Uptake of poliovirus 1 by the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, was measured to assess the likelihood of contamination by human enteric viruses. Virus was found in all parts of the crab within 2 h after the crab was placed in contaminated artificial seawater. The highest concentrations of virus were found in the hemolymph and digestive tract, but the meat also contained virus. The concentration of virus in the crabs was generally less than in the surrounding water. Changes in salinity did not substantially affect the rate of accumulation. An increase in temperature from 15 to 25 degrees C increased the rates of both uptake and removal. Poliovirus survived up to 6 days in crabs at a temperature of 15 degrees C and a salinity of 10 g/kg. When contaminated crabs were boiled, 99.9% of poliovirus 1, simian rotavirus SA11, and a natural isolate of echovirus 1 were inactivated within 8 min. These data demonstrate that viruses in crabs should not pose a serious health hazard if recommended cooking procedures are used.
The incidence of bacteremia in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, is reported to be in excess of 80%. Because these results have been controversial, a field study was initiated to determine the effect of commercial capture and handling stresses on the incidence and levels of infection in blue crabs. The majority (75%) of "unstressed" crabs which were captured individually and bled immediately upon removal from the water were bacteremic, with a geometric mean level of infection of 14 CFU/ml of hemolymph. Crabs collected by crab pot, confined within these pots for as long as 24 h, and sampled immediately after removal from the water had a similar mean level of infection. Crabs subjected to the stresses of commercial capture, handling, and transport showed a higher incidence of infection (91%) and a mean infection level of 46 CFU/ml. Injuries sustained by crabs during commercial handling are thought to be associated with the higher incidence of infection. Vibrio spp. were primarily responsible for progressive infections in commercially stressed crabs and were the predominant bacterial type in heavily infected crabs. Our results indicated that uninjured healthy crabs do not have sterile hemolymph but instead harbor low-level bacterial infections.
Hematodinium perezi, a parasitic dinoflagellate, infects and kills blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. The parasite proliferates within host hemolymph and tissues, and also produces free-swimming biflagellated dinospores that emerge from infected crabs. Infections in C. sapidus recur annually, and it is not known if biotic or environmental reservoirs contribute to reinfection and outbreaks. To address this data gap, a quantitative PCR assay based on the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of H. perezi rRNA genes was developed to asses the temporal and spatial incidence of the parasite in Delaware and Maryland coastal bays.
A previously-used PCR assay for H. perezi, based on the small subunit rRNA gene sequence, was found to lack adequate species specificity to discriminate non-Hematodinium sp. dinoflagellate species in environmental samples. A new ITS2-targeted assay was developed and validated to detect H. perezi DNA in sediment and water samples using E. coli carrying the H. perezi rDNA genes. Application of the method to environmental samples identified potential hotspots in sediment in Indian River Inlet, DE and Chincoteague Bay, MD and VA. H. perezi DNA was not detected in co-occurring shrimp or snails, even during an outbreak of the parasite in C. sapidus.
H. perezi is present in water and sediment samples in Maryland and Delaware coastal bays from April through November with a wide spatial and temporal variability in incidence. Sampling sites with high levels of H. perezi DNA in both bays share characteristics of silty, organic sediments and low tidal currents. The environmental detection of H. perezi in spring, ahead of peak prevalence in crabs, points to gaps in our understanding of the parasite’s life history prior to infection in crabs as well as the mode of environmental transmission. To better understand the H. perezi life cycle will require further monitoring of the parasite in habitats as well as hosts. Improved understanding of potential environmental transmission to crabs will facilitate the development of disease forecasting.
Blue crab; Hematodinium; Parasite; Disease reservoir; Fishery
Attachment of Vibrio cholerae to the mucosal surface of the intestine is considered to be an important virulence characteristic. Vibrio cholerae, an autochthonous member of brackish water and estuarine bacterial communities, also attaches to crustacea, a significant factor in multiplication and survival of V. cholerae in nature. The ability of V. cholerae to attach to the gut wall of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) was examined, and attachment was observed only in the hindgut and not the midgut of crabs, confirming a requirement for chitin in the attachment of V. cholerae to invertebrate and zooplankton surfaces. The new finding of attachment of V. cholerae to the hindgut of crabs may be correlated with the epidemiology and transmission of cholera in the aquatic environment. The crab model may also prove useful in elucidating the mechanism(s) of ion transport in crustacea.
