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Recent Submissions

  • Beyond buying time: the role of plasticity in phenotypic adaptation to rapid environmental change

    Fox, Rebecca J.; Donelson, Jennifer M.; Schunter, Celia; Ravasi, Timothy; Gaitán-Espitia, Juan D. (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, The Royal Society, 2019-01-28) [Article]
    How populations and species respond to modified environmental conditions is critical to their persistence both now and into the future, particularly given the increasing pace of environmental change. The process of adaptation to novel environmental conditions can occur via two mechanisms: (1) the expression of phenotypic plasticity (the ability of one genotype to express varying phenotypes when exposed to different environmental conditions), and (2) evolution via selection for particular phenotypes, resulting in the modification of genetic variation in the population. Plasticity, because it acts at the level of the individual, is often hailed as a rapid-response mechanism that will enable organisms to adapt and survive in our rapidly changing world. But plasticity can also retard adaptation by shifting the distribution of phenotypes in the population, shielding it from natural selection. In addition to which, not all plastic responses are adaptive—now well-documented in cases of ecological traps. In this theme issue, we aim to present a considered view of plasticity and the role it could play in facilitating or hindering adaption to environmental change. This introduction provides a re-examination of our current understanding of the role of phenotypic plasticity in adaptation and sets the theme issue’s contributions in their broader context. Four key themes emerge: the need to measure plasticity across both space and time; the importance of the past in predicting the future; the importance of the link between plasticity and sexual selection; and the need to understand more about the nature of selection on plasticity itself. We conclude by advocating the need for cross-disciplinary collaborations to settle the question of whether plasticity will promote or retard species’ rates of adaptation to ever-more stressful environmental conditions.
  • Semi-automated quantification of living cells with internalized nanostructures

    Margineanu, Michael B.; Julfakyan, Khachatur; Sommer, Christoph; Perez, Jose E.; Contreras, Maria F.; Khashab, Niveen M.; Kosel, Jürgen; Ravasi, Timothy (Journal of Nanobiotechnology, Springer Nature, 2016-01-15) [Article]
    Background Nanostructures fabricated by different methods have become increasingly important for various applications in biology and medicine, such as agents for medical imaging or cancer therapy. In order to understand their interaction with living cells and their internalization kinetics, several attempts have been made in tagging them. Although methods have been developed to measure the number of nanostructures internalized by the cells, there are only few approaches aimed to measure the number of cells that internalize the nanostructures, and they are usually limited to fixed-cell studies. Flow cytometry can be used for live-cell assays on large populations of cells, however it is a single time point measurement, and does not include any information about cell morphology. To date many of the observations made on internalization events are limited to few time points and cells. Results In this study, we present a method for quantifying cells with internalized magnetic nanowires (NWs). A machine learning-based computational framework, CellCognition, is adapted and used to classify cells with internalized and no internalized NWs, labeled with the fluorogenic pH-dependent dye pHrodo™ Red, and subsequently to determine the percentage of cells with internalized NWs at different time points. In a “proof-of-concept”, we performed a study on human colon carcinoma HCT 116 cells and human epithelial cervical cancer HeLa cells interacting with iron (Fe) and nickel (Ni) NWs. Conclusions This study reports a novel method for the quantification of cells that internalize a specific type of nanostructures. This approach is suitable for high-throughput and real-time data analysis and has the potential to be used to study the interaction of different types of nanostructures in live-cell assays.
  • Supplementary Material for: Hologenome analysis of two marine sponges with different microbiomes

    Ryu, Tae Woo; Seridi, Loqmane; Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Oates, Matthew; Liew, Yi Jin; Mavromatis, Charalampos Harris; Wang, Xiaolei; Haywood, Annika; Lafi, Feras; Kupresanin, Marija; Sougrat, Rachid; Alzahrani, Majed A.; Giles, Emily; Ghosheh, Yanal; Schunter, Celia Marei; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Berumen, Michael L.; Gao, Xin; Aranda, Manuel; Foret, Sylvain; Gough, Julian; Voolstra, Christian R.; Hentschel, Ute; Ravasi, Timothy (figshare, 2016) [Dataset]
    Abstract Background Sponges (Porifera) harbor distinct microbial consortia within their mesohyl interior. We herein analysed the hologenomes of Stylissa carteri and Xestospongia testudinaria, which notably differ in their microbiome content. Results Our analysis revealed that S. carteri has an expanded repertoire of immunological domains, specifically Scavenger Receptor Cysteine-Rich (SRCR)-like domains, compared to X. testudinaria. On the microbial side, metatranscriptome analyses revealed an overrepresentation of potential symbiosis-related domains in X. testudinaria. Conclusions Our findings provide genomic insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying host-symbiont coevolution and may serve as a roadmap for future hologenome analyses.
  • Non-chemotoxic induction of cancer cell death using magnetic nanowires

    Contreras, Maria F.; Sougrat, Rachid; Zaher, Amir Omar; Ravasi, Timothy; Kosel, Jürgen (International Journal of Nanomedicine, Dove Medical Press Ltd., 2015-03) [Article]
    In this paper, we show that magnetic nanowires with weak magnetic fields and low frequencies can induce cell death via a mechanism that does not involve heat production. We incubated colon cancer cells with two concentrations (2.4 and 12 μg/mL) of nickel nanowires that were 35 nm in diameter and exposed the cells and nanowires to an alternating magnetic field (0.5 mT and 1 Hz or 1 kHz) for 10 or 30 minutes. This low-power field exerted a force on the magnetic nanowires, causing a mechanical disturbance to the cells. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that the nanostructures were internalized into the cells within 1 hour of incubation. Cell viability studies showed that the magnetic field and the nanowires separately had minor deleterious effects on the cells; however, when combined, the magnetic field and nanowires caused the cell viability values to drop by up to 39%, depending on the strength of the magnetic field and the concentration of the nanowires. Cell membrane leakage experiments indicated membrane leakage of 20%, suggesting that cell death mechanisms induced by the nanowires and magnetic field involve some cell membrane rupture. Results suggest that magnetic nanowires can kill cancer cells. The proposed process requires simple and low-cost equipment with exposure to only very weak magnetic fields for short time periods. © 2015 Contreras et al.
  • Highlighting nonlinear patterns in population genetics datasets

    Alanis Lobato, Gregorio; Cannistraci, Carlo Vittorio; Eriksson, Anders; Manica, Andrea; Ravasi, Timothy (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2015-01-30) [Article]
    Detecting structure in population genetics and case-control studies is important, as it exposes phenomena such as ecoclines, admixture and stratification. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is a linear dimension-reduction technique commonly used for this purpose, but it struggles to reveal complex, nonlinear data patterns. In this paper we introduce non-centred Minimum Curvilinear Embedding (ncMCE), a nonlinear method to overcome this problem. Our analyses show that ncMCE can separate individuals into ethnic groups in cases in which PCA fails to reveal any clear structure. This increased discrimination power arises from ncMCE's ability to better capture the phylogenetic signal in the samples, whereas PCA better reflects their geographic relation. We also demonstrate how ncMCE can discover interesting patterns, even when the data has been poorly pre-processed. The juxtaposition of PCA and ncMCE visualisations provides a new standard of analysis with utility for discovering and validating significant linear/nonlinear complementary patterns in genetic data.
  • The co-transcriptome of uropathogenic Escherichia coli-infected mouse macrophages reveals new insights into host-pathogen interactions

