(1/37) Genetic neighbourhood of clone structures in eelgrass meadows quantified by spatial autocorrelation of microsatellite markers.

Limited dispersal distances in plant populations frequently cause local genetic structure, which can be quantified by spatial autocorrelation. In clonal plants, three levels of spatial organization can contribute to positive autocorrelation; namely, the neighbourhood of (a) ramets, (b) clone fragments and (c) entire clones. Here we use data from an exhaustive sampling scheme on a clonal plant to measure the contribution of the neighbourhoods of each distinct clonal structure to total spatial autocorrelation. Four plots (256 grid points each) within dense meadows of the marine clonal plant Zostera marina (eelgrass) were sampled for clone structure with nine microsatellite markers ( approximately 80 alleles). We found significant coancestry (f(ij)), at all three levels of spatial organization, even when not allowing for joins between samples of identical genets. In addition, absolute values of f(ij) and the maximum distance with significant positive f(ij) decreased with the progressive exclusion of joins between alike genotypes. The neighbourhood of this clonal plant thus consists of three levels of organization, which are reflected in different kinship structures. Each of these kinship structures may affect the level of biparental inbreeding and the physical distance between flowering shoots and their outcrossing neighbourhood. These results also emphasize the notion that spatial autocorrelation crucially depends on the scale and intensity of sampling.  (+info)

(2/37) Microbial transformation of terreusinone, an ultraviolet-A (UV-A) protecting dipyrroloquinone, by Streptomyces sp.

Biotransformation study was conducted on the marine dipyrroloquinone, terreusinone (1) isolated from the marine-derived fungus Aspergillus terreus. Preparative-scale fermentation of terreusinone with Streptomyces sp. has resulted in the isolation of a new oxidized metabolite, terreusinol (2). The structure was elucidated as 2-[(1R)-1-hydroxyisobutyl]-6-[(1R)-1,2-dihydroxyisobutyl]-1H,5H-pyrrolo[2,3-b]ind ole-4,8-dione (2) on the basis of physicochemical evidence. Terreusinol (2) showed an ultraviolet-A (UV-A) (320-390 nm) protecting activity with ED(50) values of 150 microM, which is more active than oxybenzone (ED(50), 350 microM) currently being used as sunscreen.  (+info)

(3/37) Phylogenetic analyses of Zostera species based on rbcL and matK nucleotide sequences: implications for the origin and diversification of seagrasses in Japanese waters.

Seagrasses are composed of four families belonging to angiosperms and they are thought to become adaptive to aquatic life independently. Zosteraceae is one such family and because of the relatively high species diversity around Japan and Korea coast areas, the family might have arisen therefrom. To elucidate the origin and evolution of Zosteraceae which consists of three genera, Phyllospadix, Zostera, and Heterozostera, 2.8 kb nucleotide sequences of rbcL and matK genes in the chloroplast genome were examined for various species, including cosmopolitan Z. marina and endemic Z. caulescens. The phylogenetic analysis reveals the following three features. First, based on the synonymous nucleotide substitution rate of the rice chloroplast genome, we estimated the divergence times between Zosteraceae and its closest relative, Potamogetonaceae, and between different genera, Zostera and Phyllospadix, as approximately 100 million years (myr) and 36 myr, respectively, suggesting that Zosteraceae emerged somewhere in the period from 36 myr ago to 100 myr ago. Second, two subgenera of Zostera, Zostera and Zosterella, exhibit their reciprocal monophyly and appear to have differentiated from each other approximately 33 myr ago. However, the third genus Heterozostera branched off only 5 myr ago from the stem lineage leading to Zosterella and this seems too recent in comparison with the ancient divergence of the two subgenera. Third, we estimated the most recent common ancestor of subgenus Zostera as 6 myr. In Z. marina four haplotypes were found in the sample and have diversified in the past 1.5 myr. One haplotype is shared by both sides of the Japan Archipelago and its closely related haplotypes occur also in eastern Pacific Ocean. Based on these phylogeographic analyses, we propose a provisional age related classification of Zosteraceae to argue the origin and evolution.  (+info)

(4/37) Genetic diversity enhances the resistance of a seagrass ecosystem to disturbance.

Motivated by recent global reductions in biodiversity, empirical and theoretical research suggests that more species-rich systems exhibit enhanced productivity, nutrient cycling, or resistance to disturbance or invasion relative to systems with fewer species. In contrast, few data are available to assess the potential ecosystem-level importance of genetic diversity within species known to play a major functional role. Using a manipulative field experiment, we show that increasing genotypic diversity in a habitat-forming species (the seagrass Zostera marina) enhances community resistance to disturbance by grazing geese. The time required for recovery to near predisturbance densities also decreases with increasing eelgrass genotypic diversity. However, there is no effect of diversity on resilience, measured as the rate of shoot recovery after the disturbance, suggesting that more rapid recovery in diverse plots is due solely to differences in disturbance resistance. Genotypic diversity did not affect ecosystem processes in the absence of disturbance. Thus, our results suggest that genetic diversity, like species diversity, may be most important for enhancing the consistency and reliability of ecosystems by providing biological insurance against environmental change.  (+info)

(5/37) Physiological evidence for a sodium-dependent high-affinity phosphate and nitrate transport at the plasma membrane of leaf and root cells of Zostera marina L.

