The Cariaco Basin is characterized by pronounced and predictable vertical layering of microbial communities dominated by reduced sulfur species at and below the redox transition zone. Marine water samples were collected in May, 2005 and 2006, at the sampling stations A (10°30′ N, 64°40′ W), B (10°40′ N, 64°45′ W) and D (10°43’N, 64°32’W) from different depths, including surface, redox interface, and anoxic zones. In order to enrich for sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB), water samples were inoculated into anaerobic media amended with lactate or acetate as carbon source. To analyze the composition of enrichment cultures, we performed DNA extraction, PCR-DGGE, and sequencing of selected bands.
DGGE results indicate that many bacterial genera were present that are associated with the sulfur cycle, including Desulfovibrio spp., as well as heterotrophs belonging to Vibrio, Enterobacter, Shewanella, Fusobacterium, Marinifilum, Mariniliabilia, and Spirochaeta. These bacterial populations are related to sulfur coupling and carbon cycles in an environment of variable redox conditions and oxygen availability.
In our studies, we found an association of SRB-like Desulfovibrio with Vibrio species and other genera that have a previously defined relevant role in sulfur transformation and coupling of carbon and sulfur cycles in an environment where there are variable redox conditions and oxygen availability. This study provides new information about microbial species that were culturable on media for SRB at anaerobic conditions at several locations and water depths in the Cariaco Basin.
SRB; Cariaco Basin; Desulfovibrio; Vibrio; DGGE; Culture
Picoeukaryotes are protists ≤ 3 μm composed of a wide diversity of taxonomic groups. They are an important constituent of the ocean’s microbiota and perform essential ecological roles in marine nutrient and carbon cycles. Despite their importance, the true extent of their diversity has only recently been uncovered by molecular surveys that resulted in the discovery of a substantial number of previously unknown groups. No study on picoeukaryote diversity has been conducted so far in the main Red Sea basin-a unique marine environment characterized by oligotrophic conditions, high levels of irradiance, high salinity and increased water temperature.
We sampled surface waters off the coast of the northeastern Red Sea and analyzed the picoeukaryotic diversity using Sanger-based clone libraries of the 18S rRNA gene in order to produce high quality, nearly full-length sequences. The community captured by our approach was dominated by three main phyla, the alveolates, stramenopiles and chlorophytes; members of Radiolaria, Cercozoa and Haptophyta were also found, albeit in low abundances. Photosynthetic organisms were especially diverse and abundant in the sample, confirming the importance of picophytoplankton for primary production in the basin as well as indicating the existence of numerous ecological micro-niches for this trophic level in the upper euphotic zone. Heterotrophic organisms were mostly composed of the presumably parasitic Marine Alveolates (MALV) and the presumably bacterivorous Marine Stramenopiles (MAST) groups. A small number of sequences that did not cluster closely with known clades were also found, especially in the MALV-II group, some of which could potentially belong to novel clades.
This study provides the first snapshot of the picoeukaryotic diversity present in surface waters of the Red Sea, hence setting the stage for large-scale surveying and characterization of the eukaryotic diversity in the entire basin. Our results indicate that the picoeukaryotic community in the northern Red Sea, despite its unique physiochemical conditions (i.e. increased temperatures, increased salinity, and high UV irradiance) does not differ vastly from its counterparts in other oligotrophic marine habitats.
Picoeukaryotes; Red sea; Protists; SSU rRNA; Microbial diversity
Species distribution, abundance and diversity of mangrove benthic macroinvertebrate fauna and the relationships to environmental conditions are important parts of understanding the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems. In this study seasonal variation in the distribution of macrobenthos and related environmental parameters were explored at four mangrove stations along the Pondicherry coast of India, from September 2008 to July 2010. Multivariate statistical analyses, including cluster analysis, principal component analysis and non-multidimensional scales plot were employed to help define trophic status, water quality and benthic characteristic at the four monitoring stations.
Among the 528 samples collected over 168 ha of mangrove forest 76 species of benthic macroinvertebrate fauna were identified. Macrofauna were mainly composed of deposit feeders, dominated numerically by molluscs and crustaceans. Statistical analyses yielded the following descriptors of benthic macroinvertebrate fauna species distribution: densities between 140–1113 ind. m-2, dominance 0.17-0.50, diversity 1.80-2.83 bits ind-1, richness 0.47-0.74 and evenness 0.45-0.72, equitability 0.38-0.77, berger parker 0.31-0.77 and fisher alpha 2.46-5.70. Increases of species diversity and abundance were recorded during the post monsoon season at station 1 and the lowest diversity was recorded at station 2 during the monsoon season. The pollution indicator organisms Cassidula nucleus, Melampus ceylonicus, Sphaerassiminea minuta were found only at the two most polluted regions, i.e. stations 3 and 4. Benthic macroinvertebrate fauna abundances were inversely related to salinity at the four stations, Based on Bray-Curtis similarity through hierarchical clustering implemented in PAST, it was possible to define three distinct benthic assemblages at the stations.
