4,881 research outputs found

    A review of mechanically stimulated bioluminescence of marine plankton and its applications

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    Bioluminescence is ubiquitous in marine ecosystems and found in uni- and multicellular organisms. Bioluminescent displays can be used to deter predators, attract mates, and lure and hunt prey. Mechanically stimulated flash kinetics of zooplankton and dinoflagellates are life stage-dependent and species-specific, and could prove effective at identification and monitoring biodiversity in bioluminescent species. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of mechanically stimulated bioluminescence for the main dinoflagellate and zooplankton clades in marine environments and assemble known flash kinetics and spectral emission data. Instruments and methods used in measuring bioluminescence are also discussed. Applications, research gaps, perspectives, and biases in approaches to studying bioluminescence are identified. Moreover, emission kinetics of most zooplankton are very poorly known and constitute a critical gap. Lastly, available knowledge is interpreted in terms of potential future changes in global bioluminescence driven by climate change

    The application and sustainable development of coral in traditional medicine and its chemical composition, pharmacology, toxicology, and clinical research

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    This review discusses the variety, chemical composition, pharmacological effects, toxicology, and clinical research of corals used in traditional medicine in the past two decades. At present, several types of medicinal coral resources are identified, which are used in 56 formulas such as traditional Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine, Mongolian medicine, and Uyghur medicine. A total of 34 families and 99 genera of corals are involved in medical research, with the Alcyoniidae family and Sarcophyton genus being the main research objects. Based on the structural types of compounds and the families and genera of corals, this review summarizes the compounds primarily reported during the period, including terpenoids, steroids, nitrogen-containing compounds, and other terpenoids dominated by sesquiterpene and diterpenes. The biological activities of coral include cytotoxicity (antitumor and anticancer), anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, immunosuppressive, antioxidant, and neurological properties, and a detailed summary of the mechanisms underlying these activities or related targets is provided. Coral toxicity mostly occurs in the marine ornamental soft coral Zoanthidae family, with palytoxin as the main toxic compound. In addition, nonpeptide neurotoxins are extracted from aquatic corals. The compatibility of coral-related preparations did not show significant acute toxicity, but if used for a long time, it will still cause toxicity to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other internal organs in a dose-dependent manner. In clinical applications, individual application of coral is often used as a substitute for orthopedic materials to treat diseases such as bone defects and bone hyperplasia. Second, coral is primarily available in the form of compound preparations, such as Ershiwuwei Shanhu pills and Shanhu Qishiwei pills, which are widely used in the treatment of neurological diseases such as migraine, primary headache, epilepsy, cerebral infarction, hypertension, and other cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. It is undeniable that the effectiveness of coral research has exacerbated the endangered status of corals. Therefore, there should be no distinction between the advantages and disadvantages of listed endangered species, and it is imperative to completely prohibit their use and provide equal protection to help them recover to their normal numbers. This article can provide some reference for research on coral chemical composition, biological activity, chemical ecology, and the discovery of marine drug lead compounds. At the same time, it calls for people to protect endangered corals from the perspectives of prohibition, substitution, and synthesis