    Mavromatis, Charalampos Harris; Bokil, Nilesh J.; Totsika, Makrina; Kakkanat, Asha; Schaale, Kolja; Cannistraci, Carlo; Ryu, Tae Woo; Beatson, Scott A.; Ulett, Glen C.; Schembri, Mark A.; Sweet, Matthew J.; Ravasi, Timothy (Cellular Microbiology, Wiley, 2015-01-24) [Article]
    Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most common infections in humans. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) can invade and replicate within bladder epithelial cells, and some UPEC strains can also survive within macrophages. To understand the UPEC transcriptional programme associated with intramacrophage survival, we performed host–pathogen co-transcriptome analyses using RNA sequencing. Mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) were challenged over a 24 h time course with two UPEC reference strains that possess contrasting intramacrophage phenotypes: UTI89, which survives in BMMs, and 83972, which is killed by BMMs. Neither of these strains caused significant BMM cell death at the low multiplicity of infection that was used in this study. We developed an effective computational framework that simultaneously separated, annotated and quantified the mammalian and bacterial transcriptomes. Bone marrow-derived macrophages responded to the two UPEC strains with a broadly similar gene expression programme. In contrast, the transcriptional responses of the UPEC strains diverged markedly from each other. We identified UTI89 genes up-regulated at 24 h post-infection, and hypothesized that some may contribute to intramacrophage survival. Indeed, we showed that deletion of one such gene (pspA) significantly reduced UTI89 survival within BMMs. Our study provides a technological framework for simultaneously capturing global changes at the transcriptional level in co-cultures, and has generated new insights into the mechanisms that UPEC use to persist within the intramacrophage environment.
  • Supplementary Material for: Transcriptome and proteome dynamics in larvae of the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite from the Red Sea

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Al-Aqeel, Sarah; Ryu, Tae Woo; Zhang, Huoming; Seridi, Loqmane; Ghosheh, Yanal; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy (figshare, 2015) [Dataset]
    Abstract Background The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is widely distributed in marine shallow and tidal waters, and has significant economic and ecological importance. Nauplii, the first larval stage of most crustaceans, are extremely abundant in the marine zooplankton. However, a lack of genome information has hindered elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of development, settlement and survival strategies in extreme marine environments. We sequenced and constructed the genome dataset for nauplii to obtain comprehensive larval genetic information. We also investigated iTRAQ-based protein expression patterns to reveal the molecular basis of nauplii development, and to gain information on larval survival strategies in the Red Sea marine environment. Results A nauplii larval transcript dataset, containing 92,117 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), was constructed and used as a reference for the proteome analysis. Genes related to translation, oxidative phosphorylation and cytoskeletal development were highly abundant. We observed remarkable plasticity in the proteome of Red Sea larvae. The proteins associated with development, stress responses and osmoregulation showed the most significant differences between the two larval populations studied. The synergistic overexpression of heat shock and osmoregulatory proteins may facilitate larval survival in intertidal habitats or in extreme environments. Conclusions We presented, for the first time, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome datasets for Red Sea nauplii. The datasets provide a foundation for future investigations focused on the survival mechanisms of other crustaceans in extreme marine environments.
  • Proteomics insights: proteins related to larval attachment and metamorphosis of marine invertebrates

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy (Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media SA, 2014-10-31) [Article]
    The transition in an animal from a pelagic larval stage to a sessile benthic juvenile typically requires major morphological and behavioral changes. Larval competency, attachment and initiation of metamorphosis are thought to be regulated by intrinsic chemical signals and specific sets of proteins. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate larval attachment and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates have yet to be fully elucidated. Despite the many challenges associated with analysis of the larvae proteome, recent proteomic technologies have been used to address specific questions in larval developmental biology. These and other molecular studies have generated substantial amount of information of the proteins and molecular pathways involved in larval attachment and metamorphosis. Furthermore, the results of these studies have shown that systematic changes in protein expression patterns and post-translational modifications (PTMs) are crucial for the transition from larva to juvenile. The degeneration of larval tissues is mediated by protein degradation, while the development of juvenile organs may require PTM. In terms of application, the identified proteins may serve as targets for antifouling compounds, and biomarkers for environmental stressors. In this review we highlight the strengths and limitations of proteomic tools in the context of the study of marine invertebrate larval biology.
  • Transcriptome analysis elucidates key developmental components of bryozoan lophophore development