From a different multivariate statistical analysis of the different environmental parameters regarding species diversity and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrate fauna, it was found that benthic communities are highly affected by all the environmental parameters governing the distribution and diversity variation of the macrofaunal community in Pondicherry mangroves. Salinity, dissolved oxygen levels, organic matter content, sulphide concentration were the most significant parameters.
Density; Diversity; Mangroves; Benthic macroinvertebrate fauna; Seasonal variation
Cyanobacteria are common components of phytoplankton communities in most freshwater ecosystems. Proliferations of cyanobacteria are often caused by high nutrient loading, and as such can serve as indicators of declining water quality. Massive industrialization in developing countries, like India, has polluted fresh water bodies, including wetlands. Many industries directly discard their effluents to nearby water sources without treatment. In the Sambalpur District of India effluents reach the reservoir of the worlds largest earthen dam i.e Hirakud Dam. This study examines cyanobacteria communities in the wetlands of Sambalpur District, Odisha, India, including areas subjected to industrial pollution.
Result & Discussion
The genera Anabaena, Oscillatoria, Chroococcus, Phormidium were dominant genera of polluted wetlands of Sambalpur districts. A positive correlation was found between total cyanobacterial species and dissolved oxygen levels, but cyanobacterial diversity was inversely related to BOD, COD, TSS, and TDS. High dissolved oxygen content was also associated with regions of lower cyanobacteria biomass.
Cyanobacterial abundance was positively correlated to content of oxidisable organic matter, but negatively correlated to species diversity. Lower dissolved oxygen was correlated to decreased diversity and increased dominance by Anabaena, Oscillatoria, Chroococcus, Phormidium species, observed in regions characterized by deteriorated water quality.
Wetlands; Cyanobacteria; Eutrophication; Industrialization; Pollution
Rotifers have attracted the attention of biologists for well over 200 years. Interest in these exquisite animals rests in their diverse morphology, short generation time resulting in high growth rates, ability to withstand desiccation, and wide distribution, coupled with evidence of cryptic speciation. Moreover, three modes of reproduction are present in the phylum: obligatory sexuality, cyclical parthenogenesis, and obligatory ameiotic parthenogenesis. Thus, this phylum offers a rich field of study. Recognizing the need to share advances in knowledge, a triennial meeting, the International Rotifer Symposium (IRS), was begun in 1976. The most recent symposium (13th IRS) was held at Shillong (India) from 18–24, November 2012. In this commentary we considered the development of rotifer research as viewed through the lens of more than 35 years of IRS. Initially papers presented at the IRS focused on ecology, morphology, and pure taxonomic problems, with little applied work being reported. However, after more than three decades, the emphasis has swung to a balance of both basic (e.g., aging, ecology, genetics, and taxonomy) and applied (aquaculture and ecotoxicology) research.
Aging; Aquaculture; Cryptic speciation; Ecology; Ecotoxicology; Genetics; Taxonomy
Aquaculture is one amongst the growing and major food producing sectors. Shrimp culture is one of the subsectors of aquaculture that attracts more attention because of the economic interest. However, the shrimp culture systems have been facing severe consequences and economical losses due to disease outbreaks. Risk of disease outbreak can be combated with the application of probiotics. For economically viable production of such probiotic products, the present study provides information on the optimization and partial purification of bacteriocin produced by a goat milk isolate Lactobacillus sp. MSU3IR against the shrimp bacterial pathogens.
Bacteriocin production was estimated as a measure of bactericidal activity (arbitrary Unit/ml) over the test strains. The optimum culture conditions and media components for maximum bacteriocin production by Lactobacillus sp. MSU3IR were: pH: 5.0, temperature: 30°C, carbon source: lactose; nitrogen source: ammonium acetate; NaCl: 3.0% and surfactant: Tween 80. MRS medium was found to extend better bacteriocin production than other tested media. Upon partial purification of bacteriocin, the SDS-PAGE analysis had manifested the presence of two peptide bands with the molecular weight of 39.26 and 6.38 kDa, respectively.
The present results provide baseline trend for the statistical optimization, scale up process and efficient production of bacteriocin by the candidate bacterial strain Lactobacillus sp. MSU3IR which could be used to replace the usage of conventional chemotherapeutics in shrimp culture systems.
