[Coral-List] Optimal fixatives for coral tissues??

Shelley Anthony s.anthony at gbrmpa.gov.au
Mon Jan 12 19:06:09 EST 2004

Dear Coral-Listers,
  I would very much like to hear from scientists who are dealing with 
different fixation techniques for histological work on hard corals.  I 
have been using standard 5% seawater-buffered formalin, per 
recommendation from my supervisor.  However, I have had numerous 
conflicting suggestions from histologists, lab technicians and other 
sources that the following fixatives give better results: 4% formalin, 
10% formalin, 70% ethanol, and 73% ethanol, glutaraldehyde, Helley's 
fixative, etc.  (However, most of these people were not necessarily 
working on corals.)   The publications I have read also do not seem to 
have a standard procedure, or the fixative may be dependent on the 
intended usage.
      My questions are:  Is there an optimal fixative specifically for 
hard corals that can be used for several different kinds of 
histological/histopathological/microscopic procedures?  What kind of 
results have you gotten when using different fixatives?  I would 
appreciate any information you can share.  Please reply directly to my 
email address.  Thanks!

Shelley L. Anthony <shelleya at gbrmpa.gov.au>

PhD Student, CRC Reef Research Center
School of Marine Biology & Aquaculture
James Cook University
Townsville, QLD 4811  AUSTRALIA

Townsville, QLD 4810  AUSTRALIA

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