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Noxious effects of the benthic diatoms Cocconeis scutellum and Diploneis sp. on sea urchin development: Morphological and de novo transcriptomic analysis

Ruocco, Nadia, Cavaccini, Vincenzo, Caramiello, Davide, Ianora, Adrianna, Fontana, Angelo, Zupo, Valerio, Costantini, Maria
Harmful algae 2019 v.86 pp. 64-73
Cocconeis, Diploneis, NADH dehydrogenase, Paracentrotus lividus, Posidonia oceanica, RNA, Ulva rigida, adenosine triphosphate, adults, biomass, calcium, cytochrome-c oxidase, diet, enzyme activity, guanosine triphosphate, heme, invertebrates, leaves, microalgae, poisonous algae, seagrasses, transcriptome, transcriptomics, translation (genetics)
Diatoms are often the dominating group of benthic microalgae living on different types of bottom substrates. Their effects on invertebrate consumers is not well-documented. We here investigate the effects of feeding on another two benthic diatoms, Cocconeis scutellum and Diploneis sp., isolated from leaves of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Our results indicate a noxious effect on sea urchin embryos spawned from adults fed on Diploneis sp., with an increasing number of malformed embryos with respect to those spawned from adults fed on Ulva rigida (used as a feeding control). In contrast C. scutellum did not induce any morphological effect on embryos, similar to control non-diatom diets. Moreover, de novo obtained transcriptome indicated that oxidation-reduction process, translation, proton and electron transmembrane transport, ATP/RNA/GTP/heme/calcium and metal ion binding, NADH dehydrogenase activity, cytochrome c oxidase were affected by feeding of sea urchins on Diploneis sp. Our findings have considerable ecological significance considering that diatom biomass ingested by the sea urchin in these experiments is within the range of cell densities characterizing P. oceanica leaves where sea urchins live and spawn.