Specific toxic effect of dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama on the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis. (33/633)

Heterocapsa circularisquama (Dinophyceae), a noxious red tide dinoflagellate, is known to have a specifically lethal effect on shellfish, especially bivalves such as pearl oyster (Pinctada fucata), but no detrimental effects of this alga on fishes have not been observed so far. In this study, we found that H. circularisquama was toxic to a microzooplankton, a rotifer (Brachionus plicatilis) in a cell concentration-dependent manner, while the cultured supernatant or ultrasonic ruptured H. circularisquama had no significant toxic effect on the rotifer. Since no such toxic effects on the rotifer were observed in Chattonella marina, Heterosigma akashiwo, or Cochlodinium polykrikoides, other species of harmful red tide plankton, H. circularisquama may have a strictly specific toxic mechanism against the rotifer as well as bivalves.  (+info)

Nuclear-encoded, plastid-targeted genes suggest a single common origin for apicomplexan and dinoflagellate plastids. (34/633)

The phylum Apicomplexa encompasses a large number of intracellular protozoan parasites, including the causative agents of malaria (Plasmodium), toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma), and many other human and animal diseases. Apicomplexa have recently been found to contain a relic, nonphotosynthetic plastid that has attracted considerable interest as a possible target for therapeutics. This plastid is known to have been acquired by secondary endosymbiosis, but when this occurred and from which type of alga it was acquired remain uncertain. Based on the molecular phylogeny of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) genes, we provide evidence that the apicomplexan plastid is homologous to plastids found in dinoflagellates-close relatives of apicomplexa that contain secondary plastids of red algal origin. Surprisingly, apicomplexan and dinoflagellate plastid-targeted GAPDH sequences were also found to be closely related to the plastid-targeted GAPDH genes of heterokonts and cryptomonads, two other groups that contain secondary plastids of red algal origin. These results address several outstanding issues: (1) apicomplexan and dinoflagellate plastids appear to be the result of a single endosymbiotic event which occurred relatively early in eukaryotic evolution, also giving rise to the plastids of heterokonts and perhaps cryptomonads; (2) apicomplexan plastids are derived from a red algal ancestor; and (3) the ancestral state of apicomplexan parasites was photosynthetic.  (+info)

Different regulatory mechanisms modulate the expression of a dinoflagellate iron-superoxide dismutase. (35/633)

Regulation of antioxidant enzymes is critical to control the levels of reactive oxygen species in cell compartments highly susceptible to oxidative stress. In this work, we studied the regulation of a chloroplastic iron superoxide dismutase (Fe-SOD) from Lingulodinium polyedrum (formerly Gonyaulax polyedra) under different physiological conditions. A cDNA-encoding Fe-SOD was isolated from this dinoflagellate, showing high sequence similarity to cyanobacterial, algal, and plant Fe-SODs. Under standard growth conditions, on a 12:12-h light-dark cycle, Lingulodinium polyedrum Fe-SOD exhibited a daily rhythm of activity and cellular abundance with the maximum occurring during the middle of the light phase. Northern analyses showed that this rhythmicity is not related to changes in Fe-SOD mRNA levels, indicative of translational regulation. By contrast, conditions of metal-induced oxidative stress resulted in higher levels of Fe-SOD transcripts, suggesting that transcriptional control is responsible for increased protein and activity levels. Daily (circadian) and metal-induced up-regulation of Fe-SOD expression in L. polyedrum are thus mediated by different regulatory pathways, allowing biochemically distinct changes appropriate to oxidative challenges.  (+info)

Circadian changes in ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase distribution inside individual chloroplasts can account for the rhythm in dinoflagellate carbon fixation. (36/633)

Previous studies of photosynthetic carbon fixation in the marine alga Gonyaulax have shown that the reaction rates in vivo vary threefold between day and night but that the in vitro activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in this process, remains constant. Using protein gel blotting, we confirm that Rubisco protein levels are constant over time. We present simultaneous measurements of the rhythms of CO(2) fixation and O(2) evolution and show that the two rhythms are approximately 6 hr out of phase. We further show that the distribution of Rubisco within chloroplasts varies as a function of circadian time and that this rhythm in Rubisco distribution correlates with the CO(2) fixation rhythm. At times of high carbon fixation, Rubisco is found in pyrenoids, regions of the chloroplasts located near the cell center, and is separated from most of the light-harvesting protein PCP (for peridinin-chlorophyll a--protein), which is found in cortical regions of the plastids. We propose that the rhythm in Rubisco distribution is causally related to the rhythm in carbon fixation and suggest that several mechanisms involving enzyme sequestration could account for the increase in the efficiency of carbon fixation.  (+info)

