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Yamashiro H.,Tropical Biosphere Research Center | Isomura N.,Okinawa National College of Technology | Sakai K.,Tropical Biosphere Research Center
Scientific Reports | Year: 2014

Coral populations are in decline due to environmental changes and biological attacks by predators and infectious diseases. Here, we report a localized bloom of the benthic filamentous cyanobacterium Moorea bouillonii (formerly Lyngbya bouillonii) observed exclusively on the gorgonian (sea fan) coral Annella reticulata at around 20 m depth in Japan. The degree of infection has reached 26% among different sizes of Annella colonies. Thick and continuous growth of Moorea may be sustained partly by symbiotic alpheid shrimp, which affix Moorea filaments to gorgonian corals for use as food and shelter. Most filaments get entangled on the coral colony, some penetrate into the stem of the coral with a swollen end like a root hair, which appears to function as an anchor in Annella. In addition to the cyanobacterium-shrimp interaction, the new trait of anchoring by the cyanobacterium into gorgonian coral may contribute to persistence of this bloom. Source

Matsuo H.,Nagoya University | Yoshimoto N.,Nagoya University | Iijima M.,Nagoya University | Niimi T.,Nagoya University | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2012

Dendritic cells (DCs) are key regulators of adaptive T-cell responses. By capturing exogenous antigens and presenting antigen-derived peptides via major histocompatibility complex molecules to naïve T cells, DCs induce antigen-specific immune responses in vivo. In order to induce effective host immune responses, active delivery of exogenous antigens to DCs is considered important for future vaccine development. We recently generated bionanocapsules (BNCs) consisting of hepatitis B virus surface antigens that mediate stringent in vivo cell targeting and efficient endosomal escape, and after the fusion with liposomes (LP) containing therapeutic materials, the BNC-LP complexes deliver them to human liver-derived tissues in vivo. BNCs were further modified to present the immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fc-interacting domain (Z domain) derived from Staphylococcus aureus protein A in tandem. When mixed with IgGs, modified BNCs (ZZ-BNCs) displayed the IgG Fv regions outwardly for efficient binding to antigens in an oriented-immobilization manner. Due to the affinity of the displayed IgGs, the IgG-ZZ-BNC complexes accumulated in specific cells and tissues in vitro and in vivo. After mixing ZZ-BNCs with antibodies against DCs, we used immunocytochemistry to examine which antibodies delivered ZZ-BNCs to mouse splenic DCs following intravenous injection of the ZZ-BNCs. ZZ-BNCs displaying anti-CD11c monoclonal antibodies (α-CD11c-ZZ-BNCs) were found to accumulate with approximately 62% of splenic DCs, and reside within some of them. After the fusion with liposomes containing antigens, the α-CD11c-ZZ-BNCs could elicit the respective antibodies more efficiently than other nontargeting control vaccines, suggesting that this DC-specific nanocarrier is promising for future vaccines. © 2012 Matsuo et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd. Source

Irei Y.,University of Ryukyus | Sinniger F.,Impact Global Resources | Sinniger F.,Tropical Biosphere Research Center | Reimer J.D.,University of Ryukyus
ZooKeys | Year: 2015

Two new species of zoantharians (Hexacorallia, Zoantharia, Sphenopidae), Palythoa mizigama sp. n. and P. umbrosa sp. n., are described from the Ryukyu Archipelago, southern Japan. Unlike almost all other known Palythoa spp., both species are azooxanthellate and inhabit low-light environments such as floors or sides of caves, crevasses, or hollows of shallow coral reefs. The two species were initially considered to be the same species from their similar habitat environments and highly similar morphological features. However, phylogenetic analyses of nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) ribosomal DNA, mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA, and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences revealed that these two species have a genetically distant relationship within the genus Palythoa. Morphological characteristics, including polyp size, tentacle number, external/internal coloration, and types and sizes of cnidae were examined in this study. As a result, only tentacle coloration was found to be useful for the morphological distinction between the two species. Palythoa mizigama possesses white tentacles with black horizontal stripes while P. umbrosa possesses white tentacles without any stripe patterns. Considering their distant phylogenetic relationship, it can be assumed that their unique yet similar morphological and ecological characteristics developed independently in each species as an example of parallel evolution. © Yuka Irei et al. Source

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