Arthropod growth requires molt-associated changes in softness and stiffness of the cuticle that protects from desiccation, infection and injury. Cuticle hardening in insects depends on the blood-borne hormone, bursicon (Burs), although it has never been determined in hemolymph. Whilst also having Burs, decapod crustaceans reiterate molting many more times during their longer life span and are encased in a calcified exoskeleton, which after molting undergoes similar initial cuticle hardening processes as in insects. We investigated the role of homologous crustacean Burs in cuticular changes and growth in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. We found dramatic increases in size and number of Burs cells during development in paired thoracic ganglion complex (TGC) neurons with pericardial organs (POs) as neurohemal release sites. A skewed expression of Burs β/Burs α mRNA in TGC corresponds to protein contents of identified Burs β homodimer and Burs heterodimer in POs. In hemolymph, Burs is consistently present at ∼21 pM throughout the molt cycle, showing a peak of ∼89 pM at ecdysis. Since initial cuticle hardness determines the degree of molt-associated somatic increment (MSI), we applied recombinant Burs in vitro to cuticle explants of late premolt or early ecdysis. Burs stimulates cuticle thickening and granulation of hemocytes. These findings demonstrate novel cuticle-associated functions of Burs during molting, while the unambiguous and constant presence of Burs in cells and hemolymph throughout the molt cycle and life stages may implicate further functions of its homo- and heterodimer hormone isoforms in immunoprotective defense systems of arthropods.
Hormone level differences are generally accepted as the primary cause for sexual dimorphism in animal and human development. Levels of low molecular weight metabolites also differ between men and women in circulating amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates and within brain tissue. While investigating the metabolism of blue crab tissues using Phosphorus-31 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, we discovered that only the male blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) contained a phosphorus compound with a chemical shift well separated from the expected phosphate compounds. Spectra obtained from male gills were readily differentiated from female gill spectra. Analysis from six years of data from male and female crabs documented that the sex-specificity of this metabolite was normal for this species. Microscopic analysis of male and female gills found no differences in their gill anatomy or the presence of parasites or bacteria that might produce this phosphorus compound. Analysis of a rare gynandromorph blue crab (laterally, half male and half female) proved that this sex-specificity was an intrinsic biochemical process and was not caused by any variations in the diet or habitat of male versus female crabs. The existence of a sex-specific metabolite is a previously unrecognized, but potentially significant biochemical phenomenon. An entire enzyme system has been synthesized and activated only in one sex. Unless blue crabs are a unique species, sex-specific metabolites are likely to be present in other animals. Would the presence or absence of a sex-specific metabolite affect an animal's development, anatomy and biochemistry?
Commercial Atlantic blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) were exposed to 2.0 × 104 infectious waterborne oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum. The study demonstrated that blue crabs can transfer C. parvum oocysts to persons involved in handling or preparing crabs and that they may contaminate other surfaces or products during storage.
Single isolated muscle fibers from the walking legs of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus act as Boyle-van't Hoff osmometers with an osmotically inactive volume of 33 %. Fibers in hypotonic salines undergo a spontaneous volume readjustment toward the initial volumes of the cells found in isotonic salines. The volume readjustment is initiated by the increase in cell volume in hypotonic salines and appears to be dependent on the duration of exposure of the fiber to external sodium, the sodium concentration, and the pH of the external medium. The volume-readjusted cells continue to behave as osmometers, but with an increased relative osmotically inactive volume and a decreased internal resistivity. The decreases in cell volumes appear to be, in large part, due to losses of osmotically active nonelectrolytes from the cells.
Trehalose in ectoderms functions in energy metabolism and protection in extreme environmental conditions. We structurally characterized trehalose 6-phosphate synthase (TPS) from hemocytes of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. C. sapidus Hemo TPS (CasHemoTPS), like insect TPS, encodes both TPS and trehalose phosphate phosphatase domains. Trehalose seems to be a major sugar, as it shows higher levels than does glucose in hemocytes and hemolymph. Increases in HemoTPS expression, TPS enzyme activity in hemocytes, and hemolymph trehalose levels were determined 24 h after lipopolysaccharide challenge, suggesting that both TPS and TPP domains of CasHemoTPS are active and functional. The TPS gene has a wide tissue distribution in C. sapidus, suggesting multiple biosynthetic sites. A correlation between TPS activity in hemocytes and hemolymph trehalose levels was found during the molt cycle. The current study provides the first evidence of presence of trehalose in hemocytes and TPS in tissues of C. sapidus and implicates its functional role in energy metabolism and physiological adaptation.
Herein we describe a sensitive and straightforward off-line capillary electrophoresis (CE) matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) interface in conjunction with stable isotopic labeling (SIL) technique for comparative neuropeptidomic analysis in crustacean model organisms. Two SIL schemes, including a binary H/D formaldehyde labeling technique and novel, laboratory-developed multiplexed dimethylated leucine-based isobaric tagging reagents, have been evaluated in these proof-of-concept experiments. We employ these isotopic labeling techniques in conjunction with CE-MALDI MS for quantitative peptidomic analyses of the pericardial organs isolated from two crustacean species, the European green crab Carcinus maenas and the blue crab Callinectes sapidus. Isotopically labeled peptide pairs are found to co-migrate in CE fractions and quantitative changes in relative abundances of peptide pairs are obtained by comparing peak intensities of respective peptide pairs. Several neuropeptide families exhibit changes in response to salinity stress, suggesting potential physiological functions of these signaling peptides.
Increasingly, diseases of marine organisms are recognized as significant biotic factors affecting ecosystem health. However, the responsible disease agents are often unknown and the discovery and description of novel parasites most often rely on morphological descriptions made by highly trained specialists. Here, we describe a new approach for parasite discovery, utilizing denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) reverse-phase ion-paring technology. Systematic investigations of major DHPLC variables, including temperature, gradient conditions, and target amplicon characteristics were conducted to develop a mechanistic understanding of DNA fragment separation by DHPLC. As a model system, 18S rRNA genes from the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and a parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium sp. were used. Binding of 18S rRNA gene PCR amplicons to the DNA separation column in the presence of triethylammonium acetate (TEAA) was inversely correlated with temperature and could be predicted based on the estimated DNA helicity of the PCR amplicon. Amplicons of up to 498 bp were resolved as single chromatographic peaks if they had high (>95%) DNA helicity. Amplicons that differed by as few as 2 bp could be resolved. Separation of 18S rRNA gene PCR amplicons was optimized by simultaneous manipulation of both temperature and solvent gradients. The optimal conditions included targeting regions of high DNA helicity (>95%), temperatures in the range of 57 to 63°C, and a linear acetonitrile gradient from 13.75 to 17.5% acetonitrile in 0.1 M TEAA (55 to 70% buffer B) over a 9-min period. Under these conditions, amplicons from a variety of parasites and their hosts can be separated and detected by DHPLC.
Fresh blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat was obtained from retail markets in Florida and sampled for viable Listeria monocytogenes. The pathogen was found in crabmeat in three of four different lots tested by enrichment and at levels of 75 CFU/g in one of the same four lots by direct plating. Next, crabmeat was steam sterilized, inoculated with a three-strain mixture of L. monocytogenes (ca. 5.5 log10 CFU/g), washed with various lactic acid bacterium fermentation products (2,000 to 20,000 arbitrary units [AU]/ml of wash) or food-grade chemicals (0.25 to 4 M), and stored at 4 degrees C. Counts of the pathogen remained relatively constant in control samples during storage for 6 days, whereas in crabmeat washed with Perlac 1911 or MicroGard (10,000 to 20,000 AU), numbers initially decreased (0.5 to 1.0 log10 unit/g) but recovered to original levels within 6 days. Numbers of L. monocytogenes cells decreased 1.5 to 2.7 log10 units/g of crabmeat within 0.04 day when washed with 10,000 to 20,000 AU of Alta 2341, enterocin 1083, or Nisin per ml. Thereafter, counts increased 0.5 to 1.6 log10 units within 6 days. After washing with food-grade chemicals, modest reductions (0.4 to 0.8 log10 unit/g) were observed with sodium acetate (4 M), sodium diacetate (0.5 or 1 M), sodium lactate (1 M), or sodium nitrite (1.5 M). However, Listeria counts in crabmeat washed with 2 M sodium diacetate decreased 2.6 log10 units/g within 6 days. In addition, trisodium phosphate reduced L. monocytogenes counts from 1.7 (0.25 M) to > 4.6 (1 M) log10 units/g within 6 days.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The blue crab Callinectes sapidus has been used as an experimental model organism for the study of regulation of cardiac activity and other physiological processes. Moreover, it is an economically and ecologically important crustacean species. However, there was no previous report on the characterization of its neuropeptidome. To fill in this gap, we employed multiple sample preparation methods including direct tissue profiling, crude tissue extraction and tissue extract fractionation by HPLC to obtain a complete description of the neuropeptidome of C. sapidus. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) and MALDI-time-of-flight (TOF)/TOF were utilized initially to obtain a quick snapshot of the neuropeptide profile, and subsequently nanoflow liquid chromatography (nanoLC) coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight (ESI-Q-TOF) tandem MS analysis of neuropeptide extracts was conducted for de novo sequencing. Simultaneously, the pericardial organ (PO) tissue extract was labeled by a novel N, N-dimethylated leucine (DiLeu) reagent, offering enhanced fragmentation efficiency of peptides. In total, 130 peptide sequences belonging to 11 known neuropeptide families including orcomyotropin, pyrokinin, allatostatin A (AST-A), allatostatin B (AST-B), FMRFamide-like peptides (FLPs), and orcokinin were identified. Among these 130 sequences, 44 are novel peptides and 86 are previously identified. Overall, our results lay the groundwork for future physiological studies of neuropeptides in C. sapidus and other crustaceans.
Callinectes sapidus; pericardial organ; de novo sequencing; neuropeptidome; neuropeptides; chemical derivatization
Despite the importance of larval biology in the life histories of many marine animals, relatively little information exists on the dynamics and genetic composition of larval cohorts. The supply of megalopae larvae of the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, was measured on a daily basis during 8 months spread along two larval periods (2006 and 2007) at the Ria de Aveiro estuary, on the Portuguese northwest coast. A total of 10 microsatellite DNA loci were employed to explore the genetic structure, variability and relatedness of temporally distinct megalopal events, selected from the major pulses of supply. Larval variation was also compared genetically with that of a previously studied adult crabs sample, at the same loci, collected in 2006 and 2007 along the Iberian Peninsula. Results revealed a lack of genetic differentiation and identical diversity levels among larval events over time. No evidence of reduced genetic diversity between megalopae relative to the diversity assessed from the pooled sample of adults was found. Moreover, there was no evidence of any family relatedness among larvae from temporal events. The results obtained for C. maenas contradict predictions made by the sweepstakes reproduction hypothesis, in which large variance in reproductive success is expected, which is presumably detectable as sharp genetic discontinuities among separate larval events. Data here indicate conversely a high degree of temporal genetic stability among larval supply to a given estuary under variable oceanographic conditions, consistent with the hypothesis that sampled larvae were drawn from a large number of adults that do not differ in reproductive success.
reproductive success; relatedness; temporal genetic structure; larval dispersal; Carcinus maenas; microsatellite DNA
Mitochondria isolated from the hepatopancreas of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus show up to 12-fold stimulation of respiration on addition of Ca2+, which is accompanied by Ca2+ accumulation (Ca2+:site = 1.9) and H+ ejection (H+:Ca2+ = 0.85). Sr2+ and Mn2+ are also accumulated; Mg2+ is not. A strongly hypertonic medium (383 mosM), Mg2+, and phosphate are required for maximal Ca2+ uptake. Ca2+ uptake takes precedence over oxidative phosphorylation of ADP for respiratory energy. Once Ca2+ is accumulated by the crab mitochondria, it is stable and only very slowly released, even by uncoupling agents. ATP hydrolysis also supports Ca2+ uptake. Respiration-inhibited crab hepatopancreas mitochondria show both high-affinity and low-affinity Ca2+-binding sites, which are inactive in the presence of uncoupling agents. Crab hepatopancreas mitochondria have an enormous capacity for accumulation of Ca2+, up to 5,500 ng-atoms Ca2+ per mg protein, with an equivalent amount of phosphate. Freshly isolated mitochondria contain very large amounts of Ca2+, Mg2+, phosphate, K+, and Na+; their high Ca2+ content is a reflection of the vary large amount of extra-mitochondrial Ca2+ in the whole tissue. Electron microscopy of crab mitochondria loaded with Ca2+ and phosphate showed large electron-dense deposits, presumably of precipitated calcium phosphate. They consisted of bundles of needle-like crystals, whereas Ca2+-loaded rat liver mitochondria show only amorphous deposits of calcium phosphate under similar conditions. The very pronounced capacity of crab hepatopancreas mitochondria for transport of Ca2+ appears to be adapted to a role in the storage and release of Ca2+ during the molting cycle of this crustacean.
Dispersal is a primary driver in shaping the future distribution of species in both terrestrial and marine systems. Physical transport by advection can regulate the distance travelled and rate of propagule supply to a habitat but post-settlement processes such as predation can decouple supply from recruitment. The effect of flow-mediated recruitment and predation on the recruitment success of an intertidal species, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica was evaluated in two-replicated field experiments. Two key crab species were manipulated to test predator identity effects on oyster mortality.
Recruitment was ∼58% higher in high flow compared to low flow, but predation masked those differences. Predation mortality was primarily attributed to the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, whilst the mud crab Panopeus herbstii had no effect on recruit mortality. Recruit mortality from predation was high when recruit densities were high, but when recruit density was low, predation effects were not seen. Under high recruitment (supply), predation determined maximum population size and in low flow environments, recruitment success is likely determined by a combination of recruitment and resource limitation but not predation.
Four processes are demonstrated: (1) Increases in flow rate positively affect recruitment success; (2) In high flow (recruitment) environments, resource availability is less important than predation; (3) predation is an important source of recruit mortality, but is dependent upon recruit density; and (4) recruitment and/or resource limitation is likely a major driver of population structure and functioning, modifying the interaction between predators and prey. Simultaneous testing of flow-mediated recruitment and predation was required to differentiate between the role of each process in determining population size. Our results reinforce the importance of propagule pressure, predation and post-settlement mortality as important determinants of population growth and persistence, but demonstrate that they should not be considered mutually exclusive.
The successful establishment of a species in a given habitat depends on the ability of each of its developing stages to adapt to the environment. In order to understand this process we have studied the adaptation of a euryhaline fish, the sea-bass Dicentrarchus labrax, to various salinities during its ontogeny. The expression and localization of Aquaporin 1a (AQP1a) mRNA and protein were determined in different osmoregulatory tissues. In larvae, the sites of AQP1a expression are variable and they shift according to age, implying functional changes. In juveniles after metamorphosis (D32–D48 post-hatch, 15–25 mm) and in pre-adults, an increase in AQP1a transcript abundance was noted in the digestive tract, and the AQP1a location was observed in the intestine. In juveniles (D87–D100 post-hatch, 38–48 mm), the transcript levels of AQP1a in the digestive tract and in the kidney were higher in sea water (SW) than at lower salinity. These observations, in agreement with existing models, suggest that in SW-acclimated fish, the imbibed water is absorbed via AQP1a through the digestive tract, particularly the intestine and the rectum. In addition, AQP1a may play a role in water reabsorption in the kidney. These mechanisms compensate dehydration in SW, and they contribute to the adaptation of juveniles to salinity changes during sea-lagoon migrations. These results contribute to the interpretation of the adaptation of populations to habitats where salinity varies.
