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The demographic traits of the solitary azooxanthellate scleractinian Leptopsammia pruvoti were determined in six populations on a sea surface temperature (SST) gradient along the western Italian coasts. This is the first investigation of the growth and demography characteristics of an azooxanthellate scleractinian along a natural SST gradient. Growth rate(More)
Correlations between sea surface temperature (SST) and growth parameters of the solitary azooxanthellate Dendrophylliid Leptopsammia pruvoti were assessed along an 8° latitudinal gradient on western Italian coasts (Mediterranean Sea), to check for possible negative effects of increasing temperature as the ones reported for a closely related, sympatric but(More)
Scleractinian coral skeletons are made mainly of calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite. The mineral deposition occurs in a biological confined environment, but it is still a theme of discussion to what extent the calcification occurs under biological or environmental control. Hence, the shape, size and organization of skeletal crystals from the(More)
The correlations between skeletal parameters (bulk density, micro-density and porosity), coral age and sea surface temperature were assessed along a latitudinal gradient in the zooxanthellate coral Balanophyllia europaea and in the azooxanthellate coral Leptopsammia pruvoti. In both coral species, the variation of bulk density was more influenced by the(More)
The variety of reproductive processes and modes among coral species reflects their extraordinary regeneration ability. Scleractinians are an established example of clonal animals that can exhibit a mixed strategy of sexual and asexual reproduction to maintain their populations. This study provides the first description of the annual reproductive cycle and(More)
Balanophyllia europaea is a shallow water solitary zooxanthellate coral, endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Extensive field studies across a latitudinal temperature gradient highlight detrimental effects of rising temperatures on its growth, demography, and skeletal characteristics, suggesting that depression of photosynthesis at high temperatures might(More)
DNA translocases are molecular motors that move rapidly along DNA using adenosine triphosphate as the source of energy. We directly observed the movement of purified FtsK, an Escherichia coli translocase, on single DNA molecules. The protein moves at 5 kilobases per second and against forces up to 60 piconewtons, and locally reverses direction without(More)
FtsK from Escherichia coli is a fast and sequence-directed DNA translocase with roles in chromosome dimer resolution, segregation, and decatenation. From the movement of single FtsK particles on defined DNA substrates and an analysis of skewed DNA sequences in bacteria, we identify GNGNAGGG, its complement, or both as a sequence motif that controls(More)
Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that(More)
Although nearly ubiquitous in nature, the precise biological significance of endogenous melatonin is poorly understood in phylogenetically basal taxa. In the present work, we describe insights into the functional role of melatonin at the most "basal" level of metazoan evolution. Hitherto unknown morphological determinants of melatonin distribution were(More)