Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: crustaceans

18 Bio-Estimation of Selected Heavy Metals in Shellfish and Their Surrounding Environmental Media

Authors: Ebeed A. Saleh, Kadry M. Sadek, Safaa H. Ghorbal


Due to the determination of the pollution status of fresh resources in the Egyptian territorial waters is very important for public health, this study was carried out to reveal the levels of heavy metals in the shellfish and their environment and its relation to the highly developed industrial activities in those areas. A total of 100 shellfish samples from the Rosetta, Edku, El-Maadiya, Abo-Kir and El-Max coasts [10 crustaceans (shrimp) and 10 mollusks (oysters)] were randomly collected from each coast. Additionally, 10 samples from both the water and the sediment were collected from each coast. Each collected sample was analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc residues using a Perkin Elmer atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The results showed that the levels of heavy metals were higher in the water and sediment from Abo-Kir. The heavy metal levels decreased successively for the Rosetta, Edku, El-Maadiya, and El-Max coasts, and the concentrations of heavy metals, except copper and zinc, in shellfish exhibited the same pattern. For the concentration of heavy metals in shellfish tissue, the highest was zinc and the concentrations decreased successively for copper, lead, chromium and cadmium for all coasts, except the Abo-Kir coast, where the chromium level was highest and the other metals decreased successively for zinc, copper, lead and cadmium. In Rosetta, chromium was higher only in the mollusks, while the level of this metal was lower in the crustaceans; this trend was observed at the Edku, El-Maadiya and El-Max coasts as well. Herein, we discuss the importance of such contamination for public health and the sources of shellfish contamination with heavy metals. We suggest measures to minimize and prevent these pollutants in the aquatic environment and, furthermore, how to protect humans from excessive intake.

Keywords: atomic absorption, heavy metals, sediment, shellfish, water

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17 Synthesis and Characterization of Chitosan Microparticles for Scaffold Structure and Bioprinting

Authors: J. E. Mendes, T. T. de Barros, O. B. G. de Assis, J. D. C. Pessoa


Chitosan, a natural polysaccharide of β-1,4-linked glucosamine residues, is a biopolymer obtained primarily from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. Interest in polymeric materials increases year by year. Chitosan is one of the most plentiful biomaterials, with a wide range of pharmaceutical, biomedical, industrial and agricultural applications. Chitosan nanoparticles were synthesized via the ionotropic gelation of chitosan with sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP). Two concentrations of chitosan microparticles (0.1 and 0.2%) were synthesized. In this study, it was possible to synthesize and characterize microparticles of chitosan biomaterial and this will be used for future applications in cell anchorage for 3D bioprinting.

Keywords: chitosan microparticles, biomaterial, scaffold, bioprinting

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16 Purification and Characterization of a Novel Extracellular Chitinase from Bacillus licheniformis LHH100

Authors: Laribi-Habchi Hasiba, Bouanane-Darenfed Amel, Drouiche Nadjib, Pausse André, Mameri Nabil


