First report of the presence of Acartiabispinosa Carl, 1907 (Copepoda, Calanoida) in a semi-enclosed Bay (Sharm El-Maya), northern Red Sea with some notes on its seasonal variation in abundance and body size.
ABSTRACT: The calanoid copepod, Acartiabispinosa Carl, 1907, is reported for the first time in the Red Sea, where it is found to be an important copepod in the mesozooplankton community structure of the Sharm El-Maya Bay. Female and male are fully redescribed and illustrated of as the mouthparts of this species have never previously been described and figured. Acartiabispinosa was collected in the plankton samples throughout the year and showed two peaks of abundance, a pronounced one in April (4234 individuals m(-3)), and second smaller peak during November (1784 individuals m(-3)). The average total length of females varied between 1.32 and 1.53 mm at the end of June and January respectively. For males, the average total length fluctuated between 1.07 and 1.16 mm at end of June and March respectively. Temperature showed an inverse relationship with the body length (P > 0.001) and seemed to be one of the prime factors affecting the body length of both sexes.
Project description:As dominant members of marine mesozooplankton communities, copepods play critical roles in oceanic food webs and biogeochemical cycling. Despite the ecological significance of copepods, little is known regarding the causes of copepod mortality, and up to 35% of total copepod mortality cannot be accounted for by predation alone. Viruses have been established as ecologically important infectious agents in the oceans; however, viral infection has not been investigated in mesozooplankton communities. Here we used molecular and microscopic techniques to document viral infection in natural populations of the calanoid copepods Acartia tonsa (Dana) and Labidocera aestiva (Wheeler) in Tampa Bay, FL. Viral metagenomics revealed previously undocumented viruses in each species, named Acartia tonsa copepod circo-like virus (AtCopCV) and Labidocera aestiva copepod circo-like virus (LaCopCV). LaCopCV was found to be extremely prevalent and abundant in L. aestiva populations, with up to 100% prevalence in some samples and average viral loads of 1.13 × 10(5) copies per individual. LaCopCV transcription was also detected in the majority of L. aestiva individuals, indicating viral activity. AtCopCV was sporadically detected in A. tonsa populations year-round, suggesting temporal variability in viral infection dynamics. Finally, virus-like particles of unknown identity were observed in the connective tissues of A. tonsa and L. aestiva by transmission electron microscopy, demonstrating that viruses were actively proliferating in copepod connective tissue as opposed to infecting gut contents, parasites, or symbionts. Taken together, these results provide strong independent lines of evidence for active viral infection in dominant copepod species, indicating that viruses may significantly influence mesozooplankton ecology.
Project description:A new species of the calanoid copepod genus Pseudodiaptomus was collected from the Prasae River Estuary, Rayong Province, on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. This species is definitely assigned to the lobus species group sensu Walter (1986a). The female of the new species differs from other congeners in the elongate genital double-somite with a blunt process ventrally and the second urosomite about 2.54 times as long as wide. The male is also easily distinguished from other congeners by the structure of the right fifth leg. The present new species is a euryhaline species and occurred in brackish waters with salinity ranging from 0.7 to 23.3. Its breeding season may be from June to October, as indicated by the presence of egg-sacs.
Project description:Planktonic organisms may provide a niche to associated bacteria in the oligotrophic ocean. Bacterial fitness strategies in association with copepods - abundant planktonic crustaceans - were examined by sampling and incubation experiments in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre (NASG). The bacterial metatranscriptome was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria and showed expression of complete bacterial pathways including chemotaxis, cell signaling, and alkaline phosphatase activity. Quantitative PCR and reverse transcriptase qPCR revealed the consistent presence and expression of alkaline phosphatase genes primarily by Vibrio spp. in the copepod association. Copepod-associated bacteria appear to respond to prevailing phosphorus limitation by using alkaline phosphatases to break down organophosphoesters, presumably originating from the copepods. The results suggest that the basin-wide tendency for phosphorus limitation in the North Atlantic Ocean is occurring at microscales in these nitrogen-enriched copepod microenvironments. The bacterial communities and their fitness strategies supported by associations with these abundant mesozooplankton are unique from the surrounding seawater and could have large-scale implications for biogeochemical cycling, marine food web structuring, and copepod and ecosystem health.
Project description:Increasing sea surface temperatures (SST) and blooms of lipid-poor, filamentous cyanobacteria can change mesozooplankton metabolism and foraging strategies in marine systems. Lipid shortage and imbalanced diet may challenge the build-up of energy pools of lipids and proteins, and access to essential fatty acids (FAs) and amino acids (AAs) by copepods. The impact of cyanobacterial blooms on individual energy pools was assessed for key species temperate Temora longicornis and boreal Pseudo-/Paracalanus spp. that dominated field mesozooplankton communities isolated by seasonal stratification in the central Baltic Sea during the hot and the cold summer. We looked at (a) total lipid and protein levels, (b) FA trophic markers and AA composition, and (c) compound-specific stable carbon isotopes (?13C) in bulk mesozooplankton and in a subset of parameters in particulate organic matter. Despite lipid-poor cyanobacterial blooms, the key species were largely able to cover both energy pools, yet a tendency of lipid reduction was observed in surface animals. Omni- and carnivory feeding modes, FA trophic makers, and ?13C patterns in essential compounds emphasized that cyanobacterial FAs and AAs have been incorporated into mesozooplankton mainly via feeding on mixo- and heterotrophic (dino-) flagellates and detrital complexes during summer. Foraging for essential highly unsaturated FAs from (dino-) flagellates may have caused night migration of Pseudo-/Paracalanus spp. from the deep subhalocline waters into the upper waters. Only in the hot summer (SST>19.0°C) was T. longicornis submerged in the colder subthermocline water (~4°C). Thus, the continuous warming trend and simultaneous feeding can eventually lead to competition on the preferred diet by key copepod species below the thermocline in stratified systems. A comparison of ?13C patterns of essential AAs in surface mesozooplankton across sub-basins of low and high cyanobacterial biomasses revealed the potential of ?13C-AA isoscapes for studies of commercial fish feeding trails across the Baltic Sea food webs.
Project description:Our current knowledge on the microbial component of zooplankton diet is limited, and it is generally assumed that bacteria-sized prey is not directly consumed by most mesozooplankton grazers in the marine food webs. We questioned this assumption and conducted field and laboratory studies to examine picocyanobacteria contribution to the diets of Baltic Sea zooplankton, including copepods. First, qPCR targeting ITS-1 rDNA sequence of the picocyanobacteria Synechococcus spp. was used to examine picocyanobacterial DNA occurrence in the guts of Baltic zooplankton (copepods, cladocerans and rotifers). All field-collected zooplankton were found to consume picocyanobacteria in substantial quantities. In terms of Synechococcus quantity, the individual gut content was highest in cladocerans, whereas biomass-specific gut content was highest in rotifers and copepod nauplii. Moreover, the gut content in copepods was positively related to the picocyanobacteria abundance and negatively to the total phytoplankton abundance in the water column at the time of sampling. This indicates that increased availability of picocyanobacteria resulted in the increased intake of this prey and that copepods may rely more on picoplankton when food in the preferred size range declines. Second, a feeding experiments with a laboratory reared copepod Acartia tonsa fed a mixture of the picocyanobacterium Synechococcus bacillaris and microalga Rhodomonas salina confirmed that copepods ingested Synechococcus, even when the alternative food was plentiful. Finally, palatability of the picocyanobacteria for A. tonsa was demonstrated using uptake of (13)C by the copepods as a proxy for carbon uptake in feeding experiment with (13)C-labeled S. bacillaris. These findings suggest that, if abundant, picoplankton may become an important component of mesozooplankton diet, which needs to be accounted for in food web models and productivity assessments.
Project description:Diazotrophic cyanobacteria, those capable of fixing di-nitrogen (N2), are considered one of the major sources of new nitrogen (N) in the oligotrophic tropical ocean, but direct incorporation of diazotrophic N into food webs has not been fully examined. In the Amazon River-influenced western tropical North Atlantic (WTNA), diatom diazotroph associations (DDAs) and the filamentous colonial diazotrophs Trichodesmium have seasonally high abundances. We sampled epipelagic mesozooplankton in the Amazon River plume and WTNA in May-June 2010 to investigate direct grazing by mesozooplankton on two DDA populations: Richelia associated with Rhizosolenia diatoms (het-1) and Hemiaulus diatoms (het-2), and on Trichodesmium using highly specific qPCR assays targeting nitrogenase genes (nifH). Both DDAs and Trichodesmium occurred in zooplankton gut contents, with higher detection of het-2 predominantly in calanoid copepods (2.33-16.76 nifH copies organism-1). Abundance of Trichodesmium was low (2.21-4.03 nifH copies organism-1), but they were consistently detected at high salinity stations (>35) in calanoid copepods. This suggests direct grazing on DDAs, Trichodesmium filaments and colonies, or consumption as part of sinking aggregates, is common. In parallel with the qPCR approach, a next generation sequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes identified that cyanobacterial assemblage associated with zooplankton guts was dominated by the non-diazotrophic unicellular phylotypes Synechococcus (56%) and Prochlorococcus (26%). However, in two separate calanoid copepod samples, two unicellular diazotrophs Candidatus Atelocyanobacterium thalassa (UCYN-A) and Crocosphaera watsonii (UCYN-B) were present, respectively, as a small component of cyanobacterial assemblages (<2%). This study represents the first evidence of consumption of DDAs, Trichodesmium, and unicellular cyanobacteria by calanoid copepods in an area of the WTNA known for high carbon export. These diazotroph populations are quantitatively important in the global N budget, widespread and hence, the next step is to accurately quantify grazing. Nonetheless, these results highlight a direct pathway of diazotrophic N into the food web and have important implications for biogeochemical cycles, particularly oligotrophic regions where N2 fixation is the main source of new nitrogen.
