REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1092.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Antarctica; High Arctic; fungi; climate change
Online: 17 July 2023 (09:48:48 CEST)
The Antarctica and High Arctic regions are extreme environments, with average maximum temperatures below 0 °C for most days of the year. Interestingly, fungi inhabit these regions. This review describes the history of fungal surveys near the Syowa Station and the fungal diversity in this region. In the High Arctic region, I summarized the changes in fungal communities in glacial retreat areas of Ny-Ålesund, Norway and Ellesmere Island, Canada in response to climate change. In addition, growth and enzyme secretion ability of Antarctic and Arctic fungi at sub-zero temperatures are presented. Finally, I have also provided the future directions of Antarctic and Arctic fungal research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0064.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Antarctica; antioxidants; cadmium; copper; fish; metallothioneins
Online: 6 October 2022 (09:57:16 CEST)
Metal bioaccumulation and metallothionein (MT) expression were investigated in gills and liver of the red-blooded Antarctic teleost Trematomus hansoni with the aim to evaluate the possibility for this species to face, with adequate physiological responses, an increase of copper or cadmium concentrations in the environment. Specimens of this Antarctic fish were collected from Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea) and used for a metal exposure experiment in controlled laboratory condi-tions. The two treatments lead to a significant accumulation of both metals and an increase of gene transcription only for the MT-1. The biosynthesis of MTs was verified especially in speci-mens exposed to Cd, but the majority of these proteins were soon oxidized, probably because they were involved in cell protection against the risk of oxidative stress, by reactive oxygen spe-cies scavenging. The obtained data highlighted the phenotypic plasticity of T. hansoni, a species evolved in an environment characterized by natural high concentrations of Cu and Cd, and maybe the possibility for the Antarctic fish to face the challenges of a world that is becoming every day more toxic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0226.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Antarctica; cold adaptation; hemocyanin; amphipod; transcriptome
Online: 9 February 2021 (09:20:04 CET)
We here report the de novo transcriptome assembly and functional annotation of Eusirus cf. giganteus clade g3, providing the first database of expressed sequences from this giant Antarctic amphipod. RNA-sequencing, carried out on the whole-body of a single juvenile individual likely undergoing molting, revealed the dominant expression of hemocyanins. The mRNAs encoding these oxygen-binding proteins cumulatively accounted for about 40% of the total transcriptional effort, highlighting the key biological importance of high hemocyanin production in this Antarctic amphipod species. We speculate that this observation may mirror a strategy previously described in Antarctic cephalopods, which compensate the decreased ability to release oxygen to peripheral tissues at sub-zero temperatures by massively increasing total blood hemocyanin content compared with temperate species. These preliminary results will undoubtedly require confirmation through proteomic and biochemical analyses aimed at characterizing the oxygen-binding properties of E. cf. giganteus clade g3 hemocyanins, and at investigating whether other Antarctic arthropod species exploit similar adaptations to cope with the challenges posed by the extreme conditions of the polar environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0065.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Antarctica; microbial communities; refugia; metabarcoding; McMurdo Dry Valleys; soil biodiversity
Online: 5 September 2022 (13:39:20 CEST)
In the cold deserts of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) the suitability of soil for microbial life is determined by both contemporary processes and legacy effects. Climatic changes and accompanying glacial activity have caused local extinctions and geochemical changes to soil ecosystems over several million years, while high elevation refugia may have escaped these disturbances and existed under relatively stable conditions. This study describes the impact of historical glacial and lacustrine disturbance events on microbial communities across the MDV. Soil bacterial communities from 17 sites representing either putative refugia or sites disturbed during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (22-17kya) were characterized using 16S metabarcoding. Regardless of geographic distance, several putative refugia sites at elevations above 600 meter displayed highly similar microbial communities. At a regional scale, community composition was found to be influenced by elevation and geographic proximity more so than soil geochemical properties. These results suggest that despite the extreme conditions, diverse microbial communities exist in these putative refugia that have presumably remained undisturbed at least through the last glacial maximum. We suggest that similarities in microbial communities can be interpreted as evidence for historical climate legacies on an ecosystem-wide scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0069.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Antarctica; surface melt; ross ice shelf; Föhn Winds; remote sensing
