Science.gov

Sample records for sea urchin embryo

  1. Skeletogenesis in sea urchin interordinal hybrid embryos.

    PubMed

    Brandhorst, B P; Davenport, R

    2001-07-01

    Reciprocal interordinal crosses were made between the sea urchins Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus. Previous research indicated that the expression of many L. pictus genes is reduced in the hybrid embryos. The S. purpuratus gene encoding the spicule matrix protein SM50 and the L. pictus gene encoding its orthologue LSM34 were both expressed at normal levels per gene copy in hybrid embryos, and in about 32 skeletogenic primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) in hybrid and natural gastrulae. In many embryos of all crosses, 16 PMCs initially ingressed, while 32-64 PMCs were present in gastrulae. The skeletal spicules of most hybrid plutei were predominantly like those of S. purpuratus, consistent with the predominance of expression of S. purpuratus genes in hybrid embryos. The spicules of some hybrid plutei showed features characteristic of L. pictus, such as recurrent rods, branched body rod tips, or convergent ventral transverse rods; a few hybrid spicules were predominantly like those of L. pictus. Based on our observations and the literature, we propose the following. Cues from the ectodermal epithelium position the PMCs as they elaborate the initial triradiate spicules. Their orientation and outgrowth appears to be responsible for the convergence of the tips of body rods in most S. purpuratus and hybrid embryos, unlike in most L. pictus embryos. Variations among hybrid and natural embryos in skeletal branching pattern reflect differences in interpretation by PMCs of patterning cues produced by the ectodermal epithelium that probably have similar spatial distributions in the two species.

  2. The transcriptome of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Samanta, Manoj P; Tongprasit, Waraporn; Istrail, Sorin; Cameron, R Andrew; Tu, Qiang; Davidson, Eric H; Stolc, Viktor

    2006-11-10

    The sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus is a model organism for study of the genomic control circuitry underlying embryonic development. We examined the complete repertoire of genes expressed in the S. purpuratus embryo, up to late gastrula stage, by means of high-resolution custom tiling arrays covering the whole genome. We detected complete spliced structures even for genes known to be expressed at low levels in only a few cells. At least 11,000 to 12,000 genes are used in embryogenesis. These include most of the genes encoding transcription factors and signaling proteins, as well as some classes of general cytoskeletal and metabolic proteins, but only a minor fraction of genes encoding immune functions and sensory receptors. Thousands of small asymmetric transcripts of unknown function were also detected in intergenic regions throughout the genome. The tiling array data were used to correct and authenticate several thousand gene models during the genome annotation process.

  3. Targeted mutagenesis in sea urchin embryos using TALENs.

    PubMed

    Hosoi, Sayaka; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Sakamoto, Naoaki; Yamamoto, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Genome editing with engineered nucleases such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) has been reported in various animals. We previously described ZFN-mediated targeted mutagenesis and insertion of reporter genes in sea urchin embryos. In this study, we demonstrate that TALENs can induce mutagenesis at specific genomic loci of sea urchin embryos. Injection of TALEN mRNAs targeting the HpEts transcription factor into fertilized eggs resulted in the impairment of skeletogenesis. Sequence analyses of the mutations showed that deletions and/or insertions occurred at the HpEts target site in the TALEN mRNAs-injected embryos. The results suggest that targeted gene disruption using TALENs is feasible in sea urchin embryos.

  4. Functional studies of regulatory genes in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Cavalieri, Vincenzo; Di Bernardo, Maria; Spinelli, Giovanni

    2009-01-01

    Sea urchin embryos are characterized by an extremely simple mode of development, rapid cleavage, high transparency, and well-defined cell lineage. Although they are not suitable for genetic studies, other approaches are successfully used to unravel mechanisms and molecules involved in cell fate specification and morphogenesis. Microinjection is the elective method to study gene function in sea urchin embryos. It is used to deliver precise amounts of DNA, RNA, oligonucleotides, peptides, or antibodies into the eggs or even into blastomeres. Here we describe microinjection as it is currently applied in our laboratory and show how it has been used in gene perturbation analyses and dissection of cis-regulatory DNA elements.

  5. A computational model for BMP movement in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    van Heijster, Peter; Hardway, Heather; Kaper, Tasso J; Bradham, Cynthia A

    2014-12-21

    Bone morphogen proteins (BMPs) are distributed along a dorsal-ventral (DV) gradient in many developing embryos. The spatial distribution of this signaling ligand is critical for correct DV axis specification. In various species, BMP expression is spatially localized, and BMP gradient formation relies on BMP transport, which in turn requires interactions with the extracellular proteins Short gastrulation/Chordin (Chd) and Twisted gastrulation (Tsg). These binding interactions promote BMP movement and concomitantly inhibit BMP signaling. The protease Tolloid (Tld) cleaves Chd, which releases BMP from the complex and permits it to bind the BMP receptor and signal. In sea urchin embryos, BMP is produced in the ventral ectoderm, but signals in the dorsal ectoderm. The transport of BMP from the ventral ectoderm to the dorsal ectoderm in sea urchin embryos is not understood. Therefore, using information from a series of experiments, we adapt the mathematical model of Mizutani et al. (2005) and embed it as the reaction part of a one-dimensional reaction-diffusion model. We use it to study aspects of this transport process in sea urchin embryos. We demonstrate that the receptor-bound BMP concentration exhibits dorsally centered peaks of the same type as those observed experimentally when the ternary transport complex (Chd-Tsg-BMP) forms relatively quickly and BMP receptor binding is relatively slow. Similarly, dorsally centered peaks are created when the diffusivities of BMP, Chd, and Chd-Tsg are relatively low and that of Chd-Tsg-BMP is relatively high, and the model dynamics also suggest that Tld is a principal regulator of the system. At the end of this paper, we briefly compare the observed dynamics in the sea urchin model to a version that applies to the fly embryo, and we find that the same conditions can account for BMP transport in the two types of embryos only if Tld levels are reduced in sea urchin compared to fly.

  6. Rho-kinase in sea urchin eggs and embryos.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Armenta, Beatriz; López-Godínez, Juana; Martínez-Cadena, Guadalupe; García-Soto, Jesús

    2011-06-01

    The activation of sea urchin eggs at fertilization provides an ideal system for studying the molecular events involved in cellular activation. Rho GTPases, which are key signaling enzymes in eukaryotes, are involved in sustaining the activation of sea urchin eggs; however, their downstream effectors have not yet been characterized. In somatic cells, RhoA regulates a serine/threonine kinase known as Rho-kinase (ROCK). The activity of ROCK in early sea urchin development has been inferred, but not tested directly. A ROCK gene was identified in the sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome and the sequence of its cDNA determined. The sea urchin ROCK (SpROCK) sequence predicts a protein of 158 kDa with >72% and 45% identities with different protein orthologues of the kinase catalytic domain and the complete protein sequence, respectively. SpROCK mRNA levels are high in unfertilized eggs and decrease to 35% after 15 min postfertilization and remain low up to the 4 cell stage. Antibodies to the human ROCK-I kinase domain revealed SpROCK to be concentrated in the cortex of eggs and early embryos. Co-immunoprecipitation assays indicate that RhoA and SpROCK are physically associated. This association is destroyed by treatment with the C3 exoenzyme and with the ROCK antagonist H-1152. H-1152 also inhibited DNA synthesis in embryos. We conclude that the Rho-dependent signaling pathway, via SpROCK, is essential for early embryonic development.

  7. Regeneration of cilia in heavily irradiated sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Rustad, R.C.

    1981-12-01

    Cilia were removed from blastulae, gastrulae, and plutei of the sea urchins Arbacia punctulata and Lytechinus variegatus by shaking the embryos in hypertonic media. Exposure to 50 krad (and in some experiments 100 krad) of ..gamma.. radiation either before or after deciliation had no effect on the time of appearance of regenerating cilia. There were no visually obvious differences in the rate of growth of the cilia in control and irradiated embryos. The cilia commenced beating at the same time, but the initial beating sometimes seemed less vigorous following irradiation. The data support the hypothesis that radiation has no major effect on the assembly from mature basal bodies of the microtubules of cilia.

  8. SYNTHESIS AND STORAGE OF MICROTUBULE PROTEINS BY SEA URCHIN EMBRYOS

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Rudolf A.; Greenhouse, Gerald; Gross, Kenneth W.; Gross, Paul R.

    1971-01-01

    Studies employing colchicine binding, precipitation with vinblastine sulfate, and acrylamide gel electrophoresis confirm earlier proposals that Arbacia punctulata and Lytechinus pictus eggs and embryos contain a store of microtubule proteins. Treatment of 150,000 g supernatants from sea urchin homogenates with vinblastine sulfate precipitates about 5% of the total soluble protein, and 75% of the colchicine-binding activity. Electrophoretic examination of the precipitate reveals two very prominent bands. These have migration rates identical to those of the A and B microtubule proteins of cilia. These proteins can be made radioactive at the 16 cell stage and at hatching by pulse labeling with tritiated amino acids. By labeling for 1 hr with leucine-3H in early cleavage, then culturing embryos in the presence of unlabeled leucine, removal of newly synthesized microtubule proteins from the soluble pool can be demonstrated. Incorporation of labeled amino acids into microtubule proteins is not affected by culturing embryos continuously in 20 µg/ml of actinomycin D. Microtubule proteins appear, therefore, to be synthesized on "maternal" messenger RNA. This provides the first protein encoded by stored or "masked" mRNA in sea urchin embryos to be identified. PMID:5165266

  9. Proteomic responses of sea urchin embryos to stressful ultraviolet radiation.

    PubMed

    Adams, N L; Campanale, J P; Foltz, K R

    2012-11-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 290-400 nm) penetrates into seawater and can harm shallow-dwelling and planktonic marine organisms. Studies dating back to the 1930s revealed that echinoids, especially sea urchin embryos, are powerful models for deciphering the effects of UVR on embryonic development and how embryos defend themselves against UV-induced damage. In addition to providing a large number of synchronously developing embryos amenable to cellular, biochemical, molecular, and single-cell analyses, the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, also offers an annotated genome. Together, these aspects allow for the in-depth study of molecular and biochemical signatures of UVR stress. Here, we review the effects of UVR on embryonic development, focusing on the early-cleavage stages, and begin to integrate data regarding single-protein responses with comprehensive proteomic assessments. Proteomic studies reveal changes in levels of post-translational modifications to proteins that respond to UVR, and identify proteins that can then be interrogated as putative targets or components of stress-response pathways. These responsive proteins are distributed among systems upon which targeted studies can now begin to be mapped. Post-transcriptional and translational controls may provide early embryos with a rapid, fine-tuned response to stress during early stages, especially during pre-blastula stages that rely primarily on maternally derived defenses rather than on responses through zygotic gene transcription.

  10. Neurogenic gene regulatory pathways in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zheng; Angerer, Lynne M; Angerer, Robert C

    2016-01-15

    During embryogenesis the sea urchin early pluteus larva differentiates 40-50 neurons marked by expression of the pan-neural marker synaptotagmin B (SynB) that are distributed along the ciliary band, in the apical plate and pharyngeal endoderm, and 4-6 serotonergic neurons that are confined to the apical plate. Development of all neurons has been shown to depend on the function of Six3. Using a combination of molecular screens and tests of gene function by morpholino-mediated knockdown, we identified SoxC and Brn1/2/4, which function sequentially in the neurogenic regulatory pathway and are also required for the differentiation of all neurons. Misexpression of Brn1/2/4 at low dose caused an increase in the number of serotonin-expressing cells and at higher dose converted most of the embryo to a neurogenic epithelial sphere expressing the Hnf6 ciliary band marker. A third factor, Z167, was shown to work downstream of the Six3 and SoxC core factors and to define a branch specific for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. These results provide a framework for building a gene regulatory network for neurogenesis in the sea urchin embryo.

  11. Neurogenic gene regulatory pathways in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zheng; Angerer, Lynne M.; Angerer, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    During embryogenesis the sea urchin early pluteus larva differentiates 40-50 neurons marked by expression of the pan-neural marker synaptotagmin B (SynB) that are distributed along the ciliary band, in the apical plate and pharyngeal endoderm, and 4-6 serotonergic neurons that are confined to the apical plate. Development of all neurons has been shown to depend on the function of Six3. Using a combination of molecular screens and tests of gene function by morpholino-mediated knockdown, we identified SoxC and Brn1/2/4, which function sequentially in the neurogenic regulatory pathway and are also required for the differentiation of all neurons. Misexpression of Brn1/2/4 at low dose caused an increase in the number of serotonin-expressing cells and at higher dose converted most of the embryo to a neurogenic epithelial sphere expressing the Hnf6 ciliary band marker. A third factor, Z167, was shown to work downstream of the Six3 and SoxC core factors and to define a branch specific for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. These results provide a framework for building a gene regulatory network for neurogenesis in the sea urchin embryo. PMID:26657764

  12. The Sea Urchin Embryo: A Remarkable Classroom Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oppenheimer, Steven B.

    1989-01-01

    Discussed are the uses of sea urchins in research and their usefulness and advantages in the classroom investigation of embryology. Ideas for classroom activities and student research are presented. Lists 25 references. (CW)

  13. Archenteron precursor cells can organize secondary axial structures in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Benink, H; Wray, G; Hardin, J

    1997-09-01

    Local cell-cell signals play a crucial role in establishing major tissue territories in early embryos. The sea urchin embryo is a useful model system for studying these interactions in deuterostomes. Previous studies showed that ectopically implanted micromeres from the 16-cell embryo can induce ectopic guts and additional skeletal elements in sea urchin embryos. Using a chimeric embryo approach, we show that implanted archenteron precursors differentiate autonomously to produce a correctly proportioned and patterned gut. In addition, the ectopically implanted presumptive archenteron tissue induces ectopic skeletal patterning sites within the ectoderm. The ectopic skeletal elements are bilaterally symmetric, and flank the ectopic archenteron, in some cases resulting in mirror-image, symmetric skeletal elements. Since the induced patterned ectoderm and supernumerary skeletal elements are derived from the host, the ectopic presumptive archenteron tissue can act to 'organize' ectopic axial structures in the sea urchin embryo.

  14. Cost of protein synthesis and energy allocation during development of antarctic sea urchin embryos and larvae.

    PubMed

    Pace, Douglas A; Manahan, Donal T

    2007-04-01

    Cold environments represent a substantial volume of the biosphere. To study developmental physiology in subzero seawater temperatures typically found in the Southern Ocean, rates and costs of protein synthesis were measured in embryos and larvae of Sterechinus neumayeri, the Antarctic sea urchin. Our analysis of the "cost of living" in extreme cold for this species shows (1) that cost of protein synthesis is strikingly low during development, at 0.41 +/- 0.05 J (mg protein synthesized)(-1) (n = 16); (2) that synthesis cost is fixed and independent of synthesis rate; and (3) that a low synthesis cost permits high rates of protein turnover at -1 degrees C, at rates comparable to those of temperate species of sea urchin embryos developing at 15 degrees C. With a low synthesis cost, even at the highest synthesis rates measured (gastrulae), the proportion of total metabolism accounted for by protein synthesis in the Antarctic sea urchin was 54%-a value similar to that of temperate sea urchin embryos. In the Antarctic sea urchin, up to 87% of metabolic rate can be accounted for by the combined energy costs of protein synthesis and the sodium pump. We conclude that, in Antarctic sea urchin embryos, high rates of protein synthesis can be supported in extreme-cold environments while still maintaining low rates of respiration.

  15. Involvement of L(-)-rhamnose in sea urchin gastrulation: a live embryo assay.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tiffany N; Oppenheimer, Steven B

    2015-04-01

    The sea urchin embryo is a National Institutes of Health model system that has provided major developments, and is important in human health and disease. To obtain initial insights to identify glycans that mediate cellular interactions, Lytechinus pictus sea urchin embryos were incubated at 24 or 30 h post-fertilization with 0.0009-0.03 M alpha-cyclodextrin, melibiose, L(-)-rhamnose, trehalose, D(+)-xylose or L(-)-xylose in lower-calcium artificial sea water (pH 8.0, 15°C), which speeds the entry of molecules into the interior of the embryos. While α-cyclodextrin killed the embryos, and L(-)-xylose had small effects at one concentration tested, L(-)-rhamnose caused substantially increased numbers of unattached archenterons and exogastrulated embryos at low glycan concentrations after 18-24 h incubation with the sugar. The results were statistically significant compared with the control embryos in the absence of sugar (P < 0.05). The other sugars (melibiose, trehalose, D(+)-xylose) had no statistically significant effects whatsoever at any of the concentrations tested. In total, in the current study, 39,369 embryos were examined. This study is the first demonstration that uses a live embryo assay for a likely role for L(-)-rhamnose in sea urchin gastrula cellular interactions, which have interested investigators for over a century.

  16. Overview of the molecular defense systems used by sea urchin embryos to cope with UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Bonaventura, Rosa; Matranga, Valeria

    2016-05-24

    The sea urchin embryo is a well-recognized developmental biology model and its use in toxicological studies has been widely appreciated. Many studies have focused on the evaluation of the effects of chemical stressors and their mixture in marine ecosystems using sea urchin embryos. These are well equipped with defense genes used to cope with chemical stressors. Recently, ultraviolet radiation (UVR), particularly UVB (280-315 nm), received more attention as a physical stressor. Mainly in the Polar Regions, but also at temperate latitudes, the penetration of UVB into the oceans increases as a consequence of the reduction of the Earth's ozone layer. In general, UVR induces oxidative stress in marine organisms affecting molecular targets such as DNA, proteins, and lipids. Depending on the UVR dose, developing sea urchin embryos show morphological perturbations affecting mainly the skeleton formation and patterning. Nevertheless, embryos are able to protect themselves against excessive UVR, using mechanisms acting at different levels: transcriptional, translational and post-translational. In this review, we recommend the sea urchin embryo as a suitable model for testing physical stressors such as UVR and summarize the mechanisms adopted to deal with UVR. Moreover, we review UV-induced apoptotic events and the combined effects of UVR and other stressors.

  17. Genome editing in sea urchin embryos by using a CRISPR/Cas9 system.

    PubMed

    Lin, Che-Yi; Su, Yi-Hsien

    2016-01-15

    Sea urchin embryos are a useful model system for investigating early developmental processes and the underlying gene regulatory networks. Most functional studies using sea urchin embryos rely on antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to knockdown gene functions. However, major concerns related to this technique include off-target effects, variations in morpholino efficiency, and potential morpholino toxicity; furthermore, such problems are difficult to discern. Recent advances in genome editing technologies have introduced the prospect of not only generating sequence-specific knockouts, but also providing genome-engineering applications. Two genome editing tools, zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), have been utilized in sea urchin embryos, but the resulting efficiencies are far from satisfactory. The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated nuclease 9) system serves as an easy and efficient method with which to edit the genomes of several established and emerging model organisms in the field of developmental biology. Here, we apply the CRISPR/Cas9 system to the sea urchin embryo. We designed six guide RNAs (gRNAs) against the well-studied nodal gene and discovered that five of the gRNAs induced the expected phenotype in 60-80% of the injected embryos. In addition, we developed a simple method for isolating genomic DNA from individual embryos, enabling phenotype to be precisely linked to genotype, and revealed that the mutation rates were 67-100% among the sequenced clones. Of the two potential off-target sites we examined, no off-target effects were observed. The detailed procedures described herein promise to accelerate the usage of CRISPR/Cas9 system for genome editing in sea urchin embryos.

  18. Rapid aquatic toxicity assay utilizing labeled thymidine incorporation in sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Jackim, E.; Nacci, D.

    1984-01-01

    Aquatic toxicity was evaluated in the sea urchin embryo (Arbacea punctulata) by the inhibition of tritiated thymidine incorporation after a brief exposure to toxic chemicals. Arbacia is a useful surrogate species for assay: well-studied, easily cultured and fertile virtually year round. The simplicity and speed of this test system lends itself to screening large numbers of compounds, mixtures or water samples.

  19. [Characteristic reaction of early sea urchin embryos to cytostatic analogs of transmitter substances].

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Zvezdina, N D; Rogac, L; Rakic, L; Iurovskaia, M A

    1987-01-01

    Early embryos of Arbacia lixula sea urchin, obtained from eggs pretreated with KYR-12 serotonin analog or A-83 dopamine analog, develop quite normally. At the same time they have a sharply decreased supersensitivity to cytostatic analogs of "prenervous" transmitters; usual sensitivity to this analogs does not change. Besides, both the supersensitivity and the usual sensitivity stop decreasing upon an increase in the density of density of experimental embryos in the incubation medium.

  20. Pattern of Brachyury gene expression in starfish embryos resembles that of hemichordate embryos but not of sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Shoguchi, E; Satoh, N; Maruyama, Y K

    1999-04-01

    Echinoderms, hemichordates and chordates are deuterostomes and share a number of developmental features. The Brachyury gene is responsible for formation of the notochord, the most defining feature of chordates, and thus may be a key to understanding the origin and evolution of the chordates. Previous studies have shown that the ascidian Brachyury (As-T and Ci-Bra) is expressed in the notochord and that a sea urchin Brachyury (HpTa) is expressed in the secondary mesenchyme founder cells. A recent study by [Tagawa et al. (1998)], however, revealed that a hemichordate Brachyury (PfBra) is expressed in a novel pattern in an archenteron invagination region and a stomodaeum invagination region in the gastrula. The present study demonstrated that the expression pattern of Brachyury (ApBra) of starfish embryos resembles that of PfBra in hemichordate embryos but not of HpTa in sea urchin embryos. Namely, ApBra is expressed in an archenteron invagination region and a stomodaeum invagination region.

  1. Alteration of neurotransmission and skeletogenesis in sea urchin Arbacia lixula embryos exposed to copper oxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Cappello, Tiziana; Vitale, Valeria; Oliva, Sabrina; Villari, Valentina; Mauceri, Angela; Fasulo, Salvatore; Maisano, Maria

    2017-02-07

    The extensive use of copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) in many applications has raised concerns over their toxicity on environment and human health. Herein, the embryotoxicity of CuO NPs was assessed in the black sea urchin Arbacia lixula, an intertidal species commonly present in the Mediterranean. Fertilized eggs were exposed to 0.7, 10 and 20ppb of CuO NPs, until pluteus stage. Interferences with the normal neurotransmission pathways were observed in sea urchin embryos. In detail, evidence of cholinergic and serotoninergic systems affection was revealed by dose-dependent decreased levels of choline and N-acetyl serotonin, respectively, measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics, applied for the first time to our knowledge on sea urchin embryos. The metabolic profile also highlighted a significant CuO NP dose-dependent increase of glycine, a component of matrix proteins involved in the biomineralization process, suggesting perturbed skeletogenesis accordingly to skeletal defects in spicule patterning observed previously in the same sea urchin embryos. However, the expression of skeletogenic genes, i.e. SM30 and msp130, did not differ among groups, and therefore altered primary mesenchyme cell (PMC) migration was hypothesized. Other unknown metabolites were detected from the NMR spectra, and their concentrations found to be reflective of the CuO NP exposure levels. Overall, these findings demonstrate the toxic potential of CuO NPs to interfere with neurotransmission and skeletogenesis of sea urchin embryos. The integrated use of embryotoxicity tests and metabolomics represents a highly sensitive and effective tool for assessing the impact of NPs on aquatic biota.

  2. The role of advection and diffusion in waste disposal by sea urchin embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Aaron; Licata, Nicholas

    2014-03-01

    We determine the first passage probability for the absorption of waste molecules released from the microvilli of sea urchin embryos. We calculate a perturbative solution of the advection-diffusion equation for a linear shear profile similar to the fluid environment which the embryos inhabit. Rapid rotation of the embryo results in a concentration boundary layer of comparable thickness to the length of the microvilli. A comparison of the results to the regime of diffusion limited transport indicates that fluid flow is advantageous for efficient waste disposal.

  3. The use of cryopreserved sea urchin embryos (Paracentrotus lividus) in marine quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Paredes, E; Bellas, J

    2015-06-01

    We have established for first time an ecotoxicological bioassay using cryopreserved sea urchin embryos (Paracentotus lividus) and provided a comparison to the already standardized sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay, using selected (organic and inorganic) pollutants and sediment elutriates from 4 different locations from Ria de Vigo harbour (Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula). A cryopreservation protocol was designed in order to enable the successful cryopreservation and cryobanking of gametes and embryos to be used for marine quality assessment and ensure the accessibility to high quality reproductive material all year round, as an option to conditioning adults for out of season reproduction. The calculated EC50 using the cryopreserved blastula was 53.7 μg L(-1) for copper, 81.0 μg L(-1) for lead, 300.6 μg L(-1) for BP-3 and 300.6 μg L(-1) for 4-MBC. The sensitivity of the classic sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay was compared with the bioassay conducted with cryopreserved blastula. The results showed that the use of cryopreserved blastula bioassay allows detecting lower concentrations of pollutants in comparison with the classic bioassay.

  4. Nickel and Copper Toxicity to Embryos of the Long-Spined Sea Urchin, Diadema savignyi.

    PubMed

    Rosen, G; Rivera-Duarte, I; Colvin, M A; Dolecal, R E; Raymundo, L J; Earley, P J

    2015-07-01

    The sensitivity of long-spined sea urchins (Diadema savignyi) collected from Guam (Northern Marianas Islands), USA, to nickel and copper in seawater was explored using 48-h embryo-larval development toxicity tests. The median effective concentrations (EC50) averaged 94 µg L(-1) for nickel, and 19 µg L(-1) from a single exposure to copper, and suggest relatively high sensitivity of this species to nickel compared with other sea urchin genera, but similar sensitivity to copper. Ambient nickel and copper concentrations concurrently sampled from 16 near-shore locations around Guam were one to two orders of magnitude lower than those that would be expected to result in adverse effects to D. savignyi embryos. Although nationally recommended chronic ambient water quality criteria, currently 8.2 and 3.1 µg L(-1) for nickel and copper, respectively, were not exceeded, recently derived qualifying toxicity data should be considered for updating these criteria to ensure protectiveness of sensitive tropical species.

  5. Effects of metal ions and CCl/sub 4/ on sea urchin embryo (Paracentrotus lividus)

    SciTech Connect

    Congiu, A.M.; Calendi, E.; Ugazio, G.

    1984-02-01

    The determination of embryotoxicity is an experimental tool for detecting the risks of environmental pollutants. In this study, fertilized eggs of sea urchin have been observed morphologically during exposure to heavy metal salts or carbon tetrachloride, with the purpose of testing possible differences in toxicity of various classes of poisons. Mercuric chloride is the most active salt, still harmful at 0.25 x 10(-6) M, while potassium dichromate, cadmium chloride and lead nitrate block embryo development at concentrations ranging between 0.25 x 10(-4) and 0.25 x 10(-5) M. Carbon tetrachloride per se does not affect the gastrulation at concentrations up to 3,520 ppm, and fails in potentiating the toxicity of the studied metal salts. The selective susceptibility of the development phases of sea urchin embryos to different compounds renders this simple morphological study a sensitive and reliable model for predicting the toxicity of environmental pollutants.

  6. Functional characterization of toposomes from sea urchin blastula embryos by a morphogenetic cell aggregation assay.

    PubMed Central

    Matranga, V; Kuwasaki, B; Noll, H

    1986-01-01

    This paper documents the evidence that the large oligomeric glycoprotein complexes of unknown function first isolated as 22S particles from sea urchin embryos are the sole agents responsible for the adhesive integrity of sea urchin blastula embryos. The conclusion rests on the demonstration that polyclonal IgG (as serum or monovalent Fab) against whole membranes or butanol-solubilized components of membranes, as well as against the purified particle itself, completely blocks reaggregation of dissociated blastula cells and that this inhibition is reversed by neutralization of the inhibitory antibodies with purified 22S antigen. An essential aspect of the evidence is the combination of quantitative endpoint titrations in microtiter wells with the qualitative parameters of morphogenesis. The new data complement previous evidence that morphogenesis is mediated by a general class of particles, toposomes, responsible for mechanical linkage between cells and their positional guidance in embryogenesis. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. PMID:3816756

  7. Lithium evokes expression of vegetal-specific molecules in the animal blastomeres of sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Livingston, B T; Wilt, F H

    1989-01-01

    The mechanism of determination of early embryonic cells has been investigated using sea urchin embryos. An efficacious method of isolating blastomere pairs from the animal or vegetal half of sea urchin embryos was developed. The overt differentiation of separated animal and vegetal blastomere pairs resembles that of separated animal and vegetal hemispheres isolated by manual dissection. Treatment of animal blastomeres with LiCl caused them to display a morphology resembling that of isolated vegetal blastomeres. The effects of separation of animal and vegetal blastomeres and of treatment of animal blastomeres with LiCl were examined at the molecular level using gut alkaline phosphatase and a spicule matrix protein RNA as markers of differentiation. Histochemical staining and in situ hybridization studies showed that these markers are normally only expressed in vegetal blastomeres but that their expression can be evoked in animal blastomeres by treatment with LiCl. Images PMID:2726745

  8. Modifications to the translational apparatus which affect the regulation of protein synthesis in sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Scalise, F.W.

    1988-01-01

    Protein synthesis can be regulated at a number of cellular levels. I have examined how modifications to specific components of the protein synthetic machinery are involved in regulating the efficiency of initiation of translation during early sea urchin embryogenesis. It is demonstrated that Ca{sup 2+} concentrations exceeding 500 uM cause the inhibition of protein synthesis in cell-free translation lysates prepared from sea urchin embryos. Specific changes in the state of phosphorylation of at least 8 proteins occur during this Ca{sup 2+}-mediated repression of translation. Analysis of these proteins has indicated that, unlike mammalian systems, there is no detectable level of Ca{sup 2+}-dependent phosphorylation of the {alpha}subunit eIF-2. Two of the proteins which do become phosphorylated in response to Ca{sup 2+} are calmodulin and an isoelectric form of sea urchin eIF-4D. In addition, 2 proteins which share similarities with kinases involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in mammalian cells, also become phosphorylated. I have investigated the consequences of changes in eIF-4D during sea urchin embryogenesis because it has been proposed that a polyamine-mediated conversion of lysine to hypusine in this factor may enhance translational activity. It is demonstrated that ({sup 3}H) spermidine-derived radioactivity is incorporated into a number of proteins when sea urchin embryos are labeled in vivo, and that the pattern of individual proteins that become labeled changes over the course of the first 30 hr of development.

  9. Effect of calcium ionophore A23187 on the sensitivity of early sea urchin embryos to cytotoxic neuropharmacological drugs.

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Mileusnić, R; Yurovskaya, M A; Rakić, L J

    1984-01-01

    The ability of cytotoxic neurochemicals (indole and amphetamine derivatives) to block first cleavage division in the embryos of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula abruptly increases when the embryos are incubated in calcium-free seawater and decreases when the external Ca concentration is raised up to 46.4 mM. Sensitivity of the embryos to these drugs decreases also in the presence of the Ca-ionophore A23187. It is suggested that Ca ions are involved in the realization of physiological effects of "prenervous" neurotransmitters whose presence in early sea urchin embryos was shown by us earlier.

  10. Early gene expression along the animal-vegetal axis in sea urchin embryoids and grafted embryos.

    PubMed

    Ghiglione, C; Emily-Fenouil, F; Chang, P; Gache, C

    1996-10-01

    The HE gene is the earliest strictly zygotic gene activated during sea urchin embryogenesis. It is transiently expressed in a radially symmetrical domain covering the animal-most two-thirds of the blastula. The border of this domain, which is orthogonal to the primordial animal-vegetal axis, is shifted towards the animal pole in Li+-treated embryos. Exogenous micromeres implanted at the animal pole of whole embryos, animal or vegetal halves do not modify the extent and localization of the HE expression domain. In grafted embryos or animal halves, the Li+ effect is not affected by the presence of ectopic micromeres at the animal pole. A Li+-induced shift of the border, similar to that seen in whole embryos, occurs in embryoids developing from animal halves isolated from 8-cell stage embryos or dissected from unfertilised eggs. Therefore, the spatial restriction of the HE gene is not controlled by the inductive cascade emanating from the micromeres and the patterning along the AV-axis revealed by Li+ does not require interactions between cells from the animal and vegetal halves. This suggests that maternal primary patterning in the sea urchin embryo is not limited to a small vegetal center but extends along the entire AV axis.

  11. An anterior signaling center patterns and sizes the anterior neuroectoderm of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Range, Ryan C; Wei, Zheng

    2016-05-01

    Anterior signaling centers help specify and pattern the early anterior neuroectoderm (ANE) in many deuterostomes. In sea urchin the ANE is restricted to the anterior of the late blastula stage embryo, where it forms a simple neural territory comprising several types of neurons as well as the apical tuft. Here, we show that during early development, the sea urchin ANE territory separates into inner and outer regulatory domains that express the cardinal ANE transcriptional regulators FoxQ2 and Six3, respectively. FoxQ2 drives this patterning process, which is required to eliminate six3 expression from the inner domain and activate the expression of Dkk3 and sFRP1/5, two secreted Wnt modulators. Dkk3 and low expression levels of sFRP1/5 act additively to potentiate the Wnt/JNK signaling pathway governing the positioning of the ANE territory around the anterior pole, whereas high expression levels of sFRP1/5 antagonize Wnt/JNK signaling. sFRP1/5 and Dkk3 levels are rigidly maintained via autorepressive and cross-repressive interactions with Wnt signaling components and additional ANE transcription factors. Together, these data support a model in which FoxQ2 initiates an anterior patterning center that implements correct size and positions of ANE structures. Comparisons of functional and expression studies in sea urchin, hemichordate and chordate embryos reveal striking similarities among deuterostome ANE regulatory networks and the molecular mechanism that positions and defines ANE borders. These data strongly support the idea that the sea urchin embryo uses an ancient anterior patterning system that was present in the common ambulacrarian/chordate ancestor.

  12. Amino-modified polystyrene nanoparticles affect signalling pathways of the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryos.

    PubMed

    Pinsino, Annalisa; Bergami, Elisa; Della Torre, Camilla; Vannuccini, Maria Luisa; Addis, Piero; Secci, Marco; Dawson, Kenneth A; Matranga, Valeria; Corsi, Ilaria

    2017-03-01

    Polystyrene nanoparticles have been shown to pose serious risk to marine organisms including sea urchin embryos based on their surface properties and consequently behaviour in natural sea water. The aim of this study is to investigate the toxicity pathways of amino polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NH2, 50 nm) in Paracentrotus lividus embryos in terms of development and signalling at both protein and gene levels. Two sub-lethal concentrations of 3 and 4 μg/mL of PS-NH2 were used to expose sea urchin embryos in natural sea water (PS-NH2 as aggregates of 143 ± 5 nm). At 24 and 48 h post-fertilisation (hpf) embryonic development was monitored and variations in the levels of key proteins involved in stress response and development (Hsp70, Hsp60, MnSOD, Phospho-p38 Mapk) as well as the modulation of target genes (Pl-Hsp70, Pl-Hsp60, Pl-Cytochrome b, Pl-p38 Mapk, Pl-Caspase 8, Pl-Univin) were measured. At 48 hpf various striking teratogenic effects were observed such as the occurrence of cells/masses randomly distributed, severe skeletal defects and delayed development. At 24 hpf a significant up-regulation of Pl-Hsp70, Pl-p38 Mapk, Pl-Univin and Pl-Cas8 genes was found, while at 48 hpf only for Pl-Univin was observed. Protein profile showed different patterns as a significant increase of Hsp70 and Hsp60 only after 48 hpf compared to controls. Conversely, P-p38 Mapk protein significantly increased at 24 hpf and decreased at 48 hpf. Our findings highlight that PS-NH2 are able to disrupt sea urchin embryos development by modulating protein and gene profile providing new understandings into the signalling pathways involved.

  13. Control of protein synthesis in cell-free extracts of sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, L.J.; Huang, W.I.; Jagus, R.

    1986-05-01

    Although the increase in protein synthesis that occurs after fertilization of sea urchin eggs results from increased utilization of stored maternal mRNA, the underlying mechanism is unknown. The authors have prepared cell-free extracts from S.purpuratus and A.puctulata unfertilized eggs and 2-cell embryos that retain the protein synthetic differences observed in vivo. The method is based on that of Dr. Alina Lopo. /sup 35/S methionine incorporation is linear during a 30 min incubation and is 10-20 fold higher in extracts from 2-cell embryos than unfertilized eggs. Addition of purified mRNA does not stimulate these systems, suggesting a regulatory mechanism other than mRNA masking. Addition of rabbit reticulocyte ribosomal salt wash stimulated protein synthesis in extracts from eggs but not embryos, suggesting deficiencies in translational components in unfertilized eggs. Mixing of egg and embryo lysates indicated the presence of a weak protein synthesis inhibitor in eggs. Translational control in developing sea urchin embryos thus appears to be complex, involving both stimulatory and inhibitory factors.

  14. H(+)/K(+) ATPase activity is required for biomineralization in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Schatzberg, Daphne; Lawton, Matthew; Hadyniak, Sarah E; Ross, Erik J; Carney, Tamara; Beane, Wendy S; Levin, Michael; Bradham, Cynthia A

    2015-10-15

    The bioelectrical signatures associated with regeneration, wound healing, development, and cancer are changes in the polarization state of the cell that persist over long durations, and are mediated by ion channel activity. To identify physiologically relevant bioelectrical changes that occur during normal development of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus, we tested a range of ion channel inhibitors, and thereby identified SCH28080, a chemical inhibitor of the H(+)/K(+) ATPase (HKA), as an inhibitor of skeletogenesis. In sea urchin embryos, the primary mesodermal lineage, the PMCs, produce biomineral in response to signals from the ectoderm. However, in SCH28080-treated embryos, aside from randomization of the left-right axis, the ectoderm is normally specified and differentiated, indicating that the block to skeletogenesis observed in SCH28080-treated embryos is PMC-specific. HKA inhibition did not interfere with PMC specification, and was sufficient to block continuing biomineralization when embryos were treated with SCH28080 after the initiation of skeletogenesis, indicating that HKA activity is continuously required during biomineralization. Ion concentrations and voltage potential were abnormal in the PMCs in SCH28080-treated embryos, suggesting that these bioelectrical abnormalities prevent biomineralization. Our results indicate that this effect is due to the inhibition of amorphous calcium carbonate precipitation within PMC vesicles.

  15. Excision and transposition activity of Tc1/mariner superfamily transposons in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Yaguchi, Junko; Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Yajima, Mamiko

    2010-03-01

    Tc1/mariner superfamily transposons are used as transformation vectors in various model organisms. The utility of this transposon family is evidenced by the fact that Tc1/mariner transposons have loose host specificity. However, the activity of these transposons has been observed in only a few organisms, and a recent study in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis suggests that not all Tc1/ mariner transposons show loose host specificity. To understand host specificity, we used sea urchins, since they have a long history as materials of embryology and developmental biology. Transposon techniques have not been reported in this organism, despite the likelihood that these techniques would open up many experimental possibilities. Here we tested the activity of three Tc1/ mariner transposons (Minos, Sleeping Beauty, and Frog Prince) in the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. Minos has both excision and transposition activity in H. pulcherrimus embryos, whereas no excision activity was detected for Sleeping Beauty or Frog Prince. This study suggests that Minos is active in a broad range of non-host organisms and can be used as a transformation tool in sea urchin embryos.

  16. Characterization of an Alpha Type Carbonic Anhydrase from Paracentrotus lividus Sea Urchin Embryos.

    PubMed

    Karakostis, Konstantinos; Costa, Caterina; Zito, Francesca; Brümmer, Franz; Matranga, Valeria

    2016-06-01

    Carbonic anhydrases (CA) are zinc metalloenzymes that catalyze the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate. In the sea urchin, CA has a role in the formation of the calcitic skeleton during embryo development. Here, we report a newly identified mRNA sequence from embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, referred to as Pl-can. The complete coding sequence was identified with the aid of both EST databases and experimental procedures. Pl-CAN is a 447 aa-long protein, with an estimated molecular mass of 48.5 kDa and an isoelectric point of 6.83. The in silico study of functional domains showed, in addition to the alpha type CA-specific domain, the presence of an unexpected glycine-rich region at the N-terminal of the molecule. This is not found in any other species described so far, but probably it is restricted to the sea urchins. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that Pl-CAN is evolutionarily closer to human among chordates than to other species. The putative role(s) of the identified domains is discussed. The Pl-can temporal and spatial expression profiles, analyzed throughout embryo development by comparative qPCR and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WMISH), showed that Pl-can mRNA is specifically expressed in the primary mesenchyme cells (PMC) of the embryo and levels increase along with the growth of the embryonic skeleton, reaching a peak at the pluteus stage. A recombinant fusion protein was produced in E. coli and used to raise specific antibodies in mice recognized the endogenous Pl-CAN by Western blot in embryo extracts from gastrula and pluteus.

  17. Estradiol and endocrine disrupting compounds adversely affect development of sea urchin embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Roepke, Troy A; Snyder, Mark J; Cherr, Gary N

    2005-01-26

    Environmental endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a wide variety of chemicals that typically exert effects, either directly or indirectly, through receptor-mediated processes, thus mimicking endogenous hormones and/or inhibiting normal hormone activities and metabolism. Little is known about the effects of EDCs on echinoderm physiology, reproduction and development. We exposed developing sea urchin embryos (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus anamesus) to two known EDCs (4-octylphenol (OCT), bisphenol A (BisA)) and to natural and synthetic reproductive hormones (17beta-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), estriol (E3), progesterone (P4) and 17alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2)). In addition, we studied two non-estrogenic EDCs, tributyltin (TBT) and o,p-DDD. Successful development to the pluteus larval stage (96 h post-fertilization) was used to define EDC concentration-response relationships. The order of compound potency based on EC50 values for a reduction in normal development was as follows: TBT(L. anamesus)>OCT>TBT(S. purpuratus)>E2>EE2>DDD>BisA>P4>E1>E3. The effect of TBT was pronounced even at concentrations substantially lower than those commonly reported in heavily contaminated areas, but the response was significantly different in the two model species. Sea urchin embryos were generally more sensitive to estrogenic EDCs and TBT than most other invertebrate larvae. Stage-specific exposure experiments were conducted to determine the most sensitive developmental periods using blastula, gastrula and post-gastrula (pluteus) stages. The stage most sensitive to E2, OCT and TBT was the blastula stage with less overall sensitivity in the gastrula stage, regardless of concentration. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) were added to the experiments individually and in combination with estrogenic EDCs to interfere with potential receptor-mediated actions. Tamoxifen, a partial ER agonist, alone inhibited development at concentrations as low as 0.02 ng

  18. Regulation of membrane fusion and secretory events in the sea urchin embryo

    SciTech Connect

    Roe, J.L.

    1990-01-01

    Membrane fusion and secretory events play a key role in fertilization and early development in the sea urchin embryo. To investigate the mechanism of membrane fusion, the effect of inhibitors of metalloendoprotease activity was studied on two model systems of cell fusion; fertilization and spiculogenesis by primary mesenchyme cells in the embryo. Both the zinc chelator, 1,10-phenanthroline, and peptide metalloprotease substrates were found to inhibit both fertilization and gamete fusion, while peptides that are not substrates of metalloproteases did not affect either process. Primary mesenchyme cells form the larval skeleton in the embryo by deposition of mineral and an organic matrix into a syncytial cavity formed by fusion of filopodia of these cells. Metalloprotease inhibitors were found to inhibit spiculogenesis both in vivo and in cultures of isolated primary mesenchyme cells, and the activity of a metalloprotease of the appropriate specificity was found in the primary mesenchyme cells. These two studies implicate the activity of a metalloprotease in a necessary step in membrane fusion. Following fertilization, exocytosis of the cortical granules results in the formation of the fertilization envelope and the hyaline layer, that surround the developing embryo. The hatching enzyme is secreted by the blastula stage sea urchin embryo, which proteolyzes the fertilization envelope surrounding the embryo, allowing the embryo to hatch. Using an assay that measures {sup 125}I-fertilization envelope degradation, the hatching enzyme was identified as a 33 kDa metalloprotease, and was purified by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography from the hatching media of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos. The hatching enzyme showed a substrate preference for only a minor subset of fertilization envelope proteins.

  19. Lineage and fate of each blastomere of the eight-cell sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Cameron, R A; Hough-Evans, B R; Britten, R J; Davidson, E H

    1987-03-01

    A fluoresceinated lineage tracer was injected into individual blastomeres of eight-cell sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos, and the location of the progeny of each blastomere was determined in the fully developed pluteus. Each blastomere gives rise to a unique portion of the advanced embryo. We confirm many of the classical assignments of cell fate along the animal-vegetal axis of the cleavage-stage embryo, and demonstrate that one blastomere of the animal quartet at the eight-cell stage lies nearest the future oral pole and the opposite one nearest the future aboral pole of the embryo. Clones of cells deriving from ectodermal founder cells always remain contiguous, while clones of cells descendant from the vegetal plate (i.e., gut, secondary mesenchyme) do not. The locations of ectodermal clones contributed by specific blastomeres require that the larval plane of bilateral symmetry lie approximately equidistant (i.e., at a 45 degree angle) from each of the first two cleavage planes. These results underscore the conclusion that many of the early spatial patterns of differential gene expression observed at the molecular level are specified in a clonal manner early in embryonic sea urchin development, and are each confined to cell lineages established during cleavage.

  20. Differential toxicity of three PCB congeners in developing sea urchin embryos and implication of TEQ approach

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, L.; Suffet, I.; Hose, J.; Bay, S.

    1995-12-31

    The relationship between body burden and toxicity of three individual PCB congeners in developing sea urchin embryos was investigated to evaluate the validity of current predictive models of PCB toxicity in an invertebrate system. The uptake and accumulation of radiolabeled PCB congeners from sea water was measured in the sea urchin embryo tissues and the relative toxicity determined. According to the toxic equivalents (TEQ) approach of assessing risk to mammals, congener 77, a nonortho-substituted congener, is predicted to be more toxic than the diortho-substituted congeners 47 and 153. Using a 72 hour embryo development assay, congener 47 was found to be at least four times as toxic as congener 77, with EC50s of 15.7 and > 72.5 mmol/kg, respectively. Congener 153, a hexachlorobiphenyl, was virtually nontoxic even at the highest dose used. Cytologic and cytogenetic anomalies were studied to find a possibly more sensitive endpoint and to suggest a mechanism of toxicity. The cytogenetic analysis revealed that the PCBs inhibited mitosis. At the highest doses, complete mitotic arrest was observed. Congener 77 was found to be at least two times more toxic than congener 153 but not as toxic as congener 47 using mitotic activity as the endpoint. Thus, the two endpoints of toxicity did not change the order in which the congeners are toxic, but established different EC50s. The relative toxicities of these congeners in this study contradict the structure-activity prediction of the mammalian-based TEQ approach.

  1. A myogenic factor from sea urchin embryos capable of programming muscle differentiation in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    Venuti, J M; Goldberg, L; Chakraborty, T; Olson, E N; Klein, W H

    1991-01-01

    Using the basic helix-loop-helix domain of the myogenic factor myogenin as a probe, we identified a clone from a sea urchin cDNA library with considerable sequence similarity to the vertebrate myogenic factors. This cDNA, sea urchin myogenic factor 1 (SUM-1), transactivated a muscle creatine kinase-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene in 10T1/2 fibroblasts to a level comparable to that of the vertebrate myogenic factors. In addition, bacterially expressed beta-galactosidase-SUM-1 fusion protein interacted directly with the kappa E-2 site in the muscle creatine kinase enhancer core as assayed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Stably transfected SUM-1 activated the muscle differentiation program and converted 10T1/2 cells from fibroblasts to myotubes. In sea urchin embryos, SUM-1 RNA was not detected before gastrulation. It accumulated to its highest levels during the prism stage when myoblasts were first detected by myosin immunostaining and then diminished as myocytes differentiated. SUM-1 protein was localized in secondary mesenchyme cells when they could first be identified as muscle cells by myosin immunostaining. These results implicate SUM-1 as a regulatory factor involved in the early decision of a pluripotent secondary mesenchyme cell to convert to a myogenic fate. SUM-1 is an example of an invertebrate myogenic factor that is capable of functioning in mammalian cells. Images PMID:2068103

  2. Developmental effects of two different copper oxide nanomaterials in sea urchin (Lytechinus pictus) embryos.

    PubMed

    Torres-Duarte, Cristina; Adeleye, Adeyemi S; Pokhrel, Suman; Mädler, Lutz; Keller, Arturo A; Cherr, Gary N

    2016-08-01

    Copper oxide nanomaterials (nano-CuOs) are widely used and can be inadvertently introduced into estuarine and marine environments. We analyzed the effects of different nano-CuOs (a synthesized and a less-pure commercial form), as well as ionic copper (CuSO4) on embryo development in the white sea urchin, a well-known marine model. After 96 h of development with both nano-CuO exposures, we did not detect significant oxidative damage to proteins but did detect decreases in total antioxidant capacity. We show that the physicochemical characteristics of the two nano-CuOs play an essential role in their toxicities. Both nano-CuOs were internalized by embryos and their differential dissolution was the most important toxicological parameter. The synthesized nano-CuO showed greater toxicity (EC50 = 450 ppb of copper) and had increased dissolution (2.5% by weight over 96 h) as compared with the less-pure commercial nano-CuO (EC50 = 5395 ppb of copper, 0.73% dissolution by weight over 96 h). Copper caused specific developmental abnormalities in sea urchin embryos including disruption of the aboral-oral axis as a result in changes to the redox environment caused by dissolution of internalized nano-CuO. Abnormal skeleton formation also occurred.

  3. Myogenesis in the sea urchin embryo: the molecular fingerprint of the myoblast precursors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchin larvae the circumesophageal fibers form a prominent muscle system of mesodermal origin. Although the morphology and later development of this muscle system has been well-described, little is known about the molecular signature of these cells or their precise origin in the early embryo. As an invertebrate deuterostome that is more closely related to the vertebrates than other commonly used model systems in myogenesis, the sea urchin fills an important phylogenetic gap and provides a unique perspective on the evolution of muscle cell development. Results Here, we present a comprehensive description of the development of the sea urchin larval circumesophageal muscle lineage beginning with its mesodermal origin using high-resolution localization of the expression of several myogenic transcriptional regulators and differentiation genes. A few myoblasts are bilaterally distributed at the oral vegetal side of the tip of the archenteron and first appear at the late gastrula stage. The expression of the differentiation genes Myosin Heavy Chain, Tropomyosin I and II, as well as the regulatory genes MyoD2, FoxF, FoxC, FoxL1, Myocardin, Twist, and Tbx6 uniquely identify these cells. Interestingly, evolutionarily conserved myogenic factors such as Mef2, MyoR and Six1/2 are not expressed in sea urchin myoblasts but are found in other mesodermal domains of the tip of the archenteron. The regulatory states of these domains were characterized in detail. Moreover, using a combinatorial analysis of gene expression we followed the development of the FoxF/FoxC positive cells from the onset of expression to the end of gastrulation. Our data allowed us to build a complete map of the Non-Skeletogenic Mesoderm at the very early gastrula stage, in which specific molecular signatures identify the precursors of different cell types. Among them, a small group of cells within the FoxY domain, which also express FoxC and SoxE, have been identified as plausible myoblast

  4. Cadmium induces an apoptotic response in sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    Agnello, Maria; Filosto, Simone; Scudiero, Rosaria; Rinaldi, Anna M.; Roccheri, Maria C.

    2007-01-01

    Cadmium is a heavy metal toxic for living organisms even at low concentrations. It does not have any biological role, and since it is a permanent metal ion, it is accumulated by many organisms. In the present paper we have studied the apoptotic effects of continuous exposure to subacute/sublethal cadmium concentrations on a model system: Paracentrotus lividus embryos. We demonstrated, by atomic absorption spectrometry, that the intracellular amount of metal increased during exposure time. We found, using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay, that long treatments with cadmium triggered a severe DNA fragmentation. We demonstrated, by immunocytochemistry on whole-mount embryos, that treatment with cadmium causes activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of death substrates α-fodrin and lamin A. Incubating the embryos since fertilization with Z-DEVD FMK, a caspase-3 inhibitor, we found, by immunocytochemistry, that cleavage by caspase-3 and cleavage of death substrates were inactivated. PMID:17441506

  5. GSK3beta/shaggy mediates patterning along the animal-vegetal axis of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Emily-Fenouil, F; Ghiglione, C; Lhomond, G; Lepage, T; Gache, C

    1998-07-01

    In the sea urchin embryo, the animal-vegetal axis is defined before fertilization and different embryonic territories are established along this axis by mechanisms which are largely unknown. Significantly, the boundaries of these territories can be shifted by treatment with various reagents including zinc and lithium. We have isolated and characterized a sea urchin homolog of GSK3beta/shaggy, a lithium-sensitive kinase which is a component of the Wnt pathway and known to be involved in axial patterning in other embryos including Xenopus. The effects of overexpressing the normal and mutant forms of GSK3beta derived either from sea urchin or Xenopus were analyzed by observation of the morphology of 48 hour embryos (pluteus stage) and by monitoring spatial expression of the hatching enzyme (HE) gene, a very early gene whose expression is restricted to an animal domain with a sharp border roughly coinciding with the future ectoderm / endoderm boundary. Inactive forms of GSK3beta predicted to have a dominant-negative activity, vegetalized the embryo and decreased the size of the HE expression domain, apparently by shifting the boundary towards the animal pole. These effects are similar to, but even stronger than, those of lithium. Conversely, overexpression of wild-type GSK3beta animalized the embryo and caused the HE domain to enlarge towards the vegetal pole. Unlike zinc treatment, GSK3beta overexpression thus appeared to provoke a true animalization, through extension of the presumptive ectoderm territory. These results indicate that in sea urchin embryos the level of GSKbeta activity controls the position of the boundary between the presumptive ectoderm and endoderm territories and thus, the relative extent of these tissue layers in late embryos. GSK3beta and probably other downstream components of the Wnt pathway thus mediate patterning both along the primary AV axis of the sea urchin embryo and along the dorsal-ventral axis in Xenopus, suggesting a conserved basis

  6. Fixed metabolic costs for highly variable rates of protein synthesis in sea urchin embryos and larvae.

    PubMed

    Pace, Douglas A; Manahan, Donal T

    2006-01-01

    Defining the physiological mechanisms that set metabolic rates and the 'cost of living' is important for understanding the energy costs of development. Embryos and larvae of the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus (Verrill) were used to test hypotheses regarding differential costs of protein synthesis in animals differing in size, rates of protein synthesis, and physiological feeding states. For embryos, the rate of protein synthesis was 0.22+/-0.014 ng protein embryo(-1) h(-1) (mean +/- s.e.m.) and decreased in unfed larvae to an average rate of 0.05+/-0.001 ng protein larva(-1) h(-1). Fed larvae had rates of synthesis that were up to 194 times faster than unfed larvae (9.7+/-0.81 ng protein larva(-1) h(-1)). There was no significant difference, however, in the cost of protein synthesis between these larvae with very different physiological states. Furthermore, the cost of synthesis in the larval stages was also similar to costs measured for blastula and gastrula embryos of 8.4+/-0.99 J mg(-1) protein synthesized. The cost of protein synthesis was obtained using both direct ('inhibitor') and indirect ('correlative') measurements; both methods gave essentially identical results. Protein synthesis accounted for up to 54+/-8% of metabolic rate in embryos. Percent of metabolism accounted for by protein synthesis in larvae was dependent on their physiological feeding state, with protein synthesis accounting for 16+/-4% in unfed larvae and 75+/-11% in fed larvae. This regulation of metabolic rate was due to differential rates of synthesis for a fixed energy cost per unit mass of protein synthesized. The cost of synthesizing a unit of protein did not change with increasing rates of protein synthesis. We conclude that the cost of protein synthesis is independent of the rate of synthesis, developmental stage, size and physiological feeding state during sea urchin development.

  7. High-quality RNA extraction from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos.

    PubMed

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Susan; Zupo, Valerio; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Fontana, Angelo; Costantini, Maria

    2017-01-01

    The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) is a keystone herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea due to its ability to transform macroalgal-dominated communities into barren areas characterized by increased cover of bare substrates and encrusting coralline algae, reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem functions. P. lividus is also an excellent animal model for toxicology, physiology and biology investigations having been used for more than a century as a model for embryological studies with synchronously developing embryos which are easy to manipulate and analyze for morphological aberrations. Despite its importance for the scientific community, the complete genome is still not fully annotated. To date, only a few molecular tools are available and a few Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies have been performed. Here we aimed at setting-up an RNA extraction method to obtain high quality and sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS from P. lividus embryos at the pluteus stage. We compared five different RNA extraction protocols from four different pools of plutei (500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 embryos): TRIzol®, and four widely-used Silica Membrane kits, GenElute™ Mammalian Total RNA Miniprep Kit, RNAqueous® Micro Kit, RNeasy® Micro Kit and Aurum™ Total RNA Mini Kit. The quantity of RNA isolated was evaluated using NanoDrop. The quality, considering the purity, was measured as A260/A280 and A260/230 ratios. The integrity was measured by RNA Integrity Number (RIN). Our results demonstrated that the most efficient procedures were GenElute, RNeasy and Aurum, producing a sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS. The Bioanalyzer profiles and RIN values revealed that the most efficient methods guaranteeing for RNA integrity were RNeasy and Aurum combined with an initial preservation in RNAlater. This research represents the first attempt to standardize a method for high-quality RNA extraction from sea urchin embryos at the pluteus stage, providing a new resource for this

  8. High-quality RNA extraction from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos

    PubMed Central

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Susan; Zupo, Valerio; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Fontana, Angelo; Costantini, Maria

    2017-01-01

    The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) is a keystone herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea due to its ability to transform macroalgal-dominated communities into barren areas characterized by increased cover of bare substrates and encrusting coralline algae, reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem functions. P. lividus is also an excellent animal model for toxicology, physiology and biology investigations having been used for more than a century as a model for embryological studies with synchronously developing embryos which are easy to manipulate and analyze for morphological aberrations. Despite its importance for the scientific community, the complete genome is still not fully annotated. To date, only a few molecular tools are available and a few Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies have been performed. Here we aimed at setting-up an RNA extraction method to obtain high quality and sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS from P. lividus embryos at the pluteus stage. We compared five different RNA extraction protocols from four different pools of plutei (500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 embryos): TRIzol®, and four widely-used Silica Membrane kits, GenElute™ Mammalian Total RNA Miniprep Kit, RNAqueous® Micro Kit, RNeasy® Micro Kit and Aurum™ Total RNA Mini Kit. The quantity of RNA isolated was evaluated using NanoDrop. The quality, considering the purity, was measured as A260/A280 and A260/230 ratios. The integrity was measured by RNA Integrity Number (RIN). Our results demonstrated that the most efficient procedures were GenElute, RNeasy and Aurum, producing a sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS. The Bioanalyzer profiles and RIN values revealed that the most efficient methods guaranteeing for RNA integrity were RNeasy and Aurum combined with an initial preservation in RNAlater. This research represents the first attempt to standardize a method for high-quality RNA extraction from sea urchin embryos at the pluteus stage, providing a new resource for this

  9. [Effect of monoamines, heat shock and other factors on the binding of several neuropharmacologic preparations by sea urchin embryos].

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Manukhin, B N; Rakich, L; Kudriashova, N I; Khromov-Borisov, N V

    1977-01-01

    Early embryos of the sea urchins Arbacia lixula and Paracentrotus lividus being subjected to an osmotic or heat shock (10 min at 70 degrees C or higher) do not longer bind cytotoxic pharmaca and do not affect the sensitivity of normal indicator embryos to these drugs. After exposure for 10 min at 40 degrees C, the binding of neuropharmaca by embryos is not affected, although their ability to protect indicator embryos from the action of these neuropharmaca is inhibited 4--5 times. Serotonin and adrenaline inhibit the binding of neuropharmaca by 10--20%, while meterazine, noveryl and an amphetamine derivative--IEM-567--inhibit it by 50--60%. Antimycin A, rotenone and mercuric chloride do not affect the binding of neuropharmaca by sea urchin embryos.

  10. Transport in technicolor: Mapping ATP-binding cassette transporters in sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    Gökirmak, Tufan; Shipp, Lauren E.; Campanale, Joseph P.; Nicklisch, Sascha C.T.; Hamdoun, Amro

    2014-01-01

    One quarter of eukaryotic genes encode membrane proteins. These include nearly 1000 transporters that translocate nutrients, signaling molecules, and xenobiotics across membranes. While it is well appreciated that membrane transport is critical for development, the specific roles of many transporters have remained cryptic, in part because of their abundance and the diversity of their substrates. Multi-drug resistance ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters are one example of cryptic membrane proteins. Although most organisms utilize these ABC transporters during embryonic development, many of these transporters have broad substrate specificity, and their developmental functions remain incompletely understood. Here, we review advances in our understanding of ABC transporters in sea urchin embryos, and methods developed to spatially and temporally map these proteins. These studies reveal that multifunctional transporters are required for signaling, homeostasis, and protection of the embryo, and shed light on how they are integrated into ancestral developmental pathways recapitulated in disease. PMID:25156004

  11. Specification of cell fate in the sea urchin embryo: summary and some proposed mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Davidson, E H; Cameron, R A; Ransick, A

    1998-09-01

    An early set of blastomere specifications occurs during cleavage in the sea urchin embryo, the result of both conditional and autonomous processes, as proposed in the model for this embryo set forth in 1989. Recent experimental results have greatly illuminated the mechanisms of specification in some early embryonic territories, though others remain obscure. We review the progressive process of specification within given lineage elements, and with reference to the early axial organization of the embryo. Evidence for the conditional specification of the veg2 lineage subelement of the endoderm and other potential interblastomere signaling interactions in the cleavage-stage embryo are summarized. Definitive boundaries between mesoderm and endoderm territories of the vegetal plate, and between endoderm and overlying ectoderm, are not established until later in development. These processes have been clarified by numerous observations on spatial expression of various genes, and by elegant lineage labeling studies. The early specification events depend on regional mobilization of maternal regulatory factors resulting at once in the zygotic expression of genes encoding transcription factors, as well as downstream genes encoding proteins characteristic of the cell types that will much later arise from the progeny of the specified blastomeres. This embryo displays a maximal form of indirect development. The gene regulatory network underlying the embryonic development reflects the relative simplicity of the completed larva and of the processes required for its formation. The requirements for postembryonic adult body plan formation in the larval rudiment include engagement of a new level of genetic regulatory apparatus, exemplified by the Hox gene complex.

  12. Regulatory logic and pattern formation in the early sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mengyang; Cheng, Xianrui; Socolar, Joshua E S

    2014-12-21

    We model the endomesoderm tissue specification process in the vegetal half of the early sea urchin embryo using Boolean models with continuous-time updating to represent the regulatory network that controls gene expression. Our models assume that the network interaction rules remain constant over time and the dynamics plays out on a predetermined program of cell divisions. An exhaustive search of two-node models, in which each node may represent a module of several genes in the real regulatory network, yields a unique network architecture that can accomplish the pattern formation task at hand--the formation of three latitudinal tissue bands from an initial state with only two distinct cell types. Analysis of an eight-gene model constructed from available experimental data reveals that it has a modular structure equivalent to the successful two-node case. Our results support the hypothesis that the gene regulatory network provides sufficient instructions for producing the correct pattern of tissue specification at this stage of development (between the fourth and tenth cleavages in the urchin embryo).

  13. Zinc finger homeobox is required for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Yaguchi, Junko; Angerer, Lynne M.; Inaba, Kazuo; Yaguchi, Shunsuke

    2012-01-01

    Serotonergic neurons differentiate in the neurogenic animal plate ectoderm of the sea urchin embryo. The regulatory mechanisms that control the specification or differentiation of these neurons in the sea urchin embryo are not yet understood, although, after the genome was sequenced, many genes encoding transcription factors expressed in this region were identified. Here, we report that zinc finger homeobox (zfhx1/z81) is expressed in serotonergic neural precursor cells, using double in situ hybridization screening with a serotonergic neural marker, tryptophan 5-hydroxylase (tph) encoding a serotonin synthase that is required for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. zfhx1/z81 begins to be expressed at gastrula stage in individual cells in the anterior neuroectoderm, some of which also express delta. zfhx1/z81 expression gradually disappears as neural differentiation begins with tph expression. When the translation of Zfhx1/Z81 is blocked by morpholino injection, embryos express neither tph nor the neural marker synaptotagminB in cells of the animal plate, and serotonergic neurons do not differentiate. In contrast, Zfhx1/Z81 morphants do express fez, another neural precursor marker, which appears to function in the initial phase of specification/differentiation of serotonergic neurons. In addition, zfhx1/z81 is one of the targets suppressed in the animal plate by anti-neural signals such as Nodal as well as Delta-Notch. We conclude that Zfhx1/Z81 functions during the specification of individual anterior neural precursors and promotes the expression of tph and synaptotagminB, required for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. PMID:22210002

  14. Sea-urchin Embryo Bioassay for in situ Evaluation of the Biological Quality of Coastal Seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beiras, R.; Vázquez, E.; Bellas, J.; Lorenzo, J. I.; Fernández, N.; Macho, G.; Mariño, J. C.; Casas, L.

    2001-01-01

    The Paracentrotus lividus sea-urchin embryo bioassay, consisting of incubation of fertilized eggs in test water and measurement of the percentage of four-armed plutei larvae developed after the incubation period (2-3 days), has been adapted for in situ evaluation of seawater quality in coastal areas. Mature sea-urchins are dissected in situ and fertilization is performed in the field; fertilized eggs are delivered into screw lid 50-ml cylinders with 20 μm nylon mesh in both ends filled with sieved local seawater. The cylinders, tied to 60-cm ropes with weights on one end and buoys in the other one, are placed by scuba divers in the test sites at subtidal level and recovered after the incubation period. The contents of each cylinder are then transferred into a vial, fixed with formalin and observed directly under an inverted microscope to record the percentage ( N=100) and size (length, N=25) of four-arm pluteus larvae. Our results show that the bioassay can discriminate between well known polluted and unpolluted sites, but further improvement is needed in order to: (1) take into account differences of temperature between sites; (2) minimize larval mortality due to reasons other than pollution.

  15. Encoding regulatory state boundaries in the pregastrular oral ectoderm of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Li, Enhu; Cui, Miao; Peter, Isabelle S; Davidson, Eric H

    2014-03-11

    By gastrulation the ectodermal territories of the sea urchin embryo have developed an unexpectedly complex spatial pattern of sharply bounded regulatory states, organized orthogonally with respect to the animal/vegetal and oral/aboral axes of the embryo. Although much is known of the gene regulatory network (GRN) linkages that generate these regulatory states, the principles by which the boundaries between them are positioned and maintained have remained undiscovered. Here we determine the encoded genomic logic responsible for the boundaries of the oral aspect of the embryo that separate endoderm from ectoderm and ectoderm from neurogenic apical plate and that delineate the several further subdivisions into which the oral ectoderm per se is partitioned. Comprehensive regulatory state maps, including all spatially expressed oral ectoderm regulatory genes, were established. The circuitry at each boundary deploys specific repressors of regulatory states across the boundary, identified in this work, plus activation by broadly expressed positive regulators. These network linkages are integrated with previously established interactions on the oral/aboral axis to generate a GRN model encompassing the 2D organization of the regulatory state pattern in the pregastrular oral ectoderm of the embryo.

  16. Teratogenic Effects of Diatom Metabolites on Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Giovanna; Miralto, Antonio; Ianora, Adrianna

    2010-01-01

    The diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs), 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal, 2-trans,4-trans-octadienal, 2-trans,4-trans,7-octatrienal, 2-trans,4-trans-heptadienal, as well as tridecanal were tested on early and later larval development in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. We also tested the effect of some of the more abundant diatom polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on development, in particular 5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of the main precursors of diatom PUAs, as well as 4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid (stearidonic acid), 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid (γ-linolenic acid) and 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (linoleic acid). PUAs blocked sea urchin cell cleavage in a dose dependent manner and with increasing chain length from C7 to C10 PUAs, with arrest occurring at 27.27 μM with heptadienal, 16.13 μM with octadienal, 11.47 μM with octatrienal and 5.26 μM with decadienal. Of the PUFAs tested, only EPA and stearidonic acid blocked cleavage, but at much higher concentrations compared to PUAs (331 μM for EPA and 181 μM for stearidonic acid). Sub-lethal concentrations of decadienal (1.32–5.26 μM) delayed development of embryos and larvae which showed various degrees of malformations depending on the concentrations tested. Sub-lethal concentrations also increased the proportion of TUNEL-positive cells indicating imminent death in embryos and larvae. Using decadienal as a model PUA, we show that this aldehyde can be detected spectrophotometrically for up to 14 days in f/2 medium. PMID:20479962

  17. Teratogenic effects of diatom metabolites on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos.

    PubMed

    Romano, Giovanna; Miralto, Antonio; Ianora, Adrianna

    2010-03-30

    The diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs), 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal, 2-trans,4-trans-octadienal, 2-trans,4-trans,7-octatrienal, 2-trans,4-trans-heptadienal, as well as tridecanal were tested on early and later larval development in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. We also tested the effect of some of the more abundant diatom polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on development, in particular 5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of the main precursors of diatom PUAs, as well as 4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid (stearidonic acid), 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid (gamma-linolenic acid) and 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (linoleic acid). PUAs blocked sea urchin cell cleavage in a dose dependent manner and with increasing chain length from C7 to C10 PUAs, with arrest occurring at 27.27 microM with heptadienal, 16.13 microM with octadienal, 11.47 microM with octatrienal and 5.26 microM with decadienal. Of the PUFAs tested, only EPA and stearidonic acid blocked cleavage, but at much higher concentrations compared to PUAs (331 microM for EPA and 181 microM for stearidonic acid). Sub-lethal concentrations of decadienal (1.32-5.26 microM) delayed development of embryos and larvae which showed various degrees of malformations depending on the concentrations tested. Sub-lethal concentrations also increased the proportion of TUNEL-positive cells indicating imminent death in embryos and larvae. Using decadienal as a model PUA, we show that this aldehyde can be detected spectrophotometrically for up to 14 days in f/2 medium.

  18. Toxicity of seabird guano to sea urchin embryos and interaction with Cu and Pb.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Santos-Echeandía, Juan; Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón; Jordi, Antoni; Tovar-Sánchez, Antonio; Bellas, Juan

    2016-02-01

    Guano is an important source of marine-derived nutrients to seabird nesting areas. Seabirds usually present high levels of metals and other contaminants because the bioaccumulation processes and biotic depositions can increase the concentration of pollutants in the receiving environments. The objectives of this study were to investigate: the toxicity of seabird guano and the joint toxicity of guano, Cu and Pb by using the sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay. In a first experiment, aqueous extracts of guano were prepared at two loading rates (0.462 and 1.952 g L(-1)) and toxicity to sea-urchin embryos was tested. Toxicity was low and not dependent of the load of guano used (EC50 0.42 ± 0.03 g L(-1)). Trace metal concentrations were also low either in guano or in aqueous extracts of guano and the toxicity of extracts were apparently related to dissolved organic matter. In a second experiment, the toxicity of Cu-Pb mixtures in artificial seawater and in extracts of guano (at two loadings: 0.015 and 0.073 g L(-1)), was tested. According to individual fittings, Cu added to extracts of guano showed less toxicity than when dissolved in artificial seawater. The response surfaces obtained for mixtures of Cu and Pb in artificial seawater, and in 0.015 g L(-1) and 0.073 g L(-1) of guano, were better described by Independent Action model adapted to describe antagonism, than by the other proposed models. This implied accepting that EC50 for Cu and Pb increased with the load of guano and with a greater interaction for Cu than for Pb.

