Genetic diversity in natural populations of noble crayfish (Astacus astacus L.) in north-western Poland on the basis of combined SSR and AFLP data.
ABSTRACT: Background:Conservation of noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) populations is becoming particularly important since the number of individuals is rapidly declining across the distribution range of the species in Europe. Five crayfish populations in northwestern Poland have been constantly monitored for two decades. However, the genetic structure of these populations has not been analysed, although this information is important to devise effective conservation strategies. Methods:Noble crayfish were collected in the autumn of 2014 by scuba diving in Lakes Graniczne, Babinki, Biwakowe, S?ki and Kwisno, all of which are situated in the Bytów Lakeland of northwestern Poland. Genetic diversity of the five populations was assessed based on allele variability in nine SSR regions and six AFLP primer combinations. Results:Microsatellite results analysed with AMOVA showed that the diversity between populations corresponds to 18% of total variability, which was confirmed by similar results obtained using AFLP. Additionally, significant genetic diversity was revealed by high average FST values. All of the studied crayfish populations significantly deviated from the expected Hardy-Weinberg genetic equilibrium and were characterised by negative values of inbreeding coefficient (FIS). Discussion:The invariably negative inbreeding coefficients (FIS) suggest a low number of mating individuals, a possible consequence of the phenomenon known as genetic bottleneck. However, additional comprehensive analyses are needed to assess the genetic structure, origin and vulnerability of the remaining populations of noble crayfish in the Bytów Lakeland of northwestern Poland, which have high conservation value and are particularly important as a live genetic bank for breeding and restitution purposes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) displays a complex historical and contemporary genetic status in Europe. The species divergence has been shaped by geological events (i.e. Pleistocene glaciations) and humanly induced impacts (i.e. translocations, pollution, etc.) on its populations due to species commercial value and its niche degradation. Until now, limited genetic information has been procured for the Balkan area and especially for the southernmost distribution of this species (i.e. Greece). It is well known that the rich habitat diversity of the Balkan Peninsula offers suitable conditions for genetically diversified populations. Thus, the present manuscript revisits the phylogenetic relationships of the noble crayfish in Europe and identifies the genetic make-up and the biogeographical patterns of the species in its southern range limit. RESULTS:Mitochondrial markers (i.e. COI and 16S) were used in order to elucidate the genetic structure and diversity of the noble crayfish in Europe. Two of the six European haplotypic lineages, were found exclusively in Greece. These two lineages exhibited greater haplotypic richness when compared with the rest four (of "Central European" origin) while they showed high genetic diversity. Divergence time analysis identified that the majority of this divergence was captured through Pleistocene, suggesting a southern glacial refugium (Greece, southern Balkans). Furthermore, six microsatellite markers were used in order to define the factors affecting the genetic structure and demographic history of the species in Greece. The population structure analysis revealed six to nine genetic clusters and eight putative genetic barriers. Evidence of bottleneck effects in the last ~5000 years (due to climatic and geological events and human activities) is also afforded. Findings from several other research fields (e.g. life sciences, geology or even archaeology) have been utilized to perceive the genetic make-up of the noble crayfish. CONCLUSIONS:The southernmost part of Balkans has played a major role as a glacial refugium for A. astacus. Such refugia have served as centres of expansion to northern regions. Recent history of the noble crayfish in southern Balkans reveals the influence of environmental (climate, geology and/or topology) and anthropogenic factors.
Project description:Lake Steinsfjorden, an important Norwegian location for noble crayfish (Astacus astacus), is often affected by cyanobacterial blooms caused by microcystin (MC)-producing Planktothrix spp. The impact of MCs on noble crayfish as a food source and crayfish health is largely unknown. We investigated the quantities and correlations of MCs in noble crayfish and lake water during and after a cyanobacterial bloom peaking in June-July 2015. Noble crayfish and water samples were collected monthly from June to October 2015 and in October 2016. The content of MCs was analysed by ELISA from tail muscle, intestine, stomach and hepatopancreas. PCR analysis for Planktothrix gene markers was performed on crayfish stomach content. Water samples were analysed for phytoplankton composition, biomass and MCs. PCR-positive stomach contents indicated Planktothrix to be part of the noble crayfish diet. Concentrations of MCs were highest in the hepatopancreas, stomach and intestine, peaking in August-September. Tail muscle contained low concentrations of MCs. Similar levels of MCs were found in crayfish from 2016. Except in September 2015, a normal portion of boiled noble crayfish tails was below the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for MCs for humans. Removing the intestine more than halved the content of MCs and seems a reasonable precautionary measure for noble crayfish consumers.
