Posts Tagged 'laboratory'

Acclimation and adaptation to elevated pCO2 increase arsenic resilience in marine diatoms

Arsenic pollution is a widespread threat to marine life, but the ongoing rise pCO2 levels is predicted to decrease bio-toxicity of arsenic. However, the effects of arsenic toxicity on marine primary producers under elevated pCO2 are not well characterized. Here, we studied the effects of arsenic toxicity in three globally distributed diatom species (Phaeodactylum tricornutumThalassiosira pseudonana, and Chaetoceros mulleri) after short-term acclimation (ST, 30 days), medium-term exposure (MT, 750 days), and long-term (LT, 1460 days) selection under ambient (400 µatm) and elevated (1000 and 2000 µatm) pCO2. We found that elevated pCO2 alleviated arsenic toxicity even after short acclimation times but the magnitude of the response decreased after mid and long-term adaptation. When fed with these elevated pCO2 selected diatoms, the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis had significantly lower arsenic content (3.26–52.83%). Transcriptomic and biochemical analysis indicated that the diatoms rapidly developed arsenic detoxification strategies, which included upregulation of transporters associated with shuttling harmful compounds out of the cell to reduce arsenic accumulation, and upregulation of proteins involved in synthesizing glutathione (GSH) to chelate intracellular arsenic to reduce arsenic toxicity. Thus, our results will expand our knowledge to fully understand the ecological risk of trace metal pollution under increasing human activity induced ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Acclimation and adaptation to elevated pCO2 increase arsenic resilience in marine diatoms’

Ocean acidification interacts with growth light to suppress CO2 acquisition efficiency and enhance mitochondrial respiration in a coastal diatom

Highlights

  • Ocean acidification (OA) enhances growth of Thalassiosira weissflogii only at limiting low light levels.
  • The energy saved from down-regulation of CCMs under OA rather than “CO2 fertilization aids in the enhancement under low levels of light energy supply.
  • Coastal diatoms can benefit from OA, especially under cloudy weather or conditions of low solar exposures.

Abstract

Diatom responses to ocean acidification have been documented with variable and controversial results. We grew the coastal diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii under 410 (LC, pH 8.13) vs 1000 μatm (HC, pH 7.83) pCO2 and at different levels of light (80, 140, 220 μmol photons m−2 s−1), and found that light level alters physiological responses to OA. CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) were down-regulated in the HC-grown cells across all the light levels, as reflected by lowered activity of the periplasmic carbonic anhydrase and decreased photosynthetic affinity for CO2 or dissolved inorganic carbon. The specific growth rate was, however, enhanced significantly by 9.2% only at the limiting low light level. These results indicate that rather than CO2 “fertilization”, the energy saved from down-regulation of CCMs promoted the growth rate of the diatom when light availability is low, in parallel with enhanced respiration under OA to cope with the acidic stress by providing extra energy.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification interacts with growth light to suppress CO2 acquisition efficiency and enhance mitochondrial respiration in a coastal diatom’

Ocean acidification alters properties of the exoskeleton in adult tanner crabs, Chionoecetes bairdi

Ocean acidification can affect the ability of calcifying organisms to build and maintain mineralized tissue. In decapod crustaceans, the exoskeleton is a multilayered structure composed of chitin, protein, and mineral, predominately magnesian calcite or amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC). We investigated the effects of acidification on the exoskeleton of mature (post-terminal-molt) female southern Tanner crabs, Chionoecetes bairdi. Crabs were exposed to one of three pH levels—8.1, 7.8, or 7.5—for two years. Reduced pH led to a suite of body-region-specific effects on the exoskeleton. Microhardness of the claw was 38% lower in crabs at pH 7.5 compared with those at pH 8.1, but carapace microhardness was unaffected by pH. In contrast, reduced pH altered elemental content in the carapace (reduced calcium, increased magnesium), but not the claw. Diminished structural integrity and thinning of the exoskeleton was observed at reduced pH in both body regions; internal erosion of the carapace was present in most crabs at pH 7.5, and the claws of these crabs showed substantial external erosion, with tooth-like denticles nearly or completely worn away. Using infrared spectroscopy, we observed a shift in the phase of calcium carbonate present in the carapace of pH-7.5 crabs: a mix of ACC and calcite was found in the carapace of crabs at pH 8.1, whereas the bulk of calcium carbonate had transformed to calcite in pH-7.5 crabs. With limited capacity for repair, the exoskeleton of long-lived crabs that undergo a terminal molt, such as Cbairdi, may be especially susceptible to ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification alters properties of the exoskeleton in adult tanner crabs, Chionoecetes bairdi’