  19. Stimulation of tubulin gene transcription by deciliation of sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Z Y; Brandhorst, B P

    1987-01-01

    Deciliation by hypertonic shock of embryos of the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus resulted in an increase in synthesis of alpha- and beta-tubulins, the consequence of an increased concentration of RNA encoding the tubulins. RNA run-on assays in isolated nuclei indicated that this response is due to a transient increase in the rate of synthesis of tubulin RNA beginning within 5 min of deciliation. This enhancement of tubulin gene transcription also occurred in deciliated embryos treated with the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colcemid; thus the reaction to deciliation is not a response to a reduction in concentration of unpolymerized tubulin utilized for ciliogenesis. In deciliated embryos treated with colcemid, the elevated level of tubulin RNA declined rapidly, due to its destabilization by the elevated concentration of unpolymerized tubulin. The increased transcription of tubulin genes is a response to the loss of cilia, not to the hypertonic shock, and occurs even when cilium regeneration is prevented. Inhibition of protein synthesis with puromycin or emetine did not prevent the transcriptional enhancement but stabilized tubulin mRNA, resulting in increased accumulation of tubulin mRNA after deciliation. Images PMID:3437889

  20. Eph and Ephrin function in dispersal and epithelial insertion of pigmented immunocytes in sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    Krupke, Oliver A; Zysk, Ivona; Mellott, Dan O; Burke, Robert D

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms that underlie directional cell migration are incompletely understood. Eph receptors usually guide migrations of cells by exclusion from regions expressing Ephrin. In sea urchin embryos, pigmented immunocytes are specified in vegetal epithelium, transition to mesenchyme, migrate, and re-enter ectoderm, distributing in dorsal ectoderm and ciliary band, but not ventral ectoderm. Immunocytes express Sp-Eph and Sp-Efn is expressed throughout dorsal and ciliary band ectoderm. Interfering with expression or function of Sp-Eph results in rounded immunocytes entering ectoderm but not adopting a dendritic form. Expressing Sp-Efn throughout embryos permits immunocyte insertion in ventral ectoderm. In mosaic embryos, immunocytes insert preferentially in ectoderm expressing Sp-Efn. We conclude that Sp-Eph signaling is necessary and sufficient for epithelial insertion. As well, we propose that immunocytes disperse when Sp-Eph enhances adhesion, causing haptotactic movement to regions of higher ligand abundance. This is a distinctive example of Eph/Ephrin signaling acting positively to pattern migrating cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16000.001 PMID:27474796

  1. Cloning and characterization of cDNA for syndecan core protein in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Tomita, K; Yamasu, K; Suyemitsu, T

    2000-10-01

    The cDNA for the core protein of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan, syndecan, of embryos of the sea urchin Anthocidaris crassispina was cloned and characterized. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used with total ribonucleic acid (RNA) from late gastrula stage embryos and degenerate primers for conserved regions of the core protein, to obtain a 0.1 kb PCR product. A late gastrula stage cDNA library was then screened using the PCR product as a probe. The clones obtained contained an open reading frame of 219 amino acid residues. The predicted product was 41.6% identical to mouse syndecan-1 in the region spanning the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains. Northern analysis showed that the transcripts were present in unfertilized eggs and maximum expression was detected at the early gastrula stage. Syndecan mRNA was localized around the nuclei at the early cleavage stage, but was then found in the ectodermal cells of the gastrula embryos. Western blotting analysis using the antibody against the recombinant syndecan showed that the proteoglycan was present at a constant level from the unfertilized egg stage through to the pluteus larval stage. Immunostaining revealed that the protein was expressed on apical and basal surfaces of the epithelial wall in blastulae and gastrulae.

  2. bicaudal-C is required for the formation of anterior neurogenic ectoderm in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Yaguchi, Junko; Inaba, Kazuo

    2014-10-31

    bicaudal-C (bicC) mRNA encodes a protein containing RNA-binding domains that is reported to be maternally present with deflection in the oocytes/eggs of some species. The translated protein plays a critical role in the regulation of cell fate specification along the body axis during early embryogenesis in flies and frogs. However, it is unclear how it functions in eggs in which bicC mRNA is uniformly distributed, for instance, sea urchin eggs. Here, we show the function of BicC in the formation of neurogenic ectoderm of the sea urchin embryo. Loss-of-function experiments reveal that BicC is required for serotonergic neurogenesis and for expression of ankAT-1 gene, which is essential for the formation of apical tuft cilia in the neurogenic ectoderm of the sea urchin embryo. In contrast, the expression of FoxQ2, the neurogenic ectoderm specification transcription factor, is invariant in BicC morphants. Because FoxQ2 is an upstream factor of serotonergic neurogenesis and ankAT-1 expression, these data indicate that BicC functions in regulating the events that are coordinated by FoxQ2 during sea urchin embryogenesis.

  3. Inhibition of cell migration in sea urchin embryos by beta-D-xyloside.

    PubMed

    Solursh, M; Mitchell, S L; Katow, H

    1986-12-01

    This investigation examines the effect of exogenous xylosides on primary mesenchyme cell behavior in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos. In confirmation of studies in some other species the addition of 2 mM p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-xylopyranoside blocks the migration but not the initial ingression of primary mesenchyme cells. The blastocoel matrix of treated embryos appears deficient in a 15- to 30-nm-diameter granular component that is observed extensively on the basal lamina and on filopodia of migrating primary mesenchyme cells in untreated embryos. Other blastocoel components appear unaffected by ultrastructural criteria. The incorporation of 35SO4(2-) per embryo into ethanol precipitates of isolated blastocoel matrices was reduced significantly after xyloside treatment but the distribution of 35SO4(2-) after polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or the glycosaminoglycan composition was unaffected. Chromatography on Sepharose CL-2B demonstrates a reduction in size of sulfated components of the blastocoel. While over 60% of the 35S-labeled material from the blastocoel of normal mesenchyme blastulae is voided from a Sepharose CL-2B column run in a dissociative solvent, only 10% from xyloside treated embryos is voided. Instead, there is a large included peak with Kav of 0.33. This material is acid soluble but cetylpyridinium chloride precipitable. It apparently consists largely of free glycosaminoglycan chains. Based on analysis of chondroitinase ABC digestion products this material consists of 41% chondroitin-6-sulfate and 58% dermatan sulfate. These results are consistent with a role in cell migration for intact chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate proteoglycans in the sea urchin blastocoel matrix.

  4. Induction of DNA-protein cross-links in developing embryos of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    SciTech Connect

    Garman, G.D.; Cherr, G.N.; Anderson, S.L.

    1994-12-31

    Exposure to environmental agents during embryonic development may result in DNA-protein cross-linking (DPC), as has been demonstrated for mammalian cell lines. In the latter, formation of DPC`s upon exposure to a wide variety of agents, including some metals, has been observed. To determine whether DPCs could be detected in the sea urchin embryo during development, the authors adapted a mammalian cell assay utilizing potassium-SDS precipitation and a DNA fluorochrome to quantify relative amounts of free and protein-bound DNA. Sea urchin embryos exposed to a known DPC agent, nickel, through gastrulation exhibited a dose-dependent increase in DPCs, as well as an increase in developmental abnormalities. Morphological studies demonstrated that stage-specific exposure to Ni prior to gastrulation resulted in similar levels of abnormal pluteus larval development as compared to embryos exposed through gastrulation. Sea urchin embryos exhibit temporal differences in DNA transcription and gene expression during development, and these could be affected by modifications in DNA-protein interactions. Therefore, the authors are investigating the hypothesis that the similarities in morphological responses observed may relate to susceptibility of a critical stage of development.

  5. β-Catenin is essential for patterning the maternally specified animal-vegetal axis in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Wikramanayake, Athula H.; Huang, Ling; Klein, William H.

    1998-01-01

    In sea urchin embryos, the animal-vegetal axis is specified during oogenesis. After fertilization, this axis is patterned to produce five distinct territories by the 60-cell stage. Territorial specification is thought to occur by a signal transduction cascade that is initiated by the large micromeres located at the vegetal pole. The molecular mechanisms that mediate the specification events along the animal–vegetal axis in sea urchin embryos are largely unknown. Nuclear β-catenin is seen in vegetal cells of the early embryo, suggesting that this protein plays a role in specifying vegetal cell fates. Here, we test this hypothesis and show that β-catenin is necessary for vegetal plate specification and is also sufficient for endoderm formation. In addition, we show that β-catenin has pronounced effects on animal blastomeres and is critical for specification of aboral ectoderm and for ectoderm patterning, presumably via a noncell-autonomous mechanism. These results support a model in which a Wnt-like signal released by vegetal cells patterns the early embryo along the animal–vegetal axis. Our results also reveal similarities between the sea urchin animal–vegetal axis and the vertebrate dorsal–ventral axis, suggesting that these axes share a common evolutionary origin. PMID:9689082

  6. Neurogenesis in sea urchin embryos and the diversity of deuterostome neurogenic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Garner, Sarah; Zysk, Ivona; Byrne, Glynis; Kramer, Marabeth; Moller, Daniel; Taylor, Valerie; Burke, Robert D

    2016-01-15

    A single origin to the diverse mechanisms of metazoan neurogenesis is suggested by the involvement of common signaling components and similar classes of transcription factors. However, in many forms we lack details of where neurons arise, patterns of cell division, and specific differentiation pathway components. The sea urchin larval nervous system is composed of an apical organ, which develops from neuroepithelium and functions as a central nervous system, and peripheral neurons, which differentiate in the ciliary band and project axons to the apical organ. To reveal developmental mechanisms of neurogenesis in this basal deuterostome, we developed antibodies to SoxC, SoxB2, ELAV and Brn1/2/4 and used neurons that develop at specific locations to establish a timeline for neurogenesis. Neural progenitors express, in turn, SoxB2, SoxC, and Brn1/2/4, before projecting neurites and expressing ELAV and SynB. Using pulse-chase labeling of cells with a thymidine analog to identify cells in S-phase, we establish that neurons identified by location are in their last mitotic cycle at the time of hatching, and S-phase is coincident with expression of SoxC. The number of cells expressing SoxC and differentiating as neurons is reduced in embryos injected with antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to SoxC, SoxB2 or Six3. Injection of RNA encoding SoxC into eggs does not enhance neurogenesis. In addition, inhibition of FGF receptors (SU5402) or a morpholino to FGFR1 reduces expression of SoxC. These data indicate that there are common features of neurogenesis in deuterostomes, and that sea urchins employ developmental mechanisms that are distinct from other ambulacraria.

  7. ABCC5 is required for cAMP-mediated hindgut invagination in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Shipp, Lauren E; Hill, Rose Z; Moy, Gary W; Gökırmak, Tufan; Hamdoun, Amro

    2015-10-15

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are evolutionarily conserved proteins that pump diverse substrates across membranes. Many are known to efflux signaling molecules and are extensively expressed during development. However, the role of transporters in moving extracellular signals that regulate embryogenesis is largely unexplored. Here, we show that a mesodermal ABCC (MRP) transporter is necessary for endodermal gut morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos. This transporter, Sp-ABCC5a (C5a), is expressed in pigment cells and their precursors, which are a subset of the non-skeletogenic mesoderm (NSM) cells. C5a expression depends on Delta/Notch signaling from skeletogenic mesoderm and is downstream of Gcm in the aboral NSM gene regulatory network. Long-term imaging of development reveals that C5a knockdown embryos gastrulate, but ∼90% develop a prolapse of the hindgut by the late prism stage (∼8 h after C5a protein expression normally peaks). Since C5a orthologs efflux cyclic nucleotides, and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (Sp-CAPK/PKA) is expressed in pigment cells, we examined whether C5a could be involved in gastrulation through cAMP transport. Consistent with this hypothesis, membrane-permeable pCPT-cAMP rescues the prolapse phenotype in C5a knockdown embryos, and causes archenteron hyper-invagination in control embryos. In addition, the cAMP-producing enzyme soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is expressed in pigment cells, and its inhibition impairs gastrulation. Together, our data support a model in which C5a transports sAC-derived cAMP from pigment cells to control late invagination of the hindgut. Little is known about the ancestral functions of ABCC5/MRP5 transporters, and this study reveals a novel role for these proteins in mesoderm-endoderm signaling during embryogenesis.

  8. ABCC5 is required for cAMP-mediated hindgut invagination in sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    Shipp, Lauren E.; Hill, Rose Z.; Moy, Gary W.; Gökırmak, Tufan; Hamdoun, Amro

    2015-01-01

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are evolutionarily conserved proteins that pump diverse substrates across membranes. Many are known to efflux signaling molecules and are extensively expressed during development. However, the role of transporters in moving extracellular signals that regulate embryogenesis is largely unexplored. Here, we show that a mesodermal ABCC (MRP) transporter is necessary for endodermal gut morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos. This transporter, Sp-ABCC5a (C5a), is expressed in pigment cells and their precursors, which are a subset of the non-skeletogenic mesoderm (NSM) cells. C5a expression depends on Delta/Notch signaling from skeletogenic mesoderm and is downstream of Gcm in the aboral NSM gene regulatory network. Long-term imaging of development reveals that C5a knockdown embryos gastrulate, but ∼90% develop a prolapse of the hindgut by the late prism stage (∼8 h after C5a protein expression normally peaks). Since C5a orthologs efflux cyclic nucleotides, and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (Sp-CAPK/PKA) is expressed in pigment cells, we examined whether C5a could be involved in gastrulation through cAMP transport. Consistent with this hypothesis, membrane-permeable pCPT-cAMP rescues the prolapse phenotype in C5a knockdown embryos, and causes archenteron hyper-invagination in control embryos. In addition, the cAMP-producing enzyme soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is expressed in pigment cells, and its inhibition impairs gastrulation. Together, our data support a model in which C5a transports sAC-derived cAMP from pigment cells to control late invagination of the hindgut. Little is known about the ancestral functions of ABCC5/MRP5 transporters, and this study reveals a novel role for these proteins in mesoderm-endoderm signaling during embryogenesis. PMID:26395488

  9. Cellular control over spicule formation in sea urchin embryos: A structural approach.

    PubMed

    Beniash, E; Addadi, L; Weiner, S

    1999-03-01

    The spicules of the sea urchin embryo form in intracellular membrane-delineated compartments. Each spicule is composed of a single crystal of calcite and amorphous calcium carbonate. The latter transforms with time into calcite by overgrowth of the preexisting crystal. Relationships between the membrane surrounding the spiculogenic compartment and the spicule mineral phase were studied in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) using freeze-fracture. In all the replicas observed the spicules were tightly surrounded by the membrane. Furthermore, a variety of structures that are related to the material exchange process across the membrane were observed. The spiculogenic cells were separated from other cell types of the embryo, frozen, and freeze-dried on the TEM grids. The contents of electron-dense granules in the spiculogenic cells were shown by electron diffraction to be composed of amorphous calcium carbonate. These observations are consistent with the notion that the amorphous calcium carbonate-containing granules contain the precursor mineral phase for spicule formation and that the membrane surrounding the forming spicule is involved both in transport of material and in controlling spicule mineralization.

  10. Early asymmetric cues triggering the dorsal/ventral gene regulatory network of the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Cavalieri, Vincenzo; Spinelli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Dorsal/ventral (DV) patterning of the sea urchin embryo relies on a ventrally-localized organizer expressing Nodal, a pivotal regulator of the DV gene regulatory network. However, the inceptive mechanisms imposing the symmetry-breaking are incompletely understood. In Paracentrotus lividus, the Hbox12 homeodomain-containing repressor is expressed by prospective dorsal cells, spatially facing and preceding the onset of nodal transcription. We report that Hbox12 misexpression provokes DV abnormalities, attenuating nodal and nodal-dependent transcription. Reciprocally, impairing hbox12 function disrupts DV polarity by allowing ectopic expression of nodal. Clonal loss-of-function, inflicted by blastomere transplantation or gene-transfer assays, highlights that DV polarization requires Hbox12 action in dorsal cells. Remarkably, the localized knock-down of nodal restores DV polarity of embryos lacking hbox12 function. Finally, we show that hbox12 is a dorsal-specific negative modulator of the p38-MAPK activity, which is required for nodal expression. Altogether, our results suggest that Hbox12 function is essential for proper positioning of the DV organizer. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04664.001 PMID:25457050

  11. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons disrupt axial development in sea urchin embryos through a beta-catenin dependent pathway.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Murali C; Vines, Carol A; Wikramanayake, Athula H; Cherr, Gary N

    2003-04-15

    Sea urchin (Lytechinus anemesis) embryos were used as an experimental system to investigate the mechanisms of the developmental toxicity of creosote, one of the most widely used wood preserving chemicals, as well as some of its polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) constituents (phenanthrene, fluoranthene, fluorene, pyrene and quinoline). Data suggest that creosote and PAHs affect axial development and patterning in sea urchin embryos by disrupting the regulation of beta-catenin, a crucial transcriptional co-activator of specific target genes in the Wnt/wg signaling pathway. When ciliated blastula stage embryos were exposed to these compounds, they developed into exogastrulae with completely evaginated archentera, demonstrating that these chemicals disrupt axial development and patterning. This response occurred in a dose-dependent fashion, with the EC(50) of creosote for complete exogastrulation being 1.57 ppm, while the EC(50)s of the PAHs ranged from 0.41 ppm (2.0 microM) to 4.33 ppm (33.5 microM). Morphologically, the exogastrulae that developed from embryos exposed to creosote and PAHs appeared to be identical to those that resulted from exposure to lithium chloride, a classical agent known to induce vegetalization and exogastrulation in sea urchin embryos. Immunological studies using antibodies against beta-catenin, a multi-functional protein known to be involved in cell-cell adhesion and cell fate specification during embryonic development, revealed high levels of nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin by cells of creosote- and PAH-exposed embryos, irrespective of their positions in the developing embryo. Dissociated embryonic cells cultured in the presence of these agents rapidly responded in a similar fashion. Since beta-catenin accumulation occurs in nuclei of several types of cancer cells, it is possible this may be a general mechanism by which PAHs affect a variety of different cell types.

  12. Diatom-derived oxylipins induce cell death in sea urchin embryos activating caspase-8 and caspase 3/7.

    PubMed

    Ruocco, Nadia; Varrella, Stefano; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G; Somma, Domenico; Leonardi, Antonio; Mellone, Stefano; Zuppa, Antonio; Costantini, Maria

    2016-07-01

    Diatoms are an important class of unicellular algae that produce bioactive secondary metabolites with cytotoxic activity collectively termed oxylipins, including polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs), hydroxyacids (HEPEs), oxo-acids and epoxyalcohols. Previous results showed that at higher concentrations, the PUA decadienal induced apoptosis on copepods and sea urchin embryos via caspase-3 activation; at lower concentrations decadienal affected the expression levels of the caspase-8 gene in embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. In the present work, we studied the effects of other common oxylipins produced by diatoms: two PUAs (heptadienal and octadienal) and four hydroxyacids (5-, 9- 11- and 15-HEPE) on P. lividus cell death and caspase activities. Our results showed that (i) at higher concentrations PUAs and HEPEs induced apoptosis in sea urchin embryos, detected by microscopic observation and through the activation of caspase-3/7 and caspase-8 measured by luminescent assays; (ii) at low concentrations, PUAs and HEPEs affected the expression levels of caspase-8 and caspase-3/7 (isolated for the first time here in P. lividus) genes, detected by Real Time qPCR. These findings have interesting implications from the ecological point of view, given the importance of diatom blooms in nutrient-rich aquatic environments.

  13. Autophagy as a defense strategy against stress: focus on Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin embryos exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    Chiarelli, Roberto; Martino, Chiara; Agnello, Maria; Bosco, Liana; Roccheri, Maria Carmela

    2016-01-01

    Autophagy is used by organisms as a defense strategy to face environmental stress. This mechanism has been described as one of the most important intracellular pathways responsible for the degradation and recycling of proteins and organelles. It can act as a cell survival mechanism if the cellular damage is not too extensive or as a cell death mechanism if the damage/stress is irreversible; in the latter case, it can operate as an independent pathway or together with the apoptotic one. In this review, we discuss the autophagic process activated in several aquatic organisms exposed to different types of environmental stressors, focusing on the sea urchin embryo, a suitable system recently included into the guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays to monitor autophagy. After cadmium (Cd) exposure, a heavy metal recognized as an environmental toxicant, the sea urchin embryo is able to adopt different defense mechanisms, in a hierarchical way. Among these, autophagy is one of the main responses activated to preserve the developmental program. Finally, we discuss the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis in the sea urchin embryo, a temporal and functional choice that depends on the intensity of stress conditions.

  14. microRNA-31 modulates skeletal patterning in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Stepicheva, Nadezda A.; Song, Jia L.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that repress the translation and reduce the stability of target mRNAs in animal cells. microRNA-31 (miR-31) is known to play a role in cancer, bone formation and lymphatic development. However, studies to understand the function of miR-31 in embryogenesis have been limited. We examined the regulatory role of miR-31 in early development using the sea urchin as a model. miR-31 is expressed at all stages of development and its knockdown (KD) disrupts the patterning and function of primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs), which form the embryonic skeleton spicules. We identified that miR-31 directly represses Pmar1, Alx1, Snail and VegfR7 within the PMC gene regulatory network using reporter constructs. Further, blocking the miR-31-mediated repression of Alx1 and/or VegfR7 in the developing embryo resulted in defects in PMC patterning and skeletogenesis. The majority of the mislocalized PMCs in miR-31 KD embryos did not express VegfR10, indicating that miR-31 regulates VegfR gene expression within PMCs. In addition, miR-31 indirectly suppresses Vegf3 expression in the ectoderm. These results indicate that miR-31 coordinately suppresses genes within the PMCs and in the ectoderm to impact PMC patterning and skeletogenesis. This study identifies the novel function and molecular mechanism of miR-31-mediated regulation in the developing embryo. PMID:26400092

  15. Differential toxicity of three polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in developing sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, L.E.; Suffet, I.H.; Hose, J.E.; Bay, S.M.

    1997-07-01

    The relationship between body burden and toxicity of three individual polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in developing sea urchin embryos was investigated to evaluate the validity of current predictive models of PCB toxicity in an invertebrate system. Body burdens of radiolabeled PCB congeners (IUPAC-47, 77, and 153) accumulated from a seawater were used to determine median effective concentrations (EC50s) for developmental and cytogenetic effects following a 72-h exposure. Congener 47, a di-ortho-substituted tetrachlorobiphenyl, was found to be at least four times more toxic than congener 77, a non-ortho-substituted (coplanar) tetrachlorobiphenyl, with EC50s of 47 and >218 mmol/kg, respectively, using an embryo development assay. This result contradicts the structure-activity prediction of the mammalian-based toxic equivalents (TEQs) approach, demonstrating the need for an ecotoxicologic model. Congener 153, a di-ortho-substituted hexachlorobiphenyl, was virtually nontoxic in terms of developmental effects at the highest dose achievable at its limit of water solubility. Cytogenetic analysis was a more sensitive method for assessing toxicity than the embryo development assay. Dose-response relationships were established with mitotic activity being the most sensitive endpoint because the PCBs appeared to inhibit mitosis. At the highest doses, complete mitotic arrest was observed. Congener 77 was found to be at least two times more toxic than congener 153 but not as toxic as congener 47 using mitotic activity as the endpoint for toxicity. Thus, the developmental and cytogenetic endpoints ranked the toxicity of the congeners similarly, but established different EC50s.

  16. Subequatorial cytoplasm plays an important role in ectoderm patterning in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Kominami, Tetsuya; Akagawa, Megumi; Takata, Hiromi

    2006-02-01

    To gain information on the process of ectoderm patterning, the animal halves of sea urchin embryos were isolated at various stages, and their morphology was examined when control embryos developed into pluteus larvae. The animal halves separated at the 8-cell stage developed into 'dauerblastula', without showing any conspicuous ectoderm differentiation. In contrast, some of the animal halves isolated at the 60-cell stage (after the sixth cleavage) formed a ciliated band and oral opening, suggesting that some patterning signal was transmitted from the vegetal to animal hemisphere during early cleavage. Further patterning of the animal hemisphere did not seem to occur until hatching, since both the animal halves isolated at the 60-cell stage and hatching stage showed the same degree of ectoderm patterning. After hatching, the later animal halves were isolated, the more patterned ectoderm they formed. The animal halves isolated just prior to gastrulation differentiated well-patterned ectoderm. It is of note, however, that the level of separation was a more crucial factor than the timing of separation; even the animal fragments of newly hatched embryos differentiated well-patterned ectoderm if they had been separated at a subequatorial level. This suggests that the signal for ectoderm patterning is transmitted over the equator after hatching, and once the cells in the supra-equatorial region receive the signal, they, in turn, can transmit the signal upwardly. Interestingly, if the third cleavage plane was shifted toward the vegetal pole, the isolated animal pole-side fragments developed into 'embryoids' with fully patterned ectoderm. These results indicate that not the micromere descendants but the subequatorial cytoplasm plays an important role in ectoderm patterning.

  17. microRNA-31 modulates skeletal patterning in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Stepicheva, Nadezda A; Song, Jia L

    2015-11-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that repress the translation and reduce the stability of target mRNAs in animal cells. microRNA-31 (miR-31) is known to play a role in cancer, bone formation and lymphatic development. However, studies to understand the function of miR-31 in embryogenesis have been limited. We examined the regulatory role of miR-31 in early development using the sea urchin as a model. miR-31 is expressed at all stages of development and its knockdown (KD) disrupts the patterning and function of primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs), which form the embryonic skeleton spicules. We identified that miR-31 directly represses Pmar1, Alx1, Snail and VegfR7 within the PMC gene regulatory network using reporter constructs. Further, blocking the miR-31-mediated repression of Alx1 and/or VegfR7 in the developing embryo resulted in defects in PMC patterning and skeletogenesis. The majority of the mislocalized PMCs in miR-31 KD embryos did not express VegfR10, indicating that miR-31 regulates VegfR gene expression within PMCs. In addition, miR-31 indirectly suppresses Vegf3 expression in the ectoderm. These results indicate that miR-31 coordinately suppresses genes within the PMCs and in the ectoderm to impact PMC patterning and skeletogenesis. This study identifies the novel function and molecular mechanism of miR-31-mediated regulation in the developing embryo.

  18. Cis-Regulatory Control of the Nuclear Receptor Coup-TF Gene in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Kalampoki, Lamprini G.; Flytzanis, Constantin N.

    2014-01-01

    Coup-TF, an orphan member of the nuclear receptor super family, has a fundamental role in the development of metazoan embryos. The study of the gene's regulatory circuit in the sea urchin embryo will facilitate the placement of this transcription factor in the well-studied embryonic Gene Regulatory Network (GRN). The Paracentrotus lividus Coup-TF gene (PlCoup-TF) is expressed throughout embryonic development preferentially in the oral ectoderm of the gastrula and the ciliary band of the pluteus stage. Two overlapping λ genomic clones, containing three exons and upstream sequences of PlCoup-TF, were isolated from a genomic library. The transcription initiation site was determined and 5′ deletions and individual segments of a 1930 bp upstream region were placed ahead of a GFP reporter cassette and injected into fertilized P.lividus eggs. Module a (−532 to −232), was necessary and sufficient to confer ciliary band expression to the reporter. Comparison of P.lividus and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus upstream Coup-TF sequences, revealed considerable conservation, but none within module a. 5′ and internal deletions into module a, defined a smaller region that confers ciliary band specific expression. Putative regulatory cis-acting elements (RE1, RE2 and RE3) within module a, were specifically bound by proteins in sea urchin embryonic nuclear extracts. Site-specific mutagenesis of these elements resulted in loss of reporter activity (RE1) or ectopic expression (RE2, RE3). It is proposed that sea urchin transcription factors, which bind these three regulatory sites, are necessary for spatial and quantitative regulation of the PlCoup-TF gene at pluteus stage sea urchin embryos. These findings lead to the future identification of these factors and to the hierarchical positioning of PlCoup-TF within the embryonic GRN. PMID:25386650

  19. Cis-regulatory control of the nuclear receptor Coup-TF gene in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryo.

    PubMed

    Kalampoki, Lamprini G; Flytzanis, Constantin N

    2014-01-01

    Coup-TF, an orphan member of the nuclear receptor super family, has a fundamental role in the development of metazoan embryos. The study of the gene's regulatory circuit in the sea urchin embryo will facilitate the placement of this transcription factor in the well-studied embryonic Gene Regulatory Network (GRN). The Paracentrotus lividus Coup-TF gene (PlCoup-TF) is expressed throughout embryonic development preferentially in the oral ectoderm of the gastrula and the ciliary band of the pluteus stage. Two overlapping λ genomic clones, containing three exons and upstream sequences of PlCoup-TF, were isolated from a genomic library. The transcription initiation site was determined and 5' deletions and individual segments of a 1930 bp upstream region were placed ahead of a GFP reporter cassette and injected into fertilized P.lividus eggs. Module a (-532 to -232), was necessary and sufficient to confer ciliary band expression to the reporter. Comparison of P.lividus and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus upstream Coup-TF sequences, revealed considerable conservation, but none within module a. 5' and internal deletions into module a, defined a smaller region that confers ciliary band specific expression. Putative regulatory cis-acting elements (RE1, RE2 and RE3) within module a, were specifically bound by proteins in sea urchin embryonic nuclear extracts. Site-specific mutagenesis of these elements resulted in loss of reporter activity (RE1) or ectopic expression (RE2, RE3). It is proposed that sea urchin transcription factors, which bind these three regulatory sites, are necessary for spatial and quantitative regulation of the PlCoup-TF gene at pluteus stage sea urchin embryos. These findings lead to the future identification of these factors and to the hierarchical positioning of PlCoup-TF within the embryonic GRN.

  20. Signal transduction pathways that contribute to CDK1/cyclin B activation during the first mitotic division in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Salaün, Patrick; Le Breton, Magali; Morales, Julia; Bellé, Robert; Boulben, Sandrine; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Cormier, Patrick

    2004-06-10

    In sea urchins, fertilization triggers a rapid rise in protein synthesis necessary for activation of CDK1/cyclin B, the universal cell cycle regulator. It has been shown that FRAP/mTOR is required for eIF4E release from the translational repressor 4E-BP, a process that occurs upstream of de novo cyclin B synthesis. Here, we investigate whether PI 3-kinase acts independently or upstream from FRAP/mTOR in the signal transduction pathway that links fertilization to the activation of the CDK1/cyclin B complex in sea urchin egg. We found that wortmannin, a potent inhibitor of PI 3-kinase, partially inhibited the global increase in protein synthesis triggered by fertilization. Furthermore, wortmannin treatment induced partial inhibition of cyclin B translation triggered by fertilization, in correlation with an intermediate effect of the drug on 4E-BP degradation and on the dissociation of the 4E-BP/eIF4E complex induced by fertilization. Our results presented here suggest that PI 3-kinase activity is required for completion of mitotic divisions of the sea urchin embryo. Incubation of eggs with wortmannin or microinjection of wortmannin or LY 294002 affects drastically mitotic divisions induced by fertilization. In addition, we found that wortmannin treatment inhibits dephosphorylation of the tyrosine inhibitory site of CDK1. Taken together, these data suggest that PI 3-kinase acts upstream of at least two independent targets that function in the CDK1/cyclin B activation triggered by fertilization of sea urchin oocytes. We discuss the significance of these results concerning the cascade of reactions that impinge upon the activation of the CDK1/cyclin B complex that follows sea urchin oocyte fertilization.

  1. New insights into negative effects of lithium on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos

    PubMed Central

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Maria; Santella, Luigia

    2016-01-01

    The diffuse use of lithium in a number of industrial processes has produced a significant contamination of groundwater and surface water with it. The increased use of lithium has generated only scarce studies on its concentrations in ambient waters and on its effects on aquatic organisms. Only few contributions have focused on the toxicity of lithium in marine organisms (such as marine animals, algae and vegetables), showing that the toxic effect depends on the animal species. In the present study we describe the morphological and the molecular effects of lithium chloride (LiCl), using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that LiCl, if added to the eggs before fertilization, induces malformations in the embryos in a dose-dependent manner. We have also followed by RT qPCR the expression levels of thirty seven genes (belonging to different classes of functional processes, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxifications) to identify the molecular targets of LiCl. This study opens new perspectives for the understanding of the mechanism of action of lithium on marine organisms. The findings may also have relevance outside the world of marine organisms since lithium is widely prescribed for the treatment of human bipolar disorders. PMID:27562248

  2. Multidrug efflux transporters limit accumulation of inorganic, but not organic, mercury in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Bosnjak, Ivana; Uhlinger, Kevin R; Heim, Wesley; Smital, Tvrtko; Franekić-Colić, Jasna; Coale, Kenneth; Epel, David; Hamdoun, Amro

    2009-11-01

    Mercuric compounds are persistent global pollutants that accumulate in marine organisms and in humans who consume them. While the chemical cycles and speciation of mercury in the oceans are relatively well described, the cellular mechanisms that govern which forms of mercury accumulate in cells and why they persist are less understood. In this study we examined the role of multidrug efflux transport in the differential accumulation of inorganic (HgCl(2)) and organic (CH(3)HgCl) mercury in sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos. We found that inhibition of MRP/ABCC-type transporters increases intracellular accumulation of inorganic mercury but had no effect on accumulation of organic mercury. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of metal conjugating enzymes by ligands GST/GSH significantly increases this antimitotic potency of inorganic mercury, but had no effect on the potency of organic mercury. Our results point to MRP-mediated elimination of inorganic mercury conjugates as a cellular basis for differences in the accumulation and potency of the two major forms of mercury found in marine environments.

  3. New insights into negative effects of lithium on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos.

    PubMed

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Maria; Santella, Luigia

    2016-08-26

    The diffuse use of lithium in a number of industrial processes has produced a significant contamination of groundwater and surface water with it. The increased use of lithium has generated only scarce studies on its concentrations in ambient waters and on its effects on aquatic organisms. Only few contributions have focused on the toxicity of lithium in marine organisms (such as marine animals, algae and vegetables), showing that the toxic effect depends on the animal species. In the present study we describe the morphological and the molecular effects of lithium chloride (LiCl), using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that LiCl, if added to the eggs before fertilization, induces malformations in the embryos in a dose-dependent manner. We have also followed by RT qPCR the expression levels of thirty seven genes (belonging to different classes of functional processes, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxifications) to identify the molecular targets of LiCl. This study opens new perspectives for the understanding of the mechanism of action of lithium on marine organisms. The findings may also have relevance outside the world of marine organisms since lithium is widely prescribed for the treatment of human bipolar disorders.

  4. Effect of phenol on embryo development and expression of metallothionein in the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Un-Ki; Lee, Ju-Wook; Ryu, Hyang-Mi; Kang, Ju-Chan; Kang, Han Seung

    2015-12-01

    In this study, we identified and cloned the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus MT (Hp-MT) mRNA. We examined the gameto- and embryo-toxic effects and the expression of Hp-MT mRNA at various concentrations of phenol in H. pulcherrimus. We found that the normal embryogenesis rate was significantly inhibited when H. pulcherrimus was exposed to phenol (EC50 = 1565.86 ppb, 95% Cl = 1183.47-2037.84 ppb). The no observed effective concentration (NOEC) and the lowest observed effective concentration (LOEC) of the normal embryogenesis rate were < 10 ppb and 100 ppb, respectively. Hp-MT cDNA is 651 bp in length and encodes a protein of 64 amino acids. We found that the expression of Hp-MT mRNA was significantly increased with phenol treatment in a concentrationdependent manner. These results suggest that phenol at greater than 100 ppb has a toxic effect during the early embryonic stages of H. pulcherrimus, and MT mRNA may be used as a biomarker for risk assessment of phenol contamination.

  5. Toxicity of spill-treating agents and oil to sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Vázquez, José A; Murado, Miguel A

    2014-02-15

    The aim of this study was to assess the joint toxicity of a Maya crude oil and four spill-treating agents (STAs) (CytoSol, Finasol OSR51, Agma OSD569 and OD4000). The acute toxicity of the binary mixtures of the water accommodated fractions (WAFs) obtained independently for the oil and each STA was assessed. The toxicity of the chemically enhanced WAF (CEWAF) of oil and Finasol OSR51 at several dispersant to oil ratios (1:2, 1:10 and 1:100) was also evaluated. The toxicity (EC50) obtained for the WAFs of the STAs was: CytoSol (15.1 mL/L)sea urchin embryo toward the dispersant.

  6. Toxicity of binary mixtures of oil fractions to sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Vázquez, José A; Menduiña, Araceli; García, Ana M; González, M Pilar; Mirón, Jesús; Murado, Miguel A

    2013-12-15

    The assumption of additive toxicity for oil compounds is related to a narcotic mode of action. However, the joint toxicity of oil fractions has not been fully investigated. A fractionation of Maya crude oil into aliphatics, aromatics and polars was performed, fractions were dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and subsequently toxicity of single fractions and binary mixtures was assessed using the sea urchin embryo test. The descriptive ability of Concentration Addition (CA), Independent Action (IA) and modifications of both models for describing the joint toxicity of mixtures has also been evaluated. The hydrocarbon content extractable with dichloromethane of the fractions dissolved in DMSO was: 12.0 ± 1.8 mg mL(-1), 39.0 ± 0.5 mg mL(-1) and 20.5 ± 2.5 mg mL(-1) for aliphatics, aromatics and polars, respectively. The toxicity of the extracts in DMSO of the fractions as EC50 (μLL(-1)) was: aliphatics (165.8-242.3)

  7. New insights into negative effects of lithium on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Maria; Santella, Luigia

    2016-08-01

    The diffuse use of lithium in a number of industrial processes has produced a significant contamination of groundwater and surface water with it. The increased use of lithium has generated only scarce studies on its concentrations in ambient waters and on its effects on aquatic organisms. Only few contributions have focused on the toxicity of lithium in marine organisms (such as marine animals, algae and vegetables), showing that the toxic effect depends on the animal species. In the present study we describe the morphological and the molecular effects of lithium chloride (LiCl), using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that LiCl, if added to the eggs before fertilization, induces malformations in the embryos in a dose-dependent manner. We have also followed by RT qPCR the expression levels of thirty seven genes (belonging to different classes of functional processes, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxifications) to identify the molecular targets of LiCl. This study opens new perspectives for the understanding of the mechanism of action of lithium on marine organisms. The findings may also have relevance outside the world of marine organisms since lithium is widely prescribed for the treatment of human bipolar disorders.

  8. Geometric control of ciliated band regulatory states in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Barsi, Julius C; Li, Enhu; Davidson, Eric H

    2015-03-01

    The trapezoidal ciliated band (CB) of the postgastrular sea urchin embryo surrounds the oral ectoderm, separating it from adjacent embryonic territories. Once differentiated, the CB is composed of densely arranged cells bearing long cilia that endow the larva with locomotion and feeding capability. The spatial pattern from which the CB will arise is first evidenced during pregastrular stages by expression of the pioneer gene onecut. Immediately after gastrulation, the CB consists of four separate regulatory state domains, each of which expresses a unique set of transcription factors: (1) the oral apical CB, located within the apical neurogenic field; (2) the animal lateral CB, which bilaterally separates the oral from aboral ectoderm; (3) the vegetal lateral CB, which bilaterally serves as signaling centers; and (4) the vegetal oral CB, which delineates the boundary with the underlying endoderm. Remarkably, almost all of the regulatory genes specifically expressed within these domains are downregulated by interference with SoxB1 expression, implying their common activation by this factor. Here, we show how the boundaries of the CB subdomains are established, and thus ascertain the design principle by which the geometry of this unique and complex regulatory state pattern is genomically controlled. Each of these boundaries, on either side of the CB, is defined by spatially confined transcriptional repressors, the products of regulatory genes operating across the border of each subdomain. In total this requires deployment of about ten different repressors, which we identify in this work, thus exemplifying the complexity of information required for spatial regulatory organization during embryogenesis.

  9. Cloning and characterization of alphaP integrin in embryos of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Susan, J M; Just, M L; Lennarz, W J

    2000-06-16

    Differentially expressed integrins have been shown to be involved in the intricate cell movements that occur during early development. Because the migration and movement of cells have been well characterized in sea urchin embryos, we searched for alpha-integrin subunits in this organism. An alpha integrin subunit, alphaP, was cloned from Strongylocentrotus purpuratus mesenchyme blastula stage mRNA by RT-PCR and RACE and found to exhibit 74-77% sequence similarity to mammalian alpha(5), alpha(8), alpha(IIb), and alpha(v) integrin. The 8-kb transcript was most abundant at the prism stage, although low levels could be detected at all stages by Northern blot analysis and RT-PCR. A polyclonal antibody to this novel integrin was generated against a 100-amino-acid alphaP fragment fused to glutathione S-transferase and shown to recognize a 180-kDa alpha-integrin in the egg and in all stages of embryogenesis studied.

  10. The organic matrix of the skeletal spicule of sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    The micromeres that arise at the fourth cell division in developing sea urchin embryos give rise to primary mesenchyme, which in turn differentiates and produces calcareous endoskeletal spicules. These spicules have been isolated and purified from pluteus larvae by washing in combinations of ionic and nonionic detergents followed by brief exposure to sodium hypochlorite. The spicules may be demineralized and the integral matrix dissolves. The matrix is composed of a limited number of glycoproteins rich in aspx, glux, gly, ser, and ala, a composition not unlike that found in matrix proteins of biomineralized tissues of molluscs, sponges, and arthropods. There is no evidence for collagen as a component of the matrix. The matrix contains N-linked glycoproteins of the complex type. The matrix arises primarily from proteins synthesized from late gastrulation onward, during the time that spicule deposition occurs. The mixture of proteins binds calcium and is an effective immunogen. Electrophoresis of the glycoproteins on SDS-containing acrylamide gels, followed by blotting and immunocytochemical detection, reveals major components of approximately 47, 50, 57, and 64 kD, and several minor components. These same components may be detected with silver staining or fluorography of amino acid-labeled proteins. In addition to providing convenient molecular marker for the study of the development of the micromere lineage, the spicule matrix glycoproteins provide an interesting system for investigations in biomineralization. PMID:3517009

  11. Telomere-interactive agents affect proliferation rates and induce chromosomal destabilization in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Izbicka, E; Nishioka, D; Marcell, V; Raymond, E; Davidson, K K; Lawrence, R A; Wheelhouse, R T; Hurley, L H; Wu, R S; Von Hoff, D D

    1999-08-01

    Cationic porphyrins, which interact with guanine quadruplex (G4) telomeric folds, inhibit telomerase activity in human tumor cells. In this study, we have further examined effects of porphyrins and other telomere- and telomerase-interactive agents on proliferation rates and chromosome stability in a novel in vivo model, developing sea urchin embryos. We studied two porphyrins: (i) TMPyP4, a potent telomerase inhibitor; and (ii) TMPyP2, an isomer of TMPyP4 and an inefficient telomerase inhibitor, azidothymine (AZT), the reverse transcriptase inhibitor, antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotide to telomerase RNA (TAG6) and a control scrambled sequence (ODN). TMPyP4, AZT and TAG6 (but not TMPyP2 or ODN) decreased the rates of cell proliferation and increased the percentage of cells trapped in mitosis. Nuclear localization of TAG6, but not of ODN, was demonstrated with 5'-fluoresceinated analogs of TAG6 and ODN. Formation of elongated chromosomes incapable of separating in anaphase, induced by TMPyP4, AZT and TAG6, closely resembled phenotypes resulting from telomerase template mutation or dominant negative TRF2 allele. Our data suggest that G4-interactive agents exert their antiproliferative effects via chromosomal destabilization and warrant their further development as valuable anticancer tools.

  12. SpKrl: a direct target of beta-catenin regulation required for endoderm differentiation in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Howard, E W; Newman, L A; Oleksyn, D W; Angerer, R C; Angerer, L M

    2001-02-01

    Localization of nuclear beta-catenin initiates specification of vegetal fates in sea urchin embryos. We have identified SpKrl, a gene that is activated upon nuclear entry of beta-catenin. SpKrl is upregulated when nuclear beta-catenin activity is increased with LiCl and downregulated in embryos injected with molecules that inhibit beta-catenin nuclear function. LiCl-mediated SpKrl activation is independent of protein synthesis, indicating that SpKrl is a direct target of beat-catenin and TCF. Embryos in which SpKrl translation is inhibited with morpholino antisense oligonucleotides lack endoderm. Conversely, SpKrl mRNA injection rescues some vegetal structures in beta-catenin-deficient embryos. SpKrl negatively regulates expression of the animalizing transcription factor, SpSoxB1. We propose that SpKrl functions in patterning the vegetal domain by suppressing animal regulatory activities.

  13. Assessment of the toxic effect exerted by fluorescent pseudomonads on embryos and larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus.

    PubMed

    Beleneva, I A; Shamshurina, E V; Eliseikina, M G

    2015-05-01

    Strains of bacteria capable of growing on artificial culture media were isolated from the fouling of brass plates submerged in Nha Trang Bay, South China Sea, and from tissues of the seastar Distolasterias nipon, caught in Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan. According to the complex of data of genetic and physiological/biochemical analyzes, two strains of cultivated bacteria were identified by us as the species Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two strains as Pseudomonas fluorescens, and one strain as Ruegeria sp. It was shown that the cultivated strains of P. aeruginosa released exotoxins, particularly phenazine pigments, into the environment. Production of the toxins did not depend on presence of a target organism in the system and was aimed at regulation of interactions in the microbial community. The toxicity of the studied natural isolates of fluorescent pseudomonads was analyzed by using embryos and larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus, which are the sensitive and dynamic toxicological sea-urchin embryo test (SET) system. As was established, exotoxins produced by the strains of P. aeruginosa inhibit activity of cilia in sea urchin larvae, as well as disturb processes of cell differentiation in embryos and larvae. Their toxic influence is accompanied by disturbances of protein synthesis and the disruptions of cytoskeleton in the course of zygote cleavage and larval development. Unlike P. aeruginosa, the strains of P. fluorescens and Ruegeria sp. did not exert the toxic effect on SET. The obtained data allow considering objects of the environment as the natural reservoir of opportunistic microorganisms posing a potential threat to human, whereas the use of SET for determination of toxicity of isolated bacteria provides an opportunity to study the mechanisms of their interactions with organisms in marine ecosystems.

  14. Characterization of a homolog of human bone morphogenetic protein 1 in the embryo of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Hwang, S P; Partin, J S; Lennarz, W J

    1994-03-01

    A cDNA clone encoding a protein homologous to human bone morphogenetic protein 1 (huBMP1) was isolated from a sea urchin embryo cDNA library. This sea urchin gene, named suBMP, encodes a protein of M(r) of 72 x 10(3). The deduced amino acid sequence of suBMP shares 72% sequence similarity (55% identity) with that of huBMP1. Like huBMP1 it also contains an N-terminal metalloendoprotease domain that shares sequence similarity with the astacin protease from crayfish, a C-terminal domain that is similar to the repeat domain found in C1r or C1s serine proteases, and an EGF-like segment. Although suBMP mRNA was detectable at a low level in the unfertilized egg, maximal expression of mRNA was observed at hatched blastula stage, with only a modest decrease in level at later stages of development. In situ hybridization studies revealed that suBMP mRNA is found in both ectodermal and primary mesenchyme cells in hatched blastula-stage embryos. Maximal expression of suBMP was observed at mesenchyme blastula, just before the onset of primitive skeleton (spicule) formation. SuBMP was found by immunoelectronmicroscopy in all cell types in late gastrula stage embryos. The antibody gold particles appeared in small clusters in the cytoplasm, on the surface of the cells and within the blastocoel. This distribution of suBMP, coupled with the finding that it was associated with membranes but was released by sodium carbonate treatment, suggests that the protein is secreted, and subsequently associates with a cell surface component. Two models for the possible function of suBMP in spiculogenesis in the sea urchin embryo are discussed.

  15. Applied DC magnetic fields cause alterations in the time of cell divisions and developmental abnormalities in early sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, M.; Ernst, S.G.

    1997-05-01

    Most work on magnetic field effects focuses on AC fields. The present study demonstrates that exposure to medium-strength (10 mT--0.1 T) static magnetic fields can alter the early embryonic development of two species of sea urchin embryos. Batches of fertilized eggs from two species of urchin were exposed to fields produced by permanent magnets. Samples of the continuous cultures were scored for the timing of the first two cell divisions, time of hatching, and incidence of exogastrulation. It was found that static fields delay the onset of mitosis in both species by an amount dependent on the exposure timing relative to fertilization. The exposure time that caused the maximum effect differed between the two species. Thirty millitesla fields, but not 15 mT fields, caused an eightfold increase in the incidence of exogastrulation in Lytechinus pictus, whereas neither of these fields produced exogastrulation in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

  16. Geometric control of ciliated band regulatory states in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Barsi, Julius C.; Li, Enhu; Davidson, Eric H.

    2015-01-01

    The trapezoidal ciliated band (CB) of the postgastrular sea urchin embryo surrounds the oral ectoderm, separating it from adjacent embryonic territories. Once differentiated, the CB is composed of densely arranged cells bearing long cilia that endow the larva with locomotion and feeding capability. The spatial pattern from which the CB will arise is first evidenced during pregastrular stages by expression of the pioneer gene onecut. Immediately after gastrulation, the CB consists of four separate regulatory state domains, each of which expresses a unique set of transcription factors: (1) the oral apical CB, located within the apical neurogenic field; (2) the animal lateral CB, which bilaterally separates the oral from aboral ectoderm; (3) the vegetal lateral CB, which bilaterally serves as signaling centers; and (4) the vegetal oral CB, which delineates the boundary with the underlying endoderm. Remarkably, almost all of the regulatory genes specifically expressed within these domains are downregulated by interference with SoxB1 expression, implying their common activation by this factor. Here, we show how the boundaries of the CB subdomains are established, and thus ascertain the design principle by which the geometry of this unique and complex regulatory state pattern is genomically controlled. Each of these boundaries, on either side of the CB, is defined by spatially confined transcriptional repressors, the products of regulatory genes operating across the border of each subdomain. In total this requires deployment of about ten different repressors, which we identify in this work, thus exemplifying the complexity of information required for spatial regulatory organization during embryogenesis. PMID:25655703

  17. Sea Urchin Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    McClay, David R

    2016-01-01

    In the sea urchin morphogenesis follows extensive molecular specification. The specification controls the many morphogenetic events and these, in turn, precede patterning steps that establish the larval body plan. To understand how the embryo is built it was necessary to understand those series of molecular steps. Here an example of the historical sequence of those discoveries is presented as it unfolded over the last 50 years, the years during which major progress in understanding development of many animals and plants was documented by CTDB. In sea urchin development a rich series of experimental studies first established many of the phenomenological components of skeletal morphogenesis and patterning without knowledge of the molecular components. The many discoveries of transcription factors, signals, and structural proteins that contribute to the shape of the endoskeleton of the sea urchin larva then followed as molecular tools became available. A number of transcription factors and signals were discovered that were necessary for specification, morphogenesis, and patterning. Perturbation of the transcription factors and signals provided the means for assembling models of the gene regulatory networks used for specification and controlled the subsequent morphogenetic events. The earlier experimental information informed perturbation experiments that asked how patterning worked. As a consequence it was learned that ectoderm provides a series of patterning signals to the skeletogenic cells and as a consequence the skeletogenic cells secrete a highly patterned skeleton based on their ability to genotypically decode the localized reception of several signals. We still do not understand the complexity of the signals received by the skeletogenic cells, nor do we understand in detail how the genotypic information shapes the secreted skeletal biomineral, but the current knowledge at least outlines the sequence of events and provides a useful template for future

  18. Fluctuation of the CaS -sequestering activity of permeabilized sea urchin embryos during the cell cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Suprynowicz, F.A.; Mazia, D.

    1985-04-01

    The authors have followed the sequestration of CaS by intracellular compartments in sea urchin embryos through the first cell cycles. To gain biochemical access to these compartments, the embryos were permeabilized by brief exposure to an intense electric field. Sequestration was determined as the retention of tracer, UVCa, after filtration of aliquots on Millipore filters. The permeabilized cells sequester CaS at a constant rate for at least 20 min. The CaS -sequestering activities of embryos that are permeabilized at successive stages of the first cell cycle (one-cell stage) progressively increase to 5 times the initial level. The rate of sequestration is maximal during telophase and, in some populations of zygotes, is nearly as great throughout prophase. Over the course of the second cell cycle (two-cell stage), the activity undergoes a 2-fold oscillation that bears the same temporal relationship to mitosis as the previous fluctuation.

  19. Chloral hydrate alters the organization of the ciliary basal apparatus and cell organelles in sea urchin embryos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakrabarti, A.; Schatten, H.; Mitchell, K. D.; Crosser, M.; Taylor, M.

    1998-01-01

    The mitotic inhibitor, chloral hydrate, induces ciliary loss in the early embryo phase of Lytechinus pictus. It causes a breakdown of cilia at the junction of the cilium and the basal body known as the basal plate. This leaves the plasma membrane temporarily unsealed. The basal apparatus accessory structures, consisting of the basal body, basal foot, basal foot cap, striated side arm, and striated rootlet, are either misaligned or disintegrated by treatment with chloral hydrate. Furthermore, microtubules which are associated with the basal apparatus are disassembled. Mitochondria accumulate at the base of cilia - underneath the plasma membrane - and show alterations in their structural organization. The accumulation of mitochondria is observed in 40% of all electron micrograph sections while 60% show the areas mostly devoid of mitochondria. The microvilli surrounding a cilium and striated rootlet remain intact in the presence of chloral hydrate. These results suggest that deciliation in early sea urchin embryos by chloral hydrate is caused by combined effects on the ciliary membrane and on microtubules in the cilia. Furthermore, it is suggested that chloral hydrate can serve as a tool to explore the cytoskeletal mechanisms that are involved in cilia motility in the developing sea urchin embryo.

  20. Polyribosome targeting to microtubules: enrichment of specific mRNAs in a reconstituted microtubule preparation from sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    A subset of mRNAs, polyribosomes, and poly(A)-binding proteins copurify with microtubules from sea urchin embryos. Several lines of evidence indicate that the interaction of microtubules with ribosomes is specific: a distinct stalk-like structure appears to mediate their association; ribosomes bind to microtubules with a constant stoichiometry through several purification cycles; and the presence of ribosomes in these preparations depends on the presence of intact microtubules. Five specific mRNAs are enriched with the microtubule- bound ribosomes, indicating that translation of specific proteins may occur on the microtubule scaffolding in vivo. PMID:7962079

  1. Developmental abnormalities and changes in cholinesterase activity in sea urchin embryos and larvae from sperm exposed to engineered nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Gambardella, Chiara; Aluigi, Maria G; Ferrando, Sara; Gallus, Lorenzo; Ramoino, Paola; Gatti, Antonietta M; Rottigni, Marino; Falugi, Carla

    2013-04-15

    The objective of this study is to examine the toxicity of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) that are dispersed in sea water by using an in vivo model. Because many products of nanotechnology contain NPs and are commonly used and well-established in the market, the accidental release of NPs into the air and water is quite possible. Indeed, at the end of their life cycle, some NPs are inevitably released into waste water and can reach marine ecosystem and affect the organisms there. Although there are few data on the presence of NPs in the marine environment, our awareness of their potential impact on environmental and organismal health is growing. Shallow-water benthonic organisms such as sea urchins provide planktonic larvae as a trophic base for finfish juveniles and are exposed to water from estuaries and precipitation. Such organisms can therefore be directly affected by NPs that are dispersed into those media. We evaluated the effects of exposure to different concentrations of nanosilver, titanium oxide and cobalt NPs on the sperm of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus by analyzing the functionality and the morphology and biochemistry of the first developmental stages of the sea urchin. Sperm were exposed to sea water containing suspensions of NPs ranging from 0.0001 mg/L to 1 mg/L. Fertilization ability was not affected, but developmental anomalies were identified in embryos from the gastrula to pluteus stages, including morphological alterations of the skeletal rods. In addition, the enzymatic activity (cholinesterase, ChE) of the larvae was measured. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and propionylcholinesterase activity (PrChE) was affected in all of the exposed samples. The results did not vary consistently with the concentration of NP, but controls were significantly different from exposed samples. Exposure of sea urchin to these NPs may cause neurotoxic damage, and the altered ChE activity may be involved in skeletogenic aberrations. In conclusion, the sea urchin

  2. Spermidine is bound to a unique protein in early sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Canellakis, Z.N.; Bondy, P.K.; Infante, A.A.

    1985-11-01

    Spermidine is rapidly taken up and becomes bound to protein during the very early hours of sea urchin embryogenesis. During the first 6 hr after fertilization of freshly obtained sea urchin eggs (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus), which are incubated in the presence of exogenous (/sup 3/H)-spermidine, up to 7% of the total cell-associated spermidine appears uniquely as spermidine bound in macromolecular form. This unique protein containing spermidine migrates as a single radioactive band in gel electrophoresis. It has a Mr of approximately equal to 30,000 and is readily distinguishable from the protein initiation factor eIF-4D, which has a Mr of 18,000, the only other identifiable protein known to date to be posttranslationally modified by polyamines.

  3. Fatty acid profiles during gametogenesis in sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus): effects of dietary inputs on gonad, egg and embryo profiles.

    PubMed

    Carboni, Stefano; Hughes, Adam D; Atack, Tim; Tocher, Douglas R; Migaud, Herve

    2013-02-01

    The effects of dietary fatty acids on the composition of Paracentrotus lividus gonads were investigated to determine whether dietary inputs affect their relative abundance during gametogenesis. Egg and embryo FA compositions were compared with that of mature gonads to understand how maternal FA is transferred to the offspring. Urchins were fed an experimental Pellet diet in comparison to brown Kelp (Laminaria digitata). FA profiles of diets, gonads, eggs and embryos revealed the presence in gonads of FA that was absent in the diets and/or higher in contents of some long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA). Moreover, some unusual FA, such as non-methylene interrupted (NMI), was found in gonads, eggs and embryos, but not in the diets, suggesting that P. lividus may be capable of synthesizing this FA and accumulating them in the eggs. A description of gonad FA profiles during gametogenesis is reported for the first time and data suggest that eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids are accumulated during gametogenesis, while arachidonic acid is highly regulated and is the only LC-PUFA clearly accumulated into the eggs along with NMI. Further studies are required to determine if maternal provisioning of FA has the potential to influence sea urchin production outputs and to increase hatchery profitability.

  4. A provisional regulatory gene network for specification of endomesoderm in the sea urchin embryo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Eric H.; Rast, Jonathan P.; Oliveri, Paola; Ransick, Andrew; Calestani, Cristina; Yuh, Chiou-Hwa; Minokawa, Takuya; Amore, Gabriele; Hinman, Veronica; Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Otim, Ochan; Brown, C. Titus; Livi, Carolina B.; Lee, Pei Yun; Revilla, Roger; Schilstra, Maria J.; Clarke, Peter J C.; Rust, Alistair G.; Pan, Zhengjun; Arnone, Maria I.; Rowen, Lee; Cameron, R. Andrew; McClay, David R.; Hood, Leroy; Bolouri, Hamid

    2002-01-01

    We present the current form of a provisional DNA sequence-based regulatory gene network that explains in outline how endomesodermal specification in the sea urchin embryo is controlled. The model of the network is in a continuous process of revision and growth as new genes are added and new experimental results become available; see http://www.its.caltech.edu/mirsky/endomeso.htm (End-mes Gene Network Update) for the latest version. The network contains over 40 genes at present, many newly uncovered in the course of this work, and most encoding DNA-binding transcriptional regulatory factors. The architecture of the network was approached initially by construction of a logic model that integrated the extensive experimental evidence now available on endomesoderm specification. The internal linkages between genes in the network have been determined functionally, by measurement of the effects of regulatory perturbations on the expression of all relevant genes in the network. Five kinds of perturbation have been applied: (1) use of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeted to many of the key regulatory genes in the network; (2) transformation of other regulatory factors into dominant repressors by construction of Engrailed repressor domain fusions; (3) ectopic expression of given regulatory factors, from genetic expression constructs and from injected mRNAs; (4) blockade of the beta-catenin/Tcf pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the intracellular domain of cadherin; and (5) blockade of the Notch signaling pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the extracellular domain of the Notch receptor. The network model predicts the cis-regulatory inputs that link each gene into the network. Therefore, its architecture is testable by cis-regulatory analysis. Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus variegatus genomic BAC recombinants that include a large number of the genes in the network have been sequenced and annotated. Tests of the cis-regulatory predictions of

  5. Comparative toxicities of benzene, chlorobenzene, and dichlorobenzenes to sea urchin embryos and sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Pagano, G.; Cipollaro, M.; Corsale, G.; Esposito, A.; Giordano, G.G.; Ragucci, E.; Trieff, N.M.

    1988-04-01

    The leukemogenicity and myelotoxicity of benzene are well-known and the major cause of benzene's banning from most industrial applications. Various benzene derivatives such as alkylbenzenes and chlorobenzenes, however, continue to be used as chemical intermediates, solvents, pesticides, etc. in spite of incomplete knowledge of their chronic toxicity. This study was designed to obtain comparative data on developmental, genetic and reproductive toxicities of benzene (B), chlorobenzene (CB) and dichlorobenzenes (o-, m-, and p-DCB) in the sea urchin bioassay. This test system, permits observation of a number of biological endpoints on mitotic activity, embryogenesis and fertilization, and thus provides multi-parametric toxicological data on xenobiotics.

  6. Accumulation and embryotoxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles at early stage of development of sea urchin embryos Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Della Torre, C; Bergami, E; Salvati, A; Faleri, C; Cirino, P; Dawson, K A; Corsi, I

    2014-10-21

    Nanoplastic debris, resulted from runoff and weathering breakdown of macro- and microplastics, represents an emerging concern for marine ecosystems. The aim of the present study was to investigate disposition and toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs) in early development of sea urchin embryos (Paracentrotus lividus). NPs with two different surface charges where chosen, carboxylated (PS-COOH) and amine (PS-NH2) polystyrene, the latter being a less common variant, known to induce cell death in several in vitro cell systems. NPs stability in natural seawater (NSW) was measured while disposition and embryotoxicity were monitored within 48 h of postfertilization (hpf). Modulation of genes involved in cellular stress response (cas8, 14-3-3ε, p-38 MAPK, Abcb1, Abcc5) was investigated. PS-COOH forms microaggregates (PDI > 0.4) in NSW, whereas PS-NH2 results are better dispersed (89 ± 2 nm) initially, though they also aggregated partially with time. Their respectively anionic and cationic nature was confirmed by ζ-potential measurements. No embryotoxicity was observed for PS-COOH up to 50 μg mL(-1) whereas PS-NH2 caused severe developmental defects (EC50 3.85 μg mL(-1) 24 hpf and EC50 2.61 μg mL(-1) 48 hpf). PS-COOH accumulated inside embryo's digestive tract while PS-NH2 were more dispersed. Abcb1 gene resulted up-regulated at 48 hpf by PS-COOH whereas PS-NH2 induced cas8 gene at 24 hpf, suggesting an apoptotic pathway. In line with the results obtained with the same PS NPs in several human cell lines, also in sea urchin embryos, differences in surface charges and aggregation in seawater strongly affect their embryotoxicity.

  7. Maternal exposure to estradiol and endocrine disrupting compounds alters the sensitivity of sea urchin embryos and the expression of an orphan steroid receptor.

    PubMed

    Roepke, Troy A; Chang, Ernest S; Cherr, Gary N

    2006-10-01

    Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are known to affect reproduction and development in marine invertebrates. In previous work, we have shown that developing sea urchin embryos were sensitive to estradiol and estrogenic EDCs at environmentally relevant concentrations in a tamoxifen-sensitive manner (Roepke et al. 2005. Aquat Toxicol 71:155-173). In this study, we report the effects of maternal exposure to EDCs on embryo sensitivity and regulation of an orphan steroid receptor in sea urchin eggs. Maternal exposures were conducted by injecting female Strongylocentrotus purpuratus sea urchins initiating oogenesis with two concentrations of estradiol, octylphenol, tributyltin and o, p-DDD for 8 weeks with an induced spawning before and after the injection cycle. Developing embryos were less sensitive to estradiol following maternal exposure to estradiol, octylphenol and DDD. The steroidogenesis inhibitor, spironolactone, and the aromatase inhibitor, formestane, affected normal sea urchin development with EC50 values of 18 and 2 microM, respectively. Binding of estradiol was demonstrated in homogenates supernatants of sea urchin embryos by filtration centrifugation and column chromatography, but saturation was not reached until 4-6 hr and was highly variable. Analysis of eggs from pre- and post-injection spawns using real-time Q-PCR for the mRNA of an orphan steroid receptor, SpSHR2, shows that receptor mRNA increased in eggs with estradiol, octylphenol and tributyltin but decreased with DDD. RIA showed that estradiol may be present during gastrulation. In summary, maternal exposure to estradiol and EDCs alters embryo sensitivity and regulates the expression of an orphan steroid receptor in the egg.

  8. ankAT-1 is a novel gene mediating the apical tuft formation in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Yaguchi, Junko; Wei, Zheng; Shiba, Kogiku; Angerer, Lynne M.; Inaba, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    In sea urchin embryos, the apical tuft forms within the neurogenic animal plate. When FoxQ2, one of the earliest factors expressed specifically in the animal plate by early blastula stage, is knocked down, the structure of the apical tuft is altered. To determine the basis of this phenotype, we identified FoxQ2-dependent genes using microarray analysis. The most strongly down-regulated gene in FoxQ2 morphants encodes a protein with ankyrin repeats region in its N-terminal domain. We named this gene ankAT-1, Ankyrin-containing gene specific for Apical Tuft. Initially its expression in the animal pole region of very early blastula stage embryos is FoxQ2-independent but becomes FoxQ2-dependent beginning at mesenchyme blastula stage and continuing in the animal plate of 3-day larvae. Furthermore, like FoxQ2, this gene is expressed throughout the expanded apical tuft region that forms in embryos lacking nuclear β-catenin. When AnkAT-1 is knocked-down by injecting a morpholino, the cilia at the animal plate in the resulting embryos are much shorter and their motility is less than that of motile cilia in other ectoderm cells, and remains similar to that of long apical tuft cilia. We conclude that AnkAT-1 is involved in regulating the length of apical tuft cilia. PMID:20875818

  9. [Reception and extrareceptor binding of cytostatic serotonin antagonists by early embryos of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula].

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Zagorevskiĭ, V A; Rakić, L; Rogac, L; Sharkova, L M

    1988-01-01

    Unfertilized eggs and early embryos of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula incubated for 60 min in a medium containing the antagonists of prenervous serotonin, i.e. inmecarb (21 microM) or imipramine (40 microM), bind up to 5 microM of these drugs per 1 ml of cells. At high cell concentrations (more than 10,000 eggs or embryos per 1 ml), this binding is not followed by inhibition of cleavage divisions or by increase in the sensitivity to cytostatic effects of these drugs, which is taken as an indication that this binding is a nonreceptive one. The decrease in concentration of eggs or embryos does not affect total binding of the drugs, although their antiserotonin effects become evident indicating the existence of the receptor sites of binding. In experiments with 3H-imipramine, two binding pools were found (Bmax being correspondingly equal to about 20 and 0.75 microM/ml of embryos; the values of Kd amount to 200 and 15 microM). One of them is a nonreceptive pool, whereas the other presumably coincides with receptor binding sites of prenervous serotonin antagonists.

  10. ankAT-1 is a novel gene mediating the apical tuft formation in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Yaguchi, Junko; Wei, Zheng; Shiba, Kogiku; Angerer, Lynne M; Inaba, Kazuo

    2010-12-01

    In sea urchin embryos, the apical tuft forms within the neurogenic animal plate. When FoxQ2, one of the earliest factors expressed specifically in the animal plate by early blastula stage, is knocked down, the structure of the apical tuft is altered. To determine the basis of this phenotype, we identified FoxQ2-dependent genes using microarray analysis. The most strongly down-regulated gene in FoxQ2 morphants encodes a protein with ankyrin repeats region in its N-terminal domain. We named this gene ankAT-1, Ankyrin-containing gene specific for Apical Tuft. Initially its expression in the animal pole region of very early blastula stage embryos is FoxQ2-independent but becomes FoxQ2-dependent beginning at mesenchyme blastula stage and continuing in the animal plate of 3-day larvae. Furthermore, like FoxQ2, this gene is expressed throughout the expanded apical tuft region that forms in embryos lacking nuclear β-catenin. When AnkAT-1 is knocked-down by injecting a morpholino, the cilia at the animal plate in the resulting embryos are much shorter and their motility is less than that of motile cilia in other ectoderm cells, and remains similar to that of long apical tuft cilia. We conclude that AnkAT-1 is involved in regulating the length of apical tuft cilia.

  11. Specification of ectoderm restricts the size of the animal plate and patterns neurogenesis in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Yaguchi, Junko; Burke, Robert D

    2006-06-01

    The animal plate of the sea urchin embryo becomes the apical organ, a sensory structure of the larva. In the absence of vegetal signaling, an expanded and unpatterned apical organ forms. To investigate the signaling that restricts the size of the animal plate and patterns neurogenesis, we have expressed molecules that regulate specification of ectoderm in embryos and chimeras. Enhancing oral ectoderm suppresses serotonergic neuron differentiation, whereas enhancing aboral or ciliary band ectoderm increases differentiation of serotonergic neurons. In embryos in which vegetal signaling is blocked, Nodal expression does not reduce the size of the thickened animal plate; however, almost no neurons form. Expression of BMP in the absence of vegetal signaling also does not restrict the size of the animal plate, but abundant serotonergic neurons form. In chimeras in which vegetal signaling is blocked in the entire embryo, and one half of the embryo expresses Nodal, serotonergic neuron formation is suppressed in both halves. In similar chimeras in which vegetal signaling is blocked and one half of the embryo expresses Goosecoid (Gsc), serotonergic neurons form only in the half of the embryo not expressing Gsc. We propose that neurogenesis is specified by a maternal program that is restricted to the animal pole by signaling that is dependent on nuclearization of beta-catenin and specifies ciliary band ectoderm. Subsequently, neurogenesis in the animal plate is patterned by suppression of serotonergic neuron formation by Nodal. Like other metazoans, echinoderms appear to have a phase of neural development during which the specification of ectoderm restricts and patterns neurogenesis.

  12. A homologue of snail is expressed transiently in subsets of mesenchyme cells in the sea urchin embryo and is down-regulated in axis-deficient embryos.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Jeff; Illingworth, Charles A

    2006-11-01

    Vertebrate members of the zinc finger transcription factor family related to Drosophila snail are expressed in neural crest and paraxial mesoderm along the left-right axis of the embryo. As simple deuterostomes, echinoderms are an important sister phylum for the chordates. We have identified populations of patterned, nonskeletogenic mesenchyme in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus by their expression of a sea urchin member of the snail family (Lv-snail). Lv-snail mRNA and protein are detectable at the midgastrula stage within the archenteron. At the late gastrula stage, a contiguous cluster of cells on the left side of the tip of the archenteron is Lv-snail-positive. At the early prism stage, two small clusters of mesenchyme cells near the presumptive arm buds are also Lv-snail-positive. At the pluteus stage, staining is detectable in isolated mesenchyme cells and the ciliated band. Based on fate mapping of secondary mesenchyme cells (SMCs) and double-label immunostaining, these patterns are consistent with expression of SNAIL by novel subsets of SMCs that are largely distinct from skeletogenic mesenchyme. In radialized embryos lacking normal bilateral symmetry, mesenchymal expression of Lv-SNAIL is abolished. These results suggest that transient expression of Lv-snail may be important for the differentiation of a subset of axially patterned nonskeletogenic mesenchyme cells and suggest conserved functions for snail family members in deuterostome development.

