ResearchPad - cnidaria https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Jellyfish distribution in space and time predicts leatherback sea turtle hot spots in the Northwest Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14580 Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) migrate to temperate Canadian Atlantic waters to feed on gelatinous zooplankton (‘jellyfish’) every summer. However, the spatio-temporal connection between predator foraging and prey-field dynamics has not been studied at the large scales over which these migratory animals occur. We use 8903 tows of groundfish survey jellyfish bycatch data between 2006–2017 to reveal spatial jellyfish hot spots, and matched these data to satellite-telemetry leatherback data over time and space. We found highly significant overlap of jellyfish and leatherback distribution on the Scotian Shelf (r = 0.89), moderately strong correlations of jellyfish and leatherback spatial hot spots in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (r = 0.59), and strong correlations in the Bay of Fundy (r = 0.74), which supports much lower jellyfish density. Over time, jellyfish bycatch data revealed a slight northward range shift in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, consistent with gradual warming of these waters. Two-stage generalized linear modelling corroborated that sea surface temperature, year, and region were significant predictors of jellyfish biomass, suggesting a climate signal on jellyfish distribution, which may shift leatherback critical feeding habitat over time. These findings are useful in predicting dynamic habitat use for endangered leatherback turtles, and can help to anticipate large-scale changes in their distribution in response to climate-related changes in prey availability.

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<![CDATA[Bacteria associated with moon jellyfish during bloom and post-bloom periods in the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c4ad5eed0c484bd154e

Jellyfish are a prominent component of the plankton community. They frequently form conspicuous blooms which may interfere with different human enterprises. Among the aspects that remain understudied are jellyfish associations with microorganisms having potentially important implications for organic matter cycling. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the bacterial community associated with live moon jellyfish (Aurelia solida, Scyohozoa) in the Adriatic Sea. Using 16S rRNA clone libraries and culture-based methods, we have analyzed the bacterial community composition of different body parts: the exumbrella surface, oral arms, and gastric cavity, and investigated possible differences in medusa-associated bacterial community structure at the time of the jellyfish population peak, and during the senescent phase at the end of bloom. Microbiota associated with moon jellyfish was different from ambient seawater bacterial assemblage and varied between different body parts. Betaproteobacteria (Burkholderia, Cupriavidus and Achromobacter) dominated community in the gastral cavity of medusa, while Alphaproteobacteria (Phaeobacter, Ruegeria) and Gammaproteobacteria (Stenotrophomonas, Alteromonas, Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio) prevailed on ‘outer’ body parts. Bacterial community structure changed during senescent phase, at the end of the jellyfish bloom, showing an increased abundance of Gammaproteobacteria, exclusively Vibrio. The results of cultured bacterial isolates showed the dominance of Gammaproeteobacteria, especially Vibrio and Pseudoalteromonas in all body parts. Our results suggest that jellyfish associated bacterial community might have an important role for the host, and that anthropogenic pollution in the Gulf of Trieste might affect their community structure.

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<![CDATA[FISH-based karyotyping of Pelmatohydraoligactis (Pallas, 1766), Hydraoxycnida Schulze, 1914, and H.magnipapillata Itô, 1947 (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c39486ed5eed0c484a40fbd
Abstract

An account is given of the karyotypes of Hydramagnipapillata Itô, 1947, H.oxycnida Schulze, 1914, and Pelmatohydraoligactis (Pallas, 1766) (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Hydridae). A number of different techniques were used: conventional karyotype characterization by standard staining, DAPI-banding and C-banding was complemented by the physical mapping of the ribosomal RNA (18S rDNA probe) and H3 histone genes, and the telomeric (TTAGGG)n sequence by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We found that the species studied had 2n = 30; constitutive heterochromatin was present in the centromeric regions of the chromosomes; the “vertebrate” telomeric (TTAGGG)n motif was located on both ends of each chromosome and no interstitial sites were detected; 18S rDNA was mapped on the largest chromosome pair in H.magnipapillata and on one of the largest chromosome pairs in H.oxycnida and P.oligactis; in H.magnipapillata, the major rRNA and H3 histone multigene families were located on the largest pair of chromosomes, on their long arms and in the centromeric areas respectively. This is the first chromosomal mapping of H3 in hydras.

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<![CDATA[Species-Specific Viromes in the Ancestral Holobiont Hydra]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9feb2

Recent evidence showing host specificity of colonizing bacteria supports the view that multicellular organisms are holobionts comprised of the macroscopic host in synergistic interdependence with a heterogeneous and host-specific microbial community. Whereas host-bacteria interactions have been extensively investigated, comparatively little is known about host-virus interactions and viral contribution to the holobiont. We sought to determine the viral communities associating with different Hydra species, whether these viral communities were altered with environmental stress, and whether these viruses affect the Hydra-associated holobiont. Here we show that each species of Hydra harbors a diverse host-associated virome. Primary viral families associated with Hydra are Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Inoviridae, and Herpesviridae. Most Hydra-associated viruses are bacteriophages, a reflection of their involvement in the holobiont. Changes in environmental conditions alter the associated virome, increase viral diversity, and affect the metabolism of the holobiont. The specificity and dynamics of the virome point to potential viral involvement in regulating microbial associations in the Hydra holobiont. While viruses are generally regarded as pathogenic agents, our study suggests an evolutionary conserved ability of viruses to function as holobiont regulators and, therefore, constitutes an emerging paradigm shift in host-microbe interactions.

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<![CDATA[The influence of a hydraulic prosthetic ankle on residual limb loading during sloped walking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc46f

In recent years, numerous prosthetic ankle-foot devices have been developed to address the demands of sloped walking for individuals with lower-limb amputation. The goal of this study was to compare the performance of a passive, hydraulic ankle-foot prosthesis to two related, non-hydraulic ankles based on their ability to minimize the socket reaction moments of individuals with transtibial amputation during a range of sloped walking tasks. After a two-week accommodation period, kinematic data were collected on seven subjects with a transtibial amputation walking on an instrumented treadmill set at various slopes. Overall, this study was unable to find significant differences in the torque at the distal end of the prosthetic socket between an ankle-foot prosthesis with a hydraulic range-of-motion and other related ankle-foot prosthesis designs (rigid ankle, multiaxial ankle) during the single-support phase of walking. In addition, socket comfort and perceived exertion were not significantly different for any of the ankle-foot prostheses tested in this study. These results suggest the need for further work to determine if more advanced designs (e.g., those with microprocessor control of hydraulic features, powered ankle-foot designs) can provide more biomimetic function to prosthesis users.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA reflects spatial and temporal jellyfish distribution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcbb2

Recent development of environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis allows us to survey underwater macro-organisms easily and cost effectively; however, there have been no reports on eDNA detection or quantification for jellyfish. Here we present the first report on an eDNA analysis of marine jellyfish using Japanese sea nettle (Chrysaora pacifica) as a model species by combining a tank experiment with spatial and temporal distribution surveys. We performed a tank experiment monitoring eDNA concentrations over a range of time intervals after the introduction of jellyfish, and quantified the eDNA concentrations by quantitative real-time PCR. The eDNA concentrations peaked twice, at 1 and 8 h after the beginning of the experiment, and became stable within 48 h. The estimated release rates of the eDNA in jellyfish were higher than the rates previously reported in fishes. A spatial survey was conducted in June 2014 in Maizuru Bay, Kyoto, in which eDNA was collected from surface water and sea floor water samples at 47 sites while jellyfish near surface water were counted on board by eye. The distribution of eDNA in the bay corresponded with the distribution of jellyfish inferred by visual observation, and the eDNA concentration in the bay was ~13 times higher on the sea floor than on the surface. The temporal survey was conducted from March to November 2014, in which jellyfish were counted by eye every morning while eDNA was collected from surface and sea floor water at three sampling points along a pier once a month. The temporal fluctuation pattern of the eDNA concentrations and the numbers of observed individuals were well correlated. We conclude that an eDNA approach is applicable for jellyfish species in the ocean.

