Project description:Mesophotic coral ecosystems are an almost entirely unexplored and undocumented environment that likely contains vast reservoirs of undescribed biodiversity. Twenty-four macroalgae samples, representing four genera, were collected from a Hawaiian mesophotic reef at water depths between 65 and 86 m in the 'Au'au Channel, Maui, Hawai'i. Algal tissues were surveyed for the presence and diversity of fungi by sequencing the ITS1 gene using Illumina technology. Fungi from these algae were then compared to previous fungal surveys conducted in Hawaiian terrestrial ecosystems. Twenty-seven percent of the OTUs present on the mesophotic coral ecosystem samples were shared between the marine and terrestrial environment. Subsequent analyses indicated that host species of algae significantly differentiate fungal community composition. This work demonstrates yet another understudied habitat with a moderate diversity of fungi that should be considered when estimating global fungal diversity.
Project description:The marine environment is a rich source of biologically active molecules for the treatment of human diseases, especially cancer. The adaptation to unique environmental conditions led marine organisms to evolve different pathways than their terrestrial counterparts, thus producing unique chemicals with a broad diversity and complexity. So far, more than 36,000 compounds have been isolated from marine micro- and macro-organisms including but not limited to fungi, bacteria, microalgae, macroalgae, sponges, corals, mollusks and tunicates, with hundreds of new marine natural products (MNPs) being discovered every year. Marine-based pharmaceuticals have started to impact modern pharmacology and different anti-cancer drugs derived from marine compounds have been approved for clinical use, such as: cytarabine, vidarabine, nelarabine (prodrug of ara-G), fludarabine phosphate (pro-drug of ara-A), trabectedin, eribulin mesylate, brentuximab vedotin, polatuzumab vedotin, enfortumab vedotin, belantamab mafodotin, plitidepsin, and lurbinectedin. This review focuses on the bioactive molecules derived from the marine environment with anticancer activity, discussing their families, origin, structural features and therapeutic use.
Project description:Anthropogenic origin pollutants including pesticides, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and industry chemicals impose many risks to human health and environment and bioremediation has been considered the strategy of choice to reduce the risk of hazardous chemicals. In the current study, we aimed to screen and characterize mycobacteria from the diverse range of Iranian aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with harsh and unfavorable environmental conditions that can be utilized for biodegradation of target pollutants. Mycobacteria were isolated from a collection of 90 environmental samples and identified to the species level using conventional microbiological and molecular methods including the PCR amplification of hsp65 and sequence analysis of, 16S rRNA genetic markers. The growth rate of the isolates in presence of pollutants, chromatography, Gibbs and turbidometric methods were used to assess their biodegradation activity. A total of 39 mycobacterial isolates (43.3%) were recovered from 90 samples that belonged to 21 various species consisting of M. fortuitum; 6 isolates, M. flavescens and M. paragordonae; 4 isolates each, M. monacense, M. fredriksbergense and M. aurum; 2 isolates each, 7 single isolates of M. conceptionense, M. porcinum, M. simiae, M. celeriflavum, M. novocastrense, M. neoaurum, M. obuense and 12 isolates that belonged to 8 unknown potentially novel mycobacterial species. The isolates were categorized in three groups based on their bioremediation activity, i.e., 5 (12.8%) organisms without biodegradation activity, 20 (51.2%) organisms with previously reported biodegradation activity, and 14 (35.9%) organisms that showed biodegradation activity but not previously reported. Our results showed that the Iranian ecosystems harbor a good reservoir of diverse mycobacterial species with biodegrading potentiality for neutralizing environmental chemical pollutants.
Project description:Filamentous fungi possess the metabolic capacity to degrade environment organic matter, much of which is the plant and algae material enriched with the cell wall carbohydrates and polyphenol complexes that frequently can be assimilated by only marine fungi. As the most renewable energy feedstock on the Earth, the plant or algae polymeric substrates induce an expression of microbial extracellular enzymes that catalyze their cleaving up to the component sugars. However, the question of what the marine fungi contributes to the plant and algae material biotransformation processes has yet to be highlighted sufficiently. In this review, we summarized the potential of marine fungi alternatively to terrestrial fungi to produce the biotechnologically valuable extracellular enzymes in response to the plant and macroalgae polymeric substrates as sources of carbon for their bioconversion used for industries and bioremediation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A remarkable range of environmental conditions is present in the Hawaiian Islands due to their gradients of elevation, rainfall and island age. Despite being well known as a location for the study of evolutionary processes and island biogeography, little is known about the composition of the non-marine algal flora of the archipelago, its degree of endemism, or affinities with other floras. We conducted a biodiversity survey of the non-marine macroalgae of the six largest main Hawaiian Islands using molecular and microscopic assessment techniques. We aimed to evaluate whether endemism or cosmopolitanism better explain freshwater algal distribution patterns, and provide a baseline data set for monitoring future biodiversity changes in the Hawaiian Islands. RESULTS:1,786 aquatic and terrestrial habitats and 1,407 distinct collections of non-marine macroalgae were collected from the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai and Hawaii from the years 2009-2014. Targeted habitats included streams, wet walls, high elevation bogs, taro fields, ditches and flumes, lakes/reservoirs, cave walls and terrestrial areas. Sites that lacked freshwater macroalgae were typically terrestrial or wet wall habitats that were sampled for diatoms and other microalgae. Approximately 50% of the identifications were of green algae, with lesser proportions of diatoms, red algae, cyanobacteria, xanthophytes and euglenoids. 898 DNA sequences were generated representing eight different markers, which enabled an assessment of the number of taxonomic entities for genera collected as part of the survey. Forty-four well-characterized taxa were assessed for global distribution patterns. This analysis revealed no clear biogeographic affinities of the flora, with 27.3% characterized as "cosmopolitan", 11.4% "endemic", and 61.3% as intermediate. CONCLUSIONS:The Hawaiian freshwater algal biodiversity survey represents the first comprehensive effort to characterize the non-marine algae of a tropical region in the world using both morphological and molecular tools. Survey data were entered in the Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, which serves as a digital repository of photographs and micrographs, georeferenced localities and DNA sequence data. These analyses yielded an updated checklist of the non-marine macroalgae of the Hawaiian Islands, and revealed varied biogeographic affinities of the flora that are likely a product of both natural and anthropogenic dispersal.
