Posts Tagged 'laboratory'

Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the bioenergetics of developing eggs of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is a benthic spawner, therefore its eggs are prone to encounter different water conditions during embryonic development, with bottom waters often depleted of oxygen and enriched in CO2. Some Atlantic herring spawning grounds are predicted to be highly affected by ongoing Ocean Acidification and Warming with water temperature increasing by up to +3°C and CO2 levels reaching ca. 1000 μatm (RCP 8.5). Although many studies investigated the effects of high levels of CO2 on the embryonic development of Atlantic herring, little is known about the combination of temperature and ecologically relevant levels of CO2. In this study, we investigated the effects of Ocean Acidification and Warming on embryonic metabolic and developmental performance such as mitochondrial function, respiration, hatching success (HS) and growth in Atlantic herring from the Oslo Fjord, one of the spawning grounds predicted to be greatly affected by climate change. Fertilized eggs were incubated under combinations of two PCO2 conditions (400 μatm and 1100 μatm) and three temperatures (6, 10 and 14°C), which correspond to current and end-of-the-century conditions. We analysed HS, oxygen consumption (MO2) and mitochondrial function of embryos as well as larval length at hatch. The capacity of the electron transport system (ETS) increased with temperature, reaching a plateau at 14°C, where the contribution of Complex I to the ETS declined in favour of Complex II. This relative shift was coupled with a dramatic increase in MO2 at 14°C. HS was high under ambient spawning conditions (6–10°C), but decreased at 14°C and hatched larvae at this temperature were smaller. Elevated PCO2 increased larval malformations, indicating sub-lethal effects. These results indicate that energetic limitations due to thermally affected mitochondria and higher energy demand for maintenance occur at the expense of embryonic development and growth.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the bioenergetics of developing eggs of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus’

Potential influence of ocean acidification on deep-sea Fe–Mn nodules and pelagic clays: an improved assessment by using artificial seawater

In order to assess the potential risk of metal release from deep-sea sediments in response to pH decrease in seawater, the mobility of elements from ferromanganese (Fe–Mn) nodules and pelagic clays was examined. Two geochemical reference samples (JMn-1 and JMS-2) were reacted with the pH-controlled artificial seawater (ASW) using a CO2-induced pH regulation system. Our experiments demonstrated that deep-sea sediments have weak buffer capacities by acid–base dissociation of surface hydroxyl groups on metal oxides/oxyhydroxides and silicate minerals. Element concentrations in the ASW were mainly controlled by elemental speciation in the solid phase and sorption–desorption reaction between the charged solid surface and ion species in the ASW. These results indicated that the release of heavy metals such as Mn, Cu, Zn and Cd should be taken into consideration when assessing the influence of ocean acidification on deep-sea environment.

Continue reading ‘Potential influence of ocean acidification on deep-sea Fe–Mn nodules and pelagic clays: an improved assessment by using artificial seawater’

Impact of environmental hypercapnia on fertilization success rate and the early embryonic development of the clam Limecola balthica (Bivalvia, Tellinidae) from the southern Baltic Sea – a potential CO2 leakage case study

Highlights

• Fertilization success of Limecola balthica drops along decreasing pH gradient.
• Low pH causes delays of early embryonic development of the Baltic clam.
L. balthica embryos develop aberrations of early cleavages in CO2-rich environment.
• CO2 leakage from CCS site may affect population’s size by impeding its reproduction.

Abstract

Carbon capture and storage technology was developed as a tool to mitigate the increased emissions of carbon dioxide by capture, transportation, injection and storage of CO2 into subterranean reservoirs. There is, however, a risk of future CO2 leakage from sub-seabed storage sites to the sea-floor sediments and overlying water, causing a pH decrease. The aim of this study was to assess effects of CO2-induced seawater acidification on fertilization success and early embryonic development of the sediment-burrowing bivalve Limecola balthica L. from the Baltic Sea. Laboratory experiments using a CO2 enrichment system involved three different pH variants (pH 7.7 as control, pH 7.0 and pH 6.3, both representing environmental hypercapnia). The results showed significant fertilization success reduction under pH 7.0 and 6.3 and development delays at 4 and 9 h post gamete encounter. Several morphological aberrations (cell breakage, cytoplasm leakages, blastomere deformations) in the early embryos at different cleavage stages were observed.

Continue reading ‘Impact of environmental hypercapnia on fertilization success rate and the early embryonic development of the clam Limecola balthica (Bivalvia, Tellinidae) from the southern Baltic Sea – a potential CO2 leakage case study’

Possible roles of glutamine synthetase in responding to environmental changes in a scleractinian coral

Glutamine synthetase is an enzyme that plays an essential role in the metabolism of nitrogen by catalyzing the condensation of glutamate and ammonia to form glutamine. In this study, the activity and responses of glutamine synthetase towards environmental changes were investigated in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis. The identified glutamine synthetase (PdGS) was comprised of 362 amino acids and predicted to contain one Gln-synt_N and one Gln-synt_C domain. Expression of PdGS mRNA increased significantly after 12 h (1.28-fold, p < 0.05) of exposure to elevated ammonium, while glutamine synthetase activity increased significantly from 12 to 24 h, peaking at 12 h (54.80 U mg−1, p < 0.05). The recombinant protein of the mature PdGS (rPdGS) was expressed in E. coli BL21, and its activities were detected under different temperature, pH and glufosinate levels. The highest levels of rPdGS activity were observed at 25 °C and pH 8 respectively, but decreased significantly at lower temperature, and higher or lower pH. Furthermore, the level of rPdGS activities was negatively correlated with the concentration of glufosinate, specifically decreasing at 10−5 mol L−1 glufosinate to be less than 50% (p < 0.05) of that in the blank. These results collectively suggest that PdGS, as a homologue of glutamine synthetase, was involved in the nitrogen assimilation in the scleractinian coral. Further, its physiological functions could be suppressed by high temperature, ocean acidification and residual glufosinate, which might further regulate the coral-zooxanthella symbiosis via the nitrogen metabolism in the scleractinian coral P. damicornis.