Project description:For several hundred years freshwater crayfish (Crustacea-Decapoda-Astacidea) have played an important ecological, cultural and culinary role in Scandinavia. However, many native populations of noble crayfish Astacus astacus have faced major declines during the last century, largely resulting from human assisted expansion of non-indigenous signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus that carry and transmit the crayfish plague pathogen. In Denmark, also the non-indigenous narrow-clawed crayfish Astacus leptodactylus has expanded due to anthropogenic activities. Knowledge about crayfish distribution and early detection of non-indigenous and invasive species are crucial elements in successful conservation of indigenous crayfish. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) extracted from water samples is a promising new tool for early and non-invasive detection of species in aquatic environments. In the present study, we have developed and tested quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for species-specific detection and quantification of the three above mentioned crayfish species on the basis of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (mtDNA-CO1), including separate assays for two clades of A. leptodactylus. The limit of detection (LOD) was experimentally established as 5 copies/PCR with two different approaches, and the limit of quantification (LOQ) were determined to 5 and 10 copies/PCR, respectively, depending on chosen approach. The assays detected crayfish in natural freshwater ecosystems with known populations of all three species, and show promising potentials for future monitoring of A. astacus, P. leniusculus and A. leptodactylus. However, the assays need further validation with data 1) comparing traditional and eDNA based estimates of abundance, and 2) representing a broader geographical range for the involved crayfish species.
Project description:The genetic variation and population structure of narrow-clawed crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) was examined by means of polymerase chain reaction (PC R) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RF LP) analysis of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) of mitochondrial DNA. A total of 194 adult specimens were collected from seven sample sites including, two in the south Caspian Sea and one each in Anzali wetland and Aras reservoir and three rivers Chafrood, Masule Rudkhan and S iah Darvishan. The PCR products were digested with 19 restriction enzymes and five enzymes revealed polymorphism patterns (Dde?, Mbo?, TaqI, Rsa? and Hinf?). Twenty eight composite haplotypes were showed with the number of haplotypes in each population sample ranging from 8 to 13. Private haplotypes were found at very low frequencies. Two regional (S iah Darvishan River and Astara) groups were clearly recognized by cluster and molecular variance model (AMOVA) analyses (P<0.0001). Each of these groups revealed dominant haplotypes while these haplotypes play less important rule in population structures of the other geographic areas. Intrapop ulatio n hap lo type (h) and nucleotide (?) diversities were high for each locality, ranging h=0.7560±0.030 and ?=0.00334±0.00301, respectively. Results of this study discerned two divergent populations of narrow-clawed crayfish including S iah Darvishan River and Astara. Thus, the population structure of the narrow-clawed crayfish, as inferred from mtDN A analysis, is constituted by genetica lly separate groups that nearly reflect their geographic distribution.
Project description:The reaction of nitrite at pH 5.7 with deoxyhaemocyanin of Astacus leptodactylus yielded methaemocyanin in two one-electron steps, as nitrite was reduced to NO. This methaemocyanin could be almost fully regenerated by an anaerobic treatment with HONH2, in contrast with the methaemocyanin prepared with H2O2. A destruction of active sites on treating oxyhaemocyanin with HONH2 explains the partial regeneration of methaemocyanin under air, as traces of H2O2 are formed in the autoxidation of HONH2. The reaction rate of nitrite with deoxyhaemocyanin is almost 15 times that with oxyhaemocyanin. The slope of -1.0 for the logarithm of the pseudo-first-order rate constants plotted against pH indicates that HNO2 is the reacting species. Methaemocyanin was e.p.r.-undetectable, but a binuclear signal was observed at g = 2 on binding nitrite to methaemocyanin. This signal disappeared with a pKa of 6.50, suggesting that a mu-aquo bridging ligand, which can be replaced by nitrite, is deprotonated to a mu-hydroxo bridging ligand, which resists substitution by nitrite. The intensity of this triplet e.p.r. signal allowed the determination of the association constant of nitrite to the active site of Astacus methaemocyanin and yielded a value of 237 M-1 at pH 5.7. The interpretation by some authors of nitrosylhaemocyanin as a nitrite derivative of semimethaemocyanin is contradicted by this rapid reaction of nitrite with copper(I) in deoxyhaemocyanin and in semi-methaemocyanin and by the low binding constant of nitrite to the active site of methaemocyanin.