  13. SEM and x-ray microanalysis of cellular differentiation in Sea Urchin Embryos: a frozen hydrated study

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, S.B.

    1985-12-01

    Quantitative studies of major chemical element distribution among individual differentiating cells were attempted using scanning electron microscopy. Frozen hydrated embryos of the sea urchin Strongelocentrotus purpuratus were examined at three stages: blastula, mesenchyme blastula, and early gastrula. The blastocoel matrix contained large beads of approximately 1 ..mu..m diameter. The cells of the archenteron lacked well defined cell boundaries. Characteristic levels of beam damage and charging provided structural information. The primary mesenchyme cells within the blastocoel were particularly susceptible to both effects. Damaging effects were noted in material stored in liquid nitrogen longer than three months. Ice crystal growth, shrinkage, elemental shift, density changes and charge accumulation may take place in these stored specimens. 151 refs., 50 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Structural differences in the chromatin from compartmentalized cells of the sea urchin embryo: differential nuclease accessibility of micromere chromatin.

    PubMed Central

    Cognetti, G; Shaw, B R

    1981-01-01

    The chromatin structure of three cell types isolated from the 16-cell stage sea urchin embryo has been probed with micrococcal nuclease. In micromeres, the four small cells at the vegetal pole, the chromatin is found to be considerably more resistant to degradation by micrococcal nuclease than chromatin in the larger mesomere and macromere cells which undergo more cellular divisions and are committed to different developmental fates. The micromeres show an order of magnitude decrease in the initial digestion rate and a limit digest value which is one third that of the larger blastomeres; both observations are suggestive of the formation of a more condensed chromatin structure during the process of commitment, or as the rate of cell division decreases. The decreased sensitivity to nuclease for micromeres is similar to results reported for sperm and larval stages of development. Images PMID:7312627

  15. [The action of tiazofurin on the development of sea urchin embryos and larvae].

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Mal'chenko, L A; Zvezdina, N D; Iovanovic, S; Markova, L N; Milosevic, I; Nikitina, L A; Lazarevic, L; Redzic, L; Rogac, L; Rakic, L

    1996-01-01

    The effects of the antitumor drug tiazofurin on development of sea urchins Sphaerechinus granularis, Paracentrotus lividus, Strongylocentrotus intermedius, and Arbacia lixula were studied. When 0.01-200 microM tiazofurin (TAF) was introduced in the incubation medium (artificial sea water) just after fertilization or at the midblastula stage, the development proceeded quite normally until the beginning of gastrulation. But later TAF blocked gastrulation and induced formation of mobile ball-shaped larvae with normal pigment cells but devoid of the nervous system, skeletal spicules and digestive tract. The threshold TAF concentrations varied from 0.05 microM (S. granularis) to 2-5 microM (all other species). When TAF was introduced during gastrulation and just after gastrulation, the larvae had defective nervous system and skeleton and suppressed expression of gangliosides. The nonhydrolyzable analog of GTP, GTP-gamma-S (5-20 microM), introduced in artificial sea water no later than at the midblastula stage prevented all above mentioned developmental defects.

  16. Comparative toxicities of aluminum and zinc from sacrificial anodes or from sulfate salt in sea urchin embryos and sperm.

    PubMed

    Caplat, Christelle; Oral, Rahime; Mahaut, Marie-Laure; Mao, Andrea; Barillier, Daniel; Guida, Marco; Della Rocca, Claudio; Pagano, Giovanni

    2010-09-01

    The toxicity of aluminum or zinc from either sacrificial anodes (SA) or their sulfate salts (SS) was evaluated in sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryos or sperm exposed to Al(III) or Zn(II) (SA or SS, 0.1-10 microM), scoring developmental defects (DDs), fertilization rate (FR), and mitotic abnormalities. A significant DD increase was observed in SS, but not SA Al(III)- and Zn(II)-exposed embryos vs. controls. Both Al(III) and Zn(II), up to 10 microM, from SA and SS, inhibited mitotic activity and induced mitotic aberrations in exposed embryos. SA-Al(III)-exposed sperm displayed a significant FR increase, unlike Al(III) sulfate overlapping with controls. Both SA-Zn(II) and Zn(II) sulfate sperm exposure resulted in a significant FR increase. The offspring of SA-Al(III)-exposed sperm displayed a significant DD decrease, unlike Al(III) sulfate exposure. Zinc sulfate sperm exposure resulted in a significant increase in offspring DDs, whereas SA-Zn(II) sperm exposure decreased DDs. Together, exposures to SA-dissolved Al(III) or Zn(II) resulted in lesser, if any toxicity, up to hormesis, compared to SS. Studies of metal speciation should elucidate the present results.

  17. Changes in the activities of protein phosphatase type 1 and type 2A in sea urchin embryos during early development.

    PubMed

    Kawamoto, M; Fujiwara, A; Yasumasu, I

    2000-08-01

    In the eggs and embryos of sea urchins, the activity of protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) increased during the developmental period between fertilization and the morula stage, decreased after the prehatching blastula stage and increased again after hatching. The PP2A activity changed keeping pace with alteration to the activities of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (A kinase), Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM kinase) and casein kinase. Probably, PP2A contributes to the quick turning off of cellular signals because of protein phosphorylation. The activity of protein phosphatase type 1 (PP1) was not detectable up to the morula stage and appreciably increased thereafter. In the isolated nucleus fraction, specific activities of PP1 and PP2A were higher than in whole embryos at all stages in early development. Exponential increase in the number of nuclei because of egg cleavage probably makes PP1 activity detectable in whole embryos after the morula stage. In isolated nuclei, the activities of PP1 and PP2A appreciably decreased after hatching, whereas the activities of A kinase, Ca2+/phospholipid-dependent protein kinase (C kinase) and CaM kinase, as well as casein kinase, became higher. In nuclei, cellular signals caused by protein phosphorylation after hatching do not seem to be turned off by these protein kinases so quickly as before hatching. The PP1 and PP2A in nuclei also seem to contribute to the elimination of signal noise.

  18. Tight regulation of SpSoxB factors is required for patterning and morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Kenny, Alan P; Oleksyn, David W; Newman, Laurel A; Angerer, Robert C; Angerer, Lynne M

    2003-09-15

    Previous studies in sea urchin embryos have demonstrated that nuclearization of beta-catenin is essential for initial steps in the specification of endoderm and mesenchyme, which are derived from vegetal blastomeres. This process begins at the 4th and extends through the 9th cleavage stage, an interval in which the SpSoxB1 transcription regulator is downregulated by beta-catenin-dependent gene products that include the transcription repressor SpKrl. These observations raise the possibility that SpSoxB1 removal is required to allow vegetal development to proceed. Here we show that elevated and ectopic expression of this factor suppresses differentiation of all vegetal cell types, a phenotype that is very similar to that caused by the suppression of beta-catenin nuclear function by cadherin overexpression. Suppression of vegetal fates involves interference at the protein-protein level because a mutation of SpSoxB1 that prevents its binding to DNA does not significantly reduce this activity. Reduction in SpSoxB1 level results in elevated TCF/Lef-beta-catenin-dependent expression of a luciferase reporter gene in vivo, indicating that in the normal embryo this protein suppresses the primary vegetal signaling mechanism that is required for specification of mesenchyme and endoderm. Surprisingly, normal expression of SpSoxB1 is required for gastrulation and endoderm differentiation, as shown by both morpholino-mediated translational interference and expression of a dominant negative protein. Similar gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays of a closely related factor, SpSoxB2, demonstrate that it, too, is required for gastrulation and that its overexpression can suppress vegetal development. However, significant phenotypic differences are apparent in the two perturbations, indicating that SpSoxB1 and SpSoxB2 have at least some distinct developmental functions. The results of all these studies support a model in which the concentration of SpSoxB factors must be tightly

  19. Mechanisms of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in sea urchin embryos

    PubMed Central

    Katow, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    Sea urchin mesenchyme is composed of the large micromere-derived spiculogenetic primary mesenchyme cells (PMC), veg2-tier macromere-derived non-spiculogenetic mesenchyme cells, the small micromere-derived germ cells, and the macro- and mesomere-derived neuronal mesenchyme cells. They are formed through the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and possess multipotency, except PMCs that solely differentiate larval spicules. The process of EMT is associated with modification of epithelial cell surface property that includes loss of affinity to the apical and basal extracellular matrices, inter-epithelial cell adherens junctions and epithelial cell surface-specific proteins. These cell surface structures and molecules are endocytosed during EMT and utilized as initiators of cytoplasmic signaling pathways that often initiate protein phosphorylation to activate the gene regulatory networks. Acquisition of cell motility after EMT in these mesenchyme cells is associated with the expression of proteins such as Lefty, Snail and Seawi. Structural simplicity and genomic database of this model will further promote detailed EMT research. PMID:26716069

  20. Cyclin B Translation Depends on mTOR Activity after Fertilization in Sea Urchin Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Boulben, Sandrine; Glippa, Virginie; Morales, Julia; Cormier, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    The cyclin B/CDK1 complex is a key regulator of mitotic entry. Using PP242, a specific ATP-competitive inhibitor of mTOR kinase, we provide evidence that the mTOR signalling pathway controls cyclin B mRNA translation following fertilization in Sphaerechinus granularis and Paracentrotus lividus. We show that PP242 inhibits the degradation of the cap-dependent translation repressor 4E-BP (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-Binding Protein). PP242 inhibits global protein synthesis, delays cyclin B accumulation, cyclin B/CDK1 complex activation and consequently entry into the mitotic phase of the cell cycle triggered by fertilization. PP242 inhibits cyclin B mRNA recruitment into active polysomes triggered by fertilization. An amount of cyclin B mRNA present in active polysomes appears to be insensitive to PP242 treatment. Taken together, our results suggest that, following sea urchin egg fertilization, cyclin B mRNA translation is controlled by two independent mechanisms: a PP242-sensitive and an additional PP242-insentitive mechanism. PMID:26962866

  1. Cyclin B Translation Depends on mTOR Activity after Fertilization in Sea Urchin Embryos.

    PubMed

    Chassé, Héloïse; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Boulben, Sandrine; Glippa, Virginie; Morales, Julia; Cormier, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    The cyclin B/CDK1 complex is a key regulator of mitotic entry. Using PP242, a specific ATP-competitive inhibitor of mTOR kinase, we provide evidence that the mTOR signalling pathway controls cyclin B mRNA translation following fertilization in Sphaerechinus granularis and Paracentrotus lividus. We show that PP242 inhibits the degradation of the cap-dependent translation repressor 4E-BP (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-Binding Protein). PP242 inhibits global protein synthesis, delays cyclin B accumulation, cyclin B/CDK1 complex activation and consequently entry into the mitotic phase of the cell cycle triggered by fertilization. PP242 inhibits cyclin B mRNA recruitment into active polysomes triggered by fertilization. An amount of cyclin B mRNA present in active polysomes appears to be insensitive to PP242 treatment. Taken together, our results suggest that, following sea urchin egg fertilization, cyclin B mRNA translation is controlled by two independent mechanisms: a PP242-sensitive and an additional PP242-insentitive mechanism.

  2. Polyalkoxybenzenes from plants. 5. Parsley seed extract in synthesis of azapodophyllotoxins featuring strong tubulin destabilizing activity in the sea urchin embryo and cell culture assays.

    PubMed

    Semenova, Marina N; Kiselyov, Alex S; Tsyganov, Dmitry V; Konyushkin, Leonid D; Firgang, Sergei I; Semenov, Roman V; Malyshev, Oleg R; Raihstat, Mikhail M; Fuchs, Fabian; Stielow, Anne; Lantow, Margareta; Philchenkov, Alex A; Zavelevich, Michael P; Zefirov, Nikolay S; Kuznetsov, Sergei A; Semenov, Victor V

    2011-10-27

    A series of 4-azapodophyllotoxin derivatives with modified rings B and E have been synthesized using allylpolyalkoxybenzenes from parsley seed oil. The targeted molecules were evaluated in vivo in a phenotypic sea urchin embryo assay for antimitotic and tubulin destabilizing activity. The most active compounds identified by the in vivo sea urchin embryo assay featured myristicin-derived ring E. These molecules were determined to be more potent than podophyllotoxin. Cytotoxic effects of selected molecules were further confirmed and evaluated by conventional assays with A549 and Jurkat human leukemic T-cell lines including cell growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, cellular microtubule disruption, and induction of apoptosis. The ring B modification yielded 6-OMe substituted molecule as the most active compound. Finally, in Jurkat cells, compound induced caspase-dependent apoptosis mediated by the apical caspases-2 and -9 and not caspase-8, implying the involvement of the intrinsic caspase-9-dependent apoptotic pathway.

  3. The cytoskeletal framework of sea urchin eggs and embryos: developmental changes in the association of messenger RNA.

    PubMed

    Moon, R T; Nicosia, R F; Olsen, C; Hille, M B; Jeffery, W R

    1983-02-01

    Extraction of sea urchin eggs and embryos with Triton X-100 generated a cytoskeletal framework (CSK) composed of a cortical filamentous network and an internal system of filaments associated with ribosomes. The CSK contained only 10-20% of the cellular protein, RNA, and lipid. A specific subset of proteins was enriched in the CSK. Several lines of evidence suggest that mRNA is a component of the CSK of both eggs and embryos. First, the CSK contained poly(A) sequences which hybridized with [3H]poly(U). Second, the CSK contained polyribosomes. Finally, RNA extracted from the CSK showed translational activity in an in vitro system. The nonhistone messages present in the CSK were qualitatively similar to those solubilized by detergent, as determined by separation on polyacrylamide gels of the products of in vitro translation. In the unfertilized egg, most mRNA was present as nonpolyribosomal messenger ribonucleoprotein complexes which, along with monoribosomes, were efficiently extracted by Triton X-100. The converse was found in blastulae, as most of the mRNA was present as polyribosomes associated with the CSK, although monoribosomes were still efficiently extracted by detergent. These results indicate a correlation between the activation of protein synthesis in eggs and the association of polyribosomes with the CSK.

  4. An Elk transcription factor is required for Runx-dependent survival signaling in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Francesca; Coffman, James A; Arnone, Maria Ina

    2016-08-01

    Elk proteins are Ets family transcription factors that regulate cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation in response to ERK (extracellular-signal regulated kinase)-mediated phosphorylation. Here we report the embryonic expression and function of Sp-Elk, the single Elk gene of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Sp-Elk is zygotically expressed throughout the embryo beginning at late cleavage stage, with peak expression occurring at blastula stage. Morpholino antisense-mediated knockdown of Sp-Elk causes blastula-stage developmental arrest and embryo disintegration due to apoptosis, a phenotype that is rescued by wild-type Elk mRNA. Development is also rescued by Elk mRNA encoding a serine to aspartic acid substitution (S402D) that mimics ERK-mediated phosphorylation of a conserved site that enhances DNA binding, but not by Elk mRNA encoding an alanine substitution at the same site (S402A). This demonstrates both that the apoptotic phenotype of the morphants is specifically caused by Elk depletion, and that phosphorylation of serine 402 of Sp-Elk is critical for its anti-apoptotic function. Knockdown of Sp-Elk results in under-expression of several regulatory genes involved in cell fate specification, cell cycle control, and survival signaling, including the transcriptional regulator Sp-Runt-1 and its target Sp-PKC1, both of which were shown previously to be required for cell survival during embryogenesis. Both Sp-Runt-1 and Sp-PKC1 have sequences upstream of their transcription start sites that specifically bind Sp-Elk. These results indicate that Sp-Elk is the signal-dependent activator of a feed-forward gene regulatory circuit, consisting also of Sp-Runt-1 and Sp-PKC1, which actively suppresses apoptosis in the early embryo.

  5. Effects of simulated weathering on the toxicity of selected crude oils and their components to sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Radović, Jagoš R; Bayona, Josep M; Macrae, Kenneth; Thomas, Kevin V; Beiras, Ricardo

    2013-09-15

    Artificial weathering of Angolan crude and a Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) was performed by evaporation and photooxidation. The aliphatic, aromatic, polar and asphaltene fractions of the fresh and weathered oils were isolated. The toxicity of the water accommodated fraction or an oil/fraction dissolved in DMSO was assessed using the sea urchin embryo test. Photooxidation was observed to decrease the aromatics content and increase polar compounds. A slight reduction in the toxicity of Angolan crude was observed following weathering for the water-accommodated fraction and the extract in DMSO, but no effect was seen for the Heavy Fuel Oil. For aliphatic compounds, the toxicity decreased in the order fresh>evaporated>photooxidated for both Angolan crude and HFO. Weathering slightly increased the toxicity of the aromatic and polar fractions of the oil. The aromatic fractions were responsible for most of the toxicity and the polar compounds were the second most important toxic components, despite having less or similar abundance than the aliphatic fraction. The toxic contribution of the aromatic compounds was higher for the HFO than for the Angolan crude. A decrease in the toxicity of Angolan crude following weathering correlated with a reduction in the toxicity of the aliphatic fraction.

  6. In silico characterization of the neural alpha tubulin gene promoter of the sea urchin embryo Paracentrotus lividus by phylogenetic footprinting.

    PubMed

    Ragusa, Maria Antonietta; Longo, Valeria; Emanuele, Marco; Costa, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio

    2012-03-01

    During Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin embryo development one alpha and one beta tubulin genes are expressed specifically in the neural cells and they are early end output of the gene regulatory network that specifies the neural commitment. In this paper we have used a comparative genomics approach to identify conserved regulatory elements in the P. lividus neural alpha tubulin gene. To this purpose, we have first isolated a genomic clone containing the entire gene plus 4.5 Kb of 5' upstream sequences. Then, we have shown by gene transfer experiments that its non-coding region drives the spatio-temporal gene expression corresponding substantially to that of the endogenous gene. In addition, we have identified by genome and EST sequence analysis the S. purpuratus alpha tubulin orthologous gene and we propose a revised annotation of some tubulin family members. Moreover, by computational techniques we delineate at least three putative regulatory regions located both in the upstream region and in the first intron containing putative binding sites for Forkhead and Nkx transcription factor families.

  7. Effect of bisphenol A on P-glycoprotein-mediated efflux and ultrastructure of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Bošnjak, Ivana; Borra, Marco; Iamunno, Franco; Benvenuto, Giovanna; Ujević, Ivana; Bušelić, Ivana; Roje-Busatto, Romana; Mladineo, Ivona

    2014-11-01

    Usage of bisphenol A (BPA) in production of polycarbonate plastics has resulted in global distribution of BPA in the environment. These high concentrations cause numerous negative effects to the aquatic biota, among which the most known is the induction of endocrine disruption. The focus of this research was to determine the effects of two experimentally determined concentrations of BPA (100nM and 4μM) on cellular detoxification mechanisms during the embryonic development (2-cell, pluteus) of the rocky sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), primarily the potential involvement of multidrug efflux transport in the BPA intercellular efflux. The results of transport assay, measurements of the intracellular BPA and gene expression surveys, for the first time indicate the importance of P-glycoprotein (P-gp/ABCB1) in defense against BPA. Cytotoxic effects of BPA, validated by the immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the transmission electron microscopy (TEM), induced the aberrant karyokinesis, and consequently, the impairment of embryo development through the first cell division and retardation.

  8. Applied AC and DC magnetic fields cause alterations in the mitotic cycle of early sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, M.; Ernst, S.G.

    1995-09-01

    This study demonstrates that exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields (3.4--8.8 mt) and magnetic fields over the range DC-600 kHz (2.5--6.5 mT) can alter the early embryonic development of sea urchin embryos by inducing alterations in the timing of the cell cycle. Batches of fertilized eggs were exposed to the fields produced by a coil system. Samples of the continuous cultures were taken and scored for cell division. The times of both the first and second cell divisions were advanced by ELF AC fields and by static fields. The magnitude of the 60 Hz effect appears proportional to the field strength over the range tested. the relationship to field frequency was nonlinear and complex. For certain frequencies above the ELF range, the exposure resulted in a delay of the onset of mitosis. The advance of mitosis was also dependent on the duration of exposure and on the timing of exposure relative to fertilization.

  9. A calcium-binding, asparagine-linked oligosaccharide is involved in skeleton formation in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    We have previously identified a 130-kD cell surface protein that is involved in calcium uptake and skeleton formation by gastrula stage embryos of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Carson et al., 1985. Cell. 41:639-648). A monoclonal antibody designated mAb 1223 specifically recognizes the 130-kD protein and inhibits Ca+2 uptake and growth of the CaCO3 spicules produced by embryonic primary mesenchyme cells cultured in vitro. In this report, we demonstrate that the epitope recognized by mAb 1223 is located on an anionic, asparagine- linked oligosaccharide chain on the 130-kD protein. Combined enzymatic and chemical treatments indicate that the 1223 oligosaccharide contains fucose and sialic acid that is likely to be O-acetylated. Moreover, we show that the oligosaccharide chain containing the 1223 epitope specifically binds divalent cations, including Ca+2. We propose that one function of this negatively charged oligosaccharide moiety on the surfaces of primary mesenchyme cells is to facilitate binding and sequestration of Ca+2 ions from the blastocoelic fluid before internalization and subsequent deposition into the growing CaCO3 skeleton. PMID:2475510

  10. A spatially dynamic cohort of regulatory genes in the endomesodermal gene network of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Smith, Joel; Kraemer, Ebba; Liu, Hongdau; Theodoris, Christina; Davidson, Eric

    2008-01-15

    A gene regulatory network subcircuit comprising the otx, wnt8, and blimp1 genes accounts for a moving torus of gene expression that sweeps concentrically across the vegetal domain of the sea urchin embryo. Here we confirm by mutation the inputs into the blimp1cis-regulatory module predicted by network analysis. Its essential design feature is that it includes both activation and autorepression sites. The wnt8 gene is functionally linked into the subcircuit in that cells receiving this ligand generate a beta-catenin/Tcf input required for blimp1 expression, while the wnt8 gene in turn requires a Blimp1 input. Their torus-like spatial expression patterns and gene regulatory analysis indicate that the genes even-skipped and hox11/13b are also entrained by this subcircuit. We verify the cis-regulatory inputs of even-skipped predicted by network analysis. These include activation by beta-catenin/Tcf and Blimp1, repression within the torus by Hox11/13b, and repression outside the torus by Tcf in the absence of Wnt8 signal input. Thus even-skipped and hox11/13b, along with blimp1 and wnt8, are members of a cohort of torus genes with similar regulatory inputs and similar, though slightly out-of-phase, expression patterns, which reflect differences in cis-regulatory design.

  11. Assessment of toxic interactions of heavy metals in multi-component mixtures using sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xue; Li, Yan; Wang, Yuan; Wang, Yonghua

    2011-02-01

    The toxicities of copper, lead, zinc and cadmium ions and various concentrations of mixtures of them were studied using sea urchin (Strongylocentyotus intermedius) embryo-larval bioassay. Toxic unit analysis was used to determine type of joint action for each mixture combination (binary, ternary and quaternary). For the majority of the binary combinations, the interactions were of synergistic nature, but in ternary or quaternary mixtures, the joint action was mainly concentration additive, while antagonism was only observed for two mixtures (Cu+Pb and Zn+Cd) among all the 11 combinations. Two prevailing theoretical models: the concentration addition (CA) model and the independent action (IA) model were used to predict the mixture toxicities. The weak correlation obtained (R≃0.55) indicated that the hypotheses of mode of action involved in the two models to some extent failed to describe the behavior of the mixture system. Then a novel bio-concentration factor-based model was developed and was successful to predict the toxicities of mixtures, with an obtained R of 0.92. This model indicated that in a mixture system of heavy metals, the joint toxicity was mainly determined by the combined action of bio-concentrations of metals other than the simply similar (CA) or dissimilar (IA) modes of action of the mixture components.

  12. New regulatory circuit controlling spatial and temporal gene expression in the sea urchin embryo oral ectoderm GRN.

    PubMed

    Li, Enhu; Materna, Stefan C; Davidson, Eric H

    2013-10-01

    The sea urchin oral ectoderm gene regulatory network (GRN) model has increased in complexity as additional genes are added to it, revealing its multiple spatial regulatory state domains. The formation of the oral ectoderm begins with an oral-aboral redox gradient, which is interpreted by the cis-regulatory system of the nodal gene to cause its expression on the oral side of the embryo. Nodal signaling drives cohorts of regulatory genes within the oral ectoderm and its derived subdomains. Activation of these genes occurs sequentially, spanning the entire blastula stage. During this process the stomodeal subdomain emerges inside of the oral ectoderm, and bilateral subdomains defining the lateral portions of the future ciliary band emerge adjacent to the central oral ectoderm. Here we examine two regulatory genes encoding repressors, sip1 and ets4, which selectively prevent transcription of oral ectoderm genes until their expression is cleared from the oral ectoderm as an indirect consequence of Nodal signaling. We show that the timing of transcriptional de-repression of sip1 and ets4 targets which occurs upon their clearance explains the dynamics of oral ectoderm gene expression. In addition two other repressors, the direct Nodal target not, and the feed forward Nodal target goosecoid, repress expression of regulatory genes in the central animal oral ectoderm thereby confining their expression to the lateral domains of the animal ectoderm. These results have permitted construction of an enhanced animal ectoderm GRN model highlighting the repressive interactions providing precise temporal and spatial control of regulatory gene expression.

  13. Comparative analysis of fibrillar and basement membrane collagen expression in embryos of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, H R; Reiter, R S; D'Alessio, M; Di Liberto, M; Ramirez, F; Exposito, J Y; Gambino, R; Solursh, M

    1997-06-01

    The time of appearance and location of three distinct collagen gene transcripts termed 1 alpha, 2 alpha, and 3 alpha, were monitored in the developing S. purpuratus embryo by in situ hybridization. The 1 alpha and 2 alpha transcripts of fibrillar collagens were detected simultaneously in the primary (PMC) and secondary (SMC) mesenchyme cells of the late gastrula stage and subsequently expressed in the spicules and gut associated cells of the pluteus stage. The 3 alpha transcripts of the basement membrane collagen appeared earlier than 1 alpha and 2 alpha, and were first detected in the presumptive PMC at the vegetal plate of the late blastula stage. The PMC exhibited high expression of 3 alpha at the mesenchyme blastula stage, but during gastrulation the level of expression was reduced differentially among the PMC. In the late gastrula and pluteus stages, both PMC and SMC expressed 3 alpha mRNA, and thus at these stages all three collagen genes displayed an identical expression pattern by coincidence. This study thus provides the first survey of onset and localization of multiple collagen transcripts in a single sea urchin species.

  14. Zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for skeletal patterning and for left-right but not dorsal-ventral specification in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Piacentino, Michael L; Chung, Oliver; Ramachandran, Janani; Zuch, Daniel T; Yu, Jia; Conaway, Evan A; Reyna, Arlene E; Bradham, Cynthia A

    2016-04-01

    Skeletal patterning in the sea urchin embryo requires coordinated signaling between the pattern-dictating ectoderm and the skeletogenic primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs); recent studies have begun to uncover the molecular basis for this process. Using an unbiased RNA-Seq-based screen, we have previously identified the TGF-ß superfamily ligand, LvBMP5-8, as a skeletal patterning gene in Lytechinus variegatus embryos. This result is surprising, since both BMP5-8 and BMP2/4 ligands have been implicated in sea urchin dorsal-ventral (DV) and left-right (LR) axis specification. Here, we demonstrate that zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for normal skeletal patterning on the left side, as well as for normal PMC positioning during gastrulation. Zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for expression of the left-side marker soxE, suggesting that LvBMP5-8 is required for left-side specification. Interestingly, we also find that LvBMP5-8 knockdown suppresses serotonergic neurogenesis on the left side. While LvBMP5-8 overexpression is sufficient to dorsalize embryos, we find that zygotic LvBMP5-8 is not required for normal DV specification or development. In addition, ectopic LvBMP5-8 does not dorsalize LvBMP2/4 morphant embryos, indicating that, in the absence of BMP2/4, BMP5-8 is insufficient to specify dorsal. Taken together, our data demonstrate that zygotic LvBMP5-8 signaling is essential for left-side specification, and for normal left-side skeletal and neural patterning, but not for DV specification. Thus, while both BMP2/4 and BMP5-8 regulate LR axis specification, BMP2/4 but not zygotic BMP5-8 regulates DV axis specification in sea urchin embryos.

  15. [Sensitivity of fragmented and stratified sea urchin embryos to cytotoxic neuropharmacological preparations].

    PubMed

    Buznikov, G A; Manukhin, B N; Rakic, L; Kudriashova, N I; Mndzhoian, O L

    1979-01-01

    The red half embryos and related quarter embryos (yolk and pigment) of Arbacia lixula, obtained by means of centrifugation of the eggs in sucrose gradient, retain the normal level of sensitivity and supersensitivity to cytotoxic neuropharmaca, antagonists of biogenic monoamines. The white half embryos and clear quarter embryos practically lack supersensitivity whereas the granular quarter embryos restore it to the initial level. The non-pigmented blastomers of stratified embryos are characterized by somewhat weakened supersensitivity. A suggestion is put forward that the supersensitive embryos of A. lixula possess a sensibilizing factor which couples the supersensitivity receptors with the processes of cell division and moves together with the yolk granules upon centrifugation. This factor is not observed in the Strongylocentrotus granularis embryos lacking evident supersensitivity.

  16. Embryonic-stage-dependent changes in the level of eIF4E-binding proteins during early development of sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Salaün, Patrick; Boulben, Sandrine; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Bellé, Robert; Sonenberg, Nahum; Morales, Julia; Cormier, Patrick

    2005-04-01

    The eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding proteins (4E-BPs) inhibit translation initiation by binding eIF4E and preventing recruitment of the translation machinery to mRNA. We have previously shown that fertilization of sea urchin eggs triggers eIF4E-4E-BP complex dissociation and 4E-BP degradation. Here, we show that microinjection of eIF4E-binding motif peptide into unfertilized eggs delays the onset of the first mitosis triggered by fertilization, demonstrating that dissociation of the eIF4E-4E-BP complex is functionally important for the first mitotic division in sea urchin embryos. We also show by gel filtration analyses that eIF4E is present in unfertilized eggs as an 80 kDa molecular mass complex containing 4E-BP and a new 4E-BP of 40 kDa. Fertilization triggers the dissociation of eIF4E from these two 4E-BPs and triggers the rapid recruitment of eIF4E into a high-molecular-mass complex. Release of eIF4E from the two 4E-BPs is correlated with a decrease in the total level of both 4E-BPs following fertilization. Abundance of the two 4E-BPs has been monitored during embryonic development. The level of the two proteins remains very low during the rapid cleavage stage of early development and increases 8 hours after fertilization. These results demonstrate that these two 4E-BPs are down- and upregulated during the embryonic development of sea urchins. Consequently, these data suggest that eIF4E availability to other partners represents an important determinant of the early development of sea urchin embryos.

  17. A calsequestrin-like protein in the endoplasmic reticulum of the sea urchin: localization and dynamics in the egg and first cell cycle embryo

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    Using an antiserum produced against a purified calsequestrin-like (CSL) protein from a microsomal fraction of sea urchin eggs, we performed light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical localizations on sea urchin eggs and embryos in the first cell cycle. The sea urchin CSL protein has been found to bind Ca++ similarly to calsequestrin, the well-characterized Ca++ storage protein in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of muscle cells. In semi-thin frozen sections of unfertilized eggs, immunofluorescent staining revealed a tubuloreticular network throughout the cytoplasm. Staining of isolated egg cortices with the CSL protein antiserum showed the presence of a submembranous polygonal, tubular network similar to ER network patterns seen in other cells and in egg cortices treated with the membrane staining dye DiIC16[3]. In frozen sections of embryos during interphase of the first cell cycle, a cytoplasmic network similar to that of the unfertilized egg was present. During mitosis, we observed a dramatic concentration of the antibody staining within the asters of the mitotic apparatus where ER is known to aggregate. Electron microscopic localization on unfertilized eggs using peroxidase-labeled secondary antibody demonstrated the presence of the CSL protein within the luminal compartment of ER-like tubules. Finally, in frozen sections of centrifugally stratified eggs, the immunofluorescent staining concentrated in the clear zone: a layer highly enriched in ER and thought to be the site of calcium release upon fertilization. This localization of a CSL protein within the ER of the egg provides evidence for the ability of this organelle to serve a Ca++ storage role in the regulation of intracellular Ca++ in nonmuscle cells in general, and in the regulation of fertilization and cell division in sea urchin eggs in particular. PMID:2663877

  18. [Patterns in the binding of cytotoxic neuropharmacologic preparations by early sea urchin embryos].

    PubMed

    Manukhin, B N; Buznikov, G A; Turpaev, T M; Rakich, L; Blagoevich, R

    1976-01-01

    Early embryos of Arbacia lixula, Paracentrotus lividus and Sphaerechinus granularis intensively bind cytotoxic neuropharmacological drugs, such as antiserotonine indole derivatives, cholinolytics and tricyclic antidepressants. The binding intensity decreases markedly upon quaternization of the drugs. Quantitative analysis indicates that: a)with respect to the drugs, the suspension of living embryos may be described as a single adsorbing system following the Langmuir equation; b) at least two independent binding pools exist in embryos; c) the magnitude of cytotoxic effect of a given drug is not proportional to its binding.

  19. Late Alk4/5/7 signaling is required for anterior skeletal patterning in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Piacentino, Michael L; Ramachandran, Janani; Bradham, Cynthia A

    2015-03-01

    Skeletal patterning in the sea urchin embryo requires a conversation between the skeletogenic primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) and the overlying pattern-dictating ectoderm; however, our understanding of the molecular basis for this process remains incomplete. Here, we show that TGF-β-receptor signaling is required during gastrulation to pattern the anterior skeleton. To block TGF-β signaling, we used SB431542 (SB43), a specific inhibitor of the TGF-β type I receptor Alk4/5/7. Treatment with SB43 during gastrulation blocks anterior PMC positioning and the formation of the anterior skeleton, but does not perturb general ectoderm specification or development. This is the first example of a signaling event required for patterning of a specific part of the skeleton. Alk4/5/7 inhibition does not prevent the formation of a mouth, although SB43-treated plutei display reduced feeding ability, presumably due to the loss of the structural support for the mouth conferred by the anterior skeleton. Both Univin and Nodal are potential ligands for Alk4/5/7; however, Nodal is unilaterally expressed on only the right side, whereas Univin is bilaterally expressed in the ectoderm adjacent to the anterior skeleton during the relevant time period. Our results demonstrate that Univin is both necessary and sufficient for secondary skeletal development in a control background, consistent with the hypothesis that Univin is a relevant Alk4/5/7 ligand for anterior skeletal patterning. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Alk4/5/7 signaling during gastrulation is required to direct PMCs to the oral hood, and suggest that Univin is a relevant ligand for this signaling event.

  20. Differential Regulation of Disheveled in a Novel Vegetal Cortical Domain in Sea Urchin Eggs and Embryos: Implications for the Localized Activation of Canonical Wnt Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Peng, ChiehFu Jeff; Wikramanayake, Athula H.

    2013-01-01

    Pattern formation along the animal-vegetal (AV) axis in sea urchin embryos is initiated when canonical Wnt (cWnt) signaling is activated in vegetal blastomeres. The mechanisms that restrict cWnt signaling to vegetal blastomeres are not well understood, but there is increasing evidence that the egg’s vegetal cortex plays a critical role in this process by mediating localized “activation” of Disheveled (Dsh). To investigate how Dsh activity is regulated along the AV axis, sea urchin-specific Dsh antibodies were used to examine expression, subcellular localization, and post-translational modification of Dsh during development. Dsh is broadly expressed during early sea urchin development, but immunolocalization studies revealed that this protein is enriched in a punctate pattern in a novel vegetal cortical domain (VCD) in the egg. Vegetal blastomeres inherit this VCD during embryogenesis, and at the 60-cell stage Dsh puncta are seen in all cells that display nuclear β-catenin. Analysis of Dsh post-translational modification using two-dimensional Western blot analysis revealed that compared to Dsh pools in the bulk cytoplasm, this protein is differentially modified in the VCD and in the 16-cell stage micromeres that partially inherit this domain. Dsh localization to the VCD is not directly affected by disruption of microfilaments and microtubules, but unexpectedly, microfilament disruption led to degradation of all the Dsh pools in unfertilized eggs over a period of incubation suggesting that microfilament integrity is required for maintaining Dsh stability. These results demonstrate that a pool of differentially modified Dsh in the VCD is selectively inherited by the vegetal blastomeres that activate cWnt signaling in early embryos, and suggests that this domain functions as a scaffold for localized Dsh activation. Localized cWnt activation regulates AV axis patterning in many metazoan embryos. Hence, it is possible that the VCD is an evolutionarily conserved

  1. Comparative performances of eggs and embryos of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) in toxicity bioassays used for assessment of marine sediment quality.

    PubMed

    Khosrovyan, A; Rodríguez-Romero, A; Salamanca, M J; Del Valls, T A; Riba, I; Serrano, F

    2013-05-15

    The potential toxicity of sediments from various ports was assessed by means of two different liquid-phase toxicity bioassays (acute and chronic) with embryos and eggs of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Performances of embryos and eggs of P. lividus in these bioassays were compared for their interchangeable applicability in integrated sediment quality assessment. The obtained endpoints (percentages of normally developed plutei and fertilized eggs) were linked to physical and chemical properties of sediments and demonstrated dependence on sediment contamination. The endpoints in the two bioassays were strongly correlated and generally exhibited similar tendency throughout the samples. Therein, embryos demonstrated higher sensitivity to elutriate exposure, compared to eggs. It was concluded that these tests could be used interchangeably for testing toxicity of marine sediments. Preferential use of any of the bioassays can be determined by the discriminatory capacity of the test or vulnerability consideration of the test subject to the surrounding conditions.

  2. cis-Restricted 3-aminopyrazole analogues of combretastatins: synthesis from plant polyalkoxybenzenes and biological evaluation in the cytotoxicity and phenotypic sea urchin embryo assays.

    PubMed

    Tsyganov, Dmitry V; Konyushkin, Leonid D; Karmanova, Irina B; Firgang, Sergei I; Strelenko, Yuri A; Semenova, Marina N; Kiselyov, Alex S; Semenov, Victor V

    2013-08-23

    We have synthesized a series of novel cis-restricted 4,5-polyalkoxydiaryl-3-aminopyrazole analogues of combretastatins via short synthetic sequences using building blocks isolated from dill and parsley seed extracts. The resulting compounds were tested in vivo in the phenotypic sea urchin embryo assay to reveal their antimitotic and antitubulin effects. The most potent aminopyrazole, 14a, altered embryonic cell division at 10 nM concentration, exhibiting microtubule-destabilizing properties. Compounds 12a and 14a displayed pronounced cytotoxicity in the NCI60 anticancer drug screen, with the ability to inhibit growth of multi-drug-resistant cancer cells.

  3. The Compass-like Locus, Exclusive to the Ambulacrarians, Encodes a Chromatin Insulator Binding Protein in the Sea Urchin Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Cavalieri, Vincenzo; Melfi, Raffaella; Spinelli, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Chromatin insulators are eukaryotic genome elements that upon binding of specific proteins display barrier and/or enhancer-blocking activity. Although several insulators have been described throughout various metazoans, much less is known about proteins that mediate their functions. This article deals with the identification and functional characterization in Paracentrotus lividus of COMPASS-like (CMPl), a novel echinoderm insulator binding protein. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the CMPl factor, encoded by the alternative spliced Cmp/Cmpl transcript, is the founder of a novel ambulacrarian-specific family of Homeodomain proteins containing the Compass domain. Specific association of CMPl with the boxB cis-element of the sns5 chromatin insulator is demonstrated by using a yeast one-hybrid system, and further corroborated by ChIP-qPCR and trans-activation assays in developing sea urchin embryos. The sns5 insulator lies within the early histone gene cluster, basically between the H2A enhancer and H1 promoter. To assess the functional role of CMPl within this locus, we challenged the activity of CMPl by two distinct experimental strategies. First we expressed in the developing embryo a chimeric protein, containing the DNA-binding domain of CMPl, which efficiently compete with the endogenous CMPl for the binding to the boxB sequence. Second, to titrate the embryonic CMPl protein, we microinjected an affinity-purified CMPl antibody. In both the experimental assays we congruently observed the loss of the enhancer-blocking function of sns5, as indicated by the specific increase of the H1 expression level. Furthermore, microinjection of the CMPl antiserum in combination with a synthetic mRNA encoding a forced repressor of the H2A enhancer-bound MBF1 factor restores the normal H1 mRNA abundance. Altogether, these results strongly support the conclusion that the recruitment of CMPl on sns5 is required for buffering the H1 promoter from the H2A enhancer activity, and this

  4. Role of the extracellular matrix in tissue-specific gene expression in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Benson, S; Rawson, R; Killian, C; Wilt, F

    1991-07-01

    The role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in the differentiation of tissue types was examined in embryos of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We have examined the expression of various tissue-specific molecular markers after disrupting the ECM by culturing embryos in the presence of beta-aminoproprionitrile fumarate (BAPN), which disrupts collagen deposition, and beta-D-xyloside, which disrupts proteoglycan metabolism. The markers examined included accumulation of primary mesenchyme-specific mRNA (SM 50); an aboral ectoderm-specific mRNA (Spec 1); and a gut-specific enzyme, alkaline phosphatase. Treatment with BAPN or beta-D-xyloside results in developmental arrest at the mesenchyme blastula stage. Although spicule formation is inhibited, the accumulation of SM 50 transcripts and the synthesis of most of the prominent spicule matrix proteins is similar to that of control embryos. Spec 1 mRNA, in contrast, while accumulating to a significant extent when collagen and proteoglycan metabolism is disrupted, does accumulate to a level somewhat lower than that seen in control embryos. Additionally, the postgastrula rise in gut-specific alkaline phosphatase is reversibly inhibited by BAPN and xyloside treatment. These results demonstrate a differential effect of the ECM on expression of tissue-specific molecular markers.

  5. Stage- and tissue-specific expression of two homeo box genes in sea urchin embryos and adults.

    PubMed

    Dolecki, G J; Wang, G; Humphreys, T

    1988-12-23

    We report the isolation of two different homeo box genes, HB3 and HB4, from the Hawaiian sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla. DNA sequencing revealed a definitive Antennapedia (Antp) class homeo box in each gene. Southern transfer hybridizations showed the genes to be single-copy. A 5.7-kb transcript of the HB3 gene was found in ovary, testis, small intestine and gastrula poly(A)+ RNA. The HB4 gene produces three transcripts. A 3.7-kb and a 4.4-kb transcript are expressed during embryogenesis. A 3.5-kb transcript appears in each of the adult tissues studied. The HB4 gene appears to be the sea urchin cognate of the Drosophila infrabdominal-7 (iab-7) gene, the mouse Hox 1.7 and Hox 3.2 genes and the Xenopus X1Hbox 6 gene. An examination of Antp class homeo box genes in deuterostomes indicates that a chromosomal duplication has taken place in the evolutionary line leading to the vertebrates after the divergence of the echinoderms. Thus, the sea urchin represents the primitive condition.

  6. Invertebrate bioassays with North Sea water samples. I. Structural effects on embryos and larvae of serpulids, oysters and sea urchins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klöckner, K.; Rosenthal, H.; Willführ, J.

    1985-03-01

    Structural effects of bottom and surface water samples from two dumping grounds in the inner German Bight on the development of three meroplanktonic organisms (Pomatoceros triqueter: Polychaeta, Psammechinus miliaris: Echinodermata and Crassostrea gigas, Mollusca) were investigated. The titaniumdioxide dumping site was sampled immediately after dumping (within the visible waste trail 1 km behind the vessel), and 10 h after dumping. Samples were taken in the sewage sludge deposition area in the intervals between the usual dumping activities, regardless of the exact dumping schedule. The preserved bioassay test organisms were inspected microscopically to count percentages of “normal” larval hatch in test water samples, reference water samples and laboratory aged control water samples (5 to 10 replicates). The relative water quality at various dumping sites was expressed in terms of “net risk”-values (Woelke, 1972) compared to hatching rates observed in the controls. Larval development of P. triqueter was significantly suppressed (up to -22 % “net risk”) in trail water of the titanium dioxide dump site while the development of sea urchin larvae was still affected in the 10 h surface samples. Hatching of all test organisms in bottom-water samples from the centre of the sewage sludge dump site was affected to different degrees when compared to reference areas about 4 km north or 6 km northwest of the dumping area. The general usefulness of standardized bioassay procedures in pollution monitoring programmes is discussed. The results presented here call for further verification to minimize experimental background variability and to enlarge the catalogue of suitable effects criteria.

  7. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    McClay, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Embryos of the echinoderms, especially those of sea urchins and sea stars, have been studied as model organisms for over 100 years. The simplicity of their early development, and the ease of experimentally perturbing this development, provides an excellent platform for mechanistic studies of cell specification and morphogenesis. As a result, echinoderms have contributed significantly to our understanding of many developmental mechanisms, including those that govern the structure and design of gene regulatory networks, those that direct cell lineage specification, and those that regulate the dynamic morphogenetic events that shape the early embryo. PMID:21652646

  8. The newly characterized Pl-jun is specifically expressed in skeletogenic cells of the Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Russo, Roberta; Pinsino, Annalisa; Costa, Caterina; Bonaventura, Rosa; Matranga, Valeria; Zito, Francesca

    2014-09-01

    Growing evidence suggests that the transcription factors belonging to the Jun family are involved in many important cellular events, such as the control of bone development in mammalians. We have characterized, for the first time, a member of the Jun family from embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. The Pl-jun protein sequence includes all the functional domains characteristic of members of the Jun family (i.e. the basic leucine zipper, the basic DNA-binding and the c-Jun N-terminal kinase docking-like domains), which are evolutionarily conserved. Moreover, all the key serine and threonine residues, which are phosphorylation targets for different kinases necessary for jun activation, appear to be well preserved. A model of the monomeric protein provides a simulation of the three-dimensional structure and shows the potential sites for dimerization and DNA binding. Pl-jun mRNA is expressed in the unfertilized egg and throughout sea urchin embryo development. As the development proceeds, Pl-jun mRNA becomes exclusively expressed in the skeletogenic cells. Intriguingly, these cells contain significant amounts of the phosphorylated active protein entirely localized into their nuclei. These findings strengthen our hypothesis that suggests an active role for Pl-jun in skeletogenic cells, thus indicating that this transcription factor is a novel component of the gene regulatory networks controlling skeletogenesis. Database: Nucleotide sequence data have been deposited in the EMBL databases under the accession number: HE817756.

  9. Arsenic exposure affects embryo development of sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816).

    PubMed

    Gaion, Andrea; Scuderi, Alice; Pellegrini, David; Sartori, Davide

    2013-11-01

    Toxicity tests were performed with embryos of Paracentrotus lividus to investigate the toxicological effect of two arsenic species: arsenate (As(V)), expected to be more toxic, and dimethyl-arsinate (DMA) expected to be less toxic. Exposures to toxicants were performed at different developmental stages in order to identify the most sensitive phase of embryological development. Statistical analysis revealed a high significance of each factor (Molecule, Concentration and Time of exposure) and their interaction for the dependent variable "Percentage of normal-shaped plutei". In particular, the 8 cell stage was the most sensitive to arsenic; at a concentration of 50 μg L(-1) DMA proved to be more toxic than As(V), resulting in nearly 50 % of normal-shaped plutei against the 74 % recorded for As(V). Starting the administration of arsenic at the morula stage, arsenate proved to be significantly more toxic when compared to DMA.

  10. Multiple signaling events specify ectoderm and pattern the oral-aboral axis in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Wikramanayake, A H; Klein, W H

    1997-01-01

    In the sea urchin embryo, the animal-vegetal axis is established during oogenesis and the oral-aboral axis is specified sometime after fertilization. The mechanisms by which either of these axes are specified and patterned during embryogenesis are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of cellular interactions in the specification of the ectoderm territories and polarization of the ectoderm along the oral-aboral axis. Isolated animal halves (mesomeres), which are fated to give rise to oral and aboral ectoderm, developed into polarized embryoids that expressed an oral ectoderm-specific marker uniformly. These embryoids also produced neuron-like cells and serotonergic neurons, suggesting that mesomeres are autonomously specified as oral ectoderm. Mesomere-derived embryoids did not express any aboral ectoderm-specific markers, although we previously showed that aboral ectoderm-specific genes can be induced by 25 mM lithium chloride, which also induced endoderm formation (Wikramanayake, A. H., Brandhorst, B. P. and Klein, W. H.(1995). Development 121, 1497-1505). To ascertain if endoderm formation is a prerequisite for induction of aboral ectoderm by lithium and for normal ectoderm patterning in animal halves, we modulated the lithium treatment to ensure that no endoderm formed. Remarkably, treating animal halves with 10 mM LiCl at approximately 7 hours postfertilization resulted in embryoids that displayed oral-aboral axis patterning in the absence of endoderm. Application of 25 mM LiCl to animal halves at approximately 16 hours postfertilization, which also did not induce endoderm, resulted in polarized expression of the aboral ectoderm-specific LpS1 protein, but global expression of the Ecto V antigen and no induction of the stomodeum or ciliary band. These results suggest that at least two signals, a positive inductive signal to specify the aboral ectoderm and a negative suppressive signal to inactivate oral ectoderm-specific genes in the prospective

  11. Repression of mesodermal fate by foxa, a key endoderm regulator of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Oliveri, Paola; Walton, Katherine D; Davidson, Eric H; McClay, David R

    2006-11-01

    The foxa gene is an integral component of the endoderm specification subcircuit of the endomesoderm gene regulatory network in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryo. Its transcripts become confined to veg2, then veg1 endodermal territories, and, following gastrulation, throughout the gut. It is also expressed in the stomodeal ectoderm. gatae and otx genes provide input into the pregastrular regulatory system of foxa, and Foxa represses its own transcription, resulting in an oscillatory temporal expression profile. Here, we report three separate essential functions of the foxa gene: it represses mesodermal fate in the veg2 endomesoderm; it is required in postgastrular development for the expression of gut-specific genes; and it is necessary for stomodaeum formation. If its expression is reduced by a morpholino, more endomesoderm cells become pigment and other mesenchymal cell types, less gut is specified, and the larva has no mouth. Experiments in which blastomere transplantation is combined with foxa MASO treatment demonstrate that, in the normal endoderm, a crucial role of Foxa is to repress gcm expression in response to a Notch signal, and hence to repress mesodermal fate. Chimeric recombination experiments in which veg2, veg1 or ectoderm cells contained foxa MASO show which region of foxa expression controls each of the three functions. These experiments show that the foxa gene is a component of three distinct embryonic gene regulatory networks.

  12. Embryotoxicity of the antifouling biocide zinc pyrithione to sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) and mussel (Mytilus edulis).

    PubMed

    Bellas, Juan; Granmo, Ke; Beiras, Ricardo

    2005-11-01

    The effects of the new antifouling compound zinc pyrithione (Zpt) on the embryonic development of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) and mussel (Mytilus edulis) were investigated in laboratory toxicity tests. The median effective concentrations (EC50) were 7.7 nM for sea urchin embryos and 8 nM for mussel embryos. Toxic effects of Zpt on the larval growth of the sea urchin were detected at 0.5 nM. Predicted environmental concentrations of Zpt in pleasure craft harbours are higher than the predicted no effect concentrations for sea urchin and mussel embryos, indicating that Zpt may pose a threat to those species from exposure in the field.

  13. Rapid aquatic toxicity assay using incorporation of tritiated-thymidine into sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, embryo: evaluation of toxicant exposure procedures

    SciTech Connect

    Nacci, D.E.; Jackim, E.

    1985-01-01

    Toxicity of substances in seawater was measured using growth inhibition of embryonic sea urchins during a short period after fertilization. Growth of Arbacia punctulata embryos was monitored by incorporation of tritium-labeled thymidine. The paper presents a comparison of toxicant exposure procedures using the Arbacia embryo thymidine incorporation test. Toxicant exposure began before, at the time of, or after fertilization and continued for 4 h following fertilization. In addition to the eight organic chemicals tested for comparison to acute toxicity values for other species, several chemicals with embryotoxic potentials (tumor promoters and teratogens) were tested to determine differential sensitivities of exposed life-stages: unfertilized egg, fertilization, and early embryo. EC50 values for any one substance were not significantly changed by exposure modification. Toxicity values for exposures that included fertilization as well as early embryo growth were at least as sensitive as post-fertilization exposure values for all compounds tested except one. Because of technical ease and potential sensitivity, toxicant exposure that includes fertilization as well as early embryo growth (but not unfertilized egg exposure) is recommended for future testing.

  14. Assessing the toxicity of chemical compounds associated with land-based marine fish farms: the sea urchin embryo bioassay with Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula.

    PubMed

    Carballeira, C; De Orte, M R; Viana, I G; Delvalls, T A; Carballeira, A

    2012-08-01

    In aquaculture, disinfection of facilities, prevention of fish diseases, and stimulation of fish growth are priority goals and the most important sources of toxic substances to the environment, together with excretory products from fish. In the present study, embryos of two species of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) were exposed to serial dilutions of six antibiotics (amoxicillin (AMOX), ampicillin, flumequine (FLU), oxytetracycline (OTC), streptomycin (ST), and sulfadiazine [SFD]) and two disinfectants (sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and formaldehyde [CH(2)O]). Alterations in larval development were studied, and the effective concentrations (ECs) were calculated to evaluate the toxicity of the substances. Both species showed similar sensitivities to all substances tested. Disinfectants (EC(50) = 1.78 and 1.79 mg/l for CH(2)O; EC(50) = 10.15 and 11.1 mg/l for NaClO) were found to be more toxic than antibiotics. AMOX, OTC, and ST caused <20 % of alterations, even at the highest concentrations tested. FLU was the most toxic to P. lividus (EC(50) = 31.0 mg/l) and SFD to A. lixula (EC(50) = 12.7 mg/l). The sea urchin bioassay should be considered within toxicity assessment-monitoring plans because of the sensitivity of larvae to disinfectants.

  15. Protein translation during early cell divisions of sea urchin embryos regulated at the level of polypeptide chain elongation and highly sensitive to natural polyamines.

    PubMed

    Monnier, A; Morales, J; Cormier, P; Boulben, S; Bellé, R; Mulner-Lorillon, O

    2001-08-01

    Protein synthesis was analysed following fertilisation in sea urchin. Fluctuations in the accumulation of neo-synthesised proteins were observed during the first cell cycles. Accurate translation analyses were performed from lysates prepared from early embryos. The lysates readily translated endogenous pre-initiated mRNAs allowing the determination of elongation rates in the absence of re-initiation in vitro. The translation capacity of embryo lysates increased 18-fold from 0 to 90 min after fertilisation, reflecting the increase in the amount of pre-initiated mRNAs during early development. Kinetics analysis at a short time interval during the course of early development (240 min) showed an overall increase in the elongation rate (> 10-fold) which is regulated by pauses in synchrony with the cell divisions. Elongation activity in the lysates was highly sensitive to the natural polyamines, spermine (ID50 = 0.2 mM) and spermidine (ID50 = 1.8 mM), indicating high potential regulation by the intracellular level of polyamines in embryos. The regulation in the elongation changes associated with the early embryo cell divisions is discussed in the light of the physiological fluctuations in polyamine concentrations.

  16. Isolation and assessment of signaling proteins from synchronized cultures during egg activation and through the egg-to-embryo transition in sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Roux-Osovitz, Michelle M; Foltz, Kathy R

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchins are an excellent model system for investigating fertilization mechanisms and fundamental cell biological phenomenon such as release from quiescence, cell division, secretion, and basic signal transduction. The ease of gamete collection, fertilization, and culture is complemented by exquisite developmental synchronicity and the ability to carry out both large-scale biochemical studies and single-cell experiments. In particular, fertilization in echinoderms serves as a paradigm for a digital signaling event-a one-time only switch that launches the egg into the developmental pathway. Sperm-induced egg activation is dependent on the release of calcium from internal stores and subsequent effects on a myriad of cellular events such as exocytosis, cytoskeletal remodeling, and cell cycle reentry. Here we describe methods to investigate individual signaling proteins as well as global proteomic and phosphoproteomic changes involved in the initial steps of egg activation through the egg-to-embryo transition.

  17. Developmental appearance of factors that bind specifically to cis-regulatory sequences of a gene expressed in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Calzone, F J; Thézé, N; Thiebaud, P; Hill, R L; Britten, R J; Davidson, E H

    1988-09-01

    Previous gene-transfer experiments have identified a 2500-nucleotide 5' domain of the CyIIIa cytoskeletal actin gene, which contains cis-regulatory sequences that are necessary and sufficient for spatial and temporal control of CyIIIa gene expression during embryogenesis. This gene is activated in late cleavage, exclusively in aboral ectoderm cell lineages. In this study, we focus on interactions demonstrated in vitro between sequences of the regulatory domain and proteins present in crude extracts derived from sea urchin embryo nuclei and from unfertilized eggs. Quantitative gel-shift measurements are utilized to estimate minimum numbers of factor molecules per embryo at 24 hr postfertilization, when the CyIIIa gene is active, at 7 hr, when it is still silent, and in the unfertilized egg. We also estimate the binding affinity preferences (Kr) of the various factors for their respective sites, relative to their affinity for synthetic DNA competitors. At least 14 different specific interactions occur within the regulatory regions, some of which produce multiple DNA-protein complexes. Values of Kr range from approximately 2 x 10(4) to approximately 2 x 10(6) for these factors under the conditions applied. With one exception, the minimum factor prevalences that we measured in the 400-cell 24-hr embryo nuclear extracts fell within the range of 2 x 10(5) to 2 x 10(6) molecules per embryo, i.e., a few hundred to a few thousand molecules per nucleus. Three developmental patterns were observed with respect to factor prevalence: Factors reacting at one site were found in unfertilized egg cytoplasm at about the same level per egg or embryo as in 24-hr embryo nuclei; factors reacting with five other regions of the regulatory domain are not detectable in egg cytoplasm but in 7-hr mid-cleavage-stage embryo, nuclei are already at or close to their concentrations in the 24-hr embryo nuclei; and factors reacting with five additional regions are not detectable in egg cytoplasm and

  18. Toxicity of lead and zinc to developing mussel and sea urchin embryos: critical tissue residues and effects of dissolved organic matter and salinity.

    PubMed

    Nadella, Sunita R; Tellis, Margaret; Diamond, Rachael; Smith, Scott; Bianchini, Adalto; Wood, Chris M

    2013-08-01

    Lead (Pb) EC50 values in the very sensitive early development phases (48-72h post-fertilization) of the mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis and Mytilus trossolus and sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus in 100% sea water were: M. trossolus - 45 (95% C.I.=22-72) μgL(-1); M. galloprovincialis - 63 (36-94) μgL(-1); S. purpuratus - 74 (50-101) μgL(-1). Salinity thresholds for normal development varied: M. trossolus>21ppt; M. galloprovincialis>28ppt; S. purpuratus≥30ppt. Addition of two spectroscopically distinct dissolved organic matters (DOM) from fresh water (Nordic Reservoir) and sea water (Inshore) moderately decreased the toxicity of Pb to both mussels, but not in a concentration-dependent fashion, with only an approximate doubling of EC50 over the range of 1.4-11.2mgCL(-1). Independent Pb binding capacity determinations for DOC explained the lack of a relationship between DOM concentration and toxicity. Salinity had no effect on Pb toxicity down to 21ppt in M. trossolus, and low salinity (21ppt) did not enhance the protective effect of DOC. Both DOMs increased the toxicity of Pb in developing sea urchin embryos, in contrast to mussels. Relative to Pb, the organisms were 6-9 fold less sensitive to Zn on a molar basis in 100% seawater with the following Zn EC50s: M. trossolus - 135 (103-170) μgL(-1); M. galloprovincialis - 172 (126-227) μgL(-1), S. purpuratus - 151 (129-177) μgL(-1). Nordic Reservoir and Inshore DOM (2-12mgCL(-1)) had no significant effect on Zn toxicity to mussels, in accord with voltammetry data showing an absence of any strong ligand binding for Zn by DOMs. As with Pb, DOMs increased Zn toxicity to urchin larvae. Critical Tissue Residues (CTR) based on whole body concentrations of Pb and Zn were determined for M. galloprovincialis at 48h and S. purpuratus at 72h. The median lethal CTR values (LA50s), useful parameters for development of saltwater Biotic Ligand Models (BLMs), were approximately 4-fold higher on a molar basis for Zn than

  19. DNA-methylation dependent regulation of embryo-specific 5S ribosomal DNA cluster transcription in adult tissues of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Bellavia, Daniele; Dimarco, Eufrosina; Naselli, Flores; Caradonna, Fabio

    2013-10-01

    We have previously reported a molecular and cytogenetic characterization of three different 5S rDNA clusters in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and recently, demonstrated the presence of high heterogeneity in functional 5S rRNA. In this paper, we show some important distinctive data on 5S rRNA transcription for this organism. Using single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, we demonstrate the existence of two classes of 5S rRNA, one which is embryo-specific and encoded by the smallest (700 bp) cluster and the other which is expressed at every stage and encoded by longer clusters (900 and 950 bp). We also demonstrate that the embryo-specific class of 5S rRNA is expressed in oocytes and embryonic stages and is silenced in adult tissue and that this phenomenon appears to be due exclusively to DNA methylation, as indicated by sensitivity to 5-azacytidine, unlike Xenopus where this mechanism is necessary but not sufficient to maintain the silenced status.

  20. Time-resolved evolution of short- and long-range order during the transformation of amorphous calcium carbonate to calcite in the sea urchin embryo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tester, Chantel; Wu, Ching-Hsuan; Krejci, Minna; Mueller, Laura; Park, Alex; Lai, Barry; Chen, Si; Sun, Chengjun; Balasubramanian, Mahaling; Joester, Derk

    2013-03-01

    The biological use of amorphous mineral precursors is thought to be directly related to the ability to create single crystalline, yet composite materials with complex shapes that are beyond our synthetic capabilities. Despite considerable effort in recent years, it has not been possible to capture the mechanistic detail of the disorder-to-order transformation that is a key element of this process. This is largely due to lack of sensitivity, lack of temporal and spatial resolution, and artifacts of sample preparation. To overcome these challenges we use strontium as a probe for X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). In pulse-chase experiments, sea urchin embryos incorporate Sr2 + from Sr-enriched seawater into small volumes of the developing endoskeleton. During the chase, the transformation of the newly deposited amorphous mineral is characterized by Sr-K α XAS of cryo-frozen whole embryos. We find that the initial mineral has short-range order resembling hydrated amorphous calcium carbonate. Within 3h, the short-range order of calcite is adopted, with long-range order developing over the next 20h. Pulse-chase experiments combined with heavy element labeling can be used in numerous mineralizing systems to study phase transformations during biological crystal growth.

  1. 3-Amino-thieno[2,3-b]pyridines as microtubule-destabilising agents: Molecular modelling and biological evaluation in the sea urchin embryo and human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Eurtivong, Chatchakorn; Semenov, Victor; Semenova, Marina; Konyushkin, Leonid; Atamanenko, Olga; Reynisson, Jóhannes; Kiselyov, Alex

    2017-01-15

    A series of 3-amino-thieno[2,3-b]pyridines was prepared and tested in a phenotypic sea urchin embryo assay to identify potent and specific molecules that affect tubulin dynamics. The most active compounds featured a tricyclic core ring system with a fused cycloheptyl or cyclohexyl substituent and unsubstituted or alkyl-substituted phenyl moiety tethered via a carboxamide. Low nano-molar potency was observed in the sea urchin embryos for the most active compounds (1-5) suggestive of a microtubule-destabilising effect. The molecular modelling studies indicated that the tubulin colchicine site is inhibited, which often leads to microtubule-destabilisation in line with the sea urchin embryo results. Finally, the identified hits displayed a robust growth inhibition (GI50 of 50-250nM) of multidrug-resistant melanoma MDA-MB-435 and breast MDA-MB-468 human cancer cell lines. This work demonstrates that for the thieno[2,3-b]pyridines the most effective mechanism of action is microtubule-destabilisation initiated by binding to the colchicine pocket.

  2. Traditional Chinese medicine--sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Shang, Xiao-Hui; Liu, Xiao-Yu; Zhang, Jian-Peng; Gao, Yun; Jiao, Bing-Hua; Zheng, Heng; Lu, Xiao-Ling

    2014-01-01

    The sea urchin is an ancient, common, seafloor-dwelling marine invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Echinodermata. There are multiple species of sea urchin with resources that are widely distributed in China, where they were used in ancient times as Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating a variety of diseases. At present, it is known that the shell, spine and gonad of the sea urchin have many medicinal values determined through modern research. In this paper, we summarized the major chemical constituents and medicinal value of the sea urchin.

  3. Micromechanics of Sea Urchin spines.

    PubMed

    Tsafnat, Naomi; Fitz Gerald, John D; Le, Hai N; Stachurski, Zbigniew H

    2012-01-01

    The endoskeletal structure of the Sea Urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii, has numerous long spines whose known functions include locomotion, sensing, and protection against predators. These spines have a remarkable internal microstructure and are made of single-crystal calcite. A finite-element model of the spine's unique porous structure, based on micro-computed tomography (microCT) and incorporating anisotropic material properties, was developed to study its response to mechanical loading. Simulations show that high stress concentrations occur at certain points in the spine's architecture; brittle cracking would likely initiate in these regions. These analyses demonstrate that the organization of single-crystal calcite in the unique, intricate morphology of the sea urchin spine results in a strong, stiff and lightweight structure that enhances its strength despite the brittleness of its constituent material.

  4. The Maternal Maverick/GDF15-like TGF-β Ligand Panda Directs Dorsal-Ventral Axis Formation by Restricting Nodal Expression in the Sea Urchin Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Haillot, Emmanuel; Molina, Maria Dolores; Lapraz, François; Lepage, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Specification of the dorsal-ventral axis in the highly regulative sea urchin embryo critically relies on the zygotic expression of nodal, but whether maternal factors provide the initial spatial cue to orient this axis is not known. Although redox gradients have been proposed to entrain the dorsal-ventral axis by acting upstream of nodal, manipulating the activity of redox gradients only has modest consequences, suggesting that other factors are responsible for orienting nodal expression and defining the dorsal-ventral axis. Here we uncover the function of Panda, a maternally provided transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) ligand that requires the activin receptor-like kinases (Alk) Alk3/6 and Alk1/2 receptors to break the radial symmetry of the embryo and orient the dorsal-ventral axis by restricting nodal expression. We found that the double inhibition of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptors Alk3/6 and Alk1/2 causes a phenotype dramatically more severe than the BMP2/4 loss-of-function phenotype, leading to extreme ventralization of the embryo through massive ectopic expression of nodal, suggesting that an unidentified signal acting through BMP type I receptors cooperates with BMP2/4 to restrict nodal expression. We identified this ligand as the product of maternal Panda mRNA. Double inactivation of panda and bmp2/4 led to extreme ventralization, mimicking the phenotype caused by inactivation of the two BMP receptors. Inhibition of maternal panda mRNA translation disrupted the early spatial restriction of nodal, leading to persistent massive ectopic expression of nodal on the dorsal side despite the presence of Lefty. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Panda is not a prototypical BMP ligand but a member of a subfamily of TGF-β distantly related to Inhibins, Lefty, and TGF-β that includes Maverick from Drosophila and GDF15 from vertebrates. Indeed, overexpression of Panda does not appear to directly or strongly activate phosphoSmad1

  5. The Maternal Maverick/GDF15-like TGF-β Ligand Panda Directs Dorsal-Ventral Axis Formation by Restricting Nodal Expression in the Sea Urchin Embryo.

    PubMed

    Haillot, Emmanuel; Molina, Maria Dolores; Lapraz, François; Lepage, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Specification of the dorsal-ventral axis in the highly regulative sea urchin embryo critically relies on the zygotic expression of nodal, but whether maternal factors provide the initial spatial cue to orient this axis is not known. Although redox gradients have been proposed to entrain the dorsal-ventral axis by acting upstream of nodal, manipulating the activity of redox gradients only has modest consequences, suggesting that other factors are responsible for orienting nodal expression and defining the dorsal-ventral axis. Here we uncover the function of Panda, a maternally provided transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) ligand that requires the activin receptor-like kinases (Alk) Alk3/6 and Alk1/2 receptors to break the radial symmetry of the embryo and orient the dorsal-ventral axis by restricting nodal expression. We found that the double inhibition of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptors Alk3/6 and Alk1/2 causes a phenotype dramatically more severe than the BMP2/4 loss-of-function phenotype, leading to extreme ventralization of the embryo through massive ectopic expression of nodal, suggesting that an unidentified signal acting through BMP type I receptors cooperates with BMP2/4 to restrict nodal expression. We identified this ligand as the product of maternal Panda mRNA. Double inactivation of panda and bmp2/4 led to extreme ventralization, mimicking the phenotype caused by inactivation of the two BMP receptors. Inhibition of maternal panda mRNA translation disrupted the early spatial restriction of nodal, leading to persistent massive ectopic expression of nodal on the dorsal side despite the presence of Lefty. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Panda is not a prototypical BMP ligand but a member of a subfamily of TGF-β distantly related to Inhibins, Lefty, and TGF-β that includes Maverick from Drosophila and GDF15 from vertebrates. Indeed, overexpression of Panda does not appear to directly or strongly activate phosphoSmad1

  6. Assessment of the individual and mixture toxicity of cadmium, copper and oxytetracycline, on the embryo-larval development of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Gharred, Tahar; Jebali, Jamel; Belgacem, Mariem; Mannai, Rabeb; Achour, Sami

    2016-09-01

    Multiple pollutions by trace metals and pharmaceuticals have become one of the most important problems in marine coastal areas because of its excessive toxicity on organisms living in this area. This study aimed to assess the individual and mixture toxicity of Cu, Cd, and oxytetracycline frequently existing in the contaminated marine areas and the embryo-larval development of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. The individual contamination of the spermatozoid for 1 h with the increasing concentrations of Cd, Cu, and OTC decreases the fertility rate and increases larvae anomalies in the order Cu > Cd > OTC. Moreover, the normal larva frequency and the length of spicules were more sensitive than the fertilization rate and normal gastrula frequency endpoints. The mixture toxicity assessed by multiple experimental designs showed clearly that concentrations of Cd, Cu, and OTC superior to 338 μg/L, 0.56 μg/L, and 0.83 mg/L, respectively, cause significant larva malformations.

  7. Nuclear AP/sub 4/A-binding activity of sea urchin embryos changes in relation to the initiation of S phase

    SciTech Connect

    Morioka, M.; Shimada, H.