Chitin, a linear 1, 4-linked N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc) polysaccharide is the major structural component of fungal cell walls, insect exoskeletons and shells of crustaceans. It is one of the most abundant naturally occurring polysaccharides and has attracted tremendous attention in the fields of agriculture, pharmacology and biotechnology. Each year, a vast amount of chitin waste is released from the aquatic food industry, where crustaceans (prawn, crab, Shrimp and lobster) constitute one of the main agricultural products. This creates a serious environmental problem. This linear polymer can be hydrolyzed by bases, acids or enzymes such as chitinase. In this context an extracellular chitinase (ChiA-65) was produced and purified from a newly isolated LHH100. Pure protein was obtained after heat treatment and ammonium sulphate precipitation followed by Sephacryl S-200 chromatography. Based on matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) analysis, the purified enzyme is a monomer with a molecular mass of 65,195.13 Da. The sequence of the 27 N-terminal residues of the mature ChiA-65 showed high homology with family-18 chitinases. Optimal activity was achieved at pH 4 and 75◦C. Among the inhibitors and metals tested p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, N-ethylmaleimide, Hg2+ and Hg + completelyinhibited enzyme activity. Chitinase activity was high on colloidal chitin, glycol chitin, glycol chitosane, chitotriose and chitooligosaccharide. Chitinase activity towards synthetic substrates in the order of p-NP-(GlcNAc) n (n = 2–4) was p-NP-(GlcNAc)2> p-NP-(GlcNAc)4> p-NP-(GlcNAc)3. Our results suggest that ChiA-65 preferentially hydrolyzed the second glycosidic link from the non-reducing end of (GlcNAc) n. ChiA-65 obeyed Michaelis Menten kinetics the Km and kcat values being 0.385 mg, colloidal chitin/ml and5000 s−1, respectively. ChiA-65 exhibited remarkable biochemical properties suggesting that this enzyme is suitable for bioconversion of chitin waste.

Keywords: Bacillus licheniformis LHH100, characterization, extracellular chitinase, purification

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15 The Efficiency of Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit 1 Gene (cox1) in Reconstruction of Phylogenetic Relations among Some Crustacean Species

Authors: Yasser M. Saad, Heba El-Sebaie Abd El-Sadek


Some Metapenaeus monoceros cox1 gene fragments were isolated, purified, sequenced, and comparatively analyzed with some other Crustacean Cox1 gene sequences (obtained from National Center for Biotechnology Information). This work was designed for testing the efficiency of this system in reconstruction of phylogenetic relations among some Crustacean species belonging to four genera (Metapenaeus, Artemia, Daphnia and Calanus). The single nucleotide polymorphism and haplotype diversity were calculated for all estimated mt-DNA fragments. The genetic distance values were 0.292, 0.015, 0.151, and 0.09 within Metapenaeus species, Calanus species, Artemia species, and Daphnia species, respectively. The reconstructed phylogenetic tree is clustered into some unique clades. Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) was a powerful system in reconstruction of phylogenetic relations among evaluated crustacean species.

Keywords: crustaceans, genetics, Cox1, phylogeny

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14 Chitin Degradation in Pseudomonas fluorescens

Authors: Azhar Alhasawi, Vasu D. Appanna


Chitin, the second most abundant bio-polymer in nature after cellulose, composed of β (1→4) linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), is a major structural component in the cell walls of fungi and the shells of crustaceans. Chitin and its derivatives are gaining importance of economic value due to its biological activity and its industrial and biomedical applications. There are several methods to hydrolyze chitin to NAG, but they are typically expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Chitinase which catalyzes the breakdown of chitin to NAG has received much attention owing to its various applications in biotechnology. The presented research examines the ability of the versatile soil microbe, Pseudomonas fluorescens grown in chitin medium to produce chitinase and a variety of value-added products under abiotic stress. We have found that with high pH, Pseudomonas fluorescens enable to metabolize chitin more than with neutral pH and the overexpression of chitinase was also increased. P-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB) assay for NAG production will be monitored and a combination of sodium dodecyl polyacrylamide gels will be used to monitor the proteomic and metabolomic changes as a result of the abiotic stress. The bioreactor of chitinase will also be utilized.

Keywords: Pseudomonas fluorescens, chitin, DMAB, chitinase

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13 Intertidal Fixed Stake Net Trap (Hadrah) Fishery in Kuwait, Distribution, Catch Rate, and Species Composition