AQP1a; fish larvae; osmoregulation; intestine; water channel
The hepatopancreas of the adult male blue crab Callinectes sapidus in intermolt was found to contain substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium, and inorganic phosphorus, averaging about 260, 20, and 250 µg-atoms per g wet tissue, respectively, accounting for over 10% of the tissue dry weight. Electron microscopy of the intact tissue showed three qualitatively different granular structures having electron densities suggestive of high mineral content. After fractionation of the tissue using centrifugal techniques, almost 95% of the total mineral was found to reside in a heavy, nonmitochondrial particulate fraction(s). The bulk of the low-speed pellet consisted of relatively dense, roughly spherical granules 1–5 µm in diameter, which could be considerably purified by repeated suspension in water and low-speed sedimentation. In the electron microscope the isolated granules appeared basically similar to one of the three characteristic types of electron-dense granules seen in the intact tissue. Although the freshly isolated granules lost approximately 50% of their wet weight when dried at 105°C, only 10% more was lost upon dry ashing at 450°C, suggesting a fairly low content of organic material. Chemical analysis revealed calcium, magnesium, and inorganic phosphate at 5.7, 2.1, and 4.4 µg-atoms per mg dried granules, respectively, accounting for 69% of the dry weight of the fraction. By specific enzymatic assays, the freshly isolated granules were found to contain ATP, ADP, and AMP at levels of 0.13, 0.03, and 0.01 µmol/mg, or 8% of their total dry weight. The remainder of the total phosphorus contributed an additional 3%, whereas carbonate, citrate, oxalate, and protein each constituted no more than 1%. The mineral granules of the crab hepatopancreas appear to function as storage forms of calcium and phosphate during the intermolt period. This tissue appears promising as a model for study of the cellular events associated with biological calcification, since conventional biochemical techniques can be employed. Furthermore, the major mineralized component of the tissue can be obtained in large amounts for direct study by a simple fractionation procedure.
Herein we report a pressure-assisted capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometric imaging (PACE-MSI) platform for peptide analysis. This new platform has addressed the sample diffusion and peak splitting problems that appeared in our previous groove design, and it enables homogenous deposition of the CE trace for high-throughput MALDI imaging. In the coupling of CE to MSI, individual peaks (m/z) can be visualized as discrete colored image regions and extracted from the MS imaging data, thus eliminating issues with peak overlapping and reducing reliance on an ultra-high mass resolution mass spectrometer. Through a PACE separation, 46 tryptic peptides from bovine serum albumin and 150 putative neuropeptides from the pericardial organs of a model organism blue crab Callinectes sapidus were detected from the MALDI MS imaging traces, enabling four to six-fold increase of peptide coverage as compared with direct MALDI MS analysis. For the first time, quantitation with high accuracy was obtained using PACE-MSI for both digested tryptic peptides and endogenous neuropeptides from complex biological samples in combination with isotopic formaldehyde labeling. Although MSI is typically employed in tissue imaging, we show in this report that, it offers a unique tool for quantitative analysis of complex trace-level analytes with CE separation. These results demonstrate a great potential of the PACE-MSI platform for enhanced quantitative proteomics and neuropeptidomics.