Effects of ocean acidification on coral endolithic bacterial communities in Isopora palifera and Porites lobata

Endolithic microbes in coral reefs may act as a nutrient source for their coral hosts. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification (OA), which may affect marine organisms and ecosystems, especially calcifying organisms such as reef-building corals. However, knowledge of how OA affects marine microbes remains limited, and little research has been done on how coral endolithic communities respond to shifting environmental baselines. In this study, the endolithic communities of two common shallow water coral species, Isopora palifera and Porites lobata, were examined to investigate the microbial community dynamics under OA treatments. The colonies were placed in an environment with a partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) of 1,000 or 400 ppm (control) for 2 months. Several I. palifera colonies bleached and died at 1,000 ppm pCO2, but the P. lobata colonies remained unaffected. Inversely, the endolithic community in P. lobata skeletons showed significant changes after OA treatment, whereas no significant dynamics were observed among the I. palifera endoliths. Our findings suggest that the skeletal structures of different coral species may play a key role in corals host and endoliths under future high-OA scenarios.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean acidification on coral endolithic bacterial communities in Isopora palifera and Porites lobata’

Gene expression patterns of red sea urchins (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) exposed to different combinations of temperature and pCO2 during early development

Background

The red sea urchin Mesocentrotus franciscanus is an ecologically important kelp forest herbivore and an economically valuable wild fishery species. To examine how M. franciscanus responds to its environment on a molecular level, differences in gene expression patterns were observed in embryos raised under combinations of two temperatures (13 °C or 17 °C) and two pCO2 levels (475 μatm or 1050 μatm). These combinations mimic various present-day conditions measured during and between upwelling events in the highly dynamic California Current System with the exception of the 17 °C and 1050 μatm combination, which does not currently occur. However, as ocean warming and acidification continues, warmer temperatures and higher pCO2 conditions are expected to increase in frequency and to occur simultaneously. The transcriptomic responses of the embryos were assessed at two developmental stages (gastrula and prism) in light of previously described plasticity in body size and thermotolerance under these temperature and pCO2 treatments.

Continue reading ‘Gene expression patterns of red sea urchins (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) exposed to different combinations of temperature and pCO2 during early development’

Thermal stress reduces pocilloporid coral resilience to ocean acidification by impairing control over calcifying fluid chemistry

The combination of thermal stress and ocean acidification (OA) can more negatively affect coral calcification than an individual stressors, but the mechanism behind this interaction is unknown. We used two independent methods (microelectrode and boron geochemistry) to measure calcifying fluid pH (pHcf) and carbonate chemistry of the corals Pocillopora damicornis and Stylophora pistillata grown under various temperature and pCO2 conditions. Although these approaches demonstrate that they record pHcf over different time scales, they reveal that both species can cope with OA under optimal temperatures (28°C) by elevating pHcf and aragonite saturation state (Ωcf) in support of calcification. At 31°C, neither species elevated these parameters as they did at 28°C and, likewise, could not maintain substantially positive calcification rates under any pH treatment. These results reveal a previously uncharacterized influence of temperature on coral pHcf regulation—the apparent mechanism behind the negative interaction between thermal stress and OA on coral calcification.

Continue reading ‘Thermal stress reduces pocilloporid coral resilience to ocean acidification by impairing control over calcifying fluid chemistry’

Acidification stress effect on umbonate veliger larval development in Panopea globosa

Highlights

  • The pH significantly influenced the biometric variables in Panopea globosa larvae.
  • Larvae exposed to lower pH showed shell dissolution at the umbo level.
  • The metabolic rate was higher in larvae exposed to acidification compared to the control.
  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase expression levels to pH 7.5 suggest a higher energy requirement.

Abstract


Ocean acidification generates a decrease in calcium carbonate availability essential for biomineralization in organisms such as mollusks. This effect was evaluated on Panopea globosa exposing for 7 days umbonate veliger larvae to two pH treatments: experimental (pH 7.5) and control (pH 8.0). Exposure to pH 7.5 affected growth, reducing larval shell length from 5.15–13.34% compared to the control group. This size reduction was confirmed with electron microscopy, also showing shell damage. The physiological response showed an increase in oxygen consumption in larvae exposed to low pH with a maximum difference of 1.57 nmol O2 h−1 larvae−1 at day 7. The gene expression analyses reported high expression values for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) dehydrogenase and Perlucin in larvae at pH 7.5, suggesting a higher energetic cost in this larval group to maintain homeostasis. In conclusion, this study showed that acidification affected development of P. globosa umbonate veliger larvae.

