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Open Access Publications from the University of California

To meet the challenges of marine conservation, the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) was established at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in May 2001. Its goals are:

  • Investigation: Assess the state of marine ecosystems now and in the past and develop predictive models for the future
  • Education: Train new marine biodiversity and conservation scientists in the United States and around the world
  • Integration: Develop novel interdisciplinary approaches linking the biological, physical, social and informatic sciences
  • Communication: Increase public understanding of scientific issues and provide sound scientific analyses to policy makers
  • Application: Design technically sophisticated, regionally appropriate strategies to prevent and reverse biodiversity collapse

Dr. Lisa Levin, Director
http://cmbc.ucsd.edu
cmbc@ucsd.edu

Cover page of Mersaquinone, A New Tetracene Derivative from the Marine-Derived Streptomyces sp. EG1 Exhibiting Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Mersaquinone, A New Tetracene Derivative from the Marine-Derived Streptomyces sp. EG1 Exhibiting Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

(2020)

New antibiotics are desperately needed to overcome the societal challenges being encountered with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In this study, a new tetracene derivative, named Mersaquinone (1), and the known Tetracenomycin D (2), Resistoflavin (3) and Resistomycin (4) have been isolated from the organic extract of the marine Streptomyces sp. EG1. The strain was isolated from a sediment sample collected from the North Coast of the Mediterranean Sea of Egypt. The chemical structure of Mersaquinone (1) was assigned based upon data from a diversity of spectroscopic techniques including HRESIMS, IR, 1D and 2D NMR measurements. Mersaquinone (1) showed antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 3.36 μg/mL.

Cover page of Efficacy of metabarcoding for identification of fish eggs evaluated with mock communities.

Efficacy of metabarcoding for identification of fish eggs evaluated with mock communities.

(2020)

There is urgent need for effective and efficient monitoring of marine fish populations. Monitoring eggs and larval fish may be more informative than that traditional fish surveys since ichthyoplankton surveys reveal the reproductive activities of fish populations, which directly impact their population trajectories. Ichthyoplankton surveys have turned to molecular methods (DNA barcoding & metabarcoding) for identification of eggs and larval fish due to challenges of morphological identification. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of using metabarcoding methods on mock communities of known fish egg DNA. We constructed six mock communities with known ratios of species. In addition, we analyzed two samples from a large field collection of fish eggs and compared metabarcoding results with traditional DNA barcoding results. We examine the ability of our metabarcoding methods to detect species and relative proportion of species identified in each mock community. We found that our metabarcoding methods were able to detect species at very low input proportions; however, levels of successful detection depended on the markers used in amplification, suggesting that the use of multiple markers is desirable. Variability in our quantitative results may result from amplification bias as well as interspecific variation in mitochondrial DNA copy number. Our results demonstrate that there remain significant challenges to using metabarcoding for estimating proportional species composition; however, the results provide important insights into understanding how to interpret metabarcoding data. This study will aid in the continuing development of efficient molecular methods of biological monitoring for fisheries management.

Cover page of Response to Comment on "A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia" by Nakatsuji et al.

Response to Comment on "A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia" by Nakatsuji et al.

(2019)

Kozmin et al. contend that observations previously reported regarding the antimicrobial and antitumor activities of 6-N-hydroxy aminopurine (6-HAP) were incorrect. Their conclusions rely on poorly characterized reagents and focus strictly on in vitro techniques without validation in relevant mammalian model systems. We are pleased to be able to illuminate the weaknesses in their technical comment. The totality of current results continues to support our original conclusion that a strain of the common human commensal skin bacterium, Staphylococcus epidermidis, produces 6-HAP that can inhibit tumor growth.

Cover page of Synergistic Anti-Candida Activity of Bengazole A in the Presence of Bengamide A †.

Synergistic Anti-Candida Activity of Bengazole A in the Presence of Bengamide A †.

(2019)

Bengazoles A⁻G from the marine sponge Jaspis sp. exhibit potent in vitro antifungal activity against Candida spp. and other pathogenic fungi. The mechanism of action (MOA) of bengazole A was explored in Candida albicans under both liquid culture and surface culture on Mueller-Hinton agar. Pronounced dose-dependent synergistic antifungal activity was observed with bengazole A in the presence of bengamide A, which is also a natural product from Jaspis sp. The MOA of bengazole A was further explored by monitoring the sterol composition of C. albicans in the presence of sub-lethal concentrations of bengazole A. The GCMS of solvent extracts prepared from liquid cultures of C. albicans in the presence of clotrimazole-a clinically approved azole antifungal drug that suppresses ergosterol biosynthesis by the inhibition of 14α-demethylase-showed reduced cellular ergosterol content and increased concentrations of lanosterol and 24-methylenedihydrolanosterol (a shunt metabolite of ergosterol biosynthesis). No change in relative sterol composition was observed when C. albicans was cultured with bengazole A. These results eliminate an azole-like MOA for the bengazoles, and suggest that another as-yet unidentified mechanism is operative.

Cover page of Saccharoquinoline, a Cytotoxic Alkaloidal Meroterpenoid from Marine-Derived Bacterium Saccharomonospora sp.

Saccharoquinoline, a Cytotoxic Alkaloidal Meroterpenoid from Marine-Derived Bacterium Saccharomonospora sp.

