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Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms
Migliaccio, O.; Castellano, I.; Di Cioccio, D.; Tedeschi, G.; Negri, A.; Cirino, P.; Romano, G.; Zingone, A.; Palumbo, A. (2016). Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms. NPG Scientific Reports 6(26086): 14 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep26086
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Migliaccio, O.
  • Castellano, I.
  • Di Cioccio, D.
  • Tedeschi, G.
  • Negri, A.
  • Cirino, P.
  • Romano, G.
  • Zingone, A., more
  • Palumbo, A.

Abstract
    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

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