Online: 7 November 2019 (04:02:22 CET)
On January 8, 2005, a surface melt event began on the interior portion of Ross Ice Shelf. While many surface melt events on Ross Ice Shelf are caused by the advection of warm air onto the shelf from the Ross Sea, surface winds during this event were directed offshore and the spatial pattern of surface melt was inconsistent with the Southern Ocean serving as a heat source. Rather, due to the interior location of the surface melt coupled with prevailing wind direction and surface temperature data it is thought that adiabatic warming of Föhn winds is the driving cause of this melt event. Passive Microwave (SSM/I) imagery was used to determine surface melt occurrence and the event’s extent. Spatial patterns of surface melt were then compared to NCEP/NCAR reanalysis output for several synoptic weather variables including surface temperatures, sea level pressure and surface vector winds. Synoptic-scale weather conditions were consistent with those that would produce downsloping wind (föhn) conditions in the interior of the Ross Ice Shelf where the anomalous surface melt was located.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0199.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: amplicon-based metagenomics; Maritime Antarctica; microbial domains antagonism; Archaea; Fungi; Bacteria
Online: 5 October 2023 (14:35:52 CEST)
Within an amplicon-based metagenomic study of Archaea, Fungi, and Bacteria in Livingston Island, Maritime Antarctica, in many of the samples antagonisms between these three super kingdoms were observed under the form of an inversely proportional dependence of the richnesses of the three types of microorganisms. This was quantified - based on the observed numbers of the total tags and the numbers of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs), as well as based on four alpha diversity parameters – the Shannon, the Simpson, the Chao1, and the ACE indices. We found that the most discriminative results in the antagonism measuring were observed in the comparison of the numbers of the OTUs and the ACE community richness estimator. The antagonism between Archaea and Fungi was strongest, followed by that of Archaea and Bacteria. The Fungi-Bacteria antagonism was slightly detectable. Pearson and Spearman correlation analysis also showed a statistically significant negative correlation between the fungal and archaeal effective tags, while the correlation between archaeal and bacterial diversity was positive. Indications of the order of primary microbial succession in barren ecological niches were also observed, demonstrating that Archaea and Bacteria are the pioneers, followed by Fungi which in time would displace Archaea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0304.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: dust transport; Australia; Tasman Sea; New Zealand; Antarctica; WRF-Chem; CALIPSO; MODIS
Online: 27 October 2019 (11:03:38 CET)
Between 11 to 15 February 2019, a dust storm originating from Central Australia with persistent westerly and south westerly winds caused high particles concentration at many sites in the state of New South Wales (NSW), both inland and along the coast. The dust continued on to New Zealand and to Antarctica in the south east. This study uses observed data from air quality monitoring stations in NSW and New Zealand, MODIS 3km AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth) product from Terra/Aqua and lidar aerosol profile from CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite data, and the Weather Research Forecast WRF-Chem model based on GOCART-AFWA (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport – Air Force and Weather Agency) dust scheme and GOCART aerosol and gas-phase MOZART (Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers) chemistry model to study the long-range transport of aerosols for the period 11 to 15 February 2019 across eastern Australia and onto New Zealand and Antarctica. Wild fires also happened in northern NSW at the same time and their emissions are taken into account in WRF-Chem model by using Fire Inventory from NCAR (FINN) as emission input. Modelling results by the WRF-Chem model show that for the Canterbury region of South Island of New Zealand, peak concentration of PM10 (and PM2.5) as measured on 14 February 2019 at 05:00 UTC at the monitoring stations of Geraldine, Ashburton, Timaru and Woolston (Christchurch), which are more than 100km from each other and at Rangiora, Kaiapoi about 2 hours later, correspond to the prediction of high PM10 due to intrusion of dust to ground level from transported dust layer above. The Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) observation data from MODIS Terra/Aqua and CALIOP lidar measurements on board CALIPSO satellite also indicate that high altitude of dust, originated from this dust storm event in Australia, was located above Antarctica. This study suggests that at present dust storms in Australia can transport dust from sources in Central Australia to the Tasman sea, New Zealand and Antarctica. This process has been going on for at least the last 170k years as indicated by dust found in ice cores from Antarctica and sediment records in the Tasman Sea.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0334.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: South Polar Region; Antarctica; Microplastics (MPs); Density Separation; Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