(2019)

A cytotoxic alkaloidal meroterpenoid, saccharoquinoline (1), has been isolated from the fermentation broth of the marine-derived bacterium Saccharomonospora sp. CNQ-490. The planar structure of 1 was elucidated by 1D, 2D NMR, and MS spectroscopic data analyzes, while the relative configuration of 1 was defined through the interpretation of NOE spectroscopic data. Saccharoquinoline (1) is composed of a drimane-type sesquiterpene unit in combination with an apparent 6,7,8-trihydroxyquinoline-2-carboxylic acid. This combination of biosynthetic pathways was observed for the first time in natural microbial products. Saccharoquinoline (1) was found to have cytotoxicity against the HCT-116 cancer cell line by inducing G1 arrest, which leads to cell growth inhibition.

Cover page of The value of universally available raw NMR data for transparency, reproducibility, and integrity in natural product research.

The value of universally available raw NMR data for transparency, reproducibility, and integrity in natural product research.

(2019)

Covering: up to 2018With contributions from the global natural product (NP) research community, and continuing the Raw Data Initiative, this review collects a comprehensive demonstration of the immense scientific value of disseminating raw nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data, independently of, and in parallel with, classical publishing outlets. A comprehensive compilation of historic to present-day cases as well as contemporary and future applications show that addressing the urgent need for a repository of publicly accessible raw NMR data has the potential to transform natural products (NPs) and associated fields of chemical and biomedical research. The call for advancing open sharing mechanisms for raw data is intended to enhance the transparency of experimental protocols, augment the reproducibility of reported outcomes, including biological studies, become a regular component of responsible research, and thereby enrich the integrity of NP research and related fields.

Microbial Community Diversity Within Sediments from Two Geographically Separated Hadal Trenches.

(2019)

Hadal ocean sediments, found at sites deeper than 6,000 m water depth, are thought to contain microbial communities distinct from those at shallower depths due to high hydrostatic pressures and higher abundances of organic matter. These communities may also differ from one other as a result of geographical isolation. Here we compare microbial community composition in surficial sediments of two hadal environments-the Mariana and Kermadec trenches-to evaluate microbial biogeography at hadal depths. Sediment microbial consortia were distinct between trenches, with higher relative sequence abundances of taxa previously correlated with organic matter degradation present in the Kermadec Trench. In contrast, the Mariana Trench, and deeper sediments in both trenches, were enriched in taxa predicted to break down recalcitrant material and contained other uncharacterized lineages. At the 97% similarity level, sequence-abundant taxa were not trench-specific and were related to those found in other hadal and abyssal habitats, indicating potential connectivity between geographically isolated sediments. Despite the diversity of microorganisms identified using culture-independent techniques, most isolates obtained under in situ pressures were related to previously identified piezophiles. Members related to these same taxa also became dominant community members when native sediments were incubated under static, long-term, unamended high-pressure conditions. Our results support the hypothesis that there is connectivity between sediment microbial populations inhabiting the Mariana and Kermadec trenches while showing that both whole communities and specific microbial lineages vary between trench of collection and sediment horizon depth. This in situ biodiversity is largely missed when incubating samples within pressure vessels and highlights the need for revised protocols for high-pressure incubations.

Cover page of Enantiomeric Variability of Distaminolyne A. Refinement of ECD and NMR Methods for Determining Optical Purity of 1-Amino-2-Alkanols.

Enantiomeric Variability of Distaminolyne A. Refinement of ECD and NMR Methods for Determining Optical Purity of 1-Amino-2-Alkanols.

(2018)

Sample configurations of distaminolyne A (1a); isolated from the ascidians Pseudodistoma opacum and P. cereum, and collected at different sites in New Zealand, were investigated by two methods: Exciton coupled electronic circular dichroism (EC ECD) of the corresponding N,O-dibenzoyl derivative 1b; and chiral reagent derivatization of 1a with (S)- and (R)-α-methoxyphenylacetic acid (MPA), followed by ¹H-NMR analysis. Configuration and optical purity of 1a (%ee) was found to vary depending on the geographic distribution of ascidian colonies. An improved method for preparing N,O-diarenoyl derivatives of 1a was optimized. The EC ECD method was found to be complementary to the MPA-NMR method at different ranges of %ee.

Cover page of 6-Bromoindole Derivatives from the Icelandic Marine Sponge Geodia barretti: Isolation and Anti-Inflammatory Activity.

6-Bromoindole Derivatives from the Icelandic Marine Sponge Geodia barretti: Isolation and Anti-Inflammatory Activity.

(2018)

An UPLC-qTOF-MS-based dereplication study led to the targeted isolation of seven bromoindole alkaloids from the sub-Arctic sponge Geodia barretti. This includes three new metabolites, namely geobarrettin A⁻C (1⁻3) and four known compounds, barettin (4), 8,9-dihydrobarettin (5), 6-bromoconicamin (6), and l-6-bromohypaphorine (7). The chemical structures of compounds 1⁻7 were elucidated by extensive analysis of the NMR and HRESIMS data. The absolute stereochemistry of geobarrettin A (1) was assigned by ECD analysis and Marfey's method employing the new reagent l-Nα-(1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrophenyl)tryptophanamide (l-FDTA). The isolated compounds were screened for anti-inflammatory activity using human dendritic cells (DCs). Both 2 and 3 reduced DC secretion of IL-12p40, but 3 concomitantly increased IL-10 production. Maturing DCs treated with 2 or 3 before co-culturing with allogeneic CD4⁺ T cells decreased T cell secretion of IFN-γ, indicating a reduction in Th1 differentiation. Although barettin (4) reduced DC secretion of IL-12p40 and IL-10 (IC50 values 11.8 and 21.0 μM for IL-10 and IL-12p40, respectively), maturing DCs in the presence of 4 did not affect the ability of T cells to secrete IFN-γ or IL-17, but reduced their secretion of IL-10. These results indicate that 2 and 3 may be useful for the treatment of inflammation, mainly of the Th1 type.