capillary electrophoresis; CE; PACE; MALDI; mass spectrometric imaging; MSI; peptides; neuropeptides; quantitation
The hemolytic activities of 91 strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from human diarrheal stools, sea fish, and sea water; 21 suspected V. parahaemolyticus cultures isolated from wound infections; 14 nonpathogenic marine vibrios; and 21 V. parahaemolyticus isolated from moribund blue crabs Callinectes sapidus were compared. Potentially pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains could be differentiated from the related nonpathogenic marine vibrios, because the former hemolyzed hamster, sheep, and human blood, whereas the latter were nonhemolytic. In addition, V. parahaemolyticus isolated from tissue infections could be differentiated from those of the first group isolated from sea fish or human stools, because the former exhibited primarily an α-hemolytic reaction on chicken blood; the latter exhibited mostly β. It is suggested that V. parahaemolyticus isolated from blue crabs may be differentiated from the first group on the basis of their hemolysis of human blood. A useful schema of the differential hemolytic reactions, exhibited by V. parahaemolyticus, tissue infection vibrios, and nonpathogens on hamster, sheep, chicken, goose, and human blood is given. The patterns of hemolytic activity of these groups on special human blood-agar plates (Kanagawa hemolysis) resembled that seen on ordinary human blood-agar.
Herein we report a highly efficient and reliable membrane-assisted capillary isoelectric focusing (MA-CIEF) system being coupled with MALDI-FTMS for the analysis of complex neuropeptide mixtures. The new interface consists of two membrane-coated joints made near each end of the capillary for applying high voltage, while the capillary ends were placed in the two reservoirs which were filled with anolyte (acid) and catholyte (base) to provide pH difference. Optimizations of CIEF conditions and comparison with conventional CIEF were carried out by using bovine serum albumin (BSA) tryptic peptides. It was shown that the MA-CIEF could provide more efficient, reliable and faster separation with improved sequence coverage when coupled to MALDI-FTMS. Analyses of orcokinin family neuropeptides from crabs Cancer borealis and Callinectes sapidus brain extracts have been conducted using the established MA-CIEF/MALDI-FTMS platform. Increased number of neuropeptides was observed with significantly enhanced MS signal in comparison with direct analysis by MALDI FTMS. The results highlighted the potential of MA-CIEF as an efficient fractionation tool for coupling to MALDI MS for neuropeptide analysis.
capillary isoelectric focusing; CIEF; MALDI-FTMS; mass spectrometry; neuropeptides; orcokinin
Predicting the spatial and temporal patterns of marine larval dispersal and supply is a challenging task due to the small size of the larvae and the variability of oceanographic processes. Addressing this problem requires the use of novel approaches capable of capturing the inherent variability in the mechanisms involved.
In this study we test whether dispersal and connectivity patterns generated from a bio-physical model of larval dispersal of the crab Carcinus maenas, along the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula, can predict the highly variable daily pattern of wind-driven larval supply to an estuary observed during the peak reproductive season (March–June) in 2006 and 2007. Cross-correlations between observed and predicted supply were significant (p<0.05) and strong, ranging from 0.34 to 0.81 at time lags of −6 to +5 d. Importantly, the model correctly predicted observed cross-shelf distributions (Pearson r = 0.82, p<0.001, and r = 0.79, p<0.01, in 2006 and 2007) and indicated that all supply events were comprised of larvae that had been retained within the inner shelf; larvae transported to the outer shelf and beyond never recruited. Estimated average dispersal distances ranged from 57 to 198 km and were only marginally affected by mortality.
The high degree of predicted demographic connectivity over relatively large geographic scales is consistent with the lack of genetic structuring in C. maenas along the Iberian Peninsula. These findings indicate that the dynamic nature of larval dispersal can be captured by mechanistic biophysical models, which can be used to provide meaningful predictions of the patterns and causes of fine-scale variability in larval supply to marine populations.