Zostera marina L. is an angiosperm that grows in a medium in which inorganic phosphate (P(i)) and nitrate (NO(3)(-)) are present in micromolar concentrations and must be absorbed against a steep electrochemical potential gradient. The operation of a Na(+)-dependent NO(3)(-) transport was previously demonstrated in leaf cells of this plant, suggesting that other Na(+)-coupled systems could mediate the uptake of anions. To address this question, P(i) transport was studied in leaves and roots of Z. marina, as well as NO(3)(-) uptake in roots. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that micromolar concentrations of P(i) induced depolarizations of the plasma membrane of root cells. However, this effect was not observed in leaf cells. P(i)-induced depolarizations showed Michaelis-Menten kinetics (K(m)=1.5+/-0.6 microM P(i); D(max)=7.8+/-0.8 mV), and were not observed in the absence of Na(+). However, depolarizations were restored when Na(+) was resupplied. NO(3)(-) additions also evoked depolarizations of the plasma membrane of root cells only in the presence of Na(+). Both NO(3)(-)- and P(i)-induced depolarizations were accompanied by an increase in cytoplasmic Na(+) activity, detected by Na(+)-sensitive microelectrodes. P(i) net uptake (measured in depletion experiments) was stimulated by Na(+). These results strongly suggest that P(i) uptake in roots of Z. marina is mediated by a high-affinity Na(+)-dependent transport system. Both NO(3)(-) and P(i) transport systems exploit the steep inwardly directed electrochemical potential gradient for Na(+), considering the low cytoplasmic Na(+) activity (10.7+/-3.3 mM Na(+)) and the high external Na(+) concentration (500 mM Na(+)).  (+info)

(6/37) Contrasting oxygen dynamics in the freshwater isoetid Lobelia dortmanna and the marine seagrass Zostera marina.

BACKGROUND: and Aims Submerged plants possess well-developed aerenchyma facilitating intra-plant gas-phase diffusion of O2 to below-ground tissues, which are usually buried in anoxic sediments. However, aquatic habitats differ in terms of O2 fluctuations in the water column and in O2 consumption of the sediment, and aquatic plants differ in aerenchymal volume and resistance to O2 diffusion through the plant and across leaf and root surfaces. The hypothesis that the freshwater isoetid Lobelia dortmanna and the marine seagrass Zostera marina should display pronounced contrasts in intra-plant O2 dynamics because of differences in morphology/anatomy, physiology and growth habitat was tested. METHODS: In order to determine the O2 dynamics and relate this to the anatomy and morphology of the two species, O2 microelectrodes were inserted in the aerenchyma of leaves and roots, the sediment pore-water, and the water column in the field. Manipulation of water column O2 in the laboratory was also carried out. KEY RESULTS: It was found that intra-plant transport of O2 between leaf and root tips takes place more readily in L. dortmanna than in Z. marina due to shorter distances and greater cross-sections of the aerenchyma. The major exchange of O2 across roots of L. dortmanna can be accounted for by small intra-plant resistances to diffusion, larger root than leaf surfaces, and greater radial diffusive resistance of leaves than roots. In contrast, the major O2 exchange across leaves than roots of Z. marina can be accounted for by the opposite anatomical-morphological features. The larger aerenchymal volume and the smaller metabolic rates of L. dortmanna compared to Z. marina imply that turnover of O2 is slower in the aerenchyma of L. dortmanna and O2 fluctuations are more dampened following changes in irradiance. Also, O2 accumulated in the aerenchyma can theoretically support dark respiration for a few hours in L. dortmanna but for only a few minutes in Z. marina. CONCLUSIONS: The build-up of O2 in the pore-water of L. dortmanna sediments during the day as a result of high release of photosynthetic O2 from roots and low O2 consumption of sediments means that sediment, aerenchyma and water are important O2 sources for respiration during the following night, while Z. marina relies on the water column as the sole source of O2 because its sediments are anoxic. These differences between L. dortmanna and Z. marina appear to represent a general difference between the isoetid species mainly inhabiting sediments of low reducing capacity of oligotrophic lakes and the elodeid freshwater species and marine seagrasses mainly inhabiting sediments of higher reducing capacity in more nutrient-rich habitats.  (+info)

(7/37) Molecular identification of the turf grass rapid blight pathogen.

Rapid blight is a newly described disease on turf grasses, primarily found on golf courses using suboptimal water for irrigation purposes. On the basis of shared morphological characteristics, it has been proposed that the rapid blight pathogen belongs to a genus of stramenopiles, Labyrinthula, which had been known to cause disease of marine plants only. We have collected 10 isolates from four species of turf grass in five states and sequenced portions of the SSU (18S) rDNA gene from each to provide a definitive taxonomic placement for rapid blight pathogens. We also included sequences from Labyrinthuloides yorkensis, Schizochytrium aggregatum, Aplanochytrium sp., Thraustochytrium striatum, Achlya bisexualis and several nonturf-grass isolates of Labyrinthula. We found that rapid blight isolates indeed are placed firmly within the genus Labyrinthula and that they lack detectable genetic diversity in the 18S rDNA region. We propose that the rapid blight pathogens share a recent common ancestor and might have originated from a single, infected population.  (+info)

(8/37) ZMVHA-B1, the gene for subunit B of vacuolar H+-ATPase from the eelgrass Zostera marina L. Is able to replace vma2 in a yeast null mutant.

A vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (VHA) gene (ZMVHA-B1) was isolated from an eelgrass (Zostera marina) leaf cDNA library and was characterized to be approximately 1.4 kbp in length and to encode the B subunit protein of VHA comprising 488 amino acids. ZMVHA-B1 was highly expressed in all organs of eelgrass; the expression level was highest in the leaves. On transformation of a yeast vma2 null mutant with ZMVHA-B1, yeast cells became able to grow at pH 7.5, accompanied by the vesicular accumulation of LysoSensor green DND-189. Thus, ZMVHA-B1 expressed in yeast cells produced a functional B subunit that was efficiently incorporated into the VHA complex and eventually restored vacuolar morphology and activity. This success expedites the application of heterologous expression in yeast mutant cells to the screening of eelgrass genes involved in salt-resistance mechanisms, which are to be utilized in improving important crops.  (+info)