The mayfly nymph Austrophlebioides pusillus Harker defies common osmoregulatory assumptions.
ABSTRACT: Osmoregulation is a key physiological function, critical for homeostasis. The basic physiological mechanisms of osmoregulation are thought to be well established. However, through a series of experiments exposing the freshwater mayfly nymph Austrophlebioides pusillus (Ephemeroptera) to increasing salinities, we present research that challenges the extent of current understanding of the relationship between osmoregulation and mortality. A. pusillus had modelled 96?h LC10, LC50 and LC99 of 2.4, 4.8 and 10?g?l-1 added synthetic marine salt (SMS), respectively. They were strong osmoregulators. At aquarium water osmolality of 256?±?3.12?mmol?kg-1 (±s.e.; equivalent to 10?g?l-1 added SMS), the haemolymph osmolality of A. pusillus was a much higher 401?±?4.18?mmol?kg-1 (±s.e.). The osmoregulatory capacity of A. pusillus did not break down, even at the salinity corresponding to their LC99, thus their mortality at this concentration is due to factors other than increased internal osmotic pressure. No freshwater invertebrate has been previously reported as suffering mortality from rises in salinity that are well below the iso-osmotic point. Recently, studies have reported reduced abundance/richness of Ephemeroptera with slightly elevated salinity. Given that salinization is an increasing global threat to freshwaters, there is an urgent need for studies into the osmophysiology of the Ephemeroptera to determine if their loss at locations with slightly elevated salinity is a direct result of external salinity or other, possibly physiological, causes.
Project description:The salinity of many freshwaters is increasing globally as a result of human activities. Associated with this increase in salinity are losses of Ephemeroptera (mayfly) abundance and richness. The salinity concentrations at which Ephemeroptera decline in nature are lower than their internal salinity or haemolymph osmolality. Many species also suffer substantial mortality in single species laboratory toxicity tests at salinities lower than their internal salinity. These findings are problematic as conventional osmoregulation theory suggests that freshwater animals should not experience stress where external osmolality is greater than haemolymph osmolality. Here I explore three hypotheses to explain salt sensitivity in Ephemeroptera. These conceptual hypotheses are based on the observations that as the external sodium ion (Na+) concentration increases so does the Na+ turnover rate (both uptake and elimination rates increase). Sulphate ([Formula: see text]) uptake in mayflies also increases with increasing external [Formula: see text] although, unlike Na+, its rate of increase decreases with increasing external [Formula: see text] The first hypothesis is premised on ion turnover being energetically costly. The first hypothesis proposes that individuals must devote a greater proportion of their energy to ion homeostasis at the expense of other uses including growth and development. Lethal levels of salinity presumably result from individuals not being able to devote enough energy to maintain ion homeostasis without critical loss of other vital functions. The second hypothesis is premised on the uptake of Na+ exchanged for (an outgoing) H+, leading to (localized) loss of pH regulation. The third hypothesis is premised on localized Na+ toxicity or poisoning with increased Na turnover as salinity increases. None of the proposed hypotheses is without potential problems, yet all are testable, and research effort should be focused at attempting to falsify them.This article is part of the theme issue 'Salt in freshwaters: causes, ecological consequences and future prospects'.
Project description:A better knowledge of the physiological basis of salinity tolerance is essential to understanding the ecology and evolutionary history of organisms that have colonized inland saline waters. Coleoptera are amongst the most diverse macroinvertebrates in inland waters, including saline habitats; however, the osmoregulatory strategies they employ to deal with osmotic stress remain unexplored. Survival and haemolymph osmotic concentration at different salinities were examined in adults of eight aquatic beetle species which inhabit different parts of the fresh-hypersaline gradient. Studied species belong to two unrelated genera which have invaded saline waters independently from freshwater ancestors; Nebrioporus (Dytiscidae) and Enochrus (Hydrophilidae). Their osmoregulatory strategy (osmoconformity or osmoregulation) was identified and osmotic capacity (the osmotic gradient between the animal's haemolymph and the external medium) was compared between species pairs co-habiting similar salinities in nature. We show that osmoregulatory capacity, rather than osmoconformity, has evolved independently in these different lineages. All species hyperegulated their haemolymph osmotic concentration in diluted waters; those living in fresh or low-salinity waters were unable to hyporegulate and survive in hyperosmotic media (> 340 mosmol kg(-1)). In contrast, the species which inhabit the hypo-hypersaline habitats were effective hyporegulators, maintaining their haemolymph osmolality within narrow limits (ca. 300 mosmol kg(-1)) across a wide range of external concentrations. The hypersaline species N. ceresyi and E. jesusarribasi tolerated conductivities up to 140 and 180 mS cm(-1), respectively, and maintained osmotic gradients over 3500 mosmol kg(-1), comparable to those of the most effective insect osmoregulators known to date. Syntopic species of both genera showed similar osmotic capacities and in general, osmotic responses correlated well with upper salinity levels occupied by individual species in nature. Therefore, osmoregulatory capacity may mediate habitat segregation amongst congeners across the salinity gradient.
