiar characteristic of building a scleroproteic skeleton, this zoanthid has been referred as Gerardia sp. (a junior synonym of Savalia Nardo, 1844) but never formally described or examined by taxonomists despite its commercial interest. While collection of Hawaiian gold coral is now regulated, globally seamounts habitats are increasingly threatened by a variety of anthropogenic impacts. However, impact assessment studies and conservation measures cannot be taken without consistent knowledge of the biodiversity of such environments. Recently, multiple samples of octocoral-associated zoanthids were collected from the deep slopes of the islands and seamounts of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The molecular and morphological examination of these zoanthids revealed the presence of at least five different species including the gold coral. Among these only the gold coral appeared to create its own skeleton, two other species are simply using the octocoral as substrate, and the situation is not clear for the final two species. Phylogenetically, all these species appear related to zoanthids of the genus Savalia as well as to the octocoral-associated zoanthid Corallizoanthus tsukaharai, suggesting a common ancestor to all octocoral-associated zoanthids. The diversity of zoanthids described or observed during this study is comparable to levels of diversity found in shallow water tropical coral reefs. Such unexpected species diversity is symptomatic of the lack of biological exploration and taxonomic studies of the diversity of seamount hexacorals.

  4. Planulae brooding and acquisition of zooxanthellae in Xenia macrospiculata (Cnidaria: Octocorallia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achituv, Y.; Benayahu, Y.; Hanania, J.

    1992-09-01

    Brooding in the octocoral Xenia macrospiculata is described. Young planulae of X. macrospiculata were found in brooding pouches located below the anthocodia among the polyps’ cavities. These cavities are connected by and lined with ectoderm. Detached zooxanthellae were present within the brooding pouches, and are most probably acquired later by the planulae. The zooxanthellae enter into ectodermal ameboid cells by phagocytosis, and are then transferred to the endoderm.

  5. Survey of 2,11-cyclized cembranoids from Caribbean sources.

    PubMed

    Cóbar, Oscar M

    2009-01-01

    This review covers the literature published since the report of the first compound to December 2006, for marine natural 2,11-cyclized cembranoids isolated from Caribbean sources, with 30 citations, most of them from 2000 to 2006, referring to compounds isolated from the Caribbean gorgonian octocorals Briareum asbestinum, Briareum polyanthes, and Erithropodiun caribaeorum. The emphasis is on all of these natural compounds isolated to date, with an overview of their biogenetic pathway and relevant biological activity.

  6. Reduced nitrogen has a greater effect than oxidised nitrogen on dry heathland vegetation.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, L J L; Peters, C J H; Ashmore, M R; Roelofs, J G M

    2008-08-01

    We investigated the effects of different ratios of reduced (NH4+) versus oxidised (NO3(-)) nitrogen in deposition on heathland and species-rich grassland vegetation at high nitrogen deposition levels in large mesocosms filled with nutrient-poor soils to which different NH4+/NO3(-) ratios were applied. The response of the forbs, Antennaria dioica, Arnica montana, Gentiana pneumonanthe, Thymus serpyllum, the grasses Danthonia decumbens, Deschampsia flexuosa, Nardus stricta and the shrub Calluna vulgaris was recorded. The forb A. dioica and the grass D.decumbens preferred low NH4+/NO3(-) ratios and were characterised by a negative correlation between NH4+/NO3(-) ratios and biomass and survival, whereas the grasses N. stricta and D. flexuosa showed no correlation with NH4+/NO3(-) ratios. Lime addition eliminated the negative effects of high NH4+ concentrations in deposition for A. dioica and the grass D. decumbens. The implications of these findings for heathland vegetations are discussed.

  7. Changes to the biomass and species composition of Ulva sp. on Porphyra aquaculture rafts, along the coastal radial sandbank of the Southern Yellow Sea.

    PubMed

    Huo, Yuanzi; Han, Hongbin; Shi, Honghua; Wu, Hailong; Zhang, Jianheng; Yu, Kefeng; Xu, Ren; Liu, Caicai; Zhang, Zhenglong; Liu, Kefu; He, Peimin; Ding, Dewen

    2015-04-15

    Compositions, changes and biomass of attached Ulva species on Porphyra rafts along the radial sandbank in the Yellow Sea were investigated, and potential contributions to green tides was analyzed. Ulva prolifera, Ulva flexuosa and Ulva linza were all appeared throughout the investigated period. U. prolifera and U. flexuosa dominated attached Ulva population on Porphyra rafts. Attached Ulva species biomass showed obviously spatial and temporal variations. Temperature, Ulva microscopic propagules and human activities were main factors to influence attached Ulva species biomass. The total attached Ulva species biomass was more than 20,000 fresh weight tons in April, and the green tide causative species U. prolifera accounted 51.03% in April 2013 before green tides occurred. The high biomass of attached Ulva species would contribute most to green tides in the Yellow Sea. But how attached Ulva species on Porphyra rafts contributing to green tides in the Yellow Sea should be further studied.

  8. Morphological and genetic diversity of Briareum (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) from the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Yu; Reimer, James Davis

    2014-10-01

    The primary problem hindering the study of octocorals is the disordered situation regarding their taxonomy, chiefly caused by insufficient knowledge of valid morphological taxonomic characters. Briareum is an octocoral genus found in the Atlantic and Pacific in shallow tropical and subtropical waters, and occurs in both encrusting and branching colony forms. Their simple morphology and morphological plasticity have hindered taxonomic understanding of this genus. In this study three morphologically distinct types (= type-1, -2, and -3) of Briareum from the Ryukyu Archipelago and their genetic diversity were examined. Colony, anthostele morphology, and sclerite length were examined for each type. Four molecular markers (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, mitochondrial mismatch repair gene, nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA, internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)) were used to evaluate molecular phylogenetic status of these variations. Although one morphological type ("deep" small colonies, = type-3) showed small differences in nuclear ITS2 sequences compared to the other two types, the remaining types had identical sequences for all molecular markers examined. The results suggest extremely low genetic diversity despite highly variable morphology of Briareum species in Okinawa. Nevertheless, considering the distribution patterns and discontinuous morphology of type-3 compared to the other two morphotypes, genetic isolation of type-3 is plausible. In Briareum, small variances in nuclear ITS2 sequences of type-3 may have much more importance than in molecular phylogenies of other octocorals. Further phylogenetic investigations and comparison with Briareum specimens from other regions are necessary to conclusively taxonomically identify the three types.

  9. The Melithaeidae (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) of the Ryukyu Archipelago: molecular and morphological examinations.

    PubMed

    Aguilar-Hurtado, Catalina; Nonaka, Masanori; Reimer, James D

    2012-07-01

    The family Melithaeidae (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) is distributed in the West Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. They are most abundant in warmer waters but can also be found in temperate waters. At present six genera are assigned to this family (Melithaea, Mopsella, Clathraria, Acabaria, Wrightella and Asperaxis), however overlapping characteristics make this group's taxonomic identification difficult and their relationships unclear. There are only a few reports from the Ryukyu Archipelago in southern Japan of melithaeids and most other octocorals, despite the islands being an area of high octocoral diversity. To help resolve the taxonomic confusion in this family, samples from various Ryukyu Archipelago locations were collected and DNA sequences of nuclear 28S ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were obtained. Additionally, SEM micrographs of the sclerites of specimens were taken to further confirm the molecular results. Three strongly supported clades were recovered from the COI and 28S rDNA analyses, corresponding to Melithaea, Acabaria, and Mopsella, and in most cases clades were clearly related with the sclerite shape reported for each genus. These results show clearly that molecular differences are present between the three genera, and also demonstrates the strong need of other molecular markers for resolving intra-generic phylogenies. Our results provide baseline data for future studies of this octocoral family, not only on taxonomy, but also with regards to their distribution in the Ryukyu Islands.

  10. Comparative molecular cytogenetic characterization of seven Deschampsia (Poaceae) species.

    PubMed

    Amosova, Alexandra V; Bolsheva, Nadezhda L; Zoshchuk, Svyatoslav A; Twardovska, Maryana O; Yurkevich, Olga Yu; Andreev, Igor O; Samatadze, Tatiana E; Badaeva, Ekaterina D; Kunakh, Viktor A; Muravenko, Olga V

    2017-01-01

    The genus Deschampsia P. Beauv (Poaceae) involves a group of widespread polymorphic species. Some of them are highly tolerant to stressful and variable environmental conditions, and D. antarctica is one of the only two vascular plants growing in Antarctic. This species is a source of useful for selection traits and a valuable model for studying an environmental stress tolerance in plants. Genome diversity and comparative chromosomal phylogeny within the genus have not been studied yet as karyotypes of most Deschampsia species are poorly investigated. We firstly conducted a comparative molecular cytogenetic analysis of D. antarctica (Antarctic Peninsula) and related species from various localities (D. cespitosa, D. danthonioides, D. elongata, D. flexuosa (= Avenella flexuosa), D. parvula and D. sukatschewii by fluorescence in situ hybridization with 45S and 5S rDNA, DAPI-banding and sequential rapid in situ hybridization with genomic DNA of D. antarctica, D. cespitosa, and D. flexuosa. Based on patterns of distribution of the examined markers, chromosomes of the studied species were identified. Within these species, common features as well as species peculiarities in their karyotypic structure and chromosomal distribution of molecular cytogenetic markers were characterized. Different chromosomal rearrangements were detected in D. antarctica, D. flexuosa, D. elongata and D. sukatschewii. In karyotypes of D. antarctica, D. cespitosa, D. elongata and D. sukatschewii, 0-3 B chromosomes possessed distinct DAPI-bands were observed. Our findings suggest that the genome evolution of the genus Deschampsia involved polyploidy and also different chromosomal rearrangements. The obtained results will help clarify the relationships within the genus Deschampsia, and can be a basis for the further genetic and biotechnological studies as well as for selection of plants tolerant to extreme habitats.

  11. A Survey of the Freshwater Mussels of the Lower Cumberland River from Barkley Dam Tailwater Downstream to the Ohio River.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-03-19

    relatively stable but contained only a few mussels. Only 1 Anodonta grandis, 1 Quadrula quadrula and 3 Proptera alata were found by divers (Table 1...in Table 2. Species found alive during the present study ."but not reported by Wilson and Clark for the lower river section include Anodonta grandis...retusa4 and Epioblasma flexuosa. The other three species, Cyclonaias tuberculata, Proptera laevissima and Anodonta imbecillis, probably still occur but in

  12. Peppermint trees shift their phosphorus-acquisition strategy along a strong gradient of plant-available phosphorus by increasing their transpiration at very low phosphorus availability.

    PubMed

    Huang, Gang; Hayes, Patrick E; Ryan, Megan H; Pang, Jiayin; Lambers, Hans

    2017-09-18

    Some plant species use different strategies to acquire phosphorus (P) dependent on environmental conditions, but studies investigating the relative significance of P-acquisition strategies with changing P availability are rare. We combined a natural P availability gradient and a glasshouse study with 10 levels of P supplies to investigate the roles of rhizosphere carboxylates and transpiration-driven mass flow in P acquisition by Agonis flexuosa. Leaf P concentrations of A. flexuosa decreased and leaf manganese (Mn) concentrations increased with decreasing soil P concentration along a dune chronosequence. In the glasshouse, in response to decreasing P supply, shoot growth and root length decreased, leaf P and Mn concentrations decreased, rhizosphere carboxylates decreased, transpiration rate and transpiration ratio increased and the percentage of root length colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was unchanged. Although it was proved leaf Mn concentration was a good proxy for rhizosphere carboxylate amounts in the glasshouse study, the enhanced plant P acquisition at low P supply was related to transpiration-induced mass flow rather than carboxylates. We deduced that the higher leaf Mn concentrations in low soil P availability of the field were likely a result of increased mass flow. In summary, as soil P availability declined, A. flexuosa can shift its P-acquisition strategy away from a mycorrhizal mode towards one involving increased mass flow.

  13. Biotic contexts alter metal sequestration and AMF effects on plant growth in soils polluted with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Glassman, Sydney I; Casper, Brenda B

    2012-07-01

    Investigating how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-plant interactions vary with edaphic conditions provides an opportunity to test the context-dependency of interspecific interactions. The relationship between AMF and their host plants in the context of other soil microbes was studied along a gradient of heavy metal contamination originating at the site of zinc smelters that operated for a century. The site is currently under restoration. Native C3 grasses have reestablished, and C4 grasses native to the region but not the site were introduced. Interactions involving the native mycorrhizal fungi, non-mycorrhizal soil microbes, soil, one C3 grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), and one C4 grass (Sorghastrum nutans) were investigated using soils from the two extremes of the contamination gradient in a full factorial greenhouse experiment. After 12 weeks, plant biomass and root colonization by AMF and non-mycorrhizal microbes were measured. Plants from both species grew much larger in soil from low-contaminated (LC) origin than high-contaminated (HC) origin. For S. nutans, the addition of a non-AMF soil microbial wash of either origin increased the efficacy of AMF from LC soils but decreased the efficacy of AMF from HC soils in promoting plant growth. Furthermore, there was high mortality of S. nutans in HC soil, where plants with AMF from HC died sooner. For D. flexuosa, plant biomass did not vary with AMF source or the microbial wash treatment or their interaction. While AMF origin did not affect root colonization of D. flexuosa by AMF, the presence and origin of AMF did affect the number of non-mycorrhizal (NMF) morphotypes and NMF root colonization. Adding non-AMF soil biota reduced Zn concentrations in shoots of D. flexuosa. Thus the non-AMF biotic context affected heavy metal sequestration and associated NMF in D. flexuosa, and it interacted with AMF to affect plant biomass in S. nutans. Our results should be useful for improving our basic ecological understanding of

  14. Comparing molecular variation to morphological species designations in the deep-sea coral Narella reveals new insights into seamount coral ranges.

    PubMed

    Baco, Amy R; Cairns, Stephen D

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have countered the paradigm of seamount isolation, confounding conservation efforts at a critical time. Efforts to study deep-sea corals, one of the dominant taxa on seamounts, to understand seamount connectivity, are hampered by a lack of taxonomic keys. A prerequisite for connectivity is species overlap. Attempts to better understand species overlap using DNA barcoding methods suggest coral species are widely distributed on seamounts and nearby features. However, no baseline has been established for variation in these genetic markers relative to morphological species designations for deep-sea octocoral families. Here we assess levels of genetic variation in potential octocoral mitochondrial barcode markers relative to thoroughly examined morphological species in the genus Narella. The combination of six markers used here, approximately 3350 bp of the mitochondrial genome, resolved 83% of the morphological species. Our results show that two of the markers, ND2 and NCR1, are not sufficient to resolve genera within Primnoidae, let alone species. Re-evaluation of previous studies of seamount octocorals based on these results suggest that those studies were looking at distributions at a level higher than species, possibly even genus or subfamily. Results for Narella show that using more markers provides haplotypes with relatively narrow depth ranges on the seamounts studied. Given the lack of 100% resolution of species with such a large portion of the mitochondrial genome, we argue that previous genetic studies have not resolved the degree of species overlap on seamounts and that we may not have the power to even test the hypothesis of seamount isolation using mitochondrial markers, let alone refute it. Thus a precautionary approach is advocated in seamount conservation and management, and the potential for depth structuring should be considered.

  15. Comparing Molecular Variation to Morphological Species Designations in the Deep-Sea Coral Narella Reveals New Insights into Seamount Coral Ranges

    PubMed Central

    Baco, Amy R.; Cairns, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have countered the paradigm of seamount isolation, confounding conservation efforts at a critical time. Efforts to study deep-sea corals, one of the dominant taxa on seamounts, to understand seamount connectivity, are hampered by a lack of taxonomic keys. A prerequisite for connectivity is species overlap. Attempts to better understand species overlap using DNA barcoding methods suggest coral species are widely distributed on seamounts and nearby features. However, no baseline has been established for variation in these genetic markers relative to morphological species designations for deep-sea octocoral families. Here we assess levels of genetic variation in potential octocoral mitochondrial barcode markers relative to thoroughly examined morphological species in the genus Narella. The combination of six markers used here, approximately 3350 bp of the mitochondrial genome, resolved 83% of the morphological species. Our results show that two of the markers, ND2 and NCR1, are not sufficient to resolve genera within Primnoidae, let alone species. Re-evaluation of previous studies of seamount octocorals based on these results suggest that those studies were looking at distributions at a level higher than species, possibly even genus or subfamily. Results for Narella show that using more markers provides haplotypes with relatively narrow depth ranges on the seamounts studied. Given the lack of 100% resolution of species with such a large portion of the mitochondrial genome, we argue that previous genetic studies have not resolved the degree of species overlap on seamounts and that we may not have the power to even test the hypothesis of seamount isolation using mitochondrial markers, let alone refute it. Thus a precautionary approach is advocated in seamount conservation and management, and the potential for depth structuring should be considered. PMID:23029093

  16. Rapid change with depth in megabenthic structure-forming communities of the Makapu'u deep-sea coral bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Dustin J.; Baco, Amy R.

    2014-01-01

    Seamounts are largely unexplored undersea mountains rising abruptly from the ocean floor, which can support an increased abundance and diversity of organisms. Deep-sea corals are important benthic structure-formers on current-swept hard substrates in these habitats. While depth is emerging as a factor structuring the fauna of seamounts on a large spatial scale, most work addressing deep-sea coral and seamount community structure has not considered the role of small-scale variation in species distributions. Video from six ROV dives over a depth range of ~320-530 m were analyzed to assess the diversity and density of benthic megafaunal invertebrates across the Makapu'u deep-sea coral bed, offshore of Oahu, Hawaii. At the same time, the physical environment along the dive track was surveyed to relate biotic patterns with abiotic variables including depth, aspect, rugosity, substrate, slope and relief to test the factors structuring community assemblages. Despite the narrow range examined, depth was found to be the strongest structuring gradient, and six unique macrobenthic communities were found, with a 93% faunal dissimilarity over the depth surveyed. Relief, rugosity and slope were also factors in the final model. Alcyonacean octocorals were the dominant macrofaunal invertebrates at all but the deepest depth zone. The commercially harvested precious coral C. secundum was the dominant species at depths 370-470 m, with a distribution that is on average deeper than similar areas. This may be artificial due to the past harvesting of this species on the shallower portion of its range. Primnoid octocorals were the most abundant octocoral family overall. This work yields new insight on the spatial ecology of seamounts, pointing out that community changes can occur over narrow depth ranges and that communities can be structured by small-scale physiography.

  17. Diversity of Scleractinia and Octocorallia in the mesophotic zone of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridge, T. C. L.; Fabricius, K. E.; Bongaerts, P.; Wallace, C. C.; Muir, P. R.; Done, T. J.; Webster, J. M.

    2012-03-01

    Mesophotic coral reefs in the Indo-West Pacific, the most diverse coral reef region on earth, are among the least documented. This study provides the first detailed investigation of the diversity of Scleractinia and Octocorallia of the mesophotic Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Specimens were collected by 100-m rock dredge tows at 47-163 m depth on 23 sites in four regions (15.3°-19.7° latitude South). Twenty-nine hard coral species from 19 families were recorded, with the greatest diversity found at <60 m depth, and no specimen was found >102 m. Many of these species are also commonly observed at shallower depths, particularly in inshore areas. Twenty-seven octocoral genera were collected, 25 of which represented azooxanthellate genera. Generic richness of octocorals was highest at depths >60 m. Sixteen of the 25 azooxanthellate genera were either absent or very rare at <18 m, and only five azooxanthellate genera were common on both shallow and mesophotic reefs. Species-area models indicated that the total diversity of hard corals on the deep mesophotic reefs sampled during this study was ~84 species while octocorals were represented by ~37 genera; however, the wide 95% confidence limits indicates that more intensive sampling effort is required to improve the accuracy of these estimates. Nonetheless, these results show that the taxonomic richness, particularly of hard corals, on mesophotic reefs may be much higher than previously thought, a finding that has implications for the comprehensive and adequate protection of the full range of biodiversity of the GBR.

  18. Responses of the tropical gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to ocean acidification conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, C. E.; Paul, V. J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Muehllehner, N.; Langdon, C.; Sánchez, J. A.

    2015-06-01

    Ocean acidification can have negative repercussions from the organism to ecosystem levels. Octocorals deposit high-magnesium calcite in their skeletons, and according to different models, they could be more susceptible to the depletion of carbonate ions than either calcite or aragonite-depositing organisms. This study investigated the response of the gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to a range of CO2 concentrations from 285 to 4,568 ppm (pH range 8.1-7.1) over a 4-week period. Gorgonian growth and calcification were measured at each level of CO2 as linear extension rate and percent change in buoyant weight and calcein incorporation in individual sclerites, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship for calcification and CO2 concentration that was well explained by a linear model regression analysis for both buoyant weight and calcein staining. In general, growth and calcification did not stop in any of the concentrations of pCO2; however, some of the octocoral fragments experienced negative calcification at undersaturated levels of calcium carbonate (>4,500 ppm) suggesting possible dissolution effects. These results highlight the susceptibility of the gorgonian coral E. fusca to elevated levels of carbon dioxide but suggest that E. fusca could still survive well in mid-term ocean acidification conditions expected by the end of this century, which provides important information on the effects of ocean acidification on the dynamics of coral reef communities. Gorgonian corals can be expected to diversify and thrive in the Atlantic-Eastern Pacific; as scleractinian corals decline, it is likely to expect a shift in these reef communities from scleractinian coral dominated to octocoral/soft coral dominated under a "business as usual" scenario of CO2 emissions.

  19. Coral injuries observed at Mesophotic Reefs after the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Mauricio; Etnoyer, Peter J.; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2016-07-01

    Pathologies in over 400 octocoral and antipatharian colonies were quantified in the aftermath of the DWH oil discharge. Observations were made in September 2011 at water depths of 65-75 m in the Pinnacle Reef trend area offshore from Mississippi and Alabama, Gulf of Mexico, using a digital macro camera deployed from an ROV to examine the coral populations for injury at two principal sites: Alabama Alps Reef (AAR) and Roughtongue Reef (RTR). Taxa observed to exhibit injury included gorgonian octocorals Hypnogorgia pendula, Bebryce spp., Thesea nivea, and Swiftia exserta, the antipatharian Antipathes atlantica, and the sea whips Stichopathes sp., and Ellisella barbadensis. The most common type of injury was a biofilm with a clumped or flake-like appearance covering sea-fan branches. Extreme injuries were characterized by bare skeletons, broken and missing branches. Comparing the 2011 results to previous photo surveys of the same study sites between 1997 and 1999, we found significantly more occurrences of injury in 2011 among taxa with growth forms >0.5 m. We hypothesize that Tropical Storm Bonnie facilitated and accelerated the mixing process of dispersant-treated hydrocarbons into the water column, resulting in harmful contact with coral colonies at mesophotic depths. Analysis of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (tPAH) concentrations in sediments at AAR and RTR found levels elevated above pre-discharge values, but orders of magnitude below toxicity thresholds established for fauna in estuarine sediments. The tPAH concentrations measured in octocoral and echinoderm tissue samples from AAR and RTR were detectable (mean values ranged from 51 to 345 ppb); however, bioeffect thresholds do not currently exist with which to evaluate the potential harm these levels may cause. Our findings indicate that coral injuries observed in 2011 may have resulted from an acute, isolated event rather than ongoing natural processes.

  20. Cold-water coral microbiomes (Paramuricea placomus) from Baltimore Canyon: raw and processed data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2015-01-01

    The files in this data release are the raw and processed DNA sequence files referenced in the submitted journal article by Kellogg et. al. titled "Bacterial Community Diversity of the Deep-Sea Octocoral Paramuricea placomus." They represent a 16S rRNA gene amplicon survey of the coral's microbiome completed using Roche 454 pyrosequencing with titanium reagents. Baltimore Canyon is in the Atlantic Ocean and the samples were collected in 2012-2013. The raw data files associated with this study have also been submitted to the NCBI Sequence Read Archive under Bioproject number PRJNA297333. For more information, please see the README file.

  1. A new genus of soft coral (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from the Republic of Congo (Pointe-Noire Region)

    PubMed Central

    Van Ofwegen, Leen P.; Aurelle, Didier; Sartoretto, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new genus of soft coral from the Republic of Congo is described, Complexum gen. n. Nine West African octocoral species previously described in the genus Alcyonium by Tixier-Durivault (1955) are referred to this new genus, and a new species is described and figured, Complexum pusillum sp. n. The new species is characterized by having encrusting growth form and abundant spiny clubs in the surface of the polyparium. It colonizes shallow calcareous rocky banks (5 to 20 m depth) existing in coastal water of the region of Pointe-Noire. Based on molecular phylogeny this new genus is well separated from Alcyonium species. PMID:25589850

  2. Seawater Carbonate Chemistry of Deep-sea Coral Beds off the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, J.; Shamberger, K.; Roark, E. B.; Miller, K.; Baco-Taylor, A.

    2016-02-01

    Many species of deep-sea octocorals produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons and form coral beds that support diverse ecosystems crucial to fisheries. The geochemistry of deep-sea coral skeletons can provide valuable paleoceanographic information on ocean circulation and nutrient cycling. Deep-sea corals in the older bottom waters of the Pacific are naturally exposed to higher carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and lower pH than in the Atlantic where much of the previous deep-sea coral work has occurred. Therefore, some Pacific deep-sea corals may live and calcify in waters that are corrosive to their skeletons, but there have been few current seawater carbonate chemistry measurements of the waters surrounding deep-sea coral beds to assess this. The input of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 known as ocean acidification (OA) lowers ocean pH and causes an expansion of these corrosive waters. Seawater carbonate chemistry must be characterized before accurate predictions can be made for the effects of OA on these important ecosystems. Total Alkalinity (TA) and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) samples were collected in the fall of 2014 and 2015 from the surface to 1450 m depth off the Northwestern Hawaiian Island chain where deep-sea octocorals are found. The partial pressure of CO2 increased and pH, calcite saturation state (Ωca) and aragonite saturation state (Ωar) decreased with increasing latitude and depth. Notably, waters were undersaturated with respect to calcite and aragonite (Ωca and Ωar less than 1) below 800 m and 500 m, respectively. Therefore, deep-sea corals below these depths must calcify in waters that are thermodynamically favorable for CaCO3 dissolution. How deep-sea octocorals cope with such adverse seawater chemistry is critical to understanding future effects of OA. It is not known whether OA is currently negatively impacting deep-sea octocorals, but their naturally acidified environments could make them particularly susceptible to OA.

  3. Water quality as a regional driver of coral biodiversity and macroalgae on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    De'ath, Glenn; Fabricius, Katharina

    2010-04-01

    Degradation of inshore coral reefs due to poor water quality is a major issue, yet it has proved difficult to demonstrate this linkage at other than local scales. This study modeled the relationships between large-scale data on water clarity and chlorophyll and four measures of reef status along the whole Great Barrier Reef, Australia (GBR; 12-24 degrees S). Four biotic groups with different trophic requirements, namely, the cover of macroalgae and the taxonomic richness of hard corals and phototrophic and heterotrophic octocorals, were predicted from water quality and spatial location. Water clarity and chlorophyll showed strong spatial patterns, with water clarity increasing more than threefold from inshore to offshore waters and chlorophyll decreasing approximately twofold from inshore to offshore and approximately twofold from south to north. Richness of hard corals and phototrophic octocorals declined with increasing turbidity and chlorophyll, whereas macroalgae and the richness of heterotrophic octocorals increased. Macroalgal cover experienced the largest water quality effects, increasing fivefold with decreasing water clarity and 1.4-fold with increasing chlorophyll. For each of the four biota, -45% of variation was predictable, with water quality effects accounting for 18-46% of that variation and spatial effects accounting for the remainder. Effects were consistent with the trophic requirements of the biota, suggesting that both macroalgal cover and coral biodiversity are partially controlled by energy supply limitation. Throughout the GBR, mean annual values of >10 m Secchi disk depth (a measure of water clarity) and < 0.45 g/L chlorophyll were associated with low macroalgal cover and high coral richness, indicating these values to be potentially useful water quality guidelines. The models predict that on the 22.8% of GBR reefs where guideline values are currently exceeded, water quality improvement, e.g., by minimizing agricultural runoff, should reduce

  4. Kinetic properties and affinities for sulfonamide inhibitors of an α-carbonic anhydrase (CruCA4) involved in coral biomineralization in the Mediterranean red coral Corallium rubrum.

    PubMed

    Del Prete, Sonia; Vullo, Daniela; Zoccola, Didier; Tambutté, Sylvie; Capasso, Clemente; Supuran, Claudiu T

    2017-07-01

    We report the kinetic properties and sulfonamide inhibition profile of an α-carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1), named CruCA4, identified in the red coral Corallium rubrum. This isoform is involved in the biomineralization process leading to the formation of a calcium carbonate skeleton. Experiments performed on the recombinant protein show that the enzyme has a "moderate activity" level. Our results are discussed compared to values obtained for other CA isoforms involved in biomineralization. This is the first study describing the biochemical characterization of an octocoral CA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Investigating the context-dependency of plant-soil-AMF-microbe interactions along a pollution gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glassman, S. I.; Casper, B. B.

    2010-12-01

    Background/Question/Methods Investigating how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-plant interactions vary with edaphic conditions provides an opportunity to test the context-dependency of interspecific interactions, which is currently recognized as a major avenue of future research. We study plant-mycorrhiza symbiotic relationships along a gradient of heavy metal contamination at a recently revegetated “Superfund” site on Blue Mountain, in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. We investigated the interactions involving the native mycorrhizal fungi, non-mycorrhizal soil microbes, soil, and two plant species (a C3 and C4 grass) along the contamination gradient. The native C3 study species Deschampsia flexuosa, is dominant along the gradient and established naturally; the C4 Sorghastrum nutans, is native to Pennsylvania but not to the site and was introduced during restoration. Because C4 grasses are obligate mycotrophs, we expected S. nutans to have a different effect on and response to the soil symbiont community than the C3 grass. We carried out a full factorial greenhouse experiment using field-collected seeds of D. flexuosa and S. nutans, soil, AMF spores, and non-mycorrhizal microbes from both high and low contaminated ends of the gradient. After 11 weeks of growth in the greenhouses, we harvested above and belowground plant biomass, and quantified AMF root colonization and AMF sporulation. Results/Conclusions Our results indicate that context-dependent function is an important factor driving specific ecological interactions between plants and soil microbes. We found that soil origin significantly affected plant growth. Plants from both species grew much larger in soil from low contaminated (LC) origin than high contaminated (HC) origin. Furthermore, we found that the efficacy of AMF in promoting plant growth depended on AMF origin. Specifically, AMF from LC improved growth of D. flexuosa best in either soil background and improved survivorship of S. nutans in HC soil

  7. Identification of Tight-Binding Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 Inhibitors in Aqueous Extracts of Marine Invertebrates by the Combination of Enzymatic and Interaction-Based Assays

    PubMed Central

    Salas-Sarduy, Emir; Guerra, Yasel; Covaleda Cortés, Giovanni; Avilés, Francesc Xavier; Chávez Planes, María A.

    2017-01-01

    Natural products from marine origin constitute a very promising and underexplored source of interesting compounds for modern biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries. However, their evaluation is quite challenging and requires specifically designed assays to reliably identify the compounds of interest in a highly heterogeneous and interfering context. In the present study, we describe a general strategy for the confident identification of tight-binding protease inhibitors in the aqueous extracts of 62 Cuban marine invertebrates, using Plasmodium falciparum hemoglobinases Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 as model enzymes. To this end, we first developed a screening strategy that combined enzymatic with interaction-based assays and then validated screening conditions using five reference extracts. Interferences were evaluated and minimized. The results from the massive screening of such extracts, the validation of several hits by a variety of interaction-based assays and the purification and functional characterization of PhPI, a multifunctional and reversible tight-binding inhibitor for Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 from the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, are presented. PMID:28430158

  8. Identification of Tight-Binding Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 Inhibitors in Aqueous Extracts of Marine Invertebrates by the Combination of Enzymatic and Interaction-Based Assays.

    PubMed

    Salas-Sarduy, Emir; Guerra, Yasel; Covaleda Cortés, Giovanni; Avilés, Francesc Xavier; Chávez Planes, María A

    2017-04-21

    Natural products from marine origin constitute a very promising and underexplored source of interesting compounds for modern biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries. However, their evaluation is quite challenging and requires specifically designed assays to reliably identify the compounds of interest in a highly heterogeneous and interfering context. In the present study, we describe a general strategy for the confident identification of tight-binding protease inhibitors in the aqueous extracts of 62 Cuban marine invertebrates, using Plasmodium falciparum hemoglobinases Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 as model enzymes. To this end, we first developed a screening strategy that combined enzymatic with interaction-based assays and then validated screening conditions using five reference extracts. Interferences were evaluated and minimized. The results from the massive screening of such extracts, the validation of several hits by a variety of interaction-based assays and the purification and functional characterization of PhPI, a multifunctional and reversible tight-binding inhibitor for Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 from the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, are presented.

  9. 8R-Lipoxygenase-catalyzed synthesis of a prominent cis-epoxyalcohol from dihomo-γ-linolenic acid: a distinctive transformation compared with S-lipoxygenases[S

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Jing; Boeglin, William E.; Cha, Jin K.; Brash, Alan R.

    2012-01-01

    Conversion of fatty acid hydroperoxides to epoxyalcohols is a well known secondary reaction of lipoxygenases, described for S-specific lipoxygenases forming epoxyalcohols with a trans-epoxide configuration. Here we report on R-specific lipoxygenase synthesis of a cis-epoxyalcohol. Although arachidonic and dihomo-γ-linolenic acids are metabolized by extracts of the Caribbean coral Plexaura homomalla via 8R-lipoxygenase and allene oxide synthase activities, 20:3ω6 forms an additional prominent product, identified using UV, GC-MS, and NMR in comparison to synthetic standards as 8R,9S-cis-epoxy-10S-erythro-hydroxy-eicosa-11Z,14Z-dienoic acid. Both oxygens of 18O-labeled 8R-hydroperoxide are retained in the product, indicating a hydroperoxide isomerase activity. Recombinant allene oxide synthase formed only allene epoxide from 8R-hydroperoxy-20:3ω6, whereas two different 8R-lipoxygenases selectively produced the epoxyalcohol.A biosynthetic scheme is proposed in which a partial rotation of the reacting intermediate is required to give the observed erythro epoxyalcohol product. This characteristic and the synthesis of cis-epoxy epoxyalcohol may be a feature of R-specific lipoxygenases. PMID:22158855

  10. Improving protein crystal quality by selective removal of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-insertion loop

    SciTech Connect

    Neau, David B.; Gilbert, Nathaniel C.; Bartlett, Sue G.; Dassey, Adam; Newcomer, Marcia E.

    2007-11-01

    Protein engineering dramatically enhances the quality of crystals of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding protein. Lipoxygenases (LOXs) catalyze the regiospecific and stereospecific dioxygenation of polyunsaturated membrane-embedded fatty acids. A Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding function was localized to the amino-terminal C2-like domain of 8R-lipoxygenase (8R-LOX) from the soft coral Plexaura homomalla. The 3.2 Å crystal structure of 8R-LOX and spectroscopic data suggested that Ca{sup 2+} stabilizes two membrane-insertion loops. Analysis of the protein packing contacts in the crystal lattice indicated that the conformation of one of the two loops complicated efforts to improve the resolution of the X-ray data. A deletion mutant of 8R-LOX in which the corresponding membrane-insertion loop is absent (Δ41–45:GSLOX) was engineered. Removal of the membrane-insertion loop dramatically increases the protein yield from bacterial cultures and the quality of the crystals obtained, resulting in a better than 1 Å improvement in the resolution of the diffraction data.

  11. A Covalent Linker Allows for Membrane Targeting of An Oxylipin Biosynthetic Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, N.C.; Niebuhr, M.; Tsuruta, H.; Bordelon, T.; Ridderbusch, O.; Dassey, A.; Brash, A.R.; Bartlett, S.G.; Newcomer, M.E.

    2009-05-18

    A naturally occurring bifunctional protein from Plexaura homomalla links sequential catalytic activities in an oxylipin biosynthetic pathway. The C-terminal lipoxygenase (LOX) portion of the molecule catalyzes the transformation of arachidonic acid (AA) to the corresponding 8R-hydroperoxide, and the N-terminal allene oxide synthase (AOS) domain promotes the conversion of the hydroperoxide intermediate to the product allene oxide (AO). Small-angle X-ray scattering data indicate that in the absence of a covalent linkage the two catalytic domains that transform AA to AO associate to form a complex that recapitulates the structure of the bifunctional protein. The SAXS data also support a model for LOX and AOS domain orientation in the fusion protein inferred from a low-resolution crystal structure. However, results of membrane binding experiments indicate that covalent linkage of the domains is required for Ca2+-dependent membrane targeting of the sequential activities, despite the noncovalent domain association. Furthermore, membrane targeting is accompanied by a conformational change as monitored by specific proteolysis of the linker that joins the AOS and LOX domains. Our data are consistent with a model in which Ca2+-dependent membrane binding relieves the noncovalent interactions between the AOS and LOX domains and suggests that the C2-like domain of LOX mediates both protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions.

  12. Molecular phylogenetic relationships reveal contrasting evolutionary patterns in Gorgoniidae (Octocorallia) in the Eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Soler-Hurtado, M M; López-González, P J; Machordom, A

    2017-03-24

    The description and delimitation of species in an evolutionary framework is essential for understanding patterns of biodiversity and distribution, and in the assessment of conservation strategies for natural resources. This study seeks to clarify the evolutionary history and genetic variation within and between closely related octocoral species that are fundamental to benthic marine ecosystems for harbouring a high diversity of associated fauna. For our study system, we focused on members of the Gorgoniidae family in the Eastern Pacific, particularly of the Ecuadorian littoral, a less studied marine ecosystem. According to our results, the diagnosis of the genus Pacifigorgia is here amended to include species previously considered in the genus Leptogorgia. The genera Leptogorgia and Eugorgia are included within a single clade, and neither are recovered as monophyletic. In this case, according to the priority rule of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), our proposal is to include the species considered in these two genera in Leptogorgia. In addition, we found evidence of interesting speciation patterns: morphological differentiation with no apparent genetic differentiation (in Pacifigorgia), and inconsistencies between mitochondrial and nuclear data that suggest a hybridisation phenomenon (in Leptogorgia). In the first case, recent radiation, ancient hybridisation, sympatric speciation, and in the second, reticulate evolution may have contributed to the evolutionary history of the studied taxa. Therefore, incongruences observed between morphological and molecular evidences in these octocorals, and in corals in general, may reveal the types of events/patterns that have influenced their evolution.

  13. Microbiota of healthy corals are active against fungi in a light-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Moree, Wilna J; McConnell, Oliver J; Nguyen, Don D; Sanchez, Laura M; Yang, Yu-Liang; Zhao, Xiling; Liu, Wei-Ting; Boudreau, Paul D; Srinivasan, Jayashree; Atencio, Librada; Ballesteros, Javier; Gavilán, Ronnie G; Torres-Mendoza, Daniel; Guzmán, Héctor M; Gerwick, William H; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2014-10-17

    Coral reefs are intricate ecosystems that harbor diverse organisms, including 25% of all marine fish. Healthy corals exhibit a complex symbiosis between coral polyps, endosymbiotic alga, and an array of microorganisms, called the coral holobiont. Secretion of specialized metabolites by coral microbiota is thought to contribute to the defense of this sessile organism against harmful biotic and abiotic factors. While few causative agents of coral diseases have been unequivocally identified, fungi have been implicated in the massive destruction of some soft corals worldwide. Because corals are nocturnal feeders, they may be more vulnerable to fungal infection at night, and we hypothesized that the coral microbiota would have the capability to enhance their defenses against fungi in the dark. A Pseudoalteromonas sp. isolated from a healthy octocoral displayed light-dependent antifungal properties when grown adjacent to Penicillium citrinum (P. citrinum) isolated from a diseased Gorgonian octocoral. Microbial MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) coupled with molecular network analyses revealed that Pseudoalteromonas produced higher levels of antifungal polyketide alteramides in the dark than in the light. The alteramides were inactivated by light through a photoinduced intramolecular cyclization. Further NMR studies led to a revision of the stereochemical structure of the alteramides. Alteramide A exhibited antifungal properties and elicited changes in fungal metabolite distributions of mycotoxin citrinin and citrinadins. These data support the hypothesis that coral microbiota use abiotic factors such as light to regulate the production of metabolites with specialized functions to combat opportunistic pathogens at night.

  14. A case of modular phenotypic plasticity in the depth gradient for the gorgonian coral Antillogorgia bipinnata (Cnidaria: Octocorallia).

    PubMed

    Calixto-Botía, Iván; Sánchez, Juan A

    2017-02-17

    Phenotypic plasticity, as a phenotypic response induced by the environment, has been proposed as a key factor in the evolutionary history of corals. A significant number of octocoral species show high phenotypic variation, exhibiting a strong overlap in intra- and inter-specific morphologic variation. This is the case of the gorgonian octocoral Antillogorgia bipinnata (Verrill 1864), which shows three polyphyletic morphotypes along a bathymetric gradient. This research tested the phenotypic plasticity of modular traits in A. bipinnata with a reciprocal transplant experiment involving 256 explants from two morphotypes in two locations and at two depths. Vertical and horizontal length and number of new branches were compared 13 weeks following transplant. The data were analysed with a linear mixed-effects model and a graphic approach by reaction norms. At the end of the experiment, 91.8% of explants survived. Lower vertical and horizontal growth rates and lower branch promotion were found for deep environments compared to shallow environments. The overall variation behaved similarly to the performance of native transplants. In particular, promotion of new branches showed variance mainly due to a phenotypic plastic effect. Globally, environmental and genotypic effects explain the variation of the assessed traits. Survival rates besides plastic responses suggest an intermediate scenario between adaptive plasticity and local adaptation that may drive a potential process of adaptive divergence along depth cline in A. bipinnata.

