Navigation Links
Marine bacteria are natural source of chemical fire retardants
Date:6/29/2014

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a widely distributed group of marine bacteria that produce compounds nearly identical to toxic man-made fire retardants.

Among the chemicals produced by the ocean-dwelling microbes, which have been found in habitats as diverse as sea grasses, marine sediments and corals, is a potent endocrine disruptor that mimics the human body's most active thyroid hormone.

The study is published in the June 29 online issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

"We find it very surprising and a tad alarming that flame retardant-like chemicals are biologically synthesized by common bacteria in the marine environment," said senior author Bradley Moore, PhD, a professor at the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The toxic compounds are known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a subgroup of brominated flame retardants that are combined into foam, textiles and electronics to raise the temperature at which the products will burn.

Certain formulations of PBDEs are no longer used in automobile and home products in the United States, but testing by the Environmental Protection Agency indicates that most Americans and Canadians carry traces of the chemicals. Indeed, levels exceed those of Europeans and others by a factor of ten or more. Californians, in particular, have higher than average "body burdens" of the compounds.

Although the presence, persistence and ability of PBDEs to accumulate in the fatty tissues of marine animals have long been recognized, researchers had previously believed the compounds were anthropogenic in origin and due to ocean pollution.

More recent examinations have shown a pervasiveness of PBDEs in prey and predatory species, suggesting a natural microbial source of the compounds as well as an anthropogenic one.

The study is the first to isolate and identify bacteria that synthesize these compounds and whose presence may help explain the observed distribution pattern of PBDEs in the marine food chain.

In the study, the researchers identified a group of ten genes involved in the synthesis of more than 15 bromine-containing polyaromatic compounds, including some PBDEs. They have since conducted DNA sequencing analyses that will allow them to probe the ocean for other biological sources for these chemicals and to begin to assemble a complete picture of their human health risk.

"The next step is to look more broadly in the marine environment for the distribution of this gene signature and to document how these compounds are entering the food chain," said Vinayak Agarwal, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher with the Scripps Center for Oceans and Human Health at UC San Diego.


'/>"/>

Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Notifying speeding mariners lowers ship speeds in areas with North Atlantic right whales
2. Huge tooth fossil shows marine predator had plenty to chew on
3. Richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africas South Atlantic coast is dated at 71.5 mya
4. Marine scientists use JeDI to create worlds first global jellyfish database
5. National Academy of Sciences elects 5 from UChicago, Marine Biological Laboratory
6. Australian marine reserves provide safe passageway for endangered species
7. Alps to Appalachia; submarine channels to Tibetan plateau; Death Valley to arctic Canada
8. Urgent need to study the impacts of biomass burning and haze on marine ecosystems
9. New studies needed to predict how marine organisms may adapt to the futures acidic oceans
10. A new generation database to help ecological research on marine organisms
11. Marine tubeworms need nudge to transition from larvae state
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marine bacteria are natural source of chemical fire retardants
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash ... if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response ... piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, ... Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS ... care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering ... health care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: