alexa Cytotoxic Activity of Antarctic Benthic Organisms Against the Common Sea Urchin Sterechinus neumayeri | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2572-3103

Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research
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Research Article

Cytotoxic Activity of Antarctic Benthic Organisms Against the Common Sea Urchin Sterechinus neumayeri

Blanca Figuerola1*, Sergi Taboada1, Jennifer Vázquez1, Conxita Àvila1 and Toni Monleón-Getino2
1Dept. Biology Animal & Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBIO), Spain
2Departament of Estadística, Spain
Corresponding Author : Blanca Figuerola
Department of Animal Biology & Biodiversity Research Institute (IrBIO)
Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
E-mail: [email protected]
Received July 05, 2013; Accepted July 22, 2013; Published July 24, 2013
Citation: Figuerola B, Taboada S, Monleón-Getino T, Vázquez J, Ávila C (2013) Cytotoxic Activity of Antarctic Benthic Organisms Against the Common Sea Urchin Sterechinus neumayeri. Oceanography 1: 107. doi: 10.4172/2332-2632.1000107
Copyright: © 2013 Figuerola B, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Antarctic benthic communities below anchor ice and ice scour are subjected to intense biotic interactions, and this has propitiated the development of chemicals to avoid predation, competition, and/or fouling avoidance. In particular, Sterechinus neumayeri, a common eurybathic sympatric sea urchin species, can have a negative effect on early recruitment of benthic organisms through grazing. An adaptive response of these co-existing benthic animals may consist in displaying cytotoxic activities, poorly investigated so far in Antarctic ecosystems, in order to prevent the settlement of embryos and larvae of this sea urchin on them or near and, consequently, to decrease its grazing pressure. Cytotoxic activities of Antarctic benthic organisms, mainly from the deep waters of the poorly surveyed area of the eastern Weddell Sea, were assessed against embryos and sperm of the sea urchin S. neumayeri. A new methodology based in a standardized protocol was adopted for this species. Bioassays were performed at Deception Island (South Shetland Islands) during the Austral Summers of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, using ether extracts at different concentrations from different benthic organisms collected in previous Antarctic expeditions. A high percentage (80%) of the species tested (29) from eight different phyla (Porifera, Echinodermata, Cnidaria, Chordata, Bryozoa, Annelida, Nemertea and Hemichordata) were toxic in one or both experiments. In the bioassay of cytotoxicity against embryos, seven of the 14 species (50%) tested did not reach the blastula stage at the highest extract concentration. In the case of the cytotoxicity against sperm, a total of 20 species were tested and all the extracts except one were toxic to the sperm at the maximum concentration. In addition, 6 species were dissected into parts to investigate the possible allocation of defensive compounds. Our results highlight the important role of cytotoxic activity of some Antarctic benthic organisms as a possible chemical defense and/or mechanism of competition for space or food against this common sea urchin.

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