Authors: Ali F. Al-Baz, Mohsen M. Al-Husaini, James M. Bishop


Intertidal fixed stake net trap (hadrah) is one of the oldest fishing gears used throughout the Arabian Gulf countries since 1800s and also one of most efficient methods of capturing fish from the intertidal area. This study described the hadrah fishery in Kuwait. From October 2001 to December 2002, more than 37,372 specimens representing 95 species (89 fish, 2 mollusks, 4 crustaceans) were measured from hadrah located in three different areas along Kuwait's coast. In Kuwait Bay, catch rates averaged 62 kg/sir day (range 14 kg/sir-day in February to 160 kg/sir-day in October 2002). Commercial species accounted for 41% of the catches. Catches from Failakah Island averaged 96 kg/sir-day from June through September, with 61% of the catch being commercial species. In the southern area, catches averaged only 32 kg/sir-day, and only 34% were commercially important. Forty percent of the hadrah catches were juveniles which shows that the shallow intertidal waters are prime nursery habitat, particularly in Kuwait Bay. To maintain ecosystem biodiversity and recruitment success of the fishes, we recommended that all hadrah should be removed from Kuwait Bay. In the future, removal of hadrah in other locations should be considered.

Keywords: catch and effort, hadrah, intertidal fixed stake net, Kuwait, species composition

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12 Best Practices for Healthy Estuaries

Authors: Hassan Badkoobehi, Pradip Peter Dey, Mohammad Amin, Milan Jose Carlos, Basmal Hana, Fadi Zaco


The economy of coastline areas depends on the natural splendor of estuaries. When estuaries are improperly managed or polluted, long or short term damage to local economy or harm to local life forms can be caused. Estuaries are shelters for thousands of species such as birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. The delicate balance of these life forms in estuaries requires careful planning for the benefit of all. The commercial value of estuaries is very important; recreational activities that people enjoy like boating, kayaking, windsurfing, swimming, bird-watching and fishing are marketable. Estuaries are national treasures with vital community and ecological resources. Years of estuarine environmental studies have produced extensive results that merit consideration. This study reviews research results from various sources and suggests best strategies for maintaining healthy estuaries in the current socioeconomic conditions. The main hypothesis is that many estuaries can be restored to their original healthy status in a cost effective manner with restoration or prevention plans suggested in published studies.

Keywords: environment, pollution, sustainable, wildlife

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11 Trophic Ecology of Sarotherodon Melanotheron Heudelotii and Tilapia Guineensis from the Banc D'Arguin National Park, Mauritania

Authors: Néné Gallé Kide, Mamadou Dia, Lemhaba Ould Yarba, Youssouf Kone, Fatimetou Mint Khalil, Hajar Bouksir, Ghislane Salhi, Younès Saoud


The diet of Sarotherodon melanotheron and Tilapia guineensis were investigated in the National Park of Banc d'Arguin (PNBA) from September 2012 to October 2013. A total of 499 individuals ranging in size between 219 and 400 mm total length of S. melanotheron (253 males and 246 females), and 280 individuals of T.guineensis (229 males and 51 females) ranged between 180 and 424mm total length. We used for studying the feeding habits of both two species the frequency of occurrence method. The coefficient of emptiness was 40.88% for S. melanotheron and 38.57% for T. guineensis. Both two species were herbivorous and very close feedings. Their diet consists of Seagrass, green, red, blue, and brown algae, diatoms, gastropods, bivalves, Crustaceans, and mud. The Seagrass and green algae were prey preference of these two species. The diet feeding showed that the composition varies slightly depending on the season and size of individuals.

Keywords: Cichlidae, trophic ecology, National park, Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania

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10 Biodiversity Indices for Macrobenthic Community structures of Mangrove Forests, Khamir Port, Iran