    Wong, Yue Him; Ryu, Tae Woo; Ghosheh, Yanal; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Seridi, Loqmane; Bougouffa, Salim; Ravasi, Timothy (Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2014-10-10) [Article]
    The most recent phylogenomic study suggested that Bryozoa (Ectoprocta), Brachiopoda, and Phoronida are monophyletic, implying that the lophophore of bryozoans, phoronids and brachiopods is a synapomorphy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the lophophore development of the Lophophorata clade can therefore provide us a new insight into the formation of the diverse morphological traits in metazoans. In the present study, we profiled the transcriptome of the Bryozoan (Ectoproct) Bugula neritina during the swimming larval stage (SW) and the early (4 h) and late (24 h) metamorphic stages using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. Various genes that function in development, the immune response and neurogenesis showed differential expression levels during metamorphosis. In situ hybridization of 23 genes that participate in the Wnt, BMP, Notch, and Hedgehog signaling pathways revealed their regulatory roles in the development of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract. Our findings support the hypothesis that developmental precursors of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract are pre-patterned by the differential expression of key developmental genes according to their fate. This study provides a foundation to better understand the developmental divergence and/or convergence among developmental precursors of the lophophore of bryozoans, branchiopods and phoronids.
  • Dynamic Epigenetic Control of Highly Conserved Noncoding Elements

    Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Tae Woo; Ravasi, Timothy (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2014-10-07) [Article]
    Background Many noncoding genomic loci have remained constant over long evolutionary periods, suggesting that they are exposed to strong selective pressures. The molecular functions of these elements have been partially elucidated, but the fundamental reason for their extreme conservation is still unknown. Results To gain new insights into the extreme selection of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs), we used a systematic analysis of multi-omic data to study the epigenetic regulation of such elements during the development of Drosophila melanogaster. At the sequence level, HCNEs are GC-rich and have a characteristic oligomeric composition. They have higher levels of stable nucleosome occupancy than their flanking regions, and lower levels of mononucleosomes and H3.3, suggesting that these regions reside in compact chromatin. Furthermore, these regions showed remarkable modulations in histone modification and the expression levels of adjacent genes during development. Although HCNEs are primarily initiated late in replication, about 10% were related to early replication origins. Finally, HCNEs showed strong enrichment within lamina-associated domains. Conclusion HCNEs have distinct and protective sequence properties, undergo dynamic epigenetic regulation, and appear to be associated with the structural components of the chromatin, replication origins, and nuclear matrix. These observations indicate that such elements are likely to have essential cellular functions, and offer insights into their epigenetic properties.
  • Proteomic profiling during the pre-competent to competent transition of the biofouling polychaete Hydroides elegans

    Zhang, Yu; Sun, Jin; Zhang, Huoming; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Xu, Ying; He, Lisheng; Ravasi, Timothy; Qian, Pei-Yuan (Biofouling, Informa UK Limited, 2014-09-05) [Article]
    The polychaete, Hydroides elegans, is a tube-building worm that is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical seas. It is a dominant fouling species and thus a major target organism in antifouling research. Here, the first high-throughput proteomic profiling of pre-competent and competent larvae of H. elegans is reported with the identification of 1,519 and 1,322 proteins, respectively. These proteins were associated with a variety of biological processes. However, a large proportion was involved in energy metabolism, redox homeostasis, and microtubule-based processes. A comparative analysis revealed 21 proteins that were differentially regulated in larvae approaching competency.
  • Revealing microbial functional activities in the Red Sea sponge S tylissa carteri by metatranscriptomics