    1986-01-01

    The AP/sub 4/A-binding activity of sea urchin embryos was studied using radioactively labelled diadenosine 5', 5'''-P/sup 1/,P/sup 4/-tetraphosphate (Ap/sub 4/A). Among various subcellular components that can bind (/sup 3/H)AP/sub 4/A, nuclei alone showed the highly specific Ap/sub 4/A-binding activity which was not influenced by the presence of AP/sub 4/A, AP/sub 5/A and GP/sub 4/G. The addition of an excess amount of ATP only slightly reduced the binding of (/sup 3/H)AP/sub 4/A to the nuclei. It was found that AP/sub 4/A binds to the residual proteinaceous structure of nuclei which was resistant to the extraction with 2 M NaCl. The nuclear AP/sub 4/A-binding activity fluctuated cyclically during each cell cycle, with at transient increase at the beginning of S phase followed by an abrupt-decrease within 10 min. When the initiation of S phase was blocked, the increase in the AP/sub 4/A-binding activity was also prevented. It seems that the binding of AP/sub 4/A to the nuclear structural protein is involved in the initiation of S phase.

  8. Evaluation of effectiveness of EDTA and sodium thiosulfate in removing metal toxicity toward sea urchin embryo-larval applying the TIE.

    PubMed

    Resgalla, C; Poleza, F; Souza, R C; Máximo, M V; Radetski, C M

    2012-09-01

    Since the development of the TIE (Toxicity Identification and Evaluation) in 1988 it has been assumed that the capacity of EDTA and sodium thiosulfate to complex some metals, and thus remove their toxicity, can be applied to both freshwater and seawater ecotoxicological tests and the results subsequently interpreted. However, it is now known that there is a wide variability in the extent of this complexation. In this context, the removal of toxicity caused by the presence of Hg(2+), Cd(2+), Cu(2+), Cr(6+), Zn(2+), Ni(2+), Pb(2+), Ag(1+) and Se(2+), through metal complexation by EDTA and sodium thiosulfate, in relation to the performance of embryo-larval tests with the sea urchin Arbacia lixula was investigated. It was observed that EDTA was capable of removing the toxicity of Pb(2+), Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) while sodium thiosulfate only reduced the toxicity of Ag(1+). Compared to the complexation observed in freshwater ecotoxicological tests, the complexing agents used in this study (EDTA and sodium thiosulfate) have a lower capacity to complex metals in the marine ecotoxicological test with A. lixula.

  9. Heterologous expression of newly identified galectin-8 from sea urchin embryos produces recombinant protein with lactose binding specificity and anti-adhesive activity

    PubMed Central

    Karakostis, Kostantinos; Costa, Caterina; Zito, Francesca; Matranga, Valeria

    2015-01-01

    Galectin family members specifically bind beta-galactoside derivatives and are involved in different cellular events, including cell communication, signalling, apoptosis, and immune responses. Here, we report a tandem-repeat type galectin from the Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin embryo, referred to as Pl-GAL-8. The 933nt sequence encodes a protein of 34.73 kDa, containing the conserved HFNPRF and WGxExR motifs in the two highly similar carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRD). The three-dimensional protein structure model of the N-CRD confirms the high evolutionary conservation of carbohydrate binding sites. The temporal gene expression is regulated during development and transcripts localize at the tip of the archenteron at gastrula stage, in a subset of the secondary mesenchyme cells that differentiate into blastocoelar (immune) cells. Functional studies using a recombinant Pl-GAL-8 expressed in bacteria demonstrate its hemo-agglutinating activity on human red blood cells through the binding to lactose, as well as its ability in inhibiting the adhesion of human Hep-G2 cells to the substrate. The recent implications in autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders make Gal-8 an attractive candidate for therapeutic purposes. Our results offer a solid basis for addressing the use of the new Pl-GAL-8 in functional and applicative studies, respectively in the developmental and biomedical fields. PMID:26640155

  10. Reciprocal Signaling between the Ectoderm and a Mesendodermal Left-Right Organizer Directs Left-Right Determination in the Sea Urchin Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Bessodes, Nathalie; Haillot, Emmanuel; Duboc, Véronique; Röttinger, Eric; Lahaye, François; Lepage, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    During echinoderm development, expression of nodal on the right side plays a crucial role in positioning of the rudiment on the left side, but the mechanisms that restrict nodal expression to the right side are not known. Here we show that establishment of left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin embryo relies on reciprocal signaling between the ectoderm and a left-right organizer located in the endomesoderm. FGF/ERK and BMP2/4 signaling are required to initiate nodal expression in this organizer, while Delta/Notch signaling is required to suppress formation of this organizer on the left side of the archenteron. Furthermore, we report that the H+/K+-ATPase is critically required in the Notch signaling pathway upstream of the S3 cleavage of Notch. Our results identify several novel players and key early steps responsible for initiation, restriction, and propagation of left-right asymmetry during embryogenesis of a non-chordate deuterostome and uncover a functional link between the H+/K+-ATPase and the Notch signaling pathway. PMID:23271979

  11. Response to heat shock of different sea urchin species.

    PubMed

    Roccheri, M C; Sconzo, G; La Rosa, M; Oliva, D; Abrignani, A; Giudice, G

    1986-03-01

    It is demonstrated that sea urchin embryos of the species Sphaerechinus granularis are able to respond to heat shock by producing heat shock proteins at the same stage as embryos of Paracentrotus lividus, i.e. after hatching. Arbacia lixula embryos are able to synthesize heat shock proteins already at the stage of 64-128 blastomeres. Embryonic survival is observed if the embryos are heated at the stages at which they can synthesize the heat shock proteins. The inhibition of the bulk protein synthesis after heating at 31 degrees C is never less than 50%.

  12. Ecological role of purple sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Pearse, John S

    2006-11-10

    Sea urchins are major components of marine communities. Their grazing limits algal biomass, and they are preyed upon by many predators. Purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) are among the best studied species. They live in environments that alternate between two stable states: luxuriant, species-rich kelp forests and sea urchin-dominated "barrens." The transition from one state to the other can be initiated by several factors, including the abundance of algal food, predators, storm intensities, and incidence of disease. Purple sea urchins compete with other grazers, some of which are important fishery resources (such as abalones and red sea urchins), and they are harvested for scientific research. Revelations from their genome will lead to a better understanding of how they maintain their ecological importance, and may in turn enhance their economic potential.

  13. Aquatic antagonists: cutaneous sea urchin spine injury.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Clifford; Aronson, Erica R; Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Arlene M

    2016-11-01

    Injuries from sea urchin spines are commonly seen in coastal regions with high levels of participation in water activities. Although these injuries may seem minor, the consequences vary based on the location of the injury. Sea urchin spine injuries may cause arthritis and synovitis from spines in the joints. Nonjoint injuries have been reported, and dermatologic aspects of sea urchin spine injuries rarely have been discussed. We present a case of a patient with sea urchin spines embedded in the thigh who subsequently developed painful skin nodules. Tissue from the site of the injury demonstrated foreign-body type granulomas. Following the removal of the spines and granulomatous tissue, the patient experienced resolution of the nodules and associated pain. Extraction of sea urchin spines can attenuate the pain and decrease the likelihood of granuloma formation, infection, and long-term sequelae.

  14. Translational control genes in the sea urchin genome.

    PubMed

    Morales, Julia; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Cosson, Bertrand; Morin, Emmanuelle; Bellé, Robert; Bradham, Cynthia A; Beane, Wendy S; Cormier, Patrick

    2006-12-01

    Sea urchin eggs and early cleavage stage embryos provide an example of regulated gene expression at the level of translation. The availability of the sea urchin genome offers the opportunity to investigate the "translational control" toolkit of this model system. The annotation of the genome reveals that most of the factors implicated in translational control are encoded by nonredundant genes in echinoderm, an advantage for future functional studies. In this paper, we focus on translation factors that have been shown or suggested to play crucial role in cell cycle and development of sea urchin embryos. Addressing the cap-binding translational control, three closely related eIF4E genes (class I, II, III) are present, whereas its repressor 4E-BP and its activator eIF4G are both encoded by one gene. Analysis of the class III eIF4E proteins in various phyla shows an echinoderm-specific amino acid substitution. Furthermore, an interaction site between eIF4G and poly(A)-binding protein is uncovered in the sea urchin eIF4G proteins and is conserved in metazoan evolution. In silico screening of the sea urchin genome has uncovered potential new regulators of eIF4E sharing the common eIF4E recognition motif. Taking together, these data provide new insights regarding the strong requirement of cap-dependent translation following fertilization. The genome analysis gives insights on the complexity of eEF1B structure and motifs of functional relevance, involved in the translational control of gene expression at the level of elongation. Finally, because deregulation of translation process can lead to diseases and tumor formation in humans, the sea urchin orthologs of human genes implicated in human diseases and signaling pathways regulating translation were also discussed.

  15. Quantitative developmental transcriptomes of the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Gildor, Tsvia; Malik, Assaf; Sher, Noa; Avraham, Linor; Ben-Tabou de-Leon, Smadar

    2016-02-01

    Embryonic development progresses through the timely activation of thousands of differentially activated genes. Quantitative developmental transcriptomes provide the means to relate global patterns of differentially expressed genes to the emerging body plans they generate. The sea urchin is one of the classic model systems for embryogenesis and the models of its developmental gene regulatory networks are of the most comprehensive of their kind. Thus, the sea urchin embryo is an excellent system for studies of its global developmental transcriptional profiles. Here we produced quantitative developmental transcriptomes of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (P. lividus) at seven developmental stages from the fertilized egg to prism stage. We generated de-novo reference transcriptome and identified 29,817 genes that are expressed at this time period. We annotated and quantified gene expression at the different developmental stages and confirmed the reliability of the expression profiles by QPCR measurement of a subset of genes. The progression of embryo development is reflected in the observed global expression patterns and in our principle component analysis. Our study illuminates the rich patterns of gene expression that participate in sea urchin embryogenesis and provide an essential resource for further studies of the dynamic expression of P. lividus genes.

  16. Spindle microtubule dynamics in sea urchin embryos: analysis using a fluorescein-labeled tubulin and measurements of fluorescence redistribution after laser photobleaching

    PubMed Central

    1984-01-01

    The rate of exchange of tubulin that is incorporated into spindle microtubules with dimeric tubulin in the cytoplasm has been measured in sea urchin eggs by studying fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching (FRAP). Dichlorotriazinyl amino fluorescein (DTAF) has been used to label bovine brain tubulin. DTAF-tubulin has been injected into fertilized eggs of Lytechinus variegatus and allowed to equilibrate with the endogenous tubulin pool. Fluorescent spindles formed at the same time that spindles were seen in control eggs, and the injected embryos proceeded through many cycles of division on schedule, suggesting that DTAF-tubulin is a good analogue of tubulin in vivo. A microbeam of argon laser light has been used to bleach parts of the fluorescent spindles, and FRAP has been recorded with a sensitive video camera. Laser bleaching did not affect spindle structure, as seen with polarization optics, nor spindle function, as seen by rate of progress through mitosis, even when one spindle was bleached several times in a single cell cycle. Video image analysis has been used to measure the rate of FRAP and to obtain a low resolution view of the fluorescence redistribution process. The half-time for spindle FRAP is approximately 19 s, even when an entire half-spindle is bleached. Complete exchange of tubulin in nonkinetochore spindle and astral microtubules appeared to occur within 60-80 s at steady state. This rate is too fast to be explained by a simple microtubule end-dependent exchange of tubulin. Efficient microtubule treadmilling would be fast enough, but with current techniques we saw no evidence for movement of the bleached spot during recovery, which we would expect on the basis of Margolis and Wilson's model (Nature (Lond.)., 1981, 293:705)-- fluorescence recovers uniformly. Microtubules may be depolymerizing and repolymerizing rapidly and asynchronously throughout the spindle and asters, but the FRAP data are most compatible with a rapid exchange of

  17. DNA damage and developmental defects after exposure to UV and heavy metals in sea urchin cells and embryos compared to other invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schröder, H C; Di Bella, G; Janipour, N; Bonaventura, R; Russo, R; Müller, W E G; Matranga, V

    2005-01-01

    The depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer and the resulting increase in hazardous ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the Earth are of major concern not only for terrestrial but also for aquatic organisms. UV-B is able to penetrate clear water to ecologically significant depths. This chapter deals with the effects of UV radiation on DNA integrity in marine benthic organisms, in particular sea urchins in comparison to other marine invertebrates (sponges and corals). These animals cannot escape the damaging effects of UV-B radiation and may be additionally exposed to pollution from natural or anthropogenic sources. Besides eggs and larvae that lack a protective epidermal layer and are particularly prone to the damaging effects of UV radiation, coelomocytes from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus were used as a "cellular sensor" to analyse the effects on DNA caused by UV-B, heavy metals (cadmium), and their combined actions. From our data we conclude that sea urchin coelomocytes as well as cells from other marine invertebrates are useful bioindicators of UV-B and heavy metal stress, responding to these stressors with different extents of DNA damage.

  18. Brn1/2/4, the predicted midgut regulator of the endo16 gene of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Yuh, Chiou-Hwa; Dorman, Elizabeth R; Davidson, Eric H

    2005-05-15

    A specific prediction of our detailed cis-regulatory analysis of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Sp) endo16 gene was that the later expression of this gene would be driven by a midgut-specific transcriptional regulator. We have now identified this factor and determined some of its functions. The cDNA sequence reveals it to be a POU domain factor related closely to the mammalian factors Brain-1, -2, and -4. The factor was termed SpBrn1/2/4 (henceforth Brn1/2/4). Quantitative measurements of transcript prevalence show that the gene is first activated in the 20-h blastula, but there remain only about 100 molecules of brn1/2/4 mRNA per embryo (only a few per endoderm cell) until an abrupt 10-fold increase occurs as gastrulation begins. Measured in the same embryos, the late rise in prevalence of endo16 transcripts follows that of brn1/2/4 transcripts. As predicted by the endo16 model, brn1/2/4 expression is confined perfectly to the midgut, coincident with the domain of endo16 expression. The kinetics of accumulation of these transcripts indicates that the switch into the late phase of endo16 expression occurs when the brn1/2/4 transcript level nears its plateau (2000 molecules mRNA per embryo), after which each endo16 gene produces about 1 mRNA every 2 min (about 380 molecules mRNA per min in the whole embryo). Arrest of Brn1/2/4 translation by MASO treatment blocks the late phase of endo16 expression and specifically abolishes expression of cis-regulatory Module B of endo16, while not affecting Module A, also as predicted. The brn1/2/4 gene lies downstream of the regulatory genes executing post-gastrular specification of the midgut, as shown by further gene expression perturbation experiments which provide an initial glimpse of the underlying network architecture.

  19. Dicer is required for the normal development of sea urchin, Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus.

    PubMed

    Okamitsu, Yuka; Yamamoto, Takashi; Fujii, Takayoshi; Ochiai, Hiroshi; Sakamoto, Naoaki

    2010-06-01

    MicroRNAs are single-stranded RNA molecules with a length of 19-25 nucleotides, which play roles in various biological phenomena, including development, differentiation, apoptosis, by regulating target gene expression. Although the presence of microRNA molecules in sea urchin and the expression of genes involved in microRNA biogenesis during sea urchin development have been reported recently, the function of microRNA in sea urchin development remains to be elucidated. In this study, to understand the function of microRNA in the early development of sea urchin, we focused on Dicer, an essential enzyme for biosynthesis of mature microRNA. We determined the nucleotide sequence of cDNA for a Dicer homolog in the sea urchin, Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus, HpDcr, and found that functional domains of Dicer proteins are conserved in HpDcr. Analyses of its pattern of expression showed that HpDcr mRNA is expressed in embryos at all developmental stages analyzed, and seems to distribute asymmetrically at the morula and later stages. Knockdown of HpDcr resulted in anomalous morphogenesis, such as impairment of gastrulation and skeletogenesis at the mesenchyme blastula stage and later stages, and alteration of mRNA levels of cell type-specific genes. Thus, HpDcr plays important roles in morphogenesis in sea urchin embryos, suggesting that miRNA could be involved in the early development of sea urchin by regulating target gene expression.

  20. Isolating specific embryonic cells of the sea urchin by FACS.

    PubMed

    Juliano, Celina; Swartz, S Zachary; Wessel, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Isolating cells based on specific gene expression enables a focused biochemical and molecular analysis. While cultured cells and hematopoietic cells, for example, are routinely isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), early embryonic cells are a relatively untapped source for FACS applications often because the embryos of many animals are quite limiting. Furthermore, many applications require genetic model organisms in which cells can be labeled by fluorescent transgenes, or antibodies against cell surface antigens. Here we define conditions in the sea urchin embryo for isolation of embryonic cells based on expression of specific proteins. We use the sea urchin embryo for which a nearly unlimited supply of embryonic cells is available and demonstrate the conditions for separation of the embryo into single cells, fixation of the cells for antibody penetration into the cells, and conditions for FACS of a rare cell type in the embryo. This protocol may be adapted for analysis of mRNA, chromatin, protein, or carbohydrates and depends only on the probe availability for the cell of interest. We anticipate that this protocol will be broadly applicable to embryos of other species.

  1. Expression of Pigment Cell-Specific Genes in the Ontogenesis of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius

    PubMed Central

    Ageenko, Natalya V.; Kiselev, Konstantin V.; Odintsova, Nelly A.

    2011-01-01

    One of the polyketide compounds, the naphthoquinone pigment echinochrome, is synthesized in sea urchin pigment cells. We analyzed polyketide synthase (pks) and sulfotransferase (sult) gene expression in embryos and larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius from various stages of development and in specific tissues of the adults. We observed the highest level of expression of the pks and sult genes at the gastrula stage. In unfertilized eggs, only trace amounts of the pks and sult transcripts were detected, whereas no transcripts of these genes were observed in spermatozoids. The addition of shikimic acid, a precursor of naphthoquinone pigments, to zygotes and embryos increased the expression of the pks and sult genes. Our findings, including the development of specific conditions to promote pigment cell differentiation of embryonic sea urchin cells in culture, represent a definitive study on the molecular signaling pathways that are involved in the biosynthesis of pigments during sea urchin development. PMID:21804858

  2. Phylogenomics of strongylocentrotid sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Strongylocentrotid sea urchins have a long tradition as model organisms for studying many fundamental processes in biology including fertilization, embryology, development and genome regulation but the phylogenetic relationships of the group remain largely unresolved. Although the differing isolating mechanisms of vicariance and rapidly evolving gamete recognition proteins have been proposed, a stable and robust phylogeny is unavailable. Results We used a phylogenomic approach with mitochondrial and nuclear genes taking advantage of the whole-genome sequencing of nine species in the group to establish a stable (i.e. concordance in tree topology among multiple lies of evidence) and robust (i.e. high nodal support) phylogenetic hypothesis for the family Strongylocentrotidae. We generated eight draft mitochondrial genome assemblies and obtained 13 complete mitochondrial genes for each species. Consistent with previous studies, mitochondrial sequences failed to provide a reliable phylogeny. In contrast, we obtained a very well-supported phylogeny from 2301 nuclear genes without evidence of positive Darwinian selection both from the majority of most-likely gene trees and the concatenated fourfold degenerate sites: ((P. depressus, (M. nudus, M. franciscanus), (H. pulcherrimus, (S. purpuratus, (S. fragilis, (S. pallidus, (S. droebachiensis, S. intermedius)). This phylogeny was consistent with a single invasion of deep-water environments followed by a holarctic expansion by Strongylocentrotus. Divergence times for each species estimated with reference to the divergence times between the two major clades of the group suggest a correspondence in the timing with the opening of the Bering Strait and the invasion of the holarctic regions. Conclusions Nuclear genome data contains phylogenetic signal informative for understanding the evolutionary history of this group. However, mitochondrial genome data does not. Vicariance can explain major patterns observed in the

  3. The sea urchin embryo as a model for mammalian developmental neurotoxicity: ontogenesis of the high-affinity choline transporter and its role in cholinergic trophic activity.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Dan; Nikitina, Lyudmila A; Buznikov, Gennady A; Lauder, Jean M; Seidler, Frederic J; Slotkin, Theodore A

    2003-11-01

    Embryonic development in the sea urchin requires trophic actions of the same neurotransmitters that participate in mammalian brain assembly. We evaluated the development of the high-affinity choline transporter, which controls acetylcholine synthesis. A variety of developmental neurotoxicants affect this transporter in mammalian brain. [3H]Hemicholinium-3 binding to the transporter was found in the cell membrane fraction at stages from the unfertilized egg to pluteus, with a binding affinity comparable with that seen in mammalian brain. Over the course of development, the concentration of transporter sites rose more than 3-fold, achieving concentrations comparable with those of cholinergically enriched mammalian brain regions. Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a competitive inhibitor of choline transport, elicited dysmorphology beginning at the mid-blastula stage, with anomalies beginning progressively later as the concentration of DMAE was lowered. Pretreatment, cotreatment, or delayed treatment with acetylcholine or choline prevented the adverse effects of DMAE. Because acetylcholine was protective at a lower threshold, the DMAE-induced defects were most likely mediated by its effects on acetylcholine synthesis. Transient removal of the hyaline layer enabled a charged transport inhibitor, hemicholinium-3, to penetrate sufficiently to elicit similar anomalies, which were again prevented by acetylcholine or choline. These results indicate that the developing sea urchin possesses a high-affinity choline transporter analogous to that found in the mammalian brain, and, as in mammals, the functioning of this transporter plays a key role in the developmental, trophic activity of acetylcholine. The sea urchin model may thus be useful in high-throughput screening of suspected developmental neurotoxicants.

  4. Using Morpholinos to Probe Gene Networks in Sea Urchin.

    PubMed

    Materna, Stefan C

    2017-01-01

    The control processes that underlie the progression of development can be summarized in maps of gene regulatory networks (GRNs). A critical step in their assembly is the systematic perturbation of network candidates. In sea urchins the most important method for interfering with expression in a gene-specific way is application of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides (MOs). MOs act by binding to their sequence complement in transcripts resulting in a block in translation or a change in splicing and thus result in a loss of function. Despite the tremendous success of this technology, recent comparisons to mutants generated by genome editing have led to renewed criticism and challenged its reliability. As with all methods based on sequence recognition, MOs are prone to off-target binding that may result in phenotypes that are erroneously ascribed to the loss of the intended target. However, the slow progression of development in sea urchins has enabled extremely detailed studies of gene activity in the embryo. This wealth of knowledge paired with the simplicity of the sea urchin embryo enables careful analysis of MO phenotypes through a variety of methods that do not rely on terminal phenotypes. This article summarizes the use of MOs in probing GRNs and the steps that should be taken to assure their specificity.

  5. eIF4E/4E-BP dissociation and 4E-BP degradation in the first mitotic division of the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Salaün, Patrick; Pyronnet, Stéphane; Morales, Julia; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Bellé, Robert; Sonenberg, Nahum; Cormier, Patrick

    2003-03-15

    The mRNA's cap-binding protein eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF)4E is a major target for the regulation of translation initiation. eIF4E activity is controlled by a family of translation inhibitors, the eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs). We have previously shown that a rapid dissociation of 4E-BP from eIF4E is related with the dramatic rise in protein synthesis that occurs following sea urchin fertilization. Here, we demonstrate that 4E-BP is destroyed shortly following fertilization and that 4E-BP degradation is sensitive to rapamycin, suggesting that proteolysis could be a novel means of regulating 4E-BP function. We also show that eIF4E/4E-BP dissociation following fertilization is sensitive to rapamycin. Furthermore, while rapamycin modestly affects global translation rates, the drug strongly inhibits cyclin B de novo synthesis and, consequently, precludes the completion of the first mitotic cleavage. These results demonstrate that, following sea urchin fertilization, cyclin B translation, and thus the onset of mitosis, are regulated by a rapamycin-sensitive pathway. These processes are effected at least in part through eIF4E/4E-BP complex dissociation and 4E-BP degradation.

  6. Ca²⁺ influx-linked protein kinase C activity regulates the β-catenin localization, micromere induction signalling and the oral-aboral axis formation in early sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Yazaki, Ikuko; Tsurugaya, Toko; Santella, Luigia; Chun, Jong Tai; Amore, Gabriele; Kusunoki, Shinichiro; Asada, Akiko; Togo, Tatsuru; Akasaka, Koji

    2015-06-01

    Sea urchin embryos initiate cell specifications at the 16-cell stage by forming the mesomeres, macromeres and micromeres according to the relative position of the cells in the animal-vegetal axis. The most vegetal cells, micromeres, autonomously differentiate into skeletons and induce the neighbouring macromere cells to become mesoendoderm in the β-catenin-dependent Wnt8 signalling pathway. Although the underlying molecular mechanism for this progression is largely unknown, we have previously reported that the initial events might be triggered by the Ca2+ influxes through the egg-originated L-type Ca2+ channels distributed asymmetrically along the animal-vegetal axis and through the stretch-dependent Ca2+channels expressed specifically in the micromere at the 4th cleavage. In this communication, we have examined whether one of the earliest Ca2+ targets, protein kinase C (PKC), plays a role in cell specification upstream of β-catenin. To this end, we surveyed the expression pattern of β-catenin in early embryos in the presence or absence of the specific peptide inhibitor of Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus PKC (HpPKC-I). Unlike previous knowledge, we have found that the initial nuclear entrance of β-catenin does not take place in the micromeres, but in the macromeres at the 16-cell stage. Using the HpPKC-I, we have demonstrated further that PKC not only determines cell-specific nucleation of β-catenin, but also regulates a variety of cell specification events in the early sea urchin embryos by modulating the cell adhesion structures, actin dynamics, intracellular Ca2+ signalling, and the expression of key transcription factors.

  7. Influence of 60-Hz magnetic fields on sea urchin development

    SciTech Connect

    Zimmerman, S.; Zimmerman, A.M.; Winters, W.D.; Cameron, I.L. )

    1990-01-01

    Continuous exposure of sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos at 18 degrees C to a cyclic 60-Hz magnetic field at 0.1 mT rms beginning 4 min after insemination caused a significant developmental delay during the subsequent 23 hours. No delay in development was recorded for periods up to 18 hours after fertilization. At 18 h, most embryos were in the mesenchyme blastula stage. At 23 h, most control embryos were in mid-gastrula whereas most magnetic-field-exposed embryos were in the early gastrula stage. Thus an estimated 1-h delay occurred between these developmental stages. The results are discussed in terms of possible magnetic-field modification of transcription as well as interference with cell migration during gastrulation. The present study extends and supports the growing body of information about potential effects of exposures to extremely-low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on developing organisms.

  8. Sea urchin egg fertilization and development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    The effects of subgravity (much less than unit gravity) on fertilization, cell division, differentiation, and growth of a relatively simple biological system (eggs of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata) were considered. The experiment was flown on Gemini 3 and recovered as scheduled. However, the experiment objectives were not achieved, primarily for mechanical reasons.

  9. Effects of low-intensity pulsed electromagnetic fields on the early development of sea urchins

    SciTech Connect

    Falugi, C.; Grattarola, M.; Prestipino, G.

    1987-06-01

    The effects of weak electromagnetic signals on the early development of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus have been studied. The duration and repetition of the pulses were similar to those used for bone healing in clinical practice. A sequence of pulses, applied for a time ranging from 2 to 4 h, accelerates the cleavages of sea urchin embryo cells. This effect can be quantitatively assessed by determining the time shifts induced by the applied electromagnetic field on the completion of the first and second cleavages in a population of fertilized eggs. The exposed embryos were allowed to develop up to the pluteus stage, showing no abnormalities.

  10. Robustness and Accuracy in Sea Urchin Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Ben-Tabou de-Leon, Smadar

    2016-01-01

    Developmental gene regulatory networks robustly control the timely activation of regulatory and differentiation genes. The structure of these networks underlies their capacity to buffer intrinsic and extrinsic noise and maintain embryonic morphology. Here I illustrate how the use of specific architectures by the sea urchin developmental regulatory networks enables the robust control of cell fate decisions. The Wnt-βcatenin signaling pathway patterns the primary embryonic axis while the BMP signaling pathway patterns the secondary embryonic axis in the sea urchin embryo and across bilateria. Interestingly, in the sea urchin in both cases, the signaling pathway that defines the axis controls directly the expression of a set of downstream regulatory genes. I propose that this direct activation of a set of regulatory genes enables a uniform regulatory response and a clear cut cell fate decision in the endoderm and in the dorsal ectoderm. The specification of the mesodermal pigment cell lineage is activated by Delta signaling that initiates a triple positive feedback loop that locks down the pigment specification state. I propose that the use of compound positive feedback circuitry provides the endodermal cells enough time to turn off mesodermal genes and ensures correct mesoderm vs. endoderm fate decision. Thus, I argue that understanding the control properties of repeatedly used regulatory architectures illuminates their role in embryogenesis and provides possible explanations to their resistance to evolutionary change.

  11. Identification and characterization of PlAlix, the Alix homologue from the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Romancino, Daniele P; Anello, Letizia; Morici, Giovanni; d'Azzo, Alessandra; Bongiovanni, Antonella; Di Bernardo, Maria

    2013-02-01

    The sea urchin provides a relatively simple and tractable system for analyzing the early stages of embryo development. Here, we use the sea urchin species, Paracentrotus lividus, to investigate the role of Alix in key stages of embryogenesis, namely the egg fertilization and the first cleavage division. Alix is a multifunctional protein involved in different cellular processes including endocytic membrane trafficking, filamentous (F)-actin remodeling, and cytokinesis. Alix homologues have been identified in different metazoans; in these organisms, Alix is involved in oogenesis and in determination/differentiation events during embryo development. Herein, we describe the identification of the sea urchin homologue of Alix, PlAlix. The deduced amino acid sequence shows that Alix is highly conserved in sea urchins. Accordingly, we detect the PlAlix protein cross-reacting with monoclonal Alix antibodies in extracts from P. lividus, at different developmental stages. Focusing on the role of PlAlix during early embryogenesis we found that PlAlix is a maternal protein that is expressed at increasingly higher levels from fertilization to the 2-cell stage embryo. In sea urchin eggs, PlAlix localizes throughout the cytoplasm with a punctuated pattern and, soon after fertilization, accumulates in larger puncta in the cytosol, and in microvilli-like protrusions. Together our data show that PlAlix is structurally conserved from sea urchin to mammals and may open new lines of inquiry into the role of Alix during the early stages of embryo development.

  12. Modification of Experimental Protocols for a Space Shuttle Flight and Applications for the Analysis of Cytoskeletal Structures During Fertilization, Cell Division , and Development in Sea Urchin Embryos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakrabarti, Amitabha; Stoecker, Andrew; Schatten, Heide

    1995-01-01

    To explore the role of microgravity on cytoskeletal organization and skeletal calcium deposition during fertilization, cell division, and early development, the sea urchin was chosen as a model developmental system. Methods were developed to employ light, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy on cultures being prepared for flight on the Space Shuttle. For analysis of microfilaments, microtubules, centrosomes, and calcium-requiring events, our standard laboratory protocols had to be modified substantially for experimentation on the Space Shuttle. All manipulations were carried out in a closed culture chamber containing 35 ml artificial sea water as a culture fluid. Unfertilized eggs stored for 24 hours in these chambers were fertilized with sperm diluted in sea water and fixed with concentrated fixatives for final fixation in formaldehyde, taxol, EGTA, and MgCl2(exp -6)H2O for 1 cell to 16 cell stages to preserve cytoskeletal structures for simultaneous analysis with light, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy, and 1.5 percent glutaraldehyde and 0.4 percent formaldehyde for blastula and plueus stages. The fixed samples wre maintained in chambers without degradation for up to two weeks after which the specimens were processed and analyzed with routine methods. Since complex manipulations are not possible in the closed chambers, the fertilization coat was removed from fixation using 0.5 percent freshly prepared sodium thioglycolate solution at pH 10.0 which provided reliable immunofluorescence staining for microtubules. Sperm/egg fusion, mitosis, cytokinesis, and calcium deposition during spicule formatin in early embryogenesis were found to be without artificial alterations when compared to cells fixed fresh and processed with conventional methods.

  13. Amyloid Precursor Protein 96–110 and β-Amyloid 1–42 Elicit Developmental Anomalies in Sea Urchin Embryos and Larvae that are Alleviated by Neurotransmitter Analogs for Acetylcholine, Serotonin and Cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Buznikov, Gennady A.; Nikitina, Lyudmila A.; Seidler, Frederic J.; Slotkin, Theodore A.; Bezuglov, Vladimir V.; Milošević, Ivan; Lazarević, Lidija; Rogač, Ljubica; Ruzdijić, Sabera; Rakić, Ljubiša M.

    2008-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP) is overexpressed in the developing brain and portions of its extracellular domain, especially amino acid residues 96–110, play an important role in neurite outgrowth and neural cell differentiation. In the current study, we evaluated the developmental abnormalities caused by administration of exogenous APP96–110 in sea urchin embryos and larvae, which, like the developing mammalian brain, utilize acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters as morphogens; effects were compared to those of β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42), the neurotoxic APP fragment contained within neurodegenerative plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease. Although both peptides elicited dysmorphogenesis, Aβ42 was far more potent; in addition, whereas Aβ42 produced abnormalities at developmental stages ranging from early cleavage divisions to the late pluteus, APP96–110 effects were restricted to the intermediate, mid-blastula stage. For both agents, anomalies were prevented or reduced by addition of lipid-permeable analogs of acetylcholine, serotonin or cannabinoids; physostigmine, a carbamate-derived cholinesterase inhibitor, was also effective. In contrast, agents that act on NMDA receptors (memantine) or α-adrenergic receptors (nicergoline), and that are therapeutic in Alzheimer’s Disease, were themselves embryotoxic, as was tacrine, a cholinesterase inhibitor from a different chemical class than physostigmine. Protection was also provided by agents acting downstream from receptor-mediated events: increasing cyclic AMP with caffeine or isobutylmethylxanthine, or administering the antioxidant, α-tocopherol, were all partially effective. Our findings reinforce a role for APP in development and point to specific interactions with neurotransmitter systems that act as morphogens in developing sea urchins as well as in the mammalian brain. PMID:18565728

  14. Characterization of sea urchin unconventional myosins and analysis of their patterns of expression during early embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sirotkin, V; Seipel, S; Krendel, M; Bonder, E M

    2000-10-01

    Early sea urchin development requires a dynamic reorganization of both the actin cytoskeleton and cytoskeletal interactions with cellular membranes. These events may involve the activities of multiple members of the superfamily of myosin motor proteins. Using RT-PCR with degenerate myosin primers, we identified 11 myosin mRNAs expressed in unfertilized eggs and coelomocytes of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Seven of these sea urchin myosins belonged to myosin classes Igamma, II, V, VI, VII, IX, and amoeboid-type I, and the remaining four may be from novel classes. Sea urchin myosins-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I were either completely or partially cloned and their molecular structures characterized. Sea urchin myosins-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I shared a high degree of sequence identity with their respective family members from vertebrates and they retained their class-specific structure and domain organization. Analysis of expression of myosin-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I mRNAs during development revealed that each myosin mRNA displayed a distinct temporal pattern of expression, suggesting that myosins might be involved in specific events of early embryogenesis. Interestingly, the onset of gastrulation appeared to be a pivotal point in modulation of myosin mRNA expression. The presence of multiple myosin mRNAs in eggs and embryos provides insight into the potential involvement of multiple specific motor proteins in the actin-dependent events of embryo development.

  15. Involvement of l(-)-rhamnose in sea urchin gastrulation. Part II: α-l-Rhamnosidase.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jing; Aleksanyan, Heghush; Metzenberg, Stan; Oppenheimer, Steven B

    2016-06-01

    The sea urchin embryo is recognized as a model system to reveal developmental mechanisms involved in human health and disease. In Part I of this series, six carbohydrates were tested for their effects on gastrulation in embryos of the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus. Only l-rhamnose caused dramatic increases in the numbers of unattached archenterons and exogastrulated archenterons in living, swimming embryos. It was found that at 30 h post-fertilization the l-rhamnose had an unusual inverse dose-dependent effect, with low concentrations (1-3 mM) interfering with development and higher concentrations (30 mM) having little to no effect on normal development. In this study, embryos were examined for inhibition of archenteron development after treatment with α-l-rhamnosidase, an endoglycosidase that removes terminal l-rhamnose sugars from glycans. It was observed that the enzyme had profound effects on gastrulation, an effect that could be suppressed by addition of l-rhamnose as a competitive inhibitor. The involvement of l-rhamnose-containing glycans in sea urchin gastrulation was unexpected, since there are no characterized biosynthetic pathways for rhamnose utilization in animals. It is possible there exists a novel l-rhamnose-containing glycan in sea urchins, or that the enzyme and sugar interfere with the function of rhamnose-binding lectins, which are components of the innate immune system in many vertebrate and invertebrate species.

  16. Molecular and Cell Biological Studies on Biomineralization by Primary Mesenchyme Cells of the Sea Urchin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1995-02-28

    We are currently examining the developmental expression of the suBMP protein, its function in the developing sea urchin embryo, and its putative...stage, then decays to a lower but persistent level throughout the rest of embryonic development . Using an affinity purified polyclonal antibody to

  17. [Expression of transmitter receptor genes in early development of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus].

    PubMed

    Nikishin, D A; Semenova, M N; Shmukler, Iu B

    2012-01-01

    Neurotransmitters (including serotonin and acetylcholine) perform a number of prenervous functions in early sea urchin development. To detect the particular receptor components involved in these processes, we carried out a database search and nucleotide sequences homologous to serotonin receptor type 4, and the alpha6- and alpha10-subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor were found among EST-clones from early Paracentrotus lividus embryos. Expression of these transcripts during early development was demonstrated using RT-PCR. These results are the first molecular biology evidence ofserotonin and acetylcholine receptor expression in sea urchin early embryogenesis.

  18. Sea urchin prosome: characterization and changes during development.

    PubMed Central

    Akhayat, O; Grossi de Sa, F; Infante, A A

    1987-01-01

    A cytoplasmic particle displaying properties in common with a structure present in duck erythroblasts, termed the prosome, has been isolated from eggs and embryos of two species of sea urchin. This particle was partially purified by sedimentation in sucrose gradients containing 0.5 M KCl, and some of its physical properties and its behavior during early development were determined. The prosome sediments between 16 and 19 S and has a buoyant density of 1.30 g/cm3 in Cs2SO4 gradients. Biochemically, the particle is characterized as 20-25 polypeptides of molecular size 24-35 kDa with about 10 small RNAs. A monoclonal antibody directed against the 27-kDa protein of duck erythroblast prosome recognizes a 27-kDa protein of the sea urchin prosome. We have used this protein, as representative of the prosome, to immunologically determine the level and the subcellular localization of the particle during development. Immunoblotting and cellular fractionation studies show that the 27-kDa prosome polypeptide is present almost entirely in the postribosomal supernatant of unfertilized egg lysates. After fertilization and during early development, the total amount of 27-kDa protein per embryo remains constant, but the amount in the postribosomal supernatant decreases; there is a concomitant increase in the level of the 27-kDa protein in a rapidly sedimenting, particulate fraction containing nuclei. Immunofluorescence studies further show that the 27-kDa protein is located mainly in the cytoplasm of eggs and two-cell embryos. The subcellular location of the prosome, therefore, appears to change during development. In vivo labeling experiments have failed to detect the synthesis of either the prosome proteins or RNAs in eggs and embryos up to 48 hr of development, suggesting that this cytoplasmic particle is not synthesized de novo in early embryogenesis and thus is metabolically stable. The prosome is thus a normal cellular constituent of the sea urchin and is most likely

  19. The sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus, embryo as a "bioethical" model for neurodevelopmental toxicity testing: effects of diazinon on the intracellular distribution of OTX2-like proteins.

    PubMed

    Aluigi, M G; Angelini, C; Corte, G; Falugi, C

    2008-12-01

    Presently, a large effort is being made worldwide to increase the sustainability of industrial development, while preserving not only the quality of the environment but also that of animal and human life. In this work, sea urchin early developmental stages were used as a model to test the effects of the organophosphate pesticide (diazinon) on the regulation of gene expression by immunohistochemical localization of the human regulatory protein against the human OTX2. Egg exposure to diazinon did not affect fertilization; however, at concentrations 10(-5)-10(-6) M, it did cause developmental anomalies, among which was the dose-dependent alteration of the intracellular distribution of a regulatory protein that is immunologically related to the human OTX2. The severe anomalies and developmental delay observed after treatment at 10(-5) M concentration are indicators of systemic toxicity, while the results after treatment at 10(-6) M suggest a specific action of the neurotoxic compound. In this second case, exposure to diazinon caused partial delivery of the protein into the nuclei, a defective translocation that particularly affected the blastula and gastrula stages. Therefore, the possibility that neurotoxic agents such as organophosphates may damage embryonic development is taken into account. Specifically, the compounds are known to alter cytoplasmic dynamics, which play a crucial role in regulating the distribution of intracellular structures and molecules, as well as transcription factors. Speculatively, basing our assumptions on Fura2 experiments, we submit the hypothesis that this effect may be due to altered calcium dynamics, which in turn alter cytoskeleton dynamics: the asters, in fact, appear strongly positive to the OTX2 immunoreaction, in both control and exposed samples. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments seem to supply evidence to the hypothesis.

  20. Diel patterns in sea urchin activity and predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2011-09-01

    Understanding diel patterns in sea urchin activity is important when assessing sea urchin populations and when interpreting their interactions with predators. Here we employ a combination of surveys and a non-invasive tethering technique to examine these patterns in an intact coral reef system on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We also assess local scale variation in relative diurnal predation pressure. Surveys revealed that sea urchins were active and exposed at night. Echinometra mathaei and Echinothrix calamaris were the most abundant species with significantly higher night densities (0.21 and 0.03 ind. m-2, respectively), than daytime densities (0.05 and 0.001, respectively). Bioassays revealed that exposed adult E. mathaei (the most abundant sea urchin species) were 30.8 times more likely to be eaten during the day than at night when controlling for sites. This observation concurs with widely held assumptions that nocturnal activity is a risk-related adaptive response to diurnal predation pressure. Despite relatively intact predator communities on the GBR, potential predation pressure on diurnally exposed E. mathaei assays was variable at a local scale and the biomass of potential fish predators at each site was a poor predictive measure of this variation. Patterns in predation appear to be more complex and variable than we may have assumed.

  1. Apoptosis in early development of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Vega Thurber, Rebecca; Epel, David

    2007-03-01

    Apoptosis provides metazoans remarkable developmental flexibility by (1) eliminating damaged undifferentiated cells early in development and then (2) sculpting, patterning, and restructuring tissues during successive stages thereafter. We show here that apoptotic programmed cell death is infrequent and not obligatory during early embryogenesis of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. During the first 30 h of urchin development, fewer than 20% of embryos exhibit any cell death. Cell death during the cleavage stages consists of necrotic or pathological cell death, while cell death during the blastula and gastrula stages is random and predominantly caspase-mediated apoptosis. Apoptosis remains infrequent during the late blastula stage followed by a gradual increase in frequency during gastrulation. Even after prolonged exposure during the cleavage period to chemical stress, apoptosis occurs in less than 50% of embryos and always around the pre-hatching stage. Embryonic suppression of apoptosis through caspase inhibition leads to functionally normal larvae that can survive to metamorphosis, but in the presence of inducers of apoptosis, caspase inhibition leads to deformed larvae and reduced survival. Remarkably, however, pharmacological induction of apoptosis, while reducing overall survival, also significantly accelerates development of the survivors such that metamorphosis occurs up to a week before controls.

  2. Chronic toxicity of silver to the sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata).

    PubMed

    Ward, Timothy J; Kramer, James R; Boeri, Robert L; Gorsuch, Joseph W

    2006-06-01

    The chronic toxicity of silver to the sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) was determined in 30 per thousand salinity seawater during a three-part study: A fertilization test (1-h sperm exposure), a 48-h embryo test, and a 30-d adult test. Combined data from the three tests resulted in a lowest-observed-effect concentration of 19 microg/L, a no-observed-effect concentration of 8.6 microg/L, and a maximum acceptable toxicant concentration of 13 microg/L, based on measured concentrations of dissolved silver. The 96-h median effective concentration was 40 microg/L, and the acute to chronic toxicity ratio was 3.1. During the tests, measured concentrations of free ionic silver (Ag+) were only 0.0027 to 0.0046% of dissolved silver concentrations, as predicted by ion-speciation theory. Some measured Ag+ concentrations were lower than predicted, indicating the presence of other ligands in the seawater test media. These strong sulfide ligands were exuded by the exposed sea urchins into the seawater (where Ag-sulfide complexes formed) in amounts that increased in direct proportion to the silver concentration during the toxicity test. This suggests a toxicity-defense mechanism that functioned by modifying the chemistry of the surrounding external medium.

  3. Iodine accumulation in sea urchin larvae is dependent on peroxide.

    PubMed

    Miller, Ashley E M; Heyland, Andreas

    2013-03-01

    Iodine has many important biological functions and its concentrations vary with the environment. Recent research has provided novel insights into iodine uptake mechanisms in marine bacteria and kelp through hydrogen peroxide-dependent diffusion (PDD). This mechanism is distinct from sodium-dependent mechanisms known from vertebrates. In vertebrates, iodine accumulates in the thyroid gland by the action of the apical iodide transporter (AIT) and the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS). Neither of these proteins has, thus far, been identified outside of the chordates, and PDD (as an iodine uptake mechanism) has never been studied in animals. Using (125)I as a marker for total iodine influx, we tested iodine uptake via sodium-dependent transport versus PDD in embryos and larvae of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We found that iodine uptake in S. purpuratus is largely independent of NIS/AIT. Instead, we found that uptake is dependent on the presence and production of hydrogen peroxide, indicating that sea urchin larvae use PDD as a mechanism for iodine acquisition. Our data, for the first time, provide conclusive evidence for this mechanism in an animal. Furthermore, our data provide preliminary evidence that sodium-dependent iodine uptake via active transporter proteins is a synapomorphy of vertebrates.

  4. Effects of oil pollution on the development of sex cells in sea urchins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vashchenko, M. A.

    1980-03-01

    The sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus is highly sensitive to oil pollution. Experiments were performed in winter, spring and summer over periods of 15 to 45 days. Experimental urchins were kept in water with hydrocarbon concentrations of 10 to 30 mg l-1, and control urchins in pure sea water. Thermal stimulation by Evdokimov's method was applied to obtain mature sexual products during winter and spring tests. Summer investigations were conducted at temperatures of 17 to 18 °C. The gonads were studied histologically and morphometrically, and the sexual cells obtained were analyzed at the embryological level. No histological and morphometrical differences were recorded between sexual cells of controls and experimentals. However, marked hydrocarbon effects were observed in the embryonic development of artificially fertilized cells from experimental urchins. Control embryos developed normally. Embryogenesis of artificially fertilized gametes from control females and experimental males, and vice versa, was found to be distinctly abnormal. Many abnormalities were identified at the first cleavage stage, as well as in blastula, gastrula and pluteus. Fertilization of experimental eggs with experimental sperm resulted in serious disturbances of embryos, followed by the development of non-viable larvae. On the whole, embryogenesis of sexual cells from experimental urchins was characterized by prominent delay, asynchronism and presence of abnormal non-viable larvae. Consequently, long-term effects of sublethal hydrocarbon concentrations resulted in the formation of defective sex cells and high larval mortality.

  5. In vivo exposure to northern diatoms arrests sea urchin embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Gudimova, Elena; Eilertsen, Hans C; Jørgensen, Trond Ø; Hansen, Espen

    2016-01-01

    There are numerous reports indicating that marine diatoms may act harmful to early developmental stages of invertebrates. It is believed that the compounds responsible for these detrimental effects are oxylipins resulting from oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids, and that they may function as grazing deterrents. Most studies reporting these effects have exposed test organisms to diatom extracts or purified toxins, but data from in vivo exposure to intact diatoms are scarce. We have conducted sea urchin egg incubation and plutei feeding experiments to test if intact diatom cells affected sea urchin embryo development and survival. This was done by exposing the common northern sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and Echinus acutus to northern strains of the diatoms Chaetoceros socialis, Skeletonema marinoi, Chaetoceros furcellatus, Attheya longicornis, Thalassiosira gravida and Porosira glacialis. The intact diatom cell suspensions were found to inhibit sea urchin egg hatching and embryogenesis. S. marinoi was the most potent one as it caused acute mortality in S. droebachiensis eggs after only four hours exposure to high (50 μg/L Chla) diatom concentrations, as well as 24 h exposure to normal (20 μg/L Chla) and high diatom concentrations. The second most potent species was T. gravida that caused acute mortality after 24 h exposure to both diatom concentrations. A. longicornis was the least harmful of the diatom species in terms of embryo development arrestment, and it was the species that was most actively ingested by S. droebachiensis plutei.

  6. Base excision DNA repair in the embryonic development of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus intermedius.

    PubMed

    Torgasheva, Natalya A; Menzorova, Natalya I; Sibirtsev, Yurii T; Rasskazov, Valery A; Zharkov, Dmitry O; Nevinsky, Georgy A

    2016-06-21

    In actively proliferating cells, such as the cells of the developing embryo, DNA repair is crucial for preventing the accumulation of mutations and synchronizing cell division. Sea urchin embryo growth was analyzed and extracts were prepared. The relative activity of DNA polymerase, apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease, uracil-DNA glycosylase, 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase, and other glycosylases was analyzed using specific oligonucleotide substrates of these enzymes; the reaction products were resolved by denaturing 20% polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. We have characterized the profile of several key base excision repair activities in the developing embryos (2 blastomers to mid-pluteus) of the grey sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus intermedius. The uracil-DNA glycosylase specific activity sharply increased after blastula hatching, whereas the specific activity of 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase steadily decreased over the course of the development. The AP-endonuclease activity gradually increased but dropped at the last sampled stage (mid-pluteus 2). The DNA polymerase activity was high at the first cleavage division and then quickly decreased, showing a transient peak at blastula hatching. It seems that the developing sea urchin embryo encounters different DNA-damaging factors early in development within the protective envelope and later as a free-floating larva, with hatching necessitating adaptation to the shift in genotoxic stress conditions. No correlation was observed between the dynamics of the enzyme activities and published gene expression data from developing congeneric species, S. purpuratus. The results suggest that base excision repair enzymes may be regulated in the sea urchin embryos at the level of covalent modification or protein stability.

  7. Can sea urchins beat the heat? Sea urchins, thermal tolerance and climate change

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The massive die-off of the long-spined sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, a significant reef grazer, in the mid 1980s was followed by phase shifts from coral dominated to macroalgae dominated reefs in the Caribbean. While Diadema populations have recovered in some reefs with concomitant increases in coral cover, the additional threat of increasing temperatures due to global climate change has not been investigated in adult sea urchins. In this study, I measured acute thermal tolerance of D. antillarum and that of a sympatric sea urchin not associated with coral cover, Echinometra lucunter, over winter, spring, and summer, thus exposing them to substantial natural thermal variation. Animals were taken from the wild and placed in laboratory tanks in room temperature water (∼22 °C) that was then heated at 0.16–0.3 °C min−1 and the righting behavior of individual sea urchins was recorded. I measured both the temperature at which the animal could no longer right itself (TLoR) and the righting time at temperatures below the TLoR. In all seasons, D. antillarum exhibited a higher mean TLoR than E. lucunter. The mean TLoR of each species increased with increasing environmental temperature revealing that both species acclimatize to seasonal changes in temperatures. The righting times of D. antillarum were much shorter than those of E. lucunter. The longer relative spine length of Diadema compared to that of Echinometra may contribute to their shorter righting times, but does not explain their higher TLoR. The thermal safety margin (the difference between the mean collection temperature and the mean TLoR) was between 3.07–3.66 °C for Echinometra and 3.79–5.67 °C for Diadema. While these thermal safety margins exceed present day temperatures, they are modest compared to those of temperate marine invertebrates. If sea temperatures increase more rapidly than can be accommodated by the sea urchins (either by genetic adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, or both), this

  8. For the Classroom: The Sea Urchin Fertilization and Embryology Lab.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brevoort, Douglas

    1984-01-01

    The sea urchin provides an ideal embryology laboratory because it is visually representative of the fertilization process in higher animals. Procedures for conducting such a laboratory (including methods for securing specimens) are provided. (JN)

  9. Identification of nickel response genes in abnormal early developments of sea urchin by differential display polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Tae Kwon; Lee, Gunsup; Rhee, Yong; Park, Heung-Sik; Chang, Man; Lee, Sukchan; Lee, Jaean; Lee, Taek-Kyun

    2012-10-01

    Bioassays and biomarkers have been previously developed to assess the effects of heavy metal contaminants on the early life stages of the sea urchin. In this study, malformation in the early developmental processes was observed in sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus intermedius) larvae exposed to 10 ppm Ni for over 30 h. The most critical stage at which the triggering of nickel effects takes place is thought to be the blastula stage, which occurs after fertilization in larval development. To investigate the molecular-level responses of sea urchin exposed to heavy metal stress and to explore the differentially expressed genes that are induced or repressed by nickel, differential display polymerase chain reaction (DD-PCR) was used with sea urchin mRNAs. The malformation-related genes expressed in the early life stages of the sea urchin were cloned from larvae exposed to 10 ppm of nickel for 15 h, and accessed via DD-PCR. Sequence analysis results revealed that each of the genes evidenced high homology with EGF2, PCSK9, serine/threonine protein kinase, apolipophorin precursor protein, and MGC80921 protein/transcript variant 2. This result may prove useful in the development of novel biomarkers for the assessment of heavy metal stresses on sea urchin embryos.

  10. Combined Effects of Cadmium and UVB Radiation on Sea Urchin Embryos: Skeleton Impairment Parallels p38 MAPK Activation and Stress Genes Overexpression.

    PubMed

    Bonaventura, Rosa; Russo, Roberta; Zito, Francesca; Matranga, Valeria

    2015-05-18

    Human and natural activities release many pollutants in the marine environment. The mixture of pollutants can affect many organisms concurrently. We used Paracentrotus lividus as a model to analyze the effects on signal transduction pathways and stress gene expression in embryos exposed continuously to double stress, i.e., cadmium (Cd) from fertilization and UVB at cleavage (Cd/UVB-embryos). By microscopical inspection, we evaluated embryonic morphology after 72 h of development. Tissue-specific markers were used to assess mesoderm differentiation by immunofluorescence. We analyzed p38MAPK, ERK1/2, and JNK activation by Western blot and mRNA profiles of Pl-MT, Pl-14-3-3epsilon, and Pl-jun genes by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and the localization of their transcripts by whole mount in situ hybridization (WMISH). We found that the Cd/UVB combined exposure induced morphological malformations in 76% of pluteus embryos, mainly affecting the development of the skeleton, including the normal branching of skeletal roads. In Cd/UVB-embryos, p38MAPK was activated 1 h after UVB exposure and a remarkable overexpression of the Pl-MT, Pl-14.3.3epsilon, and Pl-jun genes 24 h after UVB exposure. Pl-MT and Pl-14.3.3epsilon mRNAs were misexpressed as they were localized in a position different from that observed in wild-type embryos, i.e., the intestine. On the contrary, Pl-jun mRNA has remained localized in the skeletogenic cells despite their displacement in exposed embryos. In conclusion, Cd/UVB exposure affected skeletal patterning producing alternative morphologies in which p38MAPK activation and Pl-MT, Pl-14.3.3epsilon, and Pl-jun gene overexpression seem linked to a protective role against the stress response induced by Cd/UVB.

  11. Alterations in chromatin structure during early sea urchin embryogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Savić, A; Richman, P; Williamson, P; Poccia, D

    1981-01-01

    Sea urchin sperm before fertilization possess the longest nucleosome repeat length yet determined for any chromatin. By the time the fertilized egg gives rise to a blastula or gastrula embryo, the chromatin has a considerably shorter repeat length and, in addition, a sequence of different histone variants of H1, H2A, and H2B has appeared. We have investigated the relationship between these variations in histone composition and concomitant alterations in chromatin structure during the earliest stages of embryogenesis in two species of sea urchin. In contrast to the long repeat distance in sperm, chromatin loaded with cleavage stage histones has a much smaller repeat. Later stages containing predominantly alpha histones display an intermediate spacing. More detailed analysis of the events in the first cell cycle was carried out with polyspermically fertilized eggs. During the first 30 min after fertilization, in which sperm-specific H1 is completely replaced by cleavage-stage H1, the male pronuclear repeat remains unchanged. The decrease toward the repeat length of cleavage stages begins at about the time of DNA synthesis. Higher degrees of polyspermy extend the length of the cell cycle, including the duration of S phase and the length of time to reach the first chromosome condensation. At these higher degrees of polyspermy, the decrease in repeat length is also slowed. We conclude that the adjustment of the arrangement of nucleosomes in embryonic chromatin from that found in sperm can occur within the first cell cycle and that its timing is cell-cycle dependent. The adjustment is separable from a corresponding change in H1 composition. Images PMID:6943576

  12. Expression pattern of vascular endothelial growth factor 2 during sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Kipryushina, Yulia O; Yakovlev, Konstantin V; Kulakova, Milana A; Odintsova, Nelly A

    2013-12-01

    The VEGF family in the sea urchin is comprised of three members designated Vegf1 through Vegf3. In this study, we found a high level of similarity between the PDGF/VEGF domain of the predicted gene Sp-Vegf2 in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and the same domain of a gene that we found in a closely related sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus intermedius. The sequence of the Si-Vegf2 cDNA was determined, and the expression of the Si-Vegf2 mRNA throughout early sea urchin development was studied by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. Also we analyzed phylogenetic relationships of Si-Vegf2 and other members of the PDGF and VEGF families. We have found that the Si-Vegf2 present during the time span from the egg to the 4-arm pluteus stage. This mRNA is uniformly distributed in eggs, cleaving embryos and early blastulae. At the gastrula stage, the Si-Vegf2 transcripts are localized in the ventrolateral clusters of primary mesenchyme cells, and later, at the prism stage, they are detected in the forming apex. At the early pluteus stage, Si-Vegf2 mRNAs are found in two groups of mesenchyme cells in the scheitel region on the apical pole. We have determined that Si-Vegf2 is a mesenchyme-expressed factor but its developmental function is unknown.

  13. Multidisciplinary screening of toxicity induced by silica nanoparticles during sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Gambardella, Chiara; Morgana, Silvia; Bari, Gaetano Di; Ramoino, Paola; Bramini, Mattia; Diaspro, Alberto; Falugi, Carla; Faimali, Marco

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the potential toxicity of Silica nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) in seawater by using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as biological model. SiO2 NPs exposure effects were identified on the sperm of the sea urchin through a multidisciplinary approach, combining developmental biology, ecotoxicology, biochemistry, and microscopy analyses. The following responses were measured: (i) percentage of eggs fertilized by exposed sperm; (ii) percentage of anomalies and undeveloped embryos and larvae; (iii) enzyme activity alterations (acetylcholinesterase, AChE) in the early developmental stages, namely gastrula and pluteus. Sperms were exposed to seawater containing SiO2 NPs suspensions ranging from 0.0001mg/L to 50mg/L. Fertilization ability was not affected at any concentration, whereas a significant percentage of anomalies in the offspring were observed and quantified by means of EC50 at gastrula stage, including undeveloped and anomalous embryos (EC50=0.06mg/L), and at pluteus stage, including skeletal anomalies and delayed larvae (EC50=0.27mg/L). Moreover, morphological anomalies were observed in larvae at pluteus stage, by immunolocalizing molecules involved in larval development and neurotoxicity effects - such as acetylated tubulin and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) - and measuring AChE activity. Exposure of sea urchins to SiO2 NPs caused neurotoxic damage and a decrease of AChE expression in a non-dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, through the multidisciplinary approach used in this study SiO2 NPs toxicity in sea urchin offspring could be assessed. Therefore, the measured responses are suitable for detecting embryo- and larval- toxicity induced by these NPs.

  14. Motility and centrosomal organization during sea urchin and mouse fertilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, Heide; Schatten, Gerald

    1986-01-01

    It is noted that microfilaments are essential for incorporation of sperm in sea urchins and for pronuclear apposition in mice. The ability of sea urchin sperm to fertilize eggs is lowered by latrunculin, giving evidence that acrosomal microfilaments are of importance to the process of fertilization. Due to the uncertainty regarding the presence of microfilaments in various mammalian sperm, it is interesting that latrunculin does not noticeably affect the ability of mouse sperm to fertilize oocytes. The movements of the sperm and egg nuclei at the time of sea urchin fertilization are dependent on microtubules arranged into a radial monastral array (the sperm aster). In the mouse egg, microtubule activity is also required during pronuclear apposition, but they are arranged by a number of egg cytoplasmic sites. Results of the investigations show that both microtubules and microfilaments are necessary for the successful completion of fertilization in both mice and sea urchins, but at different stages. Also, it is demonstrated that centrosomes are contributed by the sperm in the process of sea urchin fertilization, but in mammals they may be inherited maternally.

  15. Sea urchin spine arthritis in the foot.

    PubMed

    Schefflein, Javin; Umans, Hilary; Ellenbogen, David; Abadi, Maria

    2012-09-01

    We present a case of sea urchin spine arthritis (SUSA) in a 33-year-old woman who sustained penetrating trauma to the interphalangeal (IP) joint of the hallux while snorkeling in Japan. Serial radiographs and MRI were obtained over a period from 7 weeks to 10 months following injury. At 7 weeks radiographs revealed periarticular osteopenia and subtle marginal erosion, similar to the appearance of tuberculous arthritis. Over the ensuing months, radiographs and MRI documented progressive marginal and periarticular erosions with synovitis, despite preservation of cartilage space and restoration of bone mineral density. Delayed radiographs and imaging features mimic gouty arthropathy. Only the history points to the proper diagnosis, which was confirmed by histopathology, demonstrating necrobiotic granuloma with central fibrinoid necrosis following synovectomy and arthrodesis. The majority of previous case reports affected the hand, with few cases in the feet. In all, radiographic illustrations were limited and demonstrated only minimal osteolysis and periosteal reaction. No other report included MRI or serial radiographs over a long period to illustrate the natural progression of the disease.

  16. Identification of aquaporins in eggs and early embryogenesis of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Amaroli, Andrea; Ferrando, Sara; Gagliani, Maria Cristina; Gallus, Lorenzo; Masini, Maria Angela

    2013-04-01

    Sea urchins are echinoderms, marine invertebrates found at the base of the deutorostome lineage, which show separate sexes and are external spawners. In the sea urchin, efficient regulation of water homeostasis is essential for many biological processes such as cellular respiration, normal fertilization and correct embryo growth. In order to clarify some of these processes, the present study reports on the identification and function of aquaporin proteins in the sea urchin. Our results show, by immunoblot, immunoelectron microscopy and immunofluorescence analysis, the presence of aquaporin1- and aquaporin3-like proteins in virgin eggs and in early embryogenesis of Paracentrotus lividus and, by using known inhibitors of aquaporin functions, the functional and relevant role of aquaporin-3 in the fertilization process. AQP3 in particular seems to play a crucial role in high velocity water flux formations involved in the detachment of the vitelline layer during the slow block of polyspermy, while the presence of AQP1 and the increase of AQP3 in the first phase of the P. lividus developmental cycle, suggest their involvement in the appropriate homeostasis for embryo development.

  17. Unique system of photoreceptors in sea urchin tube feet

    PubMed Central

    Ullrich-Lüter, Esther M; Dupont, Sam; Arboleda, Enrique; Hausen, Harald; Arnone, Maria Ina

    2011-01-01

    Different sea urchin species show a vast variety of responses to variations in light intensity; however, despite this behavioral evidence for photosensitivity, light sensing in these animals has remained an enigma. Genome information of the recently sequenced purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) allowed us to address this question from a previously unexplored molecular perspective by localizing expression of the rhabdomeric opsin Sp-opsin4 and Sp-pax6, two genes essential for photoreceptor function and development, respectively. Using a specifically designed antibody against Sp-Opsin4 and in situ hybridization for both genes, we detected expression in two distinct groups of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) located in the animal's numerous tube feet. Specific reactivity of the Sp-Opsin4 antibody with sea star optic cushions, which regulate phototaxis, suggests a similar visual function in sea urchins. Ultrastructural characterization of the sea urchin PRCs revealed them to be of a microvillar receptor type. Our data suggest that echinoderms, in contrast to chordates, deploy a microvillar, r-opsin–expressing PRC type for vision, a feature that has been so far documented only in protostome animals. Surprisingly, sea urchin PRCs lack any associated screening pigment. Indeed, one of the tube foot PRC clusters may account for directional vision by being shaded through the opaque calcite skeleton. The PRC axons connect to the animal internal nervous system, suggesting an integrative function beyond local short circuits. Because juveniles display no phototaxis until skeleton completion, we suggest a model in which the entire sea urchin, deploying its skeleton as PRC screening device, functions as a huge compound eye. PMID:21536888

  18. External and internal tags for the green sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Duggan, R E.; Miller, R J.

    2001-03-30

    Two internal and three external tags were tested on the green sea urchin. Desirable qualities of a tag were high sea urchin survival, retention for at least a few months, detection on the sea floor by divers, identification of individuals, quick application, and low cost. These objectives were met by an external nylon screw tag visible to divers and two internal aluminum tags detectable with an underwater metal detector. Successful tags were inserted through a hole drilled in the test and were tested in the laboratory and field. All internal tags were retained for the full duration of the 4-month trial and did not retard growth or affect survival. Divers could identify individual urchins with nylon screw tags, but the tag retention rate was lower.

  19. Developmental gene regulatory networks in sea urchins and what we can learn from them

    PubMed Central

    Martik, Megan L.; Lyons, Deirdre C.; McClay, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Sea urchin embryos begin zygotic transcription shortly after the egg is fertilized.  Throughout the cleavage stages a series of transcription factors are activated and, along with signaling through a number of pathways, at least 15 different cell types are specified by the beginning of gastrulation.  Experimentally, perturbation of contributing transcription factors, signals and receptors and their molecular consequences enabled the assembly of an extensive gene regulatory network model.  That effort, pioneered and led by Eric Davidson and his laboratory, with many additional insights provided by other laboratories, provided the sea urchin community with a valuable resource.  Here we describe the approaches used to enable the assembly of an advanced gene regulatory network model describing molecular diversification during early development.  We then provide examples to show how a relatively advanced authenticated network can be used as a tool for discovery of how diverse developmental mechanisms are controlled and work. PMID:26962438

  20. Species specificity and individual variability of sea urchin sperm H2B histones.

    PubMed

    de Petrocellis, B; de Petrocellis, L; Lancieri, M; Geraci, G

    1980-01-01

    Total histones from the sperms and embryos of the sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus, Arbacia lixula, Psammechinus microtuberculatus and Sphaerechinus granularis hae been fractionated into the component molecules by electrophoretic analyses in SDS, in urea-acetic acid and in Triton-urea-acetic acid. Sperm H2B histones are in all cases different from those of the corresponding embryonic chromatins. Each sea urchin species has distinctive variants of the sperm H2B histones that are fractionated by electrophoresis in SDS acrylamide gel into two to four components forming a new class of lower mobility. This analytical method shows that individuals of the same species have different assortments of the H2B components. Electrophoretic analyses in Triton-urea also show multiple components for H2B but the patterns are similar in the different individuals.

  1. High regulatory gene use in sea urchin embryogenesis: Implications for bilaterian development and evolution.

    PubMed

    Howard-Ashby, Meredith; Materna, Stefan C; Brown, C Titus; Tu, Qiang; Oliveri, Paola; Cameron, R Andrew; Davidson, Eric H

    2006-12-01

    A global scan of transcription factor usage in the sea urchin embryo was carried out in the context of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome sequencing project, and results from six individual studies are here considered. Transcript prevalence data were obtained for over 280 regulatory genes encoding sequence-specific transcription factors of every known family, but excluding genes encoding zinc finger proteins. This is a statistically inclusive proxy for the total "regulome" of the sea urchin genome. Close to 80% of the regulome is expressed at significant levels by the late gastrula stage. Most regulatory genes must be used repeatedly for different functions as development progresses. An evolutionary implication is that animal complexity at the stage when the regulome first evolved was far simpler than even the last common bilaterian ancestor, and is thus of deep antiquity.

  2. Different routes lead to apoptosis in unfertilized sea urchin eggs.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Laetitia; Tosca, Lucie; Zhang, Wen Ling; Piquemal, Marion; Ciapa, Brigitte

    2014-03-01

    Results obtained in various species, from mammals to invertebrates, show that arrest in the cell cycle of mature oocytes is due to a high ERK activity. Apoptosis is stimulated in these oocytes if fertilization does not occur. Our previous data suggest that apoptosis of unfertilized sea urchin eggs is the consequence of an aberrant short attempt of development that occurs if ERK is inactivated. They contradict those obtained in starfish, another echinoderm, where inactivation of ERK delays apoptosis of aging mature oocytes that are nevertheless arrested at G1 of the cell cycle as in the sea urchin. This suggests that the cell death pathway that can be activated in unfertilized eggs is not the same in sea urchin and in starfish. In the present study, we find that protein synthesis is necessary for the survival of unfertilized sea urchin eggs, contrary to starfish. We also compare the effects induced by Emetine, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, with those triggered by Staurosporine, a non specific inhibitor of protein kinase that is widely used to induce apoptosis in many types of cells. Our results indicate that the unfertilized sea urchin egg contain different mechanisms capable of leading to apoptosis and that rely or not on changes in ERK activity, acidity of intracellular organelles or intracellular Ca and pH. We discuss the validity of some methods to investigate cell death such as measurements of caspase activation with the fluorescent caspase indicator FITC-VAD-fmk or acidification of intracellular organelles, methods that may lead to erroneous conclusions at least in the sea urchin model.

  3. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, M. A. L.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  4. The quest for the sea urchin egg receptor for sperm.

    PubMed

    Vacquier, Victor D

    2012-08-31

    This review discusses identification, isolation and characterization of proteins mediating species-selective sperm-to-egg adhesion during sea urchin fertilization. Bindin is the only sea urchin sperm protein known to mediate species-selective sperm attachment to eggs. Two completely different egg surface proteins, 350-kDa and EBR1, have affinity for bindin and each one meets all the criteria to be a species-selective sperm receptor. Experiments suggest that sperm bindin recognizes both the sulfated O-linked oligosaccharides on the egg 350-kDa glycoprotein, and also the repeated protein sequence modules of EBR1.

  5. Regulation of protein synthesis during sea urchin early development

    SciTech Connect

    Kelso, L.C.

    1989-01-01

    Fertilization of the sea urchin egg results in a 20-40 fold increase in the rate of protein synthesis. The masked message hypothesis proposes that mRNAs are masked or unavailable for translation in the egg. We devised an in vivo assay to test this hypothesis. Our results show that masked mRNAs limit protein synthesis in the unfertilized egg. In addition, we show that protein synthesis is also regulated at the level of translational machinery. Following fertilization is a period of rapid cell divisions. This period, known as the rapid cleavage stage, is characterized by the transient synthesis of a novel set of proteins. The synthesis of these proteins is programmed by maternal mRNAs stored in the unfertilized egg. To study the behavior of these mRNAs, we prepared a cDNA library from polysomal poly (A+) RNA from 2-hour embryos. ({sup 32}P) labeled probes, prepared from the cDNA library, were used to monitor the levels of individual mRNAs in polysomes at fertilization and during early development.

  6. The dynamics of secretion during sea urchin embryonic skeleton formation

    SciTech Connect

    Wilt, Fred H.