  15. Semi-synthesis of oxygenated dolabellane diterpenes with highly in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity.

    PubMed

    Pardo-Vargas, Alonso; Ramos, Freddy A; Cirne-Santos, Claudio Cesar; Stephens, Paulo Roberto; Paixão, Izabel Christina Palmer; Teixeira, Valeria Laneuville; Castellanos, Leonardo

    2014-09-15

    Research on dolabellane diterpenes of brown algae Dictyota spp. has shown that these diterpenoids have strong anti-HIV-1 activity, but there are not data about antiviral activity of dolabellane diterpenes isolated from octocorals, which are antipodes of those isolated from the brown algae. Dolabellanes 13-keto-1(R),11(S)-dolabella-3(E),7(E),12(18)-triene (1) and β-Araneosene (2) were isolated from the Caribbean octocoral Eunicea laciniata, and both showed low anti-HIV-1 activity and low toxicity. Since it was shown that oxygenated dolabellanes from algae have better anti-HIV-1 activity, in this work some derivatives of the main dolabellane of E. laciniata1 were obtained by epoxidation (3), epoxide opening (4), and allylic oxidation (5). The derivatives showed significant improvement in the anti-HIV-1potency (100-fold), being compounds 3 and 5 the most active ones. Their high antiviral activities, along with their low cytotoxicity, make them promissory antiviral compounds; and it is worth noting that the absolute configuration at the ring junction in the dolabellane skeleton does not seem to be determinant in the antiviral potency of these diterpeneoids.

  16. Microbiota of Healthy Corals Are Active against Fungi in a Light-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are intricate ecosystems that harbor diverse organisms, including 25% of all marine fish. Healthy corals exhibit a complex symbiosis between coral polyps, endosymbiotic alga, and an array of microorganisms, called the coral holobiont. Secretion of specialized metabolites by coral microbiota is thought to contribute to the defense of this sessile organism against harmful biotic and abiotic factors. While few causative agents of coral diseases have been unequivocally identified, fungi have been implicated in the massive destruction of some soft corals worldwide. Because corals are nocturnal feeders, they may be more vulnerable to fungal infection at night, and we hypothesized that the coral microbiota would have the capability to enhance their defenses against fungi in the dark. A Pseudoalteromonas sp. isolated from a healthy octocoral displayed light-dependent antifungal properties when grown adjacent to Penicilliumcitrinum (P. citrinum) isolated from a diseased Gorgonian octocoral. Microbial MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) coupled with molecular network analyses revealed that Pseudoalteromonas produced higher levels of antifungal polyketide alteramides in the dark than in the light. The alteramides were inactivated by light through a photoinduced intramolecular cyclization. Further NMR studies led to a revision of the stereochemical structure of the alteramides. Alteramide A exhibited antifungal properties and elicited changes in fungal metabolite distributions of mycotoxin citrinin and citrinadins. These data support the hypothesis that coral microbiota use abiotic factors such as light to regulate the production of metabolites with specialized functions to combat opportunistic pathogens at night. PMID:25058318

  17. Inhibition of coral recruitment by macroalgae and cyanobacteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuffner, I.B.; Walters, L.J.; Becerro, M.A.; Paul, V.J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Beach, K.S.

    2006-01-01

    Coral recruitment is a key process in the maintenance and recovery of coral reef ecosystems. While intense competition between coral and algae is often assumed on reefs that have undergone phase shifts from coral to algal dominance, data examining the competitive interactions involved, particularly during the larval and immediate post-settlement stage, are scarce. Using a series of field and outdoor seawater table experiments, we tested the hypothesis that common species of macroalgae and cyanobacteria inhibit coral recruitment. We examined the effects of Lyngbya spp., Dictyota spp., Lobophora variegata (J. V. Lamouroux) Womersley, and Chondrophycus poiteaui (J. V. Lamouroux) Nam (formerly Laurencia poiteaui) on the recruitment success of Porites astreoides larvae. All species but C. poiteaui caused either recruitment inhibition or avoidance behavior in P. astreoides larvae, while L. confervoides and D. menstrualis significantly increased mortality rates of P. astreoides recruits. We also tested the effect of some of these macrophytes on larvae of the gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum. Exposure to Lyngbya majuscula reduced survival and recruitment in the octocoral larvae. Our results provide evidence that algae and cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. On reefs experiencing phase shifts or temporary algal blooms, the restocking of adult coral populations may be slowed due to recruitment inhibition, thereby perpetuating reduced coral cover and limiting coral community recovery. ?? Inter-Research 2006.

  18. Long prereproductive selection and divergence by depth in a Caribbean candelabrum coral.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2013-03-05

    Long-lived corals, the foundation of modern reefs, often follow ecological gradients, so that populations or sister species segregate by habitat. Adaptive divergence maintains sympatric congeners after secondary contact or may even generate species by natural selection in the face of gene flow. Such ecological divergence, initially between alternative phenotypes within populations, may be aided by immigrant inviability, especially when a long period separates larval dispersal and the onset of reproduction, during which selection can sort lineages to match different habitats. Here, we evaluate the strength of one ecological factor (depth) to isolate populations by comparing the genes and morphologies of pairs of depth-segregated populations of the candelabrum coral Eunicea flexuosa across the Caribbean. Eunicea is endemic to the Caribbean and all sister species co-occur. Eunicea flexuosa is widespread both geographically and across reef habitats. Our genetic analysis revealed two depth-segregated lineages. Field survivorship data, combined with estimates of selection coefficients based on transplant experiments, suggest that selection is strong enough to segregate these two lineages. Genetic exchange between the Shallow and Deep lineages occurred either immediately after divergence or the two have diverged with gene flow. Migration occurs asymmetrically from the Shallow to Deep lineage. Limited recruitment to reproductive age, even under weak annual selection advantage, is sufficient to generate habitat segregation because of the cumulative prolonged prereproductive selection. Ecological factors associated with depth can act as filters generating strong barriers to gene flow, altering morphologies, and contributing to the potential for speciation in the sea.

  19. The Maghreb – one more important biodiversity hot spot for tiger beetle fauna (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Cicindelinae) in the Mediterranean region

    PubMed Central

    Jaskuła, Radomir

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The tiger beetle fauna of the Maghreb region is one of the richest in the Palaearctic, including 22 species and 5 subspecies and 19% of all Palaearctic species of Cicindelinae. Assembled to their chorotypes, the Maghreb tiger beetles fall into eight different groups that include Maghreb endemics (26% of fauna), Mediterranean (7%), West Mediterranean (40%), North African (4%), Mediterranean-Westturanian (4%), West Palaearctic (4%), Afrotropico-Indo-Mediterranean (4%), and Saharian (11%) species. The Mediterranean Sclerophyl and Atlas Steppe are the Maghreb biogeographical provinces with the highest species richness, while the Sahara Desert has the lowest Cicindelinae diversity. Twenty-five cicindelid species and subspecies (93% of Maghreb fauna) are restricted to only one or two habitat types in lowland areas. Only Calomera littoralis littoralis and Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa are recognized as eurytopic species and occur in three types of habitat. The highest tiger beetle diversity characterizes salt marshes and river banks (in both cases 11 species and subspecies or 41% of Maghreb fauna). Approximately 85% of all Maghreb tiger beetle species and subspecies are found in habitats potentially endangered by human activity. PMID:25709529

  20. Enantiostylous types of Cassiinae species (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae).

    PubMed

    Almeida, N M; Cotarelli, V M; Souza, D P; Novo, R R; Siqueira Filho, J A; Oliveira, P E; Castro, C C

    2015-05-01

    Species of the subtribe Cassiinae present a wide diversity of floral types. Until recently it was considered that this diversity did not extend to their reproductive mechanisms. However, studies have recorded some variations in the enantiostylous pattern in this plant group. This study aims to investigate the morphological and functional variations of enantiostyly in species of the subtribe Cassiinae. Additionally, it proposes the recognition of enantiostylous types (ET) based on pollen deposition and capture mode. Morphological data were collected in fresh and fixed (alcohol 70%) buds and flowers, and also using photos and rehydrated material from herbarium sheets, for a total of 59 species. The parameters used to establish the ETs were pollination type, nature of pollen deposition on the pollinator body, deposition type, number of petals involved in pollen deposition, and pollen pathway. Morpho-functional features allowed the recognition of seven enantiostylous types (Flexuosa, Cana, Macranthera, Martiana, Amiciella, Repens and Ramosa) that present several levels of complexity. The type Ramosa was the most common and the Cana type was the least common. The types Repens, Martiana and Flexuosa do not have reciprocal pollen deposition, thus species with these types may be considered atypical. The groups resulting from similarity analysis partially coincide with the clades proposed in phylogenetic studies of Cassiinae. The recognition of functional ETs is important for understanding the evolution of reproductive strategies of Cassiinae species, and indicates an interesting line of investigation of enantiostyly in other plant groups. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. Long prereproductive selection and divergence by depth in a Caribbean candelabrum coral

    PubMed Central

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Long-lived corals, the foundation of modern reefs, often follow ecological gradients, so that populations or sister species segregate by habitat. Adaptive divergence maintains sympatric congeners after secondary contact or may even generate species by natural selection in the face of gene flow. Such ecological divergence, initially between alternative phenotypes within populations, may be aided by immigrant inviability, especially when a long period separates larval dispersal and the onset of reproduction, during which selection can sort lineages to match different habitats. Here, we evaluate the strength of one ecological factor (depth) to isolate populations by comparing the genes and morphologies of pairs of depth-segregated populations of the candelabrum coral Eunicea flexuosa across the Caribbean. Eunicea is endemic to the Caribbean and all sister species co-occur. Eunicea flexuosa is widespread both geographically and across reef habitats. Our genetic analysis revealed two depth-segregated lineages. Field survivorship data, combined with estimates of selection coefficients based on transplant experiments, suggest that selection is strong enough to segregate these two lineages. Genetic exchange between the Shallow and Deep lineages occurred either immediately after divergence or the two have diverged with gene flow. Migration occurs asymmetrically from the Shallow to Deep lineage. Limited recruitment to reproductive age, even under weak annual selection advantage, is sufficient to generate habitat segregation because of the cumulative prolonged prereproductive selection. Ecological factors associated with depth can act as filters generating strong barriers to gene flow, altering morphologies, and contributing to the potential for speciation in the sea. PMID:23359716

  2. New records of Primnoidae (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) in Brazilian deep waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arantes, Renata C. M.; Loiola, Livia L.

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge of octocorals occurring in Brazilian deep waters is still lacking, with only a few studies conducted so far, most of which focused on large-scale marine habitats characterization. Primnoidae are common and characteristic of seamounts and deepwater coral banks, often providing habitat for other marine species. Although primnoids occur in all ocean basins, only Primnoella and Plumarella species were recorded along the Brazilian coast before this study. Primnoid specimens were obtained through dredging and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) sampling, collected by research projects conducted off the Brazilian coast, between 15 and 34°S. Taxonomic assessment resulted in 5 new records of Primnoidae genera in Brazil: Calyptrophora, Candidella, Dasystenella, Narella and Thouarella. The occurrences of Narella-off Salvador and Vitória, and in Campos Basin (935-1700 m), and Calyptrophora-in Campos Basin (1059-1152 m), are herein reported for the first time in the South Atlantic. Calyptrophora microdentata was previously known in Lesser Antilles, New England and Corner Rise Seamounts, between 686 and 2310 m. Candidella imbricata geographical distribution includes Western and Eastern Atlantic (514-2063 m and 815-2139 m, respectively), being registered herein in Campos Basin, between 1059 and 1605 m. Dasystenella acanthina collected off Rio Grande do Sul state (810 m) and occurs also off Argentina and Southern Ocean, between 150 and 5087 m. Plumarella diadema, which type locality is off São Sebastião, Brazil, has its geographical range extended northwards, occurring in Campos Basin (650 m). Thouarella koellikeri previously known for Patagonia and Antartic Peninsula, is registered for the off Brazil for the first time, in Campos Basin and off São Sebastião (609-659 m). There is a lot of work yet to be done in terms of taxonomic knowledge of Brazilian deep-sea octocorals. Research projects focusing on the investigations, including ROV sampling, of other

  3. Biochemical Warfare on the Reef: The Role of Glutathione Transferases in Consumer Tolerance of Dietary Prostaglandins

    PubMed Central

    Whalen, Kristen E.; Lane, Amy L.; Kubanek, Julia; Hahn, Mark E.

    2010-01-01

    Background Despite the profound variation among marine consumers in tolerance for allelochemically-rich foods, few studies have examined the biochemical adaptations underlying diet choice. Here we examine the role of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals in the digestive gland of the predatory gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, a generalist consumer of gorgonian corals. Controlled laboratory feeding experiments were used to investigate the influence of gorgonian diet on Cyphoma GST activity and isoform expression. Gorgonian extracts and semi-purified fractions were also screened to identify inhibitors and possible substrates of Cyphoma GSTs. In addition, we investigated the inhibitory properties of prostaglandins (PGs) structurally similar to antipredatory PGs found in high concentrations in the Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura homomalla. Principal Findings Cyphoma GST subunit composition was invariant and activity was constitutively high regardless of gorgonian diet. Bioassay-guided fractionation of gorgonian extracts revealed that moderately hydrophobic fractions from all eight gorgonian species examined contained putative GST substrates/inhibitors. LC-MS and NMR spectral analysis of the most inhibitory fraction from P. homomalla subsequently identified prostaglandin A2 (PGA2) as the dominant component. A similar screening of commercially available prostaglandins in series A, E, and F revealed that those prostaglandins most abundant in gorgonian tissues (e.g., PGA2) were also the most potent inhibitors. In vivo estimates of PGA2 concentration in digestive gland tissues calculated from snail grazing rates revealed that Cyphoma GSTs would be saturated with respect to PGA2 and operating at or near physiological capacity. Significance The high, constitutive activity of Cyphoma GSTs is likely necessitated by the ubiquitous presence of GST substrates and/or inhibitors in this consumer's gorgonian diet. This generalist's GSTs may

  4. Biochemical warfare on the reef: the role of glutathione transferases in consumer tolerance of dietary prostaglandins.

    PubMed

    Whalen, Kristen E; Lane, Amy L; Kubanek, Julia; Hahn, Mark E

    2010-01-06

    Despite the profound variation among marine consumers in tolerance for allelochemically-rich foods, few studies have examined the biochemical adaptations underlying diet choice. Here we examine the role of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals in the digestive gland of the predatory gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, a generalist consumer of gorgonian corals. Controlled laboratory feeding experiments were used to investigate the influence of gorgonian diet on Cyphoma GST activity and isoform expression. Gorgonian extracts and semi-purified fractions were also screened to identify inhibitors and possible substrates of Cyphoma GSTs. In addition, we investigated the inhibitory properties of prostaglandins (PGs) structurally similar to antipredatory PGs found in high concentrations in the Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura homomalla. Cyphoma GST subunit composition was invariant and activity was constitutively high regardless of gorgonian diet. Bioassay-guided fractionation of gorgonian extracts revealed that moderately hydrophobic fractions from all eight gorgonian species examined contained putative GST substrates/inhibitors. LC-MS and NMR spectral analysis of the most inhibitory fraction from P. homomalla subsequently identified prostaglandin A(2) (PGA(2)) as the dominant component. A similar screening of commercially available prostaglandins in series A, E, and F revealed that those prostaglandins most abundant in gorgonian tissues (e.g., PGA(2)) were also the most potent inhibitors. In vivo estimates of PGA(2) concentration in digestive gland tissues calculated from snail grazing rates revealed that Cyphoma GSTs would be saturated with respect to PGA(2) and operating at or near physiological capacity. The high, constitutive activity of Cyphoma GSTs is likely necessitated by the ubiquitous presence of GST substrates and/or inhibitors in this consumer's gorgonian diet. This generalist's GSTs may operate as 'all-purpose' detoxification

  5. Cytochrome P450-type Hydroxylation and Epoxidation in a Tyrosine-liganded Hemoprotein, Catalase-related Allene Oxide Synthase*

    PubMed Central

    Boeglin, William E.; Brash, Alan R.

    2012-01-01

    The ability of hemoproteins to catalyze epoxidation or hydroxylation reactions is usually associated with a cysteine as the proximal ligand to the heme, as in cytochrome P450 or nitric oxide synthase. Catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from the coral Plexaura homomalla, like catalase itself, has tyrosine as the proximal heme ligand. Its natural reaction is to convert 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HPETE) to an allene epoxide, a reaction activated by the ferric heme, forming product via the FeIV–OH intermediate, Compound II. Here we oxidized cAOS to Compound I (FeV=O) using the oxygen donor iodosylbenzene and investigated the catalytic competence of the enzyme. 8R-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HETE), the hydroxy analog of the natural substrate, normally unreactive with cAOS, was thereby epoxidized stereospecifically on the 9,10 double bond to form 8R-hydroxy-9R,10R-trans-epoxy-eicosa-5Z,11Z,14Z-trienoic acid as the predominant product; the turnover was 1/s using 100 μm iodosylbenzene. The enantiomer, 8S-HETE, was epoxidized stereospecifically, although with less regiospecificity, and was hydroxylated on the 13- and 16-carbons. Arachidonic acid was converted to two major products, 8R-HETE and 8R,9S-eicosatrienoic acid (8R,9S-EET), plus other chiral monoepoxides and bis-allylic 10S-HETE. Linoleic acid was epoxidized, whereas stearic acid was not metabolized. We conclude that when cAOS is charged with an oxygen donor, it can act as a stereospecific monooxygenase. Our results indicate that in the tyrosine-liganded cAOS, a catalase-related hemoprotein in which a polyunsaturated fatty acid can enter the active site, the enzyme has the potential to mimic the activities of typical P450 epoxygenases and some capabilities of P450 hydroxylases. PMID:22628547

  6. Cytochrome P450-type hydroxylation and epoxidation in a tyrosine-liganded hemoprotein, catalase-related allene oxide synthase.

    PubMed

    Boeglin, William E; Brash, Alan R

    2012-07-13

    The ability of hemoproteins to catalyze epoxidation or hydroxylation reactions is usually associated with a cysteine as the proximal ligand to the heme, as in cytochrome P450 or nitric oxide synthase. Catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from the coral Plexaura homomalla, like catalase itself, has tyrosine as the proximal heme ligand. Its natural reaction is to convert 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HPETE) to an allene epoxide, a reaction activated by the ferric heme, forming product via the Fe(IV)-OH intermediate, Compound II. Here we oxidized cAOS to Compound I (Fe(V)=O) using the oxygen donor iodosylbenzene and investigated the catalytic competence of the enzyme. 8R-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HETE), the hydroxy analog of the natural substrate, normally unreactive with cAOS, was thereby epoxidized stereospecifically on the 9,10 double bond to form 8R-hydroxy-9R,10R-trans-epoxy-eicosa-5Z,11Z,14Z-trienoic acid as the predominant product; the turnover was 1/s using 100 μm iodosylbenzene. The enantiomer, 8S-HETE, was epoxidized stereospecifically, although with less regiospecificity, and was hydroxylated on the 13- and 16-carbons. Arachidonic acid was converted to two major products, 8R-HETE and 8R,9S-eicosatrienoic acid (8R,9S-EET), plus other chiral monoepoxides and bis-allylic 10S-HETE. Linoleic acid was epoxidized, whereas stearic acid was not metabolized. We conclude that when cAOS is charged with an oxygen donor, it can act as a stereospecific monooxygenase. Our results indicate that in the tyrosine-liganded cAOS, a catalase-related hemoprotein in which a polyunsaturated fatty acid can enter the active site, the enzyme has the potential to mimic the activities of typical P450 epoxygenases and some capabilities of P450 hydroxylases.

  7. Trophic analysis of three species of Marilia (Trichoptera: Odontoceridae) from the neotropics.

    PubMed

    Reynaga, María Celina; Rueda Martín, Paola Alejandra

    2014-06-01

    The trophic ecology of the aquatic insect fauna has been widely studied for the Northern temperate zone. However, the taxa originally classified within a given particular trophic group in temperate ecosystems, do not necessarily exhibit the same dietary profile beyond its geographic limits. Since, the trophic ecology of caddisfly larvae is largely incomplete in the Neotropical Region, the present work aims to describe feeding habits inferred from quantitative analysis of data taxonomically resolved at the species level. For this, the feeding habits of three Trichoptera species Marilia cinerea, M. elongata and M. flexuosa were recorded in the Yungas forests of Argentina and Bolivia. A total of 15 larvae of each species were sampled from 13 different streams were selected for gut content analysis. The ingested material was extracted from the foregut and midgut by using ventral dissection of thorax. For each species, mandibles were dissected, mounted in glycerin and illustrated in order to highlight morphological differences between these mouth pieces purportedly associated to the dietary behavior of individuals, and their habitats. The niche overlap was estimated through Schoener's method. The diet analysis revealed that M. cinerea, M. elongata and M. flexuosa feed on the same food items, but through different patterns of preferences. Larvae of M. cinerea were collected on both emerging surfaces of rocks on which a thin layer of running water flows and streams sliding areas with stony bottoms attached to the rock surfaces. They displayed a gut content consisting predominantly of invertebrate vestiges and have strong mouthparts provided of large molar areas; this allowed us to allocate the species within the functional group of predators. M. elongata feeds mainly on fine particulate material, its mouthparts are scoop-shaped and occurs in areas of low flow; this set of features is linked to a collector-gatherer strategy. Finally, larvae of M. flexuosa have been

  8. Development of twelve microsatellite loci in the red tree corals Primnoa resedaeformis and Primnoa pacifica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrison, Cheryl; Springmann, Marcus J.; Shroades, Kelsey; Stone, Robert P.

    2015-01-01

    A suite of tetra-, penta-, and hexa-nucleotide microsatellite loci were developed from Roche 454 pyrosequencing data for the cold-water octocorals Primnoa resedaeformis and P. pacifica. Twelve of 98 primer sets tested consistently amplified in 30 P. resedaeformis samples from Baltimore Canyon (western North Atlantic Ocean) and in 24 P. pacifica samples (Shutter Ridge, eastern Gulf of Alaska). The loci displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (average 7.5 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 47 %). Levels of genetic diversity were sufficient to produce unique multi-locus genotypes and to distinguish species. These common species are long-lived (hundreds of years) and provide essential fish habitat (P. pacifica), yet populations are provided little protection from human activities. These loci will be used to determine regional patterns of population connectivity to inform effective marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based fisheries management.

  9. Excess seawater nutrients, enlarged algal symbiont densities and bleaching sensitive reef locations: 1. Identifying thresholds of concern for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Wooldridge, Scott A

    2016-05-23

    Here, I contribute new insight into why excess seawater nutrients are an increasingly identified feature at reef locations that have low resistance to thermal stress. Specifically, I link this unfavourable synergism to the development of enlarged (suboptimal) zooxanthellae densities that paradoxically limit the capacity of the host coral to build tissue energy reserves needed to combat periods of stress. I explain how both theoretical predictions and field observations support the existence of species-specific 'optimal' zooxanthellae densities ~1.0-3.0×10(6) cellscm-(2). For the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), excess seawater nutrients that permit enlarged zooxanthellae densities beyond this optimum range are linked with seawater chlorophyll a>0.45μg·L(-1); a eutrophication threshold previously shown to correlate with a significant loss in species for hard corals and phototrophic octocorals on the central GBR, and herein shown to correlate with enhanced bleaching sensitivity during the 1998 and 2002 mass bleaching events.

  10. Abundance of Corals on Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Kolian, Stephan R; Sammarco, Paul W; Porter, Scott A

    2017-08-01

    Scleractinian, octocoral, and antipatharian corals have colonized many of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We surveyed 25 offshore oil and gas platforms for these cnidarians. Few to no corals were detected on inshore, shallow-water structures at <25 m depth; however, the abundance of corals increased, ranging from 14 to 194/m(2), on platforms in waters deeper ≥25 m. The most common coral encountered were Tubastraea coccinea (Scleractinia) and Telesto spp. (Octocorallia). The data suggest that the offshore platforms located in waters of >25-30 m in the study area are often colonized by these corals. We recommend that structures located in deeper waters should be surveyed for coral and, if the populations are substantial, consider alternate uses for the retired platforms, and leaving them in place, when feasible.

  11. Abundance of Corals on Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolian, Stephan R.; Sammarco, Paul W.; Porter, Scott A.

    2017-08-01

    Scleractinian, octocoral, and antipatharian corals have colonized many of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We surveyed 25 offshore oil and gas platforms for these cnidarians. Few to no corals were detected on inshore, shallow-water structures at <25 m depth; however, the abundance of corals increased, ranging from 14 to 194/m2, on platforms in waters deeper ≥25 m. The most common coral encountered were Tubastraea coccinea (Scleractinia) and Telesto spp. (Octocorallia). The data suggest that the offshore platforms located in waters of >25-30 m in the study area are often colonized by these corals. We recommend that structures located in deeper waters should be surveyed for coral and, if the populations are substantial, consider alternate uses for the retired platforms, and leaving them in place, when feasible.

  12. Description of viral assemblages associated with the Gorgonia ventalina holobiont

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewson, I.; Brown, J. M.; Burge, C. A.; Couch, C. S.; LaBarre, B. A.; Mouchka, M. E.; Naito, M.; Harvell, C. D.

    2012-06-01

    The diversity and function of viruses in coral holobionts has only recently received attention. The non-reef building gorgonian octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a major constituent of Caribbean reefs. We investigated viral communities associated with G. ventalina tissues to understand their role in gorgonian ecology. Pyrosequencing was used to prepare a total of 514,632 sequence reads of DNA- and RNA-based mixed-community viral genomes (metaviromes). RNA viral assemblages were comprised of primarily unidentifiable reads, with most matching host transcripts and other RNA metaviromes. DNA metaviromes were similar between healthy and diseased tissues and comprised of contiguous sequences (contigs) that matched primarily metazoan and bacterial proteins. Only ~5% of contigs matched viral proteins that were primarily cyanophage and viruses of Chlorella and Ostreococcus. Our results confirm that DNA and RNA viruses comprise a component of the gorgonian holobiont, suggesting that they may play a role in the ecology of G. ventalina.

  13. Isolation and structures of sixteen new asbestinin diterpenes from the Caribbean gorgonian Briareum asbestinum.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, A D; Cóbar, O M; Martínez, N

    1994-12-01

    Sixteen new diterpenoids, representative of the asbestinane skeletal class, have been isolated from shallow water colonies of the Caribbean gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum. The structures of these secondary metabolites, named asbestinin-11 [1], asbestinin-12 [3], asbestinin-13 [4], asbestinin-14 [5], asbestinin-15 [7], asbestinin-16 [8], asbestinin-17 [9], asbestinin-18 [10], asbestinin-19 [11], asbestinin-20 [12], asbestinin-21 [13], asbestinin-22 [14], asbestinin-23 [15], 11-acetoxy-4-deoxyasbestinin E [16], 11-acetoxy-4-deoxyasbestinin F [17] and 4-deoxyasbestinin G [18], were defined by chemical and spectroscopic methods. These specimens of B. asbestinum, collected in Puerto Rico, yielded almost exclusively diterpenoids possessing the asbestinane carbon skeleton thus suggesting minor biosynthetic variations for this gorgonian. In this paper, we also revise the structures of the known asbestinin-6 and asbestinin-7 to asbestinanes 2 and 6, respectively.

  14. Expulsion of zooxanthellae by symbiotic cnidarians from the Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; McCloskey, L. R.; Muscatine, L.

    1987-04-01

    The expulsion of zooxanthellae by octocorals ( Xenia macrospiculata and Heteroxenia fuscescens), the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata, and the hydrocoral Millepora dichotoma, was measured in the field. The numbers expelled did not exceed 0.1% of the total standing stock of symbiotic algae per day, the rate of expulsion was less than 4% of the rate at which cells are added to symbiotic populations, and the carbon lost represented 0.01% of the total carbon fixed on a daily basis. Expulsion of zooxanthellae is therefore not a significant sink for fixed carbon in these symbiotic associations. In contrast to field populations, expulsion by X. macrospiculata increased 5-fold or more in the laboratory, suggesting that laboratory conditions may introduce stress.

  15. Defensive Diterpene from the Aeolidoidean Phyllodesmium longicirrum.

    PubMed

    Bogdanov, Alexander; Hertzer, Cora; Kehraus, Stefan; Nietzer, Samuel; Rohde, Sven; Schupp, Peter J; Wägele, Heike; König, Gabriele M

    2016-03-25

    Phyllodesmium is a tropical marine slug genus with about 30 described species. None of them have a protective shell, and all of them feed on octocorals that are generally known to provide defensive compounds and thus help to defend the naked slugs against sympatric predators, such as fish, crabs, cephalopods, and echinoderms. Phyllodesmium longicirrum is the species that grows the biggest and that is least protected by camouflage on its respective food, usually a soft coral of the genus Sarcophyton. Investigation of the lipophilic extract of a single specimen of P. longicirrum from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) led to the isolation of four new polycyclic diterpenes. Compound 1 showed significant deterrent activity in a fish feeding assay.

  16. Probability sampling of stony coral populations in the Florida Keys.

    PubMed

    Smith, Steven G; Swanson, Dione W; Chiappone, Mark; Miller, Steven L; Ault, Jerald S

    2011-12-01

    Principles of probability survey design were applied to guide large-scale sampling of populations of stony corals and associated benthic taxa in the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. The survey employed a two-stage stratified random sampling design that partitioned the 251-km(2) domain by reef habitat types, geographic regions, and management zones. Estimates of the coefficient of variation (ratio of standard error to the mean) for stony coral population density and abundance ranged from 7% to 12% for four of six principal species. These levels of survey precision are among the highest reported for comparable surveys of marine species. Relatively precise estimates were also obtained for octocoral density, sponge frequency of occurrence, and benthic cover of algae and invertebrates. Probabilistic survey design techniques provided a robust framework for estimating population-level metrics and optimizing sampling efficiency.

  17. A vanished history of skeletonization in Cambrian comb jellies

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Qiang; Xiao, Shuhai; Han, Jian; Sun, Ge; Zhang, Fang; Zhang, Zhifei; Shu, Degan

    2015-01-01

    Ctenophores are traditionally regarded as “lower” metazoans, sharing with cnidarians a diploblastic grade of organization. Unlike cnidarians, where skeletonization (biomineralization and sclerotization) evolved repeatedly among ecologically important taxa (for example, scleractinians and octocorals), living ctenophores are characteristically soft-bodied animals. We report six sclerotized and armored ctenophores from the early Cambrian period. They have diagnostic ctenophore features (for example, an octamerous symmetry, oral-aboral axis, aboral sense organ, and octaradially arranged ctene rows). Unlike most modern counterparts, however, they lack tentacles, have a sclerotized framework, and have eight pairs of ctene rows. They are resolved as a monophyletic group (Scleroctenophora new class) within the ctenophores. This clade reveals a cryptic history and sheds new light on the early evolution of this basal animal phylum. Skeletonization also occurs in some other Cambrian animal groups whose extant members are exclusively soft-bodied, suggesting the ecological importance of skeletonization in the Cambrian explosion. PMID:26601209

  18. A vanished history of skeletonization in Cambrian comb jellies.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiang; Xiao, Shuhai; Han, Jian; Sun, Ge; Zhang, Fang; Zhang, Zhifei; Shu, Degan

    2015-07-01

    Ctenophores are traditionally regarded as "lower" metazoans, sharing with cnidarians a diploblastic grade of organization. Unlike cnidarians, where skeletonization (biomineralization and sclerotization) evolved repeatedly among ecologically important taxa (for example, scleractinians and octocorals), living ctenophores are characteristically soft-bodied animals. We report six sclerotized and armored ctenophores from the early Cambrian period. They have diagnostic ctenophore features (for example, an octamerous symmetry, oral-aboral axis, aboral sense organ, and octaradially arranged ctene rows). Unlike most modern counterparts, however, they lack tentacles, have a sclerotized framework, and have eight pairs of ctene rows. They are resolved as a monophyletic group (Scleroctenophora new class) within the ctenophores. This clade reveals a cryptic history and sheds new light on the early evolution of this basal animal phylum. Skeletonization also occurs in some other Cambrian animal groups whose extant members are exclusively soft-bodied, suggesting the ecological importance of skeletonization in the Cambrian explosion.

  19. Abyssal fauna of the UK-1 polymetallic nodule exploration area, Clarion-Clipperton Zone, central Pacific Ocean: Cnidaria.

    PubMed

    Dahlgren, Thomas G; Wiklund, Helena; Rabone, Muriel; Amon, Diva J; Ikebe, Chiho; Watling, Les; Smith, Craig R; Glover, Adrian G

    2016-01-01

    We present data from a DNA taxonomy register of the abyssal Cnidaria collected as part of the Abyssal Baseline (ABYSSLINE) environmental survey cruise 'AB01' to the UK Seabed Resources Ltd (UKSRL) polymetallic-nodule exploration area 'UK-1' in the eastern Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), central Pacific Ocean abyssal plain. This is the second paper in a series to provide regional taxonomic data for a region that is undergoing intense deep-sea mineral exploration for high-grade polymetallic nodules. Data were collected from the UK-1 exploration area following the methods described in Glover et al. (2015b). Morphological and genetic data are presented for 10 species and 18 records identified by a combination of morphological and genetic data, including molecular phylogenetic analyses. These included 2 primnoid octocorals, 2 isidid octocorals, 1 anemone, 4 hydroids (including 2 pelagic siphonophores accidentally caught) and a scyphozoan jellyfish (in the benthic stage of the life cycle). Two taxa matched previously published genetic sequences (pelagic siphonophores), two taxa matched published morphological descriptions (abyssal primnoids described from the same locality in 2015) and the remaining 6 taxa are potentially new species, for which we make the raw data, imagery and vouchers available for future taxonomic study. We have used a precautionary approach in taxon assignments to avoid over-estimating species ranges. The Clarion-Clipperton Zone is a region undergoing intense exploration for potential deep-sea mineral extraction. We present these data to facilitate future taxonomic and environmental impact study by making both data and voucher materials available through curated and accessible biological collections. For some of the specimens we also provide image data collected at the seabed by ROV, wich may facilitate more accurate taxon designation in coming ROV or AUV surveys.

  20. The mitochondrial genome of the brachiopod Laqueus rubellus.

    PubMed Central

    Noguchi, Y; Endo, K; Tajima, F; Ueshima, R

    2000-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the 14,017-bp mitochondrial (mt) genome of the articulate brachiopod Laqueus rubellus is presented. Being one of the smallest of known mt genomes, it has an extremely compact gene organization. While the same 13 polypeptides, two rRNAs, and 22 tRNAs are encoded as in most other animal mtDNAs, lengthy noncoding regions are absent, with the longest apparent intergenic sequence being 54 bp in length. Gene-end sequence overlaps are prevalent, and several stop codons are abbreviated. The genes are generally shorter, and three of the protein-coding genes are the shortest among known homologues. All of the tRNA genes indicate size reduction in either or both of the putative TPsiC and DHU arms compared with standard tRNAs. Possession of a TV (TPsiC arm-variable loop) replacement loop is inferred for tRNA(R) and tRNA(L-tag). The DHU arm appears to be unpaired not only in tRNA(S-tct) and tRNA(S-tga), but also in tRNA(C), tRNA(I), and tRNA(T), a novel condition. All the genes are encoded in the same DNA strand, which has a base composition rich in thymine and guanine. The genome has an overall gene arrangement drastically different from that of any other organisms so far reported, but contains several short segments, composed of 2-3 genes, which are found in other mt genomes. Combined cooccurrence of such gene assortments indicates that the Laqueus mt genome is similar to the annelid Lumbricus, the mollusc Katharina, and the octocoral Sarcophyton mt genomes, each with statistical significance. Widely accepted schemes of metazoan phylogeny suggest that the similarity with the octocoral could have arisen through a process of convergent evolution, while it appears likely that the similarities with the annelid and the mollusc reflect phylogenetic relationships. PMID:10790399

  1. The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Linares, Cristina; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (<40 m), data were collected on the populations’ upper depth limit, density, colony height, and extent of injury. A three-level hierarchical sampling design was applied to assess the existence of spatial patterns, using: a) regions (located thousands of km apart), b) localities within regions (tens to hundreds of km apart), and c) sites within localities (hundreds of m to a few km apart). In the NW Mediterranean and CE Adriatic, the upper distribution limit was at depths ≤15 m, whereas in the N Aegean most populations were found deeper than 30 m. Population density ranged between 4.46-62 colonies per m2, while mean colony height was 15.6±8.9 SD cm with a maximum of 62 cm. The NW Mediterranean sites were characterized by dense populations dominated by small colonies (<20 cm), periodic recruitment, and low proportion of large gorgonians (>30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale. PMID

  2. The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Sini, Maria; Kipson, Silvija; Linares, Cristina; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (<40 m), data were collected on the populations' upper depth limit, density, colony height, and extent of injury. A three-level hierarchical sampling design was applied to assess the existence of spatial patterns, using: a) regions (located thousands of km apart), b) localities within regions (tens to hundreds of km apart), and c) sites within localities (hundreds of m to a few km apart). In the NW Mediterranean and CE Adriatic, the upper distribution limit was at depths ≤15 m, whereas in the N Aegean most populations were found deeper than 30 m. Population density ranged between 4.46-62 colonies per m2, while mean colony height was 15.6±8.9 SD cm with a maximum of 62 cm. The NW Mediterranean sites were characterized by dense populations dominated by small colonies (<20 cm), periodic recruitment, and low proportion of large gorgonians (>30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale.

  3. Abyssal fauna of the UK-1 polymetallic nodule exploration area, Clarion-Clipperton Zone, central Pacific Ocean: Cnidaria

    PubMed Central

    Wiklund, Helena; Rabone, Muriel; Amon, Diva J; Ikebe, Chiho; Watling, Les; Smith, Craig R; Glover, Adrian G

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background We present data from a DNA taxonomy register of the abyssal Cnidaria collected as part of the Abyssal Baseline (ABYSSLINE) environmental survey cruise ‘AB01’ to the UK Seabed Resources Ltd (UKSRL) polymetallic-nodule exploration area ‘UK-1’ in the eastern Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), central Pacific Ocean abyssal plain. This is the second paper in a series to provide regional taxonomic data for a region that is undergoing intense deep-sea mineral exploration for high-grade polymetallic nodules. Data were collected from the UK-1 exploration area following the methods described in Glover et al. (2015b). New information Morphological and genetic data are presented for 10 species and 18 records identified by a combination of morphological and genetic data, including molecular phylogenetic analyses. These included 2 primnoid octocorals, 2 isidid octocorals, 1 anemone, 4 hydroids (including 2 pelagic siphonophores accidentally caught) and a scyphozoan jellyfish (in the benthic stage of the life cycle). Two taxa matched previously published genetic sequences (pelagic siphonophores), two taxa matched published morphological descriptions (abyssal primnoids described from the same locality in 2015) and the remaining 6 taxa are potentially new species, for which we make the raw data, imagery and vouchers available for future taxonomic study. We have used a precautionary approach in taxon assignments to avoid over-estimating species ranges. The Clarion-Clipperton Zone is a region undergoing intense exploration for potential deep-sea mineral extraction. We present these data to facilitate future taxonomic and environmental impact study by making both data and voucher materials available through curated and accessible biological collections. For some of the specimens we also provide image data collected at the seabed by ROV, wich may facilitate more accurate taxon designation in coming ROV or AUV surveys. PMID:27660533

  4. Raman spectroscopy as a tool in differentiating conjugated polyenes from synthetic and natural sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Rafaella F.; Maia, Lenize F.; Couri, Mara R. C.; Costa, Luiz Antonio S.; de Oliveira, Luiz Fernando C.

    2015-01-01

    This work presents the Raman spectroscopic characterization of synthetic analogs of natural conjugated polyenals found in octocorals, focusing the unequivocal identification of the chemical species present in these systems. The synthetic material was produced by the autocondensation reaction of crotonaldehyde, generating a demethylated conjugated polyene containing 11 carbon-carbon double bonds, with just a methyl group on the end of the carbon chain. The resonance Raman spectra of such pigment has shown the existence of enhanced modes assigned to ν1(Cdbnd C) and ν2(Csbnd C) modes of the main chain. For the resonance Raman spectra of natural pigments from octocorals collected in the Brazilian coast, besides the previously cited bands, it could be also observed the presence of the ν4(Csbnd CH3), related to the vibrational mode who describes the vibration of the methyl group of the central carbon chain of carotenoids. Other interesting point is the observation of overtones and combination bands, which for carotenoids involves the presence of the ν4 mode, whereas for the synthetic polyene this band, besides be seen at a slightly different wavenumber position, does not appear as an enhanced mode and also as a combination, such as for the natural carotenoids. Theoretical molecular orbital analysis of polyenal-11 and lycopene has shown the structural differences which are also responsible for the resonance Raman data, based on the appearance of the (sbnd CH3) vibrational mode in the resonant transition only for lycopene. At last, the Raman band at ca. 1010 cm-1, assigned to the (sbnd CH3) vibrational mode, can be used for attributing the presence of each one of the conjugated polyenes: the resonance Raman spectrum containing the band at ca. 1010 cm-1 refers to the carotenoid (in this case lycopene), and the absence of such band in resonance conditions refers to the polyenal (in this case the polyenal-11).

  5. Raman spectroscopy as a tool in differentiating conjugated polyenes from synthetic and natural sources.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Rafaella F; Maia, Lenize F; Couri, Mara R C; Costa, Luiz Antonio S; de Oliveira, Luiz Fernando C

    2015-01-05

    This work presents the Raman spectroscopic characterization of synthetic analogs of natural conjugated polyenals found in octocorals, focusing the unequivocal identification of the chemical species present in these systems. The synthetic material was produced by the autocondensation reaction of crotonaldehyde, generating a demethylated conjugated polyene containing 11 carbon-carbon double bonds, with just a methyl group on the end of the carbon chain. The resonance Raman spectra of such pigment has shown the existence of enhanced modes assigned to ν₁(CC) and ν₂(CC) modes of the main chain. For the resonance Raman spectra of natural pigments from octocorals collected in the Brazilian coast, besides the previously cited bands, it could be also observed the presence of the ν₄(CCH₃), related to the vibrational mode who describes the vibration of the methyl group of the central carbon chain of carotenoids. Other interesting point is the observation of overtones and combination bands, which for carotenoids involves the presence of the ν₄ mode, whereas for the synthetic polyene this band, besides be seen at a slightly different wavenumber position, does not appear as an enhanced mode and also as a combination, such as for the natural carotenoids. Theoretical molecular orbital analysis of polyenal-11 and lycopene has shown the structural differences which are also responsible for the resonance Raman data, based on the appearance of the (CH3) vibrational mode in the resonant transition only for lycopene. At last, the Raman band at ca. 1010 cm(-1), assigned to the (CH₃) vibrational mode, can be used for attributing the presence of each one of the conjugated polyenes: the resonance Raman spectrum containing the band at ca. 1010 cm(-1) refers to the carotenoid (in this case lycopene), and the absence of such band in resonance conditions refers to the polyenal (in this case the polyenal-11).

  6. Vision and Bioluminescence in the Deep-sea Benthos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, T. M.; Johnsen, S.; Bracken-Grissom, H.; Messing, C. G.; Widder, E.

    2016-02-01

    During a NOAA-OER funded research cruise, novel collecting techniques were used to collect live, deep-sea benthic animals for studies of bioluminescence and vision. True color images and emission spectra of bioluminescence were obtained from a number of species, including the spiral octocoral Iridogorgia sp., the sea fan Chrysogorgia sp., the sea pen Umbellula sp., and the caridean shrimp Heterocarpus oryx. Electrophysiological studies were conducted on 3 species of decapod crustaceans collected with methods that limited light damage to their photoreceptors. The caridean shrimp, Bathypalaemonella, collected from 1920 m, was always found in association with the bioluminescent spiral octocoral Iridogorgia. While moribund at the surface, enough data were obtained from one specimen to show different waveforms in response to short and long wavelength light, indicative of two different classes of photoreceptor cells. The chirostylid crab, Uroptychus nitidus, found in association with the bioluminescent sea fan, Chrysogorgia sp., also appears to possess two visual pigments, and if further analysis of data supports this preliminary observation, will be the 4th species of deep-sea, non-bioluminescent crustaceans possessing two visual pigments found in association with bioluminescent cnidarians. These four species also share another characteristic - the presence of one or two very long claws, which the crab species are known to use to pick items (possibly plankton stuck in the mucus) off their cnidarian hosts. These data support the previously presented hypothesis (Frank et al. 2012), that these crustaceans may be utilizing their dual visual pigment systems to distinguish between prey and host, based on spectral differences between pelagic and benthic bioluminescence.

  7. What can two years of monitoring tell us about Venezuelan coral reefs? the Southern Tropical America Node of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (STA-GCRMN).

    PubMed

    Cróquer, Aldo; Debrot, Denise; Klein, Eduardo; Kurten, Martina; Rodríguez, Sebastian; Bastidas, Carolina

    2010-05-01

    In spite of their economic importance, coral reef communities of the world are rapidly decreasing, and an adequate management planification is needed. The benthic and fish communities of Dos Mosquises Sur and Madrizqui at Los Roques National Park, and Caiman and Cayo Norte at Morrocoy National Park, in Venezuela were monitored during 2003 and 2004. The CARICOMP method was used to describe the benthic community, and the AGRRA protocol was applied to the fish community assessment. The benthic cover of five broad living categories (i.e. corals, algae, sponge and octocorals) differed across the sites (Nested ANOVA, p < 0.05), but there were no statistical differences between parks. Despite being on different parks, the benthic cover in Dos Mosquises Sur and Cayo Norte was similar (76% based on Bray-Curtis), whereas Caiman differed greatly (57- 68%) from all other sites. The cover of hard coral, algae, sponges and octocorals was similar between 2003 and 2004 in all four sites. Similarly, the fish community structure of both parks did not change over time, and was dominated by herbivores (Pomacentridac, Scaridae and Acanthuridae). However, commercially important carnivores (e.g. Lutjanids and Serranids) were more abundant in Los Roques than in Morrocoy. Although it was expected that the benthic cover and fish community would reflect greater differences between Los Roques and Morrocoy, only the fish community appeared healthier in Los Roques, whereas Cayo Norte (Morrocoy), had a coral cover similar or higher than both sites of Los Roques. Thus, our results suggest that in Venezuela, oceanic reef sites are not necessarily 'healthier' (i.e. higher coral cover) than land-influenced coral communities. The addition of three new sites and the reincorporation of Caiman has improved and expanded the monitoring capabilities in Venezuela and it represents the first step towards the consolidation of a coral reef monitoring program for the country.

  8. Use of RAD sequencing for delimiting species

    PubMed Central

    Pante, E; Abdelkrim, J; Viricel, A; Gey, D; France, S C; Boisselier, M C; Samadi, S

    2015-01-01

    RAD-tag sequencing is a promising method for conducting genome-wide evolutionary studies. However, to date, only a handful of studies empirically tested its applicability above the species level. In this communication, we use RAD tags to contribute to the delimitation of species within a diverse genus of deep-sea octocorals, Chrysogorgia, for which few classical genetic markers have proved informative. Previous studies have hypothesized that single mitochondrial haplotypes can be used to delimit Chrysogorgia species. On the basis of two lanes of Illumina sequencing, we inferred phylogenetic relationships among 12 putative species that were delimited using mitochondrial data, comparing two RAD analysis pipelines (Stacks and PyRAD). The number of homologous RAD loci decreased dramatically with increasing divergence, as >70% of loci are lost when comparing specimens separated by two mutations on the 700-nt long mitochondrial phylogeny. Species delimitation hypotheses based on the mitochondrial mtMutS gene are largely supported, as six out of nine putative species represented by more than one colony were recovered as discrete, well-supported clades. Significant genetic structure (correlating with geography) was detected within one putative species, suggesting that individuals characterized by the same mtMutS haplotype may belong to distinct species. Conversely, three mtMutS haplotypes formed one well-supported clade within which no population structure was detected, also suggesting that intraspecific variation exists at mtMutS in Chrysogorgia. Despite an impressive decrease in the number of homologous loci across clades, RAD data helped us to fine-tune our interpretations of classical mitochondrial markers used in octocoral species delimitation, and discover previously undetected diversity. PMID:25407078

  9. Phytophthora multivora sp. nov., a new species recovered from declining Eucalyptus, Banksia, Agonis and other plant species in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Scott, P M; Burgess, T I; Barber, P A; Shearer, B L; Stukely, M J C; Hardy, G E St J; Jung, T

    2009-06-01

    A new Phytophthora species, isolated from rhizosphere soil of declining or dead trees of Eucalyptus gomphocephala, E. marginata, Agonis flexuosa, and another 13 plant species, and from fine roots of E. marginata and collar lesions of Banksia attenuata in Western Australia, is described as Phytophthora multivora sp. nov. It is homothallic and produces semipapillate sporangia, smooth-walled oogonia containing thick-walled oospores, and paragynous antheridia. Although morphologically similar to P. citricola, phylogenetic analyses of the ITS and cox1 gene regions demonstrate that P. multivora is unique. Phytophthora multivora is pathogenic to bark and cambium of E. gomphocephala and E. marginata and is believed to be involved in the decline syndrome of both eucalypt species within the tuart woodland in south-west Western Australia.

  10. Comparison of the synergistic action of two thermostable xylanases from GH families 10 and 11 with thermostable cellulases in lignocellulose hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junhua; Tuomainen, Päivi; Siika-Aho, Matti; Viikari, Liisa

    2011-10-01

    Recombinant xylanase preparations from Nonomuraea flexuosa (Nf Xyn, GH11) and Thermoascus aurantiacus (Ta Xyn, GH10) were evaluated for their abilities to hydrolyze hydrothermally pretreated wheat straw. The GH family 10 enzyme Ta Xyn was clearly more efficient in solubilizing xylan from pretreated wheat straw. Improvement of the hydrolysis of hydrothermally pretreated wheat straw by addition of the thermostable xylanase preparations to thermostable cellulases was evaluated. Clear synergistic enhancement of hydrolysis of cellulose was observed when cellulases were supplemented even with a low amount of pure xylanases. Xylobiose was the main hydrolysis product from xylan. It was found that the hydrolysis of cellulose increased nearly linearly with xylan removal during the enzymatic hydrolysis. The results also showed that the xylanase preparation from T. aurantiacus, belonging to GH family 10 always showed better hydrolytic capacity of solubilizing xylan and acting synergistically with thermostable cellulases in the hydrolysis of hydrothermally pretreated wheat straw. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Baseline levels of oxidative stress biomarkers in species from a subtropical estuarine system (Paranaguá Bay, southern Brazil).

    PubMed

    Sardi, Adriana E; Renaud, Paul E; da Cunha Lana, Paulo; Camus, Lionel

    2016-12-15

    Offshore petroleum exploration has increased the risks of oil spills in coastal tropical and subtropical habitats. Monitoring tools are needed to assess and protect environmental health. We determined baseline values of antioxidant biomarkers (CAT, SOD, GPx, GST, MDA) for five ecologically relevant species in a subtropical system in southern Brazil. Regional baseline levels are compared with literature data as a basis to eventually test their efficacy as post-spill monitoring tools. Differences in the antioxidant response among species, contamination, and seasons were tested using univariate and multivariate analyses. The bivalves Anomalocardia flexuosa and Crassostrea rhizophorae and the catfish Genidens genidens emerge as suitable sentinel species. Seasonality is the main factor accounting for biomarkers variability, and not background contamination level. However, interactions between season and contamination level are also significant, indicating that biomarkers respond to complex environmental settings, a fact that needs to be fully understood for designing proper monitoring programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Bioactive Compounds Found in Brazilian Cerrado Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Bailão, Elisa Flávia Luiz Cardoso; Devilla, Ivano Alessandro; da Conceição, Edemilson Cardoso; Borges, Leonardo Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the Cerrado are progressive. Hence, the knowledge propagation about the importance of the species found in Cerrado could contribute to the preservation of this biome. This review provides information about Cerrado fruits and highlights the structures and pharmacologic potential of functional compounds found in these fruits. Compounds detected in Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (pequi), Dipteryx alata Vog. (baru), Eugenia dysenterica DC. (cagaita), Eugenia uniflora L. (pitanga), Genipa americana L. (jenipapo), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (mangaba), Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (buriti), Myrciaria cauliflora (DC) Berg (jabuticaba), Psidium guajava L. (goiaba), Psidium spp. (araçá), Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill (lobeira), Spondias mombin L. (cajá), Annona crassiflora Mart. (araticum), among others are reported here. PMID:26473827

  13. Phylogenetic analysis of Bambusa (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) based on internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ye; Xia, Nianhe; Lin, Rushun

    2005-12-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of Bambusa species were performed using internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA. The 21 species sampled included members of Bambusa (sensu stricto), Dendrocalamopsis, Dendrocalamus, Guadua, Leleba, and Lingnania. Arundinaria gigantea was used as an outgroup. Using the maximum parsimony method with PAUP*, gaps were treated as missing states or new states. Parsimonious analysis revealed that Dendrocalamus latiflorus was closely related to the members of Dendrocalamopsis. Dendrocalamus membranaceus was a sister species to Dendrocalamus strictus. Three Dendrocalamus species were closely related to and nested in a polyphyletic Bambusa. Bambusa subaequalis was a sister species to B. multiplex, B. emeiensis to B. chungii, B. contracta to B. hainanensis, and B. flexuosa was a sister species to B. sinospinosa, B. tuldoides, B. surrecta, B. intermedia, and B. valida group, which raised doubts about the monophyly of the subgenera Bambusa (sensu stricto), Dendrocalamopsis, Leleba, and Lingnania under the genus Bambusa.

  14. Determination of the oxidative stability by DSC of vegetable oils from the Amazonian area.

    PubMed

    Pardauil, Juliana J R; Souza, Luiz K C; Molfetta, Fábio A; Zamian, José R; Rocha Filho, Geraldo N; da Costa, C E F

    2011-05-01

    Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and a Rancimat method apparatus were applied to evaluate the oxidative stability of buriti pulp oil (Mauritia flexuosa Mart), rubber seed oil (Hevea brasiliensis), and passion fruit oil (Passiflora edulis). The Rancimat measurements taken for the oxidative induction times were performed under isothermal conditions at 100°C and in an air atmosphere. The DSC technique involved the oxidation of oil samples in an oxygen-flow DSC cell. The DSC cell temperature was set at five different isothermal temperatures: 100, 110, 120, 130 and 140°C. During the oxidation reaction, an increase in heat was observed as a sharp exothermic curve. The value T(0) represents the oxidative induction time, which is determined from the downward extrapolated DSC oxidative curve verses the time axis. These curves indicate a good correlation between the DSC T(0) and oxidative stability index (OSI) values. The DSC method is useful because it consumes less time and less sample.

  15. New microsatellite loci for Prosopis alba and P. chilensis (Fabaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Bessega, Cecilia F.; Pometti, Carolina L.; Miller, Joe T.; Watts, Richard; Saidman, Beatriz O.; Vilardi, Juan C.

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: As only six useful microsatellite loci that exhibit broad cross-amplification are so far available for Prosopis species, it is necessary to develop a larger number of codominant markers for population genetic studies. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers obtained for Prosopis species from a 454 pyrosequencing run were optimized and characterized for studies in P. alba and P. chilensis. • Methods and Results: Twelve markers that were successfully amplified showed polymorphism in P. alba and P. chilensis. The number of alleles per locus ranged between two and seven and heterozygosity estimates ranged from 0.2 to 0.8. Most of these loci cross-amplify in P. ruscifolia, P. flexuosa, P. kuntzei, P. glandulosa, and P. pallida. • Conclusions: These loci will enable genetic diversity studies of P. alba and P. chilensis and contribute to fine-scale population structure, indirect estimation of relatedness among individuals, and marker-assisted selection. PMID:25202541

  16. Molecular identification of green algae from the rafts based infrastructure of Porphyra yezoensis.

    PubMed

    Shen, Qi; Li, Hongye; Li, Yan; Wang, Zongling; Liu, Jiesheng; Yang, Weidong

    2012-10-01

    To provide more information on the origin of the Ulva prolifera bloom in Qingdao sea area in China from 2007 to 2011, the diversity of green algae growing on the rafts of Porphyra yezoensis on the coast in Jiangsu Province was investigated based on ITS, rbcL and 5S sequences. Eighty-four of green algal samples from various sites and cruises in 2010 and 2011 were collected. According to ITS and rbcL sequences, samples from the rafts of P. yezoensis fell into four clades: Ulva linza-procera-prolifera (LPP) complex, Ulva flexuosa, Blidingia sp. and Urospora spp. However, based on the 5S rDNA, a more resolved DNA marker, only one of the 84 samples belonged to U. prolifera. Combined with the previous reports, it is likely that U. prolifera bloom in Qingdao sea area might consist of more than one origin, and Porphyra cultivation rafts might be one of the causes.

  17. Revision of the genus Prionotropis Fieber, 1853 (Orthoptera: Pamphagidae: Thrinchinae).

    PubMed

    Massa, Bruno; Ünal, Mustafa; Lo Verde, Gabriella

    2015-12-23

    The genus Prionotropis Fieber, 1853 is revised. It is distributed in scattered areas of the Mediterranean region from Turkey in the East to Spain in the West. Overall, seven species are listed, namely P. maculinervis (Stål, 1878) (Turkey; P. urfensis Ramme, 1933 is here considered its synonym), P. willemsorum n. sp. (Greece, Epirus; previously considered P. appula), P. appula (O.G. Costa, 1836) (South Italy), P. hystrix (Germar, 1817) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, North-East Italy; P. hystrix sontiaca is here synonymized), P. rhodanica Uvarov, 1923 resurrected status (France, Crau, Rhone delta; here considered a valid species), P. azami Uvarov, 1923 n. status (France, Var region; here considered a valid species), and P. flexuosa (Serville, 1838) (Spain; the ssp. pereezi Bolívar, 1921 and sulphurans Bolívar, 1921 are here considered its synonyms). A key to species is presented.

  18. Responses of a nitrogen-saturated forest to a sharp decrease in nitrogen input

    SciTech Connect

    Quist, M.E.; Naesholm, T.; Lindeberg, J.; Johannisson, C.; Hoegbom, L.; Hoegberg, P.

    1999-12-01

    The reversibility of induced N saturation was investigated in a 46-yr-old pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest in northern Sweden. Ammonium nitrate has been applied annually since 1971 to plots at average dosages of 36 (N1), 72 (N2), and 108 (N3) kg N ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}, with or without P and K addition (background N deposition is < 4 kg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}). In 1990, after two decades of treatment, the largest N application (N3) was suspended, while N1 and N2 still received ammonium nitrate applications. Seven years after the last application in N3, the N availability measured as N concentration in plants [pine roots and needles and in leaves of the grass Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin] and activity of the enzyme nitrate reductase in leaves of D. flexuosa, and {sup 15}N uptake by excised pine roots, was at the same levels as in N1, although more than twice the amount of N has been applied in total to N3. The arginine concentrations in pine needles, concentrations of exchangeable mineral N in the organic layer, and the uppermost 20 cm of the mineral soil were at the same levels as in the control plots. Thus, an experimentally induced N excess was, according to these measurements, to a high degree reversed 7 yr after the last N application. However, the composition of the understory vegetation still differed markedly from the untreated control 8 yr after the last N3 application.

  19. Plant growth promotion by inoculation with selected bacterial strains versus mineral soil supplements.

    PubMed

    Wernitznig, S; Adlassnig, W; Sprocati, A R; Turnau, K; Neagoe, A; Alisi, C; Sassmann, S; Nicoara, A; Pinto, V; Cremisini, C; Lichtscheidl, I

    2014-01-01

    In the process of remediation of mine sites, the establishment of a vegetation cover is one of the most important tasks. This study tests two different approaches to manipulate soil properties in order to facilitate plant growth. Mine waste from Ingurtosu, Sardinia, Italy rich in silt, clay, and heavy metals like Cd, Cu, and Zn was used in a series of greenhouse experiments. Bacteria with putative beneficial properties for plant growth were isolated from this substrate, propagated and consortia of ten strains were used to inoculate the substrate. Alternatively, sand and volcanic clay were added. On these treated and untreated soils, seeds of Helianthus annuus, of the native Euphorbia pithyusa, and of the grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia flexuosa and Festuca rubra were germinated, and the growth of the seedlings was monitored. The added bacteria established well under all experimental conditions and reduced the extractability of most metals. In association with H. annuus, E. pithyusa and D. flexuosa bacteria improved microbial activity and functional diversity of the original soil. Their effect on plant growth, however, was ambiguous and usually negative. The addition of sand and volcanic clay, on the other hand, had a positive effect on all plant species except E. pithyusa. Especially the grasses experienced a significant benefit. The effects of a double treatment with both bacteria and sand and volcanic clay were rather negative. It is concluded that the addition of mechanical support has great potential to boost revegetation of mining sites though it is comparatively expensive. The possibilities offered by the inoculation of bacteria, on the other hand, appear rather limited.

  20. Salt lakes of La Mancha (Central Spain): A hot spot for tiger beetle (Carabidae, Cicindelinae) species diversity

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Flores, Paula C.; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Jorge; Aguirre-Ruiz, Ernesto F.; García-París, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The tiger beetle assemblage of the wetlands of La Mancha (central Spain) comprises nine species: Calomera littoralis littoralis, Cephalota maura maura, Cephalota circumdata imperialis, Cephalota dulcinea, Cicindela campestris campestris, Cicindela maroccana, Cylindera paludosa, Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa, and Myriochila melancholica melancholica. This assemblage represents the largest concentration of tiger beetles in a single 1º latitude / longitude square in Europe. General patterns of spatial and temporal segregation among species are discussed based on observations of 1462 specimens registered during an observation period of one year, from April to August. The different species of Cicindelini appear to be distributed over space and time, with little overlapping among them. Three sets of species replace each other phenologically as the season goes on. Most of the species occupy drying or dried salt lakes and salt marshes, with sparse vegetation cover. Spatial segregation is marked in terms of substrate and vegetation use. Calomera littoralis and Myriochila melancholica have been observed mainly on wet soils; Cephalota circumdata on dry open saline flats; Cephalota dulcinea and Cylindera paludosa in granulated substrates with typical halophytic vegetation; Cephalota maura is often present in man-modified areas. Cephalota circumdata and Cephalota dulcinea are included as species of special interest in the list of protected species in Castilla–La Mancha. Conservation problems for the Cicindelini assemblage arise from agricultural activities and inadequate use of sport vehicles. Attempts at restoring the original habitat, supressing old semi-industrial structures, may affect the spatial heterogeneity of the lakes, and have an effect on Cicindelinae diversity. PMID:27006617

  1. Photosynthetic production of boreal ground vegetation after a forest clear-cut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulmala, L.; Pumpanen, J.; Vesala, T.; Hari, P.

    2009-05-01

    Heather (Calluna vulgaris), rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) are typical species on boreal clear-cut sites. According to our study, they all had clear and species-specific annual cycles of photosynthetic activity (Pmax). The maxima of C. vulgaris and E. angustifolium occurred around June and July, while that of R. idaeus occurred as late as in August. The photosynthetic activity of C. vulgaris followed the temperature history closely when the soil moisture was high. Deciduous D. flexuosa also followed the temperature history, unlike E. angustifolium and R. idaeus. During a short drought, some shoots decreased their Pmax levels but none of the species showed congruent reactions within individuals. In general, we noticed that the comparison of Pmax or respiration of different shoots caused less discrepancy when based on ground area than on leaf mass. Using species composition and continuous temperature and light measurements, we upscaled the species-specific process rates and integrated fixed and respired CO2 of ground vegetation during an entire growing season 2005. The photosynthetic production of ground vegetation was 760 g C m-2 y-1 at the fertile site and 300 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. During the snow-free period (18 April-21 November), C. vulgaris respired 68 g C m-2 y-1 and E. angustifolium 7 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. At the fertile site, E. angustifolium and R. idaeus respired 22 and 12 g C m-2 y-1, respectively.

  2. Photosynthesis of boreal ground vegetation after a forest clear-cut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulmala, L.; Pumpanen, J.; Vesala, T.; Hari, P.

    2009-11-01

    Heather (Calluna vulgaris), rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) are typical species at boreal clear-cut sites. In this study, we measured their photosynthesis separately in the growing season of 2005 using a manual chamber. All measured species showed clear and species-specific seasonal cycles of photosynthetic activity (Pmax). The maxima of C. vulgaris and E. angustifolium occurred around June and July, while that of R. idaeus occurred as late as August. A simple model of photosynthetic activity is presented, addressing the photosynthesis of C. vulgaris was mainly explained by temperature history when the soil moisture is high. The activity of deciduous D. flexuosa also followed the temperature history, unlike the activities of E. angustifolium and R. idaeus. During a short drought, some shoots decreased their Pmax levels but none of the species showed similar reactions between individuals. We also observed that the comparison of the whole-plant Pmax or respiration of different-sized individuals were less scattered than the results based on full-grown leaf mass, implying that species-specific rates of photosynthesis at ground level are rather similar regardless of the plant size. Using species composition and continuous temperature and light measurements, we upscaled the species-specific process rates and integrated fixed and respired CO2 of ground vegetation for the entire 2005 growing season. The photosynthetic production per surface area of soil was 760 g C m-2 y-1 at the fertile site and 300 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. During the snow-free period (18 April-21 November), the above ground parts of measured species released 75 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. At the fertile site, E. angustifolium and R. idaeus respired 22 and 12 g C m-2 y-1, respectively.

  3. The Role of Individual Traits and Environmental Factors for Diet Composition of Sheep.

    PubMed

    Mysterud, Atle; Austrheim, Gunnar

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivore consumption of forage is known to affect vegetation composition and thereby ecosystem functions. It is thus important to understand how diet composition arises as a mixture of individual variation in preferences and environmental drivers of availability, but few studies have quantified both. Based on 10 years of data on diet composition by aid of microhistological analysis for sheep kept at high and low population density, we analysed how both individual traits (sex, age, body mass, litter size) linked to preference and environmental variation (density, climate proxies) linked to forage availability affected proportional intake of herbs (high quality/low availability) and Avenella flexuosa (lower quality/high availability). Environmental factors affecting current forage availability such as population density and seasonal and annual variation in diet had the most marked impact on diet composition. Previous environment of sheep (switch between high and low population density) had no impact on diet, suggesting a comparably minor role of learning for density dependent diet selection. For individual traits, only the difference between lambs and ewes affected proportion of A. flexuosa, while body mass better predicted proportion of herbs in diet. Neither sex, body mass, litter size, ewe age nor mass of ewe affected diet composition of lambs, and there was no effect of age, body mass or litter size on diet composition of ewes. Our study highlights that diet composition arises from a combination of preferences being predicted by lamb and ewes' age and/or body mass differences, and the immediate environment in terms of population density and proxies for vegetation development.

  4. Development of a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method for rapid detection of Ulva prolifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qing-Chun; Liu, Qing; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Yu, Ren-Cheng; Yan, Tian; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-09-01

    Large-scale green tides have occurred consecutively since 2007 in the Yellow Sea (YS), China. The dominant causative species of the green tides has been identified as Ulva prolifera. The origin of green tides in the YS has been traced back to the Subei Shoal based on the results of remote-sensing, numerical simulations and field investigations. However, it is difficult to study the early development of green tides in the Subei Shoal because of the mixture of multiple green algae and the morphological diversity of U. prolifera when under variable environmental conditions. In this study, a rapid and accurate fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method was developed to detect U. prolifera from the community of green algae targeting the 5S rDNA spacer region of U. prolifera. Two specific probes, 5S-1 and 5S-2, were designed based on the sequences of the 5S rDNA spacer regions of U. prolifera, Ulva linza and Ulva flexuosa. Specificity of the FISH method was tested using the six species of green algae commonly occurring in the Subei Shoal, including U. prolifera, U. linza, U. flexuosa, Ulva compressa, Ulva pertusa and Blidingia sp. The results showed that only U. prolifera could be labeled with both probes. Probe 5S-1, which showed a much higher labeling efficiency on U. prolifera, was ultimately selected as the probe for the FISH detection. The sample preparation method was optimized, particularly for the mature green algae, by the addition of cellulase and proteinase K in the pre-hybridization solution. Labeling efficiency with the probe 5S-1 reached 96% on average under the optimized conditions. The successful development of the FISH method has been applied to qualitative and quantitative analysis of field samples collected from the YS, and the results indicate a potential use in future green algae studies.

  5. Characterizing peat palm forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon from space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Gutierrez-Velez, Victor Hugo; van Lent, Jeffrey; Verchot, Louis Vincent

    2016-04-01

    Peru has the second largest area of peatlands in the Tropics however little is known on how the biogeochemical cycle of its peat forests can be affected through anthropogenic intervention. The most representative land cover on peat is a Mauritia flexuosa-dominated palm swamp forest which has been under human pressure over decades due the high demand for the M. flexuosa fruit often collected by cutting down the entire palm. Degradation of these carbon-dense forests can severely affect emissions of greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. The objectives of this research were to assess the impacts on soil trace gas fluxes and biomass carbon stocks of peat palm swamp forest degradation and to explore the potential of remote sensing methods combined with field measurements to map the distribution of peat palm swamp forest according degradation levels. Results suggest a shift in forest composition from palm- to woody-tree dominated forest following degradation. We also found that human intervention in peat palm swamp forest can translate into substantial reductions in tree carbon stocks with a decrease in initial biomass (above and below-ground) stocks (118.3 ± 1.1 Mg C ha-1) by 26 and 44% following medium and high degradation. Preliminary results suggest high and low soil CH4 and CO2 emission rates on average, as compared to Southeast Asian peat swamp forests whereas N2O emissions are of the same magnitude. Degradation seems to disrupt soil respiration mainly through micro-climatic changes induced by reduced canopy cover. The analysis indicates a good potential to discriminate areas of peat palm swamp forest with different levels of degradation from other land covers, suggesting the feasibility of monitoring peat palm swamp forest degradation using remote sensing analyses.

  6. Cytotoxicity of fucosterol containing fraction of marine algae against breast and colon carcinoma cell line.

    PubMed

    Khanavi, Mahnaz; Gheidarloo, Razieh; Sadati, Nargess; Ardekani, Mohammad Reza Shams; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher; Tavajohi, Shohreh; Ostad, Seyed Nasser

    2012-01-01

    Marine algae produce different secondary metabolites with a wide range of biological activities. Many studies have been achieved on the screening of biological effects of marine organisms and a lot of active compounds were isolated and characterized. In an attempt to find cytotoxic compound of hexane fraction, isolation, identification, and cytotoxicity of active compound of this fraction were performed. In this study, total methanolic (70%) extract and partition fractions of hexane, chloroform (CHCl(3)), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and MeOH-H(2)O of Sargassum angustifolium, Chondria dasyphylla, and Ulva flexuosa, collected from coastlines of the Persian Gulf in south of Iran, were studied against colon carcinoma (HT-29), colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2), breast ductal carcinoma (T47D), and Swiss mouse embryo fibroblast (NIH 3T3) cell lines by MTT assay. IC(50) (median growth inhibitory concentration) values were calculated by Sigmaplot (10) software. Hexane fraction of Chondria dasyphylla (IC(50) 82.26 ± 4.09 μg/ml) and MeOH-H(2)O fraction of Ulva flexuosa (IC(50) 116.92 ± 8.58 μg/ml) showed cytotoxic activity against proliferation of T47D cells. Hexane fraction of Sargassum angustifolium was also observed for cytotoxicity against T47D and HT-29 cell lines (IC(50) 166.42 ± 26.7 and 190.24 ± 52.8 μg/ml), respectively. An investigation of a component from the hexane fraction of Sargassum angustifolium yielded a steroidal metabolite, fucosterol, with cytotoxicity in T47D and HT29 (IC(50) 27.94 ± 9.3 and 70.41 ± 7.5 μg/ml). These results indicated that fucosterol, the most abundant phytosterol in brown algae, is responsible for cytotoxic effect of this extract against breast and colon carcinoma cell lines.

  7. Hydraulic properties of fronds from palms of varying height and habitat.

    PubMed

    Renninger, Heidi J; Phillips, Nathan

    2011-12-01

    Because palms grow in highly varying climates and reach considerable heights, they present a unique opportunity to evaluate how environment and plant size impact hydraulic function. We studied hydraulic properties of petioles from palms of varying height from three species: Iriartea deltoidea, a tropical rainforest species; Mauritia flexuosa, a tropical rainforest, swamp species; and Washingtonia robusta, a subtropical species. We measured leaf areas, petiole cross-sectional areas, specific conductivity (K(S)), petiole anatomical properties, vulnerability to embolism and leaf water potentials and calculated petiole Huber values and leaf-specific conductivities (K(L)). Leaf and petiole cross-sectional areas varied widely with height. However, hydraulic properties including Huber values, K(S) and K(L), remained constant. The two palmate species, M. flexuosa and W. robusta, had larger Huber values than I. deltoidea, a pinnately-compound species which exhibited the highest K(S). Metaxylem vessel diameters and vascular bundle densities varied with height in opposing patterns to maintain petiole conductivities. I. deltoidea and W. robusta petioles had similar P(50) values (the point at which 50% of hydraulic conductivity is lost) averaged over all crown heights, but W. robusta exhibited more negative P(50) values in taller palms. Comparison of P (50) values with transpiring midday leaf water potentials, as well as a double-dye staining experiment in a 1-m-tall palm, suggested that a fairly significant amount of embolisms were occurring and refilled on a diurnal basis. Therefore, across palms differing widely in height and growing environments, we found convergence in water transport per unit leaf area (K(L)) with individuals exhibiting differing strategies for achieving this.

  8. Cytochrome P450 diversity and induction by gorgonian allelochemicals in the marine gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Intense consumer pressure strongly affects the structural organization and function of marine ecosystems, while also having a profound effect on the phenotype of both predator and prey. Allelochemicals produced by prey often render their tissues unpalatable or toxic to a majority of potential consumers, yet some marine consumers have evolved resistance to host chemical defenses. A key challenge facing marine ecologists seeking to explain the vast differences in consumer tolerance of dietary allelochemicals is understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying diet choice. The ability of marine consumers to tolerate toxin-laden prey may involve the cooperative action of biotransformation enzymes, including the inducible cytochrome P450s (CYPs), which have received little attention in marine invertebrates despite the importance of allelochemicals in their evolution. Results Here, we investigated the diversity, transcriptional response, and enzymatic activity of CYPs possibly involved in allelochemical detoxification in the generalist gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, which feeds exclusively on chemically defended gorgonians. Twelve new genes in CYP family 4 were identified from the digestive gland of C. gibbosum. Laboratory-based feeding studies demonstrated a 2.7- to 5.1-fold induction of Cyphoma CYP4BK and CYP4BL transcripts following dietary exposure to the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, which contains high concentrations of anti-predatory prostaglandins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that C. gibbosum CYP4BK and CYP4BL were most closely related to vertebrate CYP4A and CYP4F, which metabolize pathophysiologically important fatty acids, including prostaglandins. Experiments involving heterologous expression of selected allelochemically-responsive C. gibbosum CYP4s indicated a possible role of one or more CYP4BL forms in eicosanoid metabolism. Sequence analysis further demonstrated that Cyphoma CYP4BK/4BL and vertebrate CYP4A/4F forms share

  9. Cytochrome P450 diversity and induction by gorgonian allelochemicals in the marine gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum.

    PubMed

    Whalen, Kristen E; Starczak, Victoria R; Nelson, David R; Goldstone, Jared V; Hahn, Mark E

    2010-12-01

    Intense consumer pressure strongly affects the structural organization and function of marine ecosystems, while also having a profound effect on the phenotype of both predator and prey. Allelochemicals produced by prey often render their tissues unpalatable or toxic to a majority of potential consumers, yet some marine consumers have evolved resistance to host chemical defenses. A key challenge facing marine ecologists seeking to explain the vast differences in consumer tolerance of dietary allelochemicals is understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying diet choice. The ability of marine consumers to tolerate toxin-laden prey may involve the cooperative action of biotransformation enzymes, including the inducible cytochrome P450s (CYPs), which have received little attention in marine invertebrates despite the importance of allelochemicals in their evolution. Here, we investigated the diversity, transcriptional response, and enzymatic activity of CYPs possibly involved in allelochemical detoxification in the generalist gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, which feeds exclusively on chemically defended gorgonians. Twelve new genes in CYP family 4 were identified from the digestive gland of C. gibbosum. Laboratory-based feeding studies demonstrated a 2.7- to 5.1-fold induction of Cyphoma CYP4BK and CYP4BL transcripts following dietary exposure to the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, which contains high concentrations of anti-predatory prostaglandins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that C. gibbosum CYP4BK and CYP4BL were most closely related to vertebrate CYP4A and CYP4F, which metabolize pathophysiologically important fatty acids, including prostaglandins. Experiments involving heterologous expression of selected allelochemically-responsive C. gibbosum CYP4s indicated a possible role of one or more CYP4BL forms in eicosanoid metabolism. Sequence analysis further demonstrated that Cyphoma CYP4BK/4BL and vertebrate CYP4A/4F forms share identical amino acid

  10. Temporal variability in methane fluxes from tropical peatlands within the Peruvian Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Wayne; Berrio, Juan Carlos; Boom, Arnoud; Page, Sue; Arn Teh, Yit

    2016-04-01

    Tropical peatlands are one of the largest soil carbon (C) reservoirs globally and play a significant role in modulating fluxes of C between the tropical biosphere and atmosphere. These C fluxes are of global importance because tropical wetlands are the single largest natural source of atmospheric methane (CH4); while land-use change and biomass burning also contribute to the growing global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) burden. Amazonian peatlands play a potentially important role in regional and global atmospheric budgets of C because of their large extent. These ecosystems cover an estimated 150,000km2, which is roughly three-quarters the size of Indonesian peatlands; the world's most extensive and well-studied tropical peatlands. Here we report CH4 fluxes from a lowland tropical peatland in the Pastaza-Maranon foreland basin in Peru, one of the largest peatland complexes in the lowland Amazon Basin. Strong prolonged seasonal rainfall events and the annual Amazon River flood-pulse may lead to pronounced temporal variability in biogeochemical cycling and trace gas fluxes, and this study explored how CH4 fluxes varied among wet and dry season periods in a number of key vegetation types in this region. Sampling was concentrated in 3 of the most numerically-dominant vegetation types: Forested Swamp, Mixed Palm Swamp and Mauritia flexuosa-dominated Palm Swamp, with data collection occurring in both wet and dry seasons over a 2 year period from 2012-2014 (4 field campaigns in total). Overall mean CH4 fluxes from the Forested Swamp, Mixed Palm Swamp and Mauritia flexuosa-dominated Palm Swamp for the entire sampling period were 31.06 ± 3.42 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1, 52.03 ± 16.05 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1 and 36.68 ± 4.32 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1. CH4 emissions, when averaged across the entire dataset, did not differ significantly among habitats. However, when CH4 emissions were aggregated by season, the Mixed Palm Swamp showed a significantly different emissions from all other

  11. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Newman, Steven P; Meesters, Erik H; Dryden, Charlie S; Williams, Stacey M; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J; Polunin, Nicholas V C

    2015-11-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importance of reef habitat complexity and structural components to different taxa of macrofauna, total species richness, and individual coral and fish species in the Caribbean. Species presence and richness of different taxa were visually quantified in one hundred 25-m(2) plots in three marine reserves in the Caribbean. Sampling was evenly distributed across five levels of visually estimated reef complexity, with five structural components also recorded: the number of corals, number of large corals, slope angle, maximum sponge and maximum octocoral height. Taking advantage of natural heterogeneity in structural complexity within a particular coral reef habitat (Orbicella reefs) and discrete environmental envelope, thus minimizing other sources of variability, the relative importance of reef complexity and structural components was quantified for different taxa and individual fish and coral species on Caribbean coral reefs using boosted regression trees (BRTs). Boosted regression tree models performed very well when explaining variability in total (82·3%), coral (80·6%) and fish species richness (77·3%), for which the greatest declines in richness occurred below intermediate reef complexity levels. Complexity accounted for very little of the variability in octocorals, sponges, arthropods, annelids or anemones. BRTs revealed species-specific variability and importance for reef complexity and structural components. Coral and fish species occupancy generally declined at low complexity levels, with the exception of two coral species (Pseudodiploria strigosa and Porites divaricata) and four fish species (Halichoeres bivittatus, H

  12. Genetic diversity, paraphyly and incomplete lineage sorting of mtDNA, ITS2 and microsatellite flanking region in closely related Heliopora species (Octocorallia).

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Nina; Taquet, Coralie; Nagai, Satoshi; Fortes, Miguel; Fan, Tung-Yung; Harii, Saki; Yoshida, Terutoyo; Sito, Yuta; Nadaoka, Kazuo

    2015-12-01

    Examining genetic diversity and lineage sorting of different genes in closely related species provide useful information for phylogenetic analyses and ultimately for understanding the origins of biodiversity. In this study, we examined inter- and intraspecific genetic variation in internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), partial mitochondrial gene (mtMutS), and nuclear microsatellite flanking region in two closely related octocoral species (Heliopora coerulea, HC-A and HC-B). These species were recently identified in a population genetic study using microsatellite markers. The two species have different reproductive timing, which ecologically promotes lineage sorting. In this study, we examined whether species boundaries could be detected by the commonly used nuclear ITS2 and mtMutS, as well as by possibly neutral microsatellite flanking sequences. Haplotype network analysis of microsatellite flanking region revealed that a possible ancestral haplotype was still shared between the two species, indicating on-going lineage sorting. Haplotype network analysis of ITS2 and microsatellite flanking region revealed shared haplotypes between the two lineages. The two species shared fewer ITS2 sequences than microsatellite flanking region sequences. The almost fixed point mutation at the tip of helix 3 of ITS2 was not associated with the secondary structure or compensatory base changes (CBCs). The phylogenetic tree of ITS2 showed paraphyly and that of the microsatellite flanking region indicated that lineage sorting for the two species may be incomplete. Much higher intra- and inter-individual variation of ITS2 was observed in HC-B than that in HC-A, highlighting the importance of examining ITS2 from multiple individuals to estimate genetic diversity. The mitochondrial mtMutS gene sequences from 39 individuals, including both species collected from Japan and Taiwan, showed no variation because of slow rates of mitochondrial nucleotide substitution. This study suggests caution

  13. Macrobiotic Communities of Vailulu'u Seamount, Samoan Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, C. M.; Lee, R. W.; Pile, A. J.; Hudson, I. R.; Brooke, S. D.; Ted, P.; Staudigel, H.; Hart, S.; Bailey, B. E.; Haucke, L.; Koppers, A.; Konter, J.; Templeton, A.; Tebo, B.

