skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Friday, April 12 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, April 13 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Light exposure decreases infectivity of the Daphnia parasite Pasteuria ramosa
Abstract Climate change is altering light regimes in lakes, which should impact disease outbreaks, since sunlight can harm aquatic pathogens. However, some bacterial endospores are resistant to damage from light, even surviving exposure to UV-C. We examined the sensitivity of Pasteuria ramosa endospores, an aquatic parasite infecting Daphnia zooplankton, to biologically relevant wavelengths of light. Laboratory exposure to increasing intensities of UV-B, UV-A, and visible light significantly decreased P. ramosa infectivity, though there was no effect of spore exposure on parasitic castration of infected hosts. P. ramosa is more sensitive than its Daphnia host to damage by longer wavelength UV-A and visible light; this may enable Daphnia to seek an optimal light environment in the water column, where both UV-B damage and parasitism are minimal. Studies of pathogen light sensitivity help us to uncover factors controlling epidemics in lakes, which is especially important given that water transparency is decreasing in many lakes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1754276 1305836
NSF-PAR ID:
10156637
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Plankton Research
Volume:
42
Issue:
1
ISSN:
0142-7873
Page Range / eLocation ID:
41 to 44
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Predators can strongly influence disease transmission and evolution, particularly when they prey selectively on infected hosts. Although selective predation has been observed in numerous systems, why predators select infected prey remains poorly understood. Here, we use a mathematical model of predator vision to test a long‐standing hypothesis about the mechanistic basis of selective predation in aDaphnia–microparasite system, which serves as a model for the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Bluegill sunfish feed selectively onDaphniainfected by a variety of parasites, particularly in water uncolored by dissolved organic carbon. The leading hypothesis for selective predation in this system is that infection‐induced changes in the transparency ofDaphniarender them more visible to bluegill. Rigorously evaluating this hypothesis requires that we quantify the effect of infection on the visibility of prey from the predator's perspective, rather than our own. Using a model of the bluegill visual system, we show that three common parasites,Metschnikowia bicuspidata,Pasteuria ramosa, andSpirobacillus cienkowskii, decrease the transparency ofDaphnia, rendering infectedDaphniadarker against a background of bright downwelling light. As a result of this increased brightness contrast, bluegill can see infectedDaphniaat greater distances than uninfectedDaphnia—between 19% and 33% further, depending on the parasite.PasteuriaandSpirobacillusalso increase the chromatic contrast ofDaphnia. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that selective predation by fish on infectedDaphniacould result from the effects of infection onDaphnia's visibility. However, contrary to expectations, the visibility ofDaphniawas not strongly impacted by water color in our model. Our work demonstrates that models of animal visual systems can be useful in understanding ecological interactions that impact disease transmission.

     
    more » « less
  2. This assessment summarises the current state of knowledge on the interactive effects of ozone depletion and climate change on aquatic ecosystems, focusing on how these affect exposures to UV radiation in both inland and oceanic waters. The ways in which stratospheric ozone depletion is directly altering climate in the southern hemisphere and the consequent extensive effects on aquatic ecosystems are also addressed. The primary objective is to synthesise novel findings over the past four years in the context of the existing understanding of ecosystem response to UV radiation and the interactive effects of climate change. If it were not for the Montreal Protocol, stratospheric ozone depletion would have led to high levels of exposure to solar UV radiation with much stronger negative effects on all trophic levels in aquatic ecosystems than currently experienced in both inland and oceanic waters. This “world avoided” scenario that has curtailed ozone depletion, means that climate change and other environmental variables will play the primary role in regulating the exposure of aquatic organisms to solar UV radiation. Reductions in the thickness and duration of snow and ice cover are increasing the levels of exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation. Climate change was also expected to increase exposure by causing shallow mixed layers, but new data show deepening in some regions and shoaling in others. In contrast, climate-change related increases in heavy precipitation and melting of glaciers and permafrost are increasing the concentration and colour of UV-absorbing dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulates. This is leading to the “browning” of many inland and coastal waters, with consequent loss of the valuable ecosystem service in which solar UV radiation disinfects surface waters of parasites and pathogens. Many organisms can reduce damage due to exposure to UV radiation through behavioural avoidance, photoprotection, and photoenzymatic repair, but meta-analyses continue to confirm negative effects of UV radiation across all trophic levels. Modeling studies estimating photoinhibition of primary production in parts of the Pacific Ocean have demonstrated that the UV radiation component of sunlight leads to a 20% decrease in estimates of primary productivity. Exposure to UV radiation can also lead to positive effects on some organisms by damaging less UV-tolerant predators, competitors, and pathogens. UV radiation also contributes to the formation of microplastic pollutants and interacts with artificial sunscreens and other pollutants with adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems. Exposure to UV-B radiation can decrease the toxicity of some pollutants such as methyl mercury (due to its role in demethylation) but increase the toxicity of other pollutants such as some pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Feeding on microplastics by zooplankton can lead to bioaccumulation in fish. Microplastics are found in up to 20% of fish marketed for human consumption, potentially threatening food security. Depletion of stratospheric ozone has altered climate in the southern hemisphere in ways that have increased oceanic productivity and consequently the growth, survival and reproduction of many sea birds and mammals. In contrast, warmer sea surface temperatures related to these climate shifts are also correlated with declines in both kelp beds in Tasmania and corals in Brazil. This assessment demonstrates that knowledge of the interactive effects of ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change factors on aquatic ecosystems has advanced considerably over the past four years and confirms the importance of considering synergies between environmental factors. 
    more » « less
  3. Iron (Fe) is ubiquitous in nature and found as Fe II or Fe III in minerals or as dissolved ions Fe 2+ or Fe 3+ in aqueous systems. The interactions of soluble Fe have important implications for fresh water and marine biogeochemical cycles, which have impacts on global terrestrial and atmospheric environments. Upon dissolution of Fe III into natural aquatic systems, organic carboxylic acids efficiently chelate Fe III to form [Fe III –carboxylate] 2+ complexes that undergo a wide range of photochemistry-induced radical reactions. The chemical composition and photochemical transformations of these mixtures are largely unknown, making it challenging to estimate their environmental impact. To investigate the photochemical process of Fe III –carboxylates at the molecular level, we conduct a comprehensive experimental study employing UV-visible spectroscopy, liquid chromatography coupled to photodiode array and high-resolution mass spectrometry detection, and oil immersion flow microscopy. In this study, aqueous solutions of Fe III –citrate were photolyzed under 365 nm light in an experimental setup with an apparent quantum yield of ( φ ) ∼0.02, followed by chemical analyses of reacted mixtures withdrawn at increment time intervals of the experiment. The apparent photochemical reaction kinetics of Fe 3+ –citrates (aq) were expressed as two generalized consecutive reactions of with the experimental rate constants of j 1 ∼ 0.12 min −1 and j 2 ∼ 0.05 min −1 , respectively. Molecular characterization results indicate that R and I consist of both water-soluble organic and Fe–organic species, while P compounds are a mixture of water-soluble and colloidal materials. The latter were identified as Fe–carbonaceous colloids formed at long photolysis times. The carbonaceous content of these colloids was identified as unsaturated organic species with low oxygen content and carbon with a reduced oxidation state, indicative of their plausible radical recombination mechanism under oxygen-deprived conditions typical for the extensively photolyzed mixtures. Based on the molecular characterization results, we discuss the comprehensive reaction mechanism of Fe III –citrate photochemistry and report on the formation of previously unexplored colloidal reaction products, which may contribute to atmospheric and terrestrial light-absorbing materials in aquatic environments. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Thermal ecology theory predicts that transmission of infectious diseases should respond unimodally to temperature, that is be maximized at intermediate temperatures and constrained at extreme low and high temperatures. However, empirical evidence linking hot temperatures to decreased transmission in nature remains limited.