Aquaculture; Bacteriocin; Lactobacillus; Probiotics; Shrimp pathogens
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
Tributyltin (TBT) is a ubiquitous persistent xenobiotic that can be found in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystem. TBT is a strong endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) that can cause toxic threat to aquatic organisms. Imposex, sexual deformities and endocrine dysfunctions are the causes of TBT to most of the aquatic organisms. Effect of TBT on the vitellogenesis and sex hormonal changes in Macrobrachium rosenbergii has never been reported. Hence, the present investigation was undertaken to find out the impact of TBT on histological changes in the different reproductive tissues, sex hormonal alterations and level of biomarkers like vitellogenin and vitellin in M. rosenbergii.
The present investigation documents the possible impact of tributyltin (TBT) on the vitellogenesis in freshwater female prawn M. rosenbergii. TBT at 10 ng/l, 100 ng/l and 1000 ng/l concentrations were exposed individually to prawns for a period of three months. At higher concentration of 1000 ng/l, the ovarian development was arrested and ovary remained at spent stage. At lower concentration of TBT (10 ng/l), the development proceeded up to early vitellogenic stage. At intermediate concentration of 100 ng/l TBT, the ovary remained at pre vitellogenic stage and thereafter no development was noticed. Histological results indicated the normal ovarian development with vitellogenic oocytes, filled with yolk globules in control prawn. On the other hand, the TBT treated groups showed reduction in yolk globules, fusion of developing oocytes and abundance of immature oocytes. Immunofluorescence staining denoted the remarkable reduction in vitellin content in ovary of TBT treated prawn. Hence, TBT had conspicuously inhibited the vitellogenesis by causing hormonal imbalance in M. rosenbergii.
TBT had notably inhibited the vitellogenesis due to hormonal imbalance. This endocrine dysfunction ultimately impaired the oogenesis in the freshwater female prawn M. rosenbergii.
Macrobrachium rosenbergii; Tributyltin; Ovarian development; Vitellogenesis; Sex hormones
The bottom-up (food resources) and top-down (grazing pressure) controls, with other environmental parameters (water temperature, pH) are the main factors regulating the abundance and structure of microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems. It is still not definitively decided which of the two control mechanisms is more important. The significance of bottom-up versus top-down controls may alter with lake productivity and season. In oligo- and/or mesotrophic environments, the bottom-up control is mostly important in regulating bacterial abundances, while in eutrophic systems, the top-down control may be more significant.
The abundance of bacteria, heterotrophic (HNF) and autotrophic (ANF) nanoflagellates and ciliates, as well as bacterial production (BP) and metabolically active cells of bacteria (CTC, NuCC, EST) were studied in eutrophic lakes (Mazurian Lake District, Poland) during spring. The studied lakes were characterized by high nanoflagellate (mean 17.36 ± 8.57 × 103 cells ml-1) and ciliate abundances (mean 59.9 ± 22.4 ind. ml-1) that were higher in the euphotic zone than in the bottom waters, with relatively low bacterial densities (4.76 ± 2.08 × 106 cells ml-1) that were lower in the euphotic zone compared to the profundal zone. Oligotrichida (Rimostrombidium spp.), Prostomatida (Urotricha spp.) and Scuticociliatida (Histiobalantium bodamicum) dominated in the euphotic zone, whereas oligotrichs Tintinnidium sp. and prostomatids Urotricha spp. were most numerous in the bottom waters. Among the staining methods used to examine bacterial cellular metabolic activity, the lowest percentage of active cells was recorded with the CTC (1.5–15.4%) and EST (2.7–14.2%) assay in contrast to the NuCC (28.8–97.3%) method.
In the euphotic zone, the bottom-up factors (TP and DOC concentrations) played a more important role than top-down control (grazing by protists) in regulating bacterial numbers and activity. None of the single analyzed factors controlled bacterial abundance in the bottom waters. The results of this study suggest that both control mechanisms, bottom-up and top-down, simultaneously regulated bacterial community and their activity in the profundal zone of the studied lakes during spring. In both lake water layers, food availability (algae, nanoflagellates) was probably the major factor determining ciliate abundance and their composition. In the bottom waters, both groups of protists appeared to be also influenced by oxygen, temperature, and total phosphorus.
Bacteria; Metabolic activity; Protists; Eutrophic lakes
The purpose of this study was to identify arsenite-oxidizing halobacteria in samples obtained from Salar de Punta Negra, II Region of Chile. Seven bacterial isolates, numbered as isolates I to VII, grown in a culture medium with 100 ppm as NaAsO2 (As (III)) were tested. Bacterial growth kinetics and the percent of arsenite removal (PAR) were performed simultaneously with the detection of an arsenite oxidase enzyme through Dot Blot analysis.
An arsenite oxidase enzyme was detected in all isolates, expressed constitutively after 10 generations grown in the absence of As (III). Bacterial growth kinetics and corresponding PAR values showed significant fluctuations over time. PARs close to 100% were shown by isolates V, VI, and VII, at different times of the bacterial growth phase; while isolate II showed PAR values around 40%, remaining constant over time.