Continue reading ‘Acidification stress effect on umbonate veliger larval development in Panopea globosa’

Ocean acidifcation may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans

The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 is not only considered to drive global warming, but also ocean acidification. Previous studies have shown that acidification will affect many aspects of biogenic carbon uptake and release in the surface water of the oceans. In this report we present a potential novel impact of acidification on the flash intensity of lightning discharged into the oceans. Our experimental results show that a decrease in ocean pH corresponding to the predicted increase in atmospheric CO2 according to the IPCC RCP 8.5 worst case emission scenario, may increase the intensity of lightning discharged into seawater by approximately 30 ± 7% by the end of the twenty-first century relative to 2000.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidifcation may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans’

Ocean acidification increases polyspermy of a broadcast spawning bivalve species by hampering membrane depolarization and cortical granule exocytosis

Highlights

  • Ocean acidification (OA) increases polyspermy risk in the blood clam
  • Population recruitment of broadcast spawning marine species might be threatened by OA
  • OA induces polyspermy via hampering membrane depolarization and cortical reaction
  • Disrupted polyspermy blocking may be due to alterations in intracellular Ca2+ and ATP

Abstract


Ensuring that oocytes are fertilized by a single sperm during broadcast spawning is crucial for the fertilization success of many marine invertebrates. Although the adverse impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on various marine species have been revealed in recent years, its impact on polyspermy and the underlying mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Therefore, in the present study, the effect of OA on polyspermy risk was assessed in a broadcast spawning bivalve, Tegillarca granosa. In addition, the impacts of OA on the two polyspermy blocking processes, the fast block (membrane depolarization) and the permanent block (cortical reaction), were investigated. The results show that the exposure of oocytes to two future OA scenarios (pH 7.8 and pH 7.4) leads to significant increases in polyspermy risk, about 1.70 and 2.38 times higher than the control, respectively. The maximum change in the membrane potential during oocyte membrane depolarization markedly decreased to 15.79% (pH 7.8) and 34.06% (pH 7.4) of the control value. Moreover, the duration of oocyte membrane depolarization was significantly reduced to approximately 63.38% (pH 7.8) and 21.91% (pH 7.4) of the control. In addition, cortical granule exocytosis, as well as microfilament migration, were significantly arrested by OA treatment. Exposure to future OA scenarios also led to significant reductions in the ATP and Ca2+ content of the oocytes, which may explain the hampered polyspermy blocking. Overall, the present study suggests that OA may significantly increase polyspermy risk in T. granosa by inhibiting membrane depolarization and arresting cortical granule exocytosis.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification increases polyspermy of a broadcast spawning bivalve species by hampering membrane depolarization and cortical granule exocytosis’

Animal size and sea water temperature, but not pH, influence a repeatable startle response behavior in a wide-ranging marine mollusc

Highlights

  • We measured startle response (time to open) in mussels following a predator cue.
  • We tested effects of temperature, pH and size and measured repeatability.
  • Larger mussels opened faster; repeatable startle response; evidence of habituation.
  • High temperature increased time to open; no effect of pH.
  • Blue mussels are sensitive to temperature and vulnerable to climate change.

Abstracts

Startle response behaviours are important in predator avoidance and escape for a wide array of animals. For many marine invertebrates, however, startle response behaviours are understudied, and the effects of global change stressors on these responses are unknown. We exposed two size classes of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis × trossulus) to different combinations of temperature (15 and 19 °C) and pH (8.2 and 7.5 pHT) for 3 months and subsequently measured individual time to open following a tactile predator cue (i.e. startle response time) over a series of four consecutive trials. Time to open was highly repeatable in the short term and decreased linearly across the four trials. Individuals from the larger size class had a shorter time to open than their smaller-sized counterparts. High temperature increased time to open compared to low temperature, while pH had no effect. These results suggest that bivalve time to open is repeatable, related to relative vulnerability to predation and affected by temperature. Given that increased closure times impact feeding and respiration, the effect of temperature on closure duration may play a role in the sensitivity to ocean warming in this species and contribute to ecosystem level effects.

Continue reading ‘Animal size and sea water temperature, but not pH, influence a repeatable startle response behavior in a wide-ranging marine mollusc’

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