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Longhua Guo, Alice Accorsi, Shuonan He, Carlos Guerrero-Hernández, Shamilene Sivagnanam, Sean McKinney, Matthew Gibson, Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
BACKGROUND: The ability to efficiently visualize and manipulate chromosomes is fundamental to understanding the genome architecture of organisms. Conventional chromosome preparation protocols developed for mammalian cells and those relying on species-specific conditions are not suitable for many invertebrates. Hence, a simple and inexpensive chromosome preparation protocol, adaptable to multiple invertebrate species, is needed. RESULTS: We optimized a chromosome preparation protocol and applied it to several planarian species (phylum Platyhelminthes), the freshwater apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (phylum Mollusca), and the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (phylum Cnidaria)...
February 26, 2018: BMC Biology
Michael J Layden
To understand the ancestral and evolved roles of zic homologs, it is important to reconstruct the putative roles of ancient zic homologs in the animal phylogeny. Most studies of zic genes have been conducted in model systems that are members of the bilaterian phylum. However, two additional phyla have zic homologs encoded in their genomes. The three animal phyla that contain zic homologs all share a common ancestor and collectively are termed the parahoxozoans (cnidarians (corals, sea anemones, and jellyfish), placozoans (Trichoplax adhaerens), and bilaterians (chordates, insects, nematodes, annelids, echinoderms, etc...
2018: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Yaara Y Columbus-Shenkar, Maria Y Sachkova, Jason Macrander, Arie Fridrich, Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Adam M Reitzel, Kartik Sunagar, Yehu Moran
Little is known about venom in young developmental stages of animals. The appearance of toxins and stinging cells during early embryonic stages in the sea anemone Nematostellavectensis suggests that venom is already expressed in eggs and larvae of this species. Here we harness transcriptomic, biochemical and transgenic tools to study venom production dynamics in Nematostella. We find that venom composition and arsenal of toxin-producing cells change dramatically between developmental stages of this species...
February 9, 2018: ELife
Lauren E Friedman, Thomas D Gilmore, John R Finnerty
Nematostella vectensis is a member of the phylum Cnidaria, a lineage that includes anemones, corals, hydras, and jellyfishes. This estuarine anemone is an excellent model system for investigating the evolution of stress tolerance because it is easy to collect in its natural habitat and to culture in the laboratory, and it has a sequenced genome. Additionally, there is evidence of local adaptation to environmental stress in different N. vectensis populations, and abundant protein-coding polymorphisms have been identified, including polymorphisms in proteins that are implicated in stress responses...
2018: PloS One
Ann M Tarrant, Samantha L Payton, Adam M Reitzel, Danielle T Porter, Matthew J Jenny
Estuarine organisms are subjected to combinations of anthropogenic and natural stressors, which together can reduce an organisms' ability to respond to either stress or can potentiate or synergize the cellular impacts for individual stressors. Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone) is a useful model for investigating novel and evolutionarily conserved cellular and molecular responses to environmental stress. Using RNA-seq, we assessed global changes in gene expression in Nematostella in response to dispersant and/or sweet crude oil exposure alone or combined with ultraviolet radiation (UV)...
January 4, 2018: Marine Environmental Research
Aldo Nicosia, Carmelo Bennici, Girolama Biondo, Salvatore Costa, Marilena Di Natale, Tiziana Masullo, Calogera Monastero, Maria Antonietta Ragusa, Marcello Tagliavia, Angela Cuttitta
Gene family encoding translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) is defined as highly conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of non-bilateria. In this study, the first TCTP homologue from anthozoan was characterised in the Mediterranean Sea anemone, Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Acropora digitifera, Exaiptasia pallida, Nematostella vectensis and Hydra vulgaris enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of TCTP family among cnidarians. A comparison among TCTP members from Cnidaria and Bilateria showed conserved intron exon organization, evolutionary conserved TCTP signatures and 3D protein structure...
January 11, 2018: Genes
Patrick R H Steinmetz, Andy Aman, Johanna E M Kraus, Ulrich Technau
Cnidarians (for example, sea anemones and jellyfish) develop from an outer ectodermal and inner endodermal germ layer, whereas bilaterians (for example, vertebrates and flies) additionally have a mesodermal layer as intermediate germ layer. Currently, cnidarian endoderm (that is, 'mesendoderm') is considered homologous to both bilaterian endoderm and mesoderm. Here we test this hypothesis by studying the fate of germ layers, the localization of gut cell types, and the expression of numerous 'endodermal' and 'mesodermal' transcription factor orthologues in the anthozoan sea anemone Nematostella vectensis...