    2005-12-01

    Vailulu'u, the active seamount on the hotspot at the Eastern end of the Samoan volcanic chain, was the focus of two research cruises in April and June 2005 using the Pisces V submersible. Warm-water vents on the summit of a newly formed volcanic cone in the crater supported a low-diversity community dominated by thick microbial mats and the synaphobranchid eel Dysommina rugosa. Isotope and gut analyses indicated that the eels feed not on the mats but on planktonic crustaceans imported to the system from the overlying water column. The microbial mat exhibited isotopic signatures consistent with local chemosynthesis, but not methane-based chemosynthesis; A<octocorals and hexactinellid sponges, with occasional asteroids, ophiuroids and crinoids. Most megafaunal organisms collected from the outer flanks were isotopically heavy, with isotope values similar to those of non-vent deep-sea animals. However, the octocoral Anthomastis collected from low

  14. Late Holocene vegetation and fire dynamics from a savanna-forest ecotone in Roraima state, northern Brazilian Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva Meneses, Maria Ecilene Nunes; da Costa, Marcondes Lima; Behling, Hermann

    2013-03-01

    Two sediment cores from Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps have been studied by pollen and charcoal analysis. The cores Fazenda Cigana (FC) and Terra Indígena Aningal (TIA) were taken from a savanna-forest ecotone area in the Roraima State, northern Brazilian Amazon. Based on 5 radiocarbon dates, these records allow the reconstruction of the vegetation fire and climate dynamics during the past 1550 years. At the FC site was recorded a higher proportion of forest cover, suggesting local wetter climatic conditions favorable for forest expansion, especially by gallery forests, between 1550 and 1400 cal yr BP. Stands of M. flexuosa started to establish on the site indicating sufficient soil moisture. From 1400 to 1050 cal yr BP, forest cover retreated while savanna, and the Mauritia palm swamp expanded considerably. The FC site was marked by savanna and Mauritia cover with a slight increase of forest between ca. 1050 and 900 cal yr BP. From 900 to 300 cal yr BP the savanna and palm swamp taxa became dominant and the forest area decreased. At the TIA site the savanna cover was dominant between 1200 and 1000 cal yr BP. From 1000 to 700 forest expanded while savanna and Mauritia palm swamp reduced. Between 700 and 300 cal yr BP savanna and Mauritia palm swamp increased and forest area decreased. The high amount of charred particles found in the sediments, indicate fires with a marked increase between 1400 to 1000 cal yr BP (FC site) and 700 to 300 cal yr BP (TIA site), and probably caused the retreat of forest cover during these two time intervals. The relatively lower fire activity after 300 cal yr BP until present-day favored the increase of forested area at both TIA and FC sites. The arrival of the European settler and the subsequent introduction of cattle, is suggested as the main reason for the decrease of fire in the study region. The results point the fire caused by indigenous people as the principal controlling factor for forest and savanna dynamics during the past

  15. Sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly of Anthopleura dowii Verrill (1869), from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ayala-Sumuano, Jorge-Tonatiuh; Licea-Navarro, Alexei; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Rodríguez, Estefanía; Rodríguez-Almazán, Claudia

    2017-03-01

    Next-generation technologies for determination of genomics and transcriptomics composition have a wide range of applications. Moreover, the development of tools for big data set analysis has allowed the identification of molecules and networks involved in metabolism, evolution or behavior. By natural habitats aquatic organisms have implemented molecular strategies for survival, including the production and secretion of toxic compounds for their predators; therefore these organisms are possible sources of proteins or peptides with potential biotechnological application. In the last decade anthozoans, mainly octocorals but also sea anemones, have been proben to be a source of natural products. Members of the genus Anthopleura are one of the best known and most studied sea anemones because they are common constituents of rocky intertidal communities and show interesting ecological and biological phenomena (e.g. intraespecific competition, symbiosis, etc.); however, many aspects of these taxa remain in need to be analyzed. This work describes the transcriptome sequencing of Anthopleura dowii Verrill, 1869 (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria); this is the first report of this kind for these species. The data set used to construct the transcriptome has been deposited on NCBI's database. Illumina sequence reads are available under BioProject accession number PRJNA329297 and Sequence Read Archive under accession number SRP078992.

  16. Contourite drift evolution and related coral growth in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and its gateways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübscher, Christian; Dullo, Christian; Flögel, Sascha; Titschack, Jürgen; Schönfeld, Joachim

    2010-10-01

    Sediment subbottom profiler and multi-beam data reveal that sediment drifts evolved in various depth intervals between 420 and 650 m water depth in the eastern Golf of Mexico and its gateways. Drift evolution on the western flank of the Yucatan Strait is controlled by the northbound Loop Current down to 800 m and by a counter-current beneath. On the northern Campeche Bank and the West Florida Slope, drifts evolved in depth of 520-600 m and 420-550 m, respectively. In both instances, the causative contour current represents a counter flow to the Loop Current. The varying depth ranges correlate with an eastward rise of the upper boundary of the Antarctic Intermediate Water. The geometry and reflection pattern of upper slope deposits strongly suggest that the causative bottom current velocities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico varied significantly in space and time. The subbottom profiler data further show peculiar stacked diffraction hyperbolae in depths between 480 and 600 m. Camera and video observations from the seafloor off western Florida imply that the diffraction hyperbolas are formed by boulders and cliffs of sedimentary rock, which are locally colonized by cold-water corals, such as Lophelia pertusa, octocorals and stylasterids.

  17. Regional and local environmental conditions do not shape the response to warming of a marine habitat-forming species.

    PubMed

    Crisci, C; Ledoux, J-B; Mokhtar-Jamaï, K; Bally, M; Bensoussan, N; Aurelle, D; Cebrian, E; Coma, R; Féral, J- P; La Rivière, M; Linares, C; López-Sendino, P; Marschal, C; Ribes, M; Teixidó, N; Zuberer, F; Garrabou, J

    2017-07-11

    The differential response of marine populations to climate change remains poorly understood. Here, we combine common garden thermotolerance experiments in aquaria and population genetics to disentangle the factors driving the population response to thermal stress in a temperate habitat-forming species: the octocoral Paramuricea clavata. Using eight populations separated from tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers, which were differentially impacted by recent mortality events, we identify 25 °C as a critical thermal threshold. After one week of exposure at this temperature, seven of the eight populations were affected by tissue necrosis and after 30 days of exposure at this temperature, the mean % of affected colonies increased gradually from 3 to 97%. We then demonstrate the weak relation between the observed differential phenotypic responses and the local temperature regimes experienced by each population. A significant correlation was observed between these responses and the extent of genetic drift impacting each population. Local adaptation may thus be hindered by genetic drift, which seems to be the main driver of the differential response. Accordingly, conservation measures should promote connectivity and control density erosion in order to limit the impact of genetic drift on marine populations facing climate change.

  18. Characteristics of the Mesophotic Megabenthic Assemblages of the Vercelli Seamount (North Tyrrhenian Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Bo, Marzia; Bertolino, Marco; Borghini, Mireno; Castellano, Michela; Covazzi Harriague, Anabella; Di Camillo, Cristina Gioia; Gasparini, GianPietro; Misic, Cristina; Povero, Paolo; Pusceddu, Antonio; Schroeder, Katrin; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount) is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i) the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii) the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii) the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface) with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions. PMID:21304906

  19. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling

    PubMed Central

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A.

    2016-01-01

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30–200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5–25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas. PMID:27841263

  20. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling.

    PubMed

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A

    2016-11-14

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30-200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5-25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas.

  1. Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Felipe V.; da Gama, Bernardo A.P.

    2017-01-01

    Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata, a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1) the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry) on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2) the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3) chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis. Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian’s secondary metabolites.In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis. These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species. PMID:28392988

  2. Naked Stony Corals: Skeleton Loss in Scleractinia

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica; Collins, Allen G.; Takaoka, Tori L.; Kuehl,Jennifer; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    Hexacorallia includes the Scleractinia, or stony corals, characterized by having an external calcareous skeleton made of aragonite, and the Corallimorpharia, or mushroom corals, that lack such a skeleton. Although each group has traditionally been considered monophyletic, some molecular phylogenetic analyses have challenged this, suggesting that skeletal features are evolutionarily plastic, and reviving notions that the scleractinian skeleton may be ephemeral and that the group itself may be polyphyletic. Nevertheless, the most comprehensive phylogenetic study of Hexacorallia supported scleractinian monophyly (REF), and so this remains controversial. In order to resolve this contentious issue, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of nine scleractinians and four corallimorpharians and performed phylogenetic analysis that also included three outgroups (an octocoral and two sea anemones). Our data provide the first strong evidence that Scleractinia is paraphyletic and that the Corallimorpharia is derived from within the group, from which we conclude that skeletal loss has occurred in the latter group secondarily. It is possible that a driving force in such skeletal loss could be the high levels of CO{sub 2} in the ocean during the mid-Cretaceous, which would have impacted aragonite solubility. We estimate from molecular divergence measures that the Corallimorpharia arose in the mid-Cretaceous, approximately 87 million years ago (Ma), supporting this view. These data also permit us to date the origin of Scleractinia to 265 Ma, narrowing the gap between the group's phylogenetic origin and its earliest fossil record.

  3. Characterization of the proteinaceous skeletal organic matrix from the precious coral Corallium konojoi.

    PubMed

    Rahman, M Azizur; Karl, Kristian; Nonaka, Masanori; Fujimura, Hiroyuki; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Oomori, Tamotsu; Wörheide, Gert

    2014-11-01

    The Japanese red and pink corals are known to be precious because of their commercial value resulting from their use in ornaments, jewelry, and medicine. Precious corals are very interesting models for biomineralization studies and possess two different skeletal structures: an axial skeleton and an endoskeleton (sclerites). Although it has long been known that the organic matrix proteins existing in coral skeletons are critical for the oriented precipitation of CaCO3 crystals, these proteins in moderate deep-sea Japanese precious corals remain uncharacterized. Therefore, in this study, we performed skeletal whole proteome analyses using 1D and 2D electrophoresis, nano-LC, and MALDI-TOF-TOF MS. We identified a total of 147 functional coral skeletal organic matrix proteins (120 from the sclerites and 36 from the axial skeleton), including two calcium-binding calmodulin. Among the organic matrix proteins identified, nine key proteins are highly typical and common in both skeletons. Strong glycosylation activity, which is essential for skeletal formation in calcifying organisms, was detected in both skeletons. This work demonstrates unique biomineralization-related proteins in precious corals and provides the first description of the major proteinaceous components of CaCO3 minerals in precious corals, enabling the comparative investigation of biocalcification in other octocorals.

  4. Mimivirus and Mimiviridae: giant viruses with an increasing number of potential hosts, including corals and sponges.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel; Grzela, Renata; Lartigue, Audrey; Bernadac, Alain; Nitsche, Serge; Vacelet, Jean; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Abergel, Chantal

    2009-07-01

    Mimivirus, a giant DNA virus (i.e. "girus") infecting species of the genus Acanthamoeba, was first identified in 2003. With a particle size of 0.7microm in diameter, and a genome size of 1.2Mb encoding more than 900 proteins, it is the most complex virus described to date. Beyond its unusual size, the Mimivirus genome was found to contain the first viral homologues of many genes thought to be the trademark of cellular organisms, such as central components of the translation apparatus. These findings revived the debate on the origin of DNA viruses, and the role they might have played in the emergence of eukaryotes. Published and ongoing studies on Mimivirus continue to lead to unexpected findings concerning a variety of aspects, such as the structure of its particle, unique features of its replication cycle, or the distribution and abundance of Mimivirus relatives in the oceans. Following a summary of these recent findings, we present preliminary results suggesting that octocorals might have come in close contact with an ancestor of Mimivirus, and that modern sponges might be host to a yet unidentified, even larger, member of the Mimiviridae.

  5. IMAGING MASS SPECTROMETRY OF A CORAL MICROBE INTERACTION WITH FUNGI

    PubMed Central

    ZHAO, XILING; LIU, WEI-TING; APARICIO, MARYSTELLA; ATENCIO, LIBRADA; BALLESTEROS, JAVIER; SÁNCHEZ, JOEL; GAVILÁN, RONNIE G.; GUTIÉRREZ, MARCELINO; DORRESTEIN, PIETER C.

    2013-01-01

    Fungal infections are increasing worldwide, including in the aquatic environment. Microbiota that coexist with marine life can provide protection against fungal infections by secretion of metabolites with antifungal properties. Our laboratory has developed mass spectrometric methodologies with the goal of improving our functional understanding of microbial metabolites and guiding the discovery process of anti-infective agents from natural sources. GA40, a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain isolated from an octocoral in Panama, displayed antifungal activity against various terrestrial and marine fungal strains. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS), the molecular species produced by this microbe were visualized in a side-by-side interaction with two representative fungal strains, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger. The visualization was performed directly on the agar without the need for extraction. By comparison of spatial distributions, relative intensities and m/z values of GA40 secreted metabolites in the fungal interactions versus singly grown control colonies, we obtained insight into the antifungal activity of secreted metabolites. Annotation of GA40 metabolites observed in MALDI-IMS was facilitated by MS/MS networking analysis, a mass spectrometric technique that clusters metabolites with similar MS/MS fragmentation patterns. This analysis established that the predominant GA40 metabolites belong to the iturin family. In a fungal inhibition assay of A. fumigatus, the GA40 iturin metabolites were found to be responsible for the antifungal properties of this Bacillus strain. PMID:23881443

  6. Occurrence of deep-water corals on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge based on MAR-ECO data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortensen, P. B.; Buhl-Mortensen, L.; Gebruk, A. V.; Krylova, E. M.

    2008-01-01

    Occurrence of deep-water corals on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between the southern part of the Reykjanes Ridge and the Azores has been examined based on video surveys using remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and bycatch from longline and bottom trawl. Eight sites were surveyed with ROVs, and the bycatch material came from 16 trawl hauls and nine longline sets. Corals were observed at all sites surveyed with ROVs at depths between 800 and 2400 m, but most commonly shallower than 1400 m. The species richness of corals was high, with a total of 40 taxa recorded. Octocorals dominated the coral fauna with 27 taxa. Lophelia pertusa was one of the most frequently observed corals, present at five of the eight surveyed sites. It occurred on basaltic outcrops on the seamounts but always as relatively small colonies (<0.5 m in diameter). Massive live reef structures were not observed. The deepest record of Lophelia was at 1340 m, south of the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone. Accumulations of dead debris of coral skeletons could indicate a presence of former large Lophelia reefs at several locations. The number of megafaunal taxa was 1.6 times higher in areas where corals were present compared to areas without corals. Typical taxa that co-occurred with Lophelia were crinoids, certain sponges, the bivalve Acesta excavata, and squat lobsters. Signs of destructive fishing and lost gillnets were observed at several locations. The impact of fishing on deep-sea corals is discussed.

  7. Comparative mitogenomics, phylogeny and evolutionary history of Leptogorgia (Gorgoniidae).

    PubMed

    Poliseno, Angelo; Feregrino, Christian; Sartoretto, Stéphane; Aurelle, Didier; Wörheide, Gert; McFadden, Catherine S; Vargas, Sergio

    2017-10-01

    Molecular analyses of the ecologically important gorgonian octocoral genus Leptogorgia are scant and mostly deal with few species from restricted geographical regions. Here we explore the phylogenetic relationships and the evolutionary history of Leptogorgia using the complete mitochondrial genomes of six Leptogorgia species from different localities in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and eastern Pacific as well as four other genera of Gorgoniidae and Plexauridae. Our mitogenomic analyses showed high inter-specific diversity, variable nucleotide substitution rates and, for some species, novel genomic features such as ORFs of unknown function. The phylogenetic analyses using complete mitogenomes and an extended mtMutS dataset recovered Leptogorgia as polyphyletic, and the species considered in the analyses were split into two defined groups corresponding to different geographic regions, namely the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic-Mediterranean. Our phylogenetic analysis based on mtMutS also showed a clear separation between the eastern Atlantic and South African Leptogorgia, suggesting the need of a taxonomic revision for these forms. A time-calibrated phylogeny showed that the separation of eastern Pacific and western Atlantic species started ca. 20Mya and suggested a recent divergence for eastern Pacific species and for L. sarmentosa-L. capverdensis. Our results also revealed high inter-specific diversity among eastern Atlantic and South African species, highlighting a potential role of the geographical diversification processes and geological events occurring during the last 30Ma in the Atlantic on the evolutionary history of these organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities and bacterioplankton in Indonesian Marine lakes.

    PubMed

    Cleary, Daniel F R; Becking, Leontine E; Polónia, Ana R M; Freitas, Rossana M; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, we compared communities of bacteria in two jellyfish species (the 'golden' jellyfish Mastigias cf.papua and the box jellyfish Tripedalia cf.cystophora) and water in three marine lakes located in the Berau region of northeastern Borneo, Indonesia. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities were compositionally distinct and less diverse than bacterioplankton communities. Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Synechococcophycidae and Flavobacteriia were the most abundant classes in water. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities were dominated by OTUs assigned to the Gammaproteobacteria (family Endozoicimonaceae), Mollicutes, Spirochaetes and Alphaproteobacteria (orders Kiloniellales and Rhodobacterales). Mollicutes were mainly restricted to Mastigias whereas Spirochaetes and the order Kiloniellales were most abundant in Tripedalia hosts. The most abundant OTU overall in jellyfish hosts was assigned to the family Endozoicimonaceae and was highly similar to organisms in Genbank obtained from various hosts including an octocoral, bivalve and fish species. Other abundant OTUs included an OTU assigned to the order Entomoplasmatales and mainly found in Mastigias hosts and OTUs assigned to the Spirochaetes and order Kiloniellales and mainly found in Tripedalia hosts. The low sequence similarity of the Entomoplasmatales OTU to sequences in Genbank suggests that it may be a novel lineage inhabiting Mastigias and possibly restricted to marine lakes.

  9. Estimation of divergence times in cnidarian evolution based on mitochondrial protein-coding genes and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Park, Eunji; Hwang, Dae-Sik; Lee, Jae-Seong; Song, Jun-Im; Seo, Tae-Kun; Won, Yong-Jin

    2012-01-01

    The phylum Cnidaria is comprised of remarkably diverse and ecologically significant taxa, such as the reef-forming corals, and occupies a basal position in metazoan evolution. The origin of this phylum and the most recent common ancestors (MRCAs) of its modern classes remain mostly unknown, although scattered fossil evidence provides some insights on this topic. Here, we investigate the molecular divergence times of the major taxonomic groups of Cnidaria (27 Hexacorallia, 16 Octocorallia, and 5 Medusozoa) on the basis of mitochondrial DNA sequences of 13 protein-coding genes. For this analysis, the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven octocoral and two scyphozoan species were newly sequenced and combined with all available mitogenomic data from GenBank. Five reliable fossil dates were used to calibrate the Bayesian estimates of divergence times. The molecular evidence suggests that cnidarians originated 741 million years ago (Ma) (95% credible region of 686-819), and the major taxa diversified prior to the Cambrian (543 Ma). The Octocorallia and Scleractinia may have originated from radiations of survivors of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, which matches their fossil record well. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by cultured, symbiotic dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    T Banaszak1 A; LaJeunesse; Trench

    2000-06-28

    We tested the hypothesis that there is a relation between phylotypes (phylogenetic types, as determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and partial sequence analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSUrDNA)) and the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by symbiotic dinoflagellates under the influence of ultraviolet radiation (UV-B/A) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We exposed 27 isolates of symbiotic dinoflagellates simultaneously to UV-B/A and PAR, and subsequently determined the MAAs present in cell extracts and in the media. The algae used included 24 isolates of Symbiodinium spp. originating from jellyfishes, sea anemones, zoanthids, scleractinians, octocorals, and bivalves, and three others in the genera Gymnodinium, Gloeodinium and Amphidinium from a jellyfish, an hydrocoral and a flatworm, respectively. In this study, all of the phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. synthesized up to three identified MAAs. None of the 11 cultured phylotypes B and C Symbiodinium spp. synthesized MAAs. The three non-Symbiodinium symbionts also synthesized up to three MAAs. The results support a conclusion that phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. have a high predilection for the synthesis of MAAs, while phylotypes B and C do not. Synthesis of MAAs by symbiotic dinoflagellates in culture does not appear to relate directly to depths or to the UV exposure regimes from which the consortia were collected.

  11. Ecological adaptations and commensal evolution of the Polynoidae (Polychaeta) in the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge: A phylogenetic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpetti, Natalia; Taylor, M. L.; Brennan, D.; Green, D. H.; Rogers, A. D.; Paterson, G. L. J.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.

    2017-03-01

    The polychaete family polynoid is very large and includes a high diversity of behaviours, including numerous examples of commensal species. The comparison between free-living and commensal behaviours and the evolution of the relationships between commensal species and their hosts are valuable case studies of ecological adaptations. Deep-sea species of Polynoidae were sampled at four seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ridge and twenty specimens from seven species were selected to be analysed. Among them, there were free-living species, living within the three-dimensional framework of cold-water coral reefs, on coral rubble and on mobile sediments, and commensal species, associated with octocorals, hydrocorals (stylasterids), antipatharians and echinoderms (holothurian and ophiuroids). We analysed two mitochondrial (COI, 16S) and two nuclear (18S, 28S) ribosomal genetic markers and their combined sequences were compared with other Genbank sequences to assess the taxonomic relationships within the species under study, and the potential role of hosts in speciation processes. Most basal species of the sub-family Polynoinae are obligate symbionts showing specific morphological adaptations. Obligate and facultative commensal species and free-living species have evolved a number of times, although, according to our results, the obligate coral commensal species appear to be monophyletic.

  12. A new Muricea species (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Octocorallia) from the eastern tropical Pacific.

    PubMed

    Breedy, Odalisca; Guzman, Hector M

    2016-01-01

    The genus Muricea is considered abundant and widely distributed along the eastern Pacific. Its occurrence in shallow waters has been recognised; however species from deeper than 30 m have been rarely recorded. During the 2005 R/V Urracá expedition along the north and central Pacific coast of Costa Rica several octocoral specimens were collected by bottom trawling from 30 to 150 m yielding new species and new records. Herein we describe a new species of Muricea from deeper than 30 m. The morphological characters of the species were analysed and illustrated by optic and scanning electron microscopy. Muricea subtilissp. n. can be distinguished from the other species in the genus by its thin spiny branches, non-imbricate calyces, white colony and sclerites, and the size and composition of sclerites. Comparative character tables are provided for the closest Muricea species-group. This new species increases the number in the genus to 26, and contributes to the knowledge on the diversity and distribution of mesophotic soft corals in the eastern Pacific.

  13. Antimicrobial activity in the common seawhip, Leptogorgia virgulata (Cnidaria: Gorgonaceae).

    PubMed

    Shapo, Jacqueline L; Moeller, Peter D; Galloway, Sylvia B

    2007-09-01

    Antimicrobial activity was examined in the gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata (common seawhip) from South Carolina waters. Extraction and assay protocols were developed to identify antimicrobial activity in crude extracts of L. virgulata. Detection was determined by liquid growth inhibition assays using Escherichia coli BL21, Vibrio harveyii, Micrococcus luteus, and a Bacillus sp. isolate. This represents the first report of antimicrobial activity in L. virgulata, a temperate/sub-tropical coral of the western Atlantic Ocean. Results from growth inhibition assays guided a fractionation scheme to identify active compounds. Reverse-phase HPLC, HPLC-mass spectrometry, and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy were used to isolate, purify, and characterize metabolites in antimicrobial fractions of L. virgulata. Corroborative HPLC-MS/NMR evidence validated the presence of homarine and a homarine analog, well-known emetic metabolites previously isolated from L. virgulata, in coral extracts. In subsequent assays, partially-purified L. virgulata fractions collected from HPLC-MS fractionation were shown to contain antimicrobial activity using M. luteus and V. harveyii. This study provides evidence that homarine is an active constituent of the innate immune system in L. virgulata. We speculate it may act synergistically with cofactors and/or congeners in this octocoral to mount a response to microbial invasion and disease.

  14. The Use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for Deep-Reef Discovery and Benthic Characterization To Aid Conservation and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rissolo, D.; Reed, J. K.; Auster, P. J.; Sherrell, A.; Dessner, M.; Purcell, M.; Packard, G.

    2012-12-01

    Recent exploratory research along the Atlantic coast of the US has demonstrated the utility of dual autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) systems for side-scan surveys, multibeam mapping, and photo-imaging of deep-water habitat and octocoral gardens. The potential of the REMUS 6000 AUVs was demonstrated by mapping high-relief coral mounds in the Straits of Florida in the strong currents of the Gulf Stream, and the submarine canyons and seamounts off the Northeastern US coast. The key to protecting these slow-growing deep coral reefs and critical hard-bottom habitat is the ability to efficiently discover and map their locations, characterize their structure, and assess their condition. Data from these deepwater AUV surveys were used to inform the regional fishery management councils and NOAA NMFS for the management and potential protection of these vulnerable habitats. These projects were realized though the collaborative efforts of the Waitt Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the University of Connecticut.

  15. Range-wide population genetic structure of the Caribbean sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina.

    PubMed

    Andras, Jason P; Rypien, Krystal L; Harvell, Catherine D

    2013-01-01

    The population structure of benthic marine organisms is of central relevance to the conservation and management of these often threatened species, as well as to the accurate understanding of their ecological and evolutionary dynamics. A growing body of evidence suggests that marine populations can be structured over short distances despite theoretically high dispersal potential. Yet the proposed mechanisms governing this structure vary, and existing empirical population genetic evidence is of insufficient taxonomic and geographic scope to allow for strong general inferences. Here, we describe the range-wide population genetic structure of an ecologically important Caribbean octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina. Genetic differentiation was positively correlated with geographic distance and negatively correlated with oceanographically modelled dispersal probability throughout the range. Although we observed admixture across hundreds of kilometres, estimated dispersal was low, and populations were differentiated across distances <2 km. These results suggest that populations of G. ventalina may be evolutionarily coupled via gene flow but are largely demographically independent. Observed patterns of differentiation corroborate biogeographic breaks found in other taxa (e.g. an east/west divide near Puerto Rico), and also identify population divides not discussed in previous studies (e.g. the Yucatan Channel). High genotypic diversity and absence of clonemates indicate that sex is the primary reproductive mode for G. ventalina. A comparative analysis of the population structure of G. ventalina and its dinoflagellate symbiont, Symbiodinium, indicates that the dispersal of these symbiotic partners is not coupled, and symbiont transmission occurs horizontally.

  16. Range-wide population genetic structure of Symbiodinium associated with the Caribbean Sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina.

    PubMed

    Andras, Jason P; Kirk, Nathan L; Drew Harvell, C

    2011-06-01

    Numerous marine invertebrates form endosymbiotic relationships with dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium, yet few studies have examined the population structure of these symbionts. Here, we elucidate the population genetic structure of Symbiodinium harboured by the Caribbean octocoral Gorgonia ventalina throughout the entire range of the host. We used ten microsatellite loci to survey 35 localities spanning 3124 km across the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Diversity of Symbiodinium haplotypes was low within colonies of G. ventalina but high among colonies. Despite high haplotypic diversity, significant evidence of clonal reproduction in Symbiodinium was detected, and most clones occurred within localities, not among them. Pairwise measures of F(ST) illustrated significant differentiation in 98% of comparisons between localities, suggesting low levels of gene flow. Clustering analyses identified six genetic groups whose distribution delimited four broad biogeographic regions. There was evidence of some connectivity among regions, corresponding with known geographic and oceanographic features. Fine-scale spatial surveys of G. ventalina colonies failed to detect differentiation among Symbiodinium at the metre scale. However, significant differentiation was observed among Symbiodinium hosted by sympatric G. ventalina colonies of different size/age classes. This cohort effect suggests that Symbiodinium may have an epidemic population structure, whereby G. ventalina recruits are infected by the locally predominant symbiont strain(s), which change over time.

  17. Deep-Water Coral Diversity and Habitat Associations: Differences among Northeast Atlantic Submarine Canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shank, T. M.

    2016-02-01

    From 2012 to 2015, annual seafloor surveys using the towed camera TowCam were used to characterize benthic ecosystems and habitats to groundtruth recently developed habitat suitability models that predict deep-sea coral locations in northwest Atlantic canyons. Faunal distribution, abundance, and habitat data were obtained from more than 90 towed camera surveys in 21 canyons, specifically Tom's, Hendrickson, Veatch, Gilbert, Ryan, Powell, Munson, Accomac, Leonard, Washington, Wilmington, Lindenkohl, Clipper, Sharpshooter, Welker, Dogbody, Chebacco, Heel Tapper, File Bottom, Carteret, and Spencer Canyons, as well as unnamed minor canyons and inter-canyon areas. We also investigated additional canyons including Block, Alvin, Atlantis, Welker, Heezen, Phoenix, McMaster, Nantucket, and two minor canyons and two intercanyon areas through high-definition ROV image surveys from the NOAA CANEX 2013 and 2014 expeditions. Significant differences in species composition and distribution correlated with specific habitat types, depth, and individual canyons. High abundances and diversity of scleractinians, antipatharians, octocorals and sponges were highly correlated with habitat substrates, includingvertical canyon walls, margins, sediments, cobbles, boulders, and coral rubble habitat. Significant differences in species composition among canyons were observed across similar depths suggesting that many canyons may have their own biological and geological signature. Locating and defining the composition and distribution of vulnerable coral ecosystems in canyons in concert with validating predictive species distribution modeling has resulted in the regional management and conservation recommendations of these living resources and the largest proposed Marine Protected Area in North American waters.

  18. Characteristics of the mesophotic megabenthic assemblages of the vercelli seamount (north tyrrhenian sea).

    PubMed

    Bo, Marzia; Bertolino, Marco; Borghini, Mireno; Castellano, Michela; Covazzi Harriague, Anabella; Di Camillo, Cristina Gioia; Gasparini, Gianpietro; Misic, Cristina; Povero, Paolo; Pusceddu, Antonio; Schroeder, Katrin; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2011-02-03

    The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount) is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i) the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii) the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii) the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface) with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions.

  19. Ancient DNA from Coral-Hosted Symbiodinium Reveal a Static Mutualism over the Last 172 Years

    PubMed Central

    Baker, David M.; Weigt, Lee; Fogel, Marilyn; Knowlton, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) provides powerful evidence for detecting the genetic basis for adaptation to environmental change in many taxa. Among the greatest of changes in our biosphere within the last century is rapid anthropogenic ocean warming. This phenomenon threatens corals with extinction, evidenced by the increasing observation of widespread mortality following mass bleaching events. There is some evidence and conjecture that coral-dinoflagellate symbioses change partnerships in response to changing external conditions over ecological and evolutionary timescales. Until now, we have been unable to ascertain the genetic identity of Symbiodinium hosted by corals prior to the rapid global change of the last century. Here, we show that Symbiodinium cells recovered from dry, century old specimens of 6 host species of octocorals contain sufficient DNA for amplification of the ITS2 subregion of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, commonly used for genotyping within this genus. Through comparisons with modern specimens sampled from similar locales we show that symbiotic associations among several species have been static over the last century, thereby suggesting that adaptive shifts to novel symbiont types is not common among these gorgonians, and perhaps, symbiotic corals in general. PMID:23405111

  20. In-situ observation of deep water corals in the northern Red Sea waters of Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qurban, Mohammad A.; Krishnakumar, P. K.; Joydas, T. V.; Manikandan, K. P.; Ashraf, T. T. M.; Quadri, S. I.; Wafar, M.; Qasem, Ali; Cairns, S. D.

    2014-07-01

    Three sites offshore of the Saudi Arabia coast in the northern Red Sea were surveyed in November 2012 to search for deep-water coral (DWC) grounds using a Remotely Operated Vehicle. A total of 156 colonies were positively identified between 400 and 760 m, and were represented by seven species belonging to Scleractinia (3), Alcyonacea (3) and Antipatharia (1). The scleractinians Dasmosmilia valida Marenzeller, 1907, Eguchipsammia fistula (Alcock, 1902) and Rhizotrochus typus Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1848 were identified to species level, while the octocorals Acanthogorgia sp., Chironephthya sp., Pseudopterogorgia sp., and the antipatharian Stichopathes sp., were identified to genus level. Overall, the highest abundance of DWC was observed at Site A1, the closest to the coast. The most abundant species in the study area was D. valida, which lives attached to rocky substrates and represented 42% of the total coral population at site A1. Water column attributes at this depth were quite homogenous with temperature ca. 21.6 °C, salinity ca. 40.56, dissolved oxygen ca. 1.75 ml L-1 and current velocity from 0.6 to 34.5 cm s-1 with a mean value of 9.5 cm s-1. Interestingly, these DWC can cope with high temperature and salinity, compared to those in other regions.

  1. Vertical water mass structure in the North Atlantic influences the bathymetric distribution of species in the deep-sea coral genus Paramuricea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radice, Veronica Z.; Quattrini, Andrea M.; Wareham, Vonda E.; Edinger, Evan N.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2016-10-01

    Deep-sea corals are the structural foundation of their ecosystems along continental margins worldwide, yet the factors driving their broad distribution are poorly understood. Environmental factors, especially depth-related variables including water mass properties, are thought to considerably affect the realized distribution of deep-sea corals. These factors are governed by local and regional oceanographic conditions that directly influence the dispersal of larvae, and therefore affect the ultimate distribution of adult corals. We used molecular barcoding of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences to identify species of octocorals in the genus Paramuricea collected from the Labrador Sea to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada at depths of 150-1500 m. The results of this study revealed overlapping bathymetric distributions of the Paramuricea species present off the eastern Canadian coast, including the presence of a few cryptic species previously designated as Paramuricea placomus. The distribution of Paramuricea species in the western North Atlantic differs from the Gulf of Mexico, where five Paramuricea species exhibit strong segregation by depth. The different patterns of Paramuricea species in these contrasting biogeographic regions provide insight into how water mass structure may shape species distribution. Investigating Paramuricea prevalence and distribution in conjunction with oceanographic conditions can help demonstrate the factors that generate and maintain deep-sea biodiversity.

  2. Ammonium excretion in two benthic cnidarians: Alcyonium digitatum (Linnaeus, 1758) and Urticina felina (Linnaeus, 1767)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migné, A.; Davoult, D.

    1997-05-01

    As part of an evaluation of nitrogen fluxes between the water column and a macrobenthic community of the Strait of Dover (eastern English Channel), ammonium excretion was measured throughout the year in two common cnidarians (the octocoral Alcyonium digitatum and the sea anemone Urticina felina) which together accounted for 37% of the biomass. Mean ammonium excretion rates were 6.48 (±2.44 s.d.) μg N g -1 h -1 (ash-free dry weight) for A. digitatum and 4.12 (±l.38 s.d.) μg N g -1 h -1 for U. felina. Seasonal variations were observed in the excretion of A. digitatum, whereas such variations were less pronounced in U. felina. These trends are discussed in relation to temperature, food availability, nutritional state and nutritional habits of the two species. The results of this and a previous study indicate a nitrogen production of 18.9 g N m -2 y -1 for the entire benthic community.

  3. The global diversity of sea pens (Cnidaria: Octocorallia: Pennatulacea).

    PubMed

    Williams, Gary C

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances in deep-sea exploration technology coupled with an increase in worldwide biotic surveys, biological research, and underwater photography in shallow water marine regions such as coral reefs, has allowed for a relatively rapid expansion of our knowledge in the global diversity of many groups of marine organisms. This paper is part of the PLoS ONE review collection of WoRMS (the Worldwide Register of Marine Species), on the global diversity of marine species, and treats the pennatulacean octocorals, a group of cnidarians commonly referred to as sea pens or sea feathers. This also includes sea pansies, some sea whips, and various vermiform taxa. Pennatulaceans are a morphologically diverse group with an estimated 200 or more valid species, displaying worldwide geographic and bathymetric distributions from polar seas to the equatorial tropics and from intertidal flats to over 6100 m in depth. The paper treats new discoveries and taxa new to science, and provides greater resolution in geographic and bathymetric distributions data than was previously known, as well as descriptions of life appearances in life and in situ observations at diverse depth.

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome of Calicogorgia granulosa (Anthozoa: Octocorallia): potential gene novelty in unidentified ORFs formed by repeat expansion and segmental duplication.

    PubMed

    Park, Eunji; Song, Jun-Im; Won, Yong-Jin

    2011-10-15

    Mitochondrial genomes of many nonbilaterian animals show high diversity of genome size and gene content, revealing many intergenic regions (IGRs), diverse repeats and additional genes. Here we present a new complete mitogenome of the cnidarian sea fan species, Calicogorgia granulosa (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) and its novel genomic features. The 20,246 bp of the complete mitogenome, which is the largest among the nine octocorals sequenced to date, contains 13 protein coding genes, 2 rRNAs and a tRNA within its circular form of mitochondrial DNA. We found an identical segmental duplication (S1 and S2, 913 bp) composed of an ORF (672 bp) coding for a hypothetical protein within which Direct Variant Repeat (DVR) expansions reside in-frame to the coding sequence. Additionally, the duplicated segmental DNA showed no variation in nucleotide sequences both between S1 and S2 and across multiple individual samples. Upon these observations, we discuss plausible causes for the intramitochondrial segmental duplication and the absence of sequence variation, and a need for further investigation of the novel ORF as well. In conclusion the present mitogenome of C. granulosa adds more information to our understanding of the diversity and evolution of mitogenomes of nonbilaterian animals. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Temporal variability in epifaunal assemblages associated with temperate gorgonian gardens.

    PubMed

    Dias, I M; Cúrdia, J; Cunha, M R; Santos, M N; Carvalho, S

    2015-12-01

    The present study is one of the few that investigate the temporal variability of epifaunal assemblages associated with coral species, particularly the octocorals Eunicella gazella and Leptogorgia lusitanica in south Portugal. The results suggest time rather than colony size as a primary driver of the ecological patterns of these assemblages, which were dominated by amphipods, molluscs and polychaetes. Temporal variability was linked to changes in environmental parameters, namely temperature, chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon. Hence, temporal variability must be taken into account for the design of future biodiversity assessment studies, as different patterns may be observed depending on the sampling time. Associated epifaunal assemblages were consistently dominated by resident species (i.e. species present in all sampling periods) and a peak of rare species was observed in the transition from spring to summer following the increase in seawater temperature. Turnover was particularly high in the transition between the spring and summer periods. In both hosts, turnover was higher in the small sized colonies, which harboured less diverse and less abundant assemblages that also differed from those inhabiting larger size colonies. The high levels of diversity associated with gorgonian colonies highlight the need for the conservation of this priority habitat.

  6. Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Felipe V; da Gama, Bernardo A P; Pereira, Renato C

    2017-01-01

    Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata, a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1) the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry) on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2) the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3) chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis. Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian's secondary metabolites.In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis. These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species.

  7. Genotyping the clonal structure of a gorgonian coral, Junceella juncea (Anthozoa: Octocorallia), using microsatellite loci

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shang-Yin Vanson; Yu, Hon-Tsen; Fan, Tung-Yung; Dai, Chang-Feng

    2005-11-01

    The identification of different clones is fundamental to the study of population structure among organisms with mixed reproductive modes such as cnidarians. However, due to the low genetic variation of coral mtDNA and contamination by zooxanthellate DNA, very few molecular markers are available for studying the clonal structure of cnidarians. Herein we used four polymorphic loci of microsatellite DNA isolated from a zooxanthellae-free octocoral, Junceella juncea, to study its clonal structure in seven populations collected from three localities in Taiwan. In total, 40 multilocus genotypes were found among 152 colonies, and the number of genotypes (clones) identified in the seven populations ranged from 2 to 16. Each of the 40 multilocus genotypes was restricted to a single population, even where adjacent populations were only 100 m distant. The ratio of observed to expected genotypic diversity (Go:Ge) ranged from 0.217 to 0.650, and Go showed a significant departure from Ge ( p<0.05) at each site indicating that asexual fragmentation may play a major role in the maintenance of established populations. Mean relatedness ( R) values showed that genotypes within reefs were more closely related than those between regions. The results indicate that microsatellites are useful for discerning the clonal structures among and within populations at different spatial scales.

  8. Life in the colonies: learning the alien ways of colonial organisms.

    PubMed

    Winston, Judith E

    2010-12-01

    Who needs to go to outer space to study alien beings when the oceans of our own planet abound with bizarre and unknown creatures? Many of them belong to sessile clonal and colonial groups, including sponges, hydroids, corals, octocorals, ascidians, bryozoans, and some polychaetes. Their life histories, in many ways unlike our own, are a challenge for biologists. Studying their ecology, behavior, and taxonomy means trying to “think like a colony” to understand the factors important in their lives. Until the 1980s, most marine ecologists ignored these difficult modular organisms. Plant ecologists showed them ways to deal with the two levels of asexually produced modules and genetic individuals, leading to a surge in research on the ecology of clonal and colonial marine invertebrates. Bryozoans make excellent model colonial animals. Their life histories range from ephemeral to perennial. Aspects of their lives such as growth, reproduction, partial mortality due to predation or fouling, and the behavior of both autozooids and polymorphs can be studied at the level of the colony, as well as that of the individual module, in living colonies and over time.

