Aldehyde-encapsulating liposomes impair marine grazer survivorship.
ABSTRACT In the last decade, there has been an increased awareness that secondary metabolites produced by marine diatoms negatively impact the reproductive success of their principal predators, the copepods. Several oxylipins, products of the enzymatic oxidation of fatty acids, are produced when these unicellular algae are damaged, as occurs during grazing. In the past, the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum, which does not produce the oxylipin 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal (DD), has been used as a live carrier to calculate daily ingestion rates of this molecule by copepod crustaceans. However, since the interaction between oxylipins and live carriers is unknown, the question as to how much and for how long ingestion of these molecules affects copepod reproduction remains a critical point to understanding the functional role of such compounds at sea. In the investigation presented here we used giant liposomes ( approximately 7 mum) as a delivery system for the oxylipin DD, prepared in the same size range as copepod food and containing known amounts of DD. The aim of this work was to relate the ingestion of DD to the reproductive failure of the copepods Temora stylifera and Calanus helgolandicus. Liposomes were very stable over time and after 10 days of feeding, liposomes encapsulating DD reduced egg hatching success and female survival with a concomitant appearance of apoptosis in both copepod embryos and female tissues. Concentrations of DD inducing blockage were one order of magnitude lower that those used in classical feeding experiments demonstrating that liposomes are a useful tool to quantitatively analyze the impact of toxins on copepods.
Article: Diatom derived polyunsaturated aldehydes do not structure the planktonic microbial community in a mesocosm study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several marine and freshwater diatoms produce polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUA) in wound-activated processes. These metabolites are also released by intact diatom cells during algal blooms. Due to their activity in laboratory experiments, PUA are considered as potential mediators of diatom-bacteria interactions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that PUA mediate such processes in a close-to-field mesocosm experiment. Natural plankton communities enriched with Skeletonema marinoi strains that differ in their PUA production, a plankton control, and a plankton control supplemented with PUA at natural and elevated concentrations were observed. We monitored bacterial and viral abundance as well as bacterial community composition and did not observe any influence of PUA on these parameters even at elevated concentrations. We rather detected an alternation of the bacterial diversity over time and differences between the two S. marinoi strains, indicating unique dynamic bacterial communities in these algal blooms. These results suggest that factors other than PUA are of significance for interactions between diatoms and bacteria.Marine Drugs 04/2012; 10(4):775-92. · 3.85 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular evidence of the toxic effects of diatom diets on gene expression patterns in copepods.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Diatoms are dominant photosynthetic organisms in the world's oceans and are considered essential in the transfer of energy through marine food chains. However, these unicellular plants at times produce secondary metabolites such as polyunsaturated aldehydes and other products deriving from the oxidation of fatty acids that are collectively termed oxylipins. These cytotoxic compounds are responsible for growth inhibition and teratogenic activity, potentially sabotaging future generations of grazers by inducing poor recruitment in marine organisms such as crustacean copepods. Here we show that two days of feeding on a strong oxylipin-producing diatom (Skeletonema marinoi) is sufficient to inhibit a series of genes involved in aldehyde detoxification, apoptosis, cytoskeleton structure and stress response in the copepod Calanus helgolandicus. Of the 18 transcripts analyzed by RT-qPCR at least 50% were strongly down-regulated (aldehyde dehydrogenase 9, 8 and 6, cellular apoptosis susceptibility and inhibitor of apoptosis IAP proteins, heat shock protein 40, alpha- and beta-tubulins) compared to animals fed on a weak oxylipin-producing diet (Chaetoceros socialis) which showed no changes in gene expression profiles. Our results provide molecular evidence of the toxic effects of strong oxylipin-producing diatoms on grazers, showing that primary defense systems that should be activated to protect copepods against toxic algae can be inhibited. On the other hand other classical detoxification genes (glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, cytochrome P450) were not affected possibly due to short exposure times. Given the importance of diatom blooms in nutrient-rich aquatic environments these results offer a plausible explanation for the inefficient use of a potentially valuable food resource, the spring diatom bloom, by some copepod species.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26850. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: The relevance of marine chemical ecology to plankton and ecosystem function: an emerging field.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Marine chemical ecology comprises the study of the production and interaction of bioactive molecules affecting organism behavior and function. Here we focus on bioactive compounds and interactions associated with phytoplankton, particularly bloom-forming diatoms, prymnesiophytes and dinoflagellates. Planktonic bioactive metabolites are structurally and functionally diverse and some may have multiple simultaneous functions including roles in chemical defense (antipredator, allelopathic and antibacterial compounds), and/or cell-to-cell signaling (e.g., polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) of diatoms). Among inducible chemical defenses in response to grazing, there is high species-specific variability in the effects on grazers, ranging from severe physical incapacitation and/or death to no apparent physiological response, depending on predator susceptibility and detoxification capability. Most bioactive compounds are present in very low concentrations, in both the producing organism and the surrounding aqueous medium. Furthermore, bioactivity may be subject to synergistic interactions with other natural and anthropogenic environmental toxicants. Most, if not all phycotoxins are classic secondary metabolites, but many other bioactive metabolites are simple molecules derived from primary metabolism (e.g., PUAs in diatoms, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in prymnesiophytes). Producing cells do not seem to suffer physiological impact due to their synthesis. Functional genome sequence data and gene expression analysis will provide insights into regulatory and metabolic pathways in producer organisms, as well as identification of mechanisms of action in target organisms. Understanding chemical ecological responses to environmental triggers and chemically-mediated species interactions will help define crucial chemical and molecular processes that help maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functionality.Marine Drugs 01/2011; 9(9):1625-48. · 3.85 Impact Factor