Authors: Mousa Keshavarz, Abdul-Reza Dabbagh, Maryam Soyuf Jahromi


The diversity of mangrove macrobenthos assemblages at mudflat and mangrove ecosystems of Port Khamir, Iran were investigated for one year. During this period, we measured physicochemical properties of water temperature, salinity, pH, DO and the density and distribution of the macrobenthos. We sampled a total of 9 transects, at three different topographic levels along the intertidal zone at three stations. Assemblages at class level were compared. The five most diverse and abundant classes were Foraminifers (54%), Gastropods (23%), Polychaetes (10%), Bivalves (8%) & Crustaceans (5%), respectively. Overall densities were 1869 ± 424 ind/m2 (26%) in spring, 2544 ± 383 ind/m2(36%) in summer, 1482 ± 323 ind/m2 (21%) in autumn and 1207 ± 80 ind/m2 (17%) in winter. Along the intertidal zone, the overall relative density of individuals at high, intermediate, and low topographic levels was 40, 30, and 30% respectively. Biodiversity indices were used to compare different classes: Gastropoda (Shannon index: 0.33) and Foraminifera (Simpson index: 0.28) calculated the highest scores. It was also calculated other bio-indices. With the exception of bivalves, filter feeders were associated with coarser sediments at higher intertidal levels, while deposit feeders were associated with finer sediments at lower levels. Salinity was the most important factor acting on community structure, while DO and pH had little influence.

Keywords: macrobenthos, biodiversity, mangrove forest, Khamir Port

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9 Food and Feeding Habit of Clarias anguillaris in Tagwai Reservoir, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria

Authors: B. U. Ibrahim, A. Okafor


Sixty-two (62) samples of Clarias anguillaris were collected from Tagwai Reservoir and used for the study. 29 male and 33 female samples were obtained for the study. Body measurement indicated that different sizes were collected for the study. Males, females and combined sexes had standard length and total length means of 26.56±4.99 and 31.13±6.43, 27.17±5.21 and 30.62±5.43, 26.88±5.08 and 30.86±5.88 cm, respectively. The weights of males, females and combined sexes have mean weights of 241.10±96.27, 225.75±78.66 and 232.93±86.95 gm, respectively. Eight items; fish, insects, plant materials, sand grains, crustaceans, algae, detritus and unidentified items were eaten as food by Clarias anguilarias in Tagwai Reservoir. Frequency of occurrence and numerical methods used in stomach contents analysis indicated that fish was the highest, followed by insect, while the lowest was the algae. Frequency of stomach fullness of Clarias anguillaris showed low percentage of empty stomachs or stomachs without food (21.00%) and high percentage of stomachs with food (79.00%), which showed high abundance of food and high feeding intensity during the period of study. Classification of fish based on feeding habits showed that Clarias anguillaris in this study is an omnivore because it consumed both plant and animal materials.

Keywords: stomach content, feeding habit, Clarias anguillaris, Tagwai Reservoir

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8 Analyzing the Support to Fisheries in the European Union: Modelling Budgetary Transfers in Wild Fisheries

Authors: Laura Angulo, Petra Salamon, Martin Banse, Frederic Storkamp


Fisheries subsidies are focus on reduce management costs or deliver income benefits to fishers. In 2015, total fishery budgetary transfers in 31 OECD countries represented 35% of their total landing value. However, subsidies to fishing have adverse effects on trade and it has been claimed that they may contribute directly to overfishing. Therefore, this paper analyses to what extend fisheries subsidies may 1) influence capture production facing quotas and 2) affect price dynamics. The study uses the fish module in AGMEMOD (Agriculture Member States Modelling, details see Chantreuil et al. (2012)) which covers eight fish categories (cephalopods; crustaceans; demersal marine fish; pelagic marine fish; molluscs excl. cephalopods; other marine finfish species; freshwater and diadromous fish) for EU member states and other selected countries developed under the SUCCESS project. This model incorporates transfer payments directly linked to fisheries operational costs. As aquaculture and wild fishery are not included within the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, data on fisheries subsidies is obtained from the OECD Fisheries Support Estimates (FSE) database, which provides statistics on budgetary transfers to the fisheries sector. Since support has been moving from budgetary transfers to General Service Support Estimate the last years, subsidies in capture production may not present substantial effects. Nevertheless, they would still show the impact across countries and fish categories within the European Union.

Keywords: AGMEMOD, budgetary transfers, EU Member States, fish model, fisheries support estimate

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7 Endocrine Disruptors Effects on the 20-Hydroxyecdysone Concentration and the Vitellogenin Gene Expression in Gammarus sp.

Authors: Eric Gismondi, Aurelie Bigot-Clivot


Endocrine disruptors (EDCs) are well known to disrupt the development and the reproduction of exposed organisms. Although this point has been studied in vertebrate models, the limited knowledge of the endocrine system of invertebrates makes the evaluation of EDCs effects difficult. However, invertebrates represent the major part of aquatic ecosystems, such as amphipods Gammaridea, which are crucial for their functioning (e.g., litter degradation, food resource). Moreover, gammarids are hosts of parasites such as vertically-transmitted microsporidia (microsporidia VT), which could be confounding factors in assessment of EDC effects. Indeed, some microsporidia VT could have endocrine effects by their own present in the host since it was observed for example, a feminization of juvenile males, which become phenotypic females. This work evaluated the impact of ethinylestradiol (EE₂, estrogenic), cyproterone acetate (CPA, anti-androgenic), 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4HT, anti-estrogenic) and 17α-methyltestosterone (17MT - androgenic), on the 20-hydroxyecdysone concentration (i.e. 20HE - molt process) and the vitellogenin gene expression (i.e. reproduction) in the freshwater amphipod Gammarus pulex, after a 96h laboratory exposure. In addition, the presence of microsporidia VT was verified in order to analyze the effect of this confounding factor. Results of this study shown that, although endocrine systems of invertebrates and vertebrates are different, EDCs proved in vertebrates could also affect biological functions hormonally controlled in invertebrates. Indeed, the molt process of crustaceans was disrupted in the first stage (i.e. 20-HE concentration) and therefore, could affect, at the long term, the population dynamic. In addition, it was observed that G. pulex was differently impacted according to the gender and parasitism, which underline the importance to take into account these confounding factors to better evaluate the EDCs impact on invertebrate populations.

Keywords: endocrine disruption, gammarus sp., molt, parasitism

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6 Length/Length-Length/Weight Relationships for 2 Erythrean mantis Shrimp Species, Erugosquilla massavensis (Kossmann, 1883), and Clorida albolitura (Ahyong&Naiyanetr, 2000) from the Yumurtalik Cove, Northeastern Mediterranean of Turkey

Authors: Canan Türeli̇, İrem Nur Yeşi̇lyurt


A total of nine stomatopod crustaceans have been reported from the eastern Mediterranean, with the eight from the Turkey coasts and three from the Levantine coast of Turkey (Squilla massavensis (Linnaeus,1758), Erugosquilla massavensis (Kossmann, 1880), Clorida albolitura (Ahyong&Naiyanetr, 2000). E. massavensis is the most successful Red Sea immigrant, and it is now the dominant eastern Levantine stomatopod. At this research, carapace length/total length- weight relationship of 2 erythrean mantis shrimp, E. massavensis and C. albolitura was studied in Yumurtalık Cove, in the Northeastern Mediterranean of Turkey. Samples were collected monthly from July 2014 to June 2015 (except February), using bottom trawl net into three different depth strata; 0- 10 m, 10-20 m, 20-50m. E. massavensis samples were caught all studied time, except winter, in the three depth range but C. albolitura samples were caught only in July, October and May's months. A total of 572 specimens of the E. massavensis and 12 specimens of the C. albolitura were collected and analyzed. Morphometric equations for the conversions of total length and weight, carapace lengths were constructed for males, females, combined sexes for E. massavensis and C. albolitura. The b-values for total length (TL)-weight (W) in males and females for E. massavensis were 2.738 and 2.725 respectively and for carapace length (CL)-total length (TL) they were 1.041 and 0.978, relatively. The b-values (total length-weight) were determined for combined sexes of E. massavensis and C. albolitura as: 2.771, 1.852 relatively. In both species, the relative growth of weight and total length was found highly positively allometric. However, carapace length showed negative allometry in females of E. Massavensis.