  9. Imaging mass spectrometry of a coral microbe interaction with fungi.

    PubMed

    Moree, Wilna J; Yang, Jane Y; Zhao, Xiling; Liu, Wei-Ting; Aparicio, Marystella; Atencio, Librada; Ballesteros, Javier; Sánchez, Joel; Gavilán, Ronnie G; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2013-07-01

    Fungal infections are increasing worldwide, including in the aquatic environment. Microbiota that coexist with marine life can provide protection against fungal infections by secretion of metabolites with antifungal properties. Our laboratory has developed mass spectrometric methodologies with the goal of improving our functional understanding of microbial metabolites and guiding the discovery process of anti-infective agents from natural sources. GA40, a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain isolated from an octocoral in Panama, displayed antifungal activity against various terrestrial and marine fungal strains. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS), the molecular species produced by this microbe were visualized in a side-by-side interaction with two representative fungal strains, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger. The visualization was performed directly on the agar without the need for extraction. By evaluating the spatial distributions, relative intensities and m/z values of GA40 secreted metabolites in the fungal interactions and singly grown control colonies, we obtained insight into the antifungal activity of secreted metabolites. Annotation of GA40 metabolites observed in MALDI-IMS was facilitated by MS/MS networking analysis, a mass spectrometric technique that clusters metabolites with similar MS/MS fragmentation patterns. This analysis established that the predominant GA40 metabolites belong to the iturin family. In a fungal inhibition assay of A. fumigatus, the GA40 iturin metabolites were found to be responsible for the antifungal properties of this Bacillus strain.

  10. Up-Regulated Expression of AOS-LOXa and Increased Eicosanoid Synthesis in Response to Coral Wounding

    PubMed Central

    Lõhelaid, Helike; Teder, Tarvi; Tõldsepp, Kadri; Ekins, Merrick; Samel, Nigulas

    2014-01-01

    In octocorals, a catalase–like allene oxide synthase (AOS) and an 8R-lipoxygenase (LOX) gene are fused together encoding for a single AOS-LOX fusion protein. Although the AOS-LOX pathway is central to the arachidonate metabolism in corals, its biological function in coral homeostasis is unclear. Using an acute incision wound model in the soft coral Capnella imbricata, we here test whether LOX pathway, similar to its role in plants, can contribute to the coral damage response and regeneration. Analysis of metabolites formed from exogenous arachidonate before and after fixed time intervals following wounding indicated a significant increase in AOS-LOX activity in response to mechanical injury. Two AOS-LOX isoforms, AOS-LOXa and AOS-LOXb, were cloned and expressed in bacterial expression system as active fusion proteins. Transcription levels of corresponding genes were measured in normal and stressed coral by qPCR. After wounding, AOS-LOXa was markedly up-regulated in both, the tissue adjacent to the incision and distal parts of a coral colony (with the maximum reached at 1 h and 6 h post wounding, respectively), while AOS-LOXb was stable. According to mRNA expression analysis, combined with detection of eicosanoid product formation for the first time, the AOS-LOX was identified as an early stress response gene which is induced by mechanical injury in coral. PMID:24551239

  11. Reefs of the Deep: Moving Toward Integrated Ocean Basin-scale Study of Cold-water Coral Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, J. M.

    2007-12-01

    Scleractinian hard corals in deep, cold waters have been known since the eighteenth century but advances in deep-ocean exploration are now revealing the true scale and distribution of cold-water coral reefs. Hundreds of tropical coral species build shallow reefs, but less than ten cold-water species form deep reef frameworks. Of these the best characterised is Lophelia pertusa which dominates in the north east Atlantic. Assemblages of octocorals and hydrocorals are found in other parts of the world's oceans, such as the north Pacific. Cold-water coral skeletons provide well-preserved, high resolution palaeoclimatic archives and recent advances have been made in interpreting geochemical proxies for seawater temperature and ocean ventilation history. The reefs form long-lived, structurally complex habitats supporting many other species. This complexity makes them vulnerable to mechanical damage from deep-water bottom trawling and modelled scenarios suggest that cold-water coral reefs may be threatened by ocean acidification. Despite these threats, our understanding of many aspects of cold-water coral ecosystems remains in its infancy and studies have been geographically limited in their scope. Here I summarise recent advances and emerging research themes and discuss the importance of moving toward integrated interdisciplinary study at the scale of an ocean basin if we are to appreciate the broad scale importance and connections between these reefs of the deep.

  12. A new Muricea species (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Octocorallia) from the eastern tropical Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Breedy, Odalisca; Guzman, Hector M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The genus Muricea is considered abundant and widely distributed along the eastern Pacific. Its occurrence in shallow waters has been recognised; however species from deeper than 30 m have been rarely recorded. During the 2005 R/V Urracá expedition along the north and central Pacific coast of Costa Rica several octocoral specimens were collected by bottom trawling from 30 to 150 m yielding new species and new records. Herein we describe a new species of Muricea from deeper than 30 m. The morphological characters of the species were analysed and illustrated by optic and scanning electron microscopy. Muricea subtilis sp. n. can be distinguished from the other species in the genus by its thin spiny branches, non-imbricate calyces, white colony and sclerites, and the size and composition of sclerites. Comparative character tables are provided for the closest Muricea species-group. This new species increases the number in the genus to 26, and contributes to the knowledge on the diversity and distribution of mesophotic soft corals in the eastern Pacific. PMID:27920595

  13. The Global Diversity of Sea Pens (Cnidaria: Octocorallia: Pennatulacea)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Gary C.

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances in deep-sea exploration technology coupled with an increase in worldwide biotic surveys, biological research, and underwater photography in shallow water marine regions such as coral reefs, has allowed for a relatively rapid expansion of our knowledge in the global diversity of many groups of marine organisms. This paper is part of the PLoS ONE review collection of WoRMS (the Worldwide Register of Marine Species), on the global diversity of marine species, and treats the pennatulacean octocorals, a group of cnidarians commonly referred to as sea pens or sea feathers. This also includes sea pansies, some sea whips, and various vermiform taxa. Pennatulaceans are a morphologically diverse group with an estimated 200 or more valid species, displaying worldwide geographic and bathymetric distributions from polar seas to the equatorial tropics and from intertidal flats to over 6100 m in depth. The paper treats new discoveries and taxa new to science, and provides greater resolution in geographic and bathymetric distributions data than was previously known, as well as descriptions of life appearances in life and in situ observations at diverse depth. PMID:21829500

  14. Seafloor characterization and benthic megafaunal distribution of an active submarine canyon and surrounding sectors: The case of Gioia Canyon (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierdomenico, Martina; Martorelli, Eleonora; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Gili, Josep Maria; Chiocci, Francesco Latino

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we used multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution seismic profiles, ROV video images and sediment samples to identify the principal morpho-sedimentary features and related megabenthic communities along the upper reach of the Gioia Canyon (depth < 600 m) and the surrounding shelf and slope areas. Interpretation of the multidisciplinary dataset was undertaken to evaluate the relationships between seafloor characteristics and faunal distribution along a submarine canyon in an active tectonic setting. The results from this study indicate that physical disturbance on the seafloor at the canyon head and surrounding shelf, related to high sedimentation rates and occasional turbidite flows, may limit the variability of megabenthic communities. Evidence of diffuse trawl marks over soft sedimentary bottoms indicates anthropogenic impact due to fishing activities, which could explain low abundances of megabenthic species observed locally. The canyon margins and flanks along the continental slope host octocorals Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata, species that are indicative of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and relevant in terms of sustainable management priorities. At the Palmi Ridge, the occurrence of outcropping rocks and bottom currents related to the presence of Levantine Intermediate Waters, provide conditions for the development of hard-bottom assemblages, including the black coral Antipathella subpinnata and deep-sea sponges fields.

  15. Inhibitory Potential of Five Traditionally Used Native Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants on α-Amylase, α-Glucosidase, Glucose Entrapment, and Amylolysis Kinetics In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Picot, Carene M. N.; Subratty, A. Hussein; Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi

    2014-01-01

    Five traditionally used antidiabetic native medicinal plants of Mauritius, namely, Stillingia lineata (SL), Faujasiopsis flexuosa (FF), Erythroxylum laurifolium (EL), Elaeodendron orientale (EO), and Antidesma madagascariensis (AM), were studied for possible α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory property, glucose entrapment, and amylolysis kinetics in vitro. Only methanolic extracts of EL, EO, and AM (7472.92 ± 5.99, 1745.58 ± 31.66, and 2222.96 ± 13.69 μg/mL, resp.) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α-amylase and were comparable to acarbose. EL, EO, AM, and SL extracts (5000 μg/mL) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α-glucosidase (between 87.41 ± 3.31 and 96.87 ± 1.37% inhibition). Enzyme kinetic studies showed an uncompetitive and mixed type of inhibition. Extracts showed significant (P < 0.05) glucose entrapment capacities (8 to 29% glucose diffusion retardation index (GDRI)), with SL being more active (29% GDRI) and showing concentration-dependent activity (29, 26, 21, 14, and 5%, resp.). Amylolysis kinetic studies showed that methanolic extracts were more potent inhibitors of α-amylase compared to aqueous extracts and possessed glucose entrapment properties. Our findings tend to provide justification for the hypoglycaemic action of these medicinal plants which has opened novel avenues for the development of new phytopharmaceuticals geared towards diabetes management. PMID:24723945

  16. Cryptic diversity hides host and habitat specialization in a gorgonian-algal symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; McIlroy, Shelby E; Beltrán, Diana M; Valint, Daniel J; Ford, Scott A; Hellberg, Michael E; Coffroth, Mary Alice

    2014-07-01

    Shallow water anthozoans, the major builders of modern coral reefs, enhance their metabolic and calcification rates with algal symbionts. Controversy exists over whether these anthozoan-algae associations are flexible over the lifetimes of individual hosts, promoting acclimative plasticity, or are closely linked, such that hosts and symbionts co-evolve across generations. Given the diversity of algal symbionts and the morphological plasticity of many host species, cryptic variation within either partner could potentially confound studies of anthozoan-algal associations. Here, we used ribosomal, organelle and nuclear sequences, along with microsatellite variation, to study the relationship between lineages of a common Caribbean gorgonian and its algal symbionts. The gorgonian Eunicea flexuosa is a broadcast spawner, composed of two recently diverged, genetically distinct lineages largely segregated by depth. We sampled colonies of the two lineages across depth gradients at three Caribbean locations. We find that each host lineage is associated with a unique Symbiodinium B1/184 phylotype. This relationship between host and symbiont is maintained when host colonies are reciprocally transplanted, although cases of within phylotype switching were also observed. Even when the phylotypes of both partners are present at intermediate depths, the specificity between host and symbiont lineages remained absolute. Unrecognized cryptic diversity may mask host-symbiont specificity and change the inference of evolutionary processes in mutualistic associations. Symbiotic specificity thus likely contributes to the ecological divergence of the two partners, generating species diversity within coral reefs. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from five species of the South China Sea gorgonian corals.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; He, Fei; Wang, Guang-Hua; Bao, Jie; Xu, Xin-Ya; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2013-06-01

    This study describes the diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from five species of gorgonian corals (Echinogorgia aurantiaca, Melitodes squamata, Muricella flexuosa, Subergorgia suberosa, and Verrucella umbraculum) collected in shallow water of the South China Sea. A total of 123 actinobacterial isolates were recovered using ten different isolation media, and assigned to 11 genera, including Streptomyces and Micromonospora as the dominant genera, followed by Nocardia, Verrucosispora, Nocardiopsis, Rhodococcus, Pseudonocardia, Agrococcus, Saccharomonospora, Saccharopolyspora and Dietzia. Comparable analysis indicated that the numbers of actinobacterial genera and isolates from the five gorgonian coral species varied significantly. It was found that 72 isolates displayed antibacterial activity against at least one indicator bacterium, and the antibacterial strains isolated from different gorgonians had almost the same proportion (~50 %). These results provide direct evidence for the hypotheses that gorgonian coral species contain large and diverse communities of actinobacteria, and suggest that many gorgonian-associated actinobacteria could produce some antibacterial agents to protect their hosts against pathogens. To our knowledge, this is the first report about the diversity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from gorgonian corals.

  18. Fungal biomass associated with the phyllosphere of bryophytes and vascular plants.

    PubMed

    Davey, M L; Nybakken, L; Kauserud, H; Ohlson, M

    2009-11-01

    Little is known about the amount of fungal biomass in the phyllosphere of bryophytes compared to higher plants. In this study, fungal biomass associated with the phyllosphere of three bryophytes (Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi, Polytrichum commune) and three vascular plants (Avenella flexuosa, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Vaccinium myrtillus) was investigated using ergosterol content as a proxy for fungal biomass. Phyllosphere fungi accounted for 0.2-4.0 % of the dry mass of moss gametophytes, representing the first estimation of fungal biomass associated with bryophytes. Significantly more fungal biomass was associated with the phyllosphere of bryophytes than co-occurring vascular plants. The ergosterol present in moss gametophytic tissues differed significantly between species, while the ergosterol present in vascular plant leaf tissues did not. The photosynthetic tissues of mosses had less associated fungal biomass than their senescent tissues, and the magnitude of this difference varied in a species-specific manner. The fungal biomass associated with the vascular plants studied varied significantly between localities, while that of mosses did not. The observed differences in phyllosphere community biomass suggest their size could be affected by host anatomical and physiological attributes, including micro-niche availability and chemical host defenses, in addition to abiotic factors like moisture and nutrient availability.

  19. Phytophthora boodjera sp. nov., a damping-off pathogen in production nurseries and from urban and natural landscapes, with an update on the status of P. alticola.

    PubMed

    Simamora, Agnes V; Stukely, Mike J C; Hardy, Giles E StJ; Burgess, Treena I

    2015-12-01

    A new homothallic Phytophthora species, isolated in Western Australia (WA), is described as Phytophthora boodjera sp. nov. It produces persistent, papillate sporangia, oogonia with thick-walled oospores, and paragynous antheridia. Although morphologically similar to P. arenaria, phylogenetic analyses of the ITS, cox1, HSP90, β-tubulin and enolase gene regions revealed P. boodjera as a new species. In addition, P. boodjera has a higher optimal temperature for growth and a faster growth rate. Phytophthora boodjera has only recently been found in Western Australia and has mostly been isolated from dead and dying Eucalyptus seedlings in nurseries and from urban tree plantings, and occasionally from disturbed natural ecosystems. It is found in association with declining and dying Agonis flexuosa, Banksia media, B. grandis, Corymbia calophylla, Eucalyptus spp,. and Xanthorrhoea preissii. The status of P. alticola was also reviewed. The loss of all isolates associated with the original description except one; discrepancies in both sequence data and morphology of the remaining isolate with that presented the original description, and inconclusive holotype material places the status of this species in doubt.

  20. Antioxidant Activity, Total Phenolics and Flavonoid Contents of some Edible Green Seaweeds from Northern Coasts of the Persian Gulf

    PubMed Central

    Farasat, Massoumeh; Khavari-Nejad, Ramazan-Ali; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher; Namjooyan, Foroogh

    2014-01-01

    The antioxidant activity, contents of total phenolics and flavonoids were quantified in the methanolic extracts of four Ulva species (Ulva clathrata (Roth) C.Agardh, Ulva linza Linnaeus, Ulva flexuosa Wulfen and Ulva intestinalis Linnaeus) grown at different parts of northern coasts of the Persian Gulf in south of Iran. The seaweeds were collected from Dayyer, Taheri and Northern Ouli coasts in April 2011. Methanolic extracts of the seaweeds were assessed for their antioxidant activity using DPPH radical scavenging assay and was performed in a microplate reader. All species exhibited a DPPH radical scavenging activity, and among the species, Ulva clathrata demonstrated greater antioxidant potential with a low IC50 (0.881 mg mL-1) in comparison with those of the other species. Also the highest phenolic content (5.080 mg GAE g-1) and flavonoid content (33.094 mg RE g-1) were observed in U.clathrata. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents showed positive correlations with the DPPH radical scavenging activity (p < 0.01) and negative correlations with IC50 (p < 0.01).The results suggest that these edible green seaweeds possess antioxidant potential which could be considered for future applications in medicine, dietary supplements ,cosmetics or food industries. PMID:24734068

  1. Ichnology of Upper Cretaceous deep-sea thick-bedded flysch sandstones: Lower Istebna Beds, Silesian Unit (Outer Carpathians, southern Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajchel, Jacek; Uchman, Alfred

    2012-04-01

    The Ophiomorpha rudis ichnosubfacies of the Nereites ichnofacies was recognized in thick- and very thick-bedded sandstones of the Lower Istebna Beds (Campanian-Maastrichtian), which were deposited mainly in deep-sea clastic ramps and aprons. It contains mainly Ophiomorpha rudis (produced by deeply burrowing decapod crustaceans) and rarely Zoophycos isp. and Chondrites isp. The impoverished Paleodictyon ichnosubfacies of the Nereites ichnofacies is present in the medium- and thin-bedded packages of flysch sandwiched between the thick- and very thick-bedded sandstones. They contain Chondrites isp., Phycosiphon incertum, Planolites isp., Arthrophycus strictus, Thalassinoides isp., Ophiomorpha annulata, O. rudis, Scolicia strozzii and Helminthorhaphe flexuosa. The relatively low diversity of this assemblage is influenced by limited areas covered by muddy substrate, which favours deep-sea tracemakers, and partly by a lowered oxygenation in the sediment.

  2. Die Makrofauna und ihre Verteilung im Nordost-Felswatt von Helgoland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janke, Klaus

    1986-03-01

    The macrofauna and its distribution in the sheltered, rocky intertidal zone of Helgoland (North Sea) was studied at 9 vertically and/or morphologically different stations from March to September in 1984. Seasonal variations in the communities were described based on each species' “conspicuousness”. A total of 172 species was found. The macrofauna shows a zoned pattern, but also the different substrata, for example, affect its distribution. The number of species increases from the upper intertidal to the upper sublittoral zone from 23 to 133 species. The upper intertidal is characterized by Littorina saxatilis, Chaetogrammarus marinus and Hyale nilssonii. Typical and abundant species of the middle and lower intertidal are Flustrellidra hispida, Littorina mariae/obtusata, Littorina littorea, Mytilus edulis and Spirorbis spirorbis. The upper sublittoral zone is characterized by Gibbula cineraria and increasing species numbers of Bryozoa, Nemertini and Opisthobranchia. Only few species (e.g. Dynamena pumila, Laomedea flexuosa, Polydora ciliata, Fabricia sabella, Jaera albifrons, Carcinus maenas) occur in the entire intertidal zone. In comparison to other very sheltered shores in Great Britain, which are also dominated by Fucaceae, the macrofauna in the Helgoland intertidal zone lacks several littoral species, such as Patella spp., Monodonta lineata, Gibbula umbilicalis, Littorina neritoides, Chthamalus spp., whereas Littorina littorea and Gibbula cineraria are highly abundant.

  3. What's the meaning of local? Using molecular markers to define seed transfer zones for ecological restoration in Norway.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Marte Holten; Elameen, Abdelhameed; Hofman, Nadine; Klemsdal, Sonja; Malaval, Sandra; Fjellheim, Siri

    2016-06-01

    According to the Norwegian Diversity Act, practitioners of restoration in Norway are instructed to use seed mixtures of local provenance. However, there are no guidelines for how local seed should be selected. In this study, we use genetic variation in a set of alpine species (Agrostis mertensii, Avenella flexuosa, Carex bigelowii, Festuca ovina, Poa alpina and Scorzoneroides autumnalis) to define seed transfer zones to reduce confusion about the definition of 'local seeds'. The species selected for the study are common in all parts of Norway and suitable for commercial seed production. The sampling covered the entire alpine region (7-20 populations per species, 3-15 individuals per population). We characterised genetic diversity using amplified fragment length polymorphisms. We identified different spatial genetic diversity structures in the species, most likely related to differences in reproductive strategies, phylogeographic factors and geographic distribution. Based on results from all species, we suggest four general seed transfer zones for alpine Norway. This is likely more conservative than needed for all species, given that no species show more than two genetic groups. Even so, the approach is practical as four seed mixtures will serve the need for restoration of vegetation in alpine regions in Norway.

  4. Pollen grain morphology of Fabaceae in the Special Protection Area (SPA) Pau-de-Fruta, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Luz, Cynthia F P da; Maki, Erica S; Horák-Terra, Ingrid; Vidal-Torrado, Pablo; Mendonça Filho, Carlos Victor

    2013-01-01

    The presented paper considered the pollen morphology of thirteen species belonging to seven genera of the Fabaceae family occurring in the Pau-de-Fruta Special Protection Area (SPA), Diamantina, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The pollen grains of six species of Chamaecrista [C. cathartica (Mart.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, C. debilis Vogel, C. flexuosa (L.) Greene, C. hedysaroides (Vogel) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, C. glandulosa (L.) Greene, and C. papillata H.S. Irwin & Barneby] have a similar morphology, characterized by three long colporated apertures with a central constriction. The species share specific morphological features regarding pollen size, endoaperture type (circular, lalongate or lolongate) and SEM ornamentation patterns of the exine (rugulate with perforations or perforate). Andira fraxinifolia Benth., Dalbergia miscolobium Benth, Galactia martii DC, Periandra mediterranea (Vell.) Taub., Senna rugosa (G.Don) H.S. Irwin & Barneby and Zornia diphylla (L.) Pers showed different pollen types in small to large size; oblate spheroidal to prolate form; colpus or colporus apertures; circular, lalongate or lolongate endoapertures and distinctive SEM ornamentation patterns of the exine (perforate, microreticulate, reticulate or rugulate with perforations). Only Stryphnodendron adstringens (Mart.) Coville presents polyads. The pollen morphology variation of these species allowed the Fabaceae family to be characterized as eurypalynous in the SPA Pau-de-Fruta.

  5. Avoidance of nonhost plants by a bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus, in a forest of odors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, John A.; Zhang, Qing-He; Birgersson, Göran

    The bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), searches in mixed conifer and deciduous forests of northern Europe for suitable branches of its host, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). We tested whether odors from several diverse nonhost trees and plants common in the habitat (e.g., mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia; oak, Quercus robur; alder buckthorn, Frangula alnus; blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; raspberry, Rubus idaeus; and grass, Deschampsia flexuosa) would reduce the attraction of the bark beetle to traps releasing its aggregation pheromone components in the field. Volatiles from the leaves or bark of each of these plants significantly reduced the attraction of the beetles to their pheromone. Odors collected from these nonhosts and analyzed by GC/MS contained monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and ``green-leaf'' alcohols, several of which (e.g., 1-octene-3-ol and β-caryophyllene) reduced the attraction to pheromone in the field and elicited electroantennographic responses. In the laboratory, reproduction by the beetle was marginal in nonhost Norway spruce, Picea abies, and was absent in the other nonhost trees. Olfactory avoidance of unsuitable nonhosts may have evolved due to advantages in avoiding mistakes during host selection.

  6. First description of Onchocerca jakutensis (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Felix; Manzanell, Ralph; Mathis, Alexander

    2016-08-01

    Twenty-seven species of the genus Onchocerca (Nematoda; Filarioidea) can cause a vector-borne parasitic disease called onchocercosis. Most Onchocerca species infect wild and domestic ungulates or the dog, and one species causes river blindness in humans mainly in tropical Africa. The European red deer (Cervus e. elaphus) is host to four species, which are transmitted by blackflies (simuliids) or biting midges (ceratopogonids). Two species, Onchocerca flexuosa and Onchocerca jakutensis, produce subcutaneous nodules, whereas Onchocerca skrjabini and Onchocerca garmsi live free in the hypodermal serous membranes. During the hunting season, September 2013, red deer (n = 25), roe deer (Capreolus c. capreolus, n = 6) and chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra, n = 7), all shot in the Grisons Region (Switzerland) were investigated for the presence of subcutaneous nodules which were enzymatically digested, and the contained Onchocerca worms were identified to species by light and scanning electron microscopy as well as by PCR/sequencing. In addition, microfilariae from skin samples were collected and genetically characterized. Neither nodules nor microfilariae were discovered in the roe deer and chamois. Adult worms were found in 24% of red deer, and all of them were identified as O. jakutensis. Two morphologically different microfilariae were obtained from five red deer, and genetic analysis of a skin sample of one red deer indicated the presence of another Onchocerca species. This is the first report of O. jakutensis in Switzerland with a prevalence in red deer similar to that in neighbouring Germany.

  7. Ulva and Enteromorpha (Ulvaceae, Chlorophyta) from two sides of the Yellow Sea: analysis of nuclear rDNA ITS and plastid rbcL sequence data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinfeng; Li, Nan; Jiang, Peng; Boo, Sung Min; Lee, Wook Jae; Cui, Yulin; Lin, Hanzhi; Zhao, Jin; Liu, Zhengyi; Qin, Song

    2010-07-01

    Ulvacean green seaweeds are common worldwide; they formed massive green tides in the Yellow Sea in recent years, which caused marine ecological problems as well as a social issue. We investigated two major genera of the Ulvaceae, Ulva and Enteromorpha, and collected the plastid rbcL and nuclear ITS sequences of specimens of the genera in two sides of the Yellow Sea and analyzed them. Phylogenetic trees of rbcL data show the occurrence of five species of Enteromorpha ( E. compressa, E. flexuosa, E. intestinalis, E. linza and E. prolifera) and three species of Ulva ( U. pertusa, U. rigida and U. ohnoi). However, we found U. ohnoi, which is known as a subtropical to tropical species, at two sites on Jeju Island, Korea. Four ribotypes in partial sequences of 5.8S rDNA and ITS2 from E. compressa were also found. Ribotype network analysis revealed that the common ribotype, occurring in China, Korea and Europe, is connected with ribotypes from Europe and China/Japan. Although samples of the same species were collected from both sides of the Yellow Sea, intraspecific genetic polymorphism of each species was low among samples collected worldwide.

  8. Phylogenetic analyses of four species of Ulva and Monostroma grevillei using ITS, rbc L and 18S rDNA sequence data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Zhongheng; Shen, Songdong; Chen, Weizhou; Li, Huihui

    2013-01-01

    Chlorophyta species are common in the southern and northern coastal areas of China. In recent years, frequent green tide incidents in Chinese coastal waters have raised concerns and attracted the attention of scientists. In this paper, we sequenced the 18S rDNA genes, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and the rbc L genes in seven organisms and obtained 536-566 bp long ITS sequences, 1 377-1 407 bp long rbc L sequences and 1 718-1 761 bp long partial 18S rDNA sequences. The GC base pair content was highest in the ITS regions and lowest in the rbc L genes. The sequencing results showed that the three Ulva prolifera (or U. pertusa) gene sequences from Qingdao and Nan'ao Island were identical. The ITS, 18S rDNA and rbc L genes in U. prolifera and U. pertusa from different sea areas in China were unchanged by geographic distance. U. flexuosa had the least evolutionary distance from U. californica in both the ITS regions (0.009) and the 18S rDNA (0.002). These data verified that Ulva and Enteromorpha are not separate genera.

  9. Increasing litter species richness reduces variability in a terrestrial decomposer system.

    PubMed

    Keith, Aidan M; Van der Wal, René; Brooker, Rob W; Osler, Graham H R; Chapman, Stephen J; Burslem, David F R P; Elston, David A

    2008-09-01

    Debate on the relationship between diversity and stability has been driven by the recognition that species loss may influence ecosystem properties and processes. We conducted a litterbag experiment in the Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom, to examine the effects of altering plant litter diversity on decomposition, microbial biomass, and microfaunal abundance. The design of treatments was fully factorial and included five species from an upland plant community (silver birch, Betula pendula; Scots' pine, Pinus sylvestris; heather, Calluna vulgaris; bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; wavy-hair grass, Deschampsia flexuosa); species richness ranged from one to five species. We tested the effects of litter species richness and composition on variable means, whether increasing litter species richness reduced variability in the decomposer system, and whether any richness-variability relationships were maintained over time (196 vs. 564 days). While litter species composition effects controlled variable means, we revealed reductions in variability with increasing litter species richness, even after accounting for differences between litter types. These findings suggest that higher plant species richness per se may result in more stable ecosystem processes (e.g., decomposition) and decomposer communities. Negative richness-variation relationships generally relaxed over time, presumably because properties of litter mixtures became more homogeneous. However, given that plant litter inputs continue to enter the belowground system over time, we conclude that variation in ecosystem properties may be buffered by greater litter species richness.

  10. Microbially assisted phytoremediation approaches for two multi-element contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Langella, Francesca; Grawunder, Anja; Stark, Romy; Weist, Aileen; Merten, Dirk; Haferburg, Götz; Büchel, Georg; Kothe, Erika

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an environmental friendly, cost-effective technology for a soft restoration of abandoned mine sites. The grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia flexuosa and Festuca rubra, and the annual herb Helianthus annuus were combined with microbial consortia in pot experiments on multi-metal polluted substrates collected at a former uranium mine near Ronneburg, Germany, and a historic copper mine in Kopparberg, Sweden, to test for phytoextraction versus phytostabilization abilities. Metal uptake into plant biomass was evaluated to identify optimal plant-microbe combinations for each substrate. Metal bioavailability was found to be plant species and element specific, and influenced by the applied bacterial consortia of 10 strains, each isolated from the same soil to which it was applied. H. annuus showed high extraction capacity for several metals on the German soil independent of inoculation. Our study could also show a significant enhancement of extraction for F. rubra and A. capillaris when combined with the bacterial consortium, although usually grasses are considered metal excluder species. On the Swedish mixed substrate, due to its toxicity, with 30 % bark compost, A. capillaris inoculated with the respective consortium was able to extract multi-metal contaminants.

  11. Molecular phylogeny of the filaria genus Onchocerca with special emphasis on Afrotropical human and bovine parasites.

    PubMed

    Krueger, A; Fischer, P; Morales-Hojas, R

    2007-01-01

    Filarial parasites of the genus Onchocerca are found in a broad spectrum of ungulate hosts. One species, O. volvulus, is a human parasite that can cause severe disease (onchocerciasis or 'river blindness'). The phylogenetic relationships and the bionomics of many of the nearly 30 known species remain dubious. Here, the phylogeny of 11 species representing most major lineages of the genus is investigated by analysing DNA sequences from three mitochondrial genes (ND5, 12S and 16S rRNA) and portions of the intergenic spacer of the nuclear 5s rRNA. Special emphasis is given to a clade containing a yet unassigned specimen from Uganda (O. sp. 'Siisa'), which appears to be intermediate between O. volvulus and O. ochengi. While the latter can be differentiated by the O-150 tandem repeat commonly used for molecular diagnostics, O. volvulus and O. sp.'Siisa' cannot be differentiated by this marker. In addition, a worm specimen from an African bushbuck appears to be closely related to the bovine O. dukei and represents the basal taxon of the human/bovine clade. At the base of the genus, our data suggest O. flexuosa (red deer), O. ramachandrini (warthog) and O. armillata (cow) to be the representatives of ancient lineages. The results provide better insight into the evolution and zoogeography of Onchocerca. They also have epidemiological and taxonomic implications by providing a framework for more accurate molecular diagnosis of filarial larvae in vectors.

  12. Inhibitory Potential of Five Traditionally Used Native Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants on α -Amylase, α -Glucosidase, Glucose Entrapment, and Amylolysis Kinetics In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Picot, Carene M N; Subratty, A Hussein; Mahomoodally, M Fawzi

    2014-01-01

    Five traditionally used antidiabetic native medicinal plants of Mauritius, namely, Stillingia lineata (SL), Faujasiopsis flexuosa (FF), Erythroxylum laurifolium (EL), Elaeodendron orientale (EO), and Antidesma madagascariensis (AM), were studied for possible α -amylase and α -glucosidase inhibitory property, glucose entrapment, and amylolysis kinetics in vitro. Only methanolic extracts of EL, EO, and AM (7472.92 ± 5.99, 1745.58 ± 31.66, and 2222.96 ± 13.69  μ g/mL, resp.) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α -amylase and were comparable to acarbose. EL, EO, AM, and SL extracts (5000  μ g/mL) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α -glucosidase (between 87.41 ± 3.31 and 96.87 ± 1.37% inhibition). Enzyme kinetic studies showed an uncompetitive and mixed type of inhibition. Extracts showed significant (P < 0.05) glucose entrapment capacities (8 to 29% glucose diffusion retardation index (GDRI)), with SL being more active (29% GDRI) and showing concentration-dependent activity (29, 26, 21, 14, and 5%, resp.). Amylolysis kinetic studies showed that methanolic extracts were more potent inhibitors of α -amylase compared to aqueous extracts and possessed glucose entrapment properties. Our findings tend to provide justification for the hypoglycaemic action of these medicinal plants which has opened novel avenues for the development of new phytopharmaceuticals geared towards diabetes management.

  13. Traditional medicinal herbs and food plants have the potential to inhibit key carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes in vitro and reduce postprandial blood glucose peaks in vivo.

    PubMed

    Mahomoodally, M Fawzi; Subratty, A Hussein; Gurib-Fakim, A; Choudhary, M Iqbal; Nahar Khan, S

    2012-01-01

    We hypothesized that some medicinal herbs and food plants commonly used in the management of diabetes can reduce glucose peaks by inhibiting key carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes. To this effect, extracts of Antidesma madagascariense (AM), Erythroxylum macrocarpum (EM), Pittosporum senacia (PS), and Faujasiopsis flexuosa (FF), Momordica charantia (MC), and Ocimum tenuiflorum (OT) were evaluated for α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects based on starch-iodine colour changes and PNP-G as substrate, respectively. Only FF and AM extracts/fractions were found to inhibit α-amylase activity significantly (P < 0.05) and coparable to the drug acarbose. Amylase bioassay on isolated mouse plasma confirmed the inhibitory potential of AM and FF extracts with the ethyl acetate fraction of FF being more potent (P < 0.05) than acarbose. Extracts/fractions of AM and MC were found to inhibit significantly (P < 0.05) α-glucosidase activity, with IC(50) comparable to the drug 1-deoxynojirimycin. In vivo studies on glycogen-loaded mice showed significant (P < 0.05) depressive effect on elevation of postprandial blood glucose following ingestion of AM and MC extracts. Our findings tend to provide a possible explanation for the hypoglycemic action of MC fruits and AM leaf extracts as alternative nutritional therapy in the management of diabetes.

  14. Traditional Medicinal Herbs and Food Plants Have the Potential to Inhibit Key Carbohydrate Hydrolyzing Enzymes In Vitro and Reduce Postprandial Blood Glucose Peaks In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi; Subratty, A. Hussein; Gurib-Fakim, A.; Choudhary, M. Iqbal; Nahar Khan, S.

    2012-01-01

    We hypothesized that some medicinal herbs and food plants commonly used in the management of diabetes can reduce glucose peaks by inhibiting key carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes. To this effect, extracts of Antidesma madagascariense (AM), Erythroxylum macrocarpum (EM), Pittosporum senacia (PS), and Faujasiopsis flexuosa (FF), Momordica charantia (MC), and Ocimum tenuiflorum (OT) were evaluated for α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects based on starch-iodine colour changes and PNP-G as substrate, respectively. Only FF and AM extracts/fractions were found to inhibit α-amylase activity significantly (P < 0.05) and coparable to the drug acarbose. Amylase bioassay on isolated mouse plasma confirmed the inhibitory potential of AM and FF extracts with the ethyl acetate fraction of FF being more potent (P < 0.05) than acarbose. Extracts/fractions of AM and MC were found to inhibit significantly (P < 0.05) α-glucosidase activity, with IC50 comparable to the drug 1-deoxynojirimycin. In vivo studies on glycogen-loaded mice showed significant (P < 0.05) depressive effect on elevation of postprandial blood glucose following ingestion of AM and MC extracts. Our findings tend to provide a possible explanation for the hypoglycemic action of MC fruits and AM leaf extracts as alternative nutritional therapy in the management of diabetes. PMID:22654584

  15. Strong Endemism of bloom-forming tubular Ulva in Indian West Coast, with description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta).

    PubMed

    Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej

    2014-01-01

    Ulva intestinalis and Ulva compressa are two bloom-forming morphologically-cryptic species of green seaweeds widely accepted as cosmopolitan in distribution. Previous studies have shown that these are two distinct species that exhibit great morphological plasticity with changing seawater salinity. Here we present a phylogeographic assessment of tubular Ulva that we considered belonging to this complex collected from various marine and estuarine green-tide occurrences in a ca. 600 km stretch of the Indian west coast. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference phylogenetic reconstructions using ITS nrDNA revealed strong endemism of Indian tubular Ulva, with none of the Indian isolates forming part of the already described phylogenetic clades of either U. compressa or U. intestinalis. Due to the straightforward conclusion that Indian isolates form a robust and distinct phylogenetic clade, a description of a new bloom-forming species, Ulva paschima Bast, is formally proposed. Our phylogenetic reconstructions using Neighbor-Joining method revealed evolutionary affinity of this new species with Ulva flexuosa. This is the first molecular assessment of Ulva from the Indian Subcontinent.

  16. The performance of moss, grass, and 1- and 2-year old spruce needles as bioindicators of contamination: a comparative study at the scale of the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Suchara, Ivan; Sucharova, Julie; Hola, Marie; Reimann, Clemens; Boyd, Rognvald; Filzmoser, Peter; Englmaier, Peter

    2011-05-01

    Moss (Pleurozium schreberi), grass (Avenella flexuosa), and 1- and 2-year old spruce (Picea abies) needles were collected over the territory of the Czech Republic at an average sample density of 1 site per 290km(2). The samples were analysed for 39 elements (Ag, Al, As, Ba, Be, Bi, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, Hg, K, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nd, Ni, Pb, Pr, Rb, S, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, Th, Tl, U, V, Y and Zn) using ICP-MS and ICP-AES techniques (the major nutrients Ca, K, Mg and Na were not analysed in moss). Moss showed by far the highest element concentrations for most elements. Exceptions were Ba (spruce), Mn (spruce), Mo (grass), Ni (spruce), Rb (grass) and S (grass). Regional distribution maps and spatial trend analysis were used to study the suitability of the four materials as bioindicators of anthropogenic contamination. The highly industrialised areas in the north-west and the far east of the country and several more local contamination sources were indicated in the distribution maps of one or several sample materials. At the scale of the whole country moss was the best indicator of known contamination sources. However, on a more local scale, it appeared that spruce needles were especially well suited for detection of urban contamination. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The nematode parasite Onchocerca volvulus generates the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta).

    PubMed

    Korten, Simone; Büttner, Dietrich W; Schmetz, Christel; Hoerauf, Achim; Mand, Sabine; Brattig, Norbert

    2009-09-01

    Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a highly conserved cytokine that has a well-known regulatory role in immunity, but also in organ development of most animal species including helminths. Homologous tgf-b genes and mRNA have been detected in the filaria Brugia malayi. The in situ protein expression is unknown for filariae. Therefore, we examined several filariae for the expression and localization of latent (stable) TGF-beta in adult and larval stages. A specific goat anti-human latency associated protein (LAP, TGF-beta 1) antibody, purified by affinity chromatography, was used for light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry. Adult Onchocerca volvulus, Onchocerca gibsoni, Onchocerca ochengi, Onchocerca armillata, Onchocerca fasciata, Onchocerca flexuosa, Wuchereria bancrofti, Dirofilaria sp., B. malayi, and infective larvae of W. bancrofti reacted with the antibody. Labeling of worm tissues varied between negative and all degrees of positive reactions. Latent TGF-beta was strongly expressed adjacent to the cell membranes of the hypodermis, epithelia, and muscles and adjacent to many nuclei in all organs. TGF-beta was well expressed in worms without Wolbachia endobacteria eliminated by doxycycline treatment. Pleomorphic neoplasms in O. volvulus were also labeled. We conclude that latent TGF-beta protein is expressed by filariae independently of Wolbachia, possibly regulating worm tissue homeostasis.

  18. Analysis of arsenic and antimony distribution within plants growing at an old mine site in Ouche (Cantal, France) and identification of species suitable for site revegetation.

    PubMed

    Jana, Ulrike; Chassany, Vincent; Bertrand, Georges; Castrec-Rouelle, Maryse; Aubry, Emmanuel; Boudsocq, Simon; Laffray, Daniel; Repellin, Anne

    2012-11-15

    One of the objectives of this study was to assess the contamination levels in the tailings of an old antimony mine site located in Ouche (Cantal, France). Throughout the 1.3 ha site, homogenous concentrations of antimony and arsenic, a by-product of the operation, were found along 0-0.5 m-deep profiles. Maximum concentrations for antimony and arsenic were 5780 mg kg(-1) dry tailings and 852 mg kg(-1) dry tailings, respectively. Despite the presence of the contaminants and the low pH and organic matter contents of the tailings, several patches of vegetation were found. Botanical identification determined 12 different genera/species. The largest and most abundant plants were adult pines (Pinus sylvestris), birches (Betula pendula) and the bulrush (Juncus effusus). The distribution of the metalloids within specimens of each genera/species was analysed in order to deduce their concentration and translocation capacities. This was the second goal of this work. All plant specimens were highly contaminated with both metalloids. Most were root accumulators with root to shoot translocation factors <1. Whereas contamination levels were high overall, species with both a low translocation factor and a low root accumulation coefficient were identified as suitable candidates for the complete revegetation of the site. Species combining those characteristics were the perennials P. sylvestris, B. pendula, Cytisus scoparius and the herbaceous Plantago major, and Deschampsia flexuosa.