    A systematic map of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction

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    Funding: This work was funded by the European Society for Evolution (which funds a Special Topic Network on Evolutionary Ecology of Thermal Fertility Limits to CF, AB, RRS and TARP), the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/P002692/1 to TARP, AB and RRS, NE/X011550/1 to LRD and TARP), the Biotechnology and \Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/W016753/1 to AB, TARP and RRS) and a Heisenberg fellowship from the German Research Foundation (FR 2973/11-1 to CF).1. Exposure to extreme temperatures can negatively affect animal reproduction, by disrupting the ability of individuals to produce any offspring (fertility), or the number of offspring produced by fertile individuals (fecundity). This has important ecological consequences, because reproduction is the ultimate measure of population fitness: a reduction in reproductive output lowers the population growth rate and increases the extinction risk. Despite this importance, there have been no large‚Äźscale summaries of the evidence for effect of temperature on reproduction. 2. We provide a systematic map of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction. We systematically searched for published studies that statistically test for a direct link between temperature and animal reproduction, in terms of fertility, fecundity or indirect measures of reproductive potential (gamete and gonad traits). 3. Overall, we collated a large and rich evidence base, with 1654 papers that met our inclusion criteria, encompassing 1191 species. 4. The map revealed several important research gaps. Insects made up almost half of the dataset, but reptiles and amphibians were uncommon, as were non‚Äźarthropod invertebrates. Fecundity was the most common reproductive trait examined, and relatively few studies measured fertility. It was uncommon for experimental studies to test exposure of different life stages, exposure to short‚Äźterm heat or cold shock, exposure to temperature fluctuations, or to independently assess male and female effects. Studies were most often published in journals focusing on entomology and pest control, ecology and evolution, aquaculture and fisheries science, and marine biology. Finally, while individuals were sampled from every continent, there was a strong sampling bias towards mid‚Äźlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, such that the tropics and polar regions are less well sampled. 5. This map reveals a rich literature of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction, but also uncovers substantial missing treatment of taxa, traits, and thermal regimes. This database will provide a valuable resource for future quantitative meta‚Äźanalyses, and direct future studies aiming to fill identified gaps.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    A systematic map of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction

    Get PDF
    1. Exposure to extreme temperatures can negatively affect animal reproduction, by disrupting the ability of individuals to produce any offspring (fertility), or the number of offspring produced by fertile individuals (fecundity). This has important ecological consequences, because reproduction is the ultimate measure of population fitness: a reduction in reproductive output lowers the population growth rate and increases the extinction risk. Despite this importance, there have been no large-scale summaries of the evidence for effect of temperature on reproduction. 2. We provide a systematic map of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction. We systematically searched for published studies that statistically test for a direct link between temperature and animal reproduction, in terms of fertility, fecundity or indirect measures of reproductive potential (gamete and gonad traits). 3. Overall, we collated a large and rich evidence base, with 1654 papers that met our inclusion criteria, encompassing 1191 species. 4. The map revealed several important research gaps. Insects made up almost half of the dataset, but reptiles and amphibians were uncommon, as were non-arthropod invertebrates. Fecundity was the most common reproductive trait examined, and relatively few studies measured fertility. It was uncommon for experimental studies to test exposure of different life stages, exposure to short-term heat or cold shock, exposure to temperature fluctuations, or to independently assess male and female effects. Studies were most often published in journals focusing on entomology and pest control, ecology and evolution, aquaculture and fisheries science, and marine biology. Finally, while individuals were sampled from every continent, there was a strong sampling bias towards mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, such that the tropics and polar regions are less well sampled. 5. This map reveals a rich literature of studies testing the relationship between temperature and animal reproduction, but also uncovers substantial missing treatment of taxa, traits, and thermal regimes. This database will provide a valuable resource for future quantitative meta-analyses, and direct future studies aiming to fill identified gaps

    The first embryo, the origin of cancer and animal phylogeny. IV. The neoplastic basis for the formation of the innate immune system

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    The formation of the innate immune system of animals can only be envisioned after the development of the first metazoan embryo. The decisive role of Embryology in understanding the evolution of the immune system has been inexplicably disregarded in the history of science. Some characteristics of our holozoan ancestors, including macrophage-like movement and enteric phagocytosis, were suppressed by the formation of chains of physically attached cells in the context of embryo multicellularity. The formation of the archenteron during morphogenesis of the first embryo resulted in a meta-organism whose survival was dependent on the ability to perform enteric phagocytosis (nutrition on bacteria). By recognizing the neoplastic basis of embryo formation, it is possible to venture a glimpse at its other face, a process that becomes evident when the extracellular matrix and cadherin junctions are destroyed. What ensues is metastasis (in the case of cancer) or an alternative version controlled by cell differentiation (during embryogenesis). In the context of innate immunity, the development of mesogleal cells by epithelial‚Äďmesenchymal transition and differentiation into cells specialized in bacterial recognition allowed the newly formed animal to preserve homeostasis, an innovation that has been maintained throughout evolution. In this article, I will share my first reflections on the embryonic origin of innate immunity and its close relationship with cancer. Innate immunity arises naturally during embryogenesis, which explains why the immune system typically does not react against cancer cells. In its essence, the immune system was created from them. Here, I argue that the first embryo can be understood as a benign tumor nourished and protected by the innate immune system