    2008-05-01

    Skeleton formation involves secretion of massive amounts of mineral precursor, usually a calcium salt, and matrix proteins, many of which are deposited on, or even occluded within, the mineral. The cell biological underpinnings of this secretion and subsequent assembly of the biomineralized skeletal element is not well understood. We ask here what is the relationship of the trafficking and secretion of the mineral and matrix within the primary mesenchyme cells of the sea urchin embryo, cells that deposit the endoskeletal spicule. Fluorescent labeling of intracellular calcium deposits show mineral precursors are present in granules visible by light microscopy, from whence they are deposited in the endoskeletal spicule, especially at its tip. In contrast, two different matrix proteins tagged with GFP are present in smaller post-Golgi vesicles only seen by electron microscopy, and the secreted protein are only incorporated into the spicule in the vicinity of the cell of origin. The matrix protein, SpSM30B, is post-translationally modified during secretion, and this processing continues after its incorporation into the spicule. Our findings also indicate that the mineral precursor and two well characterized matrix proteins are trafficked by different cellular routes.

  7. SM30 protein function during sea urchin larval spicule formation.

    PubMed

    Wilt, Fred; Killian, Christopher E; Croker, Lindsay; Hamilton, Patricia

    2013-08-01

    A central issue in better understanding the process of biomineralization is to elucidate the function of occluded matrix proteins present in mineralized tissues. A potent approach to addressing this issue utilizes specific inhibitors of expression of known genes. Application of antisense oligonucleotides that specifically suppress translation of a given mRNA are capable of causing aberrant biomineralization, thereby revealing, at least in part, a likely function of the protein and gene under investigation. We have applied this approach to study the possible function(s) of the SM30 family of proteins, which are found in spicules, teeth, spines, and tests of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus as well as other euechinoid sea urchins. It is possible using the anti-SM30 morpholino-oligonucleotides (MO's) to reduce the level of these proteins to very low levels, yet the development of skeletal spicules in the embryo shows little or no aberration. This surprising result requires re-thinking about the role of these, and possibly other occluded matrix proteins.

  8. Global regime shift dynamics of catastrophic sea urchin overgrazing

    PubMed Central

    Ling, S. D.; Scheibling, R. E.; Rassweiler, A.; Johnson, C. R.; Shears, N.; Connell, S. D.; Salomon, A. K.; Norderhaug, K. M.; Pérez-Matus, A.; Hernández, J. C.; Clemente, S.; Blamey, L. K.; Hereu, B.; Ballesteros, E.; Sala, E.; Garrabou, J.; Cebrian, E.; Zabala, M.; Fujita, D.; Johnson, L. E.

    2015-01-01

    A pronounced, widespread and persistent regime shift among marine ecosystems is observable on temperate rocky reefs as a result of sea urchin overgrazing. Here, we empirically define regime-shift dynamics for this grazing system which transitions between productive macroalgal beds and impoverished urchin barrens. Catastrophic in nature, urchin overgrazing in a well-studied Australian system demonstrates a discontinuous regime shift, which is of particular management concern as recovery of desirable macroalgal beds requires reducing grazers to well below the initial threshold of overgrazing. Generality of this regime-shift dynamic is explored across 13 rocky reef systems (spanning 11 different regions from both hemispheres) by compiling available survey data (totalling 10 901 quadrats surveyed in situ) plus experimental regime-shift responses (observed during a total of 57 in situ manipulations). The emergent and globally coherent pattern shows urchin grazing to cause a discontinuous ‘catastrophic’ regime shift, with hysteresis effect of approximately one order of magnitude in urchin biomass between critical thresholds of overgrazing and recovery. Different life-history traits appear to create asymmetry in the pace of overgrazing versus recovery. Once shifted, strong feedback mechanisms provide resilience for each alternative state thus defining the catastrophic nature of this regime shift. Importantly, human-derived stressors can act to erode resilience of desirable macroalgal beds while strengthening resilience of urchin barrens, thus exacerbating the risk, spatial extent and irreversibility of an unwanted regime shift for marine ecosystems.

  9. Effects of spaceflight conditions on fertilization and embryogenesis in the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, H.; Chakrabarti, A.; Taylor, M.; Sommer, L.; Levine, H.; Anderson, K.; Runco, M.; Kemp, R.

    1999-01-01

    Calcium loss and muscle atrophy are two of the main metabolic changes experienced by astronauts and crew members during exposure to microgravity in space. Calcium and cytoskeletal events were investigated within sea urchin embryos which were cultured in space under both microgravity and 1 g conditions. Embryos were fixed at time-points ranging from 3 h to 8 days after fertilization. Investigative emphasis was placed upon: (1) sperm-induced calcium-dependent exocytosis and cortical granule secretion, (2) membrane fusion of cortical granule and plasma membranes; (3) microfilament polymerization and microvilli elongation; and (5) embryonic development into morula, blastula, gastrula, and pluteus stages. For embryos cultured under microgravity conditions, the processes of cortical granule discharge, fusion of cortical granule membranes with the plasma membrane, elongation of microvilli and elevation of the fertilization coat were reduced in comparison with embryos cultured at 1 g in space and under normal conditions on Earth. Also, 4% of all cells undergoing division in microgravity showed abnormalities in the centrosome-centriole complex. These abnormalities were not observed within the 1 g flight and ground control specimens, indicating that significant alterations in sea urchin development processes occur under microgravity conditions. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  10. Diversity of olfactomedin proteins in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Hillier, Brian J; Moy, Gary W; Vacquier, Victor D

    2007-06-01

    Olfactomedin (OLF) domain proteins maintain extracellular protein-protein interactions in diverse phyla. Only one OLF family member, amassin-1, has been described from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a basal invertebrate deuterostome. Amassin-1 mediates intercellular adhesion of coelomocytes (immunocytes). Here we describe the protein structural features of four additional OLF proteins, the total for the genome being five. Phylogenetically, four of these proteins (the amassins) form a subgroup among previously identified OLF proteins. The fifth OLF protein is within the colmedin subfamily and contains a type II transmembrane domain, collagen repeats, and an OLF domain. Sea urchin OLF proteins represent an intermediate diversification between protostomes and vertebrates. Transcripts of all five OLF family members are in coelomocytes and adult radial nerve tissue. Transcripts for some OLF proteins increase during late larval stages. Transcript levels for amassin-1 increase 1,000,000-fold, coinciding with formation of the adult urchin rudiment within the larval body.

  11. RNA deep sequencing reveals differential microRNA expression during development of sea urchin and sea star.

    PubMed

    Kadri, Sabah; Hinman, Veronica F; Benos, Panayiotis V

    2011-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are small (20-23 nt), non-coding single stranded RNA molecules that act as post-transcriptional regulators of mRNA gene expression. They have been implicated in regulation of developmental processes in diverse organisms. The echinoderms, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (sea urchin) and Patiria miniata (sea star) are excellent model organisms for studying development with well-characterized transcriptional networks. However, to date, nothing is known about the role of miRNAs during development in these organisms, except that the genes that are involved in the miRNA biogenesis pathway are expressed during their developmental stages. In this paper, we used Illumina Genome Analyzer (Illumina, Inc.) to sequence small RNA libraries in mixed stage population of embryos from one to three days after fertilization of sea urchin and sea star (total of 22,670,000 reads). Analysis of these data revealed the miRNA populations in these two species. We found that 47 and 38 known miRNAs are expressed in sea urchin and sea star, respectively, during early development (32 in common). We also found 13 potentially novel miRNAs in the sea urchin embryonic library. miRNA expression is generally conserved between the two species during development, but 7 miRNAs are highly expressed in only one species. We expect that our two datasets will be a valuable resource for everyone working in the field of developmental biology and the regulatory networks that affect it. The computational pipeline to analyze Illumina reads is available at http://www.benoslab.pitt.edu/services.html.

  12. THE MEMBRANE CAPACITANCE OF THE SEA URCHIN EGG

    PubMed Central

    Rothschild, Lord

    1957-01-01

    1. The surface of the unfertilized sea urchin egg is folded and the folds are reversibly eliminated by exposing the egg to hypotonic sea water. If the plasma membrane is outside the layer of cortical granules, unfolding may explain why the membrane capacitance per unit area decreases (and does not increase) when a sea urchin egg is put into hypotonic sea water. 2. The degree of surface folding markedly increases after fertilization, which provides an explanation for the increase in membrane capacitance per unit area observed after fertilization. 3. The percentage reduction in membrane folding in fertilized eggs after immersion in hypotonic sea water is probably sufficient to explain the decrease in membrane capacitance per unit area observed in these conditions. PMID:13416315

  13. Sea urchin immune cells as sentinels of environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Pinsino, Annalisa; Matranga, Valeria

    2015-03-01

    Echinoderms, an ancient and very successful phylum of marine invertebrates, play a central role in the maintenance of ecosystem integrity and are constantly exposed to environmental pressure, including: predation, changes in temperature and pH, hypoxia, pathogens, UV radiation, metals, toxicants, and emerging pollutants like nanomaterials. The annotation of the sea urchin genome, so closely related to humans and other vertebrate genomes, revealed an unusually complex immune system, which may be the basis for why sea urchins can adapt to different marine environments and survive even in hazardous conditions. In this review, we give a brief overview of the morphological features and recognized functions of echinoderm immune cells with a focus on studies correlating stress and immunity in the sea urchin. Immune cells from adult Paracentrotus lividus, which have been introduced in the last fifteen years as sentinels of environmental stress, are valid tools to uncover basic molecular and regulatory mechanisms of immune responses, supporting their use in immunological research. Here we summarize laboratory and field studies that reveal the amenability of sea urchin immune cells for toxicological testing.

  14. Defensome against Toxic Diatom Aldehydes in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    PubMed Central

    Marrone, Vincenzo; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna; Costantini, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Many diatom species produce polyunsaturated aldehydes, such as decadienal, which compromise embryonic and larval development in benthic organisms. Here newly fertilized Paracentrotus lividus sea urchins were exposed to low concentration of decadienal and the expression levels of sixteen genes, implicated in a broad range of functional responses, were followed by Real Time qPCR in order to identify potential decadienal targets. We show that at low decadienal concentrations the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus places in motion different classes of genes to defend itself against this toxic aldehyde, activating hsp60 and two proteases, hat and BP10, at the blastula stage and hsp56 and several other genes (14-3-3ε, p38 MAPK, MTase, and GS) at the prism stage. At this latter stage all genes involved in skeletogenesis (Nec, uni, SM50 and SM30) were also down-expressed, following developmental abnormalities that mainly affected skeleton morphogenesis. Moreover, sea urchin embryos treated with increasing concentrations of decadienal revealed a dose-dependent response of activated target genes. Finally, we suggest that this orchestrated defense system against decadienal represents part of the chemical defensome of P. lividus affording protection from environmental toxicants. PMID:22363721

  15. Defensome against toxic diatom aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Marrone, Vincenzo; Piscopo, Marina; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna; Costantini, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Many diatom species produce polyunsaturated aldehydes, such as decadienal, which compromise embryonic and larval development in benthic organisms. Here newly fertilized Paracentrotus lividus sea urchins were exposed to low concentration of decadienal and the expression levels of sixteen genes, implicated in a broad range of functional responses, were followed by Real Time qPCR in order to identify potential decadienal targets. We show that at low decadienal concentrations the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus places in motion different classes of genes to defend itself against this toxic aldehyde, activating hsp60 and two proteases, hat and BP10, at the blastula stage and hsp56 and several other genes (14-3-3ε, p38 MAPK, MTase, and GS) at the prism stage. At this latter stage all genes involved in skeletogenesis (Nec, uni, SM50 and SM30) were also down-expressed, following developmental abnormalities that mainly affected skeleton morphogenesis. Moreover, sea urchin embryos treated with increasing concentrations of decadienal revealed a dose-dependent response of activated target genes. Finally, we suggest that this orchestrated defense system against decadienal represents part of the chemical defensome of P. lividus affording protection from environmental toxicants.

  16. Molecular cloning and characterization of the mRNA for cyclin from sea urchin eggs.

    PubMed Central

    Pines, J; Hunt, T

    1987-01-01

    We have isolated a cDNA clone encoding sea urchin cyclin and determined its sequence. It contains a single open reading frame of 409 amino acids which shows homology with clam cyclins. RNA transcribed in vitro from this sequence was efficiently translated in reticulocyte lysates, yielding full-length cyclin. Injection of nanogram amounts of this synthetic mRNA into Xenopus oocytes caused them to mature more rapidly than with progesterone treatment. The sea urchin cyclin underwent two posttranslational modifications in the Xenopus oocytes during maturation. The first occurred at about the time that maturation became cycloheximide-resistant, when a small apparent increase in the molecular weight of cyclin was observed. The second modification involved destruction of the cyclin at about the time of white spot appearance, just as would have occurred at the metaphase/anaphase transition in the natural environment of a cleaving sea urchin embryo. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 7. Fig. 9. PMID:2826125

  17. Structures, structural hierarchy, and function in sea urchin spines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, S. R.; Ebert, T. A.; Ignatiev, K.; De Carlo, F.

    2006-08-01

    Sea urchin spines protect the animal's body from predators and from the effect of high energy environments. The spines of urchins from different orders, families and genera have very different sizes, morphologies and microarchitectures, and the different designs of sea urchin spines reveal much about the design space available for functional biogenic calcite-based structures. The 3D microarchitecture of primary spines of a number of sea urchins was studied with synchrotron microCT and reconstructed with 5 μm or smaller voxels (volume elements), and similarities and differences were determined in order to better understand the design space. Hollow spines from different genera of the family Diadematidae, order Diadematoida, are one type of solution, but significant differences were observed within this phylogenic subset. Spines from members of order Echinoidea, family Toxopneustidae, employ a very different strategy, one that emphasizes interconnected trabeculae to a greater degree than do the diadematids. Numerical data for some 3D structural characteristics are presented, data that would be impractical to obtain by methods other than microCT.

  18. Spermiotoxicity and embryotoxicity of permethrin in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Erkmen, Belda

    2015-04-01

    The toxicity of permethrin on the fertilization and early development of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos were studied. Spermiotoxicity was evaluated on the basis of fertilization rate. Embryotoxicity was determined by comparing the frequency of normal development and malformations in embryos exposed to permethrin throughout their development. Permethrin inhibited fertilization success, and yielded IC25 and IC50 values of 0.58 (CL = 0.44-0.77) and 0.94 (CL = 0.92-0.95) µg/L, respectively. The embryotoxicity of permethrin was concentration dependent indicating a decreased percentage of normally developed plutei with increasing permethrin concentrations: IC25 = 0.195 µg/L (CL = 0.15-0.26) and IC50 = 0.346 µg/L (CF = 0.29-0.41). Associated with the decrease in normal pluteus frequency was an increase in larval malformations as skeleton deformities. The results suggest that permethrin is more highly toxic to embryos than to sperm, and that this insecticide may present a potential risk for the sea urchin in contaminated marine environments.

  19. The role of lysyl oxidase and collagen crosslinking during sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Butler, E; Hardin, J; Benson, S

    1987-11-01

    Lysyl oxidase, the only enzyme involved in collagen crosslinking, is shown to be present in embryos of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. The enzyme specific activity increases over six-fold during development, showing the greatest rise during gastrulation and prism larva formation. The enzyme is inhibited by the specific inhibitor, beta-aminoproprionitrile (BAPN). Continuous BAPN treatment of S. purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus embryos from late cleavage stages onward increases the amount of noncrosslinked collagen present in prism larvae. When BAPN is added at the 128- or 256-cell stage it causes developmental arrest at the mesenchyme blastula stage. Embryos can be maintained in the arrested state for at least 96 h and will resume normal development and morphogenesis following BAPN removal. If BAPN is added after the mesenchyme blastula stage, it has little adverse effect on development; consequently nonspecific toxic effects of the drug are unlikely. The results suggest that lysyl oxidase and collagen crosslinking play a vital role in primary mesenchyme migration, gastrulation, and morphogenesis during sea urchin development and indicate that BAPN may be very useful in studying the extracellular matrix-cell interactions at the cellular and molecular level.

  20. The evolution of nervous system patterning: insights from sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Angerer, Lynne M; Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Angerer, Robert C; Burke, Robert D

    2011-09-01

    Recent studies of the sea urchin embryo have elucidated the mechanisms that localize and pattern its nervous system. These studies have revealed the presence of two overlapping regions of neurogenic potential at the beginning of embryogenesis, each of which becomes progressively restricted by separate, yet linked, signals, including Wnt and subsequently Nodal and BMP. These signals act to specify and localize the embryonic neural fields - the anterior neuroectoderm and the more posterior ciliary band neuroectoderm - during development. Here, we review these conserved nervous system patterning signals and consider how the relationships between them might have changed during deuterostome evolution.

  1. Cloning, Characterization, and Expression Levels of the Nectin Gene from the Tube Feet of the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus Lividus.

    PubMed

    Toubarro, Duarte; Gouveia, Analuce; Ribeiro, Raquel Mesquita; Simões, Nélson; da Costa, Gonçalo; Cordeiro, Carlos; Santos, Romana

    2016-06-01

    Marine bioadhesives perform in ways that manmade products simply cannot match, especially in wet environments. Despite their technological potential, bioadhesive molecular mechanisms are still largely understudied, and sea urchin adhesion is no exception. These animals inhabit wave-swept shores, relying on specialized adhesive organs, tube feet, composed by an adhesive disc and a motile stem. The disc encloses a duo-gland adhesive system, producing adhesive and deadhesive secretions for strong reversible substratum attachment. The disclosure of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus tube foot disc proteome led to the identification of a secreted adhesion protein, Nectin, never before reported in adult adhesive organs but, that given its adhesive function in eggs/embryos, was pointed out as a putative substratum adhesive protein in adults. To further understand Nectin involvement in sea urchin adhesion, Nectin cDNA was amplified for the first time from P. lividus adhesive organs, showing that not only the known Nectin mRNA, called Nectin-1 (GenBank AJ578435), is expressed in the adults tube feet but also a new mRNA sequence, called Nectin-2 (GenBank KT351732), differing in 15 missense nucleotide substitutions. Nectin genomic DNA was also obtained for the first time, indicating that both Nectin-1 and Nectin-2 derive from a single gene. In addition, expression analysis showed that both Nectins are overexpressed in tube feet discs, its expression being significantly higher in tube feet discs from sea urchins just after collection from the field relative to sea urchin from aquarium. These data further advocate for Nectin involvement in sea urchin reversible adhesion, suggesting that its expression might be regulated according to the hydrodynamic conditions.

  2. Phosphoproteomes of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus shell and tooth matrix: identification of a major acidic sea urchin tooth phosphoprotein, phosphodontin

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Sea urchin is a major model organism for developmental biology and biomineralization research. However, identification of proteins involved in larval skeleton formation and mineralization processes in the embryo and adult, and the molecular characterization of such proteins, has just gained momentum with the sequencing of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome and the introduction of high-throughput proteomics into the field. Results The present report contains the determination of test (shell) and tooth organic matrix phosphoproteomes. Altogether 34 phosphoproteins were identified in the biomineral organic matrices. Most phosphoproteins were specific for one compartment, only two were identified in both matrices. The sea urchin phosphoproteomes contained several obvious orthologs of mammalian proteins, such as a Src family tyrosine kinase, protein kinase C-delta 1, Dickkopf-1 and other signal transduction components, or nucleobindin. In most cases phosphorylation sites were conserved between sea urchin and mammalian proteins. However, the majority of phosphoproteins had no mammalian counterpart. The most interesting of the sea urchin-specific phosphoproteins, from the perspective of biomineralization research, was an abundant highly phosphorylated and very acidic tooth matrix protein composed of 35 very similar short sequence repeats, a predicted N-terminal secretion signal sequence, and an Asp-rich C-terminal motif, contained in [Glean3:18919]. Conclusions The 64 phosphorylation sites determined represent the most comprehensive list of experimentally identified sea urchin protein phosphorylation sites at present and are an important addition to the recently analyzed Strongylocentrotus purpuratus shell and tooth proteomes. The identified phosphoproteins included a major, highly phosphorylated protein, [Glean3:18919], for which we suggest the name phosphodontin. Although not sequence-related to such highly phosphorylated acidic mammalian dental

  3. Matrix and mineral in the sea urchin larval skeleton.

    PubMed

    Wilt, F H

    1999-06-30

    The endoskeletal spicules of sea urchin larvae are composed of calcite, a surrounding extracellular matrix, and small amounts of occluded matrix proteins. The spicules are formed by primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) in the blastocoel of the embryo, where they adopt stereotypical locations, thereby specifying where spicules will form. PMCs also fuse to form cytoplasmic cords connecting the cell bodies, and it is within the cords that spicules arise. The mineral phase contains 5% Mg as well as Ca, and about 0.1% of the mass is protein. The matrix and mineral form concentric plies, and the composite has different physical properties than those of pure calcite. The calcite diffracts as a single crystal and is composed of well-ordered, but not perfectly ordered, microdomains. There is evidence for adsorption of matrix proteins to specific crystal faces at domain boundaries, which may help regulate crystal growth and texture. Immature spicules contain considerable precipitated amorphous CaCO3, and PMCs also have vesicles that contain amorphous CaCO3. This suggests the hypothesis that the cellular precursor to the spicules is actually amorphous CaCO3 stabilized in the cell by protein. The spicule s enveloped by the PMC cord, but is topologically exterior to the cell. The PMC plasmalemma is tightly applied to the developing spicules, except perhaps at the elongating tip. The characteristics, localization, and possible function of the four identified matrix proteins are discussed. SM50, SM37, and PM27 all primarily enclose the mineral, though small amounts are occluded. SM30 is found in cellular vesicles and is probably the principal occluded protein of the spicule.

  4. Consumers of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula, in shallow Mediterranean rocky reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2004-04-01

    Underwater observations on fish and asteroid consumers (i.e. predators and scavengers) of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula, were carried out at several locations in shallow Mediterranean rocky reefs. Observations conducted in the marine reserve of Torre Guaceto (Adriatic Sea) revealed that sparid fishes, Diplodus sargus and D. vulgaris, are the main fish predators of small (<1 cm in test diameter) and medium (1-4 cm) sea urchins, whereas the labrids Coris julis and Thalassoma pavo preyed only upon small sea urchins. Large D. sargus were able to prey upon small and medium, and occasionally large (>4 cm) sea urchins, whereas medium and small Diplodus preyed mainly upon small sea urchins. The number of sea urchins preyed upon by fishes was negatively related to sea urchin size for both species. P. lividus appeared to be subject to higher predation levels than A. lixula. The scavenger guild comprised 11 fish species, with D. sargus, D. vulgaris, Coris julis and Chromis chromis accounting for about 80% of scavenger fishes. Observations performed at several locations in the Mediterranean on the predatory asteroid Marthasterias glacialis revealed that only 3% of the detected individuals were preying upon sea urchins. Due to the importance of sea urchins for assemblage structure and functioning of Mediterranean rocky reef ecosystems, these results may have also important implications for management of fishing activities.

  5. Zinc effect on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus immunological competence.

    PubMed

    Pagliara, Patrizia; Stabili, Loredana

    2012-10-01

    Pollution by heavy metals has become one of the most important problems in marine coastal areas as a consequence of anthropogenic inputs. Among metal contaminants, zinc, being considered not very toxic, is sometimes released into the sea in appreciable quantities and its concentration is loosely regulated. In this work we analyzed the effects of a high zinc concentration on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus immune system. In particular, after 24 h of zinc treatment, we evaluated coelomocytes morphology and composition as well as the zinc influence on some humoral parameters such as hemolysis, lysozyme-like activity and antibacterial activity on Vibrio alginolyticus. Our results evidenced that the presence of zinc affected both cellular and acellular components of the sea urchin immune system. The P. lividus coelomocytes changed in morphology and number; moreover, the amebocytes changed from a petaloid to a filipodial-like shape and the red spherula cells increased in number. Among the considered humoral effectors lysozyme-like activity and antibacterial activity on V. alginolyticus decreased in short-term to zinc treatment. The modifications in the sea urchin immunological competence might give an early indication of disease susceptibility thus suggesting to consider the examined defence mechanisms as potential biological indicators of metal pollution.

  6. Microgravity effects of sea urchin fertilization and development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffen, S.; Simerly, C.; Schatten, H.; Schatten, G.; Fiser, R.

    1992-01-01

    Gravity has been a pervasive influence on all living systems and there is convincing evidence to suggest that it alters fertilization and embryogenesis in several developmental systems. Notwithstanding the global importance of gravity on development, it has only been recently possible to begin to design experiments which might directly investigate the specific effects of this vector. The goal of this research program is to explore and understand the effects of gravity on fertilization and early development using sea urchins as a model system. Sea urchin development has several advantages for this project including the feasibility of maintaining and manipulating these cells during spaceflight, the high percentage of normal fertilization and early development, and the abundant knowledge about molecular, biochemical, and cellular events during embryogenesis which permits detailed insights into the mechanism by which gravity might interfere with development. Furthermore, skeletal calcium is deposited into the embryonic spicules within a day of fertilization permitting studies of the effects of gravity on bone calcium deposition.

  7. Manipulation of Developing Juvenile Structures in Purple Sea Urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) by Morpholino Injection into Late Stage Larvae

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchins have been used as experimental organisms for developmental biology for over a century. Yet, as is the case for many other marine invertebrates, understanding the development of the juveniles and adults has lagged far behind that of their embryos and larvae. The reasons for this are, in large part, due to the difficulty of experimentally manipulating juvenile development. Here we develop and validate a technique for injecting compounds into juvenile rudiments of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We first document the distribution of rhodaminated dextran injected into different compartments of the juvenile rudiment of sea urchin larvae. Then, to test the potential of this technique to manipulate development, we injected Vivo-Morpholinos (vMOs) designed to knock down p58b and p16, two proteins involved in the elongation of S. purpuratus larval skeleton. Rudiments injected with these vMOs showed a delay in the growth of some juvenile skeletal elements relative to controls. These data provide the first evidence that vMOs, which are designed to cross cell membranes, can be used to transiently manipulate gene function in later developmental stages in sea urchins. We therefore propose that injection of vMOs into juvenile rudiments, as shown here, is a viable approach to testing hypotheses about gene function during development, including metamorphosis. PMID:25436992

  8. Manipulation of developing juvenile structures in purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) by morpholino injection into late stage larvae.

    PubMed

    Heyland, Andreas; Hodin, Jason; Bishop, Cory

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchins have been used as experimental organisms for developmental biology for over a century. Yet, as is the case for many other marine invertebrates, understanding the development of the juveniles and adults has lagged far behind that of their embryos and larvae. The reasons for this are, in large part, due to the difficulty of experimentally manipulating juvenile development. Here we develop and validate a technique for injecting compounds into juvenile rudiments of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We first document the distribution of rhodaminated dextran injected into different compartments of the juvenile rudiment of sea urchin larvae. Then, to test the potential of this technique to manipulate development, we injected Vivo-Morpholinos (vMOs) designed to knock down p58b and p16, two proteins involved in the elongation of S. purpuratus larval skeleton. Rudiments injected with these vMOs showed a delay in the growth of some juvenile skeletal elements relative to controls. These data provide the first evidence that vMOs, which are designed to cross cell membranes, can be used to transiently manipulate gene function in later developmental stages in sea urchins. We therefore propose that injection of vMOs into juvenile rudiments, as shown here, is a viable approach to testing hypotheses about gene function during development, including metamorphosis.

  9. Identification of a cell lineage-specific gene coding for a sea urchin alpha 2(IV)-like collagen chain.

    PubMed

    Exposito, J Y; Suzuki, H; Geourjon, C; Garrone, R; Solursh, M; Ramirez, F

    1994-05-06

    We report the isolation of several overlapping cDNAs from an embryonic library of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus coding for a novel sea urchin collagen chain. The conceptual amino acid translation of the cDNAs indicated that the protein displays the structural features of a vertebrate type IV-like collagen alpha chain. In addition to a putative 31-residue signal peptide, the sea urchin molecule contains a 14-residue amino-terminal non-collagenous segment, a discontinuous 1,477-amino acid triple helical domain, and a 225-residue carboxyl-terminal domain rich in cysteines. The amino- and carboxyl-terminal non-collagenous regions of the echinoid molecule are remarkably similar to the 7 S and carboxyl-terminal non-collagenous (NC1) domains of the alpha 1 and alpha 2 chains of vertebrate type IV collagen. The sequence similarity and distinct structural features of the 7 S and NC1 domains strongly suggest that the sea urchin polypeptide is evolutionarily related to the alpha 2(IV) class of collagen chains. Finally, in situ hybridizations revealed that expression of this collagen gene is restricted to the mesenchyme cell lineage of the developing sea urchin embryo.

  10. Sea Urchins Predation Facilitates Coral Invasion in a Marine Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Coma, Rafel; Serrano, Eduard; Linares, Cristina; Ribes, Marta; Díaz, David; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    Macroalgae is the dominant trophic group on Mediterranean infralittoral rocky bottoms, whereas zooxanthellate corals are extremely rare. However, in recent years, the invasive coral Oculina patagonica appears to be increasing its abundance through unknown means. Here we examine the pattern of variation of this species at a marine reserve between 2002 and 2010 and contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that allow its current increase. Because indirect interactions between species can play a relevant role in the establishment of species, a parallel assessment of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the main herbivorous invertebrate in this habitat and thus a key species, was conducted. O. patagonica has shown a 3-fold increase in abundance over the last 8 years and has become the most abundant invertebrate in the shallow waters of the marine reserve, matching some dominant erect macroalgae in abundance. High recruitment played an important role in this increasing coral abundance. The results from this study provide compelling evidence that the increase in sea urchin abundance may be one of the main drivers of the observed increase in coral abundance. Sea urchins overgraze macroalgae and create barren patches in the space-limited macroalgal community that subsequently facilitate coral recruitment. This study indicates that trophic interactions contributed to the success of an invasive coral in the Mediterranean because sea urchins grazing activity indirectly facilitated expansion of the coral. Current coral abundance at the marine reserve has ended the monopolization of algae in rocky infralittoral assemblages, an event that could greatly modify both the underwater seascape and the sources of primary production in the ecosystem. PMID:21789204

  11. A genomic view of the sea urchin nervous system.

    PubMed

    Burke, R D; Angerer, L M; Elphick, M R; Humphrey, G W; Yaguchi, S; Kiyama, T; Liang, S; Mu, X; Agca, C; Klein, W H; Brandhorst, B P; Rowe, M; Wilson, K; Churcher, A M; Taylor, J S; Chen, N; Murray, G; Wang, D; Mellott, D; Olinski, R; Hallböök, F; Thorndyke, M C

    2006-12-01

    The sequencing of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome provides a unique opportunity to investigate the function and evolution of neural genes. The neurobiology of sea urchins is of particular interest because they have a close phylogenetic relationship with chordates, yet a distinctive pentaradiate body plan and unusual neural organization. Orthologues of transcription factors that regulate neurogenesis in other animals have been identified and several are expressed in neurogenic domains before gastrulation indicating that they may operate near the top of a conserved neural gene regulatory network. A family of genes encoding voltage-gated ion channels is present but, surprisingly, genes encoding gap junction proteins (connexins and pannexins) appear to be absent. Genes required for synapse formation and function have been identified and genes for synthesis and transport of neurotransmitters are present. There is a large family of G-protein-coupled receptors, including 874 rhodopsin-type receptors, 28 metabotropic glutamate-like receptors and a remarkably expanded group of 161 secretin receptor-like proteins. Absence of cannabinoid, lysophospholipid and melanocortin receptors indicates that this group may be unique to chordates. There are at least 37 putative G-protein-coupled peptide receptors and precursors for several neuropeptides and peptide hormones have been identified, including SALMFamides, NGFFFamide, a vasotocin-like peptide, glycoprotein hormones and insulin/insulin-like growth factors. Identification of a neurotrophin-like gene and Trk receptor in sea urchin indicates that this neural signaling system is not unique to chordates. Several hundred chemoreceptor genes have been predicted using several approaches, a number similar to that for other animals. Intriguingly, genes encoding homologues of rhodopsin, Pax6 and several other key mammalian retinal transcription factors are expressed in tube feet, suggesting tube feet function as photosensory

  12. Toxic Diatom Aldehydes Affect Defence Gene Networks in Sea Urchins

    PubMed Central

    Varrella, Stefano; Ruocco, Nadia; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G.; Costantini, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Marine organisms possess a series of cellular strategies to counteract the negative effects of toxic compounds, including the massive reorganization of gene expression networks. Here we report the modulated dose-dependent response of activated genes by diatom polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. PUAs are secondary metabolites deriving from the oxidation of fatty acids, inducing deleterious effects on the reproduction and development of planktonic and benthic organisms that feed on these unicellular algae and with anti-cancer activity. Our previous results showed that PUAs target several genes, implicated in different functional processes in this sea urchin. Using interactomic Ingenuity Pathway Analysis we now show that the genes targeted by PUAs are correlated with four HUB genes, NF-κB, p53, δ-2-catenin and HIF1A, which have not been previously reported for P. lividus. We propose a working model describing hypothetical pathways potentially involved in toxic aldehyde stress response in sea urchins. This represents the first report on gene networks affected by PUAs, opening new perspectives in understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying the response of benthic organisms to diatom exposure. PMID:26914213

  13. Using sea urchin gametes and zygotes to investigate centrosome duplication.

    PubMed

    Sluder, Greenfield

    2016-01-01

    Centriole structure and function in the sea urchin zygote parallel those in mammalian somatic cells. Here, I briefly introduce the properties and attributes of the sea urchin system that make it an attractive platform for the study of centrosome and centriole duplication. These attributes apply to all echinoderms readily available from commercial suppliers: sea urchins, sand dollars, and starfish. I list some of the practical aspects of the system that make it a cost- and time-effective system for experimental work and then list properties that are a "tool kit" that can be used to conduct studies that would not be practical, or in some cases not possible, with mammalian somatic cells. Since centrioles organize and localize the pericentriolar material that nucleates the astral arrays of microtubules (Bobinnec et al. in J Cell Biol 143(6):1575-1589, 1998), the pattern of aster duplication over several cell cycles can be used as a reliable measure for centriole duplication (Sluder and Rieder in J Cell Biol 100(3):887-896, 1985). Descriptions of the methods my laboratory has used to handle and image echinoderm zygotes are reviewed in Sluder et al. (Methods Cell Biol 61:439-472, 1999). Also included is a bibliography of papers that describe additional methods.

  14. Skeletogenesis in sea urchin larvae under modified gravity conditions.

    PubMed

    Marthy, H J; Gasset, G; Tixador, R; Eche, B; Schatt, P; Dessommes, A; Marthy, U; Bacchieri, R

    1998-01-01

    From many points of view, skeletogenesis in sea urchins has been well described. Based on this scientific background and considering practical aspects of sea urchin development (i.e. availability of material, size of larvae, etc.), we wanted to know whether orderly skeletogenesis requires the presence of gravity. The objective has been approached by three experiments successfully performed under genuine microgravity conditions (in the STS-65 IML-2 mission of 1994; in the Photon-10 IBIS mission of 1995 and in the STS-76 S/MM-03 mission of 1996). Larvae of the sea urchin Sphaerechinus granularis were allowed to develop in microgravity conditions for several days from blastula stage onwards (onset of skeletogenesis). At the end of the missions, the recovered skeletal structures were studied with respect to their mineral composition, architecture and size. Live larvae were also recovered for post-flight culture. The results obtained clearly show that the process of mineralisation is independent of gravity: that is, the skeletogenic cells differentiate correctly in microgravity. However, abnormal skeleton architectures were encountered, particularly in the IML-2 mission, indicating that the process of positioning of the skeletogenic cells may be affected, directly or indirectly, by environmental factors, including gravity. Larvae exposed to microgravity from blastula to prism/early pluteus stage for about 2 weeks (IBIS mission), developed on the ground over the next 2 months into normal metamorphosing individuals.

  15. Molecular Response to Toxic Diatom-Derived Aldehydes in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    PubMed Central

    Varrella, Stefano; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G.; Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Diatoms are dominant photosynthetic organisms in the world’s oceans and represent a major food source for zooplankton and benthic filter-feeders. However, their beneficial role in sustaining marine food webs has been challenged after the discovery that they produce secondary metabolites, such as polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs), which negatively affect the reproductive success of many invertebrates. Here, we report the effects of two common diatom PUAs, heptadienal and octadienal, which have never been tested before at the molecular level, using the sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus, as a model organism. We show that both PUAs are able to induce teratogenesis (i.e., malformations), as already reported for decadienal, the better-studied PUA of this group. Moreover, post-recovery experiments show that embryos can recover after treatment with all three PUAs, indicating that negative effects depend both on PUA concentrations and the exposure time of the embryos to these metabolites. We also identify the time range during which PUAs exert the greatest effect on sea urchin embryogenesis. Finally, we report the expression levels of thirty one genes (having a key role in a broad range of functional responses, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxification processes) in order to identify the common targets affected by PUAs and their correlation with morphological abnormalities. This study opens new perspectives for understanding how marine organisms afford protection from environmental toxicants through an integrated network of genes. PMID:24714125

  16. Nitric Oxide Mediates the Stress Response Induced by Diatom Aldehydes in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Giovanna; Costantini, Maria; Buttino, Isabella; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Diatoms are ubiquitous and abundant primary producers that have been traditionally considered as a beneficial food source for grazers and for the transfer of carbon through marine food webs. However, many diatom species produce polyunsaturated aldehydes that disrupt development in the offspring of grazers that feed on these unicellular algae. Here we provide evidence that production of the physiological messenger nitric oxide increases after treatment with the polyunsaturated aldehyde decadienal in embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. At high decadienal concentrations, nitric oxide mediates initial apoptotic events leading to loss of mitochondrial functionality through the generation of peroxynitrite. At low decadienal concentrations, nitric oxide contributes to the activation of hsp70 gene expression thereby protecting embryos against the toxic effects of this aldehyde. When nitric oxide levels were lowered by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase activity, the expression of hsp70 in swimming blastula decreased and the proportion of abnormal plutei increased. However, in later pluteus stages nitric oxide was no longer able to exert this protective function: hsp70 and nitric oxide synthase expression decreased with a consequent increase in the expression of caspase-8. Our findings that nitric oxide production increases rapidly in response to a toxic exogenous stimulus opens new perspectives on the possible role of this gas as an important messenger to environmental stress in sea urchins and for understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying toxicity during diatom blooms. PMID:22022485

  17. Nitric oxide mediates the stress response induced by diatom aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Romano, Giovanna; Costantini, Maria; Buttino, Isabella; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Diatoms are ubiquitous and abundant primary producers that have been traditionally considered as a beneficial food source for grazers and for the transfer of carbon through marine food webs. However, many diatom species produce polyunsaturated aldehydes that disrupt development in the offspring of grazers that feed on these unicellular algae. Here we provide evidence that production of the physiological messenger nitric oxide increases after treatment with the polyunsaturated aldehyde decadienal in embryos of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. At high decadienal concentrations, nitric oxide mediates initial apoptotic events leading to loss of mitochondrial functionality through the generation of peroxynitrite. At low decadienal concentrations, nitric oxide contributes to the activation of hsp70 gene expression thereby protecting embryos against the toxic effects of this aldehyde. When nitric oxide levels were lowered by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase activity, the expression of hsp70 in swimming blastula decreased and the proportion of abnormal plutei increased. However, in later pluteus stages nitric oxide was no longer able to exert this protective function: hsp70 and nitric oxide synthase expression decreased with a consequent increase in the expression of caspase-8. Our findings that nitric oxide production increases rapidly in response to a toxic exogenous stimulus opens new perspectives on the possible role of this gas as an important messenger to environmental stress in sea urchins and for understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying toxicity during diatom blooms.

  18. Molecular response to toxic diatom-derived aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Varrella, Stefano; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G; Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Maria

    2014-04-04

    Diatoms are dominant photosynthetic organisms in the world's oceans and represent a major food source for zooplankton and benthic filter-feeders. However, their beneficial role in sustaining marine food webs has been challenged after the discovery that they produce secondary metabolites, such as polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs), which negatively affect the reproductive success of many invertebrates. Here, we report the effects of two common diatom PUAs, heptadienal and octadienal, which have never been tested before at the molecular level, using the sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus, as a model organism. We show that both PUAs are able to induce teratogenesis (i.e., malformations), as already reported for decadienal, the better-studied PUA of this group. Moreover, post-recovery experiments show that embryos can recover after treatment with all three PUAs, indicating that negative effects depend both on PUA concentrations and the exposure time of the embryos to these metabolites. We also identify the time range during which PUAs exert the greatest effect on sea urchin embryogenesis. Finally, we report the expression levels of thirty one genes (having a key role in a broad range of functional responses, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxification processes) in order to identify the common targets affected by PUAs and their correlation with morphological abnormalities. This study opens new perspectives for understanding how marine organisms afford protection from environmental toxicants through an integrated network of genes.

  19. Pattern and process during sea urchin gut morphogenesis: the regulatory landscape.

    PubMed

    Annunziata, Rossella; Perillo, Margherita; Andrikou, Carmen; Cole, Alison G; Martinez, Pedro; Arnone, Maria I

    2014-03-01

    The development of the endoderm is a multistage process. From the initial specification of the endodermal domain in the embryo to the final regionalization of the gut, there are multiple stages that require the involvement of complex gene regulatory networks. In one concrete case, the sea urchin embryo, some of these stages and their genetic control are (relatively) well understood. Several studies have underscored the relevance of individual transcription factor activities in the process, but very few have focused the attention on gene interactions within specific gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Sea urchins offer an ideal system to study the different factors involved in the morphogenesis of the gut. Here we review the knowledge gained over the last 10 years on the process and its regulation, from the early specification of endodermal lineages to the late events linked to the patterning of functional domains in the gut. A lesson of remarkable importance has been learnt from comparison of the mechanisms involved in gut formation in different bilaterian animals; some of these genetic mechanisms are particularly well conserved. Patterning the gut seems to involve common molecular players and shared interactions, whether we look at mammals or echinoderms. This astounding degree of conservation reveals some key aspects of deep homology that are most probably shared by all bilaterian guts.

  20. Morphological diversity of blastula formation and gastrulation in temnopleurid sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Tsubasa; Egusa, Yuji; Komatsu, Miéko; Yamanaka, Akira

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Embryos of temnopleurid sea urchins exhibit species-specific morphologies. While Temnopleurus toreumaticus has a wrinkled blastula and then invaginates continuously at gastrulation, others have a smooth blastula and their invagination is stepwise. We studied blastula and gastrula formation in four temnopleurids using light and scanning electron microscopy to clarify the mechanisms producing these differences. Unlike T. toreumaticus, blastomeres of mid-blastulae in T. reevesii, T. hardwickii and Mespilia globulus formed pseudopods. Before primary mesenchyme cells ingressed, embryos developed an area of orbicular cells in the vegetal plate. The cells surrounding the orbicular cells extended pseudopods toward the orbicular cell area in three Temnopleurus species. In T. toreumaticus, the extracellular matrix was well-developed and developed a hole-like structure that was not formed in others. Gastrulation of T. reevesii, T. hardwickii and M. globulus was stepwise, suggesting that differences of gastrulation are caused by all or some of the following factors: change of cell shape, rearrangement, pushing up and towing of cells. We conclude that (1) many aspects of early morphogenesis differ even among very closely related sea urchins with indirect development and (2) many of these differences may be caused by the cell shape and structure of blastomeres or by differences in extracellular matrix composition. PMID:27591193

  1. A BMP pathway regulates cell fate allocation along the sea urchin animal-vegetal embryonic axis.

    PubMed

    Angerer, L M; Oleksyn, D W; Logan, C Y; McClay, D R; Dale, L; Angerer, R C

    2000-03-01

    To examine whether a BMP signaling pathway functions in specification of cell fates in sea urchin embryos, we have cloned sea urchin BMP2/4, analyzed its expression in time and space in developing embryos and assayed the developmental consequences of changing its concentration through mRNA injection experiments. These studies show that BMP4 mRNAs accumulate transiently during blastula stages, beginning around the 200-cell stage, 14 hours postfertilization. Soon after the hatching blastula stage, BMP2/4 transcripts can be detected in presumptive ectoderm, where they are enriched on the oral side. Injection of BMP2/4 mRNA at the one-cell stage causes a dose-dependent suppression of commitment of cells to vegetal fates and ectoderm differentiates almost exclusively as a squamous epithelial tissue. In contrast, NOGGIN, an antagonist of BMP2/4, enhances differentiation of endoderm, a vegetal tissue, and promotes differentiation of cells characteristic of the ciliated band, which contains neurogenic ectoderm. These findings support a model in which the balance of BMP2/4 signals produced by animal cell progeny and opposing vegetalizing signals sent during cleavage stages regulate the position of the ectoderm/ endoderm boundary. In addition, BMP2/4 levels influence the decision within ectoderm between epidermal and nonepidermal differentiation.

  2. Embryonic development and skeletogenic gene expression affected by X-rays in the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Matranga, Valeria; Zito, Francesca; Costa, Caterina; Bonaventura, Rosa; Giarrusso, Salvatore; Celi, Filippo

    2010-03-01

    International concern over environmental nuclear contamination of salt water fisheries and coastal resources has attracted the interests of ecologists, marine biologists and stakeholders. There are not many studies on the effects of X-rays, a component of radionuclides emissions, on embryonic development and gene expression. The sea urchin embryo is emerging as a useful model system for environmental and eco-toxicological studies. Here, we describe how X-rays affect development and gene expression in embryos of the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Cleavage embryos were exposed to doses from 0.1 to 5 Gy, using an Ag source of X radiation. We found a dose-dependent increase in developmental delays and severe morphological defects in embryos microscopically inspected at two endpoints, 24 and 48 h after irradiation. By analogy with classical toxicity tests parameters we defined the No Observed Effect Dose at 0.1 Gy, the Lowest Observed Effect Dose at 0.5 Gy and ED50 at 1.0 Gy. Major perturbations concerned primitive intestine and skeleton differentiation and development: X-rays exposed embryos had both no gut and arms or poorly and abnormally developed ones. We found a dose-dependent reduction in the mRNA levels of two skeleton-specific genes, Pl-SM30 (spicule matrix 30) and Pl-msp130 (matrix spicule protein 130), as measured by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and whole mount in situ hybridization, respectively. These findings indicate the sea urchin embryo as a sensible bioindicator of X-radiation and propose its use as an alternative model, emphasizing the need for further investigation aimed to protect ecosystem health.

  3. Juvenile skeletogenesis in anciently diverged sea urchin clades.

    PubMed

    Gao, Feng; Thompson, Jeffrey R; Petsios, Elizabeth; Erkenbrack, Eric; Moats, Rex A; Bottjer, David J; Davidson, Eric H

    2015-04-01

    Mechanistic understanding of evolutionary divergence in animal body plans devolves from analysis of those developmental processes that, in forms descendant from a common ancestor, are responsible for their morphological differences. The last common ancestor of the two extant subclasses of sea urchins, i.e., euechinoids and cidaroids, existed well before the Permian/Triassic extinction (252 mya). Subsequent evolutionary divergence of these clades offers in principle a rare opportunity to solve the developmental regulatory events underlying a defined evolutionary divergence process. Thus (i) there is an excellent and fairly dense (if yet incompletely analyzed) fossil record; (ii) cladistically confined features of the skeletal structures of modern euechinoid and cidaroid sea urchins are preserved in fossils of ancestral forms; (iii) euechinoids and cidaroids are among current laboratory model systems in molecular developmental biology (here Strongylocentrotus purpuratus [Sp] and Eucidaris tribuloides [Et]); (iv) skeletogenic specification in sea urchins is uncommonly well understood at the causal level of interactions of regulatory genes with one another, and with known skeletogenic effector genes, providing a ready arsenal of available molecular tools. Here we focus on differences in test and perignathic girdle skeletal morphology that distinguish all modern euechinoid from all modern cidaroid sea urchins. We demonstrate distinct canonical test and girdle morphologies in juveniles of both species by use of SEM and X-ray microtomography. Among the sharply distinct morphological features of these clades are the internal skeletal structures of the perignathic girdle to which attach homologous muscles utilized for retraction and protraction of Aristotles׳ lantern and its teeth. We demonstrate that these structures develop de novo between one and four weeks after metamorphosis. In order to study the underlying developmental processes, a method of section whole mount in

  4. Wnt6 activates endoderm in the sea urchin gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    Croce, Jenifer; Range, Ryan; Wu, Shu-Yu; Miranda, Esther; Lhomond, Guy; Peng, Jeff Chieh-fu; Lepage, Thierry; McClay, David R.

    2011-01-01

    In the sea urchin, entry of β-catenin into the nuclei of the vegetal cells at 4th and 5th cleavages is necessary for activation of the endomesoderm gene regulatory network. Beyond that, little is known about how the embryo uses maternal information to initiate specification. Here, experiments establish that of the three maternal Wnts in the egg, Wnt6 is necessary for activation of endodermal genes in the endomesoderm GRN. A small region of the vegetal cortex is shown to be necessary for activation of the endomesoderm GRN. If that cortical region of the egg is removed, addition of Wnt6 rescues endoderm. At a molecular level, the vegetal cortex region contains a localized concentration of Dishevelled (Dsh) protein, a transducer of the canonical Wnt pathway; however, Wnt6 mRNA is not similarly localized. Ectopic activation of the Wnt pathway, through the expression of an activated form of β-catenin, of a dominant-negative variant of GSK-3β or of Dsh itself, rescues endomesoderm specification in eggs depleted of the vegetal cortex. Knockdown experiments in whole embryos show that absence of Wnt6 produces embryos that lack endoderm, but those embryos continue to express a number of mesoderm markers. Thus, maternal Wnt6 plus a localized vegetal cortical molecule, possibly Dsh, is necessary for endoderm specification; this has been verified in two species of sea urchin. The data also show that Wnt6 is only one of what are likely to be multiple components that are necessary for activation of the entire endomesoderm gene regulatory network. PMID:21750039

  5. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF GAMETES IN THREE SEA URCHIN SPECIES

    PubMed

    Thomas

    1994-09-01

    Physical properties (density in kg m-3, viscosity, sinking rates and dispersion rate) of the gametes and associated spawned materials were measured for three species of sea urchin, Tripneustes gratilla, Echinometra mathaei and Colobocentrotus atratus, from habitats that differ in wave exposure. The gametes of all three species are negatively buoyant, highly viscous and exhibit shear-thinning (a decrease in viscosity with increasing shear rate). Female gametes are more viscous than male gametes, and the viscosity of female gametes differs among the three species. The viscosity of female gametes is highest for C. atratus, the species from habitats most exposed to wave action. Within the species T. gratilla, viscosity of female gametes is higher in habitats exposed to wave action than in more protected habitats. Evidence reported in this paper suggests that the shear-thinning of gametes may provide a performance advantage for these sea urchins. High viscosity of gametes at low shear rates may decrease gamete dispersal upon release and, under certain flow conditions, allow gametes to form strings and clumps on the surface of the urchin. Depending upon the morphology of the surface, these clumps or strings may be retained and fertilization may occur within these clumps or strings. Conversely, low viscosity of gametes at high shear rates decreases the power required to extrude gametes through the gonoduct during spawning.

  6. Using molecular prey detection to quantify rock lobster predation on barrens-forming sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Redd, K S; Ling, S D; Frusher, S D; Jarman, S; Johnson, C R

    2014-08-01

    We apply qPCR molecular techniques to detect in situ rates of consumption of sea urchins (Centrostephanus rodgersii and Heliocidaris erythrogramma) by rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii). A non-lethal method was used to source faecal samples from trap-caught lobsters over 2 years within two no-take research reserves. There was high variability in the proportion of lobsters with faeces positive for sea urchin DNA across years and seasons dependent on lobster size. Independent estimates of lobster predation rate on sea urchins (determined from observed declines in urchin abundances in the reserves relative to control sites) suggest that rates of molecular prey detection generally overestimated predation rates. Also, small lobsters known to be incapable of directly predating emergent sea urchins showed relatively high rates of positive tests. These results indicate that some lobsters ingest non-predatory sources of sea urchin DNA, which may include (i) ingestion of C. rodgersii DNA from the benthos (urchin DNA is detectable in sediments and some lobsters yield urchin DNA in faeces when fed urchin faeces or sediment); (ii) scavenging; and/or predation by rock lobsters on small pre-emergent urchins that live cryptically within the reef matrix (although this possibility could not be assessed). While the DNA-based approach and direct monitoring of urchin populations both indicate high predation rates of large lobsters on emergent urchins, the study shows that in some cases absolute predation rates and inferences of predator-prey interactions cannot be reliably estimated from molecular signals obtained from the faeces of benthic predators. At a broad semi-quantitative level, the approach is useful to identify relative magnitudes of predation and temporal and spatial variability in predation.

  7. Tailored order: the mesocrystalline nature of sea urchin teeth.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Andreas J; Griesshaber, E; Abel, R; Fehr, Th; Ruthensteiner, B; Schmahl, W W

    2014-09-01

    We investigated the pattern of crystal co-orientation at different length scales, together with variations in chemical composition and nanomechanical properties in the teeth of the modern sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), electron probe microanalysis, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and nanoindentation testing. Modern sea urchin teeth are Mg-dominated calcite composite materials. They are distinctly harder than inorganically precipitated calcite. Some parts exceed even the hardness of dolomite. The teeth show a structuring of their mechanical properties that can be correlated to variations in major element chemical composition, such that their hardness is positively correlated to their magnesium contents. Mg/Ca ratio in Paracentrotus lividus varies between 10 and 26mol.%. Nanohardness of the tooth scatters between 3.5 and >8GPa compared to values of 3.0±0.2, 7.3±0.1 and 9.2±0.9GPa measured on the (104) planes of inorganic calcite, dolomite and magnesite, respectively. High-resolution EBSD shows that major structural units and subunits of the tooth of Paracentrotus lividus are tilted to each other by ∼3-5° and 1-2°, respectively. This indicates that the tooth is not a single crystal. With EBSD we can show that the tooth of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus is a hierarchically assembled biological mesocrystal with a mosaic texture. In comparison to the misorientation spread of 0.5° of calcite grown from solution, misorientation in the tooth varies between 2° and 4°. Thus, the self-sharpening feature of the tooth is enabled by a close interplay of its highly evolved micro- to nanostructure, structural unit size variations with a varying degree of crystal orientation, chemical structuring of the mineral component and a gradation of incorporated organic polymers.

  8. Silver nanoparticle toxicity in sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Siller, Lidija; Lemloh, Marie-Louise; Piticharoenphun, Sunthon; Mendis, Budhika G; Horrocks, Benjamin R; Brümmer, Franz; Medaković, Davorin

    2013-07-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPS) are an important model system for studying potential environmental risks posed by the use of nanomaterials. So far there is no consensus as to whether toxicity is due to AgNPs themselves or Ag(+) ions leaching from their surfaces. In sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, AgNPs cause dose dependent developmental defects such as delayed development, bodily asymmetry and shortened or irregular arms, as well as behavioural changes, particularly in swimming patterns, at concentration ∼0.3 mg/L AgNPs. It has been observed that AgNPs are more toxic than their equivalent Ag(+) ion dose.

  9. The genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Sodergren, Erica; Weinstock, George M; Davidson, Eric H; Cameron, R Andrew; Gibbs, Richard A; Angerer, Robert C; Angerer, Lynne M; Arnone, Maria Ina; Burgess, David R; Burke, Robert D; Coffman, James A; Dean, Michael; Elphick, Maurice R; Ettensohn, Charles A; Foltz, Kathy R; Hamdoun, Amro; Hynes, Richard O; Klein, William H; Marzluff, William; McClay, David R; Morris, Robert L; Mushegian, Arcady; Rast, Jonathan P; Smith, L Courtney; Thorndyke, Michael C; Vacquier, Victor D; Wessel, Gary M; Wray, Greg; Zhang, Lan; Elsik, Christine G; Ermolaeva, Olga; Hlavina, Wratko; Hofmann, Gretchen; Kitts, Paul; Landrum, Melissa J; Mackey, Aaron J; Maglott, Donna; Panopoulou, Georgia; Poustka, Albert J; Pruitt, Kim; Sapojnikov, Victor; Song, Xingzhi; Souvorov, Alexandre; Solovyev, Victor; Wei, Zheng; Whittaker, Charles A; Worley, Kim; Durbin, K James; Shen, Yufeng; Fedrigo, Olivier; Garfield, David; Haygood, Ralph; Primus, Alexander; Satija, Rahul; Severson, Tonya; Gonzalez-Garay, Manuel L; Jackson, Andrew R; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Tong, Mark; Killian, Christopher E; Livingston, Brian T; Wilt, Fred H; Adams, Nikki; Bellé, Robert; Carbonneau, Seth; Cheung, Rocky; Cormier, Patrick; Cosson, Bertrand; Croce, Jenifer; Fernandez-Guerra, Antonio; Genevière, Anne-Marie; Goel, Manisha; Kelkar, Hemant; Morales, Julia; Mulner-Lorillon, Odile; Robertson, Anthony J; Goldstone, Jared V; Cole, Bryan; Epel, David; Gold, Bert; Hahn, Mark E; Howard-Ashby, Meredith; Scally, Mark; Stegeman, John J; Allgood, Erin L; Cool, Jonah; Judkins, Kyle M; McCafferty, Shawn S; Musante, Ashlan M; Obar, Robert A; Rawson, Amanda P; Rossetti, Blair J; Gibbons, Ian R; Hoffman, Matthew P; Leone, Andrew; Istrail, Sorin; Materna, Stefan C; Samanta, Manoj P; Stolc, Viktor; Tongprasit, Waraporn; Tu, Qiang; Bergeron, Karl-Frederik; Brandhorst, Bruce P; Whittle, James; Berney, Kevin; Bottjer, David J; Calestani, Cristina; Peterson, Kevin; Chow, Elly; Yuan, Qiu Autumn; Elhaik, Eran; Graur, Dan; Reese, Justin T; Bosdet, Ian; Heesun, Shin; Marra, Marco A; Schein, Jacqueline; Anderson, Michele K; Brockton, Virginia; Buckley, Katherine M; Cohen, Avis H; Fugmann, Sebastian D; Hibino, Taku; Loza-Coll, Mariano; Majeske, Audrey J; Messier, Cynthia; Nair, Sham V; Pancer, Zeev; Terwilliger, David P; Agca, Cavit; Arboleda, Enrique; Chen, Nansheng; Churcher, Allison M; Hallböök, F; Humphrey, Glen W; Idris, Mohammed M; Kiyama, Takae; Liang, Shuguang; Mellott, Dan; Mu, Xiuqian; Murray, Greg; Olinski, Robert P; Raible, Florian; Rowe, Matthew; Taylor, John S; Tessmar-Raible, Kristin; Wang, D; Wilson, Karen H; Yaguchi, Shunsuke; Gaasterland, Terry; Galindo, Blanca E; Gunaratne, Herath J; Juliano, Celina; Kinukawa, Masashi; Moy, Gary W; Neill, Anna T; Nomura, Mamoru; Raisch, Michael; Reade, Anna; Roux, Michelle M; Song, Jia L; Su, Yi-Hsien; Townley, Ian K; Voronina, Ekaterina; Wong, Julian L; Amore, Gabriele; Branno, Margherita; Brown, Euan R; Cavalieri, Vincenzo; Duboc, Véronique; Duloquin, Louise; Flytzanis, Constantin; Gache, Christian; Lapraz, François; Lepage, Thierry; Locascio, Annamaria; Martinez, Pedro; Matassi, Giorgio; Matranga, Valeria; Range, Ryan; Rizzo, Francesca; Röttinger, Eric; Beane, Wendy; Bradham, Cynthia; Byrum, Christine; Glenn, Tom; Hussain, Sofia; Manning, Gerard; Miranda, Esther; Thomason, Rebecca; Walton, Katherine; Wikramanayke, Athula; Wu, Shu-Yu; Xu, Ronghui; Brown, C Titus; Chen, Lili; Gray, Rachel F; Lee, Pei Yun; Nam, Jongmin; Oliveri, Paola; Smith, Joel; Muzny, Donna; Bell, Stephanie; Chacko, Joseph; Cree, Andrew; Curry, Stacey; Davis, Clay; Dinh, Huyen; Dugan-Rocha, Shannon; Fowler, Jerry; Gill, Rachel; Hamilton, Cerrissa; Hernandez, Judith; Hines, Sandra; Hume, Jennifer; Jackson, Laronda; Jolivet, Angela; Kovar, Christie; Lee, Sandra; Lewis, Lora; Miner, George; Morgan, Margaret; Nazareth, Lynne V; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Parker, David; Pu, Ling-Ling; Thorn, Rachel; Wright, Rita

    2006-11-10

    We report the sequence and analysis of the 814-megabase genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a model for developmental and systems biology. The sequencing strategy combined whole-genome shotgun and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequences. This use of BAC clones, aided by a pooling strategy, overcame difficulties associated with high heterozygosity of the genome. The genome encodes about 23,300 genes, including many previously thought to be vertebrate innovations or known only outside the deuterostomes. This echinoderm genome provides an evolutionary outgroup for the chordates and yields insights into the evolution of deuterostomes.

  10. Maternal Exposure to Cadmium and Manganese Impairs Reproduction and Progeny Fitness in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    PubMed Central

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Metal contamination represents one of the major sources of pollution in marine environments. In this study we investigated the short-term effects of ecologically relevant cadmium and manganese concentrations (10-6 and 3.6 x 10-5 M, respectively) on females of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and their progeny, reared in the absence or presence of the metal. Cadmium is a well-known heavy metal, whereas manganese represents a potential emerging contaminant, resulting from an increased production of manganese-containing compounds. The effects of these agents were examined on both P. lividus adults and their offspring following reproductive state, morphology of embryos, nitric oxide (NO) production and differential gene expression. Here, we demonstrated that both metals differentially impaired the fertilization processes of the treated female sea urchins, causing modifications in the reproductive state and also affecting NO production in the ovaries. A detailed analysis of the progeny showed a high percentage of abnormal embryos, associated to an increase in the endogenous NO levels and variations in the transcriptional expression of several genes involved in stress response, skeletogenesis, detoxification, multi drug efflux processes and NO production. Moreover, we found significant differences in the progeny from females exposed to metals and reared in metal-containing sea water compared to embryos reared in non-contaminated sea water. Overall, these results greatly expanded previous studies on the toxic effects of metals on P. lividus and provided new insights into the molecular events induced in the progeny of sea urchins exposed to metals. PMID:26125595

  11. Maternal Exposure to Cadmium and Manganese Impairs Reproduction and Progeny Fitness in the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Metal contamination represents one of the major sources of pollution in marine environments. In this study we investigated the short-term effects of ecologically relevant cadmium and manganese concentrations (10(-6) and 3.6 x 10(-5) M, respectively) on females of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and their progeny, reared in the absence or presence of the metal. Cadmium is a well-known heavy metal, whereas manganese represents a potential emerging contaminant, resulting from an increased production of manganese-containing compounds. The effects of these agents were examined on both P. lividus adults and their offspring following reproductive state, morphology of embryos, nitric oxide (NO) production and differential gene expression. Here, we demonstrated that both metals differentially impaired the fertilization processes of the treated female sea urchins, causing modifications in the reproductive state and also affecting NO production in the ovaries. A detailed analysis of the progeny showed a high percentage of abnormal embryos, associated to an increase in the endogenous NO levels and variations in the transcriptional expression of several genes involved in stress response, skeletogenesis, detoxification, multi drug efflux processes and NO production. Moreover, we found significant differences in the progeny from females exposed to metals and reared in metal-containing sea water compared to embryos reared in non-contaminated sea water. Overall, these results greatly expanded previous studies on the toxic effects of metals on P. lividus and provided new insights into the molecular events induced in the progeny of sea urchins exposed to metals.

  12. Differential gene expression patterns during embryonic development of sea urchin exposed to triclosan.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jinik; Suh, Sung-Suk; Park, Mirye; Park, So Yun; Lee, Sukchan; Lee, Taek-Kyun

    2017-02-01

    Triclosan (TCS; 2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenyl ether) is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent used in common industrial, personal care and household products which are eventually rinsed down the drain and discharged with wastewater effluent. It is therefore commonly found in the aquatic environment, leading to the continual exposure of aquatic organisms to TCS and the accumulation of the antimicrobial and its harmful degradation products in their bodies. Toxic effects of TCS on reproductive and developmental progression of some aquatic organisms have been suggested but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been defined. We investigated the expression patterns of genes involved in the early development of TCS-treated sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus using cDNA microarrays. We observed that the predominant consequence of TCS treatment in this model system was the widespread repression of TCS-modulated genes. In particular, empty spiracles homeobox 1 (EMX-1), bone morphogenic protein, and chromosomal binding protein genes showed a significant decrease in expression in response to TCS. These results suggest that TCS can induce abnormal development of sea urchin embryos through the concomitant suppression of a number of genes that are necessary for embryonic differentiation in the blastula stage. Our data provide new insight into the crucial role of genes associated with embryonic development in response to TCS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 426-433, 2017.

  13. Influence of salinity on fertilization and larval development toxicity tests with two species of sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Carballeira, C; Martín-Díaz, L; Delvalls, T A

    2011-10-01

    Sea urchin embryo-larval development (ELD) and fertilization tests have been widely used in ecotoxicity studies and are included in regulatory frameworks. Biological processes occur naturally within a range of salinity that depends on the species considered. In an attempt to determine the optimum range of salinity, ELD and fertilization bioassays were performed at different salinities (15-40.5‰) with two species of Atlantic sea urchin: Arbacia lixula and Paracentrotus lividus. In the ELD assay, the optimum range of salinity was wider for A. lixula (29-35.5‰) than for P. lividus (29-33‰). In the fertilization assay with P. lividus as a bioindicator species, the highest percentage of fertilization (90%) was obtained at salinities of between 29 and 33‰. More research on A. lixula is required, since the fertilization success was below 60%. The results of the present study demonstrate that salinity may be a confounding factor in interpreting ELD test results.

  14. Toxicity of four spill-treating agents on bacterial growth and sea urchin embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rial, Diego; Murado, Miguel A; Beiras, Ricardo; Vázquez, José A

    2014-06-01

    The toxicity of spill-treating agents (STAs) is a topic that needs to be assessed prior to their potential application in environmental disasters. The aim of the present work was to study the effects of four commercial STAs (CytoSol, Finasol OSR 51, Agma OSD 569 and OD4000) on the growth of marine (Phaeobacter sp., Pseudomonas sp.) and terrestrial (Leuconostoc mesenteroides) bacteria, and sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryolarval development. In general, STA did not inhibit significantly the biomass production of the tested marine bacteria. Finasol OSR 51 and OD4000 clearly inhibited the growth of L. mesenteroides and an accurate description of the kinetics was provided by a proposed bivariate equation. For this species, a global parameter (EC50,τ) was defined to summarize the set of growth kinetics. Using this parameter Finasol OSR 51 was found to be less toxic (754μL L(-1)) than OD4000 (129μL L(-1)). For the sea urchin embryo assay, the ranking of toxicity as EC50 (μL L(-1)) was Agma OSD 569 (34.0)

  15. Na+/K+-ATPase activity during early development and growth of an Antarctic sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Leong, P K; Manahan, D T

    1999-08-01

    In Antarctic environments, the physiological bases for long larval life spans under natural conditions of limited food availability are not understood. The Na+ pump is likely to be involved with hypometabolic regulation in such cold environments. Changes in the activity and metabolic importance of Na+/K+-ATPase were measured in embryos of the Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri and in larvae reared under different feeding conditions. The rate of increase of total Na+/K+-ATPase activity was 3.9 times faster in fed than in unfed larvae. During development and growth, there was an increase in the percentage of total, potential Na+/K+-ATPase activity that was physiologically utilized. In early (10-day-old) gastrulae, 17 % was utilized in vivo, increasing to 77 % in six-arm pluteus (48-day-old) larvae. The metabolic importance of in vivo Na+/K+-ATPase activity also increased during development, accounting for 12 % of metabolic rate at day 10 and 84 % at day 48. When compared at the same enzyme assay temperature (15 degrees C), the protein-specific total Na+/K+-ATPase activities for late embryonic (prism) and early larval (pluteus) stages of S. neumayeri were 2.6 times lower than those for comparable developmental stages of two temperate sea urchin species (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus).

  16. Genomics and expression profiles of the Hedgehog and Notch signaling pathways in sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Walton, Katherine D; Croce, Jenifer C; Glenn, Thomas D; Wu, Shu-Yu; McClay, David R

    2006-12-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) and Notch signal transduction pathways control a variety of developmental processes including cell fate choice, differentiation, proliferation, patterning and boundary formation. Because many components of these pathways are conserved, it was predicted and confirmed that pathway components are largely intact in the sea urchin genome. Spatial and temporal location of these pathways in the embryo, and their function in development offer added insight into their mechanistic contributions. Accordingly, all major components of both pathways were identified and annotated in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome and the embryonic expression of key components was explored. Relationships of the pathway components, and modifiers predicted from the annotation of S. purpuratus, were compared against cnidarians, arthropods, urochordates, and vertebrates. These analyses support the prediction that the pathways are highly conserved through metazoan evolution. Further, the location of these two pathways appears to be conserved among deuterostomes, and in the case of Notch at least, display similar capacities in endomesoderm gene regulatory networks. RNA expression profiles by quantitative PCR and RNA in situ hybridization reveal that Hedgehog is produced by the endoderm beginning just prior to invagination, and signals to the secondary mesenchyme-derived tissues at least until the pluteus larva stage. RNA in situ hybridization of Notch pathway members confirms that Notch functions sequentially in the vegetal-most secondary mesenchyme cells and later in the endoderm. Functional analyses in future studies will embed these pathways into the growing knowledge of gene regulatory networks that govern early specification and morphogenesis.

  17. Autonomy in specification of primordial germ cells and their passive translocation in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Yajima, Mamiko; Wessel, Gary M

    2012-10-01

    The process of germ line determination involves many conserved genes, yet is highly variable. Echinoderms are positioned at the base of Deuterostomia and are crucial to understanding these evolutionary transitions, yet the mechanism of germ line specification is not known in any member of the phyla. Here we demonstrate that small micromeres (SMics), which are formed at the fifth cell division of the sea urchin embryo, illustrate many typical features of primordial germ cell (PGC) specification. SMics autonomously express germ line genes in isolated culture, including selective Vasa protein accumulation and transcriptional activation of nanos; their descendants are passively displaced towards the animal pole by secondary mesenchyme cells and the elongating archenteron during gastrulation; Cadherin (G form) has an important role in their development and clustering phenotype; and a left/right integration into the future adult anlagen appears to be controlled by a late developmental mechanism. These results suggest that sea urchin SMics share many more characteristics typical of PGCs than previously thought, and imply a more widely conserved system of germ line development among metazoans.

  18. Characterization and expression of two matrix metalloproteinase genes during sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Ingersoll, Eric P; Pendharkar, Ninad C

    2005-08-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an essential role in a variety of processes in development that require extracellular matrix remodeling and degradation. In this study, we characterize two MMPs from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. These clones can both be identified as MMPs based on the presence of conserved domains such as the cysteine switch, zinc-binding, and hemopexin domains. In addition, both of these genes contain consensus furin cleavage sites and putative transmembrane domains, classifying them as membrane-type MMPs. We have named these clones SpMMP14 and SpMMP16 based on the vertebrate MMPs with which they share the greatest similarity. SpMMP14 is expressed in all cells from the egg to mesenchyme blastula stage embryo. Expression of this gene is strongest in the animal and vegetal poles early in gastrulation and in the animal pole only later in gastrulation. SpMMP16 is expressed at low levels in eggs. Expression of SpMMP16 becomes more pronounced in the vegetal pole region at the blastula and mesenchyme blastula stages and becomes confined to vegetal pole descendants, such as pigment cells, later in development. In the future, we hope to learn more about the possible functions of these genes in sea urchin development.