  19. Biting rates and developmental substrates for biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Iquitos, Peru.

    PubMed

    Mercer, David R; Spinelli, Gustavo R; Watts, Douglas M; Tesh, Robert B

    2003-11-01

    Biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected at 16 periurban and rural sites around Iquitos, Peru, between 17 October 1996 and 26 May 1997. Culicoides paraensis (Goeldi), the principal vector of Oropouche virus, was the most commonly collected species (9,086 flies) with Culicoides insinuatus Wirth & Blanton second (7,229 flies). Although both species were collected at all sampling sites (linear (distance surveyed approximately 25 km), C. paraensis dominated at northern collection sites (> 90%), whereas C. insinuatus prevailed at southern collection sites (> 60%). C. paraensis were collected from human sentinels at a constant rate throughout daylight hours, at similar rates during wet and dry months, and regardless of rainfall. Larval developmental substrates for C. paraensis included decaying platano (Musa x paradisiaca L. [Musaceae]) stems, stumps, flowers, fruits, and debris beneath platano trees as well as from soil beneath a fruiting mamay (Syzygium malaccense Merr. & Perry [Myrtaceae] ) tree and organic-rich mud along a lake shoreline. C. insinuatus adults likewise emerged from decaying platano and organic-rich mud along a lake shoreline, but also from debris accumulated in the axils of aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa L. [Palmae]) fronds and decaying citrus fruit. Despite high numbers of biting adults near putative substrates, adults of neither species emerged from other decomposing plant material, soil, phytotelmata, or artificial containers. Because both species of biting midges emerged in high numbers from all parts of platano (ubiquitous in Iquitos), it will be challenging to control them through sanitation.

  20. Computational design of an endo-1,4-[beta]-xylanase ligand binding site

    SciTech Connect

    Morin, Andrew; Kaufmann, Kristian W.; Fortenberry, Carie; Harp, Joel M.; Mizoue, Laura S.; Meiler, Jens

    2012-09-05

    The field of computational protein design has experienced important recent success. However, the de novo computational design of high-affinity protein-ligand interfaces is still largely an open challenge. Using the Rosetta program, we attempted the in silico design of a high-affinity protein interface to a small peptide ligand. We chose the thermophilic endo-1,4-{beta}-xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa as the protein scaffold on which to perform our designs. Over the course of the study, 12 proteins derived from this scaffold were produced and assayed for binding to the target ligand. Unfortunately, none of the designed proteins displayed evidence of high-affinity binding. Structural characterization of four designed proteins revealed that although the predicted structure of the protein model was highly accurate, this structural accuracy did not translate into accurate prediction of binding affinity. Crystallographic analyses indicate that the lack of binding affinity is possibly due to unaccounted for protein dynamics in the 'thumb' region of our design scaffold intrinsic to the family 11 {beta}-xylanase fold. Further computational analysis revealed two specific, single amino acid substitutions responsible for an observed change in backbone conformation, and decreased dynamic stability of the catalytic cleft. These findings offer new insight into the dynamic and structural determinants of the {beta}-xylanase proteins.

  1. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Laura R.; Smith, Stephanie M.; Downum, Kelsey R.; Mydlarz, Laura D.

    2012-01-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists. PMID:22822369

  2. Preferential uptake of soil nitrogen forms by grassland plant species.

    PubMed

    Weigelt, Alexandra; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D

    2005-02-01

    In this study, we assessed whether a range of temperate grassland species showed preferential uptake for different chemical forms of N, including inorganic N and a range of amino acids that commonly occur in temperate grassland soil. Preferential uptake of dual-labelled (13C and 15N) glycine, serine, arginine and phenylalanine, as compared to inorganic N, was tested using plants growing in pots with natural field soil. We selected five grass species representing a gradient from fertilised, productive pastures to extensive, low productivity pastures (Lolium perenne, Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Deschampsia flexuosa, and Nardus stricta). Our data show that all grass species were able to take up directly a diversity of soil amino acids of varying complexity. Moreover, we present evidence of marked inter-species differences in preferential use of chemical forms of N of varying complexity. L. perenne was relatively more effective at using inorganic N and glycine compared to the most complex amino acid phenylalanine, whereas N. stricta showed a significant preference for serine over inorganic N. Total plant N acquisition, measured as root and shoot concentration of labelled compounds, also revealed pronounced inter-species differences which were related to plant growth rate: plants with higher biomass production were found to take up more inorganic N. Our findings indicate that species-specific differences in direct uptake of different N forms combined with total N acquisition could explain changes in competitive dominance of grass species in grasslands of differing fertility.

  3. Feeding Preferences and the Nutritional Value of Tropical Algae for the Abalone Haliotis asinina

    PubMed Central

    Angell, Alex R.; Pirozzi, Igor; de Nys, Rocky; Paul, Nicholas A.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the feeding preferences of abalone (high-value marine herbivores) is integral to new species development in aquaculture because of the expected link between preference and performance. Performance relates directly to the nutritional value of algae – or any feedstock – which in turn is driven by the amino acid content and profile, and specifically the content of the limiting essential amino acids. However, the relationship between feeding preferences, consumption and amino acid content of algae have rarely been simultaneously investigated for abalone, and never for the emerging target species Haliotis asinina. Here we found that the tropical H. asinina had strong and consistent preferences for the red alga Hypnea pannosa and the green alga Ulva flexuosa, but no overarching relationship between protein content (sum of amino acids) and preference existed. For example, preferred Hypnea and Ulva had distinctly different protein contents (12.64 vs. 2.99 g 100 g−1) and the protein-rich Asparagopsis taxiformis (>15 g 100 g−1 of dry weight) was one of the least preferred algae. The limiting amino acid in all algae was methionine, followed by histidine or lysine. Furthermore we demonstrated that preferences can largely be removed using carrageenan as a binder for dried alga, most likely acting as a feeding attractant or stimulant. The apparent decoupling between feeding preference and algal nutritive values may be due to a trade off between nutritive values and grazing deterrence associated with physical and chemical properties. PMID:22719967

  4. Feeding preferences and the nutritional value of tropical algae for the abalone Haliotis asinina.

    PubMed

    Angell, Alex R; Pirozzi, Igor; de Nys, Rocky; Paul, Nicholas A

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the feeding preferences of abalone (high-value marine herbivores) is integral to new species development in aquaculture because of the expected link between preference and performance. Performance relates directly to the nutritional value of algae--or any feedstock--which in turn is driven by the amino acid content and profile, and specifically the content of the limiting essential amino acids. However, the relationship between feeding preferences, consumption and amino acid content of algae have rarely been simultaneously investigated for abalone, and never for the emerging target species Haliotis asinina. Here we found that the tropical H. asinina had strong and consistent preferences for the red alga Hypnea pannosa and the green alga Ulva flexuosa, but no overarching relationship between protein content (sum of amino acids) and preference existed. For example, preferred Hypnea and Ulva had distinctly different protein contents (12.64 vs. 2.99 g 100 g(-1)) and the protein-rich Asparagopsis taxiformis (>15 g 100 g(-1) of dry weight) was one of the least preferred algae. The limiting amino acid in all algae was methionine, followed by histidine or lysine. Furthermore we demonstrated that preferences can largely be removed using carrageenan as a binder for dried alga, most likely acting as a feeding attractant or stimulant. The apparent decoupling between feeding preference and algal nutritive values may be due to a trade off between nutritive values and grazing deterrence associated with physical and chemical properties.

  5. Macroalgal introductions by hull fouling on recreational vessels: seaweeds and sailors.

    PubMed

    Mineur, Frédéric; Johnson, Mark P; Maggs, Christine A

    2008-10-01

    Macroalgal invasions in coastal areas have been a growing concern during the past decade. The present study aimed to assess the role of hull fouling on recreational yachts as a vector for macroalgal introductions. Questionnaire and hull surveys were carried out in marinas in France and Spain. The questionnaires revealed that the majority of yacht owners are aware of seaweed introductions, usually undertake short range journeys, dry dock their boat at least once a year, and use antifouling paints. The hull survey showed that many in-service yachts were completely free of macroalgae. When present, fouling assemblages consisted mainly of one to two macroalgal species. The most commonly found species was the tolerant green seaweed Ulva flexuosa. Most of the other species found are also cosmopolitan and opportunistic. A few nonnative and potentially invasive Ceramiales (Rhodophyta) were found occasionally on in-service yachts. On the basis of the information gathered during interviews of yacht owners in the surveyed area, these occurrences are likely to be uncommon. However they can pose a significant risk of primary or secondary introductions of alien macroalgal species, especially in the light of the increase in yachting activities. With large numbers of recreational yachts and relatively rare occurrences of nonnative species on hulls, comprehensive screening programs do not seem justified or practical. The risks of transferring nonnative species may, however, be minimized by encouraging the behaviors that prevent fouling on hulls and by taking action against neglected boats before they can act as vectors.

  6. Experimental manipulation of succession in heathland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Berendse, Frank; Schmitz, Marianne; de Visser, Willem

    1994-11-01

    An experiment was carried out in two heathland ecosystems, one dominated by Calluna vulgaris and the other by Molinia caerulea, to analyse the effects of soil organic matter accumulation and nutrient mineralization on plant species dynamics during succession. The experiment included one treatment that received nutrient solution and two treatments where the rate of soil organic matter accumulation was reduced by removing litter or accelerated by adding litter. In a fourth treatment the C. vulgaris litter produced in the C. vulgaris-dominated plots was replaced by litter of M. caerulea and vice versa. Treatments were applied over 8 years. Addition of nutrient solution caused C. vulgaris to decline, and grass species to increase sharply, compared to the control plots. Addition of litter enhanced both N mineralization and the biomass of M. caerulea and Deschampsia flexuosa but reduced the biomass of C. vulgaris. The effects of replacing C. vulgaris litter by M. caerulea litter, or vice versa, on N mineralization and species dynamics could not be attributed to differences between the decomposability of the different litter materials that were transferred. The results confirm the hypothesis that increased litter inputs accelerate the rate of species replacement during succession.

  7. Essential and non-essential elements in natural vegetation in southern Norway: contribution from different sources.

    PubMed

    Nordløkken, Marit; Berg, Torunn; Flaten, Trond Peder; Steinnes, Eiliv

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of essential and non-essential elements in five widespread species of natural boreal vegetation were studied with respect to seasonal variation and contribution from different sources. The plant species included in the study were Betula pubescens, Sorbus aucuparia, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum, Calluna vulgaris and Deschampsia flexuosa. Concentrations of elements essential to plants remained essentially constant or decreased slightly throughout the growing season. Concentrations of most non-essential elements increased or tended to increase on a dry mass basis from June to July as well as from July to September. The increasing trend for these elements was observed for all species except C. vulgaris. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the material indicated a common source for many of the non-essential elements; Sc, Ti, V, Ga, As, Y, Sb, lanthanides, Pb, Bi, and U, i.e. both elements presumably of geogenic origin and elements associated with trans-boundary air pollution. Uptake by plant roots appeared to be the main source of nutrient elements as well as some non-essential elements. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification of important abiotic and biotic factors in the biodegradation of poly(l-lactic acid).

    PubMed

    Husárová, Lucie; Pekařová, Silvie; Stloukal, Petr; Kucharzcyk, Pavel; Verney, Vincent; Commereuc, Sophie; Ramone, Audrey; Koutny, Marek

    2014-11-01

    The biodegradation of four poly(l-lactic acid) (PLA) samples with molecular weights (MW) ranging from approximately 34 to 160kgmol(-1) was investigated under composting conditions. The biodegradation rate decreased, and initial retardation was discernible in parallel with the increasing MW of the polymer. Furthermore, the specific surface area of the polymer sample was identified as the important factor accelerating biodegradation. Microbial community compositions and dynamics during the biodegradation of different PLA were monitored by temperature gradient gel electrophoresis, and were found to be virtually identical for all PLA materials and independent of MW. A specific PLA degrading bacteria was isolated and tentatively designated Thermopolyspora flexuosa FTPLA. The addition of a limited amount of low MW PLA did not accelerate the biodegradation of high MW PLA, suggesting that the process is not limited to the number of specific degraders and/or the induction of specific enzymes. In parallel, abiotic hydrolysis was investigated for the same set of samples and their courses found to be quasi-identical with the biodegradation of all four PLA samples investigated. This suggests that the abiotic hydrolysis represented a rate limiting step in the biodegradation process and the organisms present were not able to accelerate depolymerization significantly by the action of their enzymes.

  9. Oxidative stress in two tropical species after exposure to diesel oil.

    PubMed

    Sardi, Adriana E; Sandrini-Neto, Leonardo; da S Pereira, Leticia; Silva de Assis, Helena; Martins, Cesar C; Lana, Paulo da Cunha; Camus, Lionel

    2016-10-01

    Recent offshore petroleum exploration has increased the risks of oil spills worldwide. We investigated biomarker responses to diesel oil exposure in two tropical and subtropical species, the clam Anomalocardia flexuosa and the polychaete Laeonereis culveri. Animals were exposed to oil-spiked sediment at two different concentrations (0.5 L and 1.0 L m(-2)). Activities of antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx); glutathione transferase (GST); and lipid peroxides (LPO) were assessed in bivalve digestive glands and polychaete whole-body homogenates at 36 and 60 h of exposure. Significant variation in enzymatic antioxidant activity depended on the sampling time after exposure. No similar response patterns, either increases or decreases, were detected for the two target species, and biomarker responses were species-specific. L. culveri showed clearer patterns in its antioxidant response and should be prioritized over other species in biomonitoring studies involving oil exposure. Understanding the temporal variability of these biomarkers is a necessary action before implementing them as indicators measures in oil contamination biomonitoring programs. Our results provide a better understanding of biomarker responses in subtropical species, evidencing their potential use as sentinels of oil contamination.

  10. Computational design of an endo-1,4-β-xylanase ligand binding site

    PubMed Central

    Morin, Andrew; Kaufmann, Kristian W.; Fortenberry, Carie; Harp, Joel M.; Mizoue, Laura S.; Meiler, Jens

    2011-01-01

    The field of computational protein design has experienced important recent success. However, the de novo computational design of high-affinity protein–ligand interfaces is still largely an open challenge. Using the Rosetta program, we attempted the in silico design of a high-affinity protein interface to a small peptide ligand. We chose the thermophilic endo-1,4-β-xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa as the protein scaffold on which to perform our designs. Over the course of the study, 12 proteins derived from this scaffold were produced and assayed for binding to the target ligand. Unfortunately, none of the designed proteins displayed evidence of high-affinity binding. Structural characterization of four designed proteins revealed that although the predicted structure of the protein model was highly accurate, this structural accuracy did not translate into accurate prediction of binding affinity. Crystallographic analyses indicate that the lack of binding affinity is possibly due to unaccounted for protein dynamics in the ‘thumb’ region of our design scaffold intrinsic to the family 11 β-xylanase fold. Further computational analysis revealed two specific, single amino acid substitutions responsible for an observed change in backbone conformation, and decreased dynamic stability of the catalytic cleft. These findings offer new insight into the dynamic and structural determinants of the β-xylanase proteins. PMID:21349882

  11. Strong Endemism of Bloom-Forming Tubular Ulva in Indian West Coast, with Description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta)

    PubMed Central

    Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej

    2014-01-01

    Ulva intestinalis and Ulva compressa are two bloom-forming morphologically-cryptic species of green seaweeds widely accepted as cosmopolitan in distribution. Previous studies have shown that these are two distinct species that exhibit great morphological plasticity with changing seawater salinity. Here we present a phylogeographic assessment of tubular Ulva that we considered belonging to this complex collected from various marine and estuarine green-tide occurrences in a ca. 600 km stretch of the Indian west coast. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference phylogenetic reconstructions using ITS nrDNA revealed strong endemism of Indian tubular Ulva, with none of the Indian isolates forming part of the already described phylogenetic clades of either U. compressa or U. intestinalis. Due to the straightforward conclusion that Indian isolates form a robust and distinct phylogenetic clade, a description of a new bloom-forming species, Ulva paschima Bast, is formally proposed. Our phylogenetic reconstructions using Neighbor-Joining method revealed evolutionary affinity of this new species with Ulva flexuosa. This is the first molecular assessment of Ulva from the Indian Subcontinent. PMID:25329833

  12. [Peculiarities of the phospholipid and fatty acid composition of erythrocyte plasma membranes of the Black Sea fish].

    PubMed

    Silkin, Iu A; Silkina, E N; Zabelinskiĭ, S A

    2012-01-01

    The phospholipid and the fatty acid composition of the main phospholipids families of erythrocyte plasma membranes was studied in two species of cartilaginous fish: the common thrasher (Raja clavata L.) and the common stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) and three bony fish species: the scorpion fish (Scorpaena porcus L.), the smarida (Spicara flexuosa Raf.), and the horse mackerel (Trachurus mediterraneus ponticus Aleev). It was shown that in the studied fish, 70.0-80.0 % of all membrane phospholipids were composed of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Phosphatidylserine, monophosphoinositide, and sphingomyelin were minor components whose content in the erythrocyte membrane fluctuated from 3.0 % to 13.0 %. The fatty acid phospholipids composition was represented by a large specter of acids. From saturated acids, basic for plasma membranes are palmitic (C16: 0) and stearic (C18: 0) acids. From unsaturated acids, the larger part belong to mono-, tetra-, penta-, and hexaenoic acids in fish phospholipids. The calculation of the double bond index and of the unsaturation coefficient showed difference in the deformation ability of erythrocyte membranes of the studied fish.

  13. Multiple isoforms of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in the Orchidaceae (subtribe Oncidiinae): implications for the evolution of crassulacean acid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Silvera, Katia; Winter, Klaus; Rodriguez, B. Leticia; Albion, Rebecca L.; Cushman, John C.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) catalyses the initial fixation of atmospheric CO2 into oxaloacetate and subsequently malate. Nocturnal accumulation of malic acid within the vacuole of photosynthetic cells is a typical feature of plants that perform crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). PEPC is a ubiquitous plant enzyme encoded by a small gene family, and each member encodes an isoform with specialized function. CAM-specific PEPC isoforms probably evolved from ancestral non-photosynthetic isoforms by gene duplication events and subsequent acquisition of transcriptional control elements that mediate increased leaf-specific or photosynthetic-tissue-specific mRNA expression. To understand the patterns of functional diversification related to the expression of CAM, ppc gene families and photosynthetic patterns were characterized in 11 closely related orchid species from the subtribe Oncidiinae with a range of photosynthetic pathways from C3 photosynthesis (Oncidium cheirophorum, Oncidium maduroi, Rossioglossum krameri, and Oncidium sotoanum) to weak CAM (Oncidium panamense, Oncidium sphacelatum, Gomesa flexuosa and Rossioglossum insleayi) and strong CAM (Rossioglossum ampliatum, Trichocentrum nanum, and Trichocentrum carthagenense). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two main ppc lineages in flowering plants, two main ppc lineages within the eudicots, and three ppc lineages within the Orchidaceae. Our results indicate that ppc gene family expansion within the Orchidaceae is likely to be the result of gene duplication events followed by adaptive sequence divergence. CAM-associated PEPC isoforms in the Orchidaceae probably evolved from several independent origins. PMID:24913627

  14. Hydrocarbon concentrations in sediments and clams (Rangia cuneata) in Laguna de Pom, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez-Legorreta, T.; Gold-Bouchot, G.; Zapata-Perez, O.

    1994-01-01

    Laguna de Pom is a coastal lagoon within the Laguna de Terminos system in southern Gulf of Mexico. It belongs to the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin, and is located between 18{degrees} 33{prime} and 18{degrees} 38{prime} north latitude and 92{degrees} 01{prime} and 92{degrees} 14{prime} west longitude, in the Coastal Plain physiographic Province of the Gulf. It is ellipsoidal and approximately 10 km long, with a surface area of 5,200 ha and a mean depth of 1.5 m. Water salinity and temperature ranges are 0 to 13 {per_thousand} and 25{degrees} to 31{degrees}C, respectively. Benthic macrofauna is dominated by bivalves such as the clams Rangia cuneata, R. flexuosa, and Polymesoda carolineana. These clams provide the basis of an artisanal fishery, which is the main economic activity in the region. The presence of several oil-processing facilities around the lagoon is very conspicuous, which together with decreasing yields has created social conflicts, with the fishermen blaming the mexican state oil company (PEMEX) for the decrease in the clam population. This work aims to determine if the concentration of hydrocarbons in the clams (R. cuneata) and sediments of Laguna de Pom are responsible for the declining clam fishery. 11 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Adaptability of free-floating green tide algae in the Yellow Sea to variable temperature and light intensity.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianjun; Zhang, Jianheng; Huo, Yuanzi; Zhou, Lingjie; Wu, Qing; Chen, Liping; Yu, Kefeng; He, Peimin

    2015-12-30

    In this study, the influence of temperature and light intensity on the growth of seedlings and adults of four species of green tide algae (Ulvaprolifera, Ulvacompressa, Ulva flexuosa and Ulvalinza) from the Yellow Sea was evaluated. The results indicated that the specific growth rate (SGR) of seedlings was much higher than that of adults for the four species. The adaptability of U. prolifera is much wider: Adult daily SGRs were the highest among the four species at 15-20 °C with 10-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1) and 25-30 °C with 200-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1). SGRs were 1.5-3.5 times greater than the other three species at 15-25 °C with 200-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1). These results indicate that U. prolifera has better tolerance to high temperature and light intensity than the other three species, which may in part explain why only U. prolifera undergoes large-scale outbreaks and floats to the Qingdao coast while the other three species decline and disappear at the early stage of blooming.

  16. Multiple isoforms of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in the Orchidaceae (subtribe Oncidiinae): implications for the evolution of crassulacean acid metabolism.

    PubMed

    Silvera, Katia; Winter, Klaus; Rodriguez, B Leticia; Albion, Rebecca L; Cushman, John C

    2014-07-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) catalyses the initial fixation of atmospheric CO2 into oxaloacetate and subsequently malate. Nocturnal accumulation of malic acid within the vacuole of photosynthetic cells is a typical feature of plants that perform crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). PEPC is a ubiquitous plant enzyme encoded by a small gene family, and each member encodes an isoform with specialized function. CAM-specific PEPC isoforms probably evolved from ancestral non-photosynthetic isoforms by gene duplication events and subsequent acquisition of transcriptional control elements that mediate increased leaf-specific or photosynthetic-tissue-specific mRNA expression. To understand the patterns of functional diversification related to the expression of CAM, ppc gene families and photosynthetic patterns were characterized in 11 closely related orchid species from the subtribe Oncidiinae with a range of photosynthetic pathways from C3 photosynthesis (Oncidium cheirophorum, Oncidium maduroi, Rossioglossum krameri, and Oncidium sotoanum) to weak CAM (Oncidium panamense, Oncidium sphacelatum, Gomesa flexuosa and Rossioglossum insleayi) and strong CAM (Rossioglossum ampliatum, Trichocentrum nanum, and Trichocentrum carthagenense). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two main ppc lineages in flowering plants, two main ppc lineages within the eudicots, and three ppc lineages within the Orchidaceae. Our results indicate that ppc gene family expansion within the Orchidaceae is likely to be the result of gene duplication events followed by adaptive sequence divergence. CAM-associated PEPC isoforms in the Orchidaceae probably evolved from several independent origins. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  17. Chemosystematic investigations of irregular diterpenes in Anisotome and related New Zealand Apiaceae.

    PubMed

    Zidorn, Christian; Sturm, Sonja; Dawson, John W; van Klink, John W; Stuppner, Hermann; Perry, Nigel B

    2002-02-01

    A chemosystematic HPLC-UV and HPLC-MS investigation of New Zealand members of the Apiaceae was performed. Diterpenes were identified and quantified in methanolic extracts from subaerial parts of 28 taxa and 54 samples of Aciphylla, Anisotome, Apium, Gingidia, Lignocarpa, Oreomyrrhis, and Scandia. Six diterpenes (1-2, 4-7) and four polyacetylenes (8-11) were identified. The known compounds were the diterpenes anisotomenoic acid 1, anisotomene-1-ol 2, 16-acetoxyanisotomenoic acid 4 and anisotomene-1,12-diol 5; and the polyacetylenes falcarinol 8, falcarindiol 9, (+)-9(Z),17-octadecadiene-12,14-diyne-1,11,16-triol 10, and (+)-9(Z),17-octadecadiene-12,14-diyne-1,11,16-triol 1-acetate 11. New irregular diterpenes 13,14-dihydroanisotom-12E-ene-1,14-diol 6 and 14-methoxy-13,14-dihydroanisotom-12E-ene-1-ol 7 were isolated from A. haastii. Isomers of the new semi-synthetic diterpene 16-hydroxyanisotomenoic acid 3 were detected in extracts of Anisitone flexuosa. Structure elucidation was performed by HR mass spectrometry and 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. In crude extracts, compounds were identified by their HPLC retention times and their on-line HPLC-UV and MS spectra. Anisotomene diterpenes occurred in eight out of 16 species of the genus Anisotome, but were not detected in any of the other genera. In contrast, polyacetylenes were present in all the genera investigated.

  18. Macroalgal Introductions by Hull Fouling on Recreational Vessels: Seaweeds and Sailors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mineur, Frédéric; Johnson, Mark P.; Maggs, Christine A.

    2008-10-01

    Macroalgal invasions in coastal areas have been a growing concern during the past decade. The present study aimed to assess the role of hull fouling on recreational yachts as a vector for macroalgal introductions. Questionnaire and hull surveys were carried out in marinas in France and Spain. The questionnaires revealed that the majority of yacht owners are aware of seaweed introductions, usually undertake short range journeys, dry dock their boat at least once a year, and use antifouling paints. The hull survey showed that many in-service yachts were completely free of macroalgae. When present, fouling assemblages consisted mainly of one to two macroalgal species. The most commonly found species was the tolerant green seaweed Ulva flexuosa. Most of the other species found are also cosmopolitan and opportunistic. A few nonnative and potentially invasive Ceramiales (Rhodophyta) were found occasionally on in-service yachts. On the basis of the information gathered during interviews of yacht owners in the surveyed area, these occurrences are likely to be uncommon. However they can pose a significant risk of primary or secondary introductions of alien macroalgal species, especially in the light of the increase in yachting activities. With large numbers of recreational yachts and relatively rare occurrences of nonnative species on hulls, comprehensive screening programs do not seem justified or practical. The risks of transferring nonnative species may, however, be minimized by encouraging the behaviors that prevent fouling on hulls and by taking action against neglected boats before they can act as vectors.

  19. Ecological aspects of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) in palms of the Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dias, Fernando Braga Stehling; Bezerra, Cláudia Mendonça; Machado, Evandro Marques de Menezes; Casanova, Cláudio; Diotaiuti, Liléia

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this work is to present aspects related to the ecology of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 in palms from Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil. The following five species of palms were investigated: babaçu (Attalea speciosa), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), carnaúba (Copernicia prunifera), catolé (Syagrus oleracea) and macaúba-barriguda (Acrocomia intumescens). Fifth palms were dissected (10 specimens for each species). The overall infestation index was 86%, with a total of 521 triatomines collected. The Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas, 1909 Index was 16.8% and two insects presented mixed infection with Trypanosoma rangeli Tejera, 1920. A precipitin test showed that R. nasutus from palms of Chapada do Araripe are associated with opossum and bird although other possible bloodmeals were observed. Our results showing a high index of infestation of the palms as well as T. cruzi infection, the association of R. nasutus with the most diverse species of palms and proximity of these palms to houses demonstrate the importance of this area for sylvatic T. cruzi transmission and suggest the need for epidemiological surveillance in the region of the Chapada do Araripe.

  20. Southern Ocean intermediate water pH information provided by modern and fossil scleraxonian deep-sea corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutjahr, M.; Vance, D.; Foster, G. L.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.

    2010-12-01

    There is a great deal of current interest in the chemistry of the deep glacial Southern Ocean, and the degree to which it communicated with the surface ocean and atmosphere. Recent findings that include high surface water radiocarbon ages [1] and renewed upwelling during the deglacial [2], suggest a re-organisation in Southern Ocean circulation that led to the demise of a deep water mass rich in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), leading to its renewed equilibration with the atmosphere and the deglacial rise in atmospheric CO2. However, conclusive evidence for higher Southern Ocean deep water DIC during the glacial is scarce, largely due to the lack of suitable substrates for recording it. Boron isotopic compositions measured in deep marine organisms may help to provide records of intermediate water pH, and hence DIC changes [3]. We will present boron isotope compositions of a selection of radiocarbon-dated, calcitic, deep-sea octocorals from the Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean (˜123°W, ˜69°S, 2500 m to 1430 m water depth), with the aim of resolving deglacial intermediate water pH changes. Since boron isotopic studies have not been carried out on these types of octocorals before, we will first present the δ11B distribution within a modern sample in order to examine biological fractionation that may potentially compromise the coral δ11B (cf. [4, 5]). Contrary to previously employed scleractinia [6], the corals analysed here appear to be internally homogenous and have only slightly elevated δ11B compared to that of ambient intermediate water borate ion. Moreover, modern and early Holocene coral δ11B display fairly constant compositions, whereas deglacial coral δ11B are higher. These boron isotopic changes are accompanied by corresponding deglacial changes in the coral Nd isotopic composition (expressed in ɛNd), which has been determined on the same specimens. Together, the striking co-variation between the deep-water coral δ11B and ɛNd suggest

  1. Calcite formation in soft coral sclerites is determined by a single reactive extracellular protein.

    PubMed

    Rahman, M Azizur; Oomori, Tamotsu; Wörheide, Gert

    2011-09-09

    Calcium carbonate exists in two main forms, calcite and aragonite, in the skeletons of marine organisms. The primary mineralogy of marine carbonates has changed over the history of the earth depending on the magnesium/calcium ratio in seawater during the periods of the so-called "calcite and aragonite seas." Organisms that prefer certain mineralogy appear to flourish when their preferred mineralogy is favored by seawater chemistry. However, this rule is not without exceptions. For example, some octocorals produce calcite despite living in an aragonite sea. Here, we address the unresolved question of how organisms such as soft corals are able to form calcitic skeletal elements in an aragonite sea. We show that an extracellular protein called ECMP-67 isolated from soft coral sclerites induces calcite formation in vitro even when the composition of the calcifying solution favors aragonite precipitation. Structural details of both the surface and the interior of single crystals generated upon interaction with ECMP-67 were analyzed with an apertureless-type near-field IR microscope with high spatial resolution. The results show that this protein is the main determining factor for driving the production of calcite instead of aragonite in the biocalcification process and that -OH, secondary structures (e.g. α-helices and amides), and other necessary chemical groups are distributed over the center of the calcite crystals. Using an atomic force microscope, we also explored how this extracellular protein significantly affects the molecular-scale kinetics of crystal formation. We anticipate that a more thorough investigation of the proteinaceous skeleton content of different calcite-producing marine organisms will reveal similar components that determine the mineralogy of the organisms. These findings have significant implications for future models of the crystal structure of calcite in nature.

  2. Life history and feeding biology of the deep-sea pycnogonid Nymphon hirtipes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier, Annie; Baillon, Sandrine; Hamel, Jean-François

    2015-12-01

    Pycnogonids (sea spiders) are commonly collected at bathyal and abyssal depths all around the world; however, little is known about species from deep-water habitats. The present study explores the life history of Nymphon hirtipes collected in northeastern Newfoundland between 700 and 1450 m depth and monitored in mesocosms for over 2 years. The pycnogonids were found in association with octocorals, hydrozoans and sea anemones. Adult females developed mature oocytes between June and August. Paired mating followed by oviposition occurred between early July and mid-October. Up to three egg masses were brooded by each male. It took a maximum of 4 months for the propagules to hatch from the egg mass. Offspring developed from walking leg-bearing larvae to early juveniles over the next ~5 months before leaving the male's protection. Mating and oviposition coincided with the highest water temperatures of the annual cycle and dispersal of juveniles occurred in spring, when phytodetritus deposition was high and as ocean temperature rose markedly. All the females died after oviposition and the males ~9 months later, after juvenile dispersal. The sex ratio of mature individuals (~55-60 mm leg span) was 2 males for 3 females. Fecundity was estimated to be 184-288 eggs per adult female. Adults of N. hirtipes were seen feeding on hydrozoan polyps, small sea anemones (Stephanauge nexilis) and nudibranchs. Larvae and early juveniles did not feed while brooded by the male. Upon dispersal, their feeding apparatus became functional and they began feeding on hydrozoan polyps. After 13 months of growth post hatching, the juveniles reached ~21 mm leg span. Curve fitting estimated that ~7 years are required to reach the adult size of 55 mm leg span.

  3. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Nizinski, Martha S; Chaytor, Jason D; Demopoulos, Amanda W J; Roark, E Brendan; France, Scott C; Moore, Jon A; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P; Kennedy, Brian R C; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration

  4. Trophic ecology of deep-sea Asteroidea (Echinodermata) from eastern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gale, Katie S. P.; Hamel, Jean-François; Mercier, Annie

    2013-10-01

    Asteroids (sea stars) can be important predators in benthic communities and are often present in ecologically important and vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge habitats. However, explicit studies on the trophic ecology of deep-sea asteroids are rare. We investigated the diets of seven species of deep-sea asteroid from the bathyal zone of Newfoundland and Labrador, eastern Canada. A multifaceted approach including live animal observations, stomach content analysis, and stable isotope analysis revealed the asteroids to be either top predators of megafauna or secondary consumers (mud ingesters, infaunal predators, and suspension feeders). The stable isotope signatures of Ceramaster granularis, Hippasteria phrygiana, and Mediaster bairdi are characteristic of high-level predators, having δ15N values 4.4‰ (more than one trophic level) above Ctenodiscus crispatus, Leptychaster arcticus, Novodinia americana, and Zoroaster fulgens. We present strong evidence that corals and sponges are common food items for two of the predatory species, C. granularis and H. phrygiana. During laboratory feeding trials, live H. phrygiana fed on several species of soft coral and C. granularis fed on sponges. Stomach content analysis of wild-caught individuals revealed sclerites from sea pens (e.g. Pennatula sp.) in the stomachs of both asteroid species; H. phrygiana also contained sclerites from at least two other species of octocoral and siliceous sponge spicules were present in the stomachs of C. granularis. The stomach contents of the secondary consumers contained a range of invertebrate material. Leptychaster arcticus and Ctenodiscus crispatus feed infaunally on bulk sediment and molluscs, Zoroaster fulgens is a generalist infaunal predator, and the brisingid Novodinia americana is a specialist suspension feeder on benthopelagic crustaceans. This study provides a foundation for understanding the ecological roles of bathyal asteroids, and suggests that some species may have the

  5. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities

    PubMed Central

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason D.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott C.; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J.; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration

  6. Coral-Associated Bacterial Diversity Is Conserved across Two Deep-Sea Anthothela Species

    PubMed Central

    Lawler, Stephanie N.; Kellogg, Christina A.; France, Scott C.; Clostio, Rachel W.; Brooke, Sandra D.; Ross, Steve W.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4–V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont. PMID:27092120

  7. Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications.

    PubMed

    Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Feary, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Chen, Allen; Schleyer, Michael H; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2013-09-30

    Most reviews concerning the impact of climate change on coral reefs discuss independent effects of warming or ocean acidification. However, the interactions between these, and between these and direct local stressors are less well addressed. This review underlines that coral bleaching, acidification, and diseases are expected to interact synergistically, and will negatively influence survival, growth, reproduction, larval development, settlement, and post-settlement development of corals. Interactions with local stress factors such as pollution, sedimentation, and overfishing are further expected to compound effects of climate change. Reduced coral cover and species composition following coral bleaching events affect coral reef fish community structure, with variable outcomes depending on their habitat dependence and trophic specialisation. Ocean acidification itself impacts fish mainly indirectly through disruption of predation- and habitat-associated behavior changes. Zooxanthellate octocorals on reefs are often overlooked but are substantial occupiers of space; these also are highly susceptible to bleaching but because they tend to be more heterotrophic, climate change impacts mainly manifest in terms of changes in species composition and population structure. Non-calcifying macroalgae are expected to respond positively to ocean acidification and promote microbe-induced coral mortality via the release of dissolved compounds, thus intensifying phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal domination. Adaptation of corals to these consequences of CO2 rise through increased tolerance of corals and successful mutualistic associations between corals and zooxanthellae is likely to be insufficient to match the rate and frequency of the projected changes. Impacts are interactive and magnified, and because there is a limited capacity for corals to adapt to climate change, global targets of carbon emission reductions are insufficient for coral reefs, so lower targets should be

  8. Carbonic Anhydrases in Cnidarians: Novel Perspectives from the Octocorallian Corallium rubrum

    PubMed Central

    Le Goff, Carine; Ganot, Philippe; Zoccola, Didier; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Allemand, Denis; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Although the ability to elaborate calcium carbonate biominerals was apparently gained independently during animal evolution, members of the alpha carbonic anhydrases (α-CAs) family, which catalyze the interconversion of CO2 into HCO3-, are involved in the biomineralization process across metazoans. In the Mediterranean red coral Corallium rubrum, inhibition studies suggest an essential role of CAs in the synthesis of two biominerals produced in this octocoral, the axial skeleton and the sclerites. Hitherto no molecular characterization of these enzymes was available. In the present study we determined the complete set of α-CAs in C. rubrum by data mining the genome and transcriptome, and measured their differential gene expression between calcifying and non-calcifying tissues. We identified six isozymes (CruCA1-6), one cytosolic and five secreted/membrane-bound among which one lacked two of the three zinc-binding histidines and was so referred to as a carbonic anhydrase related protein (CARP). One secreted isozyme (CruCA4) showed specific expression both by qPCR and western-blot in the calcifying tissues, suggesting its involvement in biomineralization. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of α-CAs, identified in six representative cnidarians with complete genome, support an independent recruitment of α-CAs for biomineralization within anthozoans. Finally, characterization of cnidarian CARPs highlighted two families: the monophyletic cytosolic CARPs, and the polyphyletic secreted CARPs harboring a cnidarian specific cysteine disulfide bridge. Alignment of the cytosolic CARPs revealed an evolutionary conserved R-H-Q motif in place of the characteristic zinc-binding H-H-H necessary for the catalytic function of α-CAs. PMID:27513959

  9. Comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of relationships in Octocorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the Atlantic ocean using mtMutS and nad2 genes tree reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, K. J.; Herrera, S.; Gubili, C.; Tyler, P. A.; Rogers, A.; Hauton, C.

    2012-12-01

    Despite being an abundant group of significant ecological importance the phylogenetic relationships of the Octocorallia remain poorly understood and very much understudied. We used 1132 bp of two mitochondrial protein-coding genes, nad2 and mtMutS (previously referred to as msh1), to construct a phylogeny for 161 octocoral specimens from the Atlantic, including both Isididae and non-Isididae species. We found that four clades were supported using a concatenated alignment. Two of these (A and B) were in general agreement with the of Holaxonia-Alcyoniina and Anthomastus-Corallium clades identified by previous work. The third and fourth clades represent a split of the Calcaxonia-Pennatulacea clade resulting in a clade containing the Pennatulacea and a small number of Isididae specimens and a second clade containing the remaining Calcaxonia. When individual genes were considered nad2 largely agreed with previous work with MtMutS also producing a fourth clade corresponding to a split of Isididae species from the Calcaxonia-Pennatulacea clade. It is expected these difference are a consequence of the inclusion of Isisdae species that have undergone a gene inversion in the mtMutS gene causing their separation in the MtMutS only tree. The fourth clade in the concatenated tree is also suspected to be a result of this gene inversion, as there were very few Isidiae species included in previous work tree and thus this separation would not be clearly resolved. A~larger phylogeny including both Isididae and non Isididae species is required to further resolve these clades.