Keywords: Clorida albolitura, Erugosquilla massavensis, Erythrean stomatopod, length/length-weight relationships

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5 Effect of Short-Term Enriching of Algae with Selenium and Zinc on Growth and Mineral Composition of Marine Rotifer

Authors: Sirwe Ghaderpour, Nasrollah Ahmadifard, Naser Agh, Zakaria Vahabzadeh


Rotifers are used in many hatcheries for feeding the earliest stages of fish larvae and crustaceans due to their small size, slow movements, fast reproduction, and easy cultivation. One of the disadvantages of using rotifers as live prey is their lower content of some nutrients compared to copepods, so it is necessary to increase the amounts of these nutrients by means of enrichment. Minerals are a group of micro-elements, essential to fish, that is lacking in the rotifers, for example, selenium (30 fold) and zinc (5 fold) are present in lower quantities than the minimum amounts found in copepods. In this study, the condensed Isochrysis aff. galbana (T-ISO) and Nannochloropsis oculata were suspended at concentration of 18 × 109 cell mL⁻¹ of water with 20 ppt of salinity. Four different levels (0, 1000, 2000, and 4000 mg L⁻¹) of each Na₂SeO₃ and ZnSO₄.7H₂O separately were prepared, and 1 mL of each stock was poured to the algae enrichment vessels for 1 h simultaneously. After that, the material was centrifuged (at 4000 rpm for 5 min), and the precipitated enriched algae was used for rotifer feeding. The contents of Se, Zn, Cu, and Mn were determined in enriched microalgae and rotifer by Atomic absorption. The highest content of both minerals was observed in 0.4 Zn + 0.4 Se treatment and also rotifer enriched with these enriched microalgae. The enrichment of microalgae with Zn and Se does not affect the content of Cu in the microalgae. Also, the content of Cu in rotifer fed with the enriched microalgae showed the highest Cu content in the treatments than the control. But, the enrichment with both minerals had a negative effect on the content Mn in enriched mixed microalgae except 0.4 Zn + 0.4 Se. The Mn content in enriched rotifer decreased in the treatments than the control except for 0.1 Zn + 0.1 Se. There was no significant effect on rotifer growth in combined enrichment with both minerals (p < 0.05). Overall, rotifers enrichment with Se and Zn mixed microalgae resulted in increasing Se, Zn, and Cu. This will allow Se and Zn microalgae enriched rotifers to be used as the minerals delivery method for fish larvae nutritional requirements.

Keywords: enrichment, larvae, microalgae, mineral, rotifer

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4 Genetic Analysis of the Endangered Mangrove Species Avicennia Marina in Qatar Detected by Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat DNA Markers

Authors: Talaat Ahmed, Amna Babssail


Mangroves are evergreen trees and grow along the coastal areas of Qatar. The largest and oldest area of mangroves can be found around Al-Thakhira and Al-Khor. Other mangrove areas originate from fairly recent plantings by the government, although unfortunately the picturesque mangrove lake in Al-Wakra has now been uprooted. Avicinnia marina is the predominant mangrove species found in the region. Mangroves protect and stabilize low lying coastal land, and provide protection and food sources for estuarine and coastal fishery food chains. They also serve as feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for a variety of fish, crustaceans, reptiles, birds and other wildlife. A total of 21 individuals of A. marina, representing seven diverse Natural and artificial populations, were sampled throughout its range in Qatar. Leaves from 2-3 randomly selected trees at each location were collected. The locations are as follows: Al-Rawis, Ras-Madpak, Fuwairt, Summaseima, Al-khour, AL-Mafjar and Zekreet. Total genomic DNA was extracted using commercial DNeasy Plant System (Qiagen, Inc., Valencia, CA) kit to be used for genetic diversity analysis. Total of 12 (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat) ISSR primers were used to amplify DNA fragments using genomic DNA. The 12 ISSR primers amplified polymorphic bands among mangrove samples in different areas as well as within each area indicating the existing of variation within each area and among the different areas of mangrove in Qatar. The results could characterize Avicinnia marina populations exist in different areas of Qatar and establish DNA fingerprint documentations for mangrove population to be used in further studies. Moreover, existing of genetic variation within and among Avicinnia marina populations is a strong indication for the ability of such populations to adapt different environmental conditions in Qatar. This study could be a warning to save mangrove in Qatar and save the environment as well.