To understand the hormonal coordination of the antagonism between molting and reproduction in crustaceans, the terminally anecdysial mature female Callinectes sapidus was used as a model. The regulatory roles of crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) and molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH) in vitellogenesis were examined. A competitive specific RIA was used to measure the levels of MIH and CHH in the hemolymphs of mature females at pre- and mid- vitellogenic stages, and their effects on vitellogenesis at early (early 2, E2) and mid vitellogenesis (3) stages were determined in vitro. A hepatopancreas fragments incubation system was developed and the levels of vitellogenin (VtG), as well as VtG mRNA and heterogeneous nuclear (hn)VtG RNA were determined using RIA or QPCR, respectively. MIH titers were four times higher at mid-vitellogenesis than at pre-vitellogenesis, while CHH levels in the hemolymph were constant. In the in vitro incubation experiments, MIH increased both VtG mRNA levels and secretion at ovarian stage 3. At stage E2, however, MIH resulted in a mixed response: downregulation of VtG mRNA and upregulation of hnVtG RNA. CHH had no effect on any of the parameters. Actinomycin D blocked the stimulatory effects of MIH in stage 3 animals on VtG mRNA and VtG, while cycloheximide attenuated only VtG levels, confirming the MIH stimulatory effect at this stage. MIH is a key endocrine regulator in the coordination of molting and reproduction in the mature female C. sapidus, which simultaneously inhibits molt and stimulates vitellogenesis.
It is now widely accepted that a shift towards renewable energy production is needed in order to avoid further anthropogenically induced climate change. The ocean provides a largely untapped source of renewable energy. As a result, harvesting electrical power from the wind and tides has sparked immense government and commercial interest but with relatively little detailed understanding of the potential environmental impacts. This study investigated how the sound emitted from an underwater tidal turbine and an offshore wind turbine would influence the settlement and metamorphosis of the pelagic larvae of estuarine brachyuran crabs which are ubiquitous in most coastal habitats. In a laboratory experiment the median time to metamorphosis (TTM) for the megalopae of the crabs Austrohelice crassa and Hemigrapsus crenulatus was significantly increased by at least 18 h when exposed to either tidal turbine or sea-based wind turbine sound, compared to silent control treatments. Contrastingly, when either species were subjected to natural habitat sound, observed median TTM decreased by approximately 21–31% compared to silent control treatments, 38–47% compared to tidal turbine sound treatments, and 46–60% compared to wind turbine sound treatments. A lack of difference in median TTM in A. crassa between two different source levels of tidal turbine sound suggests the frequency composition of turbine sound is more relevant in explaining such responses rather than sound intensity. These results show that estuarine mudflat sound mediates natural metamorphosis behaviour in two common species of estuarine crabs, and that exposure to continuous turbine sound interferes with this natural process. These results raise concerns about the potential ecological impacts of sound generated by renewable energy generation systems placed in the nearshore environment.
Tachykinin-related peptide (TRP) refers to a large and structurally diverse family of neuropeptides found in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. These peptides have various important physiological functions, from regulating stress in mammals to exciting the pyloric (food filtering) rhythm in the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of decapod crustaceans. Here, a novel TRP, which we named CalsTRP (Callinectes sapidus TRP), YPSGFLGMRamide (m/z 1026.52), was identified and de novo sequenced using a multifaceted mass spectrometry-based platform in both the central nervous system (CNS) and STNS of C. sapidus. We also found, using isotopic formaldehyde labeling, that CalsTRP in the C. sapidus brain and commissural ganglion (CoG) was up-regulated after food-intake, suggesting that TRPs in the CNS and STNS are involved in regulating feeding in Callinectes. Using imaging mass spectrometry, we determined that the previously identified CabTRP Ia (APSGFLGMRamide) and CalsTRP were co-localized in the C. sapidus brain. Lastly, our electrophysiological studies show that bath-applied CalsTRP and CabTRP Ia each activates the pyloric and gastric mill rhythms in C. sapidus, as shown previously for pyloric rhythm activation by CabTRP Ia in the crab Cancer borealis. In summary, the newly identified CalsTRP joins CabTRP Ia as a TRP family member in the decapod crustacean nervous system, whose actions include regulating feeding behavior.
Neuropeptide; CalsTRP; Callinectes sapidus; tachykinin-related peptide; mass spectrometry; feeding; stomatogastric nervous system