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<![CDATA[Thermal Stress and Coral Cover as Drivers of Coral Disease Outbreaks ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9dab0ee8fa60ba4993

Very little is known about how environmental changes such as increasing temperature affect disease dynamics in the ocean, especially at large spatial scales. We asked whether the frequency of warm temperature anomalies is positively related to the frequency of coral disease across 1,500 km of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. We used a new high-resolution satellite dataset of ocean temperature and 6 y of coral disease and coral cover data from annual surveys of 48 reefs to answer this question. We found a highly significant relationship between the frequencies of warm temperature anomalies and of white syndrome, an emergent disease, or potentially, a group of diseases, of Pacific reef-building corals. The effect of temperature was highly dependent on coral cover because white syndrome outbreaks followed warm years, but only on high (>50%) cover reefs, suggesting an important role of host density as a threshold for outbreaks. Our results indicate that the frequency of temperature anomalies, which is predicted to increase in most tropical oceans, can increase the susceptibility of corals to disease, leading to outbreaks where corals are abundant.

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<![CDATA[TRPV1 activation power can switch an action mode for its polypeptide ligands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf526

TRPV1 (vanilloid) receptors are activated by different types of stimuli including capsaicin, acidification and heat. Various ligands demonstrate stimulus-dependent action on TRPV1. In the present work we studied the action of polypeptides isolated from sea anemone Heteractis crispa (APHC1, APHC2 and APHC3) on rat TRPV1 receptors stably expressed in CHO cells using electrophysiological recordings, fluorescent Ca2+ measurements and molecular modeling. The APHCs potentiated TRPV1 responses to low (3–300 nM) concentrations of capsaicin but inhibited responses to high (>3.0 μM) concentrations. The activity-dependent action was also found for TRPV1 responses to 2APB and acidification. Thus the action mode of APHCs is bimodal and depended on the activation stimuli strength—potentiation of low-amplitude responses and no effect/inhibition of high-amplitude responses. The double-gate model of TRPV1 activation suggests that APHC-polypeptides may stabilize an intermediate state during the receptor activation. Molecular modeling revealed putative binding site at the outer loops of TRPV1. Binding to this site can directly affect activation by protons and can be allosterically coupled with capsaicin site. The results are important for further investigations of both TRPV1 and its ligands for potential therapeutic use.

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<![CDATA[Recovery of Coastal Fauna after the 2011 Tsunami in Japan as Determined by Bimonthly Underwater Visual Censuses Conducted over Five Years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4c9f

Massive tsunamis induce catastrophic disturbance in marine ecosystems, yet they can provide unique opportunities to observe the process of regeneration. Here, we report the recovery of fauna after the 2011 tsunami in northeast Japan based on underwater visual censuses performed every two months over five years. Both total fish abundance and species richness increased from the first to the second year after the tsunami followed by stabilization in the following years. Short-lived fish, such as the banded goby Pterogobius elapoides, were relatively abundant in the first two years, whereas long-lived species, such as the black rockfish Sebastes cheni, increased in the latter half of the survey period. Tropical fish species were recorded only in the second and third years after the tsunami. The body size of long-lived fish increased during the survey period resulting in a gradual increase of total fish biomass. The recovery of fish assemblages was slow at one site located in the inner bay, where the impact of the tsunami was the strongest. Apart from fish, blooms of the moon jellyfish Aurelia sp. occurred only in the first two years after the tsunami, whereas the abundances of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus and abalone Haliotis discus hannai increased after the second year. Although we lack quantitative data prior to the tsunami, we conclude that it takes approximately three years for coastal reef fish assemblages to recover from a heavy disturbance such as a tsunami and that the recovery is dependent on species-specific life span and habitat.