Keywords: DNA fingerprint, Avicinnia marina, genetic analysis, Qatar

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3 Promoting Social Advocacy through Digital Storytelling: The Case of Ocean Acidification

Authors: Chun Chen Yea, Wen Huei Chou


Many chemical changes in the atmosphere and the ocean are invisible to the naked eye, but they have profound impacts. These changes not only confirm the phenomenon of global carbon pollution, but also forewarn that more changes are coming. The carbon dioxide gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels dissolve into the ocean and chemically react with seawater to form carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the originally alkaline seawater. This gradual acidification is occurring at an unprecedented rate and will affect the effective formation of carapace of some marine organisms such as corals and crustaceans, which are almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. The carapace of these organisms will become more dissoluble. Acidified seawater not only threatens the survival of marine life, but also negatively impacts the global ecosystem via the food chain. Faced with the threat of ocean acidification, all humans are duty-bound. The industrial sector outputs the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan, and the petrochemical industry is the major contributor. Ever since the construction of Formosa Plastics Group's No. 6 Naphtha Cracker Plant in Yunlin County, there have been many environmental concerns such as air pollution and carbon dioxide emission. The marine life along the coast of Yunlin is directly affected by ocean acidification arising from the carbon emissions. Societal change demands our willingness to act, which is what social advocacy promotes. This study uses digital storytelling for social advocacy and ocean acidification as the subject of a visual narrative in visualization to demonstrate the subsequent promotion of social advocacy. Storytelling can transform dull knowledge into an engaging narrative of the crisis faced by marine life. Digital dissemination is an effective social-work practice. The visualization promoting awareness on ocean acidification disseminated via social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Social media enables users to compose their own messages and share information across different platforms, which helps disseminate the core message of social advocacy.

Keywords: digital storytelling, visualization, ocean acidification, social advocacy

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2 Magnetic Biomaterials for Removing Organic Pollutants from Wastewater

Authors: L. Obeid, A. Bee, D. Talbot, S. Abramson, M. Welschbillig


The adsorption process is one of the most efficient methods to remove pollutants from wastewater provided that suitable adsorbents are used. In order to produce environmentally safe adsorbents, natural polymers have received increasing attention in recent years. Thus, alginate and chitosane are extensively used as inexpensive, non-toxic and efficient biosorbents. Alginate is an anionic polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweeds. Chitosan is an amino-polysaccharide; this cationic polymer is obtained by deacetylation of chitin the major constituent of crustaceans. Furthermore, it has been shown that the encapsulation of magnetic materials in alginate and chitosan beads facilitates their recovery from wastewater after the adsorption step, by the use of an external magnetic field gradient, obtained with a magnet or an electromagnet. In the present work, we have studied the adsorption affinity of magnetic alginate beads and magnetic chitosan beads (called magsorbents) for methyl orange (MO) (an anionic dye), methylene blue (MB) (a cationic dye) and p-nitrophenol (PNP) (a hydrophobic pollutant). The effect of different parameters (pH solution, contact time, pollutant initial concentration…) on the adsorption of pollutant on the magnetic beads was investigated. The adsorption of anionic and cationic pollutants is mainly due to electrostatic interactions. Consequently methyl orange is highly adsorbed by chitosan beads in acidic medium and methylene blue by alginate beads in basic medium. In the case of a hydrophobic pollutant, which is weakly adsorbed, we have shown that the adsorption is enhanced by adding a surfactant. Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a cationic surfactant, was used to increase the adsorption of PNP by magnetic alginate beads. Adsorption of CPC by alginate beads occurs through two mechanisms: (i) electrostatic attractions between cationic head groups of CPC and negative carboxylate functions of alginate; (ii) interaction between the hydrocarbon chains of CPC. The hydrophobic pollutant is adsolubilized within the surface aggregated structures of surfactant. Figure c shows that PNP can reach up to 95% of adsorption in presence of CPC. At highest CPC concentrations, desorption occurs due to the formation of micelles in the solution. Our magsorbents appear to efficiently remove ionic and hydrophobic pollutants and we hope that this fundamental research will be helpful for the future development of magnetically assisted processes in water treatment plants.

Keywords: adsorption, alginate, chitosan, magsorbent, magnetic, organic pollutant

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1 The Immunology Evolutionary Relationship between Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription Genes from Three Different Shrimp Species in Response to White Spot Syndrome Virus Infection

Authors: T. C. C. Soo, S. Bhassu


Unlike the common presence of both innate and adaptive immunity in vertebrates, crustaceans, in particular, shrimps, have been discovered to possess only innate immunity. This further emphasizes the importance of innate immunity within shrimps in pathogenic resistance. Under the study of pathogenic immune challenge, different shrimp species actually exhibit varying degrees of immune resistance towards the same pathogen. Furthermore, even within the same shrimp species, different batches of challenged shrimps can have different strengths of immune defence. Several important pathways are activated within shrimps during pathogenic infection. One of them is JAK-STAT pathway that is activated during bacterial, viral and fungal infections by which STAT(Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription) gene is the core element of the pathway. Based on theory of Central Dogma, the genomic information is transmitted in the order of DNA, RNA and protein. This study is focused in uncovering the important evolutionary patterns present within the DNA (non-coding region) and RNA (coding region). The three shrimp species involved are Macrobrachium rosenbergii, Penaeus monodon and Litopenaeus vannamei which all possess commercial significance. The shrimp species were challenged with a famous penaeid shrimp virus called white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) which can cause serious lethality. Tissue samples were collected during time intervals of 0h, 3h, 6h, 12h, 24h, 36h and 48h. The DNA and RNA samples were then extracted using conventional kits from the hepatopancreas tissue samples. PCR technique together with designed STAT gene conserved primers were utilized for identification of the STAT coding sequences using RNA-converted cDNA samples and subsequent characterization using various bioinformatics approaches including Ramachandran plot, ProtParam and SWISS-MODEL. The varying levels of immune STAT gene activation for the three shrimp species during WSSV infection were confirmed using qRT-PCR technique. For one sample, three biological replicates with three technical replicates each were used for qRT-PCR. On the other hand, DNA samples were important for uncovering the structural variations within the genomic region of STAT gene which would greatly assist in understanding the STAT protein functional variations. The partially-overlapping primers technique was used for the genomic region sequencing. The evolutionary inferences and event predictions were then conducted through the Bayesian Inference method using all the acquired coding and non-coding sequences. This was supplemented by the construction of conventional phylogenetic trees using Maximum likelihood method. The results showed that adaptive evolution caused STAT gene sequence mutations between different shrimp species which led to evolutionary divergence event. Subsequently, the divergent sites were correlated to the differing expressions of STAT gene. Ultimately, this study assists in knowing the shrimp species innate immune variability and selection of disease resistant shrimps for breeding purpose. The deeper understanding of STAT gene evolution from the perspective of both purifying and adaptive approaches not only can provide better immunological insight among shrimp species, but also can be used as a good reference for immunological studies in humans or other model organisms.

Keywords: gene evolution, JAK-STAT pathway, immunology, STAT gene

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