  19. Structure and developmental expression of a sea urchin fibrillar collagen gene.

    PubMed

    D'Alessio, M; Ramirez, F; Suzuki, H R; Solursh, M; Gambino, R

    1989-12-01

    We have isolated and characterized cDNA and genomic clones that specify a Paracentrotus lividus procollagen chain. The cDNAs code for 160 uninterrupted Gly-Xaa-Yaa triplets and a 252-amino acid carboxyl propeptide. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences indicated that the sea urchin polypeptide exhibits structural features that are characteristic of the fibril-forming class of collagen molecules. Partial characterization of two genomic recombinants revealed that the 3' end of the echinoid gene displays a complex organization that closely resembles that of a prototypical vertebrate fibrillar collagen gene. In situ and Northern (RNA) blot hybridizations established the size, time of appearance, and tissue distribution of the collagen transcripts in the developing sea urchin embryo. Collagen mRNA, approximately equal to 6 kilobases in size, is first detected in the forming primary mesenchyme cells of late blastulae where it progressively accumulates until the free swimming/feeding pluteus larval stage. Interestingly, collagen transcripts are also detected in the forming secondary mesenchyme cells of late gastrulae, and by the prism stage, their derivatives appear to be the most intensively labeled cells.

  20. Structure and developmental expression of a sea urchin fibrillar collagen gene.

    PubMed Central

    D'Alessio, M; Ramirez, F; Suzuki, H R; Solursh, M; Gambino, R

    1989-01-01

    We have isolated and characterized cDNA and genomic clones that specify a Paracentrotus lividus procollagen chain. The cDNAs code for 160 uninterrupted Gly-Xaa-Yaa triplets and a 252-amino acid carboxyl propeptide. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences indicated that the sea urchin polypeptide exhibits structural features that are characteristic of the fibril-forming class of collagen molecules. Partial characterization of two genomic recombinants revealed that the 3' end of the echinoid gene displays a complex organization that closely resembles that of a prototypical vertebrate fibrillar collagen gene. In situ and Northern (RNA) blot hybridizations established the size, time of appearance, and tissue distribution of the collagen transcripts in the developing sea urchin embryo. Collagen mRNA, approximately equal to 6 kilobases in size, is first detected in the forming primary mesenchyme cells of late blastulae where it progressively accumulates until the free swimming/feeding pluteus larval stage. Interestingly, collagen transcripts are also detected in the forming secondary mesenchyme cells of late gastrulae, and by the prism stage, their derivatives appear to be the most intensively labeled cells. Images PMID:2594770

  1. Low densities of sea urchins influence the structure of algal assemblages in the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacín, Cruz; Giribet, Gonzalo; Carner, Susanna; Dantart, Luis; Turon, Xavier

    1998-06-01

    Numerous studies of interactions between urchins and algae in temperate areas have shown an important structuring effect of sea urchin populations. These studies focused almost wholly on the effect of high urchin densities on laminarian forests. In contrast, algal communities below 5-6 m depth in the northwestern Mediterranean are characterised by low sea urchin densities (<5 ind m -2) and the absence of laminarian forests. No previous research has addressed sea urchin/algal interactions in this type of community. To determine the effect of the most abundant echinoid species, Paracentrotus lividus, on well-established algal communities in this area, we performed a removal-reintroduction experiment in rocky patches located between 13 and 16 m depth in the northwestern Mediterranean, where sea urchin densities ranged between 0.9 and 3.4 ind m -2. After 6 months, the cover of non-crustose algae was significantly higher in the plots from which sea urchins had been removed than in control plots (84 vs 67% cover). These removal plots reverted to their original state upon reintroduction of sea urchins. The non-crustose algae consisted of turfing and frondose forms, with the former representing some 70% of the non-crustose algal cover. Change in the cover of turfing algae was responsible for the significant increase in algal development in the sea urchin removal plots. The response of frondose algae to the treatment varied between algal species. It is concluded that grazing by P. lividus exerts a significant effect on habitat structure, even in communities with low sea urchin densities, such as those found in vast areas of the Mediterranean sublittoral.

  2. Macroalgal assemblage type affects predation pressure on sea urchins by altering adhesion strength.

    PubMed

    Gianguzza, P; Bonaviri, C; Milisenda, G; Barcellona, A; Agnetta, D; Vega Fernández, T; Badalamenti, F

    2010-07-01

    In the Mediterranean, sea breams are the most effective Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula predators. Generally, seabreams dislodge adult urchins from the rocky substrate, turn them upside down and crush their tests. Sea urchins may respond to fish attacks clinging tenaciously to the substratum. This study is the first attempt to investigate sea urchin adhesion strength in two alternative algal assemblages of the rocky infralittoral and valuated its possible implication for fish predation. We hypothesized that (1) sea urchin adhesion strength is higher in rocky shores dominated by encrusting macroalgae (ECA) than in erected macroalgae (EMA); (2) predation rates upon sea urchins are lower in ECA than in EMA; and (3) predation rate on A. lixula is lower than that on P. lividus. We observed that attachment tenacity of both sea urchins was higher in ECA than EMA and that A. lixula exhibited a stronger attachment tenacity than P. lividus in ECA. Results supported the importance of adhesion strength, as efficient defence against sea bream attacks, only for, P. lividus. A. lixula adhesion strength does not seem to be an important factor in avoiding fish predation, possibly because of the low palatability of the species. These patterns may deserve particular interest in understanding the processes responsible for the maintenance of sea urchin barrens that are dominated by ECA assemblage.

  3. Ultraviolet radiation-specific DNA damage and embryonic viability in sea urchins from Kasitsna Bay, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Theodorakis, C.; Anderson, S.; Shugart, L.R.

    1995-12-31

    Ripe ova and sperm were obtained from Green Sea Urchins (Strongvlocentrotus drochbachiensis) collected from Kasitsna Bay, Alaska, and ova were fertilized in vitro. Embryos were immediately placed in plastic bags secured to floating racks deployed in the bay. The bags were suspended just below the surface of the water and at 1 and 2 meter depths for up to 120 hours. Bags were either left uncovered, covered with Mylar plastic (which blocks out UV-B but not UV-A radiations), or covered with dark plastic. The number of damaged DNA sites was determined by digesting the DNA with enzymes isolated from the bacterium Micrococcus luteus which cleave the DNA at damaged sites. It was found that DNA damage was present in a dose-dependent fashion with the amount of damage in embryos from the uncovered bags > Mylar covered bags > dark covered bags. No dimers were detected from embryos at 1 or 2 m. depths. Also, the number of damaged sites varied from day to day. Finally, the number of damaged sites was positively correlated with percent abnormal embryos in each bag. The results are discussed with relation to monitoring UV-B effects and ecological consequences of enhanced UV-B radiation.

  4. Characterization of the lipid fraction of wild sea urchin from the Sardinian Sea (western Mediterranean).

    PubMed

    Angioni, Alberto; Addis, Pierantonio

    2014-02-01

    The fatty acid (FA) composition of Spatangus purpureus, Echinus melo, Sphaerechinus granularis, and Paracentrotus lividus, sea urchins, has been studied. Sea urchins were collected at different depth along Sardinia coast in the Mediterranean sea, and their gonad was measured, separated, and analyzed for FA composition by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A total of 53 FAs were detected, 16 saturated (SFA), 10 monounsaturated (MUFA), 9 polyunsaturated (PUFA), and 13 highly unsaturated (HUFA). Moreover, 5 furan FAs (FFAs) were revealed for the first time in sea urchin. The HUFA and PUFA classes were the most represented accounting for almost 80% of total FAs. Among these compounds, C20:4 n6 (19.64, 20.52, 23.37, and 8.48 mg/g, respectively) and C22:6 n3 (19.68, 20.05, 3.83, and 1.78 mg/g, respectively) were the most abundant. The results of principal component analysis indicated that the sea urchin samples could be clearly discriminated with respect to their FAs composition.

  5. Phase-Shift Dynamics of Sea Urchin Overgrazing on Nutrified Reefs.

    PubMed

    Kriegisch, Nina; Reeves, Simon; Johnson, Craig R; Ling, Scott D

    2016-01-01

    Shifts from productive kelp beds to impoverished sea urchin barrens occur globally and represent a wholesale change to the ecology of sub-tidal temperate reefs. Although the theory of shifts between alternative stable states is well advanced, there are few field studies detailing the dynamics of these kinds of transitions. In this study, sea urchin herbivory (a 'top-down' driver of ecosystems) was manipulated over 12 months to estimate (1) the sea urchin density at which kelp beds collapse to sea urchin barrens, and (2) the minimum sea urchin density required to maintain urchin barrens on experimental reefs in the urbanised Port Phillip Bay, Australia. In parallel, the role of one of the 'bottom-up' drivers of ecosystem structure was examined by (3) manipulating local nutrient levels and thus attempting to alter primary production on the experimental reefs. It was found that densities of 8 or more urchins m-2 (≥ 427 g m-2 biomass) lead to complete overgrazing of kelp beds while kelp bed recovery occurred when densities were reduced to ≤ 4 urchins m-2 (≤ 213 g m-2 biomass). This experiment provided further insight into the dynamics of transition between urchin barrens and kelp beds by exploring possible tipping-points which in this system can be found between 4 and 8 urchins m-2 (213 and 427 g m-2 respectively). Local enhancement of nutrient loading did not change the urchin density required for overgrazing or kelp bed recovery, as algal growth was not affected by nutrient enhancement.

  6. Phase-Shift Dynamics of Sea Urchin Overgrazing on Nutrified Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Kriegisch, Nina; Reeves, Simon; Johnson, Craig R.; Ling, Scott D.

    2016-01-01

    Shifts from productive kelp beds to impoverished sea urchin barrens occur globally and represent a wholesale change to the ecology of sub-tidal temperate reefs. Although the theory of shifts between alternative stable states is well advanced, there are few field studies detailing the dynamics of these kinds of transitions. In this study, sea urchin herbivory (a ‘top-down’ driver of ecosystems) was manipulated over 12 months to estimate (1) the sea urchin density at which kelp beds collapse to sea urchin barrens, and (2) the minimum sea urchin density required to maintain urchin barrens on experimental reefs in the urbanised Port Phillip Bay, Australia. In parallel, the role of one of the ‘bottom-up’ drivers of ecosystem structure was examined by (3) manipulating local nutrient levels and thus attempting to alter primary production on the experimental reefs. It was found that densities of 8 or more urchins m-2 (≥ 427 g m-2 biomass) lead to complete overgrazing of kelp beds while kelp bed recovery occurred when densities were reduced to ≤ 4 urchins m-2 (≤ 213 g m-2 biomass). This experiment provided further insight into the dynamics of transition between urchin barrens and kelp beds by exploring possible tipping-points which in this system can be found between 4 and 8 urchins m-2 (213 and 427 g m-2 respectively). Local enhancement of nutrient loading did not change the urchin density required for overgrazing or kelp bed recovery, as algal growth was not affected by nutrient enhancement. PMID:28030596

  7. Toxicity and DNA methylation changes induced by perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in sea urchin Glyptocidaris crenularis.

    PubMed

    Ding, Guanghui; Wang, Luyan; Zhang, Jing; Wei, Yuanyuan; Wei, Lie; Li, Yang; Shao, Mihua; Xiong, Deqi

    2015-06-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is an ubiquitous persistent organic pollutant, which can be bioaccumulated and cause adverse effects on organisms. However, there is very limited information about the toxic effects of PFOS to marine organisms and its mechanisms. Therefore, in the present study, adult sea urchins Glyptocidaris crenularis were exposed to PFOS for 21 d, followed by a 7-d depuration period, in order to investigate the toxicity of PFOS to sea urchin and its potential epigenetic mechanisms. Sea urchins dropped spines, and lowered down the motor ability and feeding ability after the PFOS exposure. Superoxide dismutase activities in supernatant of coelomic fluid of sea urchin increased firstly and then dropped down, while the change of the catalase activity took an opposite trend during the exposure period. They both approached to the corresponding activity of the control after the depuration period. The DNA methylation polymorphism, methylation rate and demethylation rate in sea urchin gonad all increased following the prolonged exposure time, and then decreased after the depuration period. The demethylation rates were lower than the corresponding methylation rates, therefore methylation events were dominant during the whole experimental period. This might suggest that sea urchin have strong self-protection mechanisms and can survive from the PFOS exposure presented in this study. Further efforts are needed to more precisely investigate the DNA methylation effects of PFOS and the self-protection mechanism of sea urchin.

  8. Predation cues rather than resource availability promote cryptic behaviour in a habitat-forming sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Spyksma, Arie J P; Taylor, Richard B; Shears, Nick T

    2017-03-01

    It is well known that predators often influence the foraging behaviour of prey through the so-called "fear effect". However, it is also possible that predators could change prey behaviour indirectly by altering the prey's food supply through a trophic cascade. The predator-sea urchin-kelp trophic cascade is widely assumed to be driven by the removal of sea urchins by predators, but changes in sea urchin behaviour in response to predators or increased food availability could also play an important role. We tested whether increased crevice occupancy by herbivorous sea urchins in the presence of abundant predatory fishes and lobsters is a response to the increased risk of predation, or an indirect response to higher kelp abundances. Inside two New Zealand marine reserves with abundant predators and kelp, individuals of the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus were rarer and remained cryptic (i.e. found in crevices) to larger sizes than on adjacent fished coasts where predators and kelp are rare. In a mesocosm experiment, cryptic behaviour was induced by simulated predation (the addition of crushed conspecifics), but the addition of food in the form of drift kelp did not induce cryptic behaviour. These findings demonstrate that the 'fear' of predators is more important than food availability in promoting sea urchin cryptic behaviour and suggest that both density- and behaviourally mediated interactions are important in the predator-sea urchin-kelp trophic cascade.

  9. Sea urchin sperm antigens mediating the acrosome reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Trimmer, J.S.

    1987-01-01

    The study of sea urchin sperm antigens mediating the acrosome reactions (AR) has been undertaken. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been isolated reacting with a number of sperm surface antigens. These mAbs have been used in functional assays to attempt to infer the roles of these proteins in the induction of the AR. These mAbs have also been used to isolate protein for biochemical characterization and reconstitution studies. mAbs reacting with a 210 kD protein of the sea urchin sperm plasma membrane have been used to identify this protein as playing a role in the regulation of ion fluxes during the induction of the AR. mAbs reacting with certain extracellular regions inhibit the induction of: the AR, the long duration {sup 45}Ca{sup 2+} uptake into the mitochondrion, and H{sup +} efflux. Addition of these same mAbs, however, induces an increase in sperm (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} to levels much higher than those induced by FSG, as monitored by the fluorescent Ca{sup 2+} indicators fura 2 and indo 1. This (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} increase occurs without an increase in pH{sub i}, and thus allows for the first time the analysis of the effects of increasing sperm (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} ion the absence of increased pH{sub i}.

  10. Evaluation of mysids and sea urchins exposed to saxitoxins.

    PubMed

    Bernardi Bif, Mariana; Yunes, João Sarkis; Resgalla, Charrid

    2013-11-01

    Saxitoxins are neurotoxins produced by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria that form toxic blooms in waters. The impact of saxitoxins to the most vulnerable taxa and environment are not well understood. The experimental model was based on the use of toxic cell extracts containing saxitoxins. This extract was utilized for acute and chronic tests with Mysidopsis juniae. Chronic tests were also done with Lytechinus variegatus and Arbacia lixula larvae. Acute test with mysids had a LC₅₀=2.34 μg/L. The chronic test with sea urchins showed morphological abnormalities resulting in malformation of larval appendices at low concentrations of the toxin (EC₅₀=2.96 μg/L for L. variegatus and 2.06 μg/L for A. lixula). Although saxitoxins are considered neurotoxins, both species of sea urchins showed symptoms not related to nerve cells. A. lixula was more sensitive than L. variegatus, proving that its sensitivity should be taken in consideration to be another option to toxicological tests.

  11. Phylogeny and development of marine model species: strongylocentrotid sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Biermann, Christiane H; Kessing, Bailey D; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of ten strongy-locentrotid sea urchin species were determined using mitochondrial DNA sequences. This phylogeny provides a backdrop for the evolutionary history of one of the most studied groups of sea urchins. Our phylogeny indicates that a major revision of this group is in order. All else remaining unchanged, it supports the inclusion of three additional species into the genus Strongylocentrotus (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus, Allocentrotus fragilis, and Pseudocentrotus depressus). All were once thought to be closely related to this genus, but subsequent revisions separated them into other taxonomic groupings. Most strongylocentrotid species are the result of a recent burst of speciation in the North Pacific that resulted in an ecological diversification. There has been a steady reduction in the complexity of larval skeletons during the expansion of this group. Gamete attributes like egg size, on the other hand, are not correlated with phylogenetic position. In addition, our results indicate that the rate of replacement substitutions is highly variable among phylogenetic lineages. The branches leading to S. purpuratus and S. franciscanus were three to six times longer than those leading to closely related species.

  12. Ion channels: Key elements in sea urchin sperm physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darszon, Alberto; de De Latorre, Lucia; Vargas, Irma; Liévano, Arturo; Beltrán, Carmen; Santi, Celia; Labarca, Pedro; Zapata, Otilia

    1995-08-01

    Ion channels are deeply involved in sea urchin sperm activation, motility, chemotaxis and in the acrosome reaction. Unraveling ion channel function and regulation in sperm behavior has required a combination of complementary approaches since spermatozoa are very tiny cells. Planar bilayer and patch clamp techniques have allowed us to detect, for the first time, the activity of single channels in the plasma membrane of these cells. Unlike intact sperm, swollen sperm can be much more easily patch clamped and single channel activity recorded. These techniques, together with studies of membrane potential, intracellular Ca2+ and pH in whole sperm, have established the presence of K+, Ca2+, and Cl- channels in this cell. The strategies developed to study sea urchin sperm channels are applicable to mammalian spermatozoa. We recently detected a Ca2+ channel resembling one found in S. purpuratus sperm in planar bilayers containing mouse sperm plasma membranes. The presence of this Ca2+ channel in such diverse species suggests it is important in sperm function.

  13. Relationships among predatory fish, sea urchins and barrens in Mediterranean rocky reefs across a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Guidetti, P; Dulcić, J

    2007-03-01

    Previous studies conducted on a local scale emphasised the potential of trophic cascades in Mediterranean rocky reefs (involving predatory fish, sea urchins and macroalgae) in affecting the transition between benthic communities dominated by erected macroalgae and barrens (i.e., bare rock with partial cover of encrusting algae). Distribution patterns of fish predators of sea urchins (Diplodus sargus sargus, Diplodus vulgaris, Coris julis and Thalassoma pavo), sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) and barrens, and fish predation rates upon sea urchins, were assessed in shallow (3-6m depth) sublittoral rocky reefs in the northern, central and southern sectors of the eastern Adriatic Sea, i.e., on a large spatial scale of hundreds of kilometres. No dramatic differences were observed in predatory fish density across latitude, except for a lower density of small D. sargus sargus in the northern Adriatic and an increasing density of T. pavo from north to south. P. lividus did not show any significant difference across latitude, whereas A. lixula was more abundant in the southern than in the central Adriatic. Barrens were more extended in the southern than in the central and northern sectors, and were related with sea urchin density. Fish predation upon adult sea urchins did not change on a large scale, whereas it was slightly higher in the southern sector for juveniles when predation rates of both urchins were pooled. Results show that: (1) assemblages of predatory fish and sea urchins, and barren extent change across latitude in the eastern Adriatic Sea, (2) the weak relations between predatory fish density and predation rates on urchins reveal that factors other than top-down control can be important over large scale (with the caveat that the study was conducted in fished areas) and (3) patterns of interaction among strongly interacting taxa could change on large spatial scales and the number of species involved.

  14. Interactions between sea urchin grazing and prey diversity on temperate rocky reef communities.

    PubMed

    Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Cardinale, Bradley J; Reed, Daniel C

    2013-07-01

    While we frequently observe that increasing species richness within a trophic level can increase the rates of predation or herbivory on lower trophic levels, the general impacts of prey diversity on consumption rates by their predators or herbivores remains unclear. Here we report the results of two field experiments that examined how subcanopy sessile species richness affects rates of consumption by sea urchins. We crossed a natural gradient of species richness in a benthic subtidal community of understory macroalgae and sessile invertebrates against two experimental gradients of urchin density (0-50 and 0-14 individuals) in 0.5-m2 fenced plots. We found that the percent cover of macroalgae and invertebrates consumed by urchins was greater at higher levels of sessile prey species richness. However, this positive association between prey richness and sea urchin consumption was only apparent at low urchin densities; at high urchin densities nearly all algal and invertebrate biomass was consumed irrespective of sessile species richness. The positive relationship between prey richness and urchin consumption was also stronger when the abundance of prey species was more even (i.e., higher Simpson's evenness). Collectively, our results show that the consumptive impacts of urchins on kelp forest understory communities increases as a function of species diversity (both prey richness and evenness), but that prey diversity becomes irrelevant when urchins reach high densities.

  15. Polysaccharide Constituents of Three Types of Sea Urchin Shells and Their Anti-Inflammatory Activities.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Heng; Shang, Xiaohui; Dong, Qi; Wang, Shuang; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Heng; Lu, Xiaoling

    2015-09-16

    As a source of potent anti-inflammatory traditional medicines, the quantitative chromatographic fingerprints of sea urchin shell polysaccharides were well established via pre-column derivatization high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Based on the quantitative results, the content of fucose and glucose could be used as preliminary distinguishing indicators among three sea urchin shell species. Besides, the anti-inflammatory activities of the polysaccharides from sea urchin shells and their gonads were also determined. The gonad polysaccharide of Anthocidaris crassispina showed the most potent anti-inflammatory activity among all samples tested.

  16. Polysaccharide Constituents of Three Types of Sea Urchin Shells and Their Anti-Inflammatory Activities

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Heng; Shang, Xiaohui; Dong, Qi; Wang, Shuang; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Heng; Lu, Xiaoling

    2015-01-01

    As a source of potent anti-inflammatory traditional medicines, the quantitative chromatographic fingerprints of sea urchin shell polysaccharides were well established via pre-column derivatization high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Based on the quantitative results, the content of fucose and glucose could be used as preliminary distinguishing indicators among three sea urchin shell species. Besides, the anti-inflammatory activities of the polysaccharides from sea urchin shells and their gonads were also determined. The gonad polysaccharide of Anthocidaris crassispina showed the most potent anti-inflammatory activity among all samples tested. PMID:26389925

  17. Pulses of phytoplanktonic productivity may enhance sea urchin abundance and induce state shifts in Mediterranean rocky reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardona, Luis; Moranta, Joan; Reñones, Olga; Hereu, Bernat

    2013-11-01

    This paper tests the hypothesis that increased planktonic primary productivity may enhance sea urchin recruitment and trigger changes in the structure of benthic communities in oligotrophic temperate regions. Underwater surveys were conducted in the marine reserve of northern Minorca (Balearic Archipelago, western Mediterranean) and an adjoining control area in 2005 and 2012 to assess the abundance of fishes and sea urchins and the cover of macroalgae before and after a natural pulse of planktonic primary productivity. The biomass of most fishes, including that of sea urchin predators, increased significantly in the whole area two years after the productivity pulse, without any effect of management or depth. The abundance of sea urchins also increased throughout the whole area two years after the productivity pulse, but the average test diameter decreased, thus revealing improved recruitment. The aggregated cover of erect algae and that of Cystoseira brachycarpa did not change significantly from 2005 to 2012, but the cover of turf-forming algae was negatively correlated with the biomass of sea urchins, whereas the cover of coralline barren was positively correlated with the biomass of sea urchins. The overall evidence indicates that planktonic primary productivity is a key factor in the dynamics of sea urchin populations in oligotrophic regions and that improved sea urchin recruitment after productivity pulses in spring and early summer may result in sea urchin populations sufficiently dense to result in the development of coralline barrens independently on the density of sea urchin predators.

  18. Characterization of toposomes from sea urchin blastula cells: a cell organelle mediating cell adhesion and expressing positional information.

    PubMed Central

    Noll, H; Matranga, V; Cervello, M; Humphreys, T; Kuwasaki, B; Adelson, D

    1985-01-01

    Cell adhesion in the sea urchin blastula is mediated by a 22S genus-specific glycoprotein complex consisting initially of six 160-kDa subunits that are processed proteolytically as development proceeds. Noncytolytic removal of the 22S particle from the surface with either 2.5% butanol or trypsin renders dissociated cells reaggregation incompetent, and addition restores reaggregation and development. Polyclonal antibodies against the 22S complex prevent reaggregation in a genus-specific manner while monoclonal antibodies stain cell surface structures in a pattern consistent with a code that specifies the position of a cell in the embryo by a unique combination of subunits in its cell adhesion particles. The existence of similar particles in Drosophila and amphibian embryos suggests that these glycoprotein complexes are a general class of organelles, the toposomes, that in the embryo mediate cell adhesion and express positional information. Images PMID:3865216

  19. A Rapid Colorimetric Method Reveals Fraudulent Substitutions in Sea Urchin Roe Marketed in Sardinia (Italy).

    PubMed

    Meloni, Domenico; Spina, Antonio; Satta, Gianluca; Chessa, Vittorio

    2016-06-25

    In recent years, besides the consumption of fresh sea urchin specimens, the demand of minimally-processed roe has grown considerably. This product has made frequent consumption in restaurants possible and frauds are becoming widespread with the partial replacement of sea urchin roe with surrogates that are similar in colour. One of the main factors that determines the quality of the roe is its colour and small differences in colour scale cannot be easily discerned by the consumers. In this study we have applied a rapid colorimetric method for reveal the fraudulent partial substitution of semi-solid sea urchin roe with liquid egg yolk. Objective assessment of whiteness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), hue (h*), and chroma (C*) was carried out with a digital spectrophotometer using the CIE L*a*b* colour measurement system. The colorimetric method highlighted statistically significant differences among sea urchin roe and liquid egg yolk that could be easily discerned quantitatively.

  20. Community-level destruction of hard corals by the sea urchin Diadema setosum.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Jian-Wen; Lau, Dickey C C; Cheang, Chi-chiu; Chow, Wing-kuen

    2014-08-30

    Sea urchins are common herbivores and bioeroders of coral ecosystems, but rarely have they been reported as corallivores. We determined the spatial pattern of hard coral damage due to corallivory and bioerosion by the sea urchin Diadema setosum Leske in Hong Kong waters. Coral damage was common at the northeastern sites, with 23.7 - 90.3% colonies being either collapsed or severely damaged with >25% tissue loss. Many genera of corals were impacted by the sea urchin but the damage was most obvious for the structure forming genus Platygyra. The percentage of severely damaged and collapsed coral had significant positive correlation with the abundance of D. setosum, which ranged from 0.01 to 5.2 individuals per coral head or 0.1 - 21.1 individuals m(-2) across the study sites. Remedial management actions such as sea urchin removal are urgently needed to save these fringing coral communities.

  1. A Rapid Colorimetric Method Reveals Fraudulent Substitutions in Sea Urchin Roe Marketed in Sardinia (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Meloni, Domenico; Spina, Antonio; Satta, Gianluca; Chessa, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, besides the consumption of fresh sea urchin specimens, the demand of minimally-processed roe has grown considerably. This product has made frequent consumption in restaurants possible and frauds are becoming widespread with the partial replacement of sea urchin roe with surrogates that are similar in colour. One of the main factors that determines the quality of the roe is its colour and small differences in colour scale cannot be easily discerned by the consumers. In this study we have applied a rapid colorimetric method for reveal the fraudulent partial substitution of semi-solid sea urchin roe with liquid egg yolk. Objective assessment of whiteness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), hue (h*), and chroma (C*) was carried out with a digital spectrophotometer using the CIE L*a*b* colour measurement system. The colorimetric method highlighted statistically significant differences among sea urchin roe and liquid egg yolk that could be easily discerned quantitatively. PMID:28231142

  2. SpBase: the sea urchin genome database and web site.

    PubMed

    Cameron, R Andrew; Samanta, Manoj; Yuan, Autumn; He, Dong; Davidson, Eric

    2009-01-01

    SpBase is a system of databases focused on the genomic information from sea urchins and related echinoderms. It is exposed to the public through a web site served with open source software (http://spbase.org/). The enterprise was undertaken to provide an easily used collection of information to directly support experimental work on these useful research models in cell and developmental biology. The information served from the databases emerges from the draft genomic sequence of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and includes sequence data and genomic resource descriptions for other members of the echinoderm clade which in total span 540 million years of evolutionary time. This version of the system contains two assemblies of the purple sea urchin genome, associated expressed sequences, gene annotations and accessory resources. Search mechanisms for the sequences and the gene annotations are provided. Because the system is maintained along with the Sea Urchin Genome resource, a database of sequenced clones is also provided.

  3. Effect of silver nanoparticles on Mediterranean sea urchin embryonal development is species specific and depends on moment of first exposure.

    PubMed

    Burić, Petra; Jakšić, Željko; Štajner, Lara; Dutour Sikirić, Maja; Jurašin, Darija; Cascio, Claudia; Calzolai, Luigi; Lyons, Daniel Mark

    2015-10-01

    With the ever growing use of nanoparticles in a broad range of industrial and consumer applications there is increasing likelihood that such nanoparticles will enter the aquatic environment and be transported through freshwater systems, eventually reaching estuarine or marine waters. Due to silver's known antimicrobial properties and widespread use of silver nanoparticles (AgNP), their environmental fate and impact is therefore of particular concern. In this context we have investigated the species-specific effects of low concentrations of 60 nm AgNP on embryonal development in Mediterranean sea urchins Arbacia lixula, Paracentrotus lividus and Sphaerechinus granularis. The sensitivity of urchin embryos was tested by exposing embryos to nanoparticle concentrations in the 1-100 μg L(-1) range, with times of exposure varying from 30 min to 24 h (1 h-48 h for S. granularis) post-fertilisation which corresponded with fertilized egg, 4 cell, blastula and gastrula development phases. The most sensitive species to AgNP was A. lixula with significant modulation of embryonal development at the lowest AgNP concentrations of 1-10 μg L(-1) with high numbers of malformed embryos or arrested development. The greatest impact on development was noted for those embryos first exposed to nanoparticles at 6 and 24 h post fertilisation. For P. lividus, similar effects were noted at higher concentrations of 50 μg L(-1) and 100 μg L(-1) for all times of first exposure. The S. granularis embryos indicated a moderate AgNP impact, and significant developmental abnormalities were recorded in the concentration range of 10-50 μg L(-1). As later post-fertilisation exposure times to AgNP caused greater developmental changes in spite of a shorter total exposure time led us to postulate on additional mechanisms of AgNP toxicity. The results herein indicate that toxic effects of AgNP are species-specific. The moment at which embryos first encounter AgNP is also shown to be

  4. Sutural loosening and skeletal flexibility during growth: determination of drop-like shapes in sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Amy S; Ellers, Olaf; Lemire, Jim; Minor, Melissa; Leddy, Holly A

    2002-02-07

    The shape of sea urchins may be determined mechanically by patterns of force analogous to those that determine the shape of a water droplet. This mechanical analogy implies skeletal flexibility at the time of growth. Although comprised of many rigid calcite plates, sutural collagenous ligaments could confer such flexibility if the sutures between plates loosened and acted as joints at the time of growth. We present experimental evidence of such flexibility associated with weight gain and growth. Over 13-, 4-, and 2-week periods, fed urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) gained weight and developed looser sutures than unfed urchins that maintained or lost weight. Further, skeletons of fed urchins force-relaxed more than did those of unfed urchins and urchins with loose sutures force-relaxed more than those with tight sutures. Urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) fed for two and a half weeks, gained weight, also had looser skeletons and deposited calcite at sutural margins, whereas unfed ones did not. In field populations of S. droebachiensis the percentage having loose sutures varied with urchin diameter and reflected their size-specific growth rate. The association between feeding, weight gain, calcite deposition, force relaxation and sutural looseness supports the hypothesis that urchins deform flexibly while growing, thus determining their drop-like shapes.

  5. Sutural loosening and skeletal flexibility during growth: determination of drop-like shapes in sea urchins.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Amy S; Ellers, Olaf; Lemire, Jim; Minor, Melissa; Leddy, Holly A

    2002-01-01

    The shape of sea urchins may be determined mechanically by patterns of force analogous to those that determine the shape of a water droplet. This mechanical analogy implies skeletal flexibility at the time of growth. Although comprised of many rigid calcite plates, sutural collagenous ligaments could confer such flexibility if the sutures between plates loosened and acted as joints at the time of growth. We present experimental evidence of such flexibility associated with weight gain and growth. Over 13-, 4-, and 2-week periods, fed urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) gained weight and developed looser sutures than unfed urchins that maintained or lost weight. Further, skeletons of fed urchins force-relaxed more than did those of unfed urchins and urchins with loose sutures force-relaxed more than those with tight sutures. Urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) fed for two and a half weeks, gained weight, also had looser skeletons and deposited calcite at sutural margins, whereas unfed ones did not. In field populations of S. droebachiensis the percentage having loose sutures varied with urchin diameter and reflected their size-specific growth rate. The association between feeding, weight gain, calcite deposition, force relaxation and sutural looseness supports the hypothesis that urchins deform flexibly while growing, thus determining their drop-like shapes. PMID:11839189

  6. Quantitative developmental transcriptomes of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Qiang; Cameron, R. Andrew; Davidson, Eric H.

    2014-01-01

    Development depends on the precise control of gene expression in time and space. A critical step towards understanding the global gene regulatory networks underlying development is to obtain comprehensive information on gene expression. In this study, we measured expression profiles for the entire expressed gene set during sea urchin embryonic development. We confirmed the reliability of these profiles by comparison with NanoString measurements for a subset of genes and with literature values. The data show that ~16,500 genes have been activated by the end of embryogenesis, and for half of them the transcript abundance changes more than 10-fold during development. From this genome scale expression survey, we show that complex patterns of expression by many genes underlie embryonic development, particularly during the early stages before gastrulation. An intuitive web application for data query and visualization is presented to facilitate use of this large dataset. PMID:24291147

  7. Digestion in sea urchin larvae impaired under ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stumpp, Meike; Hu, Marian; Casties, Isabel; Saborowski, Reinhard; Bleich, Markus; Melzner, Frank; Dupont, Sam

    2013-12-01

    Larval stages are considered as the weakest link when a species is exposed to challenging environmental changes. Reduced rates of growth and development in larval stages of calcifying invertebrates in response to ocean acidification might be caused by energetic limitations. So far no information exists on how ocean acidification affects digestive processes in marine larval stages. Here we reveal alkaline (~pH 9.5) conditions in the stomach of sea urchin larvae. Larvae exposed to decreased seawater pH suffer from a drop in gastric pH, which directly translates into decreased digestive efficiencies and triggers compensatory feeding. These results suggest that larval digestion represents a critical process in the context of ocean acidification, which has been overlooked so far.

  8. Activation of maternal centrosomes in unfertilized sea urchin eggs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, H.; Walter, M.; Biessmann, H.; Schatten, G.

    1992-01-01

    Centrosomes are undetectable in unfertilized sea urchin eggs, and normally the sperm introduces the cell's microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) at fertilization. However, artificial activation or parthenogenesis triggers microtubule assembly in the unfertilized egg, and this study explores the reappearance and behavior of the maternal centrosome. During activation with A23187 or ammonia, microtubules appear first at the cortex; centrosomal antigen is detected diffusely throughout the entire cytoplasm. Later, the centrosome becomes more distinct and organizes a radial microtubule shell, and eventually a compact centrosome at the egg center organizes a monaster. In these activated eggs, centrosomes undergo cycles of compaction and decompaction in synchrony with the chromatin, which also undergoes cycles of condensation and decondensation. Parthenogenetic activation with heavy water (50% D2O) or the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol (10 microM) induces numerous centrosomal foci in the unfertilized sea urchin egg. Within 15 min after incubation in D2O, numerous fine centrosomal foci are detected, and they organize a connected network of numerous asters which fill the entire egg. Taxol induces over 100 centrosomal foci by 15 min after treatment, which organize a corresponding number of asters. The centrosomal material in either D2O- or taxol-treated eggs aggregates with time to form fewer but denser foci, resulting in fewer and larger asters. Fertilization of eggs pretreated with either D2O or taxol shows that the paternal centrosome is dominant over the maternal centrosome. The centrosomal material gradually becomes associated with the enlarged sperm aster. These experiments demonstrate that maternal centrosomal material is present in the unfertilized egg, likely as dispersed undetectable material, which can be activated without paternal contributions. At fertilization, paternal centrosomes become dominant over the maternal centrosomal material.

  9. Overgrazing of a large seagrass bed by the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus in Outer Florida Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rose, C.D.; Sharp, W.C.; Kenworthy, W.J.; Hunt, J.H.; Lyons, W.G.; Prager, E.J.; Valentine, J.F.; Hall, M.O.; Whitfield, P.E.; Fourqurean, J.W.

    1999-01-01

    Unusually dense aggregations of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus overgrazed at least 0.81 km2 of seagrass habitat in Outer Florida Bay (USA) between August 1997 and May 1998. Initially, sea-urchin densities were as high as 364 sea urchins m-2, but they steadily declined to within a range of 20 to 50 sea urchins m-2 by December 1998. Prior to this event, sea-urchin densities were 95% of the short-shoot apical meristems were removed by sea-urchin grazing in our study area. Such extensive loss may severely limit recovery of this seagrass community by vegetative reproduction. Effects of the removal of seagrass biomass have already resulted in the depletion of epifaunal-infaunal mollusk assemblages and resuspension of fine-grained (<64 ??m) surface sediments - which have caused significant changes in community structure and in the physical properties of the sediments. These changes, coupled with the loss of essential fishery habitat, reductions in primary and secondary production, and degradation of water quality, may lead to additional, longer-term, indirect effects that may extend beyond the boundaries of the grazed areas and into adjacent coastal ecosystems.

  10. Micropredation on sea urchins as a potential stabilizing process for rocky reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaviri, Chiara; Gianguzza, Paola; Pipitone, Carlo; Hereu, Bernat

    2012-10-01

    Rocky reefs can shift from forest, a state dominated by erect algae with high biodiversity, to barren, an impoverished state dominated by encrusting algae. Sea urchins, abundant in barrens, are usually held responsible for the maintenance of this state. Predation by large fish can revert the barren state to forest by controlling sea urchin populations. However, the persistence of a community state sometimes seems to be independent from the presence of such large predators, suggesting the existence of other unknown mechanisms ensuring their stability. Theoretical studies suggest that the settler stage of sea urchins is determinant for maintaining a given rocky reef state. In this study, we have identified several potential invertebrate micropredators of settlers of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and measured their predation activity. Predation rates showed marked differences among species, possibly due to morphological and/or behavioral traits. Micropredators were more abundant in the forest than in barren, and their potential impact on the sea urchin community differed between the two states by two orders of magnitude. These findings suggest a novel self-perpetuating mechanism stabilizing rocky reef systems, where the abundance of micropredators may contribute to shape the sea urchin population, which in turn is responsible for the persistence of the state.

  11. Trophic ecology of sea urchins in coral-rocky reef systems, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Cabanillas-Terán, Nancy; Loor-Andrade, Peggy; Rodríguez-Barreras, Ruber; Cortés, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Sea urchins are important grazers and influence reef development in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Diadema mexicanum and Eucidaris thouarsii are the most important sea urchins on the Ecuadorian coastal reefs. This study provided a trophic scenario for these two species of echinoids in the coral-rocky reef bottoms of the Ecuadorian coast, using stable isotopes. We evaluated the relative proportion of algal resources assimilated, and trophic niche of the two sea urchins in the most southern coral-rocky reefs of the ETP in two sites with different disturbance level. Bayesian models were used to estimate the contribution of algal sources, niche breadth, and trophic overlap between the two species. The sea urchins behaved as opportunistic feeders, although they showed differential resource assimilation. Eucidaris thouarsii is the dominant species in disturbed environments; likewise, their niche amplitude was broader than that of D. mexicanum when conditions were not optimal. However, there was no niche overlap between the species. The Stable Isotope Analysis in R (SIAR) indicated that both sea urchins shared limiting resources in the disturbed area, mainly Dictyota spp. (contributions of up to 85% for D. mexicanum and up to 75% for E. thouarsii). The Stable Isotope Bayesian Ellipses in R (SIBER) analysis results indicated less interspecific competition in the undisturbed site. Our results suggested a trophic niche partitioning between sympatric sea urchin species in coastal areas of the ETP, but the limitation of resources could lead to trophic overlap and stronger habitat degradation.

  12. Trophic ecology of sea urchins in coral-rocky reef systems, Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Loor-Andrade, Peggy; Rodríguez-Barreras, Ruber; Cortés, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Sea urchins are important grazers and influence reef development in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Diadema mexicanum and Eucidaris thouarsii are the most important sea urchins on the Ecuadorian coastal reefs. This study provided a trophic scenario for these two species of echinoids in the coral-rocky reef bottoms of the Ecuadorian coast, using stable isotopes. We evaluated the relative proportion of algal resources assimilated, and trophic niche of the two sea urchins in the most southern coral-rocky reefs of the ETP in two sites with different disturbance level. Bayesian models were used to estimate the contribution of algal sources, niche breadth, and trophic overlap between the two species. The sea urchins behaved as opportunistic feeders, although they showed differential resource assimilation. Eucidaris thouarsii is the dominant species in disturbed environments; likewise, their niche amplitude was broader than that of D. mexicanum when conditions were not optimal. However, there was no niche overlap between the species. The Stable Isotope Analysis in R (SIAR) indicated that both sea urchins shared limiting resources in the disturbed area, mainly Dictyota spp. (contributions of up to 85% for D. mexicanum and up to 75% for E. thouarsii). The Stable Isotope Bayesian Ellipses in R (SIBER) analysis results indicated less interspecific competition in the undisturbed site. Our results suggested a trophic niche partitioning between sympatric sea urchin species in coastal areas of the ETP, but the limitation of resources could lead to trophic overlap and stronger habitat degradation. PMID:26839748

  13. Perturbation of gut bacteria induces a coordinated cellular immune response in the purple sea urchin larva

    PubMed Central

    CH Ho, Eric; Buckley, Katherine M; Schrankel, Catherine S; Schuh, Nicholas W; Hibino, Taku; Solek, Cynthia M; Bae, Koeun; Wang, Guizhi; Rast, Jonathan P

    2016-01-01

    The purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome sequence contains a complex repertoire of genes encoding innate immune recognition proteins and homologs of important vertebrate immune regulatory factors. To characterize how this immune system is deployed within an experimentally tractable, intact animal, we investigate the immune capability of the larval stage. Sea urchin embryos and larvae are morphologically simple and transparent, providing an organism-wide model to view immune response at cellular resolution. Here we present evidence for immune function in five mesenchymal cell types based on morphology, behavior and gene expression. Two cell types are phagocytic; the others interact at sites of microbial detection or injury. We characterize immune-associated gene markers for three cell types, including a perforin-like molecule, a scavenger receptor, a complement-like thioester-containing protein and the echinoderm-specific immune response factor 185/333. We elicit larval immune responses by (1) bacterial injection into the blastocoel and (2) seawater exposure to the marine bacterium Vibrio diazotrophicus to perturb immune state in the gut. Exposure at the epithelium induces a strong response in which pigment cells (one type of immune cell) migrate from the ectoderm to interact with the gut epithelium. Bacteria that accumulate in the gut later invade the blastocoel, where they are cleared by phagocytic and granular immune cells. The complexity of this coordinated, dynamic inflammatory program within the simple larval morphology provides a system in which to characterize processes that direct both aspects of the echinoderm-specific immune response as well as those that are shared with other deuterostomes, including vertebrates. PMID:27192936

  14. Perturbation of gut bacteria induces a coordinated cellular immune response in the purple sea urchin larva.

    PubMed

    Ch Ho, Eric; Buckley, Katherine M; Schrankel, Catherine S; Schuh, Nicholas W; Hibino, Taku; Solek, Cynthia M; Bae, Koeun; Wang, Guizhi; Rast, Jonathan P

    2016-10-01

    The purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome sequence contains a complex repertoire of genes encoding innate immune recognition proteins and homologs of important vertebrate immune regulatory factors. To characterize how this immune system is deployed within an experimentally tractable, intact animal, we investigate the immune capability of the larval stage. Sea urchin embryos and larvae are morphologically simple and transparent, providing an organism-wide model to view immune response at cellular resolution. Here we present evidence for immune function in five mesenchymal cell types based on morphology, behavior and gene expression. Two cell types are phagocytic; the others interact at sites of microbial detection or injury. We characterize immune-associated gene markers for three cell types, including a perforin-like molecule, a scavenger receptor, a complement-like thioester-containing protein and the echinoderm-specific immune response factor 185/333. We elicit larval immune responses by (1) bacterial injection into the blastocoel and (2) seawater exposure to the marine bacterium Vibrio diazotrophicus to perturb immune state in the gut. Exposure at the epithelium induces a strong response in which pigment cells (one type of immune cell) migrate from the ectoderm to interact with the gut epithelium. Bacteria that accumulate in the gut later invade the blastocoel, where they are cleared by phagocytic and granular immune cells. The complexity of this coordinated, dynamic inflammatory program within the simple larval morphology provides a system in which to characterize processes that direct both aspects of the echinoderm-specific immune response as well as those that are shared with other deuterostomes, including vertebrates.

  15. The emergence of pattern in embryogenesis: regulation of beta-catenin localization during early sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Ettensohn, Charles A

    2006-11-14

    The accumulation of beta-catenin in the nuclei of blastomeres at one pole of the early embryo is a highly conserved and essential feature of animal development. In the sea urchin, beta-catenin accumulates in the nuclei of vegetal blastomeres during early cleavage and activates gene regulatory networks that drive mesoderm and endoderm formation. Measurements of beta-catenin half-life in vivo have demonstrated a gradient in stability along the animal-vegetal axis. Dishevelled (Dsh), a protein that regulates beta-catenin turnover, is localized in the vegetal cortex, where it has an essential role in stabilizing beta-catenin and activating endomesodermal gene networks. Two motifs of Dsh are required for targeting to the vegetal cortex. Overexpression of Dsh in animal blastomeres does not alter their fate, which suggests that a localized activator of Dsh may be missing in these cells. Wnt signaling may be localized in the early sea urchin embryo, as it is in Xenopus, but findings point to possible differences in the initial polarizing signal in amphibians and echinoderms. Further studies will be required to determine the extent to which mechanisms that control beta-catenin nuclearization in early embryogenesis have been conserved during animal evolution.

  16. The DEAD-box RNA helicase Vasa functions in embryonic mitotic progression in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Yajima, Mamiko; Wessel, Gary M

    2011-06-01

    Vasa is a broadly conserved ATP-dependent RNA helicase that functions in the germ line of organisms from cnidarians to mammals. Curiously, Vasa is also present in the somatic cells of many animals and functions as a regulator of multipotent cells. Here, we report a mitotic function of Vasa revealed in the sea urchin embryo. We found that Vasa protein is present in all blastomeres of the early embryo and that its abundance oscillates with the cell cycle. Vasa associates with the spindle and the separating sister chromatids at metaphase, and then quickly disappears after telophase. Inhibition of Vasa protein synthesis interferes with proper chromosome segregation, arrests cells at M-phase, and delays overall cell cycle progression. Cdk activity is necessary for the proper localization of Vasa, implying that Vasa is involved in the cyclin-dependent cell cycle network, and Vasa is required for the efficient translation of cyclinB mRNA. Our results suggest an evolutionarily conserved role of Vasa that is independent of its function in germ line determination.

  17. A comprehensive survey of wnt and frizzled expression in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Robert, Nicolas; Lhomond, Guy; Schubert, Michael; Croce, Jenifer C

    2014-03-01

    WNT signaling is, in all multicellular animals, an essential intercellular communication pathway that is critical for shaping the embryo. At the molecular level, WNT signals can be transmitted by several transduction cascades, all activated chiefly by the binding of WNT ligands to receptors of the FRIZZLED family. The first step in assessing the biological functions of WNT signaling during embryogenesis is thus the establishment of the spatiotemporal expression profiles of wnt and frizzled genes in the course of embryonic development. To this end, using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Northern blot, and in situ hybridization assays, we report here the comprehensive expression patterns of all 11 wnt and 4 frizzled genes present in the genome of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus during its embryogenesis. Our findings indicate that the expression of these wnt ligands and frizzled receptors is highly dynamic in both time and space. We further establish that all wnt genes are chiefly transcribed in the vegetal hemisphere of the embryo, whereas expression of the frizzled genes is distributed more widely across the embryonic territories. Thus, in P. lividus, WNT ligands might act both as short- and long-range signaling molecules that may operate in all cell lineages and tissues to control various developmental processes during embryogenesis.

  18. Genotoxic and developmental effects in sea urchins are sensitive indicators of effects of genotoxic chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.L. . Energy and Environment Division); Hose, J.E. . Dept. of Biology); Knezovich, J.P. . Health and Ecological Assessment Division)

    1994-07-01

    Purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) gametes and embryos were exposed to three known mutagenic chemicals (phenol, benzidine,and pentachlorophenol) over concentration ranges bracketing the effect levels for fertilization success. Normal development and cytogenetic effects (anaphase aberrations) were assessed after the cultures were allowed to develop for 48 h. Using radiolabeled chemicals, the authors also characterized concentrations in the test water as well as doses in the embryos following 2- and 48-h exposures. The authors observed dose responses for all chemicals and all responses, except for phenol, which showed no significant effect on development. Fertilization success was never the most sensitive end point. anaphase aberrations were the most sensitive response for phenol, with an LOEC of 2.5 mg/L exposure concentration. Anaphase aberrations and development were equivalent in sensitivity for benzidine within the tested dose range, and an LOEC of <0.1 mg/L was observed. Development was the most sensitive reasons for pentachlorophenol (LOEC 1 mg/L). the LOEC values for this study were generally lower than comparable data for aquatic life or human health protection. The authors conclude that genotoxicity and development evaluations should be included in environmental management applications and that tests developed primarily for human health protection do not reliably predict the effects of toxic substances on aquatic life.

  19. Cell surface of sea urchin micromeres and primary mesenchyme. [Arbacia punctulata; Strongylocentrotus drobachiensis; Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    SciTech Connect

    DeSimone, D.W.

    1985-01-01

    The cell surface and extracellular matrix (ECM) of the sea urchin embryo were studied during the early morphogenetic events involved in the differentiation of the micromere cell lineage. Sixteen-cell and early cleavage stage blastomeres were isolated and the protein composition of their cell surfaces examined by /sup 125/I-labelling followed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Micromere-specific cell surface proteins are reported for Arbacia punctulata, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Cell surface glycoproteins were characterized on the basis of lectin binding specificity with a novel lectin affinity transfer technique. Using this procedure, cell-type specific surface proteins, which are also lectin-binding specific, can be detected. In addition, fluorescein conjugated lectins were microinjected into the blastocoels of living S. drobachiensis and Lytechinus pictus embryos and the patterns of lectin bindings observed by fluorescence microscopy. The evidence presented in this thesis suggests that the differentiation of the primary mesenchyme cells is correlated with changes in the molecular composition of the cell-surface and the ECM.

  20. Microgravity effects during fertilization, cell division, development, and calcium metabolism in sea urchins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, Heide

    1996-01-01

    The overall objectives of this project are to explore the role of microgravity during fertilization, early development, cytoskeletal organization, and skeletal calcium deposition in a model development system: the sea urchin eggs and embryos. While pursuing these objectives, we have also helped to develop, test, and fly the Aquatic Research Facility (ARF) system. Cells were fixed at preselected time points to preserve the structures and organelles of interest with regards to cell biology events during development. The protocols used for the analysis of the results had been developed during the earlier part of this research and were applied for post-flight analysis using light and (immuno)fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The structures of interest are: microtubules during fertilization, cell division, and cilia movement; microfilaments during cell surface restructuring and cell division; centrosomes and centrioles during cell division, cell differentiation, and cilia formation and movement; membranes, Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and chromosomes at all stages of development; and calcium deposits during spicule formation in late-stage embryos. In addition to further explore aspects important or living in space, several aspects of this research are also aimed at understanding diseases that affect humans on Earth which may be accelerated in space.

  1. Embryotoxic effects of nonylphenol and octylphenol in sea urchin Arbacia lixula.

    PubMed

    Cakal Arslan, O; Parlak, H

    2007-08-01

    Nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP), both of which are biodegradation products of alkylphenols, are widely used in industrial applications and in some domestic products. These chemicals are found widely in surface water and aquatic sediments. We have carried out a comparative embryotoxicity analysis of the effects of increasing concentrations of NP (seven concentrations ranging from 0.937 to 18.74 microg/l) and OP (six concentrations ranging from 5 to 160 microg/l) on embryos of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula. The indicators evaluated were larval malformations, developmental arrest and embryonic/larval mortality. The results revealed that low concentrations of these chemicals (NP, OP) generally caused malformations in the skeletal system. High concentrations (18.74 microg NP/l, 160 microg OP/l) were found to inhibit the growth of embryos in the early life stages by preventing mitosis. We conclude that NP and OP present a major risk to the normal development of A. lixula at the low concentrations that have been recorded in the environment. These chemicals are therefore most likely to represent an ecological hazard at the population level given the cumulative effects of other environmental pollutants.

  2. Expression of two actin genes during larval development in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Cameron, R A; Britten, R J; Davidson, E H

    1989-01-01

    We report the first measurements of cell number, total RNA, and transcript accumulations for two actin genes during larval development of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. At 5 weeks of feeding, when development of laboratory-raised larvae is completed, the cell number has increased about 100-fold with respect to the pluteus-stage embryo to about 150,000 +/- 50,000, and the total RNA has increased 46-fold to about 130 ng per larva. The transcripts of the Cylla cytoskeletal actin gene, which is expressed in adult tissues, continue to accumulate throughout larval development. A contrasting pattern of transcript accumulation is observed for Cyllla, a different cytoskeletal actin gene that in the embryo is expressed only in aboral ectoderm. These transcripts increase in number early in larval development, when the larval epidermis is differentiating, and then decline in quantity. It is known that at metamorphosis the larval epidermis is largely histolyzed and that the Cyllla gene is not expressed in the juvenile or adult.

  3. A monoclonal antibody against the dynein IC1 peptide of sea urchin spermatozoa inhibits the motility of sea urchin, dinoflagellate, and human flagellar axonemes.

    PubMed Central

    Gagnon, C; White, D; Huitorel, P; Cosson, J

    1994-01-01

    To investigate the role of axonemal components in the mechanics and regulation of flagellar movement, we have generated a series of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against sea urchin (Lytechinus pictus) sperm axonemal proteins, selected for their ability to inhibit the motility of demembranated sperm models. One of these antibodies, mAb D1, recognizes an antigen of 142 kDa on blots of sea urchin axonemal proteins and of purified outer arm dynein, suggesting that it acts by binding to the heaviest intermediate chain (IC1) of the dynein arm. mAb D1 blocks the motility of demembranated sea urchin spermatozoa by modifying the beating amplitude and shear angle without affecting the ATPase activity of purified dynein or of demembranated immotile spermatozoa. Furthermore, mAb D1 had only a marginal effect on the velocity of sliding microtubules in trypsin-treated axonemes. This antibody was also capable of inhibiting the motility of flagella of Oxyrrhis marina, a primitive dinoflagellate, and those of demembranated human spermatozoa. Localization of the antigen recognized by mAb D1 by immunofluorescence reveals its presence on the axonemes of flagella from sea urchin spermatozoa and O. marina but not on the cortical microtubule network of the dinoflagellate. These results are consistent with a dynamic role for the dynein intermediate chain IC1 in the bending and/or wave propagation of flagellar axonemes. Images PMID:7841521

  4. Fishing for lobsters indirectly increases epidemics in sea urchins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2004-01-01

    Two ecological paradigms, the trophic cascade and the host-density threshold in disease, interact in the kelp-forest ecosystem to structure the community. To investigate what happens when a trophic cascade pushes a host population over a host-threshold density, I analyzed a 20-year data set of kelp forest communities at 16 sites in the region of the Channel Islands National Park, California, USA. Historically, lobsters, and perhaps other predators, kept urchin populations at low levels and kelp forests developed a community-level trophic cascade. In geographic areas where the main predators on urchins were fished, urchin populations increased to the extent that they overgrazed algae and starvation eventually limited urchin-population growth. Despite the limitation of urchin population size by food availability, urchin densities, at times, well exceeded the host-density threshold for epidemics. An urchin-specific bacterial disease entered the region after 1992 and acted as a density-dependent mortality source. Dense populations were more likely to experience epidemics and suffer higher mortality. Disease did not reduce the urchin population at a site to the density that predators previously did. Therefore, disease did not fully replace predators in the trophic cascade. These results indicate how fishing top predators can indirectly favor disease transmission in prey populations.

  5. TRICAINE METHANESULFONATE (MS-222) SEDATION AND ANESTHESIA IN THE PURPLE-SPINED SEA URCHIN (ARBACIA PUNCTULATA).

    PubMed

    Applegate, Jeffrey R; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Christian, Larry Shane; Bayer, Meredith P; Harms, Craig A; Lewbart, Gregory A

    2016-12-01

    The purple-spined sea urchin ( Arbacia punctulata ) is commonly found in shallow waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from the New England area of the United States to the Caribbean. Sea urchins play a major role in ocean ecology, echinoculture, and biomedical research. Additionally, sea urchins are commonly displayed in public aquaria. Baseline parameters were developed in unanesthetized urchins for righting reflex (time to regain oral recumbency) and spine response time to tactile stimulus. Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) was used to sedate and anesthetize purple-spined sea urchins and assess sedation and anesthetic parameters, including adhesion to and release from a vertical surface, times to loss of response to tactile stimulus and recovery of righting reflex, and qualitative observations of induction of spawning and position of spines and pseudopodia. Sedation and anesthetic parameters were evaluated in 11 individuals in three circumstances: unaltered aquarium water for baseline behaviors, 0.4 g/L MS-222, and 0.8 g/L MS-222. Induction was defined as the release from a vertical surface with the loss of righting reflex, sedation as loss of righting reflex with retained tactile spine response, anesthesia as loss of righting reflex and loss of tactile spine response, and recovery as voluntary return to oral recumbency. MS-222 proved to be an effective sedative and anesthetic for the purple-spined sea urchin at 0.4 and 0.8 g/L, respectively. Sodium bicarbonate used to buffer MS-222 had no measurable sedative effects when used alone. Anesthesia was quickly reversed with transfer of each individual to anesthesia-free seawater, and no anesthetic-related mortality occurred. The parameters assessed in this study provide a baseline for sea urchin anesthesia and may provide helpful comparisons to similar species and populations that are in need of anesthesia for surgical procedures or research.

  6. Nuclear lamins and peripheral nuclear antigens during fertilization and embryogenesis in mice and sea urchins

    SciTech Connect

    Schatten, G.; Schatten, H.; Simerly, C.; Maul, G.G.; Chaly, N.

    1985-07-01

    Nuclear structural changes during fertilization and embryogenesis in mice and sea urchins are traced using four antibodies. The oocytes from virgin female mice, morulae and blastocytes from mated females, and gametes from the sea urchin Lytechnius variegatis are studied using mouse monoclonal antibodies to nuclear lamin A/C, monoclonal antibody to P1, human autoimmune antibodies to lamin A/C, and to lamin B. The mouse fertilization data reveal no lamins on the oocyte; however, lamins are present on the pronuclei, and chromosomes are found on the oocytes and pronuclei. It is detected that on the sea urchin sperm the lamins are reduced to acrosomal and centriolar fossae and peripheral antigens are around the sperm nucleus. The mouse sperm bind lamin antibodies regionally and do not contain antigens. Lamins and antigens are observed on both pronuclei and chromosomes during sea urchin fertilization. Mouse embryogenesis reveals that lamin A/C is not recognized at morula and blastocyst stages; however, lamin B stains are retained. In sea urchin embryogenesis lamin recognition is lost at the blastrula, gastrula, and plutei stages. It is noted that nuclear lamins lost during spermatogenesis are restored at fertilization and peripheral antigens are associated with the surface of chromosomes during meiosis and mitosis and with the periphery of the pronuclei and nuclei during interphase. 32 references.

  7. Influence of potentially confounding factors on sea urchin porewater toxicity tests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, R.S.; Biedenbach, J.M.; Nipper, M.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of potentially confounding factors has been identified as a concern for interpreting sea urchin porewater toxicity test data. The results from >40 sediment-quality assessment surveys using early-life stages of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were compiled and examined to determine acceptable ranges of natural variables such as pH, ammonia, and dissolved organic carbon on the fertilization and embryological development endpoints. In addition, laboratory experiments were also conducted with A. punctulata and compared with information from the literature. Pore water with pH as low as 6.9 is an unlikely contributor to toxicity for the fertilization and embryological development tests with A. punctulata. Other species of sea urchin have narrower pH tolerance ranges. Ammonia is rarely a contributing factor in pore water toxicity tests using the fertilization endpoint, but the embryological development endpoint may be influenced by ammonia concentrations commonly found in porewater samples. Therefore, ammonia needs to be considered when interpreting results for the embryological development test. Humic acid does not affect sea urchin fertilization at saturation concentrations, but it could have an effect on the embryological development endpoint at near-saturation concentrations. There was no correlation between sediment total organic carbon concentrations and porewater dissolved organic carbon concentrations. Because of the potential for many varying substances to activate parthenogenesis in sea urchin eggs, it is recommended that a no-sperm control be included with every fertilization test treatment. ?? 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  8. Neoparamoeba branchiphila infections in moribund sea urchins Diadema aff. antillarum in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Dyková, Iva; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Kostka, Martin; Valladares, Basilio; Pecková, Hana

    2011-07-12

    A total of 109 sea urchins from 3 species collected in 2 localities off the coast of Tenerife Island, Spain, were examined for the presence of free-living amoebae in their coelomic fluid. Amoeba trophozoites were isolated exclusively from moribund individuals of long-spined sea urchins Diadema aff. antillarum (Philippi) (Echinoidea, Echinodermata) that manifested lesions related to sea urchin bald disease on their tests (16 out of 56 examined). No amoebae were detected in Arbacia lixula (L.) and Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck). From the former sea urchin species, 8 strains, established from 10 primary isolates, were identified as Neoparamoeba branchiphila Dyková et al., 2005 using morphological and molecular methods. Results of this study (limited to the screening for free-living amoebae) together with data on agents of sea urchin mortalities reported to date justify the hypothesis that free-living amoebae play an opportunistic role in D. aff. antillarum mortality. The enlargement of the dataset of SSU rDNA sequences brought new insight into the phylogeny of Neoparamoeba species.

  9. Cellular and biochemical responses to environmental and experimentally induced stress in sea urchin coelomocytes

    PubMed Central

    Matranga, Valeria; Toia, Giuseppe; Bonaventura, Rosa; Müller, Werner E.G.

    2000-01-01

    Coelomocytes are considered to be immune effectors of sea urchins. Subpopulations of coelomocytes can be purified from a total cell suspension. The proportion of each cell type can vary not only among species, but also between individuals of the same species, according to their size and physiological conditions. We tested the hypothesis that coelomocytes play a role in defense mechanisms activated by adverse external conditions. Total coelomocytes from control and stressed (temperature, pollution, and injuries) sea urchins were analyzed for their expression of the 70 kDa heat shock protein (hsp70), a well recognized stress marker. Further analysis was performed by separation of coelomocytes into subpopulations by step gradients. We demonstrated that sea urchin coelomocytes respond to temperature shock and to polluted seawater by the upregulation of hsp70. Among coelomocytes certain cells, known as red spherula cells, showed a great increase in number in animals collected from polluted seawaters or subjected to “accidental” injury. The present study confirms the immunological function of sea urchin coelomocytes, as indicated by the upregulation of the hsp70 molecular marker, and suggests that sea urchin coelomocytes can be utilized as sensitive bio-indicators of environmental stress. PMID:11147962

  10. Nuclear lamins and peripheral nuclear antigens during fertilization and embryogenesis in mice and sea urchins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, G.; Schatten, H.; Simerly, C.; Maul, G. G.; Chaly, N.

    1985-01-01

    Nuclear structural changes during fertilization and embryogenesis in mice and sea urchins are traced using four antibodies. The oocytes from virgin female mice, morulae and blastocytes from mated females, and gametes from the sea urchin Lytechnius variegatis are studied using mouse monoclonal antibodies to nuclear lamin A/C, monoclonal antibody to P1, human autoimmune antibodies to lamin A/C, and to lamin B. The mouse fertilization data reveal no lamins on the oocyte; however, lamins are present on the pronuclei, and chromosomes are found on the oocytes and pronuclei. It is detected that on the sea urchin sperm the lamins are reduced to acrosomal and centriolar fossae and peripheral antigens are around the sperm nucleus. The mouse sperm bind lamin antibodies regionally and do not contain antigens. Lamins and antigens are observed on both pronuclei and chromosomes during sea urchin fertilization. Mouse embryogenesis reveals that lamin A/C is not recognized at morula and blastocyst stages; however, lamin B stains are retained. In sea urchin embryogenesis lamin recognition is lost at the blastrula, gastrula, and plutei stages. It is noted that nuclear lamins lost during spermatogenesis are restored at fertilization and peripheral antigens are associated with the surface of chromosomes during meiosis and mitosis and with the periphery of the pronuclei and nuclei during interphase.

  11. Turbulent shear spurs settlement in larval sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Gaylord, Brian; Hodin, Jason; Ferner, Matthew C

    2013-04-23

    Marine invertebrates commonly produce larvae that disperse in ocean waters before settling into adult shoreline habitat. Chemical and other seafloor-associated cues often facilitate this latter transition. However, the range of effectiveness of such cues is limited to small spatial scales, creating challenges for larvae in finding suitable sites at which to settle, especially given that they may be carried many kilometers by currents during their planktonic phase. One possible solution is for larvae to use additional, broader-scale environmental signposts to first narrow their search to the general vicinity of a candidate settlement location. Here we demonstrate strong effects of just such a habitat-scale cue, one with the potential to signal larvae that they have arrived in appropriate coastal areas. Larvae of the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) exhibit dramatic enhancement in settlement following stimulation by turbulent shear typical of wave-swept shores where adults of this species live. This response manifests in an unprecedented fashion relative to previously identified cues. Turbulent shear does not boost settlement by itself. Instead, it drives a marked developmental acceleration that causes "precompetent" larvae refractory to chemical settlement inducers to immediately become "competent" and thereby reactive to such inducers. These findings reveal an unrecognized ability of larval invertebrates to shift the trajectory of a major life history event in response to fluid-dynamic attributes of a target environment. Such an ability may improve performance and survival in marine organisms by encouraging completion of their life cycle in advantageous locations.

  12. Actin, microvilli, and the fertilization cone of sea urchin eggs

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Sea urchin eggs and oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage were fixed at various times after insemination, and thin sections were examined. Actin filaments can first be found in the cortical cytoplasm 1 min after insemination, and by 2 min enormous numbers of filaments are present. At these early stages, the filaments are only occasionally organized into bundles, but one end of many filaments contacts the plasma membrane. By 3 min, and even more dramatically by 5 min after insemination, the filaments become progressively more often found in bundles that lie parallel to the long axis of the microvilli and the fertilization cones. By 7 min, the bundles of filaments in the cone are maximally pronounced, with virtually all the filaments lying parallel to one another. Decoration of the filaments with subfragment 1 of myosin shows that, in both the microvilli and the cones, the filaments are unidirectionally polarized with the arrowheads pointing towards the cell center. The efflux of H+ from the eggs was measured as a function of time after insemination. The rapid phase of H+ efflux occurs at the same time as actin polymerization. From these results it appears that the formation of bundles of actin filaments in microvilli and in cones is a two-step process, involving actin polymerization to form filaments, randomly oriented but in most cases having one end in contact with the plasma membrane, followed by the zippering together of the filaments by macromolecular bridges. PMID:6893988

  13. Refertilization in eggs of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Kubota, L F; Carroll, E J

    1988-09-01

    To determine the role of the sea urchin egg plasma membrane in the species-specificity of fertilization, the ability of denuded activated eggs to be heterospecifically refertilized was determined. Our initial studies included evaluating the effectiveness of three commonly used methods of vitelline envelope (VE) removal using indirect immunofluorescence microscopy with antibodies directed against the VE. Unfertilized Strongylocentrotus purpuratus eggs were extracted with 0.01 M dithiothreitol (DTT) for 3 min or digested with 1.0 mg/ml pronase for 1 hr. Eggs were also fertilized, then diluted into a divalent-free medium to produce thin, elevated envelopes (VE*s) that were mechanically removed by sieving the eggs through nylon mesh. We found that both DTT extraction and pronase digestion were not completely effective in VE removal, and mechanical removal methods gave rise to a mixed population of eggs, those that had their VEs removed and those with a collapsed envelope that was not detectable at the light microscope level. Therefore, a new method of VE removal was developed. Eggs with VE*s were prepared followed by treatment with 0.01 M DTT to solubilize the envelopes. Nearly 100% of the denuded activated eggs incorporated one or more homologous and heterologous sperm, suggesting that the egg plasma membrane does not function in determining the species-specificity of fertilization.

  14. Vasa protein expression is restricted to the small micromeres of the sea urchin, but is inducible in other lineages early in development

    PubMed Central

    Voronina, Ekaterina; Lopez, Manuel; Juliano, Celina E.; Gustafson, Eric; Song, Jia L.; Extavour, Cassandra; George, Sophie; Oliveri, Paola; McClay, David; Wessel, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Vasa is a DEAD-box RNA helicase that functions in translational regulation of specific mRNAs. In many animals it is essential for germ line development and may have a more general stem cell role. Here we identify vasa in two sea urchin species and analyze the regulation of its expression. We find that vasa protein accumulates in only a subset of cells containing vasa mRNA. In contrast to vasa mRNA, which is present uniformly throughout all cells of the early embryo, vasa protein accumulates selectively in the 16 cell stage micromeres, and then is restricted to the small micromeres through gastrulation to larval development. Manipulating early embryonic fate specification by blastomere separations, exposure to lithium, and dominant-negative cadherin each suggest that, although vasa-protein accumulation in the small micromeres is fixed, accumulation in other cells of the embryo is inducible. Indeed, we find that embryos in which micromeres are removed, respond by significant up-regulation of vasa protein translation, followed by spatial restriction of the protein late in gastrulation. Overall, these results support the contention that sea urchins do not have obligate primordial germ cells determined in early development, that vasa may function in an early stem cell population of the embryo, and that vasa-expression in this embryo is restricted early by translational regulation to the small micromere lineage. PMID:18191830

  15. Cell-surface proteoglycan in sea urchin primary mesenchyme cell migration

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, M.C.

    1989-01-01

    Early in the development of the sea urchin embryo, the primary mesenchyme cells (PMC) migrate along the basal lamina of the blastocoel. Migration is inhibited in L. pictus embryos cultured in sulfate-free seawater and in S. purpuratus embryos exposed to exogenous {beta}-D-xylosides. An in vitro assay was developed to test the migratory capacity of normal PMC on normal and treated blastocoelic matrix. Sulfate deprivation and exposure to exogenous xyloside render PMC nonmotile on either matrix. Materials removed from the surface of normal PMC by treatment with 1 M urea restored migratory ability to defective cells, whereas a similar preparation isolated from the surface of epithelial cells at the same stage did not. Migration also resumed when cells were removed from the xyloside or returned to normal seawater. The urea extract was partially purified and characterized by radiolabeling, gel electrophoresis, fluorography, ion exchange chromatography, and western blotting. The PMC synthesize a large chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan that is present in an active fraction isolated by chromatography. Chondroitinase ABC digestion of live cells blocked migration reversibly, further supporting the identification of the chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan as the active component in the urea extract. Much of the incorporated sulfate was distributed along the filopodia in {sup 35}SO{sub 4}-labelled PMC by autoradiography. The morphology of normal and treated S. purpuratus PMC was examined by scanning electron microscopy, and differences in spreading, particularly of the extensive filopodia present on the cells, was observed. A model for the role of the chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan in cell detachment during migration is proposed.