  10. Calcite Formation in Soft Coral Sclerites Is Determined by a Single Reactive Extracellular Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, M. Azizur; Oomori, Tamotsu; Wörheide, Gert

    2011-01-01

    Calcium carbonate exists in two main forms, calcite and aragonite, in the skeletons of marine organisms. The primary mineralogy of marine carbonates has changed over the history of the earth depending on the magnesium/calcium ratio in seawater during the periods of the so-called “calcite and aragonite seas.” Organisms that prefer certain mineralogy appear to flourish when their preferred mineralogy is favored by seawater chemistry. However, this rule is not without exceptions. For example, some octocorals produce calcite despite living in an aragonite sea. Here, we address the unresolved question of how organisms such as soft corals are able to form calcitic skeletal elements in an aragonite sea. We show that an extracellular protein called ECMP-67 isolated from soft coral sclerites induces calcite formation in vitro even when the composition of the calcifying solution favors aragonite precipitation. Structural details of both the surface and the interior of single crystals generated upon interaction with ECMP-67 were analyzed with an apertureless-type near-field IR microscope with high spatial resolution. The results show that this protein is the main determining factor for driving the production of calcite instead of aragonite in the biocalcification process and that –OH, secondary structures (e.g. α-helices and amides), and other necessary chemical groups are distributed over the center of the calcite crystals. Using an atomic force microscope, we also explored how this extracellular protein significantly affects the molecular-scale kinetics of crystal formation. We anticipate that a more thorough investigation of the proteinaceous skeleton content of different calcite-producing marine organisms will reveal similar components that determine the mineralogy of the organisms. These findings have significant implications for future models of the crystal structure of calcite in nature. PMID:21768106

  11. A novel reef coral symbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantos, O.; Bythell, J. C.

    2010-09-01

    Reef building corals form close associations with unicellular microalgae, fungi, bacteria and archaea, some of which are symbiotic and which together form the coral holobiont. Associations with multicellular eukaryotes such as polychaete worms, bivalves and sponges are not generally considered to be symbiotic as the host responds to their presence by forming physical barriers with an active growth edge in the exoskeleton isolating the invader and, at a subcellular level, activating innate immune responses such as melanin deposition. This study describes a novel symbiosis between a newly described hydrozoan ( Zanclea margaritae sp. nov.) and the reef building coral Acropora muricata (= A. formosa), with the hydrozoan hydrorhiza ramifying throughout the coral tissues with no evidence of isolation or activation of the immune systems of the host. The hydrorhiza lacks a perisarc, which is typical of symbiotic species of this and related genera, including species that associate with other cnidarians such as octocorals. The symbiosis was observed at all sites investigated from two distant locations on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and appears to be host species specific, being found only in A. muricata and in none of 30 other species investigated at these sites. Not all colonies of A. muricata host the hydrozoans and both the prevalence within the coral population (mean = 66%) and density of emergent hydrozoan hydranths on the surface of the coral (mean = 4.3 cm-2, but up to 52 cm-2) vary between sites. The form of the symbiosis in terms of the mutualism-parasitism continuum is not known, although the hydrozoan possesses large stenotele nematocysts, which may be important for defence from predators and protozoan pathogens. This finding expands the known A. muricata holobiont and the association must be taken into account in future when determining the corals’ abilities to defend against predators and withstand stress.

  12. Sexual Reproduction and Seasonality of the Alaskan Red Tree Coral, Primnoa pacifica

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Rhian G.; Stone, Robert P.; Johnstone, Julia; Mondragon, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    The red tree coral Primnoa pacifica is an important habitat forming octocoral in North Pacific waters. Given the prominence of this species in shelf and upper slope areas of the Gulf of Alaska where fishing disturbance can be high, it may be able to sustain healthy populations through adaptive reproductive processes. This study was designed to test this hypothesis, examining reproductive mode, seasonality and fecundity in both undamaged and simulated damaged colonies over the course of 16 months using a deepwater-emerged population in Tracy Arm Fjord. Females within the population developed asynchronously, though males showed trends of synchronicity, with production of immature spermatocysts heightened in December/January and maturation of gametes in the fall months. Periodicity of individuals varied from a single year reproductive event to some individuals taking more than the 16 months sampled to produce viable gametes. Multiple stages of gametes occurred in polyps of the same colony during most sampling periods. Mean oocyte size ranged from 50 to 200 µm in any season, and maximum oocyte size (802 µm) suggests a lecithotrophic larva. No brooding larvae were found during this study, though unfertilized oocytes were found adhered to the outside of polyps, where they are presumably fertilized. This species demonstrated size-dependent reproduction, with gametes first forming in colonies over 42-cm length, and steady oocyte sizes being achieved after reaching 80-cm in length. The average fecundity was 86 (±12) total oocytes per polyp, and 17 (±12) potential per polyp fecundity. Sub-lethal injury by removing 21–40% of colony tissue had no significant reproductive response in males or females over the course of this study, except for a corresponding loss in overall colony fecundity. The reproductive patterns and long gamete generation times observed in this study indicate that recruitment events are likely to be highly sporadic in this species increasing its

  13. Exploration of the canyon-incised continental margin of the northeastern United States reveals dynamic habitats and diverse communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quattrini, Andrea; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor P.; Auster, Peter J.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichosand the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial

  14. Immune response of the Caribbean sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, exposed to an Aplanochytrium parasite as revealed by transcriptome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Burge, Colleen A.; Mouchka, Morgan E.; Harvell, C. Drew; Roberts, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Coral reef communities are undergoing marked declines due to a variety of stressors including disease. The sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a tractable study system to investigate mechanisms of immunity to a naturally occurring pathogen. Functional studies in Gorgonia ventalina immunity indicate that several key pathways and cellular components are involved in response to natural microbial invaders, although to date the functional and regulatory pathways remain largely un-described. This study used short-read sequencing (Illumina GAIIx) to identify genes involved in the response of G. ventalina to a naturally occurring Aplanochytrium spp. parasite. De novo assembly of the G. ventalina transcriptome yielded 90,230 contigs of which 40,142 were annotated. RNA-Seq analysis revealed 210 differentially expressed genes in sea fans exposed to the Aplanochytrium parasite. Differentially expressed genes involved in immunity include pattern recognition molecules, anti-microbial peptides, and genes involved in wound repair and reactive oxygen species formation. Gene enrichment analysis indicated eight biological processes were enriched representing 36 genes, largely involved with protein translation and energy production. This is the first report using high-throughput sequencing to characterize the host response of a coral to a natural pathogen. Furthermore, we have generated the first transcriptome for a soft (octocoral or non-scleractinian) coral species. Expression analysis revealed genes important in invertebrate innate immune pathways, as well as those whose role is previously un-described in cnidarians. This resource will be valuable in characterizing G. ventalina immune response to infection and co-infection of pathogens in the context of environmental change. PMID:23898300

  15. Reconnaissance 14C Dating and the Evaluation of Mg/Li as a Temperature Proxy in Bamboo Corals from the California Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiberger, M. M.; LaVigne, M.; Miller, H.; Hill, T. M.; McNichol, A. P.; Lardie Gaylord, M.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of anthropogenically induced climate changes, it is becoming increasingly important to develop high-resolution paleoceanographic records that may elucidate how ocean conditions may shift in coming decades. Recently, bamboo corals (gorgonian octocorals) have been proposed as archives of intermediate ocean conditions. This study used 'reconnaissance' radiocarbon analysis to identify the nuclear bomb 14C spike in the proteinaceous nodes of bamboo corals and to quantify radial growth rates and ages of corals spanning the eastern Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) (790-2055 m). Preliminary data suggest that these corals exhibit a wide range of growth rates (9.4-350 μm/yr) that are non-linear over time and decrease with coral age and depth. Records of Mg/Li were investigated in these corals, given that previous studies have demonstrated positive correlations between Mg/Li and temperature in benthic foraminifera and surface and deep-sea aragonitic corals, with a reduced influence of vital effects over Mg/Ca. Intracoral reproducibility observed for replicate Mg/Li timeseries within each sample (p=0.6±0.2, n=6) and strong correlations between Mg/Ca and Li/Ca (0.9±0.1, n=6) indicate similar environmental or biological drivers of Mg and Li incorporation in bamboo corals. Given the strong positive correlations between Mg/Li and water temperature across a depth transect (r2=0.87, n=6), increasing Mg/Li observed over the growth history of each of the corals more likely reflects declining growth rates resulting in decreased Li incorporation over time rather than cooling of California Margin intermediate waters. Reductions in growth rate over the lifespan of each coral (~100+ years) may be a function of natural coral growth patterns or changes in carbonate chemistry, oxygen, or food supply in a sensitive OMZ coral ecosystem.

  16. Carbonic Anhydrases in Cnidarians: Novel Perspectives from the Octocorallian Corallium rubrum.

    PubMed

    Le Goff, Carine; Ganot, Philippe; Zoccola, Didier; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Allemand, Denis; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Although the ability to elaborate calcium carbonate biominerals was apparently gained independently during animal evolution, members of the alpha carbonic anhydrases (α-CAs) family, which catalyze the interconversion of CO2 into HCO3-, are involved in the biomineralization process across metazoans. In the Mediterranean red coral Corallium rubrum, inhibition studies suggest an essential role of CAs in the synthesis of two biominerals produced in this octocoral, the axial skeleton and the sclerites. Hitherto no molecular characterization of these enzymes was available. In the present study we determined the complete set of α-CAs in C. rubrum by data mining the genome and transcriptome, and measured their differential gene expression between calcifying and non-calcifying tissues. We identified six isozymes (CruCA1-6), one cytosolic and five secreted/membrane-bound among which one lacked two of the three zinc-binding histidines and was so referred to as a carbonic anhydrase related protein (CARP). One secreted isozyme (CruCA4) showed specific expression both by qPCR and western-blot in the calcifying tissues, suggesting its involvement in biomineralization. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of α-CAs, identified in six representative cnidarians with complete genome, support an independent recruitment of α-CAs for biomineralization within anthozoans. Finally, characterization of cnidarian CARPs highlighted two families: the monophyletic cytosolic CARPs, and the polyphyletic secreted CARPs harboring a cnidarian specific cysteine disulfide bridge. Alignment of the cytosolic CARPs revealed an evolutionary conserved R-H-Q motif in place of the characteristic zinc-binding H-H-H necessary for the catalytic function of α-CAs.

  17. Is dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) produced by the symbionts or the host in an anemone-zooxanthella symbiosis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Alstyne, K. L.; Dominique, V. J.; Muller-Parker, G.

    2009-03-01

    Many groups of tropical cnidarians including scleractinian corals, octocorals, corallimorphs, and anemones contain the tertiary sulfonium compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). It is not known if the compound is synthesized by the animals, their microalgal symbionts, or derived through their diet. We determined the source of the DMSP in several species of tropical and temperate anemones using three approaches: (1) conducting comparative measurements of DMSP in aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate anemones of three species that harbor zooxanthellae, and similar measurements in one species that can harbor both zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae, (2) manipulating the presence or absence of zooxanthellae by inoculating juvenile aposymbiotic anemones ( Aiptasia pallida) with their symbiont, Symbiodinium bermudense, and (3) manipulating the numbers of S. bermudense by growing aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate A. pallida in the light and the dark. DMSP was present in zooxanthellate anemones in concentrations of 3.4-15 μmol g-1 fresh mass (FM). In aposymbiotic Aiptasia spp. and Anthopleura elegantissima that lacked large numbers of zooxanthellae, concentrations ranged from being undetectable to 0.43 μmol g-1 FM. When aposymbiotic A. pallida were inoculated with zooxanthellae, concentrations of DMSP were an average of 4.24 μmol g-1 FM after 5 weeks; DMSP was undetectable in uninoculated control animals. Aposymbiotic anemones maintained in the light or the dark for 6 weeks contained no DMSP or zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellate anemones in the light contained five times as many zooxanthellae and approximately 7.5 times as much DMSP as zooxanthellate anemones maintained in the dark. Taken together, these data show that the zooxanthellae are the sole source of DMSP in A. pallida. The trends in DMSP concentrations in other species of zooxanthellate anemones suggest that this phenomenon is not limited to A. pallida but may be more generally true for other anemones or even other

  18. Trans-generational specificity within a cnidarian-algal symbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poland, D. M.; Coffroth, M. A.

    2017-03-01

    Ocean warming and other anthropogenic stresses threaten the symbiosis between tropical reef cnidarians and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts ( Symbiodinium). Offspring of many cnidarians acquire their algal symbionts from the environment, and such flexibility could allow corals to respond to environmental changes between generations. To investigate the effect of both habitat and host genotype on symbiont acquisition, we transplanted aposymbiotic offspring of the common Caribbean octocoral Briareum asbestinum to (1) an environmentally different habitat that lacked B. asbestinum and (2) an environmentally similar habitat where local adults harbored Symbiodinium phylotypes that differed from parental colonies. Symbiont acquisition and establishment of symbioses over time was followed using a within-clade DNA marker (23S chloroplast rDNA) and a within-phylotype marker (unique alleles at a single microsatellite locus). Early in the symbiosis, B. asbestinum juveniles harbored multiple symbiont phylotypes, regardless of source (parent or site). However, with time ( 4 yr), offspring established symbioses with the symbiont phylotype dominant in the parental colonies, regardless of transplant location. Within-phylotype analyses of the symbionts revealed a similar pattern, with offspring acquiring the allelic variant common in symbionts in the parental population regardless of the environment in which the offspring was reared. These data suggest that in this host species, host-symbiont specificity is a genetically determined trait. If this level of specificity is widespread among other symbiotic cnidarians, many cnidarian-algal symbioses may not be able to respond to rapid, climate change-associated environmental changes by means of between-generation switching of symbionts.

  19. Stable Isotope Signatures of Middle Palaeozoic Ahermatypic Rugose Corals - Deciphering Secondary Alteration, Vital Fractionation Effects, and Palaeoecological Implications.

    PubMed

    Jakubowicz, Michal; Berkowski, Blazej; López Correa, Matthias; Jarochowska, Emilia; Joachimski, Michael; Belka, Zdzislaw

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates stable isotope signatures of five species of Silurian and Devonian deep-water, ahermatypic rugose corals, providing new insights into isotopic fractionation effects exhibited by Palaeozoic rugosans, and possible role of diagenetic processes in modifying their original isotopic signals. To minimize the influence of intraskeletal cements on the observed signatures, the analysed specimens included unusual species either devoid of large intraskeletal open spaces ('button corals': Microcyclus, Palaeocyclus), or typified by particularly thick corallite walls (Calceola). The corals were collected at four localities in the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland), Mader Basin (Morocco) and on Gotland (Sweden), representing distinct diagenetic histories and different styles of diagenetic alteration. To evaluate the resistance of the corallites to diagenesis, we applied various microscopic and trace element preservation tests. Distinct differences between isotopic compositions of the least-altered and most-altered skeleton portions emphasise a critical role of material selection for geochemical studies of Palaeozoic corals. The least-altered parts of the specimens show marine or near-marine stable isotope signals and lack positive correlation between δ13C and δ18O. In terms of isotopic fractionation mechanisms, Palaeozoic rugosans must have differed considerably from modern deep-water scleractinians, typified by significant depletion in both 18O and 13C, and pronounced δ13C-δ18O co-variance. The fractionation effects exhibited by rugosans seem similar rather to the minor isotopic effects typical of modern non-scleractinian corals (octocorals and hydrocorals). The results of the present study add to growing evidence for significant differences between Scleractinia and Rugosa, and agree with recent studies indicating that calcification mechanisms developed independently in these two groups of cnidarians. Consequently, particular caution is needed in using

  20. [Coral reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panamá: IV. Distribution, structure and conservation state of continental reefs of Peninsula Valiente].

    PubMed

    Guzmán, H M; Guevara, C A

    2001-03-01

    This is the fourth and last contribution describing the individual structure, distribution and conservation status of coral reefs in the Province of Bocas del Toro. Here we describe 14 new reefs along 129 km of coast from Peninsula Valiente to Río Calovébora. Average live coral coverage for this region was 17.1% (+/- 3.6%), mainly in the western region of the peninsula (Bahia Bluefield and Ensenada Tobobe). Coral cover increases with depth (> 5 m) for most species at several reefs and the corals Porites furcata and Acropora palmata dominated shallow waters. Acropora palmata was found abundant in 43% of the studied reefs and toward the regions of the Ensenada Tobobe and Punta Valiente. Coral recruitment rates were similar in distribution to those reefs with greater coral coverage, with average densities of 4 recruit/m2 (maximum 9 recruits/m2) and mainly Agaricia spp., Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea. The greater diversity of corals and sponges was recorded toward the western side of the peninsula, with a total of 55 coral species in the study area, including two new records for Bocas del Toro (59 species in total), Dichocoenia stellaris and Madracis luciphila and increasing the diversity of corals of Panama to 65 species. We found 24 species of octocorals and Gorgonia mariae, Muriceopsis sulphurea and Muricea laxaoosens, are informed for the first time to the area, increasing in 10% the diversity for Bocas del Toro (32 in total). We recorded 48 sponges, including five new species for the area and representing an increase of 9% in the total number (58). Large populations of Acropora palmata were found in the Ensenada Tobobe, what justifies once again the need for modifying the existing protected area, so that this new region is incorporated within the conservation plans.

  1. [Evaluation of the impact of recreational dive activity on the community structure of some coral reefs at Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezula].

    PubMed

    Zubillaga, Ainhoa L; Pauls, Sheila M; Cróquer, Aldo

    2003-06-01

    In order to evaluate if snorkeling had significant effects on coral community structure, three different coral reefs (Madrizquí, Pelona de Rabusquí and Crasquí) located at Archipelago Los Roques National Park, Venezuela, were surveyed. For each site, the coral community structure of two different areas, one subjected to intense snorkeling use (FB) and other not frequently used (PFB), were compared. Community structure was determined with 1 m2-quadrants and 20 m-long transects. These communities were described in terms of species richness, diversity (Shannon-Wiener) and evenness indexes, live and dead coral cover and cover of other organisms (sponges, octocorals and algae). Comparisons within sites were performed with a Kruskall-Wallis test. A total of 24 species of scleractinian corals were found. Live coral cover ranged from 29.9% +/- 26.43 (Crasquí) to 34.55% +/- 6.43 (Madrizquí), while dead coral cover ranged from 32.51% +/- 2.86 (Madrizquí) to 60.78% +/- 21.3 (Pelona de Rabusquí). The PFB areas showed higher live coral cover compared to FB areas; however, significant differences were only found in Crasquí and Pelona de Rabusquí (p < 0.05). Species richness, diversity and evenness were variable and no trends were observed between FB and PFB areas. The frequency of both damaged and diseased colonies were low (< 1%), most damages observed were natural (parrotfish predation). Damages caused by divers such as fin impacts, were not found at the reefs studied. These results suggest that, currently, diving pressure is not as high to cause massive loses of live coral cover in these reefs. However, the lack of strict controls for these activities might produce long-term changes in the structure of these coral communities.

  2. Distributions and habitat associations of deep-water corals in Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons, Mid-Atlantic Bight, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooke, S. D.; Watts, M. W.; Heil, A. D.; Rhode, M.; Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G. C. A.; Davies, A. J.; Ross, S. W.

    2017-03-01

    A multi-disciplinary study of two major submarine canyons, Baltimore Canyon and Norfolk Canyon, off the US mid-Atlantic coast focused on the ecology and biology of canyon habitats, particularly those supporting deep-sea corals. Historical data on deep-sea corals from these canyons were sparse with less than 750 records for the mid-Atlantic region, with most being soft sediment species. This study substantially increased the number of deep-sea coral records for the target canyons and the region. Large gorgonians were the dominant structure-forming coral taxa on exposed hard substrates, but several species of scleractinians were also documented, including first observations of Lophelia pertusa in the mid-Atlantic Bight region. Coral distribution varied within and between the two canyons, with greater abundance of the octocoral Paragorgia arborea in Baltimore Canyon, and higher occurrence of stony corals in Norfolk Canyon; these observations reflect the differences in environmental conditions, particularly turbidity, between the canyons. Some species have a wide distribution (e.g., P. arborea, Primnoa resedaeformis, Anthothela grandiflora), while others are limited to certain habitat types and/or depth zones (e.g., Paramuricea placomus, L. pertusa, Solenosmilia variabilis). The distribution of a species is driven by a combination of factors, which include availability of appropriate physical structure and environmental conditions. Although the diversity of the structure-forming corals (gorgonians, branching scleractinians and large anemones) was low, many areas of both canyons supported high coral abundance and a diverse coral-associated community. The canyons provide suitable habitat for the development of deep-sea coral communities that is not readily available elsewhere on the sedimented shelf and slope of the Mid-Atlantic Bight.

  3. Stable Isotope Signatures of Middle Palaeozoic Ahermatypic Rugose Corals – Deciphering Secondary Alteration, Vital Fractionation Effects, and Palaeoecological Implications

    PubMed Central

    Jakubowicz, Michal; Berkowski, Blazej; López Correa, Matthias; Jarochowska, Emilia; Joachimski, Michael; Belka, Zdzislaw

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates stable isotope signatures of five species of Silurian and Devonian deep-water, ahermatypic rugose corals, providing new insights into isotopic fractionation effects exhibited by Palaeozoic rugosans, and possible role of diagenetic processes in modifying their original isotopic signals. To minimize the influence of intraskeletal cements on the observed signatures, the analysed specimens included unusual species either devoid of large intraskeletal open spaces ('button corals': Microcyclus, Palaeocyclus), or typified by particularly thick corallite walls (Calceola). The corals were collected at four localities in the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland), Mader Basin (Morocco) and on Gotland (Sweden), representing distinct diagenetic histories and different styles of diagenetic alteration. To evaluate the resistance of the corallites to diagenesis, we applied various microscopic and trace element preservation tests. Distinct differences between isotopic compositions of the least-altered and most-altered skeleton portions emphasise a critical role of material selection for geochemical studies of Palaeozoic corals. The least-altered parts of the specimens show marine or near-marine stable isotope signals and lack positive correlation between δ13C and δ18O. In terms of isotopic fractionation mechanisms, Palaeozoic rugosans must have differed considerably from modern deep-water scleractinians, typified by significant depletion in both 18O and 13C, and pronounced δ13C-δ18O co-variance. The fractionation effects exhibited by rugosans seem similar rather to the minor isotopic effects typical of modern non-scleractinian corals (octocorals and hydrocorals). The results of the present study add to growing evidence for significant differences between Scleractinia and Rugosa, and agree with recent studies indicating that calcification mechanisms developed independently in these two groups of cnidarians. Consequently, particular caution is needed in using

  4. Evidence for host specificity among dominant bacterial symbionts in temperate gorgonian corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Rivière, Marie; Garrabou, Joaquim; Bally, Marc

    2015-12-01

    Gorgonian corals serve as key engineering species within Mediterranean rocky-shore communities that have recently suffered from repeated mortality events during warm temperature anomalies. Among the factors that may link thermal conditions with disease outbreaks, a number of bacterial pathogens have been implicated; they may take advantage of decreases in the defenses and/or overall health of the gorgonian hosts. Considering the beneficial role of the resident bacteria in tropical coral holobionts, a detailed characterization of the gorgonian-associated microbial populations is required to better understand the relationships among native microbiota, host fitness, and pathogen susceptibility. In this study, the bacterial communities associated with three sympatric gorgonian species, Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, and Corallium rubrum, were investigated to provide insight into the stability and the specificity of host-microbe interactions. Natural variations in bacterial communities were detected using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the 16S ribosomal DNA. No major differences were identified between individual colonies sampled in winter or in summer within each gorgonian species. Although hierarchical cluster analysis of the T-RFLP profiles revealed that the three species harbor distinct communities, comparison of the T-RFLP peaks indicated the presence of common bacterial ribotypes. From phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA clone libraries, we identified a bacterial lineage related to the Hahellaceae family within the Oceanospirillales that is shared among E. singularis, E. cavolini, and C. rubrum and that dominates the communities of both species of Eunicella. However, distinct clades of Hahellaceae are harbored by various gorgonian species from Mediterranean and tropical waters, suggesting that these bacteria have formed host-specific symbiotic relationships with gorgonian octocorals. In addition, the relatedness of symbionts

  5. Coral-Associated Bacterial Diversity Is Conserved across Two Deep-Sea Anthothela Species.

    PubMed

    Lawler, Stephanie N; Kellogg, Christina A; France, Scott C; Clostio, Rachel W; Brooke, Sandra D; Ross, Steve W

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4-V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont.

  6. Synthesis and biological evaluation of the Forssman antigen pentasaccharide and derivatives by a one-pot glycosylation procedure.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Hiroshi; Takeuchi, Ryota; Jimbo, Mitsuru; Kuniya, Nami; Takahashi, Takashi

    2013-02-25

    The synthesis and biological evaluation of the Forssman antigen pentasaccharide and derivatives thereof by using a one-pot glycosylation and polymer-assisted deprotection is described. The Forssman antigen pentasaccharide, composed of GalNAcα(1,3)GalNAcβ(1,3)Galα(1,4)Galβ(1,4)Glc, was recently identified as a ligand of the lectin SLL-2 isolated from an octocoral Sinularia lochmodes. The chemo- and α-selective glycosylation of a thiogalactoside with a hemiacetal donor by using a mixture of Tf(2)O, TTBP and Ph(2)SO, followed by activation of the remaining thioglycoside, provided the trisaccharide at the reducing end in a one-pot procedure. The pentasaccharide was prepared by the α-selective glycosylation of the N-Troc-protected (Troc=2,2,2-trichloroethoxycarbonyl) thioglycoside with a 2-azide-1-hydroxyl glycosyl donor, followed by glycosidation of the resulting disaccharide at the C3 hydroxyl group of the trisaccharide acceptor in a one-pot process. We next applied the one-pot glycosylation method to the synthesis of pentasaccharides in which the galactosamine units were partially and fully replaced by galactose units. Among the three possible pentasaccharides, Galα(1,3)GalNAc and Galα(1,3)Gal derivatives were successfully prepared by the established method. An assay of the binding of the synthetic oligosaccharides to a fluorescent-labeled SLL-2 revealed that the NHAc substituents and the length of the oligosaccharide chain were both important for the binding of the oligosaccharide to SLL-2. The inhibition effect of the oligosaccharide relative to the morphological changes of Symbiodinium by SLL-2, was comparable to their binding affinity to SLL-2. In addition, we fortuitously found that the synthetic Forssman antigen pentasaccharide directly promotes a morphological change in Symbiodinium. These results strongly indicate that the Forssman antigen also functions as a chemical mediator of Symbiodinium.

  7. Coral-associated bacterial diversity is conserved across two deep-sea Anthothela species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawler, Stephanie N.; Kellogg, Christina A.; France, Scott C; Clostio, Rachel W; Brooke, Sandra D.; Ross, Steve W.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4-V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont.

  8. The effects of elevated seawater temperatures on Caribbean gorgonian corals and their algal symbionts, Symbiodinium spp.

    PubMed Central

    Goulet, Tamar L.; Shirur, Kartick P.; Ramsby, Blake D.; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Global climate change not only leads to elevated seawater temperatures but also to episodic anomalously high or low temperatures lasting for several hours to days. Scleractinian corals are detrimentally affected by thermal fluctuations, which often lead to an uncoupling of their mutualism with Symbiodinium spp. (coral bleaching) and potentially coral death. Consequently, on many Caribbean reefs scleractinian coral cover has plummeted. Conversely, gorgonian corals persist, with their abundance even increasing. How gorgonians react to thermal anomalies has been investigated utilizing limited parameters of either the gorgonian, Symbiodinium or the combined symbiosis (holobiont). We employed a holistic approach to examine the effect of an experimental five-day elevated temperature episode on parameters of the host, symbiont, and the holobiont in Eunicea tourneforti, E. flexuosa and Pseudoplexaura porosa. These gorgonian corals reacted and coped with 32°C seawater temperatures. Neither Symbiodinium genotypes nor densities differed between the ambient 29.5°C and 32°C. Chlorophyll a and c2 per Symbiodinium cell, however, were lower at 32°C leading to a reduction in chlorophyll content in the branches and an associated reduction in estimated absorbance and increase in the chlorophyll a specific absorption coefficient. The adjustments in the photochemical parameters led to changes in photochemical efficiencies, although these too showed that the gorgonians were coping. For example, the maximum excitation pressure, Qm, was significantly lower at 32°C than at 29.5°C. In addition, although per dry weight the amount of protein and lipids were lower at 32°C, the overall energy content in the tissues did not differ between the temperatures. Antioxidant activity either remained the same or increased following exposure to 32°C further reiterating a response that dealt with the stressor. Taken together, the capability of Caribbean gorgonian corals to modify symbiont, host

  9. Shallow groundwater subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. B.; Jayawickreme, D.; Nosetto, M.; Jobbagy, E. G.

    2010-12-01

    Throughout the world, shallow groundwater systems subsidize much higher net primary productivity (NPP) than would be expected based solely on local rainfall. Such subsidies are far more prevalent and less recognized in upland systems than in more commonly studied riparian ones. We present a quantitative framework for examining and quantifying groundwater subsidies globally, illustrating subsidies to NPP across rainfall gradients in Argentina and the southern United States, including Texas and California. In the Argentine Pampas, we determined that the presence of relatively shallow ground water increased the transpiration of forest plantations by 300 to 400 mm. Farther west, the presence of well developed Prosopis flexuosa woodlands in the Monte desert region east of the Andes has puzzled scientists for decades. We explored the vulnerability and importance of phreatic ground water for the productivity of the region, comparing the contributions of local rainfall to that of remote mountain recharge that is increasingly being diverted for irrigated agriculture before it reaches the desert. The isotopic composition of phreatic ground waters (δ2H; -137±5 ‰) closely matched the signature of water brought to the region by the Mendoza River (-137±6 ‰), suggesting that mountain river infiltration rather than in-situ rainfall deep drainage (-39±19 ‰) was the dominant mechanism of recharge. Vegetation in woodland ecosystems there relied on regionally derived ground water from Andean snowmelt located from 6.5 to 9.5 m underground. Understanding the ecohydrological coupling of surface and ground waters is vital for estimating net primary productivity and for balancing the demands of managed ecosystems with the conservation of unique natural systems.

  10. The effects of elevated seawater temperatures on Caribbean gorgonian corals and their algal symbionts, Symbiodinium spp.

    PubMed

    Goulet, Tamar L; Shirur, Kartick P; Ramsby, Blake D; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Global climate change not only leads to elevated seawater temperatures but also to episodic anomalously high or low temperatures lasting for several hours to days. Scleractinian corals are detrimentally affected by thermal fluctuations, which often lead to an uncoupling of their mutualism with Symbiodinium spp. (coral bleaching) and potentially coral death. Consequently, on many Caribbean reefs scleractinian coral cover has plummeted. Conversely, gorgonian corals persist, with their abundance even increasing. How gorgonians react to thermal anomalies has been investigated utilizing limited parameters of either the gorgonian, Symbiodinium or the combined symbiosis (holobiont). We employed a holistic approach to examine the effect of an experimental five-day elevated temperature episode on parameters of the host, symbiont, and the holobiont in Eunicea tourneforti, E. flexuosa and Pseudoplexaura porosa. These gorgonian corals reacted and coped with 32°C seawater temperatures. Neither Symbiodinium genotypes nor densities differed between the ambient 29.5°C and 32°C. Chlorophyll a and c2 per Symbiodinium cell, however, were lower at 32°C leading to a reduction in chlorophyll content in the branches and an associated reduction in estimated absorbance and increase in the chlorophyll a specific absorption coefficient. The adjustments in the photochemical parameters led to changes in photochemical efficiencies, although these too showed that the gorgonians were coping. For example, the maximum excitation pressure, Qm, was significantly lower at 32°C than at 29.5°C. In addition, although per dry weight the amount of protein and lipids were lower at 32°C, the overall energy content in the tissues did not differ between the temperatures. Antioxidant activity either remained the same or increased following exposure to 32°C further reiterating a response that dealt with the stressor. Taken together, the capability of Caribbean gorgonian corals to modify symbiont, host

  11. Novel fungi from an ancient niche: cercosporoid and related sexual morphs on ferns.

    PubMed

    Guatimosim, E; Schwartsburd, P B; Barreto, R W; Crous, P W

    2016-12-01

    The fern flora of the world (Pteridophyta) has direct evolutionary links with the earliest vascular plants that appeared in the late Devonian. Knowing the mycobiota associated to this group of plants is critical for a full understanding of the Fungi. Nevertheless, perhaps because of the minor economic significance of ferns, this niche remains relatively neglected by mycologists. Cercosporoid fungi represent a large assemblage of fungi belonging to the Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae (Ascomycota) having cercospora-like asexual morphs. They are well-known pathogens of many important crops, occurring on a wide host range. Here, the results of a taxonomic study of cercosporoid fungi collected on ferns in Brazil are presented. Specimens were obtained from most Brazilian regions and collected over a 7-yr period (2009-2015). Forty-three isolates of cercosporoid and mycosphaerella-like species, collected from 18 host species, representing 201 localities, were studied. This resulted in a total of 21 frond-spotting taxa, which were identified based on morphology, ecology and sequence data of five genomic loci (actin, calmodulin, ITS, LSU and partial translation elongation factor 1-α). One novel genus (Clypeosphaerella) and 15 novel species (Cercospora samambaiae, Clypeosphaerella sticheri, Neoceratosperma alsophilae, N. cyatheae, Paramycosphaerella blechni, Pa. cyatheae, Pa. dicranopteridis-flexuosae, Pa. sticheri, Phaeophleospora pteridivora, Pseudocercospora brackenicola, Ps. paranaensis, Ps. serpocaulonicola, Ps. trichogena, Xenomycosphaerella diplazii and Zasmidium cyatheae) are introduced. Furthermore, 11 new combinations (Clypeosphaerella quasiparkii, Neoceratosperma yunnanensis, Paramycosphaerella aerohyalinosporum, Pa. dicranopteridis, Pa. gleicheniae, Pa. irregularis, Pa. madeirensis, Pa. nabiacense, Pa. parkii, Pa. pseudomarksii and Pa. vietnamensis) are proposed. Finally, nine new host associations are recorded for the following known fungal species

  12. Screening for alternative antibiotics: an investigation into the antimicrobial activities of medicinal food plants of Mauritius.

    PubMed

    Mahomoodally, M F; Gurib-Fakim, A; Subratty, A H

    2010-04-01

    The present study was designed to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of 2 endemic medicinal plants; Faujasiopsis flexuosa (Asteraceae) (FF) and Pittosporum senacia (Pittosporaceae) (PS) and 2 exotic medicinal plants, Momordica charantia (Cucurbitaceae) (MC) and Ocimum tenuiflorum (Lamiaceae) (OT) that forms part of local pharmacopoeia of Mauritius and correlate any observed activity with its phytochemical profile. Aqueous and organic fractions of the leaves, fruits, and seeds of these plants were subjected to antimicrobial testing by the disc diffusion method against 8 clinical isolates of bacteria and 2 strains of fungus. It was found that MC, OT, and FF possessed antimicrobial properties against the test organisms. The MIC for MC ranged from 0.5 to 9 mg/mL and that of FF from 2 to 10 mg/mL and the lowest MIC value (0.5 mg/mL) was recorded for the unripe fruits of MC against E. coli. On the other hand, higher concentration of the unripe MC fruit extract of 9 mg/mL was needed to be effective against a resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The antimicrobial effect against MRSA was lost upon ripening of the fruits. The methanolic extract of both MC and FF showed highest MIC values compared to the corresponding aqueous extract, which indicates the low efficacy and the need of higher doses of the plant extract. Phytochemical screening of the plants showed the presence of at least tannins, phenols, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which are known antimicrobial phyto-compounds. In conclusion, the observed antimicrobial properties would tend to further validate the medicinal properties of these commonly used endemic medicinal and food plants of Mauritius.

  13. Ulva (Chlorophyta, Ulvales) Biodiversity in the North Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean, Italy): Cryptic Species and New Introductions.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Marion A; Sciuto, Katia; Andreoli, Carlo; Moro, Isabella

    2012-12-01

    Ulva Linnaeus (Ulvophyceae, Ulvales) is a genus of green algae widespread in different aquatic environments. Members of this genus show a very simple morphology and a certain degree of phenotypic plasticity, heavily influenced by environmental conditions, making difficult the delineation of species by morphological features alone. Most studies dealing with Ulva biodiversity in Mediterranean waters have been based only on morphological characters and a modern taxonomic revision of this genus in the Mediterranean is not available. We report here the results of an investigation on the diversity of Ulva in the North Adriatic Sea based on molecular analyses. Collections from three areas, two of which subject to intense shipping traffic, were examined, as well as historical collections of Ulva stored in the Herbarium Patavinum of the University of Padova, Italy. Molecular analyses based on partial sequences of the rbcL and tufA genes revealed the presence of six different species, often with overlapping morphologies: U. californica Wille, U. flexuosa Wulfen, U. rigida C. Agardh, U. compressa Linnaeus, U. pertusa Kjellman, and one probable new taxon. U. californica is a new record for the Mediterranean and U. pertusa is a new record for the Adriatic. Partial sequences obtained from historical collections show that most of the old specimens are referable to U. rigida. No specimens referable to the two alien species were found among the old herbarium specimens. The results indicate that the number of introduced seaweed species and their impact on Mediterranean communities have been underestimated, due to the difficulties in species identification of morphologically simple taxa as Ulva. © 2012 Phycological Society of America.

  14. Effects of temperature on the production of hydrogen peroxide and volatile halocarbons by brackish-water algae.

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, Katarina; Choo, Kyung Sil; Pedersén, Marianne; Johansson, Gustav; Snoeijs, Pauli

    2003-10-01

    Marine algae produce volatile halocarbons, which have an ozone-depleting potential. The formation of these compounds is thought to be related to oxidative stress, involving H2O2 and algal peroxidases. In our study we found strong correlations between the releases of H2O2 and brominated and some iodinated compounds to the seawater medium, but no such correlation was found for CHCl3, suggesting the involvement of other formation mechanisms as well. Little is known about the effects of environmental factors on the production of volatile halocarbons by algae and in the present study we focused on the influence of temperature. Algae were sampled in an area of the brackish Baltic Sea that receives thermal discharge, allowing us to collect specimens of the same species that were adapted to different field temperature regimes. We exposed six algal species (the diatom Pleurosira laevis, the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus and four filamentous green algae, Cladophora glomerata, Enteromorpha ahlneriana, E. flexuosa and E. intestinalis) to temperature changes of 0-11 degrees C under high irradiation to invoke oxidative stress. The production rates, as well as the quantitative composition of 16 volatile halocarbons, were strongly species-dependent and different types of responses to temperature were recorded. However, no response patterns to temperature change were found that were consistent for all species or for all halocarbons. We conclude that the production of certain halocarbons may increase with temperature in certain algal species, but that the amount and composition of the volatile halocarbons released by algal communities are probably more affected by temperature-associated species shifts. These results may have implications for climatic change scenarios.

  15. Detection of a parasitic amoeba (Order Dactylopodida) in the female gonads of oysters in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sühnel, Simone; Ivachuk, Celene da S; Schaefer, Ana L C; Pontinha, Vitor A; Martins, Maurício L; Figueras, Antonio; Meyer, Gary R; Jones, Simon R M; Stewart, Johnson C; Gurney-Smith, Helen J; Magalhães, Aimê R M; Bower, Susan M

    2014-07-03

    The impacts of oocyte parasites on the reproductive success of molluscs are largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the presence of gonad parasites in 6 species of marine bivalve molluscs native to southern Brazil. Cultured bivalves included the mangrove oyster Crassostrea gasar (sometimes called C. brasiliana), the brown mussel Perna perna, the lion's paw scallop Nodipecten nodosus and the wing pearl oyster Pteria hirundo. Another species of mangrove oyster, C. rhizophorae, and the carib pointed venus clam Anomalocardia brasiliana (syn. A. flexuosa) were collected from the wild. Molluscs were collected in winter 2009 and summer 2010 for histopathological and molecular evaluation. An unknown ovarian parasite (UOP) was observed in histopathological sections of female gonads of C. gasar and C. rhizophorae. The UOP possessed features suggestive of amoebae, including an irregular outer membrane, frothy cytoplasm, a nucleus with a prominent central nucleolus and a closely associated basophilic parasome. PCR analysis was negative for Marteilioides chungmuensis, Perkinsus spp. and Paramoeba perurans. However, real-time PCR successfully amplified DNA from oyster gonads when using universal Paramoeba spp. primers. Also, conventional PCR amplified DNA using primers specific for Perkinsela amoebae-like organisms (syn. Perkinsiella), which are considered as endosymbionts of Parameoba spp., previously thought to be the parasome. Our results suggest that this UOP is a species of amoeba belonging to 1 of the 2 families of the order Dactylopodida, possibly related to Paramoeba spp. This study represents the first report of this type of organism in oysters. We found that C. gasar and C. rhizophorae were the most susceptible molluscs to these UOPs.

  16. Making a Bad Situation Worse: An Invasive Species Altering the Balance of Interactions between Local Species.

    PubMed

    Mello, Thayná Jeremias; Oliveira, Alexandre Adalardo de

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions pose a significant threat to biodiversity, especially on oceanic islands. One of the primary explanations for the success of plant invaders is direct suppression of competitors. However, indirect interactions can also be important, although they are often overlooked in studies on biological invasion. The shrub Leucaena leucocephala is a widespread island invader with putative allelopathic effects on the germination and growth of other species. We quantified the impact of Leucaena on plant communities richness on an oceanic Brazilian island and, through nursery experiments, investigated the potential for allelopathic effects on the germination of Erythrina velutina, a native species that is often absent from stands of Leucaena. Additionally, in a manipulative field experiment, we examined the direct and indirect effects (mediated by the native species Capparis flexuosa) of the invader on the development of Erythrina. The species richness in invaded sites was lower than in uninvaded sites, and Capparis was the only native species that was frequently present in invaded sites. In the nursery experiments, we found no evidence that Leucaena affects the germination of Erythrina. In the field experiments, the odds of Erythrina germination were lower in the presence of Leucaena litter, but higher in the presence of Leucaena trees. However, the survival and growth of Erythrina were considerably inhibited by the presence of Leucaena trees. The isolated effect of native Capparis on the germination and growth of Erythrina varied from positive to neutral. However, when Capparis and Leucaena were both present, their combined negative effects on Erythrina were worse than the effect of Leucaena alone, which may be attributed to indirect effects. This study provides the first empirical evidence that the balance of the interactions between native species can shift from neutral/positive to negative in the presence of an exotic species.