Project description:The rate of the reaction of Astacus leptodactylus methaemocyanin with NO follows the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation with a pKa of 5.85, suggesting that one imidazole ligand of Cu was exchanged for NO. The reaction is blocked by F- as a bridging ligand. The same imidazole residue might be responsible for the decomposition of nitrosylhaemocyanin, [Cu1NO+CuII], with an unlocated binding site for NO, into methaemocyanin and NO, as the rate increase with pH. NO could react preferentially with CuA of Helix pomatia methaemocyanin, CuA'IICuBII, as it possibly has only two histidine ligands instead of the three of CuA in Astacus haemocyanin. This difference might explain the higher formation rate and the much greater stability of Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin. The fast reaction is governed by a pKa of 6.80, probably of a bridging mu-aquo ligand. With F- or a mu-hydroxo bridging ligand a low reaction rate was still observed, in contrast with Astacus methaemocyanin. Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin was transformed by N3- into methaemocyanin with the liberation of N2 and N2O. This methaemocyanin could almost quantitatively be regenerated with H2O2. Helix nitrosylhaemocyanin was only partially regenerated by a direct treatment with H2O2 and almost quantitatively by HONH2 in a similar fairly fast reaction, followed by a much slower one.
Project description:Cadmium injections induced only a single form of metallothionein (MT) in the midgut gland of Potamon potamios, whereas the same treatment induced two isoforms in Astacus astacus. The only difference between the two latter isoforms was that one had an extra N-terminal methionine residue. MT from P. potamios showed structural differences from other decapod crustacean MTs. It contained a Gly-Thr motif at positions 8 and 8a, which had previously been found only in certain vertebrate and molluscan MTs. Furthermore P. potamios MT contained two to three times as many glutamic acid residues as normally found in decapod crustacean MT. The primary structure of MT from the freshwater crayfish A. astacus showed a high degree of sequence identity with MT from other decapod crustaceans, especially the marine astacidean Homarus americanus, although two valine residues were unexpectedly found at positions 8 and 21, where lysine residues are normally found.
Project description:Astacin (EC 188.8.131.52) from the freshwater crayfish (Astacus astacus) is a prototype for the metzincin superfamily and for the astacin family of zinc peptidases, enzymes which are involved in hatching processes, embryonic patterning and tissue remodelling. Here we report on the cloning and overexpression in Escherichia coli of an astacin cDNA which was reverse-transcribed from crayfish midgut-gland mRNA. A cDNA construct based on this clone was generated which comprised the nucleotide sequence encoding mature astacin devoid of the signal and propeptide. This construct was cloned into the pET3a vector and used to transform E. coli BL21(DE3) cells. Recombinant astacin was purified from inclusion bodies and dissolved under reducing conditions. For folding, the protein was diluted into neutral buffer containing l-arginine, GSH and EDTA. Eventually, Zn(2+) was added by dialysis and the fraction of active enzyme was affinity-purified on immobilized Pro-Leu-Gly hydroxamate. As shown by superimposition of the corresponding three-dimensional structures, this inhibitor binds to a region of the active-site cleft that is conserved in most metzincins. Therefore this principle behind this affinity technique, originally introduced for fibroblast collagenase by Moore and Spilburg [Biochemistry (1986) 25, 5189-5195], is applicable throughout the metzincin superfamily of metalloproteases, despite their otherwise differing cleavage specificities. Recombinant astacin is active on gelatine zymograms and in a quenched fluorescence assay, yielding kinetic parameters comparable with those of wild-type astacin purified from crayfish stomach.
Project description:Habitat fragmentation can have severe genetic consequences for trees, such as increased inbreeding and decreased effective population size. In effect, local populations suffer from reduction of genetic variation, and thus loss of adaptive capacity, which consequently increases their risk of extinction. In Europe, Taxus baccata is among a number of tree species experiencing strong habitat fragmentation. However, there is little empirical data on the population genetic consequences of fragmentation for this species. This study aimed to characterize local genetic structure in two natural remnants of English yew in Poland based on both amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and microsatellite (SSR) markers. We introduced a Bayesian approach that estimates the average inbreeding coefficient using AFLP (dominant) markers. Results showed that, in spite of high dispersal potential (bird-mediated seed dispersal and wind-mediated pollen dispersal), English yew populations show strong kinship structure, with a spatial extent of 50-100 m, depending on the population. The estimated inbreeding levels ranged from 0.016 to 0.063, depending on the population and marker used. Several patterns were evident: (1) AFLP markers showed stronger kinship structure than SSRs; (2) AFLP markers provided higher inbreeding estimates than SSRs; and (3) kinship structure and inbreeding were more pronounced in denser populations regardless of the marker used. Our results suggest that, because both kinship structure and (bi-parental) inbreeding exist in populations of English yew, gene dispersal can be fairly limited in this species. Furthermore, at a local scale, gene dispersal intensity can be more limited in a dense population.