    Microplastic burden in marine benthic invertebrates depends on species traits and feeding ecology within biogeographical provinces

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    This is the final version. Available on open access from Nature Research via the DOI in this recordData availability: The research data supporting this publication are openly available from Harvard Dataverse at: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/E57LOA. The data for the Van Sebille 2015 model can be found at: https://figshare.com/collections/data_of_Van_Sebille_et_al_2015_ERL_paper/5764184. Ocean boundaries (Spalding’s Provinces) used in Fig. 1 are freely available at: https://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/marine-ecoregions-of-the-world-a-bioregionalization-of-coastal-and-shelf-areas. Longhurst provinces used as a geographical variable in the initial analysis are freely available from: https://www.marineregions.org/gazetteer.php?p=details&id=22538. The world country shapefiles used in Fig. 1 are available from ESRI at: https://hub.arcgis.com/datasets/esri::world-countries-generalized/about and available for use under the ESRI Master License Agreement. Taxonomy for all species was verified and curated using the World Register of Marine Species match taxa function available at: https://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=match. Biological trait categories were modified using those provided by the Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) Biological Traits Information Catalogue (BIOTIC) available at: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/biotic/resources.php. Latitudes and Longitudes when not specifically mentioned in the individual study were approximated using Google Maps.The microplastic body burden of marine animals is often assumed to reflect levels of environmental contamination, yet variations in feeding ecology and regional trait expression could also affect a species' risk of contaminant uptake. Here, we explore the global inventory of individual microplastic body burden for invertebrate species inhabiting marine sediments across 16 biogeographic provinces. We show that individual microplastic body burden in benthic invertebrates cannot be fully explained by absolute levels of microplastic contamination in the environment, because interspecific differences in behaviour and feeding ecology strongly determine microplastic uptake. Our analyses also indicate a degree of species-specific particle selectivity; likely associated with feeding biology. Highest microplastic burden occurs in the Yellow and Mediterranean Seas and, contrary to expectation, amongst omnivores, predators, and deposit feeders rather than suspension feeding species. Our findings highlight the inadequacy of microplastic uptake risk assessments based on inventories of environmental contamination alone, and the need to understand how species behaviour and trait expression covary with microplastic contamination.Natural Environment Research Council (NERC

    Cubozoa (Cnidaria)

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    Iako je Cubozoa najmanji razred Ňĺarnjaka, koji sadrŇĺi oko 50 opisanih vrsta kubomeduza, dobro je poznat po nekoliko znańćajnih karakteristika. Od posjedovanja sloŇĺenih ońćiju i povezanih vizualnih sposobnosti, izvanrednog rituala udvaranja i spolnog ponaŇ°anja, do iznimne toksińćnosti. Postoji mnogo razloga zaŇ°to kubomeduze privlańće pozornost znanstvenih zajednica i javnosti. Razred Cubozoa ukljuńćuje nekoliko vrsta kubomeduza koje su Ň°tetne za ljude. Otrov ovih meduza pohranjuje se i ispuŇ°ta od strane nematocista koje sadrŇĺe raznovrsne bioaktivne proteine.Although Cubozoa is the smallest class of Cnidaria, comprising some 50 described box jellyfish species, it is well known for several remarkable attributes. From the possession of complex eyes and associated visual capabilities, extraordinary courtship and mating behaviour, to extreme toxicity. There are many reasons why cubozoans catch the attention of the scientists and the public. Class Cubozoa includes several species of box jellyfish that are harmful to humans. The venom of box jellyfish are stored and discharged by nematocysts and contain a variety of bioactive proteins

