• Eelgrass pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae synthesizes essential fatty acids

      Yoshioka, R. M.; Schram, Julie B.; Galloway, Aaron W. E. (Inter-Research, 2019-07-25)
      Negative consequences of parasites and disease on hosts are usually better understood than their multifaceted ecosystem effects. The pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae (Lz) causes eelgrass wasting disease but has relatives that produce large quantities of nutritionally valuable long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Here we quantify the fatty acids (FA) of Lz cultured on artificial media, eelgrass-based media, and eelgrass segments to investigate whether Lz may similarly produce LCPUFA. We also assess whether fieldcollected lesions show similar FA patterns to laboratory-inoculated eelgrass. We find that Lz produces DHA as its dominant FA along with other essential FA on both artificial and eelgrass-based media. DHA content was greater in both laboratory-inoculated and field-collected diseased eelgrass relative to their respective controls. If Lz’s production scales in situ, it may present an unrecognized source of LCPUFA in eelgrass ecosystems.
    • Ghost Factors of Laboratory Carbonate Chemistry Are Haunting Our Experiments

      Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Dassow, G. Von; Schram, Julie B.; Klinger, T.; Hill, T. M.; Lowe, A. T.; Chan, F.; Yoshioka, R. M.; Kroeker, K. J. (The University of Chicago, 2020-10-23)
      For many historical and contemporary experimental studies in marine biology, seawater carbonate chemistry remains a ghost factor, an uncontrolled, unmeasured, and often dynamic variable affecting experimental organisms or the treatments to which investigators subject them. We highlight how environmental variability, such as seasonal upwelling and biological respiration, drive variation in seawater carbonate chemistry that can influence laboratory experiments in unintended ways and introduce a signal consistent with ocean acidification. As the impacts of carbonate chemistry on biochemical pathways that underlie growth, development, reproduction, and behavior become better understood, the hidden effects of this previously overlooked variable need to be acknowledged. Here we bring this emerging challenge to the attention of the wider community of experimental biologists who rely on access to organisms and water from marine and estuarine laboratories and who may benefit from explicit considerations of a growing literature on the pervasive effects of aquatic carbonate chemistry changes.