Project description:Background:Teleosts transiting from freshwater (FW) to seawater (SW) environments face an immediate osmotic stress from ion influxes and water loss, but some euryhaline species such as eels can maintain a stable plasma osmolality during early SW exposure. The time course changes in the gene expression, protein abundance, and localization of key ion transporters suggested that the reversal of the ion transport systems was gradual, and we investigate how eels utilize a Na-binding strategy to slow down the ion invasion and complement the transporter-mediated osmoregulation. Results:Using an electron probe micro-analyzer, we localized bound Na in various eel tissues in response to SW transfer, suggesting that the Na-binding molecules were produced to sequester excess ionic Na+ to negate its osmotic potential, thus preventing acute cellular dehydration. Mucus cells were acutely activated in digestive tract, gill, and skin after SW transfer, producing Na-binding molecule-containing mucus layers that fence off high osmolality of SW. Using gel filtration HPLC, some molecules at 18 kDa were found to bind Na in the luminal secretion of esophagus and intestine, and higher binding was associated with SW transfer. Transcriptome and protein interaction results indicated that downregulation of Notch and ?-catenin pathways, and dynamic changes in TGF? pathways in intestine were involved during early SW transition, supporting the observed histological changes on epithelial desquamation and increased mucus production. Conclusions:The timing for the activation of the Na-binding mechanism to alleviate the adverse osmotic gradient was temporally complementary to the subsequent remodeling of branchial ionocytes and transporting epithelia of the digestive tract. The strategy to manipulate the osmotic potential of Na+ by specific binding molecules is similar to the osmotically inactive Na described in human skin and muscle. The Na-binding molecules provide a buffer to tolerate the salinity changes, which is advantageous to the estuary and migrating fishes. Our data pave the way to identify this unknown class of molecules and open a new area of vertebrate osmoregulation research.
Project description:Few studies have addressed how reduced water salinity affects cardiovascular and metabolic function in marine euryhaline fishes, despite its relevance for predicting impacts of natural salinity variations and ongoing climate change on marine fish populations. Here, shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) were subjected to different durations of reduced water salinity from 33 to 15 ppt. Routine metabolic rate decreased after short-term acclimation (4-9 days) to 15 ppt, which corresponded with similar reductions in cardiac output. Likewise, standard metabolic rate decreased after acute transition (3 h) from 33 to 15 ppt, suggesting a reduced energetic cost of osmoregulation at 15 ppt. Interestingly, gut blood flow remained unchanged across salinities, which contrasts with previous findings in freshwater euryhaline teleosts (e.g., rainbow trout) exposed to different salinities. Although plasma osmolality, [Na<sup>+</sup>], [Cl<sup>-</sup>] and [Ca<sup>2+</sup>] decreased in 15 ppt, there were no signs of cellular osmotic stress as plasma [K<sup>+</sup>], [hemoglobin] and hematocrit remained unchanged. Taken together, our data suggest that shorthorn sculpin are relatively weak plasma osmoregulators that apply a strategy whereby epithelial ion transport mechanisms are partially maintained across salinities, while plasma composition is allowed to fluctuate within certain ranges. This may have energetic benefits in environments where salinity naturally fluctuates, and could provide shorthorn sculpin with competitive advantages if salinity fluctuations intensify with climate change in the future.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus has the ability to adapt to a broad range of environmental salinities and has long been used for investigating iono-osmoregulation. However, to date most studies have focused mainly on several key molecules or parameters hence yielding a limited perspective of the versatile iono-osmoregulation in the euryhaline fish. This study aimed to capture transcriptome-wide differences between the freshwater- and seawater-acclimated gills of the Mozambique tilapia. RESULTS: We have identified over 5000 annotated gene transcripts with high homology (E-value <1.0E-50) to human genes that were differentially expressed in freshwater- and seawater-acclimated gills of the Mozambique tilapia. These putative human homologs were found to be significantly associated with over 50 canonical signaling pathways that are operating in at least 23 biological processes in relation to branchial iono-osmoregulation and cellular remodeling. The analysis revealed multiple signaling pathways in freshwater-acclimated gills acting in concert to maintain cellular homeostasis under hypo-osmotic environment while seawater-acclimated gills abounded with molecular signals to cope with the higher cellular turn-over rate, energetics and iono-regulatory demands under hyper-osmostic stress. Additionally, over 100 transcripts encoding putative inorganic ion transporters/channels were identified, of which several are well established in gill iono-regulation while the remainder are lesser known. We have also validated the expression profiles of 47 representative genes in freshwater- and seawater-acclimated gills, as well as in hypersaline-acclimated (two-fold salinity of seawater) gills. The findings confirmed that many of these responsive genes retained their expression profiles in hypersaline-acclimated gills as in seawater-acclimated gills, although several genes had changed significantly in their expression level/direction in hypersaline-acclimated gills. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study that has provided an unprecedented transcriptomic-wide perspective of gill iono-osmoregulation since such studies were initiated more than 80 years ago. It has expanded our molecular perspective from a relatively few well-studied molecules to a plethora of gene transcripts and a myriad of canonical signaling pathways driving various biological processes that are operating in gills under hypo-osmotic and hyper-osmotic stresses. These findings would provide insights and resources to fuel future studies on gill iono-osmoregulation and cellular remodeling in response to salinity challenge and acclimation.
