Marine Invertebrates: From Ecological Traits to Biotechnological Clues

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 3804

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
UCIBIO–Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit, Department of Life Sciences, NOVA School of Science and Technology, FCT-NOVA, NOVA University of Lisbon, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: toxicology; marine invertebrates; omics; ecotoxicology

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Guest Editor
1. Swire Institute of Marine Science, Division for Ecology and Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong, China
2. MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Laboratório Marítimo da Guia, Av. Nossa Senhora do Cabo, 939, 2750-374 Cascais, Portugal
Interests: behavioral ecology; neurogenomics; biogeography; evolution; physiology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine ecosystems hold a great variety of species, especially invertebrates, that have evolved and adapted to sustain the conditions of all typed of marine environments. In fact, species whose ecology and physiology are still unknown can reveal extraordinary adaptations to some of the harshest habitats on Earth. This is especially relevant due to ongoing environmental changes. These mechanisms and disciplines, which are sometimes overpassed in biotechnology, can give us important clues for a more sustainable and oriented bioprospection, focused on a bottom-up approach. As such, the aim of this Special Issue is to publish original works related to ecological, physiological, and behavioral traits from various marine invertebrates that provide an indication of marine bioproducts.

Dr. Ana P. Rodrigo
Dr. José Ricardo Paula
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • marine bioproducts
  • marine ecology
  • behavior traits
  • adaptations
  • defense/attack mechanisms
  • physiology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 6736 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Analysis of the Venom System between Two Morphotypes of the Sea Anemone Actinia equina
by Maria Alcaide, Inês Moutinho Cabral, Lara Carvalho, Vera M. Mendes, António P. Alves de Matos, Bruno Manadas, Leonor Saúde, Mariaelena D’Ambrosio and Pedro M. Costa
Animals 2024, 14(6), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14060981 - 21 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The current study investigates the venom-delivery system of green and red morphotypes of the sea anemone Actinia equina to disclose its potential as a source of bioactive compounds. We compared the two morphotypes using electron and optical microscopy, proteomics, and toxicity assessment on [...] Read more.
The current study investigates the venom-delivery system of green and red morphotypes of the sea anemone Actinia equina to disclose its potential as a source of bioactive compounds. We compared the two morphotypes using electron and optical microscopy, proteomics, and toxicity assessment on zebrafish embryos. Specialized venom-injecting cells (nematocysts) are equally distributed and found in the tentacles of both varieties. Proteomics revealed proteins of interest in both red and green Actinia, yielding the three most abundant Gene Ontology (GO) terms related to the biological processes “proteolysis”, “hemolysis in another organism” and “lipid catabolic process”. Neurotoxins and cytolytic toxins similar to known cnidarian toxins like PsTX-60A and AvTX-60A, for instance, were identified in both types. Extracts from green and red anemones were toxic to zebrafish embryos, with green anemone venom appearing to be more potent. The findings highlight the presence of proteinaceous toxins in A. equina and the potential for different varieties to possess distinct bioactive compounds. Notably, pore-forming toxins are suggested for molecular probes and immunotoxins, making them valuable assets for potential biotechnological and biomedical purposes. Full article
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19 pages, 9714 KiB  
Article
Exploration of Toxins from a Marine Annelid: An Analysis of Phyllotoxins and Accompanying Bioactives
by Ana P. Rodrigo, Inês Moutinho Cabral, António Alexandre and Pedro M. Costa
Animals 2024, 14(4), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14040635 - 16 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Proteinaceous toxins are peptides or proteins that hold great biotechnological value, evidenced by their ecological role, whether as defense or predation mechanisms. Bioprospecting using bioinformatics and omics may render screening for novel bioactives more expeditious, especially considering the immense diversity of toxin-secreting marine [...] Read more.
Proteinaceous toxins are peptides or proteins that hold great biotechnological value, evidenced by their ecological role, whether as defense or predation mechanisms. Bioprospecting using bioinformatics and omics may render screening for novel bioactives more expeditious, especially considering the immense diversity of toxin-secreting marine organisms. Eulalia sp. (Annelida: Phyllodocidae), a toxin bearing marine annelid, was recently shown to secrete cysteine-rich protein (Crisp) toxins (hitherto referred to as ‘phyllotoxins’) that can immobilize its prey. By analyzing and validating transcriptomic data, we narrowed the list of isolated full coding sequences of transcripts of the most abundant toxins or accompanying bioactives secreted by the species (the phyllotoxin Crisp, hyaluronidase, serine protease, and peptidases M12A, M13, and M12B). Through homology matching with human proteins, the biotechnological potential of the marine annelid’s toxins and related proteins was tentatively associated with coagulative and anti-inflammatory responses for the peptidases PepM12A, SePr, PepM12B, and PepM13, and with the neurotoxic activity of Crisp, and finally, hyaluronidase was inferred to bear properties of an permeabilizing agent. The in silico analysis succeeded by validation by PCR and Sanger sequencing enabled us to retrieve cDNAs can may be used for the heterologous expression of these toxins. Full article
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Review

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18 pages, 1708 KiB  
Review
The Red Squat Lobster Pleuroncodes monodon in the Humboldt Current System: From Their Ecology to Commercial Attributes as Marine Bioresource
by Ana Lucía Yapur-Pancorvo, Marco Quispe-Machaca, Fabián Guzmán-Rivás, Ángel Urzúa and Pepe Espinoza
Animals 2023, 13(14), 2279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13142279 - 12 Jul 2023
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Abstract
This study focused on gathering available information on Pleuroncodes monodon, a widely distributed crustacean in the Humboldt Current System. Off the Chilean coast, this species presents benthic habits and constitutes the main resource of the industrial crustacean fishery; many studies have been [...] Read more.
This study focused on gathering available information on Pleuroncodes monodon, a widely distributed crustacean in the Humboldt Current System. Off the Chilean coast, this species presents benthic habits and constitutes the main resource of the industrial crustacean fishery; many studies have been carried out on its life cycle during the last century. In contrast, off the coast of Peru, this species exhibits mainly pelagic habits, with latent information gaps on aspects of its life history and no commercial fishery activities, such as catching, taking or harvesting from the marine environment. P. monodon is an ecologically important species, as a source of energy for its predators, which include invertebrates, birds, marine mammals and fish of commercial interest. Thus, P. monodon seems to play a key role in this ecosystem, mainly as an intermediate link between top predators and the first links in the food chain. In addition, this species presents various adaptation strategies to the changing oceanographic parameters of the areas it inhabits, even tolerating hypoxic environments and great depths in order to avoid being predated. Likewise, from an economic viewpoint, it has a high commercial value as a marine bioresource with great potential in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Considering this, more studies must be carried out to corroborate the biological, ecological, and fishing importance of this species in order to generate efficient management measures and ensure a sustainable fishery. Full article
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