    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Tae Woo; Voolstra, Christian R.; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute (Environmental Microbiology, Wiley, 2014-07-09) [Article]
    The persistence of coral reef ecosystems relies on the symbiotic relationship between scleractinian corals and intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. Genetic evidence indicates that these symbionts are biologically diverse and exhibit discrete patterns of environmental and host distribution. This makes the assessment of Symbiodinium diversity critical to understanding the symbiosis ecology of corals. Here, we applied pyrosequencing to the elucidation of Symbiodinium diversity via analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region, a multicopy genetic marker commonly used to analyse Symbiodinium diversity. Replicated data generated from isoclonal Symbiodinium cultures showed that all genomes contained numerous, yet mostly rare, ITS2 sequence variants. Pyrosequencing data were consistent with more traditional denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approaches to the screening of ITS2 PCR amplifications, where the most common sequences appeared as the most intense bands. Further, we developed an operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-based pipeline for Symbiodinium ITS2 diversity typing to provisionally resolve ecologically discrete entities from intragenomic variation. A genetic distance cut-off of 0.03 collapsed intragenomic ITS2 variants of isoclonal cultures into single OTUs. When applied to the analysis of field-collected coral samples, our analyses confirm that much of the commonly observed Symbiodinium ITS2 diversity can be attributed to intragenomic variation. We conclude that by analysing Symbiodinium populations in an OTU-based framework, we can improve objectivity, comparability and simplicity when assessing ITS2 diversity in field-based studies.
  • Actinomycetes from red sea sponges: Sources for chemical and phylogenetic diversity

    Abdelmohsen, Usama Ramadan; Yang, Chen; Horn, Hannes; Hajjar, Dina A.; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute (Marine Drugs, MDPI AG, 2014-05-12) [Article]
    The diversity of actinomycetes associated with marine sponges collected off Fsar Reef (Saudi Arabia) was investigated in the present study. Forty-seven actinomycetes were cultivated and phylogenetically identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and were assigned to 10 different actinomycete genera. Eight putatively novel species belonging to genera Kocuria, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Rhodococcus were identified based on sequence similarity values below 98.2% to other 16S rRNA gene sequences available in the NCBI database. PCR-based screening for biosynthetic genes including type I and type II polyketide synthases (PKS-I, PKS-II) as well as nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) showed that 20 actinomycete isolates encoded each at least one type of biosynthetic gene. The organic extracts of nine isolates displayed bioactivity against at least one of the test pathogens, which were Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, human parasites, as well as in a West Nile Virus protease enzymatic assay. These results emphasize that marine sponges are a prolific resource for novel bioactive actinomycetes with potential for drug discovery. 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI.
  • The doubly conditioned frequency spectrum does not distinguish between ancient population structure and hybridization

    Eriksson, Anders; Manica, Andrea (Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014-03-13) [Article]
    Distinguishing between hybridization and population structure in the ancestral species is a key challenge in our understanding of how permeable species boundaries are to gene flow. The doubly conditioned frequency spectrum (dcfs) has been argued to be a powerful metric to discriminate between these two explanations, and it was used to argue for hybridization between Neandertal and anatomically modern humans. The shape of the observed dcfs for these two species cannot be reproduced by a model that represents ancient population structure in Africa with two populations, while adding hybridization produces realistic shapes. In this letter, we show that this result is a consequence of the spatial coarseness of the demographic model and that a spatially structured stepping stone model can generate realistic dcfs without hybridization. This result highlights how inferences on hybridization between recently diverged species can be strongly affected by the choice of how population structure is represented in the underlying demographic model. We also conclude that the dcfs has limited power in distinguishing between the signals left by hybridization and ancient structure. 2014 The Author.
  • Draft Genome Sequence of the Antitrypanosomally Active Sponge-Associated Bacterium Actinokineospora sp. Strain EG49