Project description:Most marine mollusks are osmoconformers, in that, their body fluid osmolality changes in the direction of the change in environmental salinity. Marine mollusks exhibit a number of osmoregulatory mechanisms to cope with either hypo- or hyperosmotic stress. The effects of changes in salinity on the osmoregulatory mechanisms of the hard clam (Meretrix lusoria, an economically important species of marine bivalve for Taiwan) have not been determined. In this study, we examined the effect of exposure to hypo (10‰)- and hyper (35‰)-osmotic salinity on hard clams raised at their natural salinity (20‰). The osmolality, [Na(+)], and [Cl(-)] of the hard clam hemolymph were changed in the same direction as the surrounding salinity. Further, the contents of total free amino acids including taurine in the gills and mantles were significantly upregulated in hard clam with increasing salinity. The gill Na(+), K(+)-ATPase (NKA) activity, the important enzyme regulating cellular inorganic ions, was not affected by the changed salinity. Mantle NKA activity, however, was stimulated in the 35‰ SW treatment. The taurine transporter (TAUT) is related to the regulation of intracellular contents of taurine, the dominant osmolyte. Herein, a TAUT gene of hard clam was cloned and a TAUT antibody was derived for the immunoblotting. The TAUT mRNA expression of the mantle in hard clam was significantly stimulated in 35‰ SW, but protein expression was not modulated by the changed salinity. In gills of the hard clam with 10‰ SW, both TAUT mRNA and protein expressions were significantly stimulated, and it may reflect a feedback regulation from the decreased gills taurine content under long-term hypoosmotic acclimation. These findings suggest that TAUT expression is regulated differently in gills and mantles following exposure to alterations in environmental salinity. Taken together, this study used the physiological, biochemical and molecular approaches to simultaneously explore the osmoregulation in tissues of hard clam and may further help to understand the osmoregulation in bivalves.
Project description:Silversides are fish that inhabit marine coastal waters, coastal lagoons, and estuarine regions in southern South America. The freshwater (FW) silversides have the ability to tolerate salinity variations. Odontesthes humensis have similar habitats and biological characteristics of congeneric O. bonariensis, the most studied silverside species and with great economic importance. Studies revealed that O. bonariensis is not fully adapted to FW, despite inhabiting hyposmotic environments in nature. However, there is little information about stressful environments for cultivation of silverside O. humensis. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the stress and osmoregulation responses triggered by the osmotic transfers on silverside O. humensis. Silversides were acclimated to FW (0 ppt) and to brackish water (BW, 10 ppt) and then they were exposed to opposite salinity treatment. Silverside gills and blood were sampled on pre-transfer (D0) and 1, 7, and 15 days (D1, D7, and D15) after changes in environmental salinity, the expression levels of genes atp1a3a, slc12a2b, kcnh1, and hspa1a were determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR for evaluation of osmoregulatory and stress responses. Furthermore, glycemia, hematocrit, and osmolality were also evaluated. The expression of atp1a3a was up- and down-regulated at D1 after the FW-BW and BW-FW transfers, respectively. Slc12a2b was up-regulated after FW-BW transfer. Similarly, kcnh1 and hspa1a were up-regulated at D1 after the BW-FW transfer. O. humensis blood osmolality decreased after the exposure to FW. It remained stable after exposure to BW, indicating an efficient hyposmoregulation. The glycemia had a peak at D1 after BW-FW transfer. No changes were observed in hematocrit. The return to the pre-transfer levels at D7 after the significant increases in responses of almost all evaluated molecular and blood parameters indicated that this period is enough for acclimation to the experimental conditions. In conclusion, our results suggest that BW-FW transfer is more stressful to O. humensis than FW-BW transfer and the physiology of O. humensis is only partially adapted to FW.
Project description:Temperature and salinity are important abiotic factors for aquatic invertebrates. We investigated the influence of different salinity regimes on thermotolerance, energy metabolism and cellular stress defense mechanisms in amphipods Gammarus lacustris Sars from two populations. We exposed amphipods to different thermal scenarios and determined their survival as well as activity of major antioxidant enzymes (peroxidase, catalase, glutathione S-transferase) and parameters of energy metabolism (content of glucose, glycogen, ATP, ADP, AMP and lactate). Amphipods from a freshwater population were more sensitive to the thermal challenge, showing higher mortality during acute and gradual temperature change compared to their counterparts from a saline lake. A more thermotolerant population from a saline lake had high activity of antioxidant enzymes. The energy limitations of the freshwater population (indicated by low baseline glucose levels, downward shift of the critical temperature of aerobic metabolism and inability to maintain steady-state ATP levels during warming) was observed, possibly reflecting a trade-off between the energy demands for osmoregulation under the hypo-osmotic condition of a freshwater environment and protection against temperature stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To control the osmotic pressure in the body, physiological adjustments to salinity fluctuations require the fish to regulate body fluid homeostasis in relation to environmental change via osmoregulation. Previous studies related to osmoregulation were focused primarily on the gill; however, little is known about another organ involved in osmoregulation, the kidney. The salinity adaptation of marine fish involves complex physiological traits, metabolic pathways and molecular and gene networks in osmoregulatory organs. To further explore of the salinity adaptation of marine fish with regard to the role of the kidney, the euryhaline fish Scatophagus argus was employed in the present study. Renal expression profiles of S. argus at different salinity levels were characterized using RNA-sequencing, and an integrated approach of combining molecular tools with physiological and biochemical techniques was utilized to reveal renal osmoregulatory mechanisms in vivo and in vitro. RESULTS:S. argus renal transcriptomes from the hyposaline stress (0‰, freshwater [FW]), hypersaline stress (50‰, hypersaline water [HW]) and control groups (25‰) were compared to elucidate potential osmoregulatory mechanisms. In total, 19,012 and 36,253 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were obtained from the FW and HW groups, respectively. Based on the functional classification of DEGs, the renal dopamine system-induced Na+ transport was demonstrated to play a fundamental role in osmoregulation. In addition, for the first time in fish, many candidate genes associated with the dopamine system were identified. Furthermore, changes in environmental salinity affected renal dopamine release/reuptake by regulating the expression of genes related to dopamine reuptake (dat and nka?1), vesicular traffic-mediated dopamine release (pink1, lrrk2, ace and apn), DAT phosphorylation (CaMKII? and pkc?) and internalization (akt1). The associated transcriptional regulation ensured appropriate extracellular dopamine abundance in the S. argus kidney, and fluctuations in extracellular dopamine produced a direct influence on Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) expression and activity, which is associated with Na+ homeostasis. CONCLUSIONS:These transcriptomic data provided insight into the molecular basis of renal osmoregulation in S. argus. Significantly, the results of this study revealed the mechanism of renal dopamine system-induced Na+ transport is essential in fish osmoregulation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Osmotic stress is a widespread phenomenon in aquatic animal. The ability to cope with salinity stress and alkaline stress is quite important for the survival of aquatic species under natural conditions. Tilapia is an important commercial euryhaline fish species. What's more tilapia is a good experimental material for osmotic stress regulation research, but the molecular regulation mechanism underlying different osmotic pressure of tilapia is still unexplored. RESULTS:To elucidate the osmoregulation strategy behind its hyper salinity, alkalinity and salinity-alkalinity stress of tilapia, the transcriptomes of gills in hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus ??×?O. urolepis hornorum ?) under salinity stress (S: 25‰), alkalinity stress(A: 4‰) and salinity-alkalinity stress (SA: S: 15‰, A: 4‰) were sequenced using deep-sequencing platform Illumina/HiSeq-2000 and differential expression genes (DEGs) were identified. A total of 1958, 1472 and 1315 upregulated and 1824, 1940 and 1735 downregulated genes (P-value <?0.05) were identified in the salt stress, alkali stress and saline-alkali stress groups, respectively, compared with those in the control group. Furthermore, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses were conducted in the significant different expression genes. In all significant DEGs, some of the typical genes involved in osmoregulation, including carbonic anhydrase (CA), calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM kinase) II (CAMK2), aquaporin-1(AQP1), sodium bicarbonate cotransporter (SLC4A4/NBC1), chloride channel 2(CLCN2), sodium/potassium/chloride transporter (SLC12A2 / NKCC1) and other osmoregulation genes were also identified. RNA-seq results were validated with quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), the 17 random selected genes showed a consistent direction in both RNA-Seq and qPCR analysis, demonstrated that the results of RNA-seq were reliable. CONCLUSIONS:The present results would be helpful to elucidate the osmoregulation mechanism of aquatic animals adapting to saline-alkali challenge. This study provides a global overview of gene expression patterns and pathways that related to osmoregulation in hybrid tilapia, and could contribute to a better understanding of the molecular regulation mechanism in different osmotic stresses.