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<![CDATA[Diversity, Distribution and Nature of Faunal Associations with Deep-Sea Pennatulacean Corals in the Northwest Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fbab0ee8fa60b71fb7

Anthoptilum grandiflorum and Halipteris finmarchica are two deep-sea corals (Octocorallia: Pennatulacea) common on soft bottoms in the North Atlantic where they are believed to act as biogenic habitat. The former also has a worldwide distribution. To assist conservation efforts, this study examines spatial and temporal patterns in the abundance, diversity, and nature of their faunal associates. A total of 14 species were found on A. grandiflorum and 6 species on H. finmarchica during a multi-year and multi-site sampling campaign in eastern Canada. Among those, 7 and 5 species, respectively, were attached to the sea pens and categorized as close associates or symbionts. Rarefaction analyses suggest that the most common associates of both sea pens have been sampled. Biodiversity associated with each sea pen is analyzed according to season, depth and region using either close associates or the broader collection of species. Associated biodiversity generally increases from northern to southern locations and does not vary with depth (∼100–1400 m). Seasonal patterns in A. grandiflorum show higher biodiversity during spring/summer due to the transient presence of early life stages of fishes and shrimps whereas it peaks in fall for H. finmarchica. Two distinct endoparasitic species of highly modified copepods (families Lamippidae and Corallovexiidae) commonly occur in the polyps of A. grandiflorum and H. finmarchica, and a commensal sea anemone frequently associates with H. finmarchica. Stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) reveal potential trophic interactions between the parasites and their hosts. Overall, the diversity of obligate/permanent associates of sea pens is moderate; however the presence of mobile/transient associates highlights an ecological role that has yet to be fully elucidated and supports their key contribution to the enhancement of biodiversity in the Northwest Atlantic.

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<![CDATA[Respiratory response to temperature of three populations of Aurelia aurita polyps in northern Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe4b

The benthic life stage (polyp or scyphistoma) of the bloom-forming jellyfish, Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus, 1759), also known as the moon jellyfish, contributes to the seasonal occurrence and abundance of medusa blooms via asexual reproduction. A. aurita is widely distributed in coastal areas in northern Europe, and one of the most studied jellyfish species. While the physiology of the visible medusa is largely understood, understanding of the physiology of the perennial benthic life-stage is scarce. To measure the physiological tolerance of A. aurita, the scyphistoma’s temperature sensitivity across its distributional range was investigated. Respiration rates of polyps from three northern European locations exposed to 11 temperatures between 2 and 22°C were measured. There was a significant difference in respiration rate among the three polyp populations, which may reflect on differences in their thermal tolerance window. A critical temperature was reached at 14°C with the metabolic rate decreasing below and above that temperature. This pattern was less pronounced in the Norwegian population but polyps were able to survive, at least temporarily, those temperatures exceeding their natural range. While polyps collected from northern Norway, with a narrow environmental thermal window, displayed a low baseline metabolism with a Q10 value of 1.2, polyps from southern England and Scotland had Q10 values of 1.6 and 2.5, respectively. Differences in polyps’ respiration rates across their distributional range suggest that populations have evolved adaptations to local environmental thermal conditions.

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<![CDATA[Phylogenetic reassessment of tribe Anemoneae (Ranunculaceae): Non-monophyly of Anemone s.l. revealed by plastid datasets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc104

Morphological and molecular evidence strongly supported the monophyly of tribe Anemoneae DC.; however, phylogenetic relationships among genera of this tribe have still not been fully resolved. In this study, we sampled 120 specimens representing 82 taxa of tribe Anemoneae. One nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrITS) and six plastid markers (atpB-rbcL, matK, psbA-trnQ, rpoB-trnC, rbcL and rps16) were amplified and sequenced. Both Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods were used to reconstruct phylogenies for this tribe. Individual datasets supported all traditional genera as monophyletic, except Anemone and Clematis that were polyphyletic and paraphyletic, respectively, and revealed that the seven single-gene datasets can be split into two groups, i.e. nrITS + atpB-rbcL and the remaining five plastid markers. The combined nrITS + atpB-rbcL dataset recovered monophyly of subtribes Anemoninae (i.e. Anemone s.l.) and Clematidinae (including Anemoclema), respectively. However, the concatenated plastid dataset showed that one group of subtribes Anemoninae (Hepatica and Anemone spp. from subgenus Anemonidium) close to the clade Clematis s.l. + Anemoclema. Our results strongly supported a close relationship between Anemoclema and Clematis s.l., which included Archiclematis and Naravelia. Non-monophyly of Anemone s.l. using the plastid dataset indicates to revise as two genera, new Anemone s.l. (including Pulsatilla, Barneoudia, Oreithales and Knowltonia), Hepatica (corresponding to Anemone subgenus Anemonidium).