Halobacteria from Salar de Punta Negra showed promising properties as arsenite removers under control conditions, incubation time being a critical parameter.
Arsenic; Removal; Halobacteria; Arsenite-Oxidase
Prior research on the microorganisms associated with the brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana, has mainly been limited to culture-based identification techniques or feeding studies for aquaculture. Our objective was to identify bacteria and archaea associated with Artemia adults and encysted embryos to understand the role of microbes in the Artemia life cycle and, therefore, their importance in a hypersaline food chain.
We used small subunit (SSU) 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing to identify bacteria and archaea associated with adults and encysted Artemia embryos from one of their natural environments – Great Salt Lake (GSL), Utah, USA. We found that bacterial sequences most closely related to the genera Halomonas and Vibrio were commonly extracted from GSL adult Artemia, while bacterial sequences most similar to the genera Halomonas, Psychroflexus and Alkalilimnicola dominate in GSL water. Encysted embryos (cysts) yielded bacterial sequences from the genera Idiomarina and Salinivibrio, which were absent from adults and water. Common archaeal sequences in adults were most closely related to the genera Haloterrigena and Haloarcula, while all of the archaeal sequences from GSL water were most similar to the genus Halogeometricum. Cyst derived archaeal sequences were most closely related to the genera Halorubrum and Haloarcula.
In addition to identifying microbial rRNA sequences that are specific to different stages of the Artemia life cycle, we observed striking differences in the sequences associated with the adult Artemia population in samples collected from GSL at different times and locations. While our study was limited in scope and the sample was small, our findings provide a foundation for future research into how the bacteria and archaea associated with Artemia influence the Artemia life cycle, and GSL food web.
Freshwater mussels remain among the most imperiled species in North America due primarily to habitat loss or degradation. Understanding how mussels respond to habitat changes can improve conservation efforts. Mussels deposit rings in their shell in which age and growth information can be read, and thus used to evaluate how mussels respond to changes in habitat. However, discrepancies between methodological approaches to obtain life history information from growth rings has led to considerable uncertainty regarding the life history characteristics of many mussel species. In this study we compared two processing methods, internal and external ring examination, to obtain age and growth information of two populations of mussels in the St. Croix River, MN, and evaluated how mussel growth responded to changes in the operation of a hydroelectric dam.
External ring counts consistently underestimated internal ring counts by 4 years. Despite this difference, internal and external growth patterns were consistent. In 2000, the hydroelectric dam switched from operating on a peaking schedule to run-of-the-river/partial peaking. Growth patterns between an upstream and downstream site of the dam were similar both before and after the change in operation. At the downstream site, however, older mussels had higher growth rates after the change in operation than the same sized mussels collected before the change.
Because growth patterns between internal and external processing methods were consistent, we suggest that external processing is an effective method to obtain growth information despite providing inaccurate age information. External processing is advantageous over internal processing due to its non-destructive nature. Applying this information to analyze the influence of the operation change in the hydroelectric dam, we suggest that changing to run-of-the-river/partial peaking operation has benefited the growth of older mussels below the dam.
Unionidae; Annuli; Growth processing methods; Hydroelectric dam; Flow regulation
Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is a critical nutrient for all life and is periodically limiting in marine and freshwater provinces, yet little is understood how organisms acclimate to fluctuations in Pi within their environment. To investigate whole cell adaptation, we grew Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, a model freshwater cyanobacterium, in 3%, and 0.3% inorganic phosphate (Pi) media. The cells were allowed to acclimate over 60 days, and cells were harvested for quantitative high throughput mass spectrometry-based proteomics using the iTRAQ™ labelling technology.
In total, 120 proteins were identified, and 52 proteins were considered differentially abundant compared to the control. Alkaline phosphatase (APase) activities correlated significantly (p < 0.05) with observed relative PhoA abundances. PstS1 and PstS2 were both observed, yet PstS1 was not differentially more abundant than the control. Phycobilisome protein abundances appeared to be coordinated, and are significantly less abundant in 0.3% Pi than 3% Pi cultures. Also, the central metabolic cell function appears to have shifted towards the production of (NADPH) reducing energy and nucleotide sugars.
This acclimation response bears strong similarity to the previously reported response to nitrogen deprivation within Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. However, it also demonstrates some characteristics of desiccation stress, such as the regulation of fatty acids and increased abundance of rehydrin in the 3% Pi culture.
Cyanobacteria; iTRAQ; Phosphate acclimation; Phycobilisome; Pentose phosphate pathway; Ribose sugars; Synechocystis
Limited information is available regarding the habitat preference of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in South Australian estuarine environments. The need to overcome this paucity of information is crucial for management and conservation initiatives. This preliminary study investigates the space-time patterns of habitat preference by the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet estuary, a South Australian, urbanised, coastal environment. More specifically, the study aim was to identify a potential preference between bare sand substrate and seagrass beds, the two habitat types present in this environment, through the resighting frequency of recognisable individual dolphins.