Production of monoclonal antibody against Scrippsiella trochoidea cysts and its application to analysis during cyst formation and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. (37/633)

A monoclonal antibody was produced by the fusion of mouse myeloma cells with spleen cells from a mouse immunized with the cysts of Scrippsiella trochoidea, marine phytoplankton. Immunofluorescence microscopic observation showed that the antibody reacted with the spines on the cyst but not with the vegetative cells and cyst walls. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay could be used to measure the cysts in muddy bottom sediments using the purified antibody conjugated with horseradish peroxidase.  (+info)

Biotransformations of paralytic shellfish toxins by bacteria isolated from bivalve molluscs. (38/633)

Due to the possibility that bacteria could be involved in the clearance of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) from bivalve molluscs, investigations into which, if any, bacteria were able to grow at the expense of PST focused on several common shellfish species. These species were blue mussels, oysters, razor fish, cockles, and queen and king scallops. Bacteria associated with these shellfish were isolated on marine agar 2216 and characterized by their carbon utilization profiles (BIOLOG). Selected isolates from groups demonstrating 90% similarity were screened for their ability to metabolize a range of PST (gonyautoxins 1 and 4 [GTX 1/4], GTX 2/3, GTX 5, saxitoxin, and neosaxitoxin) using a novel screening method and confirming its results by high-performance liquid chromatography. Results suggest that molluscan bacteria have different capacities to utilize and transform PST analogues. For example, isolates M12 and R65 were able to reductively transform GTX 1/4 with concomitant production of GTX 2/3, while isolate Q5 apparently degraded GTX 1/4 without the appearance of other GTXs. Other observed possible mechanisms of PST transformations include decarbamoylation by isolate M12 and sulfation of GTXs by isolates Q5, R65, M12, and C3. These findings raise questions as to the possible role of bacteria resident in the shellfish food transport system. Some researchers have suggested that the microflora play a role in supplying nutritional requirements of the host. This study demonstrates that bacteria may also be involved in PST transformation and elimination in molluscan species.  (+info)

Development of host- and symbiont-specific monoclonal antibodies and confirmation of the origin of the symbiosome membrane in a cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. (39/633)

The "symbiosome membrane" as defined by Roth et al. (1988) is a single, host-derived membrane that surrounds an endosymbiotic organism, separating it from the cytoplasm of the host cell. However, in the case of cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbioses, clear identification of the symbiosome membrane is complicated by the fact that each algal symbiont is surrounded by multiple layers of apparent membrane. The origin and molecular nature of these membranes has been the subject of considerable debate in the literature. Here we report the development of host-specific (G12) and symbiont-specific (PC3) monoclonal antibodies that allow separation of the host and symbiont components of these multiple membranes. Using immunocytochemistry at both the light and the electron microscopic level, we present data supporting the conclusion that the definitive symbiosome membrane is a single, host-derived membrane, whereas the remainder of the underlying apparent membranes surrounding the algal cell are symbiont-derived. The potential for macromolecules associated with these membranes to act as cellular signals critical to recruiting symbionts and maintaining established symbioses is discussed.  (+info)

Energy transfer in the peridinin chlorophyll-a protein of Amphidinium carterae studied by polarized transient absorption and target analysis. (40/633)

The peridinin chlorophyll-a protein (PCP) of dinoflagellates differs from the well-studied light-harvesting complexes of purple bacteria and green plants in its large (4:1) carotenoid to chlorophyll ratio and the unusual properties of its primary pigment, the carotenoid peridinin. We utilized ultrafast polarized transient absorption spectroscopy to examine the flow of energy in PCP after initial excitation into the strongly allowed peridinin S2 state. Global and target analysis of the isotropic and anisotropic decays reveals that significant excitation (25-50%) is transferred to chlorophyll-a directly from the peridinin S2 state. Because of overlapping positive and negative features, this pathway was unseen in earlier single-wavelength experiments. In addition, the anisotropy remains constant and high in the peridinin population, indicating that energy transfer from peridinin to peridinin represents a minor or negligible pathway. The carotenoids are also coupled directly to chlorophyll-a via a low-lying singlet state S1 or the recently identified SCT. We model this energy transfer time scale as 2.3 +/- 0.2 ps, driven by a coupling of approximately 47 cm(-1). This coupling strength allows us to estimate that the peridinin S1/SCT donor state transition moment is approximately 3 D.  (+info)