    Harjes, Janno; Ryu, Tae Woo; Abdelmohsen, Usama Ramadan; Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Horn, Hannes; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute (Genome Announcements, American Society for Microbiology, 2014-03-06) [Article]
    The marine sponge-associated bacterium Actinokineospora sp. strain EG49 produces the antitrypanosomal angucycline-like compound actinosporin A. The draft genome of Actinokineospora sp. EG49 has a size of 7.5 megabases and a GC content of 72.8% and contains 6,629 protein-coding sequences (CDS). antiSMASH predicted 996 genes residing in 36 secondary metabolite gene clusters.
  • Quantitative proteomics study of larval settlement in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite

    Chen, Zhang-Fan; Zhang, Huoming; Wang, Hao; Matsumura, Kiyotaka; Wong, Yue Him; Ravasi, Timothy; Qian, Pei-Yuan (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2014-02-13) [Article]
    Barnacles are major sessile components of the intertidal areas worldwide, and also one of the most dominant fouling organisms in fouling communities. Larval settlement has a crucial ecological effect not only on the distribution of the barnacle population but also intertidal community structures. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the transition process from the larval to the juvenile stage remain largely unclear. In this study, we carried out comparative proteomic profiles of stage II nauplii, stage VI nauplii, cyprids, and juveniles of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite using label-free quantitative proteomics, followed by the measurement of the gene expression levels of candidate proteins. More than 700 proteins were identified at each stage; 80 were significantly up-regulated in cyprids and 95 in juveniles vs other stages. Specifically, proteins involved in energy and metabolism, the nervous system and signal transduction were significantly up-regulated in cyprids, whereas proteins involved in cytoskeletal remodeling, transcription and translation, cell proliferation and differentiation, and biomineralization were up-regulated in juveniles, consistent with changes associated with larval metamorphosis and tissue remodeling in juveniles. These findings provided molecular evidence for the morphological, physiological and biological changes that occur during the transition process from the larval to the juvenile stages in B. amphitrite. © 2014 Chen et al.
  • The Effect of Multiple Paternity on Genetic Diversity of Small Populations during and after Colonisation

    Rafajlović, Marina; Eriksson, Anders; Rimark, Anna; Hintz-Saltin, Sara; Charrier, Grégory; Panova, Marina; André, Carl; Johannesson, Kerstin; Mehlig, Bernhard (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2013-10-28) [Article]
    Genetic variation within and among populations is influenced by the genetic content of the founders and the migrants following establishment. This is particularly true if populations are small, migration rate low and habitats arranged in a stepping-stone fashion. Under these circumstances the level of multiple paternity is critical since multiply mated females bring more genetic variation into founder groups than single mated females. One such example is the marine snail Littorina saxatilis that during postglacial times has invaded mainland refuge areas and thereafter small islands emerging due to isostatic uplift by occasional rafting of multiply mated females. We modelled effects of varying degrees of multiple paternity on the genetic variation of island populations colonised by the founders spreading from the mainland, by quantifying the population heterozygosity during both the transient colonisation process, and after a steady state (with migration) has been reached. During colonisation, multiple mating by 2-10 males increased the heterozygosity by 10-300% in comparison with single paternity, while in the steady state the increase was 10-50% compared with single paternity. In the steady state the increase of heterozygosity due to multiple paternity is determined by a corresponding increase in effective population size. During colonisation, by contrast, the increase in heterozygosity is larger and it cannot be explained in terms of the effective population size alone. During the steady-state phase bursts of high genetic variation spread through the system, and far from the mainland this led to short periods of high diversity separated by long periods of low diversity. The size of these fluctuations was boosted by multiple paternity. We conclude that following glacial periods of extirpation, recolonization of isolated habitats by this species has been supported by its high level of multiple paternity. 2013 Rafajlovi? et al.
  • Proteomic Changes between Male and Female Worms of the Polychaetous Annelid Neanthes arenaceodentata before and after Spawning

