Project description:Comparison of freshwater tolerant (accession CCAP 1310/196, origin Hopkins River Falls, Victoria, Australia) and strictly marine strain (accession CCAP 1310/4, origin San Juan de Marcona, Peru) of E. siliculosus under different salinites
Project description:We investigated a contaminant-degrading microbial community by sequencing total RNA (without rRNA depletion) from microcosms containing sediment from a hypoxic contaminated aquifer fed with isotopically labeled toluene. Overall design: Microcosms were made using sediment from a hypoxic, hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer in Siklos, Hungary. They were incubated under hypoxic/microoxic conditions and provided with isotopically-labeled toluene as a substrate. RNA was extracted and subjected to isopycnic centrifugation to separated heavy (isotopically labeled) and light (unlabeled) RNA, representing microbes which did or did not metabolize toluene, respectively. Total RNA was sequenced to provide both taxonimic (16S) and functional (mRNA) data on this microbiota, the first instance of total-RNA-stable isotope probing used to investigate a contaminated environment.
Project description:Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) represents a convenient model to study microevolution - adaptation to freshwater environment. While genetic adaptations to freshwater are well-studied, epigenetic adaptations attracted little attention. In this work, we investigated the role of DNA methylation in the adaptation of marine stickleback population to freshwater conditions. DNA methylation profiling was performed in marine and freshwater populations of sticklebacks, as well as in marine sticklebacks placed into freshwater environment and freshwater sticklebacks placed into seawater. For the first time, we demonstrated that genes encoding ion channels kcnd3, cacna1fb, gja3 are differentially methylated between marine and freshwater populations. We also showed that after placing marine stickleback into fresh water, its DNA methylation profile partially converges to the one of a freshwater stickleback. This suggests that immediate epigenetic response to freshwater conditions can be maintained in freshwater population. Interestingly, we observed enhanced epigenetic plasticity in freshwater sticklebacks that may serve as a compensatory regulatory mechanism for the lack of genetic variation in the freshwater population. Some of the regions that were reported previously to be under selection in freshwater populations also show differential methylation. Thus, epigenetic changes might represent a parallel mechanism of adaptation along with genetic selection in freshwater environment. Overall design: The following sample groups were studied: 1) marine sticklebacks kept in marine water, their natural habitat (M@M); 2) freshwater sticklebacks kept in freshwater (F@F); 3) marine sticklebacks incubated in fresh water for 4 days (M@F); 4) freshwater sticklebacks incubated in marine water for 4 days (F@M). In each gruop, 3 individual fish were profiled.
Project description:Aquatic organisms are exposed to many toxic chemicals and interpreting the cause and effect relationships between occurrence and impairment is difficult. Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) provides a systematic approach for identifying responsible toxicants. TIE relies on relatively uninformative and potentially insensitive toxicological endpoints. Gene expression analysis may provide needed sensitivity and specificity aiding in the identification of primary toxicants. The current work aims to determine the added benefit of integrating gene expression endpoints into the TIE process. A cDNA library and a custom microarray were constructed for the marine amphipod Ampelisca abdita. Phase 1 TIEs were conducted using 10% and 40% dilutions of acutely toxic sediment. Gene expression was monitored in survivors and controls. An expression-based classifier was developed and evaluated against control organisms, organisms exposed to low or medium toxicity diluted sediment, and chemically selective manipulations of highly toxic sediment. The expression-based classifier correctly identified organisms exposed to toxic sediment even when little mortality was observed, suggesting enhanced sensitivity of the TIE process. The ability of the expression-based endpoint to correctly identify toxic sediment was lost concomitantly with acute toxicity when organic contaminants were removed. Taken together, this suggests that gene expression enhances the performance of the TIE process. Wild-collected Ampelisca abdita were exposed to either control (from sites in Long Island Sound, labeled LIS) sediment, toxic (from site on Elizabeth River, labeled ER) sediment, a series of mixtures of LIS and ER sediment, sediments manipulated to alter toxin bioavailability, or toxicant amended sediments. Lethality was scored, and survivors were subjected to mRNA expression analysis via oligo microarray.