Photo-identification surveys covering the 118 km2 sanctuary area were conducted over 2 survey periods May to August 2006 and from March 2009 to February 2010. Sighting frequency of recognisable individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins established a significant preference for the bare sand habitat. More specifically, 72 and 18% of the individuals sighted at least on two occasions were observed in the bare sand and seagrass habitats respectively. This trend was consistently observed at both seasonal and annual scales, suggesting a consistency in the distinct use of these two habitats.
It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies.
Bottlenose dolphin; Conservation; estuaries; Photo-identification; Management; Habitat type
Schirmacher Oasis is one of the few ice-free plateaus in East Antarctica that maintains a unique distribution of over 120 microbial-rich, dynamic freshwater lakes, most of which are unexplored. In this study, we describe the bacterial diversity of the rock-water interface in Lake Tawani(P) using culture-independent Bacterial Tag Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (bTEFAP), clone library construction, and culture-based analysis targeting the eubacterial 16S rRNA gene. Lake Tawani(P)was formed in a fossil valley by the accumulation of snow and glacial melt through surface channels into a low-catchment depression. Overall this lake exhibited thirteen bacterial phyla and one-hundred and twelve genera. The Qiime bioinformatics analysis on the bTEFAP alone exhibited higher coverage of the bacterial composition in Lake Tawani(P) than the clone library construction or culture-based methodology. Particularly due to the higher sensitivity of the bTEFAP approach, we detected and differentiated members of the phyla: Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, Nitrospira, and Candidate Division TM7 that other methods were unable to reveal. Nevertheless we found that the use of multiple approaches identified a more complete bacterial community than by using any single approach. Investigating the bacterial diversity of the Schirmacher Oasis lakes, especially those connected through surface channels and encompassed by valleys, will help unravel the dynamic nature of these unique seasonal, freshwater lakes, which potentially harbors highly adapted bacterial taxa with defined ecological functions.
Culture-independent; Culture-dependent; Antarctic freshwater lake; 16S rRNA; bTEFAP; Pyrosequencing; Metagenomics
Microalgae feedstock production can be integrated with wastewater and industrial sources of carbon dioxide. This study reviews the literature on algae grown on wastewater and includes a preliminary analysis of algal production based on anaerobic digestion sludge centrate from the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (HFC AWTP) in Tampa, Florida and secondary effluent from the City of Lakeland wastewater treatment facilities in Lakeland, Florida. It was demonstrated that a mixed culture of wild algae species could successfully be grown on wastewater nutrients and potentially scaled to commercial production. Algae have demonstrated the ability to naturally colonize low-nutrient effluent water in a wetland treatment system utilized by the City of Lakeland. The results from these experiments show that the algae grown in high strength wastewater from the HFC AWTP are light-limited when cultivated indoor since more than 50% of the outdoor illumination is attenuated in the greenhouse.
An analysis was performed to determine the mass of algae that can be supported by the wastewater nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorous) available from the two Florida cities. The study was guided by the growth and productivity data obtained for algal growth in the photobioreactors in operation at the University of South Florida. In the analysis, nutrients and light are assumed to be limited, while CO2 is abundantly available. There is some limitation on land, especially since the HFC AWTP is located at the Port of Tampa. The temperature range in Tampa is assumed to be suitable for algal growth year round. Assuming that the numerous technical challenges to achieving commercial-scale algal production can be met, the results presented suggest that an excess of 71 metric tons per hectare per year of algal biomass can be produced. Two energy production options were considered; liquid biofuels from feedstock with high lipid content, and biogas generation from anaerobic digestion of algae biomass. The total potential oil volume was determined to be approximately 337,500 gallons per year, which may result in the annual production of 270,000 gallons of biodiesel when 80% conversion efficiency is assumed. This production level would be able to sustain approximately 450 cars per year on average. Potential biogas production was estimated to be above 415,000 kg/yr, the equivalent of powering close to 500 homes for a year.
Prolactin (PRL) is a key hormone for osmoregulation in fish. Levels of PRL in the pituitary gland and plasma ion composition of clownfish seem to change to regulate their hydromineral balance during adaptation to waters of different salinities. In order to understand osmoregulatory mechanism and its association with growth performance and PRL in fish, the gene encoding PRL and its expression level in cinnamon clownfish Amphiprion melanopus upon acclimation to low salinity was analyzed.