Project description:Members of the crustacean subclass Copepoda are likely the most abundant metazoans worldwide. Pelagic marine species are critical in converting planktonic microalgae to animal biomass, supporting oceanic food webs. Despite their abundance and ecological importance, only six copepod genomes are publicly available, owing to a number of factors including large genome size, repetitiveness, GC-content, and small animal size. Here, we report the seventh representative copepod genome and the first genome and the first transcriptome from the calanoid copepod species Acartia tonsa Dana, which is among the most numerous mesozooplankton in boreal coastal and estuarine waters. The ecology, physiology, and behavior of A. tonsa have been studied extensively. The genetic resources contributed in this work will allow researchers to link experimental results to molecular mechanisms. From PCR-free whole genome sequence and mRNA Illumina data, we assemble the largest copepod genome to date. We estimate that A. tonsa has a total genome size of 2.5?Gb including repetitive elements we could not resolve. The nonrepetitive fraction of the genome assembly is estimated to be 566?Mb. Our DNA sequencing-based analyses suggest there is a 14-fold difference in genome size between the six members of Copepoda with available genomic information. This finding complements nucleus staining genome size estimations, where 100-fold difference has been reported within 70 species. We briefly analyze the repeat structure in the existing copepod whole genome sequence data sets. The information presented here confirms the evolution of genome size in Copepoda and expands the scope for evolutionary inferences in Copepoda by providing several levels of genetic information from a key planktonic crustacean species.
Project description:A new species of paracalanid calanoid copepod Parvocalanusleei sp. n., is described from specimens collected in shallow waters of Western Korea. The new species is closely similar to Parvocalanusarabiensis (Kesarkar & Anil, 2010), Parvocalanuscrassirostris (F. Dahl, 1894), Parvocalanuslatus Andronov, 1972, and Parvocalanusscotti (Früchtl, 1923) in having two short terminal spines on the distal segment of the fifth leg and a similar rostrum in the female, but can be readily distinguished from its congeners by the body size, relative length of antennules, segmentation of endopod of leg 1, and pattern of ornamentation of spinules on legs 1 to 4 in the female. The taxonomic position of Parvocalanusarabiensis and the validity of the genus Parvocalanus Andronov, 1970 are also discussed.
Project description:The spatial and temporal variation of SOL cluster bacteria was assessed in oligomesotrophic Lake Mondsee and adjacent lakes by fluorescence in situ hybridization over two annual cycles. The filamentous SOL bacteria were present in Lake Mondsee throughout the study period, and the seasonal dynamics of the SOL community were remarkably similar with respect to both abundance and composition in the two consecutive years. Only two of the three SOL subclusters were detected in Lake Mondsee and four connected lakes. These two populations significantly differed in size distribution and demonstrated pronounced but recurrent differences in seasonality and length of period of appearance in Lake Mondsee. Extensive sampling of the lakes in September 2003 revealed low horizontal variation in the composition of the SOL community within Lake Mondsee but marked variations with depth. Between connected habitats pronounced differences in the composition and abundance of the SOL community were detected. The interaction of SOL bacteria with bacterivorous protists, mesozooplankton, and phytoplankton was investigated in order to reveal variables controlling the structure and dynamics of SOL communities. No strong indication for a bottom-up influence of phytoplankton was found, while the estimated community grazing rates of mesozooplankton on SOL bacteria indicated a top-down control of SOL abundance during mesozooplankton peaks in spring and early autumn. Furthermore, species-specific differences in grazing of mesozooplankton on SOL bacteria were observed. In general, the overall composition of SOL communities was controlled by abiotic factors (water chemistry), while their dynamics seemed to be controlled by abiotic and biotic interactions.
Project description:The variability in zooplankton fatty acid composition may be an indicator of larval fish habitat quality as fatty acids are linked to fish larval growth and survival. We sampled an anadromous fish nursery, the Chowan River, during spring of 2013 in order to determine how the seston fatty acid composition varied in comparison with the zooplankton community composition and fatty acid composition during the period of anadromous larval fish residency. The seston fatty acid profiles showed no distinct pattern in relation to sampling time or location. The mesozooplankton community composition varied spatially and the fatty acid profiles were typical of freshwater species in April. The Chowan River experienced a saltwater intrusion event during May, which resulted in brackish water species dominating the zooplankton community and the fatty acid profile showed an increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The saltwater intrusion event was followed by an influx of freshwater due to high precipitation levels in June. The zooplankton community composition once again became dominated by freshwater species and the fatty acid profiles shifted to reflect this change; however, EPA levels remained high, particularly in the lower river. We found correlations between the seston, microzooplankton and mesozooplankton fatty acid compositions. Salinity was the main factor correlated to the observed pattern in species composition, and fatty acid changes in the mesozooplankton. These data suggest that anadromous fish nursery habitat likely experiences considerable spatial variability in fatty acid profiles of zooplankton prey and that are correlated to seston community composition and hydrodynamic changes. Our results also suggest that sufficient prey density as well as a diverse fatty acid composition is present in the Chowan River to support larval fish production.