    We tested the hypothesis that hot temperatures constrain transmission in a zooplankton–fungus (Daphnia dentifera–Metschnikowia bicuspidata) disease system where autumnal epidemics typically start after lakes cool from their peak summer temperatures. This pattern suggested that maximally hot summer temperatures could be inhibiting disease spread.

    Using a series of laboratory experiments, we examined the effects of high temperatures on five mechanistic components of transmission. We found that (a) high temperatures increased exposure to parasites by speeding up foraging rate but (b) did not alter infection success post‐exposure. (c) High temperatures lowered parasite production (due to faster host death and an inferred delay in parasite growth). (d) Parasites made in hot conditions were less infectious to the next host (instilling a parasite ‘rearing’ or 'trans‐host' effect of temperature during the prior infection). (e) High temperatures in the free‐living stage also reduce parasite infectivity, either by killing or harming parasites.

    We then assembled the five mechanisms into an index of disease spread. The resulting unimodal thermal response was most strongly driven by the rearing effect. Transmission peaked at intermediate hot temperatures (25–26°C) and then decreased at maximally hot temperatures (30–32°C). However, transmission at these maximally hot temperatures only trended slightly lower than the baseline control (20°C), which easily sustains epidemics in laboratory conditions and in nature. Overall, we conclude that while exposure to hot epilimnetic temperatures does somewhat constrain disease, we lack evidence that this effect fully explains the lack of summer epidemics in this natural system. This work demonstrates the importance of experimentally testing hypothesized mechanisms of thermal constraints on disease transmission. Furthermore, it cautions against drawing conclusions based on field patterns and theory alone.

    A freePlain Language Summarycan be found within the Supporting Information of this article.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Variations in stratospheric ozone and changes in the aquatic environment by climate change and human activity are modifying the exposure of aquatic ecosystems to UV radiation. These shifts in exposure have consequences for the distributions of species, biogeochemical cycles, and services provided by aquatic ecosystems. This Quadrennial Assessment presents the latest knowledge on the multi-faceted interactions between the effects of UV irradiation and climate change, and other anthropogenic activities, and how these conditions are changing aquatic ecosystems. Climate change results in variations in the depth of mixing, the thickness of ice cover, the duration of ice-free conditions and inputs of dissolved organic matter, all of which can either increase or decrease exposure to UV radiation. Anthropogenic activities release oil, UV filters in sunscreens, and microplastics into the aquatic environment that are then modified by UV radiation, frequently amplifying adverse effects on aquatic organisms and their environments. The impacts of these changes in combination with factors such as warming and ocean acidification are considered for aquatic micro-organisms, macroalgae, plants, and animals (floating, swimming, and attached). Minimising the disruptive consequences of these effects on critical services provided by the world’s rivers, lakes and oceans (freshwater supply, recreation, transport, and food security) will not only require continued adherence to the Montreal Protocol but also a wider inclusion of solar UV radiation and its effects in studies and/or models of aquatic ecosystems under conditions of the future global climate. Graphical abstract 
    more » « less