Online: 6 October 2023 (11:56:32 CEST)
Antarctica and its surrounding environment are considered untouched and thought that it is free from microplastics (MPs) pollution. However, recent studies and science projects have reported MPs in both water and sediment in the South Polar Regions. The reports state that the MP’s pollution occurs in this region due to fishing, tourism, and research activities by the nearby countries and nature's circulation is also part of it. The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) has received attention on MP’s pollution and initiated research on it. MPs are tiny plastic particles with a size of less than 5 mm. It has two types, 1. Primary MPs have been manufactured directly for various applications like cosmetics and scrubbing etc 2. The secondary MPs are generated by photochemical degradation of large plastics.Although several studies have been done there is a quite gap in our understanding of the concentration, characteristics, and impact of plastics on the ecosystem of the Antarctic Region. The impact of MP’s pollution in this region may be very high. The presence of MP is a serious issue that is affecting not only the aquatic environment but also humans. It is an alarming situation that causes environmental damage. The main objective of this paper is to review MP's introduction, occurrence, sources, harmful effects, and detection methods. This review highlighted the various methodologies and analyses like density separation, microscope observation of MP’s properties Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Raman spectrometer respectively, and urged for more research in the future and gave several recommendations to maintain the pristine region near Antarctica.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0478.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Antarctica; coronavirus; COVID-19; mitigation measures; reverse zoonoses; risk assessment; SARS-CoV-2; wildlife
Online: 21 August 2020 (09:21:25 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly to most parts of the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin and with the potential for cross-species transmission among animals. Antarctica can be considered the only continent free of SARS-CoV-2 although at the end of the 2019-2020 tourist season, at least one SARS-CoV-2 positive tourist visited the Antarctic Peninsula. Therefore, concerns have been expressed regarding the potential human introduction of this virus to the continent through the activities of research or tourism with potential effects including those related to human health, but also the potential for virus transmission to Antarctic wildlife. This reverse-zoonotic transmission risk to Antarctic wildlife is assessed considering the available information on host susceptibility, dynamics of the infection in humans, and contact interactions between humans and Antarctic wildlife. Measures to reduce the risk are proposed as well as the identification of knowledge gaps related to this issue.
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: (S)-Practolol; paracetamol; (S)-pindolol; (S)-carteolol; Candida antarctica Lipase B; chiral chromatography; dimer formation
Online: 4 March 2021 (08:34:02 CET)
The -blocker (S)-practolol ((S)-N-(4-(2-hydroxy (isopropylamino)propoxy)phenyl)acetamide) was synthesized with 96% enantiomeric excess (ee) from the chlorohydrin (R)-N-(4-(3-chloro-2 hydroxypropoxy)phenyl)acetamide, which was produced in 97% ee and with 27% yield. Racemic building block 1-((1H-indol-4-yl)oxy)-3-chloropropan-2-ol for the -blocker pindolol was produced in 53% yield and (R)-1-((1H-indol-4-yl)oxy)-3-chloropropan-2-ol was produced in 92% ee. The chlorohydrin 7-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropoxy)-3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one, a building block for a derivative of carteolol was produced in 77% yield. (R)-7-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropoxy)-3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one was obtained in 96% ee. The S-enantiomer of this carteolol derivative was produced in 97% ee in 87% yield. Racemic building block 5-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropoxy)- 3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one, building block for the drug carteolol was also produced in 53% yield, with 99% ee of the R-chlorohydrin (R)-5-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropoxy)-3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one. The yield of all four chlorohydrins increased by use of catalytic amounts of base. The reason for this was found to be less formation of the dimeric by-products compared to use of higher concentration of the base. An overall reduction of reagents and reaction time was also obtained compared to our previous reported data of similar compounds. The enantiomers of the chlorohydrin building blocks were obtained by kinetic resolution of the racemate in transesterification reactions catalyzed by Candida antarctica Lipase B (CALB) from SyncoZymes Co, Shanghai, China. Optical rotations confirmed the absolute configuration of the enantiopure drugs.