  17. Making a Bad Situation Worse: An Invasive Species Altering the Balance of Interactions between Local Species

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions pose a significant threat to biodiversity, especially on oceanic islands. One of the primary explanations for the success of plant invaders is direct suppression of competitors. However, indirect interactions can also be important, although they are often overlooked in studies on biological invasion. The shrub Leucaena leucocephala is a widespread island invader with putative allelopathic effects on the germination and growth of other species. We quantified the impact of Leucaena on plant communities richness on an oceanic Brazilian island and, through nursery experiments, investigated the potential for allelopathic effects on the germination of Erythrina velutina, a native species that is often absent from stands of Leucaena. Additionally, in a manipulative field experiment, we examined the direct and indirect effects (mediated by the native species Capparis flexuosa) of the invader on the development of Erythrina. The species richness in invaded sites was lower than in uninvaded sites, and Capparis was the only native species that was frequently present in invaded sites. In the nursery experiments, we found no evidence that Leucaena affects the germination of Erythrina. In the field experiments, the odds of Erythrina germination were lower in the presence of Leucaena litter, but higher in the presence of Leucaena trees. However, the survival and growth of Erythrina were considerably inhibited by the presence of Leucaena trees. The isolated effect of native Capparis on the germination and growth of Erythrina varied from positive to neutral. However, when Capparis and Leucaena were both present, their combined negative effects on Erythrina were worse than the effect of Leucaena alone, which may be attributed to indirect effects. This study provides the first empirical evidence that the balance of the interactions between native species can shift from neutral/positive to negative in the presence of an exotic species. PMID:27010846

  18. In vitro modulation of oxidative burst via release of reactive oxygen species from immune cells by extracts of selected tropical medicinal herbs and food plants.

    PubMed

    Mahomoodally, Fawzi; Mesaik, Ahmed; Choudhary, M Iqbal; Subratty, Anwar H; Gurib-Fakim, Ameenah

    2012-06-01

    To evaluate in vitro immunomodulating properties and potential cytotoxicity of six tropical medicinal herbs and food plants namely Antidesma madagascariense (Euphorbiaceae) (AM), Erythroxylum macrocarpum (Erythroxylaceae) (EM), Faujasiopsis flexuosa (Asteraceae) (FF), Pittosporum senacia (Pittosporaceae) (PS), Momordica charantia (Cucurbitaceae) (MC) and Ocimum tenuiflorum (Lamiaceae) (OT). Initially, the crude water and methanol extracts were probed for their capacity to trigger immune cells' NADPH oxidase and MPO-dependent activities as measured by lucigenin- and luminol-amplified chemiluminescence, respectively; as compared to receptor-dependent (serum opsonised zymosan- OPZ) or receptor-independent phorbol myristerate acetate (PMA). Preliminary screening on whole human blood oxidative burst activity showed significant and concentration-dependent immunomodulating properties of three plants AM, FF and OT. Further investigations of the fractions on isolated human polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) and mice monocytes using two different pathways for activation of phagocytic oxidative burst showed that ethyl acetate fraction was the most potent extract. None of the active samples had cell-death effects on human PMNs, under the assay conditions as determined by the trypan-blue exclusion assay. Since PMA and OPZ NADPH oxidase complex is activated via different transduction pathways, these results suggest that AM, FF and OT does not affect a specific transductional pathway, but rather directly inhibit a final common biochemical target such as the NADPH oxidase enzyme and/or scavenges ROS. Our findings suggest that some of these plants extracts/fractions were able to modulate significantly immune response of phagocytes and monocytes at different steps, emphasizing their potential as a source of new natural alternative immunomodulatory agents. Copyright © 2012 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A functional approach to the seasonal variation of benthic mollusc assemblages in an estuarine-like system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aneiros, Fernando; Moreira, Juan; Troncoso, Jesús S.

    2014-01-01

    The mollusc assemblages inhabiting two fine-sediment bottoms in the Ría de Aldán (NW Iberian Peninsula) were quantitatively sampled to test hypotheses about influence of sediment in faunal composition, seasonal variation and amensalist relationships. Both trophic guilds and life habits were considered for functional group classifications of the mollusc species found. The two assemblages were found to have differences in both numerically dominant species and general structure. Among numerically dominant species, Kurtiella bidentata was the only one present in numbers at both sites; it was second to Chamelea striatula at the site with the coarsest sediment and the top dominant at the one which had higher organic content, there followed by Thyasira flexuosa. There were significant changes in abundance, number of species and diversity indexes during the study period; maximum values of abundance occurred in autumn. Seasonal variations in univariate faunal parameters and functional groups were also correlated with those in sediment features and sediment heterogeneity was identified as a key factor to explain diversity of the assemblages. The extensive mussel raft culture in the area seemed not to affect negatively either abundance or diversity and might favour higher diversity by increasing the heterogeneity of the sediment through the supply of mussel shells. Hydrodynamic regime of the embayment is suggested to be a relevant factor in determining differences between the structures of assemblages. Seasonal changes in this regime would lead to major changes in the characteristics of the sediment and therefore in the mollusc assemblages. Higher intensity and frequency of these changes seem to promote a closer relationship between the assemblage and the sediment, as well as a tighter coupling between functional and taxonomic structure of the former. The existence of amensalist relationships was dismissed for both assemblages as no negative relationships between trophic

  20. Plant species dominance shifts across erosion edge-meadow transects in the Swiss Alps.

    PubMed

    Huck, Corinne; Körner, Christian; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2013-03-01

    While exerting no obvious function under "average" environmental conditions, the presence of certain plant specialists becomes crucial in the event of a complete failure of a community due to severe disturbance such as landslides. Plants capable of growing at erosion edges may act as potential edge-engineers by coping with unstable ground and stabilizing the soil with their roots. We hypothesized that life conditions at erosion edges select for a particular set of specialists or species with specific traits, the identification of which was the aim of the study. Across 17 small-scale transects (0.40 × 1.60 m) from intact meadows to landslide edges (Ursern Valley, Swiss Alps, c. 1,600 m a.s.l.), we quantified plant species abundance by the point intercept method and characterized growth conditions based on Landolt's indicator values, leaf δ(13)C, and volumetric soil moisture in the uppermost soil layers. We observed a clear change of plant species composition and relative abundance from the meadow to the edge, presumably induced by the 25 % lower soil moisture and microclimatic exposure. Species richness at the edge was two-thirds of that in the meadow, but was positively correlated with species richness of the adjacent meadow. Species with "edge-preference" had either (1) rolled or festucoid leaves like Festuca spp., Avenella flexuosa and Nardus stricta, or (2) small, scleromorphic leaves like Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Calluna vulgaris and Thymus ssp. Graminoids with rolled/festucoid leaves were found to be the most dominant edge-specialists. The grass Festuca valesiaca s.l. emerged as the most dominant plant species at the edge, having an 11-times higher cover at the edge than in the meadow. In this montane grassland, a single species contributes to the stabilization of erosion edges and may be regarded as a potential keystone species for slope stability and regeneration after landslides even its role has not so far been established.

  1. Can the foliar nitrogen concentration of upland vegetation be used for predicting atmospheric nitrogen deposition? Evidence from field surveys.

    PubMed

    Hicks, W K; Leith, I D; Woodin, S J; Fowler, D

    2000-03-01

    The deposition of atmospheric nitrogen can be enhanced at high altitude sites as a consequence of cloud droplet deposition and orographic enhancement of wet deposition on hills. The degree to which the increased deposition of nitrogen influences foliar nitrogen concentration in a range of upland plant species was studied in a series of field surveys in northern Britain. A range of upland plant species sampled along altitudinal transects at sites of known atmospheric nitrogen deposition showed marked increases in foliar nitrogen concentration with increasing nitrogen deposition and altitude (and hence with decreasing temperature). For Nardus stricta L., Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin., Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull, Erica cinerea L. and Hylocomium splendens (Hedw.) Br. Eur. on an unpolluted hill, foliar nitrogen increased by 0.07, 0.12, 0.15, 0.08 and 0.04% dry weight respectively for each 1 kg ha(-1) year(-1) increase in nitrogen deposition. Most species showed an approximately linear relationship between foliar nitrogen concentration and altitude but no trend with altitude for foliar phosphorus concentration. This provided evidence that the tissue nutrient status of upland plants reflects nutrient availability rather than the direct effects of climate on growth. However, differences in the relationship between foliar nitrogen concentration and atmospheric nitrogen deposition for N. stricta sampled on hills in contrasting pollution climates show that the possibility of temperature-mediated growth effects on foliar nitrogen concentration should not be ignored. Thus, there is potential to use upland plant species as biomonitors of nitrogen deposition, but the response of different species to nitrogen addition, in combination with climatic effects on growth, must be well characterised.

  2. Sugary secretions of wasp galls: a want-to-be extrafloral nectar?

    PubMed

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Rothen, Carolina; Diez, Patricia; González, Ana María; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2017-06-29

    The most widespread form of protective mutualisms is represented by plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) that attract ants and other arthropods for indirect defence. Another, but less common, form of sugary secretion for indirect defence occurs in galls induced by cynipid wasps. Until now, such galls have been reported only for cynipid wasps that infest oak trees in the northern hemisphere. This study provides the first evidence of galls that exude sugary secretions in the southern hemisphere and asks whether they can be considered as analogues of plants' EFNs. The ecology and anatomy of galls and the chemical composition of the secretion were investigated in north-western Argentina, in natural populations of the host trees Prosopis chilensis and P. flexuosa . To examine whether ants protect the galls from natural enemies, ant exclusion experiments were conducted in the field. The galls produce large amounts of sucrose-rich, nectar-like secretions. No typical nectary and sub-nectary parenchymatic tissues or secretory trichomes can be observed; instead there is a dense vascularization with phloem elements reaching the gall periphery. At least six species of ants, but also vespid wasps, Diptera and Coleoptera, consumed the gall secretions. The ant exclusion experiment showed that when ants tended galls, no differences were found in the rate of successful emergence of gall wasps or in the rate of parasitism and inquiline infestation compared with ant-excluded galls. The gall sugary secretion is not analogous to extrafloral nectar because no nectar-producing structure is associated with it, but is functionally equivalent to arthropod honeydew because it provides indirect defence to the plant parasite. As in other facultative mutualisms mediated by sugary secretions, the gall secretion triggers a complex multispecies interaction, in which the outcome of individual pair-wise interactions depends on the ecological context in which they take place.

  3. Defoliation reduces soil biota - and modifies stimulating effects of elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Dam, Marie; Christensen, Søren

    2015-11-01

    To understand the responses to external disturbance such as defoliation and possible feedback mechanisms at global change in terrestrial ecosystems, it is necessary to examine the extent and nature of effects on aboveground-belowground interactions. We studied a temperate heathland system subjected to experimental climate and atmospheric factors based on prognoses for year 2075 and further exposed to defoliation. By defoliating plants, we were able to study how global change modifies the interactions of the plant-soil system. Shoot production, root biomass, microbial biomass, and nematode abundance were assessed in the rhizosphere of manually defoliated patches of Deschampsia flexuosa in June in a full-factorial FACE experiment with the treatments: increased atmospheric CO 2, increased nighttime temperatures, summer droughts, and all of their combinations. We found a negative effect of defoliation on microbial biomass that was not apparently affected by global change. The negative effect of defoliation cascades through to soil nematodes as dependent on CO 2 and drought. At ambient CO 2, drought and defoliation each reduced nematodes. In contrast, at elevated CO 2, a combination of drought and defoliation was needed to reduce nematodes. We found positive effects of CO 2 on root density and microbial biomass. Defoliation affected soil biota negatively, whereas elevated CO 2 stimulated the plant-soil system. This effect seen in June is contrasted by the effects seen in September at the same site. Late season defoliation increased activity and biomass of soil biota and more so at elevated CO 2. Based on soil biota responses, plants defoliated in active growth therefore conserve resources, whereas defoliation after termination of growth results in release of resources. This result challenges the idea that plants via exudation of organic carbon stimulate their rhizosphere biota when in apparent need of nutrients for growth.

  4. Glycine uptake in heath plants and soil microbes responds to elevated temperature, CO 2 and drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, Louise C.; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven; Beier, Claus; Ambus, Per

    2009-11-01

    Temperate terrestrial ecosystems are currently exposed to climatic and air quality changes with increased atmospheric CO 2, increased temperature and prolonged droughts. The responses of natural ecosystems to these changes are focus for research, due to the potential feedbacks to the climate. We here present results from a field experiment in which the effects of these three climate change factors are investigated solely and in all combinations at a temperate heath dominated by heather ( Calluna vulgaris) and wavy hair-grass ( Deschampsia flexuosa). Climate induced increases in plant production may increase plant root exudation of dissolved organic compounds such as amino acids, and the release of amino acids during decomposition of organic matter. Such free amino acids in soil serve as substrates for soil microorganisms and are also acquired as nutrients directly by plants. We investigated the magnitude of the response to the potential climate change treatments on uptake of organic nitrogen in an in situ pulse labelling experiment with 15N 13C 2-labelled glycine (amino acid) injected into the soil. In situ root nitrogen acquisition by grasses responded significantly to the climate change treatments, with larger 15N uptake in response to warming and elevated CO 2 but not additively when the treatments were combined. Also, a larger grass leaf biomass in the combined T and CO 2 treatment than in individual treatments suggest that responses to combined climate change factors cannot be predicted from the responses to single factors treatments. The soil microbes were superior to plants in the short-term competition for the added glycine, as indicated by an 18 times larger 15N recovery in the microbial biomass compared to the plant biomass. The soil microbes acquired glycine largely as an intact compound (87%), with no effects of the multi factorial climate change treatment through one year.

  5. Outbreaks by canopy-feeding geometrid moth cause state-dependent shifts in understorey plant communities.

    PubMed

    Karlsen, Stein Rune; Jepsen, Jane Uhd; Odland, Arvid; Ims, Rolf Anker; Elvebakk, Arve

    2013-11-01

    The increased spread of insect outbreaks is among the most severe impacts of climate warming predicted for northern boreal forest ecosystems. Compound disturbances by insect herbivores can cause sharp transitions between vegetation states with implications for ecosystem productivity and climate feedbacks. By analysing vegetation plots prior to and immediately after a severe and widespread outbreak by geometrid moths in the birch forest-tundra ecotone, we document a shift in forest understorey community composition in response to the moth outbreak. Prior to the moth outbreak, the plots divided into two oligotrophic and one eutrophic plant community. The moth outbreak caused a vegetation state shift in the two oligotrophic communities, but only minor changes in the eutrophic community. In the spatially most widespread communities, oligotrophic dwarf shrub birch forest, dominance by the allelopathic dwarf shrub Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, was effectively broken and replaced by a community dominated by the graminoid Avenella flexuosa, in a manner qualitatively similar to the effect of wild fires in E. nigrum communities in coniferous boreal forest further south. As dominance by E. nigrum is associated with retrogressive succession the observed vegetation state shift has widespread implications for ecosystem productivity on a regional scale. Our findings reveal that the impact of moth outbreaks on the northern boreal birch forest system is highly initial-state dependent, and that the widespread oligotrophic communities have a low resistance to such disturbances. This provides a case for the notion that climate impacts on arctic and northern boreal vegetation may take place most abruptly when conveyed by changed dynamics of irruptive herbivores.

  6. The triterpenes 3β-lup-20(29)-en-3-ol and 3β-lup-20(29)-en-3-yl acetate and the carbohydrate 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexa-O-acetyl-dulcitol as photosynthesis light reactions inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Menezes-de-Oliveira, Djalma; Aguilar, Maria-Isabel; King-Díaz, Beatriz; Vieira-Filho, Sidney Augusto; Pains-Duarte, Lucinier; Silva, Grácia-Divina de Fátima; Lotina-Hennsen, Blas

    2011-12-01

    Three compounds were isolated from Maytenus acanthophylla Reissek (Celastraceae): the pentacyclic triterpenes lup-20(29)-en-3β-ol (lupeol, 1) and 3β-lup-20(29)-en-3-yl acetate (2) and the carbohydrate 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexa-O-acetyldulcitol (3); lupeol was also isolated from Xylosma flexuosa. The compounds' structures were elucidated by spectroscopic and spectrometric analysis. Compound 1 acts as an energy transfer inhibitor, interacting with isolated CF₁ bound to thylakoid membrane, and dulcitol hexaacetate 3 behaves as a Hill reaction inhibitor and as an uncoupler, as determined by polarography. Chlorophyll a (Chl a) fluorescence induction kinetics from the minimum yield F₀ to the maximum yield F(M )provides information of the filling up from electrons coming from water to plastoquinone pool with reducing equivalents. In this paper we have examined the effects of compounds 1 and 3 on spinach leaf discs. Compound 1 induces the appearance of a K-band, which indicates that it inhibits the water splitting enzyme. In vivo assays measuring the fluorescence of chl a in P. ixocarpa leaves sprayed with compound 1, showed the appearance of the K-band and the PSII reaction centers was transformed to "heat sinks" or silent reaction centers unable to reduce Q(A). However, 3 also induced the appearance of a K band and a new band I appears in P. ixocarpa plants, therefore it inhibits at the water splitting enzyme complex and at the PQH₂ site on b₆f complex. Compounds 1 and 3 did not affect chlorophyll a fluorescence of L. perenne plants.

  7. Enzootic transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi and T. rangeli in the Federal District of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Ramalho, Eduardo Dias; Duarte, Marco Antônio; Palma, Alexandre Ramlo Torre; Abad-Franch, Fernando; Carranza, Julio Cesar; Cuba Cuba, César Augusto

    2004-01-01

    The Federal District of Brazil (DF) lies within the Cerrado biome, where open shrubland (savannas) is interspersed with riverside gallery forests and permanent swamps (veredas). Trypanosoma cruzi-infected native triatomines occur in the area, but the enzootic transmission of trypanosomatids remains poorly characterized. A parasitological survey involving sylvatic triatomines (166 Rhodnius neglectus collected from Mauritia flexuosa palms) and small mammals (98 marsupials and 70 rodents, totaling 18 species) was conducted in 18 sites (mainly gallery forests and veredas) of the DF. Parasites were isolated, morphologically identified, and characterized by PCR of nuclear (mini-exon gene) and kinetoplast DNA (kDNA). Six R. neglectus, seven Didelphis albiventris and one Akodon cursor were infected by trypanosomes; wild reservoir infection is documented for the first time in the DF. kDNA PCR detected T. cruzi in five R. neglectus and mini-exon gene PCR revealed T. cruzi I in isolates from D. albiventris. Parasites infecting one bug yielded T. rangeli KP1+ kDNA amplicons. In spite of the occurrence of T. cruzi-infected D. albiventris (an important wild and peridomestic reservoir) and R. neglectus (a secondary vector displaying synanthropic behavior), a low-risk of human Chagas disease transmission could be expected in the DF, considering the low prevalence infection recorded in this work. The detection of T. rangeli KP1+ associated with R. neglectus in the DF widens the known range of this parasite in Brazil and reinforces the hypothesis of adaptation of T. rangeli populations (KP1+ and KP1-) to distinct evolutionary Rhodnius lineages.

  8. Environmental gradients and macroalgae in Mediterranean marshes: the case of Pego-Oliva marsh (East Iberian Peninsula).

    PubMed

    García, María Eugenia; Aboal, Marina

    2014-03-15

    Although Mediterranean marshes have historically suffered high anthropogenic pressure, they have maintained their remarkable biodiversity. They are severely threatened but remain comparatively unexplored systems from the algological point of view. For example, most of the indexes proposed for monitoring ecological quality are based on diatoms and very few have explored the use of macroalgae. The Pego-Oliva marsh is located in the east of the Iberian Peninsula close to the Mediterranean coast with warm annual temperature and fairly high precipitation. The aims of this study were to ascertain the ecological variables that explained macroalgal distribution in the Pego-Oliva marsh and to assess their indicator value. Macroalgal biodiversity was seen to be high (50 taxa) despite the high nitrogen concentration of the marsh. All the environmental variables studied had a broad range of variation throughout the marsh, especially conductivity (500-12290 μS/cm), temperature (14.3-31.7 °C), nitrate (9.493-64.113 mg/L) and ammonium (0.004-0.814 mg/L). A clear gradient of conductivity and dissolved oxygen was observed from fresh to saltwater. Batrachospermum arcuatum, Calothrix parietina, Chaetophora tuberculosa, Draparnaldia mutabilis, Hildenbrandia angolensis and Leptolyngbya angustissima were seen to act as indicators of low conductivity and dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and high dissolved oxygen, while Calothrix pulvinata, Ulva intestinalis, Homoeothrix violacea, Phormidium tergestinum and Thorea violacea were indicators of high conductivity and low dissolved nitrogen habitats. Cladophora glomerata, Compsopogon coeruleus, Polysiphonia subtilissima and Ulva flexuosa are the most widespread species and have a broad ecological range. Irrigation ditches have high ammonium and low dissolved oxygen concentrations and host infrequently reported species like Kumanoa mahlacensis. The data presented confirm the usefulness of macroalgae for the ecological monitoring of marshes

  9. CoralWatch Data Analysis at Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hong Kong

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, A.; Hodgson, P.

    2015-12-01

    CoralWatch is a conservation organization that is based at the University of Queensland in Australia. Their development of the "Coral Health Chart" standardized the colour of corals for the further investigation of coral health and bleaching. The location of this project is in the NE part of Hong Kong in New Territories. The location faces ShenZhen, a heavily industrialized city, which is known for its pollution of the Pearl River. This area is protected by the Hong Kong Government and the WWF since 1996.Human activities have caused large amounts of greenhouse gasses to be released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide has caused the global temperature to rise and made ocean waters more acidic due to ocean respiration. The ocean is a carbon sink for mankind and the effect of severe acidification is negatively affecting marine life. The increase of temperature diminishes the amount of diversity of marine life; the decreasing acidity of the water has eliminated many species of shellfish and sea anemone; the increase of marine exploitation has decreased the diversity of marine life. The release of toxic waste, mainly mercury, waste and plastic products has also polluted the oceans which negatively impact coral reefs and endanger marine life.The data has been collected by observing the colours and discolouration (bleaching) of the corals of approximately 40 colonies per month. The species of coral in Hoi Ha Wan include, Favites flexuosa, Goniopora columna,Leptastrea purpurea, Lithophyllon undulatum, Pavona decussata. and Platygyra acuta (AFCD,1). The evaluation of four years of coralwatch data has shown the bleaching of hard boulder corals in Hoi Ha Wan, Hong Kong, has halted and the reefs are being to show signs of regeneration. Local marine biologists credited the improved situation of the corals to protected status of the area.

  10. Life cycle of Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) on ornamental plants, mostly Arecaceae.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, C; Colmenárez, Y; de Moraes, G J

    2015-02-01

    The red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst, has been primarily found associated with coconut and musaceous plants in the New World. However, it has also been recorded on several other palms, heliconiaceous and zingiberaceous species. This study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of different botanical families on which R. indica has been collected in the field and of arecaceous plants of the natural vegetation of the neotropics. In total, ten species of Arecaceae as well as Heliconia psittacorum [Heliconiaceae] and Alpinia purpurata [Zingiberacae] were evaluated, using coconut as a control. The study was carried out under controlled conditions (29 ± 0.5 °C, 60 ± 10% RH and photoperiod 12 h of light). Raoiella indica was able to complete immature development only on coconut, Adonidia merrillii, Ptychosperma macarthurii, H. psittacorum and A. purpurata. Duration of the immature phase (egg-adult) ranged between 21.5 days on coconut to 34.1 days on A. purpurata. Longevity was at least 50% greater and oviposition at least 38% higher on coconut than on other plants. Intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was higher on coconut (0.166) and A. merrillii (0.042), but negative on the other two plant species. Raoiella indica could not reach adulthood on any of the other ten arecaceous species considered in the study. The results suggested R. indica to be a threat to A. merrillii in addition to coconut, but not to other evaluated plants. However, complementary studies should be conducted to investigate whether the experimental procedures adopted in this study could not have prevented the mite from a better performance than it could have been under field conditions, especially in relation to Mauritia flexuosa, one of the dominant arecaceous plants in South America.

  11. Seasonal variability in methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from tropical peatlands in the western Amazon basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arn Teh, Yit; Murphy, Wayne A.; Berrio, Juan-Carlos; Boom, Arnoud; Page, Susan E.

    2017-08-01

    The Amazon plays a critical role in global atmospheric budgets of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). However, while we have a relatively good understanding of the continental-scale flux of these greenhouse gases (GHGs), one of the key gaps in knowledge is the specific contribution of peatland ecosystems to the regional budgets of these GHGs. Here we report CH4 and N2O fluxes from lowland tropical peatlands in the Pastaza-Marañón foreland basin (PMFB) in Peru, one of the largest peatland complexes in the Amazon basin. The goal of this research was to quantify the range and magnitude of CH4 and N2O fluxes from this region, assess seasonal trends in trace gas exchange, and determine the role of different environmental variables in driving GHG flux. Trace gas fluxes were determined from the most numerically dominant peatland vegetation types in the region: forested vegetation, forested (short pole) vegetation, Mauritia flexuosa-dominated palm swamp, and mixed palm swamp. Data were collected in both wet and dry seasons over the course of four field campaigns from 2012 to 2014. Diffusive CH4 emissions averaged 36.05 ± 3.09 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1 across the entire dataset, with diffusive CH4 flux varying significantly among vegetation types and between seasons. Net ebullition of CH4 averaged 973.3 ± 161.4 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1 and did not vary significantly among vegetation types or between seasons. Diffusive CH4 flux was greatest for mixed palm swamp (52.0 ± 16.0 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1), followed by M. flexuosa palm swamp (36.7 ± 3.9 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1), forested (short pole) vegetation (31.6 ± 6.6 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1), and forested vegetation (29.8 ± 10.0 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1). Diffusive CH4 flux also showed marked seasonality, with divergent seasonal patterns among ecosystems. Forested vegetation and mixed palm swamp showed significantly higher dry season (47.2 ± 5.4 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1 and 85.5 ± 26.4 mg CH4-C m-2 day-1, respectively) compared to wet season emissions

  12. Biodiversity of the Deep-Sea Benthic Fauna in the Sangihe-Talaud Region, Indonesia: Observations from the INDEX-SATAL 2010 Expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrera, S.; Munro, C.; Nganro, N.; Tunnicliffe, V.; Wirasantosa, S.; Sibert, E.; Hammond, S. R.; Bors, E.; Butterfield, D.; Holden, J. F.; Baker, E. T.; Sherrin, J.; Makarim, S.; Troa, R.; Shank, T. M.

    2010-12-01

    The benthic ecosystems found in the deep-sea promontories of Sangihe Talaud region were explored, between June and August 2010, using the ROV Little Hercules aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. The Sangihe-Talaud region is part of the Coral Triangle (CT) an area known for harboring the most biodiverse shallow-water coral reefs in the world. Notwithstanding the significant research efforts that have been undertaken to catalog and protect the biodiversity of the CT prior this expedition, virtually nothing was known about the life inhabiting the deep sea. The high-resolution imagery obtained from the 27 ROV dives revealed remarkably high abundances and diversity of animal species, many of which appear to be novel. On hard bottom substrates, cold-water corals were the dominant sessile macrofauna, in terms of biomass, followed by glass sponges (Hexactinellida) and sea lilies (Crinoidea). The coral taxa observed in this area represent six large orders of cnidarians: antipatharians (black corals), scleractinians (stony corals), zoanthideans (gold corals), alcyonaceans (octocorals), pennatulaceans (sea pens), and anthoathecates (hydrocorals). Most sessile species, independently of their size class or taxonomic affiliation, harbor a wide variety of associated fauna. Brittle stars (Ophiuroidea), squat lobsters (Galatheoidea), shrimp (Caridea), amphipods (Amphipoda), anemones (Actinaria), zanthideans, barnacles (Cirripedia), hydroids (Hydrozoa) and worms (Polychaeta) are the animal groups most commonly found forming these associations. In contrast, soft bottom habitats were dominated by stalked sponges, sea pens, sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) and brittle stars. Other conspicuous fauna include fish, hermit crabs (Paguridae), urchins (Echinoidea) and octopuses (Cephalopoda). The abundance of habitats generated by the high number of geological and biological features and depth ranges present in the deep coral triangle (e.g., ridges, seamounts, island margins, plains, and rock

  13. Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is still under investigation, as is the potential for these communities to recover. Impacts from the spill include observation of corals covered with flocculent material, with bare skeleton, excessive mucous production, sloughing tissue, and subsequent colonization of damaged areas by hydrozoans. Information on growth rates and life spans of deep-sea corals is important for understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations, as well as the likely duration of any observed adverse impacts. We report radiocarbon ages and radial and linear growth rates based on octocorals (Paramuricea spp. and Chrysogorgia sp.) collected in 2010 and 2011 from areas of the DWH impact. The oldest coral radiocarbon ages were measured on specimens collected 11 km to the SW of the oil spill from the Mississippi Canyon (MC) 344 site: 599 and 55 cal yr BP, suggesting continuous life spans of over 600 years for Paramuricea biscaya, the dominant coral species in the region. Calculated radial growth rates, between 0.34 μm yr−1 and 14.20 μm yr−1, are consistent with previously reported proteinaceous corals from the GoM. Anomalously low radiocarbon (Δ14C) values for soft tissue from some corals indicate that these corals were feeding on particulate organic carbon derived from an admixture of modern surface carbon and a low 14C carbon source. Results from this work indicate fossil carbon could contribute 5–10% to the coral soft tissue Δ14C signal within the area of the spill impact. The influence of a low 14C carbon source (e.g., petro-carbon) on the particulate organic carbon pool was observed at all sites within 30 km of the spill site, with the exception of MC118, which may have been outside of the dominant northeast-southwest zone of impact. The quantitatively assessed extreme longevity and slow growth rates documented

  14. Deep-sea coral and hardbottom habitats on the west Florida slope, eastern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Steve W.; Rhode, Mike; Brooke, Sandra

    2017-02-01

    Until recently, benthic habitats dominated by deep-sea corals (DSC) appeared to be less extensive on the slope of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) than in the northeast Atlantic Ocean or off the southeastern US. There are relatively few bioherms (i.e., coral-built mounds) in the northern GOM, and most DSCs are attached to existing hard substrata (e.g., authigenically formed carbonate). The primary structure-forming, DSC in the GOM is Lophelia pertusa, but structure is also provided by other living and dead scleractinians, antipatharians (black corals), octocorals (gorgonians, soft corals), hydrocorals and sponges, as well as abundant rocky substrata. The best development of DSCs in the GOM was previously documented within Viosca Knoll oil and gas lease blocks 826 and 862/906 (north-central GOM) and on the Campeche Bank (southern GOM in Mexican waters). This paper documents extensive deep reef ecosystems composed of DSC and rocky hard-bottom recently surveyed on the West Florida Slope (WFS, eastern GOM) during six research cruises (2008-2012). Using multibeam sonar, CTD casts, and video from underwater vehicles, we describe the physical and oceanographic characteristics of these deep reefs and provide size or area estimates of deep coral and hardground habitats. The multibeam sonar analyses revealed hundreds of mounds and ridges, some of which were subsequently surveyed using underwater vehicles. Mounds and ridges in <525 m depths were usually capped with living coral colonies, dominated by L. pertusa. An extensive rocky scarp, running roughly north-south for at least 229 km, supported lower abundances of scleractinian corals than the mounds and ridges, despite an abundance of settlement substrata. Areal comparisons suggested that the WFS may exceed other parts of the GOM slope in extent of living deep coral coverage and other deep-reef habitat (dead coral and rock). The complex WFS region warrants additional studies to better understand the influences of oceanography and

  15. Quantifying bamboo coral growth rate nonlinearity with the radiocarbon bomb spike: A new model for paleoceanographic chronology development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frenkel, M. M.; LaVigne, M.; Miller, H. R.; Hill, T. M.; McNichol, A.; Gaylord, M. Lardie

    2017-07-01

    Bamboo corals, long-lived cold water gorgonin octocorals, offer unique paleoceanographic archives of the intermediate ocean. These Isididae corals are characterized by alternating gorgonin nodes and high Mg-calcite internodes, which synchronously extend radially. Bamboo coral calcite internodes have been utilized to obtain geochemical proxy data, however, growth rate uncertainty has made it difficult to construct precise chronologies for these corals. Previous studies have relied upon a single tie point from records of the anthropogenic Δ14C bomb spike preserved in the gorgonin nodes of live-collected corals to calculate a mean radial extension rate for the outer 50 years of skeletal growth. Bamboo coral chronologies are typically constructed by applying this mean extension rate to the entire coral record, assuming constant radial extension with coral age. In this study, we aim to test this underlying assumption by analyzing the organic nodes of six California margin bamboo corals at high enough resolution (<0.5 mm) to identify the Δ14C bomb spike, including two tie points at 1957 and 1970, plus the coral collection date (2007.5) for four samples. Radial extension rates between tie points ranged from 10 to 204 μm/year, with a decrease in growth rate evident between the 1957-1970 and 1970-2007.5 periods for all four corals. A negative correlation between growth rate and coral radius (r =-0.7; p=0.04) was determined for multiple bamboo coral taxa and individuals from the California margin, demonstrating a decline in radial extension rate with specimen age and size. To provide a mechanistic basis for these observations, a simple mathematical model was developed based on the assumption of a constant increase in circular cross sectional area with time to quantify this decline in radial extension rate with coral size between chronological tie points. Applying the area-based model to our Δ14C bomb spike time series from individual corals improves chronology accuracy

  16. Calibration of fossil scleraxonian Southern Ocean deep-sea corals for U-series dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutjahr, M.; Vance, D.; Hoffmann, D.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.

    2008-12-01

    The deep Southern Ocean has been pinpointed as candidate reservoir capable of storing the additional respired carbon that was drawn from the atmosphere during the Last Glacial Maximum compared with the present-day. In this context the determination of deep ocean ventilation ages is a commonly applied tool, potentially identifying radiocarbon depletion in glacial deep water and enhanced ocean stratification. In order to derive deep-sea ventilation ages most studies to date have used either radiocarbon age differences between paired planktic and benthic foraminifera samples or coupled U-Th and radiocarbon dates obtained from aragonitic deep-sea corals. Results from both these approaches are, however, as yet very scarce for the Southern Ocean. We present calendar ages for a set of deep-sea scleraxonian corals from the Marie Byrd Seamounts in the Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean (~123°W, ~69°S, 2500 m to 1430 m water depth) employing the 230Th/U-dating method. The aim of our study is to evaluate whether these calcitic octocorals can be used for ventilation age determinations. Our corals have significantly lower uranium concentrations than aragonitic deep-sea corals, ranging from 80 to 250 ng/g. Most corals of Holocene age reproduced the present-day seawater 234U/238U. Pre-Holocene corals, however, show a systematic enrichment of 234U, leading to slightly elevated deglacial initial 234U/238U and significantly higher 234U/238U for ~MIS5 sub-samples. These corals also appear to grow very slowly, on the order of only few μm/year, making it essential to sample as little coral material as possible for combined 230Th/U- and radiocarbon dating purposes. One coral, sampled at high-resolution in various sections returned ages that scatter around 10 ka BP and the early deglaciation, though several significantly older ages were obtained as well. The present-day (234U/238U) ACT in different sections of this coral is very homogenous (1.155 ± 0.003) and more or less

  17. Reprint of - Deep-sea coral and hardbottom habitats on the west Florida slope, eastern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Steve W.; Rhode, Mike; Brooke, Sandra

    2017-09-01

    Until recently, benthic habitats dominated by deep-sea corals (DSC) appeared to be less extensive on the slope of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) than in the northeast Atlantic Ocean or off the southeastern US. There are relatively few bioherms (i.e., coral-built mounds) in the northern GOM, and most DSCs are attached to existing hard substrata (e.g., authigenically formed carbonate). The primary structure-forming, DSC in the GOM is Lophelia pertusa, but structure is also provided by other living and dead scleractinians, antipatharians (black corals), octocorals (gorgonians, soft corals), hydrocorals and sponges, as well as abundant rocky substrata. The best development of DSCs in the GOM was previously documented within Viosca Knoll oil and gas lease blocks 826 and 862/906 (north-central GOM) and on the Campeche Bank (southern GOM in Mexican waters). This paper documents extensive deep reef ecosystems composed of DSC and rocky hard-bottom recently surveyed on the West Florida Slope (WFS, eastern GOM) during six research cruises (2008-2012). Using multibeam sonar, CTD casts, and video from underwater vehicles, we describe the physical and oceanographic characteristics of these deep reefs and provide size or area estimates of deep coral and hardground habitats. The multibeam sonar analyses revealed hundreds of mounds and ridges, some of which were subsequently surveyed using underwater vehicles. Mounds and ridges in <525 m depths were usually capped with living coral colonies, dominated by L. pertusa. An extensive rocky scarp, running roughly north-south for at least 229 km, supported lower abundances of scleractinian corals than the mounds and ridges, despite an abundance of settlement substrata. Areal comparisons suggested that the WFS may exceed other parts of the GOM slope in extent of living deep coral coverage and other deep-reef habitat (dead coral and rock). The complex WFS region warrants additional studies to better understand the influences of oceanography and

  18. Geochemistry of the Deep Water Bamboo Coral Isidella; Intermediate Depth and Surface Ocean Chemical Recorder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spero, H. J.; Jang, N. A.; Adkins, J. F.

    2003-12-01

    Geochemical analyses of deep water corals have provided a wealth of data on past ocean circulation and chemical changes. Information obtained from these carbonate precipitating organisms generally reflects ambient conditions at the depth of growth. The bamboo coral, Isidella sp., belongs to a group of deep water Octocorals that live at intermediate ocean depths ( ˜200-1500m) and produce a calcite skeleton that is divided by proteinaceous gorgonin internodes. Because, the calcite and organic regions of the skeleton are precipitated simultaneously, their chemistries are temporally coupled. Stable isotope, radiocarbon and 210Pb data were obtained from several specimens of Isidella sp. that were collected in fishing dredges from the outer continental shelf near Pt. Reyes, CA (38° N 123.4° W ˜220 m). 210Pb analyses on one of the specimens suggests the coral was ~15-80 years old. δ 13C and δ 18O data from the calcite skeleton display the typical nonequilibrium covariation that has been described previously, thereby limiting the use of these data in reconstructing environmental temperatures. Although δ 13C analyses of the organic internodes produced typical marine values of -16.9+/-0.1‰ (n=17), δ 15N values were unusually high, 13.8+/-0.4‰ . Because the internode geochemistry records the organic chemistry of sinking particulate matter ingested by the coral, the enriched δ 15N data reflect the chemistry of local upwelled NO3 that was strongly influenced by subsurface denitrification. AMS analyses of the center and outer edge of the skeleton (branch diameter = 2.2 cm) and adjacent organic internodes (growth proceeds from center outwards) yield 14C ages of 2065 and 2000+/-35 years for the calcite (Δ 14C = -226.4 and -220.3‰ ) and 785 and 765+/-35 years for the organic node (Δ 14C = -93.1 and -90.7‰ ) respectively. The calcite AMS ages record the 14C reservoir age of upper N. Pacific thermocline waters whereas the organic data record the surface ocean

  19. Previously undocumented diversity and abundance of cryptic species: a phylogenetic analysis of Indo-Pacific Arminidae Rafinesque, 1814 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) with descriptions of 20 new species of Dermatobranchus

    PubMed Central

    Gosliner, Terrence M; Fahey, Shireen J

    2011-01-01

    ., Dermatobranchus piperoides sp. nov., Dermatobranchus rodmani sp. nov., Dermatobranchus semilunus sp. nov., and Dermatobranchus tuberculatus sp. nov. Eighteen of these new taxa are found in the Indo-Pacific tropics and two are found in temperate South Africa, D. albineus and D. arminus. Unique combinations of morphological characters distinguish these as new species of Dermatobranchus. Several species that are externally similar have radically divergent internal morphology, are members of different clades of Dermatobranchus, and represent cryptic species. Especially important is the radular morphology, which shows remarkable diversity of form, probably related directly to the diversification of feeding of members of this clade on various octocorals. PMID:21527987

  20. Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.

    2016-07-01

    The impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is still under investigation, as is the potential for these communities to recover. Impacts from the spill include observation of corals covered with flocculent material, with bare skeleton, excessive mucous production, sloughing tissue, and subsequent colonization of damaged areas by hydrozoans. Information on growth rates and life spans of deep-sea corals is important for understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations, as well as the likely duration of any observed adverse impacts. We report radiocarbon ages and radial and linear growth rates based on octocorals (Paramuricea spp. and Chrysogorgia sp.) collected in 2010 and 2011 from areas of the DWH impact. The oldest coral radiocarbon ages were measured on specimens collected 11 km to the SW of the oil spill from the Mississippi Canyon (MC) 344 site: 599 and 55 cal yr BP, suggesting continuous life spans of over 600 years for Paramuricea biscaya, the dominant coral species in the region. Calculated radial growth rates, between 0.34 μm yr-1 and 14.20 μm yr-1, are consistent with previously reported proteinaceous corals from the GoM. Anomalously low radiocarbon (Δ14C) values for soft tissue from some corals indicate that these corals were feeding on particulate organic carbon derived from an admixture of modern surface carbon and a low 14C carbon source. Results from this work indicate fossil carbon could contribute 5-10% to the coral soft tissue Δ14C signal within the area of the spill impact. The influence of a low 14C carbon source (e.g., petro-carbon) on the particulate organic carbon pool was observed at all sites within 30 km of the spill site, with the exception of MC118, which may have been outside of the dominant northeast-southwest zone of impact. The quantitatively assessed extreme longevity and slow growth rates documented here