  16. Mitochondrial DNA detection and copy number determination in the spermatozoa of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula.

    PubMed

    De Giorgi, C; D'Alessandro, A; Saccone, C

    1992-02-14

    The Polymerase Chain reaction technique has been used in order to detect and amplify a specific region of mtDNA, in a total DNA preparation extracted from the sperm of the sea urchin Arbacia lixula. The amplified fragment is the D-loop region which hybridizes with the homologous region extracted from the egg mtDNA. The results demonstrate that mtDNA is present in sperm cell, and, since the replication origin is present it is potentially able to replicate in the zygote. Furthermore, the technique used allowed us to estimate mtDNA copy number in sea urchin sperm, which has never been done before. Our results are that sea urchin sperm cell contains between 4 and 28 mtDNA molecules.

  17. Effects of Light and Covering Behavior on PAX6 Expression in the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chong; Ji, Nanjing; Sun, Ping; Feng, Wenping; Wei, Jing; Chang, Yaqing

    2014-01-01

    We studied the diel expression pattern of PAX6 (a structural gene that is commonly involved in the eye development and photoreception of eye forming animals) and the effects of light and covering behavior on PAX6 expression in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius. We confirmed that aphotic condition significantly reduced covering behavior in S. intermedius. The diel expression pattern of PAX6 was significantly different in S. intermedius under photic and aphotic conditions. The gene expression of PAX6 significantly deceased in covered S. intermedius both under natural light and in darkness. The present finding provides valuable insight into the probable link between covering and PAX6 expression of sea urchins. Further studies are required to investigate the detailed expression network of light detection involved genes in order to fully reveal the molecular mechanism of the light-induced covering behavior of sea urchins. PMID:25333874

  18. The contribution of apoptosis and necrosis in freezing injury of sea urchin embryonic cells.

    PubMed

    Boroda, Andrey V; Kipryushina, Yulia O; Yakovlev, Konstantin V; Odintsova, Nelly A

    2016-08-01

    Sea urchins have recently been reported to be a promising tool for investigations of oxidative stress, UV light perturbations and senescence. However, few available data describe the pathway of cell death that occurs in sea urchin embryonic cells after cryopreservation. Our study is focused on the morphological and functional alterations that occur in cells of these animals during the induction of different cell death pathways in response to cold injury. To estimate the effect of cryopreservation on sea urchin cell cultures and identify the involved cell death pathways, we analyzed cell viability (via trypan blue exclusion test, MTT assay and DAPI staining), caspase activity (via flow cytometry and spectrophotometry), the level of apoptosis (via annexin V-FITC staining), and cell ultrastructure alterations (via transmission electron microscopy). Using general caspase detection, we found that the level of caspase activity was low in unfrozen control cells, whereas the number of apoptotic cells with activated caspases rose after freezing-thawing depending on cryoprotectants used, also as the number of dead cells and cells in a late apoptosis. The data using annexin V-binding assay revealed a very high apoptosis level in all tested samples, even in unfrozen cells (about 66%). Thus, annexin V assay appears to be unsuitable for sea urchin embryonic cells. Typical necrotic cells with damaged mitochondria were not detected after freezing in sea urchin cell cultures. Our results assume that physical cell disruption but not freezing-induced apoptosis or necrosis is the predominant reason of cell death in sea urchin cultures after freezing-thawing with any cryoprotectant combination.

  19. First Morphological and Molecular Evidence of the Negative Impact of Diatom-Derived Hydroxyacids on the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    PubMed Central

    Varrella, Stefano; Romano, Giovanna; Ruocco, Nadia; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G.; Costantini, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Oxylipins (including polyunsaturated aldehydes [PUAs], hydoxyacids, and epoxyalcohols) are the end-products of a lipoxygenase/hydroperoxide lyase metabolic pathway in diatoms. To date, very little information is available on oxylipins other than PUAs, even though they represent the most common oxylipins produced by diatoms. Here, we report, for the first time, on the effects of 2 hydroxyacids, 5- and 15-HEPE, which have never been tested before, using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that HEPEs do induce developmental malformations but at concentrations higher when compared with PUAs. Interestingly, HEPEs also induced a marked developmental delay in sea urchin embryos, which has not hitherto been reported for PUAs. Recovery experiments revealed that embryos do not recover following treatment with HEPEs. Finally, we report the expression levels of 35 genes (involved in stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis, and detoxification processes) to identify the molecular targets affected by HEPEs. We show that the 2 HEPEs have very few common molecular targets, specifically affecting different classes of genes and at different times of development. In particular, 15-HEPE switched on fewer genes than 5-HEPE, upregulating mainly stress-related genes at a later pluteus stage of development. 5-HEPE was stronger than 15-HEPE, targeting 24 genes, mainly at the earliest stages of embryo development (at the blastula and swimming blastula stages). These findings highlight the differences between HEPEs and PUAs and also have important ecological implications because many diatom species do not produce PUAs, but rather these other chemicals are derived from the oxidation of fatty acids. PMID:26984781

  20. First Morphological and Molecular Evidence of the Negative Impact of Diatom-Derived Hydroxyacids on the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Varrella, Stefano; Romano, Giovanna; Ruocco, Nadia; Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matt G; Costantini, Maria

    2016-06-01

    Oxylipins (including polyunsaturated aldehydes [PUAs], hydoxyacids, and epoxyalcohols) are the end-products of a lipoxygenase/hydroperoxide lyase metabolic pathway in diatoms. To date, very little information is available on oxylipins other than PUAs, even though they represent the most common oxylipins produced by diatoms. Here, we report, for the first time, on the effects of 2 hydroxyacids, 5- and 15-HEPE, which have never been tested before, using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that HEPEs do induce developmental malformations but at concentrations higher when compared with PUAs. Interestingly, HEPEs also induced a marked developmental delay in sea urchin embryos, which has not hitherto been reported for PUAs. Recovery experiments revealed that embryos do not recover following treatment with HEPEs. Finally, we report the expression levels of 35 genes (involved in stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis, and detoxification processes) to identify the molecular targets affected by HEPEs. We show that the 2 HEPEs have very few common molecular targets, specifically affecting different classes of genes and at different times of development. In particular, 15-HEPE switched on fewer genes than 5-HEPE, upregulating mainly stress-related genes at a later pluteus stage of development. 5-HEPE was stronger than 15-HEPE, targeting 24 genes, mainly at the earliest stages of embryo development (at the blastula and swimming blastula stages). These findings highlight the differences between HEPEs and PUAs and also have important ecological implications because many diatom species do not produce PUAs, but rather these other chemicals are derived from the oxidation of fatty acids.

  1. Behavior of centrosomes during fertilization and cell division in mouse oocytes and in sea urchin eggs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, Heide; Schatten, Gerald; Balczon, Ron; Simerly, Calvin; Mazia, Daniel

    1986-01-01

    The behavior of centrosomes during the stages of fertilization and cell division in mouse oocytes and in sea urchin eggs was monitored in an immunofluorescence microscope, using autoimmune centrosomal antiserum derived from a patient with scleroderma to label the centrosomal material. These observations showed that centrosomes reproduce during the interphase and aggregate and separate during cell mitosis. Results supported the hypothesis of Mazia (1984), who proposed that centrosomes are 'flexible bodies'. It was also found that, while the sea urchin centrosomes are paternally inherited as was initially proposed by Bovery (1904), the mouse centrosomes are of maternal origin.

  2. Food webs and fishing affect parasitism of the sea urchin Eucidaris galapagensis in the Galápagos.

    PubMed

    Sonnenholzner, Jorge I; Lafferty, Kevin D; Ladah, Lydia B

    2011-12-01

    In the Galápagos Islands, two eulimid snails parasitize the common pencil sea urchin, Eucidaris galapagensis. Past work in the Galápagos suggests that fishing reduces lobster and fish densities and, due to this relaxation of predation pressure, indirectly increases urchin densities, creating the potential for complex indirect interactions between fishing and parasitic snails. To measure indirect effects of fishing on these parasitic snails, we investigated the spatial relationships among urchins, parasitic snails, commensal crabs, and large urchin predators (hogfish and lobsters). Parasitic snails had higher densities at sites where urchins were abundant, probably due to increased resource availability. Commensal crabs that shelter under urchin spines, particularly the endemic Mithrax nodosus, preyed on the parasitic snails in aquaria, and snails were less abundant at field sites where these crabs were common. In aquaria, hogfish and lobsters readily ate crabs, but crabs were protected from predation under urchin spines, leading to a facultative mutualism between commensal crabs and urchins. In the field, fishing appeared to indirectly increase the abundance of urchins and their commensal crabs by reducing predation pressure from fish and lobsters. Fished sites had fewer snails per urchin, probably due to increased predation from commensal crabs. However, because fished sites also tended to have more urchins, there was no significant net effect of fishing on the number of snails per square meter. These results suggest that fishing can have complex indirect effects on parasites by altering food webs.

  3. Isolation and characterization of sea urchin egg cortical granules

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    A method has been developed to isolate cortical granules (CG) free in suspension. It involves the mechanical disruption of the CG from CG lawns (CGL; Dev. Biol. 43:62-74, 1975) and concentration of the CG by low speed centrifugation. The isolated CG are intact and are a relatively pure population as judged by electron microscopy. Granule integrity is confirmed by the fact that isolated intact CG are radioiodinated to only 0.05% of the specific activity of hypotonically lysed CG. Purity of the CG preparation is assessed by the enrichment (four- to sevenfold) of CG marker enzymes and the absence or low activity of plasma membrane, mitochondrial, cytoplasmic, and yolk platelet marker enzyme activities. CG isolated from 125I-surface- labeled eggs have a very low specific radioactivity, demonstrating that CG contamination by the plasma membrane-vitelline layer (PM-VL) is minimal. CG yield is approximately 1% of the starting egg protein. The CG isolation method is simple and rapid, 4 mg of CG protein being obtained in 1 h. Isolated CG and PM-VL display distinct electrophoretic patterns on SDS gels. Actin is localized to the PM-VL, and all bands present in the CGL are accounted for in the CG and PM-VL. Calmodulin is associated with the CGL, CG, and PM-VL fractions, but is not specifically enriched in these fractions as compared with whole egg homogenates. This method of isolating intact CG from unfertilized sea urchin eggs may be useful for exploring the mechanism of Ca2+-mediated CG exocytosis. PMID:6891382

  4. Expression of spicule matrix protein gene SM30 in embryonic and adult mineralized tissues of sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kitajima, T.; Tomita, M.; Killian, C. E.; Akasaka, K.; Wilt, F. H.

    1996-01-01

    We have isolated a cDNA clone for spicule matrix protein, SM30, from sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus and have studied the expression of this gene in comparison with that of another spicule matrix protein gene, SM50. In cultured micromeres as well as in intact embryos transcripts of SM30 were first detectable around the onset of spicule formation and rapidly increased with the growth of spicules, which accompanied accumulation of glycosylated SM30 protein(s). When micromeres were cultured in the presence of Zn2+, spicule formation and SM30 expression were suppressed, while both events resumed concurrently after the removal of Zn2+ from the culture medium. Expression of SM50, in contrast, started before the appearance of spicules and was not sensitive to Zn2+. Differences were also observed in adult tissues; SM30 mRNA was detected in spines and tube feet but not in the test, while SM50 mRNA was apparent in all of these mineralized tissues at similar levels. These results strongly suggest that the SM30 gene is regulated by a different mechanism to that of the SM50 gene and that the products of these two genes are differently involved in sea urchin biomineralization. A possible role of SM30 protein in skeleton formation is discussed.

  5. Developmental abnormalities and neurotoxicological effects of CuO NPs on the black sea urchin Arbacia lixula by embryotoxicity assay.

    PubMed

    Maisano, Maria; Cappello, Tiziana; Catanese, Eva; Vitale, Valeria; Natalotto, Antonino; Giannetto, Alessia; Barreca, Davide; Brunelli, Elvira; Mauceri, Angela; Fasulo, Salvatore

    2015-10-01

    The embryotoxicity of CuO NPs was evaluated in the black sea urchin Arbacia lixula embryos, by using 24-well plates. Fertilized eggs were exposed to five doses of CuO NPs ranging from 0.07 to 20 ppb, until pluteus stage. CuO NPs suspensions in artificial seawater formed agglomerates of 80-200 nm size, and copper uptake was 2.5-fold up in larvae exposed to high NP concentrations in respect to control. Developmental delay and morphological alteration, including skeletal abnormalities, were observed, as well as impairment in cholinergic and serotonergic nervous systems. These findings suggest the potential of CuO NPs to interfere with the normal neurotransmission pathways, thus affecting larval morphogenesis. Overall, the embryotoxicity tests are effective for evaluation of nanoparticle effects on the health of aquatic biota. Furthermore, as the black sea urchin A. lixula demonstrated to be vulnerable to NP exposure, it may be a valid bioindicator in marine biomonitoring and ecotoxicological programmes.

  6. Sperm exposure to carbon-based nanomaterials causes abnormalities in early development of purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus).

    PubMed

    Mesarič, Tina; Sepčić, Kristina; Drobne, Damjana; Makovec, Darko; Faimali, Marco; Morgana, Silvia; Falugi, Carla; Gambardella, Chiara

    2015-06-01

    We examined egg fertilisation in purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) after sperm exposure to carbon-based nanomaterials, carbon black (CB) and graphene oxide (GO), from 0.0001 mg/L to 1.0mg/L. Gastrula stage embryos were investigated for acetylcholinesterase and propionylcholinesterase activities, and their morphological characteristics. Plutei were analysed for morphological abnormalities, with emphasis on skeletal rod formation. Egg fertilisation was significantly affected by CB, at all concentrations tested. Loss of cell adhesion at the gastrula surface was observed in eggs fertilised with sperm treated with CB. However, concentration-dependent morphological anomalies were observed in the gastrulae and plutei formed after sperm exposure to either CB or GO. The activities of both cholinesterases decreased in the gastrulae, although not in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects appear to arise from physical interactions between these carbon-based nanomaterials and the sperm, whereby nanomaterials attached to the sperm surface interfere with fertilisation, which leads to disturbances in the signalling pathways of early embryonic development. Reduced cholinesterase activity in gastrulae from eggs fertilised with nanomaterial-treated sperm confirms involvement of the cholinergic system in early sea urchin development, including skeletogenesis.

  7. Sea urchin egg mitochondrial DNA contains a short displacement loop (D-loop) in the replication origin region.

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, H T; Herbert, E R; Rankine, J

    1989-01-01

    Based on solution hybridization using single-stranded probes, native mitochondrial DNA extracted from sea urchin eggs contains a displacement-loop (D-loop) of approximately 70-80 nt. This maps to the single extended unassigned sequence of the genome, between the genes for tRNA(thr) and tRNA(pro), which also appears to contain the origin of first-strand replication. The D-loop commences at or close to a site of supercoil-dependent S1 nuclease hypersensitivity, adjacent to a run of 20 consecutive C residues, terminates near to the boundary of tRNA(thr), and appears to be composed at least partly of RNA, based on the sensitivity of the assays to RNase H. These experiments imply that the mechanisms of replication initiation in sea urchin and vertebrate mtDNAs are very similar, and suggest that the developmental restriction on mtDNA synthesis in eggs and embryos is maintained at the level of D-loop extension. Images PMID:2555781

  8. Utilization of the aquatic research facility and fertilization syringe unit to study sea urchin development in space.

    PubMed

    Schatten, H; Chakrabarti, A; Levine, H G; Anderson, K

    1999-10-01

    Methods were developed for the investigation of the effects of microgravity on early development in sea urchins within the Canadian Space Agency's Aquatic Research Facility (ARF). The ARF payload provided light, temperature control, automated fixation capability, and a 1 G on-orbit centrifuge control. Eggs and embryos of either the sea urchin species Lytechinus pictus or Strongylocentrotus purpuratus were loaded into Standard Container Assemblies (SCAs) which comprised the experimental aquaria (33 mL volume) contained within the ARF. A newly developed Fertilization Syringe Unit (FSU) was used to achieve "in-flight" fertilization capability. Fixative solutions were preloaded into fixation blocks maintained adjacent to the SCAs and injected at pre-selected time points, resulting in final (diluted) concentrations of either 0.5% or 2% glutaraldehyde (depending upon embryonic stage). Light, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy determined that all desired embryonic and cell division stages (16-cell stage, blastula, gastrula, and pluteus) were preserved using the experimental protocols and fixation capability provided by the ARF/FSU system.

  9. Origin and evolutionary plasticity of the gastric caecum in sea urchins (Echinodermata: Echinoidea)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The digestive tract of many metazoan invertebrates is characterized by the presence of caeca or diverticula that serve secretory and/or absorptive functions. With the development of various feeding habits, distinctive digestive organs may be present in certain taxa. This also holds true for sea urchins (Echinodermata: Echinoidea), in which a highly specialized gastric caecum can be found in members of a derived subgroup, the Irregularia (cake urchins, sea biscuits, sand dollars, heart urchins, and related forms). As such a specialized caecum has not been reported from "regular" sea urchin taxa, the aim of this study was to elucidate its evolutionary origin. Results Using morphological data derived from dissection, magnetic resonance imaging, and extensive literature studies, we compare the digestive tract of 168 echinoid species belonging to 51 extant families. Based on a number of characters such as topography, general morphology, mesenterial suspension, and integration into the haemal system, we homologize the gastric caecum with the more or less pronounced dilation of the anterior stomach that is observed in most "regular" sea urchin taxa. In the Irregularia, a gastric caecum can be found in all taxa except in the Laganina and Scutellina. It is also undeveloped in certain spatangoid species. Conclusions According to our findings, the sea urchin gastric caecum most likely constitutes a synapomorphy of the Euechinoidea. Its occurrence in "regular" euechinoids is linked to the presence of an additional festoon of the anterior stomach in ambulacrum III. Both structures, the additional festoon and the gastric caecum, are absent in the sister taxon to the Euechinoidea, the Cidaroida. Since the degree of specialization of the gastric caecum is most pronounced in the predominantly sediment-burrowing irregular taxa, we hypothesize that its evolution is closely linked to the development of more elaborate infaunal lifestyles. We provide a comprehensive study of

  10. Embryotoxicity and spermiotoxicity of nanosized ZnO for Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Manzo, Sonia; Miglietta, Maria Lucia; Rametta, Gabriella; Buono, Silvia; Di Francia, Girolamo

    2013-06-15

    The effect of nano ZnO (nZnO) upon the fertilization and early development of embryos of the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus is reported herein for the first time. Zn ion (ZnCl2) and bulk ZnO (bZnO) toxicity were assessed for comparison. The embryotoxicity tests showed a 100% effect already at 1 μM of nZnO (expressed as [Zn]) while bZnO and ZnCl2 showed EC50s of 0.98 [0.88-1.19] μM [Zn] and 2.02 [1.97-2.09] μM [Zn], respectively. Noteworthy, the frequency of developmental defects for the three compounds was dissimilar and a specific trend for larval skeletal abnormality produced by nZnO was observed. The sperm fertilization capability was only slightly affected by the tested chemicals while the effects were dramatic on the offspring quality of sperms exposed to ZnO compounds resulting in an early block of the regular larval development. ZnO toxicity seems related not only to Zinc ions but also to some surface interactions of particle/aggregates with target organisms and/or with the seawater.

  11. Branching out: origins of the sea urchin larval skeleton in development and evolution.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Daniel C; Lyons, Deirdre C; Martik, Megan; McClay, David R

    2014-03-01

    It is a challenge to understand how the information encoded in DNA is used to build a three-dimensional structure. To explore how this works the assembly of a relatively simple skeleton has been examined at multiple control levels. The skeleton of the sea urchin embryo consists of a number of calcite rods produced by 64 skeletogenic cells. The ectoderm supplies spatial cues for patterning, essentially telling the skeletogenic cells where to position themselves and providing the factors for skeletal growth. Here, we describe the information known about how this works. First the ectoderm must be patterned so that the signaling cues are released from precise positions. The skeletogenic cells respond by initiating skeletogenesis immediately beneath two regions (one on the right and the other on the left side). Growth of the skeletal rods requires additional signaling from defined ectodermal locations, and the skeletogenic cells respond to produce a membrane-bound template in which the calcite crystal grows. Important in this process are three signals, fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and Wnt5. Each is necessary for explicit tasks in skeleton production.

  12. Cis-regulatory analysis of the sea urchin pigment cell gene polyketide synthase.

    PubMed

    Calestani, Cristina; Rogers, David J

    2010-04-15

    The Strongylocentrotus purpuratus polyketide synthase gene (SpPks) encodes an enzyme required for the biosynthesis of the larval pigment echinochrome. SpPks is expressed exclusively in pigment cells and their precursors starting at blastula stage. The 7th-9th cleavage Delta-Notch signaling, required for pigment cell development, positively regulates SpPks. In previous studies, the transcription factors glial cell missing (SpGcm), SpGatae and kruppel-like (SpKrl/z13) have been shown to positively regulate SpPks. To uncover the structure of the Gene Regulatory Network (GRN) regulating the specification and differentiation processes of pigment cells, we experimentally analyzed the putative SpPks cis-regulatory region. We established that the -1.5kb region is sufficient to recapitulate the correct spatial and temporal expression of SpPks. Predicted DNA-binding sites for SpGcm, SpGataE and SpKrl are located within this region. The mutagenesis of these DNA-binding sites indicated that SpGcm, SpGataE and SpKrl are direct positive regulators of SpPks. These results demonstrate that the sea urchin GRN for pigment cell development is quite shallow, which is typical of type I embryo development.

  13. Select microRNAs are essential for early development in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Song, Jia L; Stoeckius, Marlon; Maaskola, Jonas; Friedländer, Marc; Stepicheva, Nadezda; Juliano, Celina; Lebedeva, Svetlana; Thompson, William; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Wessel, Gary M

    2012-02-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene regulation and have emerged as essential regulators of many developmental events. The transcriptional network during early embryogenesis of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, is well described and can serve as an excellent model to test functional contributions of miRNAs in embryogenesis. We examined the loss of function phenotypes of major components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway. Inhibition of de novo synthesis of Drosha and Dicer in the embryo led to consistent developmental defects, a failure to gastrulate, and embryonic lethality, including changes in the steady state levels of transcription factors and signaling molecules involved in germ layer specification. We annotated and profiled small RNA expression from the ovary and several early embryonic stages by deep sequencing followed by computational analysis. miRNAs as well as a large population of putative piRNAs (piwi-interacting RNAs) had dynamic accumulation profiles through early development. Defects in morphogenesis caused by loss of Drosha could be rescued with four miRNAs. Taken together our results indicate that post-transcriptional gene regulation directed by miRNAs is functionally important for early embryogenesis and is an integral part of the early embryonic gene regulatory network in S. purpuratus.

  14. Developmental expression of a cell surface protein involved in sea urchin skeleton formation. [Strongylocentrotus purpuratus; Lytechinus pictus

    SciTech Connect

    Farach, M.C.; Valdizan, M.; Park, H.R.; Decker, G.L.; Lennarz, W.J.

    1986-05-01

    The authors have previously used a monoclonal antibody (1223) to identify a 130 Kd cell surface protein involved in skeleton formation is sea urchin embryos. In the current study the authors have examined the expression of the 1223 antigen over the course of development of embryos of two species, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus. The 130 Kd protein is detected in S. purp eggs on immunoblots. Labeling with (/sup 3/H) leucine and immunoaffinity chromatography show that it also is synthesized shortly after fertilization. Immunofluroescence reveals that at this early stage the 1223 antigen is uniformly distributed on all of the cells. Synthesis decreases to a minimum by the time of hatching (18 h), as does the total amount of antigen present in the embryo. A second period of synthesis commences at the mesenchyme blastula stage, when the spicule-forming primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) have appeared. During this later stage, synthesis and cell surface expression are restricted to the PMCs. In contrast to S. purp., in L. pictus the 130 Kd protein does not appear until the PMCs are formed. Hybrid embryos demonstrate a pattern of expression of the maternal species. These results suggest that early expression of 1223 antigen in S. purp. is due to utilization of maternal transcripts present in the egg. In both species later expression in PMCs appears to be the result of cell-type specific synthesis, perhaps encoded by embryonic transcripts.

  15. Distribution and abundance of sea urchins in Singapore reefs and their potential ecological impacts on macroalgae and coral communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goh, Beverly P. L.; Lim, Dawn Y. F.

    2015-06-01

    The sea urchin Diadema setosum is often encountered in the coral reefs in the Southern Islands of Singapore. While sea urchins have been known to play a role in regulating algal communities and influencing coral recruitment in other parts of the world, their role in Singapore reefs has not been determined. This study was conducted to determine the distribution and abundance of sea urchins in Singapore reefs, to examine algal cover, algal biomass, algal species and live coral cover, and to determine any interactions between urchin density and algal communities that may impact coral cover. Several reefs in Singapore were surveyed using belt transects measuring 20 m by 2 m, laid down on the reef crest. Abundance of urchins, algal species, biomass, and live coral cover were determined by the use of quadrats within each belt transect. This study revealed an increasing abundance of the sea urchin Diadema setosum in reefs progressing southwards away from mainland Singapore with low density of urchins occurring in Sisters' Island, St John's Island, Pulau Tekukor, and Kusu Island, and the highest density observed at Raffles Lighthouse. A significant negative linear relationship between algal cover and live coral cover (P < 0.05) was established. The results of this study indicate that sea urchins may not be an important component of the herbivore guild in Singapore.

  16. Effects of protracted cadmium exposure on gametes of the purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata

    SciTech Connect

    Bowen, W.J. III; Engel, D.W.

    1996-03-01

    Gametes and larvae of sea urchins and more specifically Arbacia punctulata have been used extensively in embryological studies and toxicity bioassay testing. Most of the experiments and bioassays have used the fertilized eggs of different sea urchin species and measured abnormal growth, malformations, or changes in the rates of growth as a function of contaminant exposure. Guida demonstrated that cupric ion activities of <10{sup -10.5} M caused reductions in the rates of growth of Arbacia Punctulata larvae and caused incomplete or malformed pluteal skeletons. These effects occurred at cupric ion concentrations that were in the same ranges as some measured in the more contaminated estuaries in the northeastern U.S. Sunda and coworkers also used sea urchin embryonic development to test potential trace metal toxicity in water samples collected from those same estuaries, and demonstrated toxicity potentially attributable to dissolved trace metals in the water column. The purpose of these experiments was to determine if protracted sublethal exposure of sexually mature sea urchins to dissolved cadmium in sea water would affect the viability of eggs and sperm, and whether it would affect fertilization and embryonic development and ultimately the larvae. The results of the experiments support the hypothesis that spermatogenesis and oogenesis were affected by cadmium exposure.

  17. Hierarchically assembled Au microspheres and sea urchin-like architectures: formation mechanism and SERS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiansong; Yang, Da-Peng; Huang, Peng; Li, Min; Li, Chao; Chen, Di; Cui, Daxiang

    2012-11-01

    The hierarchically assembled Au microspheres/sea urchin-like structures have been synthesized in aqueous solution at room temperature with and without proteins (bovine serum albumin, BSA) as mediators. The average diameter of an individual Au microsphere is 300-600 nm, which is composed of some compact nanoparticles with an average diameter of about 15 nm. Meanwhile, the sea urchin-like Au architecture exhibits an average diameter of 600-800 nm, which is made up of some nanopricks with an average length of 100-200 nm. These products are characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). It is found that the BSA and ascorbic acid (AA) have great effects on the morphology of the resulting products. Two different growth mechanisms are proposed. The study on surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activities is also carried out between Au microspheres and Au sea urchin-like architectures. It is found that Au urchin-like architectures possess much higher SERS activity than the Au microspheres. Our work may shed light on the design and synthesis of hierarchically self-assembled 3D micro/nano-architectures for SERS, catalysis and biosensors.The hierarchically assembled Au microspheres/sea urchin-like structures have been synthesized in aqueous solution at room temperature with and without proteins (bovine serum albumin, BSA) as mediators. The average diameter of an individual Au microsphere is 300-600 nm, which is composed of some compact nanoparticles with an average diameter of about 15 nm. Meanwhile, the sea urchin-like Au architecture exhibits an average diameter of 600-800 nm, which is made up of some nanopricks with an average length of 100-200 nm. These products are characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). It is found that the BSA and ascorbic acid (AA) have great effects on the morphology of

  18. Embryonic, larval, and early juvenile development of the tropical sea urchin, Salmacis sphaeroides (Echinodermata: Echinoidea).

    PubMed

    Rahman, M Aminur; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Arshad, A; Shamsudin, Mariana Nor; Amin, S M N

    2012-01-01

    Salmacis sphaeroides (Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the regular echinoids, occuring in the warm Indo-West Pacific, including Johor Straits, between Malaysia and Singapore. In order to investigate the developmental basis of morphological changes in embryos and larvae, we documented the ontogeny of S. sphaeroides in laboratory condition. Gametes were obtained from adult individuals by 0.5 M KCl injection into the coelomic cavity. Fertilization rate at limited sperm concentration (10(-5) dilution) was 96.6 ± 1.4% and the resulting embryos were reared at 24°C. First cleavage (2-cell), 4-cell, 8-cell, 16-cell, 32-cell, and multicell (Morulla) stages were achieved 01.12, 02.03, 02.28, 02.51, 03.12, and 03.32 h postfertilization. Ciliated blastulae with a mean length of 174.72 ± 4.43 μm hatched 08.45 h after sperm entry. The gastrulae formed 16.15 h postfertilization and the archenteron elongated constantly while ectodermal red-pigmented cells migrated synchronously to the apical plate. Pluteus larva started to feed unicellular algae in 2 d, grew continuously, and finally attained metamorphic competence in 35 d after fertilization. Metamorphosis took approximately 1 h 30 min from attachment to the complete resorption of larval tissues and the development of complete juvenile structure with adult spines, extended tubefeet and well-developed pedicellaria, the whole event of which usually took place within 1 d postsettlement. This study represents the first successful investigation on embryonic, larval, and early juvenile development of S. sphaeroides. The findings would greatly be helpful towards the understanding of ontogeny and life-history strategies, which will facilitate us to develop the breeding, seed production, and culture techniques of sea urchins in captive condition.

  19. Range and stability of cell fate determination in isolated sea urchin blastomeres.

    PubMed

    Livingston, B T; Wilt, F H

    1990-03-01

    We have examined the developmental potential of blastomeres isolated from either the animal (mesomeres) or vegetal (macromeres-micromeres) half of 16-cell embryos of the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus. We have also examined the effects of two known vegetalizing agents on the development of isolated mesomeres; LiCl treatment and combination with micromeres, the small blastomeres found at the vegetal pole of the 16-cell embryo. The markers for differentiation used were both morphological (invaginations, spicules and pigment cells) and molecular (gut-specific alkaline phosphatase activity, and monoclonal antibodies against antigens specific for gut and oral ectoderm). Embryoids derived from isolated mesomeres expressed markers characteristic of vegetal differentiation only at very low levels. They did express an antigen characteristic of animal development, the oral ectoderm antigen, but with an altered pattern. Isolated macromere-micromere pairs expressed all markers characteristic of vegetal development, but did not express the marker characteristic of animal development. Increasing concentrations of LiCl caused isolated mesomeres to give rise to embryoids with an increasing tendency to express vegetal markers of differentiation, and it was found that expression of different vegetal markers begin to appear at different concentrations of LiCl. LiCl also caused the marker for oral ectoderm to be expressed in a more normal pattern. Combining micromeres with mesomeres also induced mesomere derivatives to differentiate in a vegetal manner. Micromeres were not completely effective in inducing a more normal pattern of expression of the marker for oral ectoderm. The treatment of isolated mesomeres with both LiCl and micromeres produces a synergistic effect resulting in embryoids expressing markers not induced by either treatment alone.

  20. Autonomous and non-autonomous differentiation of ectoderm in different sea urchin species.

    PubMed

    Wikramanayake, A H; Brandhorst, B P; Klein, W H

    1995-05-01

    During early embryogenesis, the highly regulative sea urchin embryo relies extensively on cell-cell interactions for cellular specification. Here, the role of cellular interactions in the temporal and spatial expression of markers for oral and aboral ectoderm in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus was investigated. When pairs of mesomeres or animal caps, which are fated to give rise to ectoderm, were isolated and cultured they developed into ciliated embryoids that were morphologically polarized. In animal explants from S. purpuratus, the aboral ectoderm-specific Spec1 gene was activated at the same time as in control embryos and at relatively high levels. The Spec1 protein was restricted to the squamous epithelial cells in the embryoids suggesting that an oral-aboral axis formed and aboral ectoderm differentiation occurred correctly. However, the Ecto V protein, a marker for oral ectoderm differentiation, was detected throughout the embryoid and no stomodeum or ciliary band formed. These results indicated that animal explants from S. purpuratus were autonomous in their ability to form an oral-aboral axis and to differentiate aboral ectoderm, but other aspects of ectoderm differentiation require interaction with vegetal blastomeres. In contrast to S. purpuratus, aboral ectoderm-specific genes were not expressed in animal explants from L. pictus even though the resulting embryoids were morphologically very similar to those of S. purpuratus. Recombination of the explants with vegetal blastomeres or exposure to the vegetalizing agent LiCl restored activity of aboral ectoderm-specific genes, suggesting the requirement of a vegetal induction for differentiation of aboral ectoderm cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Changes in sea urchins and kelp following a reduction in sea otter density as a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dean, T.A.; Bodkin, J.L.; Jewett, S.C.; Monson, D.H.; Jung, D.

    2000-01-01

    Interactions between sea otters Enhydra lutris, sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and kelp were investigated following the reduction in sea otter density in Prince William Sound, Alaska, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. At northern Knight Island, a heavily oiled portion of the sound, sea otter abundance was reduced by a minimum of 50% by the oil spill, and from 1995 through 1998 remained at an estimated 66% lower than in 1973. Where sea otter densities were reduced, there were proportionally more large sea urchins. However, except in some widely scattered aggregations, both density and biomass of sea urchins were similar in an area of reduced sea otter density compared with an area where sea otters remained about 10 times more abundant. Furthermore, there was no change in kelp abundance in the area of reduced sea otter density. This is in contrast to greatly increased biomass of sea urchins and greatly reduced kelp density observed following an approximate 90% decline in sea otter abundance in the western Aleutian Islands. The variation in community response to a reduction in sea otters may be related to the magnitude of the reduction and the non-linear response by sea urchins to changes in predator abundance. The number of surviving sea otters may have been high enough to suppress sea urchin populations in Prince William Sound, but not in the Aleutians. Alternatively, differences in response may have been due to differences in the frequency or magnitude of sea urchin recruitment. Densities of small sea urchins were much higher in the Aleutian system even prior to the reduction in sea otters, suggesting a higher rate of recruitment.

  2. Solvothermal synthesis and high optical performance of three-dimensional sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Yi Wang, Yutang; Li, Mengyao; Li, Xuzhi; Yi, Qin; Deng, Pan; Wu, Hongyan

    2015-06-15

    Graphical abstract: I–V characteristics of different TiO{sub 2} microspheres based DSSCs (a) 3D sphere-like, (b) 3D flower-like, (c) 3D sea-urchin-like. - Highlights: • 3D sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2} was synthesized by solvothermal method. • The effects of preparation parameters on the microstructure of the microspheres were investigated. • The photoelectric properties of 3D sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2} were studied upon DSSCs. • The PCE of the 3D sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2} was higher than that of other morphologies. - Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2} microspheres were successfully synthesised by solvothermal method. The effects of preparation parameters including reaction temperature, concentration and mass fraction of precursor, and solvent volume on the microstructure of the microspheres were investigated. Results of scanning electron microscopy showed that the preparation parameters played a critical role in the morphology of 3D sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2}. In addition, when the sea-urchin-like TiO{sub 2} nanostructures were used as the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) anode, the power-conversion efficiency was higher than that of other morphologies, which was due to the special 3D hierarchical nanostructure, large specific surface area, and enhanced absorption of UV–vis of the TiO{sub 2} nanostructures.

  3. A rapidly diverging EGF protein regulates species-specific signal transduction in early sea urchin development.

    PubMed

    Kamei, N; Swanson, W J; Glabe, C G

    2000-09-15

    The macromolecules mediating species-specific events during fertilization and early development and their molecular evolution are only beginning to be understood. We screened sea urchin ovary mRNA for species-specific gene products using representational differential analysis to identify unique transcripts in Strongylocentrotus franciscanus that are absent or divergent from a closely related species, S. purpuratus. One of the transcripts identified by this screening process is SfEGF-II, which contains four EGF repeats. SfEGF-II is orthologous to the previously reported genes S. purpuratus SpEGF-II and Anthocidaris crassispina AcEGF-II, encoding exogastrulation-inducing peptides (EGIP). EGF peptides derived from EGIP induce exogastrulation, a classical developmental defect, when added to embryos prior to gastrulation. The first three EGF repeats (EGF1-3) share 50 to 60% identity among the three species, but the fourth repeat (EGF4) is more divergent, displaying only 30% identity. Analysis of the sequence divergence indicates that the EGF-II genes display a relatively high nonsynonymous-to-synonymous ratio, a significant excess of radical compared to conservative amino acid substitutions, and a lack of polymorphism within SfEGF-II, indicating that these genes have been subjected to positive Darwinian selection. Recombinant EGF3 from S. franciscanus induces exogastrulation in both S. franciscanus and S. purpuratus. In contrast, recombinant EGF4 from both S. franciscanus and S. purpuratus induces exogastrula in a species-specific manner. In hybrid embryos, both species of EGF4 induce exogastrulation, suggesting that the receptor for this EGF molecule is expressed from both parental genomes during development. Both EGF3 and EGF4 induce the phosphorylation of membrane proteins of the blastula stage embryos, but EGF4 stimulates phosphorylation of proteins only in membranes prepared from homologous embryos, suggesting that it utilizes a unique pathway involving a species

  4. Signal-dependent regulation of the sea urchin skeletogenic gene regulatory network.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhongling; Ettensohn, Charles A

    2014-11-01

    The endoskeleton of the sea urchin embryo is produced by primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs). Maternal inputs activate a complex gene regulatory network (GRN) in the PMC lineage in a cell-autonomous fashion during early development, initially creating a uniform population of prospective skeleton-forming cells. Previous studies showed that at post-blastula stages of development, several effector genes in the network exhibit non-uniform patterns of expression, suggesting that their regulation becomes subject to local, extrinsic cues. Other studies have identified the VEGF and MAPK pathways as regulators of PMC migration, gene expression, and biomineralization. In this study, we used whole mount in situ hybridization (WMISH) to examine the spatial expression patterns of 39 PMC-specific/enriched mRNAs in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos at the late gastrula, early prism and pluteus stages. We found that all 39 mRNAs (including several regulatory genes) showed non-uniform patterns of expression within the PMC syncytium, revealing a global shift in the regulation of the skeletogenic GRN from a cell-autonomous to a signal-dependent mode. In general, localized regions of elevated gene expression corresponded to sites of rapid biomineral deposition. We used a VEGFR inhibitor (axitinib) and a MEK inhibitor (U0126) to show that VEGF signaling and the MAPK pathway are essential for maintaining high levels of gene expression in PMCs at the tips of rods that extend from the ventral region of the embryo. These inhibitors affected gene expression in the PMCs in similar ways, suggesting that VEGF acts via the MAPK pathway. In contrast, axitinib and U0126 did not affect the localized expression of genes in PMCs at the tips of the body rods, which form on the dorsal side of the embryo. Our results therefore indicate that multiple signaling pathways regulate the skeletogenic GRN during late stages of embryogenesis-VEGF/MAPK signaling on the ventral side and a separate, unidentified

  5. Identification of purple sea urchin telomerase RNA using a next-generation sequencing based approach.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Podlevsky, Joshua D; Marz, Manja; Qi, Xiaodong; Hoffmann, Steve; Stadler, Peter F; Chen, Julian J-L

    2013-06-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme essential for telomere maintenance and chromosome stability. While the catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) protein is well conserved across eukaryotes, telomerase RNA (TR) is extensively divergent in size, sequence, and structure. This diversity prohibits TR identification from many important organisms. Here we report a novel approach for TR discovery that combines in vitro TR enrichment from total RNA, next-generation sequencing, and a computational screening pipeline. With this approach, we have successfully identified TR from Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (purple sea urchin) from the phylum Echinodermata. Reconstitution of activity in vitro confirmed that this RNA is an integral component of sea urchin telomerase. Comparative phylogenetic analysis against vertebrate TR sequences revealed that the purple sea urchin TR contains vertebrate-like template-pseudoknot and H/ACA domains. While lacking a vertebrate-like CR4/5 domain, sea urchin TR has a unique central domain critical for telomerase activity. This is the first TR identified from the previously unexplored invertebrate clade and provides the first glimpse of TR evolution in the deuterostome lineage. Moreover, our TR discovery approach is a significant step toward the comprehensive understanding of telomerase RNP evolution.

  6. Determinants of Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin recruitment under oligotrophic conditions: Implications for conservation management.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Silvia; Farina, Simone; Pinna, Stefania; Guala, Ivan; Agnetta, Davide; Ariotti, Pierre Antoine; Mura, Francesco; Ceccherelli, Giulia

    2016-06-01

    Sea urchins may deeply shape the structure of macrophyte-dominated communities and require the implementation of sustainable management strategies. In the Mediterranean, the identification of the major recruitment determinants of the keystone sea urchin species Paracentrotus lividus is required, so that source areas of the populations can be identified and exploitation or programmed harvesting can be spatially managed. In this study a collection of eight possible determinants, these encompassing both the biotic (larvae, adult sea urchins, fish, encrusting coralline algae, habitat type and spatial arrangement of habitats) and abiotic (substrate complexity and nutritional status) realms was considered at different spatial scales (site, area, transect and quadrat). Data from a survey including sites subject to different levels of human influence (i.e. from urbanized to protected areas), but all corresponding to an oligotrophic and low-populated region were fitted by means of a generalized linear mixed model. Despite the extensive sampling effort of benthic quadrats, an overall paucity of recruits was found, recruits being aggregated in a very small number of quadrats and in few areas. The analysis of data detected substrate complexity, and adult sea urchin and predatory fish abundances as the momentous determinants of Paracentrotus lividus recruitment. Possible mechanisms of influence are discussed beyond the implications of conservation management.

  7. Functional diversification of sea urchin ABCC1 (MRP1) by alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Gökirmak, Tufan; Campanale, Joseph P; Reitzel, Adam M; Shipp, Lauren E; Moy, Gary W; Hamdoun, Amro

    2016-06-01

    The multidrug resistance protein (MRP) family encodes a diverse repertoire of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters with multiple roles in development, disease, and homeostasis. Understanding MRP evolution is central to unraveling their roles in these diverse processes. Sea urchins occupy an important phylogenetic position for understanding the evolution of vertebrate proteins and have been an important invertebrate model system for study of ABC transporters. We used phylogenetic analyses to examine the evolution of MRP transporters and functional approaches to identify functional forms of sea urchin MRP1 (also known as SpABCC1). SpABCC1, the only MRP homolog in sea urchins, is co-orthologous to human MRP1, MRP3, and MRP6 (ABCC1, ABCC3, and ABCC6) transporters. However, efflux assays revealed that alternative splicing of exon 22, a region critical for substrate interactions, could diversify functions of sea urchin MRP1. Phylogenetic comparisons also indicate that while MRP1, MRP3, and MRP6 transporters potentially arose from a single transporter in basal deuterostomes, alternative splicing appears to have been the major mode of functional diversification in invertebrates, while duplication may have served a more important role in vertebrates. These results provide a deeper understanding of the evolutionary origins of MRP transporters and the potential mechanisms used to diversify their functions in different groups of animals.

  8. Sea urchin spines in the stratum corneum: an early finding related to trauma.

    PubMed

    Short, Jack H; Sulit, Daryl J

    2014-03-01

    Penetrating trauma from sea urchin (Echinoidea) spines has been shown to cause numerous cutaneous reactions, ranging from initial pain that rapidly dissipates and resolves to chronic inflammation and formation of characteristic sea urchin granulomas. Many of these skin-colored or violaceous papules and nodules form weeks to months after injury, and may be surgically excised. Histopathologic examination commonly shows well-defined granulomas, the majority of which represent sarcoidal-type granulomas. Other microscopic patterns, such as foreign body reactions and chronic inflammation, have also been shown. Retained spine fragments are birefringent on polarized microscopic examination and are most likely found in the dermal layer. Herein, we describe a case of traumatic sea urchin cutaneous injury with a unique early cutaneous trauma reaction in a young male who lived in Hawaii. Histopathologic exam was significant for retained spines in the layer of the stratum corneum, but no signs of granulomatous inflammation were observed. This case report emphasizes the unique features of our case and reviews the common clinical and histopathologic features of sea urchin cutaneous reactions.

  9. Ribosomal analysis of rapid rates of protein synthesis in the Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri.

    PubMed

    Pace, Douglas A; Maxson, Robert; Manahan, Donal T

    2010-02-01

    Previous research has shown that developing stages of the Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri have high rates of protein synthesis that are comparable to those of similar species living in much warmer waters. Direct measurements of the biosynthetic capacities of isolated ribosomes have not been reported for marine organisms living in the extreme-cold environment of Antarctica. Such measurements are required for a mechanistic understanding of how the critical and highly complex processes involved in protein synthesis are regulated in animals living in the coldest marine environment on Earth (< -1 degrees C). We tested the hypothesis that high rates of protein synthesis in the cold are a direct result of high biosynthetic capacities of ribosomes engaged in protein synthesis. Our results show that the rate at which ribosomes manufacture proteins (i.e., the peptide elongation rate) at -1 degrees C is surprisingly similar to rates measured in other sea urchin species at temperatures that are over 15 degrees C warmer. Average peptide elongation rates for a range of developmental stages of the Antarctic sea urchin were 0.36 codons s(-1) (+/- 0.05, SE). On the basis of subcellular rate determinations of ribosomal activity, we calculated stage-specific rates of protein synthesis for blastulae and gastrulae to be 3.7 and 6.5 ng protein h(-1), respectively. These findings support the conclusion that the high rates of biosynthesis previously reported for the Antarctic sea urchin are an outcome of high ribosomal activities.

  10. Functional traits of two co-occurring sea urchins across a barren/forest patch system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnetta, D.; Bonaviri, C.; Badalamenti, F.; Scianna, C.; Vizzini, S.; Gianguzza, P.

    2013-02-01

    Temperate rocky reefs may occur in two alternative states (coralline barrens and erect algal forests), whose formation and maintenance are often determined by sea urchin grazing. The two sea urchin species Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula are considered to play a similar ecological role despite their differing morphological traits and diets. The patchy mosaic areas of Ustica Island, Italy, offer an ideal environment in which to study differences in the performance of P. lividus and A. lixula in barren versus forest states. Results show that the two sea urchin species differ in diet, trophic position, grazing adaptation, movement ability and fitness in both barren and forest patches. We confirmed herbivory in P. lividus and omnivory with a strong tendency to carnivory in A. lixula. When the sea urchin escape response to a predator was triggered, P. lividus responded faster in barren and forest patches. Forest patch restricted movement, especially in A. lixula (velocity in barren ≈ 10-fold greater than in forest). A large Aristotle's lantern, indicative of durophagy, confirmed adaptation of A. lixula to barren state.

  11. Identification and developmental expression of the ets gene family in the sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus).

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Francesca; Fernandez-Serra, Montserrat; Squarzoni, Paola; Archimandritis, Aristea; Arnone, Maria I

    2006-12-01

    A systematic search in the available scaffolds of the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome has revealed that this sea urchin has 11 members of the ets gene family. A phylogenetic analysis of these genes showed that almost all vertebrate ets subfamilies, with the exception of one, so far found only in mammals, are each represented by one orthologous sea urchin gene. The temporal and spatial expression of the identified ETS factors was also analyzed during embryogenesis. Five ets genes (Sp-Ets1/2, Sp-Tel, Sp-Pea, Sp-Ets4, Sp-Erf) are also maternally expressed. Three genes (Sp-Elk, Sp-Elf, Sp-Erf) are ubiquitously expressed during embryogenesis, while two others (Sp-Gabp, Sp-Pu.1) are not transcribed until late larval stages. Remarkably, five of the nine sea urchin ets genes expressed during embryogenesis are exclusively (Sp-Ets1/2, Sp-Erg, Sp-Ese) or additionally (Sp-Tel, Sp-Pea) expressed in mesenchyme cells and/or their progenitors. Functional analysis of Sp-Ets1/2 has previously demonstrated an essential role of this gene in the specification of the skeletogenic mesenchyme lineage. The dynamic, and in some cases overlapping and/or unique, developmental expression pattern of the latter five genes suggests a complex, non-redundant function for ETS factors in sea urchin mesenchyme formation and differentiation.

  12. Mechanical constraint converts planar waves into helices on tunicate and sea urchin sperm flagella.

    PubMed

    Ishijima, Sumio

    2012-01-01

    The change in the flagellar waves of spermatozoa from a tunicate and sea urchins was examined using high-speed video microscopy to clarify the regulation of localized sliding between doublet microtubules in the axoneme. When the tunicate Ciona spermatozoa attached to a coverslip surface by their heads in seawater or they moved in seawater with increased viscosity, the planar waves of the sperm flagella were converted into left-handed helical waves. On the other hand, conversion of the planar waves into helical waves in the sea urchin Hemicentrotus spermatozoa was not seen in seawater with an increased viscosity as well as in ordinary seawater. However, the sea urchin Clypeaster spermatozoa showed the conversion, albeit infrequently, when they thrust their heads into seawater with an increased viscosity. The chirality of the helical waves of the Clypeaster spermatozoa was right-handed. When Ciona spermatozoa swam freely near a glass surface, they moved in relatively large circular paths (yawing motion). There was no difference in the proportion of spermatozoa yawing in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction when viewed from above, which was also different from that of the sea urchin spermatozoa. These observations suggest that the planar waves generally observed on the sperm flagella are mechanically regulated, although their stability must depend on the Ca(2+) concentration in the cell. Furthermore, the chirality of the helical waves may be determined by the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and changed by transmitting the localized active sliding between the doublet microtubules around the axoneme in an alternative direction.

  13. Sulfated polysaccharides from the egg jelly layer are species-specific inducers of acrosomal reaction in sperms of sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Alves, A P; Mulloy, B; Diniz, J A; Mourão, P A

    1997-03-14

    We have characterized the fine structure of sulfated polysaccharides from the egg jelly layer of three species of sea urchins and tested the ability of these purified polysaccharides to induce the acrosome reaction in spermatozoa. The sea urchin Echinometra lucunter contains a homopolymer of 2-sulfated, 3-linked alpha-L-galactan. The species Arbacia lixula and Lytechinus variegatus contain linear sulfated alpha-L-fucans with regular tetrasaccharide repeating units. Each of these sulfated polysaccharides induces the acrosome reaction in conspecific but not in heterospecific spermatozoa. These results demonstrate that species specificity of fertilization in sea urchins depends in part on the fine structure of egg jelly sulfated polysaccharide.

  14. Substratum cavities affect growth-plasticity, allometry, movement and feeding rates in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Hernández, J C; Russell, M P

    2010-02-01

    We assessed the influence of rock cavities, or pits, on the growth dynamics and behavior of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. In a paired-designed, laboratory experiment, sea urchins were assigned to sandstone blocks that were either 'Flat' or had a 'Pit' drilled into the center. At the start, both groups were approximately the same shape and size. In just 2 months, the shapes of the tests were significantly different between the two treatments, with the Pit urchins having an increased height:diameter profile. This result demonstrates the plastic nature of the sea urchin test and that, despite its apparent rigidity, it is capable of deforming during growth. In addition, the presence of pits modified behavior and food consumption as well as allometric growth of the test and Aristotle's lantern. Sea urchins on Pit sandstone blocks tended to stay in the cavities and not move about the flat areas, whereas individuals on Flat blocks changed position. Sea urchins in the Pit treatment consumed less food and had relatively larger demipyramids (the 'jaw' ossicle in Aristotle's lantern). These morphological and allometric changes occurred over a short time-period (8-20 weeks). We conclude that microhabitat is an important factor in controlling the behavior and growth dynamics of the bioeroding sea urchin S. purpuratus.

  15. Proteomic dataset of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus adhesive organs and secreted adhesive

    PubMed Central

    Lebesgue, Nicolas; da Costa, Gonçalo; Ribeiro, Raquel Mesquita; Ribeiro-Silva, Cristina; Martins, Gabriel G.; Matranga, Valeria; Scholten, Arjen; Cordeiro, Carlos; Heck, Albert J.R.; Santos, Romana

    2016-01-01

    Sea urchins have specialized adhesive organs called tube feet, which mediate strong but reversible adhesion. Tube feet are composed by a disc, producing adhesive and de-adhesive secretions for substratum attachment, and a stem for movement. After detachment the secreted adhesive remains bound to the substratum as a footprint. Recently, a label-free quantitative proteomic approach coupled with the latest mass-spectrometry technology was used to analyze the differential proteome of Paracentrotus lividus adhesive organ, comparing protein expression levels in the tube feet adhesive part (the disc) versus the non-adhesive part (the stem), and also to profile the proteome of the secreted adhesive (glue). This data article contains complementary figures and results related to the research article “Deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying sea urchin reversible adhesion: a quantitative proteomics approach” (Lebesgue et al., 2016) [1]. Here we provide a dataset of 1384 non-redundant proteins, their fragmented peptides and expression levels, resultant from the analysis of the tube feet differential proteome. Of these, 163 highly over-expressed tube feet disc proteins (>3-fold), likely representing the most relevant proteins for sea urchin reversible adhesion, were further annotated in order to determine the potential functions. In addition, we provide a dataset of 611 non-redundant proteins identified in the secreted adhesive proteome, as well as their functional annotation and grouping in 5 major protein groups related with adhesive exocytosis, and microbial protection. This list was further analyzed to identify the most abundant protein groups and pinpoint putative adhesive proteins, such as Nectin, the most abundant adhesive protein in sea urchin glue. The obtained data uncover the key proteins involved in sea urchins reversible adhesion, representing a step forward to the development of new wet-effective bio-inspired adhesives. PMID:27182547

  16. Proteomic dataset of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus adhesive organs and secreted adhesive.

    PubMed

    Lebesgue, Nicolas; da Costa, Gonçalo; Ribeiro, Raquel Mesquita; Ribeiro-Silva, Cristina; Martins, Gabriel G; Matranga, Valeria; Scholten, Arjen; Cordeiro, Carlos; Heck, Albert J R; Santos, Romana

    2016-06-01

    Sea urchins have specialized adhesive organs called tube feet, which mediate strong but reversible adhesion. Tube feet are composed by a disc, producing adhesive and de-adhesive secretions for substratum attachment, and a stem for movement. After detachment the secreted adhesive remains bound to the substratum as a footprint. Recently, a label-free quantitative proteomic approach coupled with the latest mass-spectrometry technology was used to analyze the differential proteome of Paracentrotus lividus adhesive organ, comparing protein expression levels in the tube feet adhesive part (the disc) versus the non-adhesive part (the stem), and also to profile the proteome of the secreted adhesive (glue). This data article contains complementary figures and results related to the research article "Deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying sea urchin reversible adhesion: a quantitative proteomics approach" (Lebesgue et al., 2016) [1]. Here we provide a dataset of 1384 non-redundant proteins, their fragmented peptides and expression levels, resultant from the analysis of the tube feet differential proteome. Of these, 163 highly over-expressed tube feet disc proteins (>3-fold), likely representing the most relevant proteins for sea urchin reversible adhesion, were further annotated in order to determine the potential functions. In addition, we provide a dataset of 611 non-redundant proteins identified in the secreted adhesive proteome, as well as their functional annotation and grouping in 5 major protein groups related with adhesive exocytosis, and microbial protection. This list was further analyzed to identify the most abundant protein groups and pinpoint putative adhesive proteins, such as Nectin, the most abundant adhesive protein in sea urchin glue. The obtained data uncover the key proteins involved in sea urchins reversible adhesion, representing a step forward to the development of new wet-effective bio-inspired adhesives.

  17. Sea urchin coelomocytes are resistant to a variety of DNA damaging agents.

    PubMed

    Loram, Jeannette; Raudonis, Renee; Chapman, Jecar; Lortie, Mae; Bodnar, Andrea

    2012-11-15

    Increasing anthropogenic activities are creating environmental pressures that threaten marine ecosystems. Effective environmental health assessment requires the development of rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective tools to predict negative impacts at the individual and ecosystem levels. To this end, a number of biological assays using a variety of cells and organisms measuring different end points have been developed for biomonitoring programs. The sea urchin fertilization/development test has been useful for evaluating environmental toxicology and it has been proposed that sea urchin coelomocytes represent a novel cellular biosensor of environmental stress. In this study we investigated the sensitivity of coelomocytes from the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus to a variety of DNA-damaging agents including ultraviolet (UV) radiation, hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). LD(50) values determined for coelomocytes after 24h of exposure to these DNA damaging agents indicated a high level of resistance to all treatments. Significant increases in the formation of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP or abasic) sites in DNA were only detected using high doses of H(2)O(2), MMS and UV radiation. Comparison of sea urchin coelomocytes with hemocytes from the gastropod mollusk Aplysia dactylomela and the decapod crustacean Panulirus argus indicated that sensitivity to different DNA damaging agents varies between species. The high level of resistance to genotoxic agents suggests that DNA damage may not be an informative end point for environmental health assessment using sea urchin coelomocytes however, natural resistance to DNA damaging agents may have implications for the occurrence of neoplastic disease in these animals.

  18. Effects of five southern California macroalgal diets on consumption, growth, and gonad weight, in the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Foster, Matthew C; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Reed, Daniel C

    2015-01-01

    Consumer growth and reproductive capacity are direct functions of diet. Strongylocentrotid sea urchins, the dominant herbivores in California kelp forests, strongly prefer giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), but are highly catholic in their ability to consume other species. The biomass of Macrocystis fluctuates greatly in space and time, and the extent to which urchins can use alternate species of algae or a mixed diet of multiple algal species to maintain fitness when giant kelp is unavailable is unknown. We experimentally examined the effects of single and mixed species diets on consumption, growth and gonad weight in the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Urchins were fed single species diets consisting of one of four common species of macroalgae (the kelps Macrocystis pyrifera and Pterygophora californica, and the red algae Chondracanthus corymbiferus and Rhodymenia californica (hereafter referred to by genus)) or a mixed diet containing all four species ad libitum over a 13-week period in a controlled laboratory setting. Urchins fed Chondracanthus, Macrocystis and a mixed diet showed the highest growth (in terms of test diameter, wet weight and jaw length) and gonad weight, while urchins fed Pterygophora and Rhodymenia showed the lowest. Urchins consumed their preferred food, Macrocystis, at the highest rate when offered a mixture, but consumed Chondracanthus or Macrocystis at similar rates when the two algae were offered alone. The differences in urchin feeding behavior and growth observed between these diet types suggest the relative availability of the algae tested here could affect urchin populations and their interactions with the algal assemblage. The fact that the performance of urchins fed Chondracanthus was similar or higher than those fed the preferred Macrocystis suggests that the availability of the former could could sustain growth and reproduction of purple sea urchins during times of low Macrocystis abundance as is common following

  19. Effects of five southern California macroalgal diets on consumption, growth, and gonad weight, in the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    PubMed Central

    Byrnes, Jarrett E.K.; Reed, Daniel C.

    2015-01-01

    Consumer growth and reproductive capacity are direct functions of diet. Strongylocentrotid sea urchins, the dominant herbivores in California kelp forests, strongly prefer giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), but are highly catholic in their ability to consume other species. The biomass of Macrocystis fluctuates greatly in space and time, and the extent to which urchins can use alternate species of algae or a mixed diet of multiple algal species to maintain fitness when giant kelp is unavailable is unknown. We experimentally examined the effects of single and mixed species diets on consumption, growth and gonad weight in the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Urchins were fed single species diets consisting of one of four common species of macroalgae (the kelps Macrocystis pyrifera and Pterygophora californica, and the red algae Chondracanthus corymbiferus and Rhodymenia californica (hereafter referred to by genus)) or a mixed diet containing all four species ad libitum over a 13-week period in a controlled laboratory setting. Urchins fed Chondracanthus, Macrocystis and a mixed diet showed the highest growth (in terms of test diameter, wet weight and jaw length) and gonad weight, while urchins fed Pterygophora and Rhodymenia showed the lowest. Urchins consumed their preferred food, Macrocystis, at the highest rate when offered a mixture, but consumed Chondracanthus or Macrocystis at similar rates when the two algae were offered alone. The differences in urchin feeding behavior and growth observed between these diet types suggest the relative availability of the algae tested here could affect urchin populations and their interactions with the algal assemblage. The fact that the performance of urchins fed Chondracanthus was similar or higher than those fed the preferred Macrocystis suggests that the availability of the former could could sustain growth and reproduction of purple sea urchins during times of low Macrocystis abundance as is common following

  20. [Sea urchin spine injury--a case report of chronic synovitis of the foot].

    PubMed

    Keren, Yaniv; Feldman, Oren; Soudry, Michael; Eidelman, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Sea urchin spine injuries can range from minimal local trauma to chronic synovitis and arthritis, with long term morbidity. The abundance of these marine creatures in shallow sea water exposes the potential for injury of the extremities, especially the foot, knees, and hands. Early treatment is crucial to avoid future consequences of these injuries. We report a case of chronic synovitis of the foot in an adolescent, treated surgically two years after the initial insult, with complete resolution of symptoms.

  1. Habitat-dependent growth in a Caribbean sea urchin Tripneustes ventricosus: the importance of food type

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maciá, Silvia; Robinson, Michael P.

    2008-12-01

    The sea urchin Tripneustes ventricosus is a common, yet relatively poorly known, grazer of seagrass beds and coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. We compared the size and abundance of urchins between adjacent seagrass and coral reef habitats (where macroalgae are the dominant primary producers). We also conducted a laboratory experiment comparing the growth rate of juvenile urchins fed a diet of either macroalgae or seagrass. Reef urchins had significantly larger test diameter than those in the seagrass on some sampling dates. This size difference may be at least partially explained by diet, because laboratory-reared urchins fed macroalgae grew significantly faster than those fed seagrass. The seagrass population, however, was stable over time, whereas the reef population exhibited strong fluctuations in abundance. Overall, our study indicates that both the seagrass and coral reef habitats are capable of supporting healthy, reproductive populations of T. ventricosus. Each, however, appears to offer a distinct advantage: faster growth on the reef and greater population stability in the seagrass.

  2. Juvenile growth of the tropical sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus exposed to near-future ocean acidification scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Albright, Rebecca; Bland, Charnelle; Gillette, Phillip; Serafy, Joseph E.; Langdon, Chris; Capo, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the effect of elevated pCO2 exposure on the juvenile growth of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus, we reared individuals for three months in one of three target pCO2 levels: ambient seawater (380 µatm) and two scenarios that are projected to occur by the middle (560 µatm) and end (800 µatm) of this century. At the end of 89 days, urchins reared at ambient pCO2 weighed 12% more than those reared at 560 µatm and 28% more than those reared at 800 µatm. Skeletons were analyzed using scanning electron miscroscopy, revealing degradation of spines in urchins reared at elevated pCO2 (800 µatm). Our results indicate that elevated pCO2 levels projected to occur this century may adversely affect the development of juvenile sea urchins. Acidification-induced changes to juvenile urchin development would likely impair performance and functioning of juvenile stages with implications for adult populations. PMID:22833691

  3. Juvenile growth of the tropical sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus exposed to near-future ocean acidification scenarios.

    PubMed

    Albright, Rebecca; Bland, Charnelle; Gillette, Phillip; Serafy, Joseph E; Langdon, Chris; Capo, Thomas R

    2012-09-01

    To evaluate the effect of elevated pCO(2) exposure on the juvenile growth of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus, we reared individuals for three months in one of three target pCO(2) levels: ambient seawater (380 µatm) and two scenarios that are projected to occur by the middle (560 µatm) and end (800 µatm) of this century. At the end of 89 days, urchins reared at ambient pCO(2) weighed 12% more than those reared at 560 µatm and 28% more than those reared at 800 µatm. Skeletons were analyzed using scanning electron miscroscopy, revealing degradation of spines in urchins reared at elevated pCO(2) (800 µatm). Our results indicate that elevated pCO(2) levels projected to occur this century may adversely affect the development of juvenile sea urchins. Acidification-induced changes to juvenile urchin development would likely impair performance and functioning of juvenile stages with implications for adult populations.

  4. Developmental regulation of elongation factor-1 delta in sea urchin suggests appearance of a mechanism for alternative poly(A) site selection in gastrulae.

    PubMed

    Delalande, C; Monnier, A; Minella, O; Genevière, A M; Mulner-Lorillon, O; Bellé, R; Cormier, P

    1998-07-10

    Elongation factor-1 delta gene expression was analyzed during sea urchin development. EF-1 delta mRNA is present as a single 2.7-kb transcript in unfertilized eggs and in rapidly dividing cleavage stage embryos. It decreases rapidly 6 h after fertilization and then reappears at the gastrula stage as two transcripts of 2.7 and 2.0 kb. cDNA clones encoding the 2.7- and 2.0-kb transcripts were isolated from a sea urchin embryos library. The two cDNAs originate from alternative poly(A) site selection from a unique precursor. Both cDNAs are terminated by a poly(A) tail and were shown to encode for the same protein identified as EF-1 delta. Thus, EF-1 delta gene expression undergoes developmental regulation in early embryos leading to the presence of two poly(A) forms of the transcript. Since the 2.0-kb polyadenylated form of the EF-1 delta transcript appears at gastrula stage, our results suggest that a mechanism for alternative poly(A) site selection of the EF-1 delta transcript appears during embryonic development.

  5. Genomic organization of the gene that encodes the precursor to EGF-related peptides, exogastrula-inducing peptides, of the sea urchin Anthocidaris crassispina.

    PubMed

    Haruguchi, Yoshiko; Horii, Keisuke; Suzuki, Gentaroh; Suyemitsu, Takashi; Ishihara, Katsutoshi; Yamasu, Kyo

    2002-04-12

    Exogastrula-inducing peptides (EGIPs) were identified in embryos of the sea urchin Anthocidaris crassispina as polypeptides with structural similarity to epidermal growth factor (EGF) that severely affect gastrulation of sea urchin embryos to induce exogastrulation. Here we have obtained genomic clones for the EGIP precursor gene (EGIP) and determined its genomic organization. The EGIP gene spans the length of 9 kb in the genome and is composed of seven exons and six introns. Each of the four EGF motifs in the precursor protein is encoded by a single exon, and all the exon boundaries are in phase 1, suggesting that EGIP have been generated during evolution by duplication of an exon encoding a single ancient EGIP sequence. The 5'-flanking sequence of EGIP from -4372 to +194 revealed the presence of multiple repeat sequences including direct and inverted repeats as well as two clusters of GGGG/CCCC elements. The function of the upstream flanking region of EGIP was examined by introducing the gene constructs into embryos in which different regions from the flanking DNA were placed upstream to the GFP reporter gene. Systematic deletion of the upstream DNA revealed the presence of potent enhancer activity between -372 and -210.

  6. SpSM30 gene family expression patterns in embryonic and adult biomineralized tissues of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Killian, Christopher E; Croker, Lindsay; Wilt, Fred H

    2010-01-01

    The SpSM30 gene family of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, is comprised of six members, designated SpSM30A through SpSM30F (Livingston et al., 2006). The SpSM30 proteins are found uniquely in embryonic and adult mineralized tissues of the sea urchin. Previous studies have revealed that SpSM30 proteins are occluded within the embryonic endoskeleton and adult mineralized tissues (Killian and Wilt, 1996; Mann et al., 2008a,b; Urry et al., 2000). Furthermore, some of the SpSM30 proteins are among the most abundant of the approximately four-dozen integral matrix proteins of the larval spicule (Killian and Wilt, 1996). The amino acid sequence, protein domain architecture, and contiguity within the genome strongly support the supposition that the six genes constitute a gene family. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is used in the present study to describe the time course of expression of the family members during embryonic development, and their expression in adult tissues. SpSM30A, B, C and E are expressed, albeit at different levels, during overt spicule deposition in the embryo with some differences in the precise timing of expression. SpSM30D is not expressed in the embryo, and SpSM30F is expressed transiently and at low levels just prior to overt spicule formation. Whole mount in situ hybridization studies show that SpSM30A, B, C, and E are expressed exclusively in primary mesenchyme (PMC) cells and their descendants. In addition, tissue fractionation studies indicate that SpSM30F expression is highly enriched in PMCs. Each adult tissue examined expresses a different cohort of the SpSM30 family members at varying levels: SpSM30A mRNA is not expressed in adult tissues. Its expression is limited to the embryo. Conversely, SpSM30D mRNA is not expressed in the embryo, but is expressed in adult spines and teeth. SpSM30B and SpSM30C are expressed at modest levels in all mineralized adult tissues; SpSM30E is expressed highly in tooth and

  7. Ca2+-transport in sea urchin unfertilized eggs: regulation by endogenous sulfated polysaccharides and K+.

    PubMed

    Landeira-Fernandez, Ana M; Aquino, Rafael S; Mourão, Paulo A S; de Meis, Leopoldo

    2006-10-01

    Previous data from our laboratory showed that the reticulum of the sea cucumber smooth muscle body wall retains both a sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) and a sulfated polysaccharide. In this invertebrate, the transport of Ca(2+) by the SERCA is naturally inhibited by these endogenous sulfated polysaccharides. The inhibition is reverted by K(+) leading to an enhancement of the Ca(2+) transport rate. We now show that vesicles derived from the endoplasmic reticulum of unfertilized eggs from the sea urchin Arbacia lixula retain a SERCA that is able to transport Ca(2+) at the expense of ATP hydrolysis. As described for the sea cucumber SERCA isoform, the enzyme from the sea urchin is activated by K(+) but not by Li(+) and is inhibited by thapsigargin, a specific inhibitor of SERCA. A new sulfated polysaccharide was identified in the sea urchin eggs reticulum composed mainly by galactose, glucose, hexosamine and manose. After extraction and purification, this sulfated polysaccharide was able to inhibit the mammal SERCA isoform found in rabbit skeletal muscle and the inhibition is reversed by K(+). These data suggest that the regulation of the SERCA pump by K(+) and sulfated polysaccharides is not restricted to few marine invertebrates but is widespread.

  8. Effects of food origin and availability on sea urchin condition and feeding behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livore, Juan P.; Connell, Sean D.