Project description:Understanding the role of the environment in shaping the evolution of life histories remains a major challenge in ecology and evolution. We synthesize longevity patterns of marine sessile species and find strong positive relationships between depth and maximum lifespan across multiple sessile marine taxa, including corals, bivalves, sponges and macroalgae. Using long-term demographic data on marine sessile and terrestrial plant species, we show that extreme longevity leads to strongly dampened population dynamics. We also used detailed analyses of Mediterranean red coral, with a maximum lifespan of 532 years, to explore the life-history patterns of long-lived taxa and the vulnerability to external mortality sources that these characteristics can create. Depth-related environmental gradients-including light, food availability, temperature and disturbance intensity-drive highly predictable distributions of life histories that, in turn, have predictable ecological consequences for the dynamics of natural populations.
Project description:Increased plant biomass is observed in terrestrial systems due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2, but responses of marine macroalgae to CO2 enrichment are unclear. The 200% increase in CO2 by 2100 is predicted to enhance the productivity of fleshy macroalgae that acquire inorganic carbon solely as CO2 (non-carbon dioxide-concentrating mechanism [CCM] species-i.e., species without a carbon dioxide-concentrating mechanism), whereas those that additionally uptake bicarbonate (CCM species) are predicted to respond neutrally or positively depending on their affinity for bicarbonate. Previous studies, however, show that fleshy macroalgae exhibit a broad variety of responses to CO2 enrichment and the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. This physiological study compared the responses of a CCM species (Lomentaria australis) with a non-CCM species (Craspedocarpus ramentaceus) to CO2 enrichment with regards to growth, net photosynthesis, and biochemistry. Contrary to expectations, there was no enrichment effect for the non-CCM species, whereas the CCM species had a twofold greater growth rate, likely driven by a downregulation of the energetically costly CCM(s). This saved energy was invested into new growth rather than storage lipids and fatty acids. In addition, we conducted a comprehensive literature synthesis to examine the extent to which the growth and photosynthetic responses of fleshy macroalgae to elevated CO2 are related to their carbon acquisition strategies. Findings highlight that the responses of macroalgae to CO2 enrichment cannot be inferred solely from their carbon uptake strategy, and targeted physiological experiments on a wider range of species are needed to better predict responses of macroalgae to future oceanic change.
Project description:Present investigation evaluates the LDPE (low-density polyethylene) biodegradation efficiency of polymer degrading bacteria along with UV, nitric acid and surfactant treatments. In current scenario LDPE contamination reported as dominant pollutant in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem due to its expulsion from commercial and domestic practices. Biodegradation serve as an innovative and effective approach to waste management as compared to land filling and burning processes. The outcomes of UV, nitric acid and surfactant treatments on polymer degradation in addition to bacterial treatment were determined by SEM, FT-IR and electrical conductivity analysis.
Project description:Many commercial plasticizers are toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are added to plastics during manufacturing and may leach out once they reach the environment. Traditional phthalic acid ester plasticizers (PAEs), such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and bis(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), are now increasingly being replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC). While the metabolic pathways for PAE degradation have been established in the terrestrial environment, to our knowledge, the mechanisms for ATBC biodegradation have not been identified previously and plasticizer degradation in the marine environment remains underexplored. From marine plastic debris, we enriched and isolated microbes able to grow using a range of plasticizers and, for the first time, identified the pathways used by two phylogenetically distinct bacteria to degrade three different plasticizers (i.e., DBP, DEHP, and ATBC) via a comprehensive proteogenomic and metabolomic approach. This integrated multi-OMIC study also revealed the different mechanisms used for ester side-chain removal from the different plasticizers (esterases and enzymes involved in the ?-oxidation pathway) as well as the molecular response to deal with toxic intermediates, that is, phthalate, and the lower biodegrading potential detected for ATBC than for PAE plasticizers. This study highlights the metabolic potential that exists in the biofilms that colonize plastics-the Plastisphere-to effectively biodegrade plastic additives and flags the inherent importance of microbes in reducing plastic toxicity in the environment.