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<![CDATA[Jellyfish Stings Trigger Gill Disorders and Increased Mortality in Farmed Sparus aurata (Linnaeus, 1758) in the Mediterranean Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da45ab0ee8fa60b8b940

Jellyfish are of particular concern for marine finfish aquaculture. In recent years repeated mass mortality episodes of farmed fish were caused by blooms of gelatinous cnidarian stingers, as a consequence of a wide range of hemolytic, cytotoxic, and neurotoxic properties of associated cnidocytes venoms. The mauve stinger jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa) has been identified as direct causative agent for several documented fish mortality events both in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea aquaculture farms. We investigated the effects of P. noctiluca envenomations on the gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata by in vivo laboratory assays. Fish were incubated for 8 hours with jellyfish at 3 different densities in 300 l experimental tanks. Gill disorders were assessed by histological analyses and histopathological scoring of samples collected at time intervals from 3 hours to 4 weeks after initial exposure. Fish gills showed different extent and severity of gill lesions according to jellyfish density and incubation time, and long after the removal of jellyfish from tanks. Jellyfish envenomation elicits local and systemic inflammation reactions, histopathology and gill cell toxicity, with severe impacts on fish health. Altogether, these results shows P. noctiluca swarms may represent a high risk for Mediterranean finfish aquaculture farms, generating significant gill damage after only a few hours of contact with farmed S. aurata. Due to the growth of the aquaculture sector and the increased frequency of jellyfish blooms in the coastal waters, negative interactions between stinging jellyfish and farmed fish are likely to increase with the potential for significant economic losses.

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<![CDATA[The Structure and Distribution of Benthic Communities on a Shallow Seamount (Cobb Seamount, Northeast Pacific Ocean)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbbd7b

Partially owing to their isolation and remote distribution, research on seamounts is still in its infancy, with few comprehensive datasets and empirical evidence supporting or refuting prevailing ecological paradigms. As anthropogenic activity in the high seas increases, so does the need for better understanding of seamount ecosystems and factors that influence the distribution of sensitive benthic communities. This study used quantitative community analyses to detail the structure, diversity, and distribution of benthic mega-epifauna communities on Cobb Seamount, a shallow seamount in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Underwater vehicles were used to visually survey the benthos and seafloor in ~1600 images (~5 m2 in size) between 34 and 1154 m depth. The analyses of 74 taxa from 11 phyla resulted in the identification of nine communities. Each community was typified by taxa considered to provide biological structure and/or be a primary producer. The majority of the community-defining taxa were either cold-water corals, sponges, or algae. Communities were generally distributed as bands encircling the seamount, and depth was consistently shown to be the strongest environmental proxy of the community-structuring processes. The remaining variability in community structure was partially explained by substrate type, rugosity, and slope. The study used environmental metrics, derived from ship-based multibeam bathymetry, to model the distribution of communities on the seamount. This model was successfully applied to map the distribution of communities on a 220 km2 region of Cobb Seamount. The results of the study support the paradigms that seamounts are diversity 'hotspots', that the majority of seamount communities are at risk to disturbance from bottom fishing, and that seamounts are refugia for biota, while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.