October 2017: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Frank Kühn, Cornelia Kühn, Andreas Lückhoff
A decisive element in the human cation channel TRPM2 is a region in its cytosolic C-terminus named NUDT9H because of its homology to the NUDT9 enzyme, a pyrophosphatase degrading ADP-ribose (ADPR). In h TRPM2, however, the NUDT9H domain has lost its enzymatic activity but serves as a binding domain for ADPR. As consequence of binding, gating of the channel is initiated. Since ADPR is produced after oxidative DNA damage, h TRPM2 mediates Ca2+ influx in response to oxidative stress which may lead to cell death...
2017: Frontiers in Physiology
A M Abdol, Andrew Bedard, Imke Lánský, J A Kaandorp
Studying the spatial gene expression profiles from in situ hybridization images of the embryo is one of the first steps toward the comprehensive understanding of gene interactions in an organism. In the case of N. vectensis, extracting and collecting these data is a challenging task due to the difficulty of detecting the cell layer through the transparent body plan and changing morphology during the blastula and gastrula stages. Here, first, we introduce a method to algorithmically identify and track the cell layer in N...
November 6, 2017: Gene Expression Patterns: GEP
Joseph J Brennan, Jonathan L Messerschmidt, Leah M Williams, Bryan J Matthews, Marinaliz Reynoso, Thomas D Gilmore
In organisms from insects to vertebrates, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are primary pathogen detectors that activate downstream pathways, specifically those that direct expression of innate immune effector genes. TLRs also have roles in development in many species. The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is a useful cnidarian model to study the origins of TLR signaling because its genome encodes a single TLR and homologs of many downstream signaling components, including the NF-κB pathway. We have characterized the single N...
November 21, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jamie A Havrilak, Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez, Yiling Wen, Daniella Fodera, Ayanna C Simpson, Craig R Magie, Michael J Layden
The organization of cnidarian nerve nets is traditionally described as diffuse with randomly arranged neurites that show minimal reproducibility between animals. However, most observations of nerve nets are conducted using cross-reactive antibodies that broadly label neurons, which potentially masks stereotyped patterns produced by individual neuronal subtypes. Additionally, many cnidarians species have overt structures such as a nerve ring, suggesting higher levels of organization and stereotypy exist, but mechanisms that generated that stereotypy are unknown...
November 15, 2017: Developmental Biology
Leslie S Babonis, Mark Q Martindale
BACKGROUND: Pax genes are a family of conserved transcription factors that regulate many aspects of developmental morphogenesis, notably the development of ectodermal sensory structures including eyes. Nematostella vectensis, the starlet sea anemone, has numerous Pax orthologs, many of which are expressed early during embryogenesis. The function of Pax genes in this eyeless cnidarian is unknown. RESULTS: Here, we show that PaxA, but not PaxC, plays a critical role in the development of cnidocytes in N...
2017: EvoDevo
Kgomotso Sako, Ilse Jv Rensburg, Sarah Clift, Vinny Naidoo
BACKGROUND: Spirocerca lupi is a nematode that parasitizes vertebrates in particular canids, by forming nodules in the thoracic cavity specifically in the oesophagus. In 25% of Spirocerca infections of the domestic dog, nodules progress from inflammatory to pre-neoplastic to sarcomatous neoplasia. With the mechanism of neoplastic transformation being incompletely understood, this study investigates if S. lupi parasite proteinaceous secretory/excretory products (ESPs) play a role in the neoplastic transformation...
August 22, 2017: BMC Veterinary Research
Henriette Busengdal, Fabian Rentzsch
Nervous systems often consist of a large number of different types of neurons which are generated from neural stem and progenitor cells by a series of symmetric and asymmetric divisions. The origin and early evolution of these neural progenitor systems is not well understood. Here we use a cnidarian model organism, Nematostella vectensis, to gain insight into the generation of neural cell type diversity in a non-bilaterian animal. We identify NvFoxQ2d as a transcription factor that is expressed in a population of spatially restricted, proliferating ectodermal cells that are derived from NvSoxB(2)-expressing neural progenitor cells...