The PRL gene of A. melanopus encoded a protein of 212 amino acid residues comprised of a putative signal peptide of 24 amino acids and a mature protein of 188 amino acids. Analysis of growth performance under different salinities of 34, 25, 15, and 10 ppt indicated that cinnamon clownfish could survive under salinities as low as 10 ppt. A higher rate of growth was observed at the lower salinities as compared to that of 34 ppt. Upon shifting the salinity of the surrounding water from 34 ppt to 15 ppt, the level of the PRL transcripts gradually increased to reach the peak level until 24 h of acclimation at 15 ppt, but decreased back as adaptation continued to 144 h. In contrast, levels of plasma Na+, Cl-, and osmolality decreased at the initial stage (4–8 h) of acclimation at 15 pt but increased back as adaptation continued till 144 h.
Cinnamon clownfish could survive under salinities as low as 10 ppt. Upon shifting the salinity of the surrounding water from 34 ppt to 15 ppt, the level of the PRL transcripts gradually increased during the initial stage of acclimation but decreased back to the normal level as adaptation continued. An opposite pattern of changes - decrease at the beginning followed by an increase - in the levels of plasma Na+, Cl-, and osmolality was found upon acclimation to low salinity. The results suggest an involvement of PRL in the processes of osmoregulation and homeostasis in A. melanopus.
Osmoregulation; Prolactin; Osmoregulation; Clownfish; Amphiprion melanopus
The salt tolerance of halophilic bacteria make them promising candidates for technical applications, like isolation of salt tolerant enzymes or remediation of contaminated saline soils and waters. Furthermore, some halophilic bacteria synthesize inorganic solids resulting in organic–inorganic hybrids. This process is known as biomineralization, which is induced and/or controlled by the organism. The adaption of the soft and eco-friendly reaction conditions of this formation process to technical syntheses of inorganic nano materials is desirable. In addition, environmental contaminations can be entrapped in biomineralization products which facilitate the subsequent removal from waste waters. The moderately halophilic bacteria Halomonas halophila mineralize calcium carbonate in the calcite polymorph. The biomineralization process was investigated in the presence of zinc ions as a toxic model contaminant. In particular, the time course of the mineralization process and the influence of zinc on the mineralized inorganic materials have been focused in this study.
H. halophila can adapt to zinc contaminated medium, maintaining the ability for biomineralization of calcium carbonate. Adapted cultures show only a low influence of zinc on the growth rate. In the time course of cultivation, zinc ions accumulated on the bacterial surface while the medium depleted in the zinc contamination. Intracellular zinc concentrations were below the detection limit, suggesting that zinc was mainly bound extracellular. Zinc ions influence the biomineralization process. In the presence of zinc, the polymorphs monohydrocalcite and vaterite were mineralized, instead of calcite which is synthesized in zinc-free medium.
We have demonstrated that the bacterial mineralization process can be influenced by zinc ions resulting in the modification of the synthesized calcium carbonate polymorph. In addition, the shape of the mineralized inorganic material is chancing through the presence of zinc ions. Furthermore, the moderately halophilic bacterium H. halophila can be applied for the decontamination of zinc from aqueous solutions.
Traditional salt farming in Goa, India has been practised for the past 1,500 years by a few communities. Goa’s riverine estuaries, easy access to sea water and favourable climatic conditions makes salt production attractive during summer. Salt produced through this natural evaporation process also played an important role in the economy of Goa even during the Portuguese rule as salt was the chief export commodity. In the past there were 36 villages involved in salt production, which is now reduced to 9. Low income, lack of skilled labour, competition from industrially produced salt, losses incurred on the yearly damage of embankments are the major reasons responsible for the reduction in the number of salt pans.
Salt pans (Mithagar or Mithache agor) form a part of the reclaimed waterlogged khazan lands, which are also utilised for aquaculture, pisciculture and agriculture. Salt pans in Goa experience three phases namely, the ceased phase during monsoon period of June to October, preparatory phase from December to January, and salt harvesting phase, from February to June. After the monsoons, the salt pans are prepared manually for salt production. During high tide, an influx of sea water occurs, which enters the reservoir pans through sluice gates. The sea water after 1–2 days on attaining a salinity of approximately 5ºBé, is released into the evaporator pans and kept till it attains a salinity of 23 - 25ºBé. The brine is then released to crystallizer pans, where the salt crystallises out 25 - 27ºBé and is then harvested.
Salt pans form a unique ecosystem where succession of different organisms with varying environmental conditions occurs. Organisms ranging from bacteria, archaea to fungi, algae, etc., are known to colonise salt pans and may influence the quality of salt produced.
The aim of this review is to describe salt farming in Goa’s history, importance of salt production as a community activity, traditional method of salt production and the biota associated with salt pans.
Salt pan; Goa; Estuary; Community; Khazan; Tidal influx; India; Salt production
Salinity is restricting habitatability for many biota in prairie lakes due to limited physiological abilities to cope with increasing osmotic stress. Yet, it remains unclear how salinity effects vary among major taxonomic groups and what role other environmental parameters play in shaping food-web composition. To answer these questions, we sampled fish, zooplankton and littoral macroinvertebrates in 20 prairie lakes (Saskatchewan, Canada) characterized by large gradients in water chemistry and lake morphometry. We showed that salinity thresholds differed among major taxonomic groups, as most fishes were absent above salinities of 2 g L-1, while littoral macroinvertebrates were ubiquitous. Zooplankton occurred over the whole salinity range, but changed taxonomic composition as salinity increased. Subsequently, the complexity of fish community (diversity) was associated with large changes in invertebrate communities. The directional changes in invertebrate communities to smaller taxa indicated that complex fish assemblages resulted in higher predation pressure. Most likely, as the complexity of fish community decreased, controls of invertebrate assemblages shifted from predation to competition and ultimately to productivity in hypersaline lakes. Surprisingly, invertebrate predators did not thrive in the absence of fishes in these systems. Furthermore, the here identified salinity threshold for fishes was too low to be a result of osmotic stress. Hence, winterkill was likely an important factor eliminating fishes in low salinity lakes that had high productivity and shallow water depth. Ultimately, while salinity was crucial, intricate combinations of chemical and biological mechanisms also played a major role in controlling the assemblages of major taxonomic groups in prairie lakes.
Lake food-web; Diversity; Fish; Invertebrates; Salinity; Winter kill
Predatory copepods of the family Euchaetidae are widely distributed in polar, temperate, subtropical and tropical oceans. Paraeuchaeta concinna is the most abundant Euchaetidae in the subtropical coastal seas of Hong Kong and southern China. However, compared to Euchaetidae species in temperate and polar regions, relatively little information is available on the ecology of P. concinna and other Euchaetidae species in the subtropical oceans. This paper provides information on the seasonal abundance of P. concinna in the coastal seas of eastern Hong Kong. The diel vertical distribution of P. concinna, feeding behavior, and predation impact on mesozooplankton in eastern Hong Kong were also investigated.
P. concinna is most abundant in winter and spring. Their abundance decreases shoreward, and densities are generally higher in the open waters of eastern Hong Kong than in the inner parts of Mirs Bay and Tolo Harbour. P. concinna exhibits both diel vertical migration and diel feeding rhythms in Mirs Bay. P. concinna females show strong preference for the copepods of the genera Acrocalanus, Paracalanus, and Parvocalanus, and remove ~4% of their standing stocks daily.
The low abundance of P. concinna during most of the year suggests it is not indigenous to coastal seas of eastern Hong Kong. P. concinna performs diel vertical migration, most likely as a strategy to avoid visual predation. Gut content analysis showed that Acrocalanus, Paracalanus, and Parvocalanus are highly preferred prey of P. concinna. A daily predation impact of ~4% of the standing stocks of Acrocalanus, Paracalanus, and Parvocalanus suggests that P. concinna may play an important role in regulating the populations of these small copepods in Mirs Bay, especially during winter and spring.
Paraeuchaeta concinna; Seasonal distribution; Diel vertical migration; Feeding
The genus Dunaliella (Class – Chlorophyceae) is widely studied for its tolerance to extreme habitat conditions, physiological aspects and many biotechnological applications, such as a source of carotenoids and many other bioactive compounds. Biochemical and molecular characterization is very much essential to fully explore the properties and possibilities of the new isolates of Dunaliella. In India, hyper saline lakes and salt pans were reported to bloom with Dunaliella spp. However, except for the economically important D. salina, other species are rarely characterized taxonomically from India. Present study was conducted to describe Dunaliella strains from Indian salinas using a combined morphological, physiological and molecular approach with an aim to have a better understanding on the taxonomy and diversity of this genus from India.
Comparative phenotypic and genetic studies revealed high level of diversity within the Indian Dunaliella isolates. Species level identification using morphological characteristics clearly delineated two strains of D. salina with considerable β-carotene content (>20 pg/cell). The variation in 18S rRNA gene size, amplified with MA1-MA2 primers, ranged between ~1800 and ~2650 base pairs, and together with the phylogeny based on ITS gene sequence provided a pattern, forming five different groups within Indian Dunaliella isolates. Superficial congruency was observed between ITS and rbcL gene phylogenetic trees with consistent formation of major clades separating Indian isolates into two distinct clusters, one with D. salina and allied strains, and another one with D. viridis and allied strains. Further in both the trees, few isolates showed high level of genetic divergence than reported previously for Dunaliella spp. This indicates the scope of more numbers of clearly defined/unidentified species/sub-species within Indian Dunaliella isolates.
Present work illustrates Indian Dunaliella strains phenotypically and genetically, and confirms the presence of not less than five different species (or sub-species) in Indian saline waters, including D. salina and D. viridis. The study emphasizes the need for a combined morphological, physiological and molecular approach in the taxonomic studies of Dunaliella.