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<![CDATA[Remarkable Shifts in Offspring Provisioning during Gestation in a Live-Bearing Cnidarian]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1f79

Animals display diverse means of producing and provisioning offspring, from eggs to embryos and juveniles. While external development predominates, many forms of embryonic incubation have evolved, including placentation in mammals and a number of understudied variants in basal metazoans that could help understand evolutionary diversification. Here we studied the brooding sea anemone Aulactinia stella, using behavioural, morphological and biochemical indicators of offspring phenotype to characterize gestation and elucidate parental and sibling relationships. The pronounced variance in juvenile weight within broods was not strongly related to any of the typical external predictors (adult weight, clutch size, sampling date, environmental conditions). Lipid concentration was significantly higher in the tissues of the small juveniles than in those of large juveniles or adult, and fatty acid profiles tended to set small juveniles apart. Finally, intra-brood feeding on external resources was documented in larger juveniles. These results are consistent with ontogenetic shifts in nutrition, from vitellogenic provisioning to post-zygotic nourishment to a prenatal form of nursing upon acquisition of feeding organs, highlighting matrotrophic and conflict-driven mechanisms acting on offspring phenotype during gestation.

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<![CDATA[Isolation, Characterization and Evaluation of Collagen from Jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye for Use in Hemostatic Applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fdab0ee8fa60b72b41

Hemostat has been a crucial focus since human body is unable to control massive blood loss, and collagen proves to be an effective hemostat in previous studies. In this study, collagen was isolated from the mesoglea of jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye and its hemostatic property was studied. The yields of acid-soluble collagen (ASC) and pepsin-soluble (PSC) were 0.12% and 0.28% respectively. The SDS-PAGE patterns indicated that the collagen extracted from jellyfish mesoglea was type I collagen. The lyophilized jellyfish collagen sponges were cross-linked with EDC and interconnected networks in the sponges were revealed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Collagen sponges exhibited higher water absorption rates than medical gauze and EDC/NHS cross-linking method could improve the stability of the collagen sponges. Compared with medical gauze groups, the blood clotting indexes (BCIs) of collagen sponges were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) and the concentration of collagen also had an influence on the hemostatic property (P < 0.05). Collagen sponges had an improved hemostatic ability compared to the gauze control in tail amputation rat models. Hemostatic mechanism studies showed that hemocytes and platelets could adhere and aggregate on the surface of collagen sponge. All properties make jellyfish collagen sponge to be a suitable candidate used as hemostatic material and for wound healing applications.

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<![CDATA[Environmental control of asexual reproduction and somatic growth of Aurelia spp. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) polyps from the Adriatic Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1095

Polyps of two moon jellyfish species, Aurelia coerulea and A. relicta, from two Adriatic Sea coastal habitats were incubated under multiple combinations of temperature (14, 21°C), salinity (24, 37 ppt) and food regime (9.3, 18.6, 27.9 μg C ind−1 week−1) to comparatively assess how these factors may influence major asexual reproduction processes in the two species. Both species exhibited a shared pattern of budding mode (Directly Budded Polyps: DBP; Stolonal Budded Polyps: SBP), with DBP favoured under low food supply (9.3 μg C ind −1 week−1) and low temperature (14°C), and SBP dominant under high temperature (21°C). However, A. coerulea showed an overall higher productivity than A. relicta, in terms of budding and podocyst production rates. Further, A. coerulea exhibited a wide physiological plasticity across different temperatures and salinities as typical adaptation to ecological features of transitional coastal habitats. This may support the hypothesis that the invasion of A. coerulea across coastal habitats worldwide has been driven by shellfish aquaculture, with scyphistoma polyps and resting stages commonly found on bivalve shells. On the contrary, A. relicta appears to be strongly stenovalent, with cold, marine environmental optimal preferences (salinity 37 ppt, T ranging 14–19°C), corroborating the hypothesis of endemicity within the highly peculiar habitat of the Mljet lake. By exposing A. relicta polyps to slightly higher temperature (21°C), a previously unknown developmental mode was observed, by the sessile polyp regressing into a dispersive, temporarily unattached and tentacle-less, non-feeding stage. This may allow A. relicta polyps to escape climatic anomalies associated to warming of surface layers and deepening of isotherms, by moving into deeper, colder layers. Overall, investigations on species-specific eco-physiological and ontogenetic potentials of polyp stages may contribute to clarify the biogeographic distribution of jellyfish and the phylogenetic relationships among evolutionary related sister clades.