November 1, 2017: Developmental Biology
Aldine R Amiel, Hereroa Johnston, Taylor Chock, Paul Dahlin, Marta Iglesias, Michael Layden, Eric Röttinger, Mark Q Martindale
Germ layer formation and axial patterning are biological processes that are tightly linked during embryonic development of most metazoans. In addition to canonical WNT, it has been proposed that ERK-MAPK signaling is involved in specifying oral as well as aboral territories in cnidarians. However, the effector and the molecular mechanism underlying latter phenomenon is unknown. By screening for potential effectors of ERK-MAPK signaling in both domains, we identified a member of the ETS family of transcription factors, Nverg that is bi-polarily expressed prior to gastrulation...
October 15, 2017: Developmental Biology
Eduard Renfer, Ulrich Technau
The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is a model system used by a rapidly growing research community for comparative genomics, developmental biology and ecology. Here, we describe a microinjection procedure for creating stable transgenic lines in Nematostella based on meganuclease (I-SceI)-assisted integration of a transgenic cassette into the genome. The procedure describes the preparation of the reagents, microinjection of the transgenesis vector and the husbandry of transgenic animals. The microinjection setup differs from those of previously published protocols by the use of a holding capillary mounted on an inverted fluorescence microscope...
September 2017: Nature Protocols
Elizabeth Moiseeva, Claudette Rabinowitz, Guy Paz, Baruch Rinkevich
The starlet sea-anemone Nematostella vectensis has emerged as a model organism in developmental biology. Still, our understanding of various biological features, including reproductive biology of this model species are in its infancy. Consequently, through histological sections, we study here key stages of the oogenesis (oocyte maturation/fertilization), as the state of the gonad region immediately after natural spawning. Germ cells develop in a secluded mesenterial gastrodermal zone, where the developing oocytes are surrounded by mucoid glandular cells and trophocytes (accessory cells)...
2017: PloS One
Daniela Praher, Bob Zimmermann, Grigory Genikhovich, Yaara Columbus-Shenkar, Vengamanaidu Modepalli, Reuven Aharoni, Yehu Moran, Ulrich Technau
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and associated proteins comprise a conserved pathway for silencing transposons in metazoan germlines. piRNA pathway components are also expressed in multipotent somatic stem cells in various organisms. piRNA functions have been extensively explored in bilaterian model systems, however, comprehensive studies in non-bilaterian phyla remain limited. Here we investigate the piRNA pathway during the development of Nematostella vectensis, a well-established model system belonging to Cnidaria, the sister group to Bilateria...
August 7, 2017: RNA Biology
Frank J P Kühn, Winking Mathis, Kühn Cornelia, Daniel C Hoffmann, Andreas Lückhoff
The archetypal TRPM2-like channel of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is gated by ADPR like its human orthologue but additionally exhibits properties of other vertebrate TRPM channels. Thus it can help towards an understanding of gating and regulation of the whole subfamily. To elucidate further the role of Ca(2+) as a co-factor of ADPR, we exploited 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB), previously shown to exert either inhibitory or stimulatory effects on diverse TRPM channels, or both in a concentration-dependent manner...
August 3, 2017: Scientific Reports
Yana Y Toporkova, Svetlana S Gorina, Fakhima K Mukhitova, Mats Hamberg, Tatyana M Ilyina, Lucia S Mukhtarova, Alexander N Grechkin
The CYP74 clan enzymes are responsible for the biosynthesis of numerous bioactive oxylipins in higher plants, some Proteobacteria, brown and green algae, and Metazoa. A novel putative CYP74 clan gene CYP443D1 of the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis, Cnidaria) has been cloned, and the properties of the corresponding recombinant protein have been studied in the present work. The recombinant CYP443D1 was incubated with the 9- and 13-hydroperoxides of linoleic and α-linolenic acids (9-HPOD, 13-HPOD, 9-HPOT, and 13-HPOT, respectively), as well as with the 9-hydroperoxide of γ-linolenic acid (γ-9-HPOT) and 15-hydroperoxide of eicosapentaenoic acid (15-HPEPE)...
October 2017: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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