[Coral-List] normalizing zooxanthellae measurements

Juliana Miller jrmiller18 at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 2 12:25:09 EDT 2006

Good day coral-listers,
I am a graduate student at the Grice Marine Lab in Charleston, SC. I am
working on samples of Porites astreoides collected from Florida and the
Bahamas. The field samples are cores that have been frozen in liquid
nitrogen and ground into a powder which has been kept at -80C for the
past year or so.

I am measuring several compounds produced by the zooxanthellae (not the
coral tissue).  In order to normalize my measurements, I and need to
find a way to estimate the zooxanthelae biomass in the powder without
contamination of the coral tissue/biomass.  The possibilities I have
considered but turned down are:

- chlorophyll a: not good because some of it has most likely broken down
over time, and it is influenced by light.
- zooxanthellae cell count: not good because an unknown percentage of
the cells have more than likely been destroyed during the grinding
- total protein: not good because it will include both coral protein as
well as zoox protein.

I appreciate any input or suggestions that anyone may have.

Juliana Miller
College of Charleston
Grice Marine Lab
Masters Candidate

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