Next Article in Journal
Muscle Contraction and Force: the Importance of an Ancillary Network, Nutrient Supply and Waste Removal
Next Article in Special Issue
Broad-Spectrum Drugs Against Viral Agents
Previous Article in Journal
Solvent Effects on the Indirect Spin–Spin Coupling Constants of Benzene: The DFT-PCM Approach
Previous Article in Special Issue
Recent Developments in Peptide-Based Nucleic Acid Delivery
Open AccessReview

RNA:DNA Ratio and Other Nucleic Acid Derived Indices in Marine Ecology

Centre of Marine Sciences, CCMAR, University of Algarve. Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(8), 1453-1471;
Received: 2 April 2008 / Revised: 6 August 2008 / Accepted: 7 August 2008 / Published: 20 August 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acid Derivatives in Emerging Technologies)
Some of most used indicators in marine ecology are nucleic acid-derived indices. They can be divided by target levels in three groups: 1) at the organism level as ecophysiologic indicators, indicators such as RNA:DNA ratios, DNA:dry weight and RNA:protein, 2) at the population level, indicators such as growth rate, starvation incidence or fisheries impact indicators, and 3) at the community level, indicators such as trophic interactions, exergy indices and prey identification. The nucleic acids derived indices, especially RNA:DNA ratio, have been applied with success as indicators of nutritional condition, well been and growth in marine organisms. They are also useful as indicators of natural or anthropogenic impacts in marine population and communities, such as upwelling or dredge fisheries, respectively. They can help in understanding important issues of marine ecology such as trophic interactions in marine environment, fish and invertebrate recruitment failure and biodiversity changes, without laborious work of counting, measuring and identification of small marine organisms. Besides the objective of integrate nucleic acid derived indices across levels of organization, the paper will also include a general characterization of most used nucleic acid derived indices in marine ecology and also advantages and limitations of them. We can conclude that using indicators, such RNA:DNA ratios and other nucleic acids derived indices concomitantly with organism and ecosystems measures of responses to climate change (distribution, abundance, activity, metabolic rate, survival) will allow for the development of more rigorous and realistic predictions of the effects of anthropogenic climate change on marine systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA:DNA ratio; ecological indicators; nucleic acid derived indices; marine ecology. RNA:DNA ratio; ecological indicators; nucleic acid derived indices; marine ecology.
MDPI and ACS Style

Chícharo, M.A.; Chícharo, L. RNA:DNA Ratio and Other Nucleic Acid Derived Indices in Marine Ecology. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9, 1453-1471.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop