Theses and Dissertations

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Defense Date

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Jose Lopez

Second Advisor

Patricia Blackwelder

Third Advisor

David Willoughby

Fourth Advisor

Scott NIchols

Abstract

In order to study the potential effects of an oil spill on coral reef organisms, the marine sponge, Cinachyrella spp. was investigated. In this study, Cinachyrella spp. was placed in a closed aquaculture system and exposed to sub-lethal water-accommodated fractions (WAFs) of Macondo crude oil and chemically-enhanced water accommodated fractions (CE-WAFs) of the dispersant, Corexit 9500, over a 24-hour time course, in order to model the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and oil spill sponge response. Illumina RNA sequencing and gene expression analysis utilizing hierarchical clustering, principal component analysis, and KEGG bioinformatic database generated 34,147 unique transcripts with differential expression of 483 transcripts across all samples related to metabolism, genetic, environmental, and cellular processes, and associations with pathways involved in human disease development and progression. These pathways highlight the induction of Rac1, a GTPase in the Ras superfamily responsible for cell proliferation, differentiation, and senescence and SOS, a set of specialized Ras-GTP activators. These Ras-regulated signaling proteins are thought to play a significant role in the development of human malignancies, specifically Rac1. The data reported here helps support the possible role of Cinachyrella spp. as an ecotoxicological model for oil and dispersant pollution as well as the identification of potential biomarkers of stress and environmental perturbation. These results have important implications in identifying stress response in coral reef associated communities, and will ultimately be useful in coral reef conservation, management, and oil spill mitigation activities.

Comments

Funding provided by a Florida Institute of Oceanography $200K grant from a $10M block grant awarded from BP and an NSU Chancellor’s Faculty Research and Development grant awarded to Dr. Joe Lopez.

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid nova.edu OR mynsu.nova.edu email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

Share

COinS