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<![CDATA[Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin-3 (TRPM3) Mediates Nociceptive-Like Responses in Hydra vulgaris]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2eab0ee8fa60bd1cd7

The ability of mammals to feel noxious stimuli lies in a heterogeneous group of primary somatosensory neurons termed nociceptors, which express specific membrane receptors, such as the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family. Here, we show that one of the most important nociceptive-like pathways is conserved in the freshwater coelenterate Hydra vulgaris, the most primitive organism possessing a nervous system. In particular, we found that H. vulgaris expresses TRPM3, a nociceptor calcium channel involved in the detection of noxious heat in mammals. Furthermore, we detected that both heat shock and TRPM3 specific agonist (i.e., pregnenolone sulfate) induce the modulation of the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and the nitric oxide synthase (NOS), two genes activated by TRP-mediated heat painful stimuli in mammals. As expected, these effects are inhibited by a TRPM3 antagonist (i.e., mefenamic acid). Interestingly, the TRPM3 agonist and heat shock also induce the expression of nuclear transcription erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), known markers of oxidative stress; noteworthy gene expression was also inhibited by the TRPM3 antagonist. As a whole, our results demonstrate the presence of conserved molecular oxidative/nociceptive-like pathways at the primordial level of the animal kingdom.

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<![CDATA[Statolith Morphometrics Can Discriminate among Taxa of Cubozoan Jellyfishes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7aab0ee8fa60b98208

Identification of potentially harmful cubomedusae is difficult due to their gelatinous nature. The only hard structure of medusae, the statolith, has the potential to provide robust measurements for morphometric analysis. Traditional morphometric length to width ratios (L: W) and modern morphometric Elliptical Fourier Analysis (EFA) were applied to proximal, oral and lateral statolith faces of 12 cubozoan species. EFA outperformed L: W as L: W did not account for the curvature of the statolith. Best discrimination was achieved with Canonical Discriminant Analysis (CDA) when analysing proximal + oral + lateral statolith faces in combination. Normalised Elliptical Fourier (NEF) coefficients classified 98% of samples to their correct species and 94% to family group. Statolith shape agreed with currently accepted cubozoan taxonomy. This has potential to assist in identifying levels of risk and stock structure of populations in areas where box jellyfish envenomations are a concern as the severity of envenomation is family dependent. We have only studied 12 (27%) of the 45 currently accepted cubomedusae, but analyses demonstrated that statolith shape is an effective taxonomic discriminator within the Class.

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<![CDATA[Relative Contributions of Various Cellular Mechanisms to Loss of Algae during Cnidarian Bleaching]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb4bf

When exposed to stress such as high seawater temperature, corals and other cnidarians can bleach due to loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue and/or loss of pigments from the algae. Although the environmental conditions that trigger bleaching are reasonably well known, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Previous studies have reported the occurrence of at least four different cellular mechanisms for the loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue: in situ degradation of algae, exocytic release of algae from the host, detachment of host cells containing algae, and death of host cells containing algae. The relative contributions of these several mechanisms to bleaching remain unclear, and it is also not known whether these relative contributions change in animals subjected to different types and/or durations of stresses. In this study, we used a clonal population of the small sea anemone Aiptasia, exposed individuals to various precisely controlled stress conditions, and quantitatively assessed the several possible bleaching mechanisms in parallel. Under all stress conditions tested, except for acute cold shock at 4°C, expulsion of intact algae from the host cells appeared to be by far the predominant mechanism of bleaching. During acute cold shock, in situ degradation of algae and host-cell detachment also became quantitatively significant, and the algae released under these conditions appeared to be severely damaged.

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