    Metazoan diversity and community assemblages in sediments across a Western Pacific Trench-Arc-Basin system: insights from eDNA metabarcoding

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    Trench-arc-basin (TAB) systems are widely distributed in the deep sea, yet our understanding of their biodiversity patterns and community assemblages remains limited. In this study, we collected sediment samples from 22 stations across a Western Pacific TAB system and identified 85 families of marine benthos from 15 phyla by using eDNA metabarcoding with the 18S rRNA gene V4 region. Nematodes were the most dominant metazoan taxa followed by echinoderms, arthropods, and annelids. The highest biodiversity and species specificity were observed at stations located near seamounts. The community assemblages were highly heterogeneous in this TAB system, likely induced by the large geographic barriers and the high habitat heterogeneity. Furthermore, the total organic carbon content and median grain size of the sediment drive the overall community composition, and the water depth exerts a significant influence on species richness and abundance. Our results provide insight into benthos diversity and distribution across a TAB system and data for further comparisons and modeling studies

    Integrating multicelular systems: Physiological control and degrees of biological individuality.

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    This paper focuses on physiological integration in multicellular systems, a notion often associated with biological individuality, but which has not received enough attention and needs a thorough theoretical treatment. Broadly speaking, physiological integration consists in how different components come together into a cohesive unit in which they are dependent on one another for their existence and activity. This paper argues that physiological integration can be understood by considering how the components of a biological multicellular system are controlled and coordinated in such a way that their activities can contribute to the maintenance of the system. The main implication of this perspective is that different ways of controlling their parts may give rise to multicellular organizations with different degrees of integration. After defining control, this paper analyses how control is realized in two examples of multicellular systems located at different ends of the spectrum of multicellularity: biofilms and animals. It focuses on differences in control ranges, and it argues that a high degree of integration implies control exerted at both medium and long ranges, and that insofar as biofilms lack long-range control (relative to their size) they can be considered as less integrated than other multicellular systems. It then discusses the implication of this account for the debate on physiological individuality and the idea that degrees of physiological integration imply degrees of individuality

    Spicy food for the egg-cowries: the evolution of corallivory in the Ovulidae (Gastropoda: Cypraeoidea)

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    IntroductionHost-parasite associations provide very useful models to study adaptive processes. We investigated the interaction between carnivorous marine gastropods, the Ovulidae or egg-cowries, and their cnidarian food targets. Ovulidae (Fleming, 1828), is a family of specialized carnivorous caenogastropods that feed by browsing on octocorals (Anthozoa: Octocorallia: Malacalcyonacea and Scleralcyonacea) or, to a much lesser degree, on antipatharians (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Antipatharia) and Stylasteridae (Hydrozoa: Hydroidolina: Anthoathecata). Very scanty information is available on the phylogenetic relationships and the degree of specificity of the relationship with the cnidarians of this corallivorous lineage, especially for deep-water taxa.MethodsTo assess taxonomic identifications and investigate cnidarian/ovulid relationships in the context of their evolution, we generated an extensive molecular dataset comprising two mitochondrial (cox1 and 16S rDNA) and one nuclear gene (28S rDNA) from 524 specimens collected worldwide. The coral hosts of the ovulid species have been identified by integrating literature data with new records, employing morphological and/or molecular (the mitochondrial 16S rDNA and mtMSH, and the nuclear ITS2) markers.ResultsWe obtained a molecular phylogenetic framework for the Ovulidae, time-calibrated with nine reliable fossil records. An ancestral state reconstruction allowed to identify Hexacorallia or Hydroidolina as the most likely ancestral cnidarian host for the Ovulidae.DiscussionOur phylogenetic hypothesis revealed the existence of groups that do not completely correspond to the currently employed subfamilial arrangement. Concerning trophic ecology, while only pediculariines (Pedicularia and allied) are associated with hydrozoans (Stylasteridae), our results suggest that some ovulid lineages shifted independently between octocorals and hexacorals
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