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ravasi, Timothy; Reish, Donald; Qian, Pei-Yuan (PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2013-08-30) [Article]
    The Neanthes acuminata species complex (Polychaeta) are cosmopolitan in distribution. Neanthes arenaceodentata, complex, has been widely used as toxicological test animal in the marine environment. Method of reproduction is unique in this polychaete complex. Same sexes fight and opposite sexes lie side by side until egg laying. Females lose about 75% of their weight and die after laying eggs. The male, capable of reproducing up to nine times, fertilizes the eggs and incubates the embryos for 3-4 weeks. The objective of this study was to determine if there is any set of proteins that influences this unique pattern of reproduction. Gel-based two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and gel-free quantitative proteomics methods were used to identify differential protein expression patterns before and after spawning in both male and female N. arenaceodentata. Males showed a higher degree of similarity in protein expression patterns but females showed large changes in phosphoproteme before and after spawning. There was a decrease (about 70%) in the number of detected phosphoproteins in spent females. The proteins involved in muscular development, cell signaling, structure and integrity, and translation were differentially expressed. This study provides proteomic insights of the male and female worms that may serve as a foundation for better understanding of unusual reproductive patterns in polychaete worms. © 2013 Chandramouli et al.
  • Specificity and transcriptional activity of microbiota associated with low and high microbial abundance sponges from the Red Sea

    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Bayer, Kristina; Cannistraci, Carlo; Giles, Emily; Ryu, Tae Woo; Seridi, Loqmane; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute T E (Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2013-08-20) [Article]
    Marine sponges are generally classified as high microbial abundance (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) species. Here, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was applied to investigate the diversity, specificity and transcriptional activity of microbes associated with an LMA sponge (Stylissa carteri), an HMA sponge (Xestospongia testudinaria) and sea water collected from the central Saudi Arabia coast of the Red Sea. Altogether, 887 068 denoised sequences were obtained, of which 806 661 sequences remained after quality control. This resulted in 1477 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were assigned to 27 microbial phyla. The microbial composition of S. carteri was more similar to that of sea water than to that of X. testudinaria, which is consistent with the observation that the sequence data set of S. carteri contained many more possibly sea water sequences (~24%) than the X. testudinaria data set (~6%). The most abundant OTUs were shared between all three sources (S. carteri, X. testudinaria, sea water), while rare OTUs were unique to any given source. Despite this high degree of overlap, each sponge species contained its own specific microbiota. The X. testudinaria-specific bacterial taxa were similar to those already described for this species. A set of S. carteri-specific bacterial taxa related to Proteobacteria and Nitrospira was identified, which are likely permanently associated with S. carteri. The transcriptional activity of sponge-associated microorganisms correlated well with their abundance. Quantitative PCR revealed the presence of Poribacteria, representing typical sponge symbionts, in both sponge species and in sea water; however, low transcriptional activity in sea water suggested that Poribacteria are not active outside the host context. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Proteomic and metabolomic profiles of marine Vibrio sp. 010 in response to an antifoulant challenge

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Dash, Swagatika; Zhang, Yu; Ravasi, Timothy; Qian, Pei-Yuan (Biofouling, Informa UK Limited, 2013-08) [Article]
    Vibrio spp. have the ability to form biofilms, which may contribute to the subsequent successful colonization by microfouling and macrofouling organisms. The effects of an antifouling compound, poly-ether B, on Vibrio sp. 010 were investigated using flow cytometry, proteomics, and metabolomics. A 2-D gel-based proteomic analysis was used to identify proteins responsive to poly-ether B treatment. The profiles of biofilm metabolites were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Poly-ether B caused a significant reduction in viability. The proteins affected by the treatment were related to nucleotide metabolism, the glyoxylate cycle, and stress responses. Metabolites such as tripeptides, fatty acids, and quorum-sensing molecules were regulated differentially. Down-regulation of proteins and metabolites potentially led to a loss in colonisation ability, thereby affecting the structure of the biofilm. These results suggest that the proteins and metabolites identified may serve as target molecules for potent antifouling compounds. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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