    2012-02-01

    The origin of food is recognised to be an important trait for sedentary consumers that have little control over the source of their food. Elevated herbivory in sea urchins is often linked to poor gonad condition as provoked by reduced food availability, but there is little recognition of the possibility that the origin of food may contribute to their poor condition and elevated feeding. This study assesses the possibility that variation in food availability and origin may together affect urchin condition and feeding rates such that they account for more intensive grazing (by Heliocidaris erythrogramma) on sheltered than exposed coasts (South Australia). We experimentally tested the hypothesis that reduced food availability from sheltered coasts would result in poor gonad condition and greater feeding rate; whilst enhanced food availability from exposed coasts would result in better condition and reduced feeding rates. We found that reduced food had negative effects on condition and positive effects on feeding rates independently of coastal source. Greater food availability did not equate to better condition, rather it was the delivery of more food from exposed than sheltered coasts that translated into the better gonad condition and lower feeding rates. These results suggest that plant origin and availability could help explain the greater impacts of these urchins on sheltered coasts. Whilst other factors such as water energy and sea urchin density may contribute to variation in herbivory our results suggest that origin of food may also play a role in sea urchin condition and behaviour. Understanding how such traits link to large scale features of the environment may improve models that account for variation in strength of consumer effects across landscapes.

  9. Gamete cryobanks for laboratory research: developing a rapid and easy-to-perform protocol for the cryopreservation of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lmk, 1816) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Fabbrocini, Adele; D'Adamo, Raffaele; Pelosi, Sergio; Oliveira, Luis F J; Silvestri, Fausto; Sansone, Giovanni

    2014-08-01

    Gamete cryopreservation is a biotechnology that can guarantee a continuous supply of gametes, regardless of the seasonal reproductive cycle. In this study we developed a protocol for the cryopreservation of the sea urchin Paracentrotuslividus spermatozoa, with a view to the creation of cryobanks of semen to be used as a model system in laboratory research and ecotoxicological tests. All the key phases of the procedure were separately considered and the effect on sperm motility was evaluated by means of computer assisted analysis. The best results were obtained using 7% dimethylsulfoxide in 1% NaCl plus 0.04 M trehalose as the extender, at a freezing rate of -20 °C/min. On thawing, in semen samples cryopreserved in accordance with this protocol the velocity parameters of the sub-population of rapid sperm (best performing spermatozoa) did not significantly differ from semen on collection; in addition also the fertilization ability was restored, and about 50% of normal developed plutei larvae were obtained by thawed semen. The developed protocol is rapid and easy-to-perform; moreover, the use of gametes from reared urchins makes it unnecessary to continuously collect specimens from natural populations, making this procedure a promising starting point for the creation of alternative and more sustainable methodologies in laboratory research on sea urchin gametes and embryos.

  10. Complete sequence of the mitochondrial DNA in the sea urchin Arbacia lixula: conserved features of the echinoid mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    De Giorgi, C; Martiradonna, A; Lanave, C; Saccone, C

    1996-04-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (15,719 nucleotides) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the sea urchin Arbacia lixula is presented. The comparison of gene arrangement between different echinoderm orders of the same class provides evidence that the gene organization is conserved within the same echinoderm class. The peculiarities of sea urchin mtDNA features, already described, are confirmed by the A. lixula mtDNA sequence. The comparison of the entire sequences of mtDNA among A. lixula, Paracentrotus lividus, and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus allowed us to detect peculiar features, common to the three sea urchin species, that can represent the molecular signature of the mt genome in the sea urchin group. Analysis of the nucleotide composition indicates that A. lixula mtDNA, in contrast with the mtDNA of other sea urchins, shows a bias in the use of T and tends to avoid the use of C, most evident in the neutral part of the molecule, such as the third codon positions. This observation indicates that the three sea urchin mtDNAs evolve under different mutation pressure. Analysis of the sequence evolution allowed us to confirm the phylogenetic tree. However, the absolute divergence time, calculated on the basis of paleontological estimates, largely diverged from the expected one.

  11. Mesomere-derived glutamate decarboxylase-expressing blastocoelar mesenchyme cells of sea urchin larvae

    PubMed Central

    Katow, Hideki; Katow, Tomoko; Abe, Kouki; Ooka, Shioh; Kiyomoto, Masato; Hamanaka, Gen

    2014-01-01

    Summary The ontogenetic origin of blastocoelar glutamate decarboxylase (GAD)-expressing cells (GADCs) in larvae of the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus was elucidated. Whole-mount in situ hybridisation (WISH) detected transcription of the gene that encodes GAD in H. pulcherrimus (Hp-gad) in unfertilised eggs and all blastomeres in morulae. However, at and after the swimming blastula stage, the transcript accumulation was particularly prominent in clumps of ectodermal cells throughout the embryonic surface. During the gastrula stage, the transcripts also accumulated in the endomesoderm and certain blastocoelar cells. Consistent with the increasing number of Hp-gad transcribing cells, immunoblot analysis indicated that the relative abundance of Hp-Gad increased considerably from the early gastrula stage until the prism stage. The expression pattern of GADCs determined by immunohistochemistry was identical to the pattern of Hp-gad transcript accumulation determined using WISH. In early gastrulae, GADCs formed blastocoelar cell aggregates around the blastopore with primary mesenchyme cells. The increase in the number of blastocoelar GADCs was inversely proportional to the number of ectodermal GADCs ranging from a few percent of total GADCs in early gastrulae to 80% in late prism larvae; this depended on ingression of ectodermal GADCs into the blastocoel. Some of the blastocoelar GADCs were fluorescein-positive in the larvae that developed from the 16-cell stage chimeric embryos; these comprised fluorescein-labeled mesomeres and unlabelled macromeres and micromeres. Our finding indicates that some of the blastocoelar GADCs are derived from the mesomeres and thus they are the new group of mesenchyme cells, the tertiary mesenchyme cells. PMID:24357228

  12. Multiple polymorphic alpha- and beta-tubulin mRNAs are present in sea urchin eggs.

    PubMed Central

    Alexandraki, D; Ruderman, J V

    1985-01-01

    Multiple alpha- and beta-tubulin RNAs were found in the mature unfertilized eggs of the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus. The alpha-tubulin RNAs were polymorphic in number, size, and relative amounts in the eggs of different females. Five to seven different size classes [1.75-4.2 kilobases (kb)] were detected on RNA gel blots. All egg preparations contained variable amounts of 1.8- and 2.25-kb beta-tubulin RNAs, and a few of them contained an additional 2.9-kb beta-tubulin RNA. The total amount of alpha-tubulin RNA did not always parallel that of beta-tubulin RNA. A portion of all of the various alpha- and beta-tubulin RNAs were polyadenylylated. RNase H digestions ruled out the possibility that some of these RNAs represented a single transcript bearing different lengths of 3' poly(A). One class of alpha-tubulin RNAs (2.4-2.65 kb) was reduced to 2 kb by RNase H, suggesting the presence of internal oligo(A) regions. All of the egg beta-tubulin RNAs sedimented as free ribonucleoprotein particles. Only a small portion of the 1.75- to 3.6-kb alpha-tubulin RNAs, but most of the 4.2-kb alpha-tubulin RNA, were found on polysomes before fertilization. In the 30-min embryo, small amounts of each of the various alpha- and beta-tubulin RNAs were recruited onto polysomes. Thus, each of the multiple polymorphic alpha- and beta-tubulin RNAs in the egg represent translationally competent mRNA. Images PMID:3855535

  13. The effects of sea urchin grazing and drift algal blooms on a subtropical seagrass bed community.

    PubMed

    Maciá

    2000-03-30

    Subtropical seagrass beds can be subject to relatively high levels of direct herbivory and large blooms of drift algae, both of which can have important effects on the floral and faunal components of the community. Caging experiments were used to investigate these factors in a Thalassia testudinum bed in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Abundance of sea urchins, Lytechinus variegatus, and drift algae was manipulated within the cages. Naturally occurring levels of urchin grazing do not appear to affect the T. testudinum population. With experimentally increased urchin densities in the winter, seagrass shoot density and aboveground biomass decreased significantly. Similar effects were not detected in the summer, indicating that the impact of grazing on T. testudinum is lessened during this time of year. Shoot density was more vulnerable to grazing than aboveground biomass. This may be a result of grazing-induced increases in seagrass productivity, in which the remaining shoots produce more or longer leaves. In the winter, drift algal blooms form large mats that cover the seagrass canopy. Under the normal grazing regime these algal blooms do not have significant negative effects on the seagrass. With increased grazing pressure, however, there is a synergistic effect of grazing and drift algae on seagrass shoot density. At intermediate urchin density (10 per m(-2)), cages without algae did not undergo significant decreases in shoot density, while those with algae did. At the high density of urchins, the number of seagrass shoots in cages both with and without algae decreased, but the effect was more pronounced for cages with algae. Invertebrate abundance at the field site was low relative to other seagrass beds. There were no discernible effects, either positive or negative, of urchin and algae manipulations on the sampled invertebrate community.

  14. In situ developmental responses of tropical sea urchin larvae to ocean acidification conditions at naturally elevated pCO2 vent sites.

    PubMed

    Lamare, Miles D; Liddy, Michelle; Uthicke, Sven

    2016-11-30

    Laboratory experiments suggest that calcifying developmental stages of marine invertebrates may be the most ocean acidification (OA)-sensitive life-history stage and represent a life-history bottleneck. To better extrapolate laboratory findings to future OA conditions, developmental responses in sea urchin embryos/larvae were compared under ecologically relevant in situ exposures on vent-elevated pCO2 and ambient pCO2 coral reefs in Papua New Guinea. Echinometra embryos/larvae were reared in meshed chambers moored in arrays on either venting reefs or adjacent non-vent reefs. After 24 and 48 h, larval development and morphology were quantified. Compared with controls (mean pH(T) = 7.89-7.92), larvae developing in elevated pCO2 vent conditions (pH(T) = 7.50-7.72) displayed a significant reduction in size and increased abnormality, with a significant correlation of seawater pH with both larval size and larval asymmetry across all experiments. Reciprocal transplants (embryos from vent adults transplanted to control conditions, and vice versa) were also undertaken to identify if adult acclimatization can translate resilience to offspring (i.e. transgenerational processes). Embryos originating from vent adults were, however, no more tolerant to reduced pH. Sea temperature and chlorophyll-a concentrations (i.e. larval nutrition) did not contribute to difference in larval size, but abnormality was correlated with chlorophyll levels. This study is the first to examine the response of marine larvae to OA scenarios in the natural environment where, importantly, we found that stunted and abnormal development observed in situ are consistent with laboratory observations reported in sea urchins, in both the direction and magnitude of the response.

  15. Longevity and lack of senescence in the red sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Thomas A

    2008-08-01

    The red sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus is a long-lived species and may live in excess of 100 years based on tagging studies in the field and corroboration from radiocarbon analyses as reported in the literature. Size-specific survival estimates reported here show no change in annual survival probability across the 6 largest 0.5 cm size classes from 14.6 to 18.1cm. In addition to no change in survival probability there is no reduction in reproductive capacity with size. Red sea urchins show no evidence of senescence and so do not fit well within the context of the disposable soma theory of the evolution of longevity.

  16. High ordered biomineralization induced by carbon nanoparticles in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Manno, Daniela; Carata, Elisabetta; Tenuzzo, Bernadetta A; Panzarini, Elisa; Buccolieri, Alessandro; Filippo, Emanuela; Rossi, Marco; Serra, Antonio; Dini, Luciana

    2012-12-14

    A surprising and unexpected biomineralization process was observed during toxicological assessment of carbon nanoparticles on Paracentrotus lividus (sea urchin) pluteus larvae. The larvae activate a process of defense against external material, by incorporating the nanoparticles into microstructures of aragonite similarly to pearl oysters. Aiming at a better understanding of this phenomenon, the larvae were exposed to increasing concentrations of carbon nanoparticles and the biomineralization products were analyzed by electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. In order to evaluate the possible influence of Sp-CyP-1 expression on this biomineralization process by larvae, analyses of gene expression (Sp-CyP-1) and calcein labeling were performed. Overall, we report experimental evidence about the capability of carbon nanoparticles to induce an increment of Sp-CyP-1 expression with the consequent activation of a biomineralization process leading to the production of a new pearl-like biomaterial never previously observed in sea urchins.

  17. High ordered biomineralization induced by carbon nanoparticles in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, Daniela; Carata, Elisabetta; Tenuzzo, Bernadetta A.; Panzarini, Elisa; Buccolieri, Alessandro; Filippo, Emanuela; Rossi, Marco; Serra, Antonio; Dini, Luciana

    2012-12-01

    A surprising and unexpected biomineralization process was observed during toxicological assessment of carbon nanoparticles on Paracentrotus lividus (sea urchin) pluteus larvae. The larvae activate a process of defense against external material, by incorporating the nanoparticles into microstructures of aragonite similarly to pearl oysters. Aiming at a better understanding of this phenomenon, the larvae were exposed to increasing concentrations of carbon nanoparticles and the biomineralization products were analyzed by electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. In order to evaluate the possible influence of Sp-CyP-1 expression on this biomineralization process by larvae, analyses of gene expression (Sp-CyP-1) and calcein labeling were performed. Overall, we report experimental evidence about the capability of carbon nanoparticles to induce an increment of Sp-CyP-1 expression with the consequent activation of a biomineralization process leading to the production of a new pearl-like biomaterial never previously observed in sea urchins.

  18. Swimming speed alteration in the early developmental stages of Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin as ecotoxicological endpoint.

    PubMed

    Morgana, Silvia; Gambardella, Chiara; Falugi, Carla; Pronzato, Roberto; Garaventa, Francesca; Faimali, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Behavioral endpoints have been used for decades to assess chemical impacts at concentrations unlikely to cause mortality. With recently developed techniques, it is possible to investigate the swimming behavior of several organisms under laboratory conditions. The aims of this study were: i) assessing for the first time the feasibility of swimming speed analysis of the early developmental stage sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus by an automatic recording system ii) investigating any Swimming Speed Alteration (SSA) on P. lividus early stages exposed to a chemical reference; iii) identifying the most suitable stage for SSA test. Results show that the swimming speed of all the developmental stages was easily recorded. The swimming speed was inhibited as a function of toxicant concentration. Pluteus were the most appropriate stage for evaluating SSA in P. lividus as ecotoxicological endpoint. Finally, swimming of sea urchin early stages represents a sensitive endpoint to be considered in ecotoxicological investigations.

  19. Characteristics of palindromic sequences in DNA of the sea urchin Stronglyocentrotus intermedius

    SciTech Connect

    Brykov, V.A.; Kukhlevskii, A.D.

    1986-03-20

    The fraction of palindromic sequences in the nuclear DNA of the sea urchin S. intermedius was characterized. Using chromatography on hydroxyapatite and treatment with S1 nuclease, it was shown that the fraction of palindromic sequences more than doubles when the sodium concentration in solution is increased or the temperature of reassociation is lowered. The increase is due to the involvement of inverted repeats in reassociation, which are characterized by a substantial nonhomologous character and/or the presence of an extended intervening DNA sequence. It was found by the method of reassociation of a nicked palindrome fraction with an excess of total homologous DNA that most of the inverted repeats in the sea urchin genome are unique sequences. The complexity of the palindrome fraction was estimated at 8.2 x 10/sup 7/ nucleotide pairs, and the number of palindromes per haploid genome approx. 500,000.

  20. Extraction and analysis of carotenoids from the New Zealand sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus gonads.

    PubMed

    Garama, Daniel; Bremer, Phil; Carne, Alan

    2012-01-01

    Sea urchin gonad (roe) is a highly valued food in Japan and North America. Gonad price is strongly influenced by quality, with appearance, especially colour being a major determinant. Previous attempts to extract a carotenoid profile from the New Zealand sea urchin species Evechinus chloroticus have been challenging due to the large amount of lipid present in the gonad. A carotenoid extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis method was developed to reduce lipid contamination by incorporating a saponification and lipid cold precipitation in the extraction procedure. This method enabled greater carotenoid purity and enhanced analysis by HPLC. Echinenone was found to be the main carotenoid present in all E. chloroticus gonads. Dark coloured gonads contained higher levels of fucoxanthin/fucoxanthinol, β-carotene and xanthophylls such as astaxanthin and canthaxanthin. This information on the modification and deposition of carotenoids will help in the development of diets to enhance gonad colour.

  1. Expression of Nox genes in rat organs, mouse oocytes, and sea urchin eggs.

    PubMed

    Maru, Yoshiro; Nishino, Takeshi; Kakinuma, Katsuko

    2005-04-01

    Degenerate primers were designed to isolate new homologs of Nox family genes in rat organs and sea urchin eggs. The primers were capable of amplifying Nox1, Nox2, Nox3, Nox4, Duox1 and Duox2 but not Nox5, and failed to isolate novel homologs in rat. However, a novel homolog (named as Nox-U1) was identified in sea urchin eggs. In the most conserved region (amino acid 336--417 in human Nox2) Nox-U1 has the highest identity with Nox2, which appears to be abundant in mouse oocytes. However, phylogenetic analysis of the entire sequence has revealed that Nox-U1 is closer to Nox4 or Nox5 than Nox2 or Nox3. Histidine residues assumed to be responsible for heme ligation, motifs for FAD- and NADPH-binding, and two asparagine-linked glycosylation sites are conserved.

  2. Cytotoxic Activity of Six Samples of Brazilian Propolis on Sea Urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) Eggs

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes-Silva, C. C.; Freitas, J. C.; Salatino, A.; Salatino, M. L. F.

    2013-01-01

    The cytotoxic activities of extracts of four samples of propolis from the state of Minas Gerais (Southeast Brazil) and two from the state of Paraná (South Brazil) were evaluated using sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) eggs. Cytotoxic activity was observed, characterized mainly by the inhibition of the first cleavage of newly fertilized eggs. Methanol extracts at 32 µg mL−1 of all samples were highly active (97–100%). Extracts were also prepared by successive treatments of the samples with hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and methanol. High activity was observed using the ethyl acetate fractions of all samples, but hexane and chloroform fractions of some samples also had high activity. Based on the chemical composition of the extracts and fractions (published previously), it is hypothesized that the cytotoxic activities observed are due mainly to artepillin C, p-coumaric acid, and kaempferide. The results suggest that caffeoylquinic acids have no cytotoxic activity in sea urchin eggs. PMID:23662146

  3. Sea urchin collagen evolutionarily homologous to vertebrate pro-alpha 2(I) collagen.

    PubMed

    Exposito, J Y; D'Alessio, M; Solursh, M; Ramirez, F

    1992-08-05

    We isolated several overlapping cDNA clones covering the 4242 nucleotides of a Strongylocentrotus purpuratus transcript that codes for a fibrillar procollagen chain. The sea urchin polypeptide includes a 124-amino acid long amino pre-propeptide, a 1064-amino acid alpha-chain inclusive of 338 uninterrupted Gly-X-Y repeats, and a 226-residue carboxyl-propeptide. The distribution of the highly conserved cysteines within the last domain together with the structural configuration of the amino-propeptide and the organization of the corresponding coding region, strongly suggest that the sea urchin gene is evolutionarily related to the vertebrate pro-alpha 2(I) collagen. This work, therefore, represents the first report of the complete primary structure of an invertebrate fibrillar procollagen chain. It also provides a new insight into the evolution of the amino-propeptide, the most divergent among the major protein domains of fibrillar procollagen chains.

  4. Gene expression and enzyme activities of the sodium pump during sea urchin development: implications for indices of physiological state.

    PubMed

    Marsh, A G; LeongPKK; Manahan, T

    2000-10-01

    The sodium pump consumes a large portion of the metabolic energy (40%) in sea urchin larvae. Understanding the developmental regulation of ion pumps is important for assessing the physiological state of embryos and larvae. We sequenced a partial cDNA clone (1769 bp) from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and found it to contain the C-terminal portion of an open reading frame coding for 195 amino acids that exhibited high sequence similarity (89%) to invertebrate alpha-subunits of the Na+,K+-ATPase sodium pump. Northern blots using the 3' untranslated region of this cDNA specifically recognized a 4.6-kbp transcript under high stringency. During embryonic development, a rapid increase in levels of this mRNA transcript during gastrulation (25 h postfertilization) was paralleled by a concomitant increase in the total enzymatic activity of Na+,K+-ATPase. Expression of this subunit during gastrulation increased to a maximum at 36 h, followed by a rapid decline to trace levels by 60 h. The rate of removal of the transcript from the total RNA pool after 36 h closely followed a first-order exponential decay model (r2= 0.988), equivalent to a degradation rate of 7.8% h(-1). By 83 h, transcription of the alpha-subunit gene was low, yet sodium pump activity remained high. Molecular assays for the expression of this gene would underestimate sodium pump activities for assessing physiological state because of the temporal separation between maximal gene expression in a gastrula and maximal enzyme activities in the later larval stage. This finding illustrates the difficulty of using molecular probes for assessing the physiological state of invertebrate larvae.

  5. New N-acyl taurine from the sea urchin Glyptocidaris crenularis.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xuefeng; Xu, Tunhai; Wen, Kewei; Yang, Xian-Wen; Xu, Shi-Hai; Liu, Yonghong

    2010-01-01

    A new N-acyl taurine (1), together with a new natural product, l-(beta-D-ribofuranosyl)-1,2,4-triazole (4), and two known compounds (2 and 3), were isolated from the sea urchin, Glyptocidaris crenularis. The new N-acyl taurine was elucidated as 2-(5R,15S-dihydroxyeicosanoylamino) ethanesulfonic acid on the basis of spectroscopic (NMR, MS) analyses and the modified Mosher ester method. Compound 2 showed significant toxicity against brine shrimp larvae.

  6. Kenyan coral reef lagoon fish: effects of fishing, substrate complexity, and sea urchins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClanahan, T. R.

    1994-11-01

    Population density, number of species, diversity, and species-area relationships of fish species in eight common coral reef-associated families were studied in three marine parks receiving total protection from fishing, four sites with unregulated fishing, and one reef which recently received protection from fishing (referred to as a transition reef). Data on coral cover, reef topographic complexity, and sea urchin abundance were collected and correlated with fish abundance and species richness. The most striking result of this survey is a consistent and large reduction in the population density and species richness of 5 families (surgeonfish, triggerfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, and parrotfish). Poor recovery of parrotfish in the transition reef, relative to other fish families, is interpreted as evidence for competitive exclusion of parrotfish by sea urchins. Reef substrate complexity is significantly associated with fish abundance and diversity, but data suggest different responses for protected versus fished reefs, protected reefs having higher species richness and numbers of individuals than unprotected reefs for the same reef complexity. Sea urchin abundance is negatively associated with numbers of fish and fish species but the interrelationship between sea urchins, substrate complexity, coral cover, and management make it difficult to attribute a set percent of variance to each factor-although fishing versus no fishing appears to be the strongest variable in predicting numbers of individuals and species of fish, and their community similarity. Localized species extirpation is evident for many species on fished reefs (for the sampled area of 1.0 ha). Fifty-two of 110 species found on protected reefs were not found on unprotected reefs.

  7. A dataset comprising 141 magnetic resonance imaging scans of 98 extant sea urchin species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Apart from its application in human diagnostics, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also be used to study the internal anatomy of zoological specimens. As a non-invasive imaging technique, MRI has several advantages, such as rapid data acquisition, output of true three-dimensional imagery, and provision of digital data right from the onset of a study. Of particular importance for comparative zoological studies is the capacity of MRI to conduct high-throughput analyses of multiple specimens. In this study, MRI was applied to systematically document the internal anatomy of 98 representative species of sea urchins (Echinodermata: Echinoidea). Findings The dataset includes raw and derived image data from 141 MRI scans. Most of the whole sea urchin specimens analyzed were obtained from museum collections. The attained scan resolutions permit differentiation of various internal organs, including the digestive tract, reproductive system, coelomic compartments, and lantern musculature. All data deposited in the GigaDB repository can be accessed using open source software. Potential uses of the dataset include interactive exploration of sea urchin anatomy, morphometric and volumetric analyses of internal organs observed in their natural context, as well as correlation of hard and soft tissue structures. Conclusions The dataset covers a broad taxonomical and morphological spectrum of the Echinoidea, focusing on ‘regular’ sea urchin taxa. The deposited files significantly expand the amount of morphological data on echinoids that are electronically available. The approach chosen here can be extended to various other vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. We argue that publicly available digital anatomical and morphological data gathered during experiments involving non-invasive imaging techniques constitute one of the prerequisites for future large-scale genotype—phenotype correlations. PMID:25356198

  8. SpSoxB1, a maternally encoded transcription factor asymmetrically distributed among early sea urchin blastomeres.

    PubMed

    Kenny, A P; Kozlowski, D; Oleksyn, D W; Angerer, L M; Angerer, R C

    1999-12-01

    We have identified a Sox family transcription factor, SpSoxB1, that is asymmetrically distributed among blastomeres of the sea urchin embryo during cleavage, beginning at 4th cleavage. SpSoxB1 interacts with a cis element that is essential for transcription of SpAN, a gene that is activated cell autonomously and expressed asymmetrically along the animal-vegetal axis. In vitro translated SpSoxB1 forms a specific complex with this cis element whose mobility is identical to that formed by a protein in nuclear extracts. An anti-SpSoxB1 rabbit polyclonal antiserum specifically supershifts this DNA-protein complex and recognizes a single protein on immunoblots of nuclear proteins that comigrates with in vitro translated SpSoxB1. Developmental immunoblots of total proteins at selected early developmental stages, as well as EMSA of egg and 16-cell stage proteins, show that SpSoxB1 is present at low levels in unfertilized eggs and progressively accumulates during cleavage. SpSoxB1 maternal transcripts are uniformly distributed in the unfertilized egg and the protein accumulates to similar, high concentrations in all nuclei of 4- and 8-cell embryos. However, at fourth cleavage, the micromeres, which are partitioned by asymmetric division of the vegetal 4 blastomeres, have reduced nuclear levels of the protein, while high levels persist in their sister macromeres and in the mesomeres. During cleavage, the uniform maternal SpSoxB1 transcript distribution is replaced by a zygotic nonvegetal pattern that reinforces the asymmetric SpSoxB1 protein distribution and reflects the corresponding domain of SpAN mRNA accumulation at early blastula stage ( approximately 150 cells). The vegetal region lacking nuclear SpSoxB1 gradually expands so that, after blastula stage, only cells in differentiating ectoderm accumulate this protein in their nuclei. The results reported here support a model in which SpSoxB1 is a major regulator of the initial phase of asymmetric transcription of SpAN in

  9. Functional studies of MP62 during male chromatin decondensation in sea urchins.

    PubMed

    Iribarren, Claudio; Hermosilla, Viviana; Morin, Violeta; Puchi, Marcia

    2013-08-01

    In amphibians, sperm histone transition post-fertilization during male pronucleus formation is commanded by histone chaperone Nucleoplasmin (NPM). Here, we report the first studies to analyze the participation of a Nucleoplasmin-like protein on male chromatin remodeling in sea urchins. In this report, we present the molecular characterization of a nucleoplasmin-like protein that is present in non fertilized eggs and early zygotes in sea urchin specie Tetrapygus niger. This protein, named MP62 can interact with sperm histones in vitro. By male chromatin decondensation assays and immunodepletion experiments in vitro, we have demonstrated that this protein is responsible for sperm nucleosome disorganization. Furthermore, as amphibian nucleoplasmin MP62 is phosphorylated in vivo immediately post-fertilization and this phosphorylation is dependent on CDK-cyclin activities found after fertilization. As we shown, olomoucine and roscovitine inhibits male nucleosome decondensation, sperm histone replacement in vitro and MP62 phosphorylation in vivo. This is the first report of a nucleoplasmin-like activity in sea urchins participating during male pronucleus formation post-fecundation.

  10. Pigment Cell Differentiation in Sea Urchin Blastula-Derived Primary Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Ageenko, Natalya V.; Kiselev, Konstantin V.; Dmitrenok, Pavel S.; Odintsova, Nelly A.

    2014-01-01

    The quinone pigments of sea urchins, specifically echinochrome and spinochromes, are known for their effective antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antitumor activities. We developed in vitro technology for inducing pigment differentiation in cell culture. The intensification of the pigment differentiation was accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in cell proliferation. The number of pigment cells was two-fold higher in the cells cultivated in the coelomic fluids of injured sea urchins than in those intact. The possible roles of the specific components of the coelomic fluids in the pigment differentiation process and the quantitative measurement of the production of naphthoquinone pigments during cultivation were examined by MALDI and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Echinochrome A and spinochrome E were produced by the cultivated cells of the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis in all tested media, while only spinochromes were found in the cultivated cells of another sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus intermedius. The expression of genes associated with the induction of pigment differentiation was increased in cells cultivated in the presence of shikimic acid, a precursor of naphthoquinone pigments. Our results should contribute to the development of new techniques in marine biotechnology, including the generation of cell cultures producing complex bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential. PMID:24979272

  11. Different migration patterns of sea urchin and mouse sperm revealed by a microfluidic chemotaxis device.

    PubMed

    Chang, Haixin; Kim, Beum Jun; Kim, Yoon Soo; Suarez, Susan S; Wu, Mingming

    2013-01-01

    Chemotaxis refers to a process whereby cells move up or down a chemical gradient. Sperm chemotaxis is known to be a strategy exploited by marine invertebrates such as sea urchins to reach eggs efficiently in moving water. Less is understood about how or whether chemotaxis is used by mammalian sperm to reach eggs, where fertilization takes place within the confinement of a reproductive tract. In this report, we quantitatively assessed sea urchin and mouse sperm chemotaxis using a recently developed microfluidic model and high-speed imaging. Results demonstrated that sea urchin Arbacia punctulata sperm were chemotactic toward the peptide resact with high chemotactic sensitivity, with an average velocity Vx up the chemical gradient as high as 20% of its average speed (238 μm/s), while mouse sperm displayed no statistically significant chemotactic behavior in progesterone gradients, which had been proposed to guide mammalian sperm toward eggs. This work demonstrates the validity of a microfluidic model for quantitative sperm chemotaxis studies, and reveals a biological insight that chemotaxis up a progesterone gradient may not be a universal strategy for mammalian sperm to reach eggs.

  12. The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus immunological response to chemical pollution exposure: The case of lindane.

    PubMed

    Stabili, Loredana; Pagliara, Patrizia

    2015-09-01

    In the marine environment organochlorine insecticides can be broadly detected in water, sediments, and biota. These pollutants may have major ecological consequences since they may affect marine organisms and endanger organismal growth, reproduction or survival. In this study we investigated the modification of some sea urchin immunological parameters in response to subchronic lindane (γ-HCH) exposure. Adult specimens of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus were exposed to two different concentrations (0.1 and 0.5 mg L(-1)) of lindane. After 24 and 48h of treatment, we examined the lindane influence on coelomocytes vitality and enumeration as well on some humoral parameters. Our results showed that the presence of the pesticide affected both cellular and humoral components of the immune system. In particular, P. lividus coelomocytes vitality did not change but a decrease of the total cell number and an increase of the red cells was recorded. Haemolytic and lysozyme-like activities as well as antibacterial activity on Vibrio alginolyticus of treated animals decreased. Sea urchin immunological competence modifications might represent a tool for monitoring disease susceptibility thus providing biological criteria for the implementation of water quality standards to protect marine organisms.

  13. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) desensitization increases sea urchin spermatozoa fertilization rate.

    PubMed

    Torrezan-Nitao, Elis; Boni, Raianna; Marques-Santos, Luis Fernando

    2016-10-01

    Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) is a protein complex whose opening promotes an abrupt increase in mitochondrial inner membrane permeability. Calcium signaling pathways are described in gametes and are involved in the fertilization process. Although mitochondria may act as Ca(2+) store and have a fast calcium-releasing mechanism through MPTP, its contribution to fertilization remains unclear. The work aimed to investigate the MPTP phenomenon in sea urchin spermatozoa and its role on the fertilization. Several pharmacological tools were used to evaluate the MPTP's physiology. Our results demonstrated that MPTP occurs in male gametes in a Ca(2+) - and voltage-dependent manner and it is sensitive to cyclosporine A. Additionally, our data show that MPTP opening does not alter ROS generation in sperm cells. Inhibition of MPTP in spermatozoa strongly improved the fertilization rate, which may involve mechanisms that increase the spermatozoa lifespan. The present work is the first report of the presence of a voltage- and Ca(2+) -dependent MPTP in gametes of invertebrates and indicates MPTP opening as another evolutionary feature shared by sea urchins and mammals. Studies about MPTP in sea urchin male gametes may contribute to the elucidation of several mechanisms involved in sperm infertility.

  14. Cell mediated immune response of the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus after PAMPs stimulation.

    PubMed

    Romero, A; Novoa, B; Figueras, A

    2016-09-01

    The Mediterranean sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) is of great ecological and economic importance for the European aquaculture. Yet, most of the studies regarding echinoderm's immunological defense mechanisms reported so far have used the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus as a model, and information on the immunological defense mechanisms of Paracentrotus lividus and other sea urchins, is scarce. To remedy this gap in information, in this study, flow cytometry was used to evaluate several cellular immune mechanisms, such as phagocytosis, cell cooperation, and ROS production in P. lividus coelomocytes after PAMP stimulation. Two cell populations were described. Of the two, the amoeboid-phagocytes were responsible for the phagocytosis and ROS production. Cooperation between amoeboid-phagocytes and non-adherent cells resulted in an increased phagocytic response. Stimulation with several PAMPs modified the phagocytic activity and the production of ROS. The premise that the coelomocytes were activated by the bacterial components was confirmed by the expression levels of two cell mediated immune genes: LPS-Induced TNF-alpha Factor (LITAF) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). These results have helped us understand the cellular immune mechanisms in P. lividus and their modulation after PAMP stimulation.

  15. Characterization of the sea urchin mitochondrial transcription factor A reveals unusual features.

    PubMed

    Deceglie, Stefania; Lionetti, Claudia; Stewart, James B; Habermann, Bianca; Roberti, Marina; Cantatore, Palmiro; Loguercio Polosa, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchin mtDNA is transcribed via a different mechanism compared to vertebrates. To gain information on the apparatus of sea urchin mitochondrial transcription we have characterized the DNA binding properties of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM). The protein contains two HMG box domains but, differently from vertebrates, displays a very short C-terminal tail. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the distribution of tail length is mixed in the different lineages, indicating that it is a trait that undergoes rapid changes during evolution. Homology modeling suggests that the protein adopts the same configuration of the human counterpart and possibly a similar mode of binding to DNA. DNase I footprinting showed that TFAM specifically contacts mtDNA at a fixed distance from three AT-rich consensus sequences that were supposed to act as transcriptional initiation sites. Bound sequences are homologous and contain an inverted repeat motif, which resembles that involved in the intercalation of human TFAM in LSP DNA. The here reported data indicate that sea urchin TFAM specifically binds mtDNA. The protein could intercalate residues at the DNA inverted motif and, despite its short tail, might have a role in mitochondrial transcription.

  16. Echinometrin: a novel mast cell degranulating peptide from the coelomic liquid of Echinometra lucunter sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Sampaio, Marlos Cortez; Zychar, Bianca Cestari; Gonçalves, Luis Roberto de Camargo; Giorgi, Renata; Nogueira, Thiago de Oliveira; de Melo, Robson Lopes; Teixeira, Catarina de Fátima Pereira; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho

    2014-03-01

    Echinometra lucunter is an abundant sea urchin found in Brazilian waters. Accidents caused by this animal are common and are characterized by the penetration of the spines in the skin, which raises an inflammatory reaction through mechanical trauma as well as by the presumable action of toxins. Additionally, there have been reports of inflammatory reaction after the consumption of raw sea urchin eggs. In this work, we have isolated a peptide from E. lucunter coelomic fluid that could elicit inflammatory reactions, such as paw edema, leukocyte recruitment and diminishment of the pain threshold. This peptide was termed Echinometrin. Moreover, the peptide administration was able to produce in vivo degranulation of mouse mast cells, in a dose-response manner. The peptide was 'de novo' sequenced by mass spectrometry and its synthetic analog could reproduce all the observed effects. Sequence alignment indicates that this peptide is comprised in vitellogenin, an abundant nutrient protein present in the gametogenic cells of sea urchins, making it possible that echinometrin would be a cryptide with pro-inflammatory effects.

  17. Biochemical and immunological relationships among fibronectin-like proteins from different sea urchin species.

    PubMed

    Matranga, V; Zito, F; Tesoro, V; Yokota, Y; Nakano, E

    1995-08-01

    Fibronectin-like proteins were purified from ovaries of the sea urchin species, Paracentrotus lividus (PI), Sphaerechinus granularis (Sg), Arbacia lixula (Al), Pseudocentrotus depressus (Pd), and Anthocidaris crassispina (Ac), by gelatin-Sepharose affinity chromatography. The major component had a molecular mass of 180 kDa and was eluted by 1 M NaCl or 8 M urea, depending on the species used. By substrate adhesion assay, we tested the biological activity of the 180 kDa protein purified from Paracentrotus lividus (P1-180K) and showed that it promotes the adhesion of homologous embryonic cells to the substrate. An antiserum, developed against Temnopleurus hardwickii fibronectin-like protein (Th-180K), was used in Western blots of the proteins purified from the five species. The antibody cross-reacted with Pl-180K, Pd-180K and Ac-180K. A peptide map of P1-180K, obtained by V8 protease partial digestion, was compared with those obtained from the other four proteins and showed an homology between 40 and 56%. This report confirms that fibronectin-like proteins can be purified from sea urchins on the basis of their binding to gelatin-Sepharose; the proteins differ for their binding affinity to gelatin and share different epitopes, suggesting that they are members of a sea urchin fibronectin super family.

  18. Synaptotagmin I is involved in the regulation of cortical granule exocytosis in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Leguia, Mariana; Conner, Sean; Berg, Linnea; Wessel, Gary M

    2006-07-01

    Cortical granules are stimulus-dependent secretory vesicles found in the egg cortex of most vertebrates and many invertebrates. Upon fertilization, an increase in intracellular calcium levels triggers cortical granules to exocytose enzymes and structural proteins that permanently modify the extracellular surface of the egg to prevent polyspermy. Synaptotagmin is postulated to be a calcium sensor important for stimulus-dependent secretion and to test this hypothesis for cortical granule exocytosis, we identified the ortholog in two sea urchin species that is present selectively on cortical granules. Characterization by RT-PCR, in-situ RNA hybridization, Western blot and immunolocalization shows that synaptotagmin I is expressed in a manner consistent with it having a role during cortical granule secretion. We specifically tested synaptotagmin function during cortical granule exocytosis using a microinjected antibody raised against the entire cytoplasmic domain of sea urchin synaptotagmin I. The results show that synaptotagmin I is essential for normal cortical granule dynamics at fertilization in the sea urchin egg. Identification of this same protein in other developmental stages also shown here will be important for interpreting stimulus-dependent secretory events for signaling throughout embryogenesis.

  19. Primary cell cultures from sea urchin ovaries: a new experimental tool.

    PubMed

    Mercurio, Silvia; Di Benedetto, Cristiano; Sugni, Michela; Candia Carnevali, M Daniela

    2014-02-01

    In the present work, primary cell cultures from ovaries of the edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus were developed in order to provide a simple and versatile experimental tool for researches in echinoderm reproductive biology. Ovary cell phenotypes were identified and characterized by different microscopic techniques. Although cell cultures could be produced from ovaries at all stages of maturation, the cells appeared healthier and viable, displaying a higher survival rate, when ovaries at early stages of gametogenesis were used. In terms of culture medium, ovarian cells were successfully cultured in modified Leibovitz-15 medium, whereas poor results were obtained in minimum essential medium Eagle and medium 199. Different substrates were tested, but ovarian cells completely adhered only on poly-L-lysine. To improve in vitro conditions and stimulate cell proliferation, different serum-supplements were tested. Fetal calf serum and an originally developed pluteus extract were detrimental to cell survival, apparently accelerating processes of cell death. In contrast, cells cultured with sea urchin egg extract appeared larger and healthier, displaying an increased longevity that allowed maintaining them for up to 1 month. Overall, our study provides new experimental bases and procedures for producing successfully long-term primary cell cultures from sea urchin ovaries offering a good potential to study echinoid oogenesis in a controlled system and to investigate different aspects of echinoderm endocrinology and reproductive biology.

  20. Comparative biochemical analysis of sea urchin peristome and rat tail tendon collagen.

    PubMed

    Robinson, J J

    1997-06-01

    We report here a biochemical comparison between type 1 rat tail tendon collagen and collagen isolated from sea urchin peristome tissue. The sea urchin collagen consisted of two species of apparent mol masses, 140 and 116 kDa. Amino acid compositional analysis of the 140 and 116 kDa species revealed the presence of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine as well as a glycine content of 28.1 mol.%. In solubility experiments the rat tail tendon collagen was found to precipitate at sodium chloride concentrations between 1 and 2 M while peristome collagen remained soluble at salt concentrations as high as 4 M. Incubation of the peristome and rat tail tendon collagen preparations with a sea urchin collagenase/gelatinase resulted in cleavage of the former but not the latter collagen. Upon heat denaturation at 60 degrees C, however, the rat tail tendon collagen served as a substrate for the gelatinase. Cyanogen bromide cleavage of rat tail and peristome collagens generated largely unique peptide maps. Collectively, these results suggest that structural differences exist between echinoderm and vertebrate type 1 collagens.

  1. The test skeletal matrix of the black sea urchin Arbacia lixula.

    PubMed

    Kanold, Julia M; Immel, Francoise; Broussard, Cédric; Guichard, Nathalie; Plasseraud, Laurent; Corneillat, Marion; Alcaraz, Gérard; Brümmer, Franz; Marin, Frédéric

    2015-03-01

    In the field of biomineralization, the past decade has been marked by the increasing use of high throughput techniques, i.e. proteomics, for identifying in one shot the protein content of complex macromolecular mixtures extracted from mineralized tissues. Although crowned with success, this approach has been restricted so far to a limited set of key-organisms, such as the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the pearl oyster or the abalone, leaving in the shadow non-model organisms. As a consequence, it is still unknown to what extent the calcifying repertoire varies, from group to group, at high (phylum, class), median (order, family) or low (genus, species) taxonomic rank. The present paper shows the first biochemical and proteomic characterization of the test matrix of the Mediterranean black sea urchin Arbacia lixula (Arbacioida). Our work suggests that the skeletal repertoire of A. lixula exhibits some similarities but also several differences with that of the few sea urchin species (S. purpuratus, Paracentrotus lividus), for which molecular data are already available. The differences may be attributable to the taxonomic position of the species considered: A. lixula belongs to an order - Arbacioida - that diverged more than one hundred million years ago from the Camarodonta, which includes the two species S. purpuratus and P. lividus. For the echinoid class, we suggest that large-scale proteomic screening should be performed in order to understand which molecular functions related to calcification are conserved and which ones have been co-opted for biomineralization in particular lineages.

  2. Sea urchin tooth mineralization: Calcite present early in the aboral plumula

    PubMed Central

    Stock, Stuart R.; Veis, Arthur; Xiao, Xianghui; Almer, Jonathan D.; Dorvee, Jason R.

    2012-01-01

    In both vertebrate bone, containing carbonated hydroxyapatite as the mineral phase, and in invertebrate hard tissue comprised of calcium carbonate, a popular view is that the mineral phase develops from a long-lived amorphous precursor which later transforms into crystal form. Important questions linked to this popular view are: When and where is the crystallized material formed, and is amorphous solid added subsequently to the crystalline substrate? Sea urchin teeth, in which the earliest mineral forms within isolated compartments, in a time and position dependent manner, allow direct investigation of the timing of crystallization of the calcite primary plates. Living teeth of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus, in their native coelomic fluid, were examined by high-energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction. The diffraction data show that calcite is present in the most aboral portions of the plumula, representing the very earliest stages of mineralization, and that this calcite has the same crystal orientation as in the more mature adoral portions of the same tooth. Raman spectroscopy of the aboral plumula confirms the initial primary plate mineral material is calcite and does not detect amorphous calcium carbonate; in the more mature adoral incisal flange, it does detect a broader calcite peak, consistent with two or more magnesium compositions. We hypothesize that some portion of each syncytial membrane in the plumula provides the information for nucleation of identically oriented calcite crystals that subsequently develop to form the complex geometry of the single crystal sea urchin tooth. PMID:22940703

  3. Mapping sea urchins tube feet proteome--a unique hydraulic mechano-sensory adhesive organ.

    PubMed

    Santos, Romana; Barreto, Angela; Franco, Catarina; Coelho, Ana Varela

    2013-02-21

    Marine organisms secrete adhesives for substrate attachment that to be effective require functional assembly underwater and displacement of water, ions, and weakly bound polyions that are ubiquitous in seawater. Therefore, understanding the characteristics of these protein/carbohydrate-based marine adhesives is imperative to decipher marine adhesion and also, to accelerate the development of new biomimetic underwater adhesives and anti-fouling agents. The present study, aims at mapping the proteome of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus adhesive organs using a combination of complementary protein separation techniques (1-D-nanoLC and 2-DE), databases and search algorithms. This strategy resulted in the identification of 328 non-redundant proteins, constituting the first comprehensive list of sea urchin tube feet proteins. Given the known importance of phosphorylation and glycosylation in marine adhesion, the 2DE proteome was re-analyzed with specific fluorescent stains for these two PTMs, resulting in the identification of 69 non-redundant proteins. The obtained results demonstrate that tube feet are unique mechano-sensory adhesive organs and highlight putative adhesive proteins, that although requiring further confirmation, constitute a step forward in the quest to decipher sea urchins temporary adhesion.

  4. Age-related changes in gene expression in tissues of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Loram, Jeannette; Bodnar, Andrea

    2012-05-01

    The life history of sea urchins is fundamentally different from that of traditional models of aging and therefore they provide the opportunity to gain new insight into this complex process. Sea urchins grow indeterminately, reproduce throughout their life span and some species exhibit negligible senescence. Using a microarray and qRT-PCR, age-related changes in gene expression were examined in three tissues (muscle, esophagus and nerve) of the sea urchin species Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. The results indicate age-related changes in gene expression involving many key cellular functions such as the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, DNA metabolism, signaling pathways and apoptosis. Although there are tissue-specific differences in the gene expression profiles, there are some characteristics that are shared between tissues providing insight into potential mechanisms that promote lack of senescence in these animals. As an example, there is an increase in expression of genes encoding components of the Notch signaling pathway with age in all three tissues and a decrease in expression of the Wnt1 gene in both muscle and nerve. The interplay between the Notch and Wnt pathways may be one mechanism that ensures continued regeneration of tissues with advancing age contributing to the general lack of age-related decline in these animals.

  5. Neurosensory and neuromuscular organization in tube feet of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

    PubMed

    Agca, Cavit; Elhajj, Milad C; Klein, William H; Venuti, Judith M

    2011-12-01

    Several behavioral and electrophysiological studies indicate that all classes of echinoderms, including Echinoidia, the class to which sea urchins belong, are photosensitive and exhibit complex behavioral responses to light or changes in light intensity. However, no discrete photosensitive structure has been identified in sea urchins. The purpose of this study was to provide new insights into eye evolution by determining whether distinct photosensory structures are present in adult sea urchins. Recently, we showed that the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus genome contains orthologs of many mammalian retinal genes and that these genes are expressed in tube feet, suggesting the presence of photoreceptor neurons. To determine whether this is so, we identified several features of tube feet that relate to a possible invertebrate phototransduction system. We show that rhabdomeric opsin is expressed severalfold higher within the disk region of the tube feet and is the most abundant opsin. Immunostaining identified βIII-tubulin-expressing cells at the periphery of disk in the vicinity of the synaptotagmin-expressing nerve fibers. We also showed that Pax6 expression in the disk was restricted to the periphery, where small clusters of putative sensory neurons reside. Our results reveal neuromuscular organization of the tube foot neuromuscular system. They further support earlier studies suggesting the presence of a photosensory system in tube feet.

  6. Microgravity Effecs During Fertilization, Cell Division, Development, and Calcium Metabolism in Sea Urchins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatten, Heide

    1999-01-01

    Calcium loss and muscle atrophy are two of the main metabolic changes experienced by astronauts and crew members during exposure to microgravity in space. For long-term exposure to space it is crucial to understand the underlying mechanisms for altered physiological functions. Fundamental occurrences in cell biology which are likely to depend on gravity include cytoskeletal dynamics, chromatin and centrosome cycling, and ion immobilization. These events can be studied during fertilization and embryogenesis within invertebrate systems. We have chosen the sea urchin system to study the effects of microgravity on cytoskeletal processes and calcium metabolism during fertilization, cell division, development, and embryogenesis. Experiments during an aircraft parabolic flight (KC-135) demonstrated: (1) the viability of sea urchin eggs prior to fertilization, (2) the suitability of our specimen containment system, (3) the feasibility of fertilization in a reduced gravity environment (which was achieved during 25 seconds of reduced gravity under parabolic flight conditions). Two newly developed pieces of spaceflight hardware made further investigations possible on a spaceflight (STS-77); (1) the Aquatic Research Facility (ARF), and (2) the Fertilization Syringe Unit (FSU). The Canadian Space Agency developed ARF to conduct aquatic spaceflight experiments requiring controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, illumination, and fixation at predetermined time points. It contained a control centrifuge which simulated the 1 g environment of earth during spaceflight. The FSU was developed at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) by the Bionetics Corporation specifically to enable the crew to perform sea urchin fertilization operations in space.

  7. The major yolk protein of sea urchins is endocytosed by a dynamin-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Jacqueline M; Wessel, Gary M

    2004-09-01

    Sea urchin oocytes grow to 10 times their original size during oogenesis by both synthesizing and importing a specific repertoire of proteins to drive fertilization and early embryogenesis. During the vitellogenic growth period, the major yolk protein (MYP), a transferrin-like protein, is synthesized in the gut, transported into the ovary, and actively endocytosed by the oocytes. Here, we begin to dissect this mechanism by first testing the hypothesis that MYP endocytosis is dynamin-dependent. We have identified a sea urchin dynamin cDNA that is highly similar in amino acid sequence, structure, and size to mammalian dynamin I: it contains an N-terminal GTPase domain, a pleckstrin-homology domain, and a C-terminal proline-rich domain. Sea urchin dynamin is enriched at the cortex of oocytes and colocalizes to MYP endocytic vesicles at the oocyte periphery. To test for a functional relationship between MYP endocytosis and dynamin, we used a dominant-negative human dynamin I mutant protein containing an alteration within the GTPase domain (hDyn(K44A)) to specifically compete for dynamin function. Using a fluorescent MYP construct to follow its endocytosis solely, as well as a general endocytosis marker, we demonstrate that the disruption of dynamin function significantly reduces MYP uptake but does not affect fluid-phase endocytosis. Using this specific biochemical approach, we are able to separate distinct pathways of endocytosis during oogenesis and learn that dynamin-mediated endocytosis is responsible for MYP endocytosis but not fluid-phase uptake.

  8. Dependence of sea urchin primary mesenchyme cell migration on xyloside- and sulfate-sensitive cell surface-associated components.

    PubMed

    Lane, M C; Solursh, M

    1988-05-01

    The migration of sea urchin primary mesenchyme cells (PMC) is inhibited in embryos cultured in sulfate-free seawater and in seawater containing exogenous xylosides. In the present study, primary mesenchyme cells and extra-cellular matrix have been isolated from normal and treated Lytechinus pictus and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos and recombined in an in vitro migration assay to determine whether the cells or the matrix are migration defective. Normal cells were found to migrate on either normal or treated matrix, whereas sulfate-deprived and xyloside-treated PMC failed to migrate in vitro on normal and treated substrata. Migratory ability can be restored to defective cells by returning the PMC to normal seawater, or by exposing the defective cells to materials removed from the surface of normal cells with 1 M urea. The similarity of the results obtained with sulfate-deprived and xyloside-treated PMC suggested that a common molecule may be affected by the two treatments. As a first test of this possibility, xyloside-treated S. purpuratus PMC were given the urea extract prepared from sulfate-deprived S. purpuratus PMC, and this extract did not restore migratory ability. These findings indicate that PMC normally synthesize a surface-associated molecule that is involved in cell migration, and the sensitivity to exogenous xylosides and sulfate deprivation suggests that a sulfated proteoglycan may be involved in primary mesenchyme cell migration.

  9. Effects of produced water on reproduction and early life stages of the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus): Field and laboratory tests

    SciTech Connect

    Krause, P.R.

    1993-01-01

    This dissertation focuses on the effects of produced water (an oil-production effluent) on reproduction in the purple sea urchin (Strongy-locentrotus purpuratus) using both field and laboratory experiments. The author investigated the effects of chronic exposure to produced water on the gametogenesis and gamete performance using an in-situ caging experiment. He found a significant negative relationship between gonad mass and cage distance for both sexes, indicating that urchins living closer to the outfall produced significantly larger gonads. He also found significant differences in the fertilizability of eggs between cages and this showed a positive relationship with distance from the outfall. These findings indicate that while urchins exposed to a produced water outfall produce large gonads, they suffer a marked decrease in gamete performance. In a subsequent study the author explored whether and how brief exposure to a range of concentrations of produced water affected gametes and early larval stages of the purple sea urchin. Specifically, he exposed separately and together, eggs, sperm, and zygotes to ascertain the relative sensitivities of these life stages to produced water at durations and concentrations realistic to each state. He also explored the nature of the biological responses, and the potential for delayed expression. I found that both apparent fertilization and embryonic developmental success showed decreased performance with increasing produced water concentrations. Produced water exposure effectively slowed embryological developmental rates, but did not affect embryo survivorship. The spatial and temporal variability in toxicity of receiving waters was addressed using a fertilization bioassay. Receiving waters were collected along a transect down-field from the discharge on three dates while the outfall was actively discharging, and on one date while the plant was not discharging.

  10. Experimental evaluation of the anti-attachment effect of microalgal mats on grazing activity of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus nudus in oscillating flows.

    PubMed

    Kawamata, Shigeru

    2012-05-01

    Algal mats can hinder the adhesion of the tube feet of sea urchins. This leads to the hypothesis that the restriction of sea urchin feeding activity by wave action can potentially be enhanced by the presence of algal mats, which will facilitate the survival of kelp recruits at sites with wave action in urchin barrens. To evaluate the potential anti-attachment effect of algal mats on sea urchins, a laboratory tank experiment was performed on the movement of Strongylocentrotus nudus sea urchins and their grazing on juvenile kelp plants at the center of 30×30 cm flat test substrates with or without a thin-layer microalgal mat at four levels of oscillatory flow (maximum orbital velocity: 10, 20, 30 and 40 cm s(-1)). The grazing loss of kelp slightly increased with increasing velocity up to 30 cm s(-1) in the absence of microalgal mats, while in contrast the loss substantially decreased at 30 cm s(-1) in their presence. Sea urchins were dislodged more frequently at 20 cm s(-1) or higher velocities in the presence of microalgal mats. Mats were frequently abraded by scraping by the adoral spines during urchin movement at high velocities (30 and 40 cm s(-1)) but were subject to no or only slight urchin grazing in most cases. The results indicate that the overall decrease in grazing loss of kelp within the microalgal mats was attributable to the anti-attachment effect on urchins during incursions rather than due to urchins grazing on the mats.

  11. Sea urchin development in a global change hotspot, potential for southerly migration of thermotolerant propagules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, M.; Selvakumaraswamy, P.; Ho, M. A.; Woolsey, E.; Nguyen, H. D.

    2011-03-01

    The distribution of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma coincides with the southeast Australia global change hot spot where marine ecosystems are warming significantly due to changes in ocean circulation. To address questions on future vulnerabilities, the thermotolerance of the planktonic life phase of H. erythrogramma was investigated in the climate and regionally relevant setting of projected near-future (2100) ocean warming. Experimental treatments ranged from 18 to 26 °C, with 26 °C representing +3-4 °C above recent ambient sea-surface temperatures. Developmental success across all stages (gastrula, 24 h; larva, 72 h; juvenile, 120 h) decreased with increasing temperature. Development was tolerant to a +1-2 °C increase above ambient, but significant deleterious effects were evident at +3-4 °C. However, larvae that developed through the early bottleneck of normal development at 26 °C metamorphosed successfully. The inverse relationship between temperature and planktonic larval duration (PLD) was seen in a 25% decrease in the PLD of H. erythrogramma at 24 and 26 oC. Ocean warming may be advantageous to a subset of larvae through early settlement and reduction of the vulnerable planktonic period. This positive effect of temperature may help buffer the negative effects of ocean warming. In parallel studies with progeny derived from northern (Coffs Harbour) and southern (Sydney) H. erythrogramma, northern embryos had significantly higher thermotolerance. This provides the possibility that H. erythrogramma populations might keep up with a warming world through poleward migration of thermotolerant propagules, facilitated by the strong southward flow of the East Australian Current. It is uncertain whether H. erythrogramma populations at the northern range of this species, with no source of immigrants, will have the capacity to persist in a warm ocean. Due to its extensive latitudinal distribution, its potential developmental thermotolerance and

  12. Sea urchins have teeth? A review of their microstructure, biomineralization, development and mechanical properties.

    PubMed

    Stock, Stuart R

    2014-01-01

    Sea urchins possess a set of five teeth which are self-sharpening and which continuously replace material lost through abrasion. The continuous replacement dictates that each tooth consists of the range of developmental states from discrete plates in the plumula, the least mineralized and least mature portion, to plates and needle-prisms separated by cellular syncytia at the beginning of the tooth shaft to a highly dense structure at the incisal end. The microstructures and their development are reviewed prior to a discussion of current understanding of the biomineralization processes operating during tooth formation. For example, the mature portions of each tooth consist of single crystal calcite but the early stages of mineral formation (e.g. solid amorphous calcium carbonate, ions in solution) continue to be investigated. The second stage mineral that cements the disparate plates and prisms together has a much higher Mg content than the first stage prisms and needles and allows the tooth to be self-sharpening. Mechanically, the urchin tooth's calcite performs better than inorganic calcite, and aspects of tooth functionality that are reviewed include the materials properties themselves and the role of the orientations of the plates and prisms relative to the axes of the applied loads. Although the properties and microarchitecture of sea urchin teeth or other mineralized tissues are often described as optimized, this view is inaccurate because these superb solutions to the problem of constructing functional structures are intermediaries not endpoints of evolution.

  13. Sea urchins have teeth? A review of their microstructure, biomineralization, development and mechanical properties

    PubMed Central

    Stock, Stuart R.

    2015-01-01

    Sea urchins possess a set of five teeth which are self-sharpening and which continuously replace material lost through abrasion. The continuous replacement dictates that each tooth consists of the range of developmental states from discrete plates in the plumula, the least mineralized and least mature portion, to plates and needle-prisms separated by cellular syncytia at the beginning of the tooth shaft to a highly dense structure at the incisal end. The microstructures and their development are reviewed prior to a discussion of current understanding of the biomineralization processes operating during tooth formation. For example, the mature portions of each tooth consist of single crystal calcite but the early stages of mineral formation (e.g. solid amorphous calcium carbonate, ions in solution) continue to be investigated. The second stage mineral that cements the disparate plates and prisms together has a much higher Mg content than the first stage prisms and needles and allows the tooth to be self-sharpening. Mechanically, the urchin tooth’s calcite performs better than inorganic calcite, and aspects of tooth functionality that are reviewed include the materials properties themselves and the role of the orientations of the plates and prisms relative to the axes of the applied loads. Although the properties and microarchitecture of sea urchin teeth or other mineralized tissues are often described as optimized, this view is inaccurate because these superb solutions to the problem of constructing functional structures are intermediaries not endpoints of evolution. PMID:24437604

  14. Contemporary evolution of sea urchin gamete-recognition proteins: experimental evidence of density-dependent gamete performance predicts shifts in allele frequencies over time.

    PubMed

    Levitan, Don R

    2012-06-01

    Species whose reproductive strategies evolved at one density regime might be poorly adapted to other regimes. Field and laboratory experiments on the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus examined the influences of the two most common sperm-bindin alleles, which differ at two amino acid sites, on fertilization success. In the field experiment, the arginine/glycine (RG) genotype performed best at low densities and the glycine/arginine (GR) genotype at high densities. In the laboratory experiment, the RG genotype had a higher affinity with available eggs, whereas the GR genotype was less likely to induce polyspermy. These sea urchins can reach 200 years of age. The RG allele dominates in larger/old sea urchins, whereas smaller/younger sea urchins have near-equal RG and GR allele frequencies. A latitudinal cline in RG and GR genotypes is consistent with longer survival of sea urchins in the north and with predominance of RG genotypes in older individuals. The largest/oldest sea urchins were likely conceived at low densities, before sea-urchin predators, such as sea otters, were overharvested and sea-urchin densities exploded off the west coast of North America. Contemporary evolution of gamete-recognition proteins might allow species to adapt to shifts in abundances and reduces the risk of reproductive failure in altered populations.

  15. Sea urchin overgrazing of seagrasses: A review of current knowledge on causes, consequences, and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eklöf, J. S.; de la Torre-Castro, M.; Gullström, M.; Uku, J.; Muthiga, N.; Lyimo, T.; Bandeira, S. O.

    2008-09-01

    Sea urchins are one of the most common seagrass macro-grazers in contemporary seagrass systems. Occasionally their grazing rates exceed seagrass growth rates, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as overgrazing. Because of a reported increasing frequency of overgrazing events, concomitant with loss of seagrass-associated ecosystem services, it has been suggested that overgrazing is one of the key threats to tropical and subtropical seagrasses. In light of this, we review the current knowledge on causes, consequences, and management of sea urchin overgrazing of seagrasses. Initially we argue that the definition of overgrazing must include scale and impairment of ecosystem services, since this is the de facto definition used in the literature, and will highlight the potential societal costs of seagrass overgrazing. A review of 16 identified cases suggests that urchin overgrazing is a global phenomenon, ranging from temperate to tropical coastal waters and involving at least 11 seagrass and 7 urchin species. Even though most overgrazing events seem to affect areas of <0.5 km 2, and recovery often occurs within a few years, overgrazing can have a range of large, long-term indirect effects such as loss of associated fauna and decreased sediment stabilization. A range of drivers behind overgrazing have been suggested, including bottom-up (nutrient enrichment), top-down (reduced predation control due to e.g. overfishing), "side-in" mechanisms (e.g. changes in water temperature) and natural population fluctuations. Based on recent studies, there seems to be fairly strong support for the top-down and bottom-up hypotheses. However, many potential drivers often co-occur and interact, especially in areas with high anthropogenic pressure, suggesting that multiple disturbances—by simultaneously reducing predation control, increasing urchin recruitment and reducing the resistance of seagrasses—could pave the way for overgrazing. In management, the most common response to

  16. MicroRaman, PXRD, EDS and microscopic investigation of magnesium calcite biomineral phases. The case of sea urchin biominerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borzęcka-Prokop, B.; Wesełucha-Birczyńska, A.; Koszowska, E.

    2007-02-01

    This study concerns Mg-calcite characterization (and in particular molecular structure and microstructural studies of mineral phases) of a sea urchin mineralised test and spines. Sea urchins are spiny sea animals (kingdom Animalia, phylum Echinodermata, class Echinoidea). Microscopic observations, SEM, EDS, PXRD and spectroscopic microRaman methods have been applied to characterize the biomineral parts of the sea urchin. The latter technique is very useful in research of biological systems and especially suitable for monitoring differences within biomineral phases exhibiting varieties of morphological forms. Crystalline magnesium calcium carbonate, Mg xCa 1- xCO 3 (magnesian calcite; space group R-3 cH; a = 4.9594(8) Å, c = 16.886(6) Å), has been identified as the predominant biomineral component.

  17. A sea urchin homologue of the chordate Brachyury (T) gene is expressed in the secondary mesenchyme founder cells.

    PubMed

    Harada, Y; Yasuo, H; Satoh, N

    1995-09-01

    Chordates are thought to have emerged from some common ancestor of deuterostomes by organizing shared anatomical and embryological features including a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord and pharyngeal gill slits. Because the notochord is the most prominent feature of chordates and because the Brachyury (T) gene is essential for notochord formation, the T gene is a key molecular probe with which to explore the origin and evolution of chordates. We investigated whether the sea urchin (echinoderm) conserves the T gene and, if so, where the sea urchin T gene is expressed. A cDNA clone for the sea urchin T (HpTa) gene contained a long open reading frame that encodes a polypeptide of 434 amino acids. Although the overall degree of amino acid identity was not very high (52%, sea urchin/mouse), in the T domain of the N terminus the amino acid identity was 73% (sea urchin/mouse). The HpTa gene is present as a single copy per haploid genome. As with the chordate T gene, the expression of HpTa is transient, being first detected in the swimming blastula, maximally transcribed in the gastrula, decreasing at the prism larval stage and barely detectable at the pluteus larval stage. HpTa transcripts were found in the secondary mesenchyme founder cells, vegetal plate of the mesenchyme blastula, extending tip of the invaginating archenteron and, finally, the secondary mesenchyme cells at the late-gastrula stage.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Multiple processes regulate long-term population dynamics of sea urchins on Mediterranean rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Hereu, Bernat; Linares, Cristina; Sala, Enric; Garrabou, Joaquim; Garcia-Rubies, Antoni; Diaz, David; Zabala, Mikel

    2012-01-01

    We annually monitored the abundance and size structure of herbivorous sea urchin populations (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) inside and outside a marine reserve in the Northwestern Mediterranean on two distinct habitats (boulders and vertical walls) over a period of 20 years, with the aim of analyzing changes at different temporal scales in relation to biotic and abiotic drivers. P. lividus exhibited significant variability in density over time on boulder bottoms but not on vertical walls, and temporal trends were not significantly different between the protection levels. Differences in densities were caused primarily by variance in recruitment, which was less pronounced inside the MPA and was correlated with adult density, indicating density-dependent recruitment under high predation pressure, as well as some positive feedback mechanisms that may facilitate higher urchin abundances despite higher predator abundance. Populations within the reserve were less variable in abundance and did not exhibit the hyper-abundances observed outside the reserve, suggesting that predation effects maybe more subtle than simply lowering the numbers of urchins in reserves. A. lixula densities were an order of magnitude lower than P. lividus densities and varied within sites and over time on boulder bottoms but did not differ between protection levels. In December 2008, an exceptionally violent storm reduced sea urchin densities drastically (by 50% to 80%) on boulder substrates, resulting in the lowest values observed over the entire study period, which remained at that level for at least two years (up to the present). Our results also showed great variability in the biological and physical processes acting at different temporal scales. This study highlights the need for appropriate temporal scales for studies to fully understand ecosystem functioning, the concepts of which are fundamental to successful conservation and management.

  19. Multiple Processes Regulate Long-Term Population Dynamics of Sea Urchins on Mediterranean Rocky Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Hereu, Bernat; Linares, Cristina; Sala, Enric; Garrabou, Joaquim; Garcia-Rubies, Antoni; Diaz, David; Zabala, Mikel

    2012-01-01

    We annually monitored the abundance and size structure of herbivorous sea urchin populations (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) inside and outside a marine reserve in the Northwestern Mediterranean on two distinct habitats (boulders and vertical walls) over a period of 20 years, with the aim of analyzing changes at different temporal scales in relation to biotic and abiotic drivers. P. lividus exhibited significant variability in density over time on boulder bottoms but not on vertical walls, and temporal trends were not significantly different between the protection levels. Differences in densities were caused primarily by variance in recruitment, which was less pronounced inside the MPA and was correlated with adult density, indicating density-dependent recruitment under high predation pressure, as well as some positive feedback mechanisms that may facilitate higher urchin abundances despite higher predator abundance. Populations within the reserve were less variable in abundance and did not exhibit the hyper-abundances observed outside the reserve, suggesting that predation effects maybe more subtle than simply lowering the numbers of urchins in reserves. A. lixula densities were an order of magnitude lower than P. lividus densities and varied within sites and over time on boulder bottoms but did not differ between protection levels. In December 2008, an exceptionally violent storm reduced sea urchin densities drastically (by 50% to 80%) on boulder substrates, resulting in the lowest values observed over the entire study period, which remained at that level for at least two years (up to the present). Our results also showed great variability in the biological and physical processes acting at different temporal scales. This study highlights the need for appropriate temporal scales for studies to fully understand ecosystem functioning, the concepts of which are fundamental to successful conservation and management. PMID:22606306

  20. Assessment of toxic interactions between deltamethrin and copper on the fertility and developmental events in the Mediterranean sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Gharred, Tahar; Ezzine, Issaad Kawther; Naija, Azza; Bouali, Rawka Rayena; Jebali, Jamel

    2015-04-01

    Deltamethrin pesticide and copper have intensively been used in agriculture and industrial activities and can finally reach the marine ecosystem at high concentrations affecting the health of organisms. In this study, we assessed under laboratory conditions the toxic interactions between deltamethrin and copper and their effects on the fertility rate, cell mitotic division rate, and embryo developmental events of the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus). The exposure of sperm to increasing concentrations of deltamethrin (6.10(-5) and 6.10(-2) μg/L) and copper (50 and 100 μg/L) or to their mixture (6.10(-5) μg/L of deltamethrin and 50 μg/L of CuSO4) caused a significant alteration on the fertilizing capability of spermatozoids. Concentration-dependent toxic effects on the early cleavage in P. lividus were observed in groups treated with copper, deltamethrin, and their mixture. The kinetics of early divisions was accelerated and the average size of pluteus larvae was decreased under pollutant treatments. Several developmental anomalies were identified in pluteus, including crossed skeletal tips at the hood apex, joined or atrophied arms, and alteration of general larva shape. In conclusion, the sea urchin represents a suitable and sensitive model for testing the toxicity and the effects of deltamethrin pesticide and copper in sea water. In addition, the sensitivity of various end points to studied contaminants, proved their utility in the infield biomonitoring studies.

  1. Ultrastructural and biochemical characterization of mechanically adaptable collagenous structures in the edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    PubMed

    Barbaglio, Alice; Tricarico, Serena; Ribeiro, Ana R; Di Benedetto, Cristiano; Barbato, Marta; Dessì, Desirèe; Fugnanesi, Valeria; Magni, Stefano; Mosca, Fabio; Sugni, Michela; Bonasoro, Francesco; Barbosa, Mario A; Wilkie, Iain C; Candia Carnevali, M Daniela

    2015-06-01

    The viscoelastic properties of vertebrate connective tissues rarely undergo significant changes within physiological timescales, the only major exception being the reversible destiffening of the mammalian uterine cervix at the end of pregnancy. In contrast to this, the connective tissues of echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, etc.) can switch reversibly between stiff and compliant conditions in timescales of around a second to minutes. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism underlying such mutability has implications for the zoological, ecological and evolutionary field. Important information could also arise for veterinary and biomedical sciences, particularly regarding the pathological plasticization or stiffening of connective tissue structures. In the present investigation we analyzed aspects of the ultrastructure and biochemistry in two representative models, the compass depressor ligament and the peristomial membrane of the edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, compared in three different mechanical states. The results provide further evidence that the mechanical adaptability of echinoderm connective tissues does not necessarily imply changes in the collagen fibrils themselves. The higher glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content registered in the peristomial membrane with respect to the compass depressor ligament suggests a diverse role of these molecules in the two mutable collagenous tissues. The possible involvement of GAG in the mutability phenomenon will need further clarification. During the shift from a compliant to a standard condition, significant changes in GAG content were detected only in the compass depressor ligament. Similarities in terms of ultrastructure (collagen fibrillar assembling) and biochemistry (two alpha chains) were found between the two models and mammalian collagen. Nevertheless, differences in collagen immunoreactivity, alpha chain migration on SDS-PAGE and BLAST alignment highlighted the uniqueness of sea urchin

  2. Purification and characterization of Contractin A from the pedicellarial venom of sea urchin, Toxopneustes pileolus.