Dunaliella; Diversity; India; 18S rDNA; ITS; rbcL gene
Sundarbans is the single largest deltaic mangrove forest in the world, formed at estuarine phase of the Ganges - Brahmaputra river system. Primary productivity of marine and coastal phytoplankton contributes to 15% of global oceanic production. But unfortunately estuarine dynamics of tropical and subtropical estuaries have not yet received proper attention in spite of the fact that they experience considerable anthropogenic interventions and a baseline data is required for any future comparison. This study is an endeavor to this end to estimate the primary productivity (gross and net), community respiration and nitrification rates in different rivers and tidal creeks around Jharkhali island, a part of Sundarbans estuary surrounded by the mangrove forest during a period of three years starting from November’08 to October’11.
Various physical and chemical parameters of water column like pH, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, suspended particulate matter, secchi disc index, tidal fluctuation and tidal current velocity, standing crop and nutrients were measured along with water column productivity. Relationship of net water column productivity with algal biomass (standing crop), nutrient loading and turbidity were determined experimentally. Correlations of bacterial abundance with community respiration and nitrification rates were also explored. Annual integrated phytoplankton production rate of this tidal estuary was estimated to be 151.07 gC m-2 y-1. Gross primary productivity showed marked inter annual variation being lowest in monsoon and highest in postmonsoon period.
Average primary production was a function of nutrient loading and light penetration in the water column. High aquatic turbidity, conductivity and suspended particulate matter were the limiting factors to attenuate light penetration with negative influence on primary production. Community respiration and nitrification rates of the estuary were influenced by the bacterial abundance. The estuary was phosphorus limited in postmonsoon whereas nitrogen-limited in premonsoon and monsoon period. High algal biomass and primary productivity indicated the estuary to be in eutrophic state in most of the time throughout the year. Our study also indicated a seasonal shifting between autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions in Sundarban estuarine ecosystem and it is a tropical, well mixed (high tidal influx) and marine dominated (no fresh water connection) system.
Net ecosystem metabolism; Gross primary productivity; Community respiration; Nitrification; Nutrient load; Sundarban estuary
In a biogeographical context, the term Macaronesia broadly embraces the North Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde. The peculiar arid climatic conditions in some of these places have led to the development of marine salt exploitations, which can be counted among the hypersaline habitats of the brine shrimp Artemia (Branchiopoda, Anostraca). Parthenogenetic populations of this anostracan were described in the Canary Islands during the last decades of the 20th century, while the American Artemia franciscana species was recently found in the Cape Verde archipelago. Following an invasive pattern, this exotic species has recently reached the Canary Islands, too. This paper reports information dealing with biotope loss (solar saltworks) in this biogeographical region, together with possible consequences concerning the arrival of invasive species, two factors that frequently promote dramatic biodiversity losses. The discussion of this threat focuses mainly on the Canary Islands archipelago where native species of Artemia still exist.
Artemia; Biodiversity; Macaronesia; Saltworks; Loss of habitats; Invasion
Parasitic dinoflagellates of the genus Hematodinium are significant pathogens affecting the global decapod crustacean fishery. Despite this, considerable knowledge gaps exist regarding the life history of the pathogen in vivo, and the role of free living life stages in transmission to naïve hosts.
In this study, we describe a novel disease in European brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) caused by infection with a parasitic dinoflagellate of the genus Hematodinium. This is the second example host within the Infraorder Caridea (shrimp) and significantly, the first description within the superfamily Crangonoidea. Based upon analysis of the rRNA gene (SSU) and spacers (ITS1), the parasite in C. crangon is the same as that previously described infecting Nephrops norvegicus and Cancer pagurus from European seas, and to the parasite infecting several other commercially important crab species in the Northern Hemisphere. The parasite is however distinct from the type species, H. perezi, found infecting type hosts (Carcinus maenas and Liocarcinus depurator) from nearby sites within Europe. Despite these similarities, the current study has also described for the first time, a bacteria-like endosymbiont within dinospore stages of the parasite infecting shrimp. The endosymbionts were either contained individually within electron lucent vacuoles within the parasite cell cytoplasm, or remained in direct contact with the parasite cytoplasm or in some cases, the nucleoplasm. In all of these cases, no apparent detrimental effects of colonization were observed within the parasite cell.
The presence of bacteria-like endosymbionts within dinospore life stages presumes that the relationship between the dinoflagellate and the bacteria is extended beyond the period of liberation of spores from the infected host shrimp. In this context, a potential role of endosymbiosis in the survival of free-living stages of the parasite is possible. The finding offers a further intriguing insight into the life history of this enigmatic pathogen of marine crustacean hosts and highlights a potential for mixotrophy in the parasitic dinoflagellates contained within the genus Hematodinium.
ITS1; Phylogenetics; Dinoflagellate; Bacteria; Crustacean; Disease; Fishery