Continue reading ‘Possible roles of glutamine synthetase in responding to environmental changes in a scleractinian coral’

The requirement for calcification differs between ecologically important coccolithophore species

Summary

  • Coccolithophores are globally distributed unicellular marine algae that are characterized by their covering of calcite coccoliths. Calcification by coccolithophores contributes significantly to global biogeochemical cycles. However, the physiological requirement for calcification remains poorly understood as non‐calcifying strains of some commonly used model species, such as Emiliania huxleyi, grow normally in laboratory culture.
  • To determine whether the requirement for calcification differs between coccolithophore species, we utilized multiple independent methodologies to disrupt calcification in two important species of coccolithophore: E. huxleyi and Coccolithus braarudii. We investigated their physiological response and used time‐lapse imaging to visualize the processes of calcification and cell division in individual cells.
  • Disruption of calcification resulted in major growth defects in C. braarudii, but not in E. huxleyi. We found no evidence that calcification supports photosynthesis in C. braarudii, but showed that an inability to maintain an intact coccosphere results in cell cycle arrest.
  • We found that C. braarudii is very different from E. huxleyi as it exhibits an obligate requirement for calcification. The identification of a growth defect in C. braarudii resulting from disruption of the coccosphere may be important in considering their response to future changes in ocean carbonate chemistry.

 

Continue reading ‘The requirement for calcification differs between ecologically important coccolithophore species’

Development of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina from Hong Kong is robust to ocean acidification and copper contamination

Highlights

• Ocean acidification will increase the fraction of the most toxic form of copper, increasing its bioavailability to marine organisms
• We tested the hypothesis that copper contaminated waters are more toxic to sea urchin larvae under future pH conditions in three laboratory experiments
• Larvae are robust to the pH and the copper levels we tested (little/no mortality)
• However, significant sub-lethal effects, could have indirect consequences on survival

Abstract

Metallic pollution is of particular concern in coastal cities. In the Asian megacity of Hong Kong, despite water qualities have improved over the past decade, some local zones are still particularly affected and could represent sinks for remobilization of labile toxic species such as copper. Ocean acidification is expected to increase the fraction of the most toxic form of copper (Cu2+) by 2.3-folds by 2100 (pH ≈7.7), increasing its bioavailability to marine organisms. Multiple stressors are likely to exert concomitant effects (additive, synergic or antagonist) on marine organisms.

Here, we tested the hypothesis that copper contaminated waters are more toxic to sea urchin larvae under future pH conditions. We exposed sea urchin embryos and larvae to two low-pH and two copper treatments (0.1 and 1.0 μM) in three separate experiments. Over the short time typically used for toxicity tests (up to 4-arm plutei, i.e. 3 days), larvae of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina were robust and survived the copper levels present in Hong Kong waters today (≤0.19 μM) as well as the average pH projected for 2100. We, however, observed significant mortality with lowering pH in the longer, single-stressor experiment (Expt A: 8-arm plutei, i.e. 9 days). Abnormality and arm asymmetry were significantly increased by pH or/and by copper presence (depending on the experiment and copper level). Body size (d3; but not body growth rates in Expt A) was significantly reduced by both lowered pH and added copper. Larval respiration (Expt A) was doubled by a decrease at pHT from 8.0 to 7.3 on d6. In Expt B1.0 and B0.1, larval morphology (relative arm lengths and stomach volume) were affected by at least one of the two investigated factors.

Although the larvae appeared robust, these sub-lethal effects may have indirect consequences on feeding, swimming and ultimately survival. The complex relationship between pH and metal speciation/uptake is not well-characterized and further investigations are urgently needed to detangle the mechanisms involved and to identify possible caveats in routinely used toxicity tests.

Continue reading ‘Development of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina from Hong Kong is robust to ocean acidification and copper contamination’

The acute transcriptomic response of coral-algae interactions to pH fluctuation

Little is known about how the coral host and its endosymbiont interactions change when they are exposed to a sudden nonlinear environmental transformation, yet this is crucial to coral survival in extreme events. Here, we present a study that investigates the transcriptomic response of corals and their endosymbionts to an abrupt change in pH (pH 7.60 and 8.35). The transcriptome indicates that the endosymbiont demonstrates a synchronized downregulation in carbon acquisition and fixation processes and may result in photosynthetic dysfunction in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium, suggesting that the mutualistic continuum of coral–algae interactions is compromised in response to high-CO2 exposure. Transcriptomic data also shows that corals are still capable of calcifying in response to the low pH but could experience a series of negative effects on their energy dynamics, which including protein damage, DNA repair, ion transport, cellular apoptosis, calcification acclimation and maintenance of intracellular pH homeostasis and stress tolerance to pH swing. This suggests enhanced energy costs for coral metabolic adaptation. This study provides a deeper understanding of the biological basis related to the symbiotic corals in response to extreme future climate change and environmental variability.

Continue reading ‘The acute transcriptomic response of coral-algae interactions to pH fluctuation’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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