[Coral-List] request for samples of diseased sponges

Douglas Fenner dfenner at blueskynet.as
Thu Aug 4 04:47:43 EDT 2005

A disease histologist, Thierry Work, would like to ask for samples of diseased sponges from the Caribbean.  He will be in the field for 2 weeks, so he's asked me to post instructions for preserving samples.  Please respond to him at the e-mail address at the end of this message instead of replying to this message, and remember he won't be able to read them for 2 weeks.  You'll need to contact him to get his address in Hawaii.  Thank you!  -Doug Fenner

Sponges should be collected in 15% buffered formalin fixative.  This can be most easily made by mixing 15 parts of concentrated (37%) formaldehyde with 85 parts seawater (NOT freshwater).  A small section (~thumb size) containing both lesion and non lesion tissue (this is important) should be collected fresh and placed immediately in fixative with about 2 x volume fixative to tissue.  Sample can be stored in cool place (NOT frozen) or in shade until ready for shipping.  We can then use these samples to examine cellular structure and try and figure out what is killing the sponges.  If shipping, it is best to drain formalin from jar and replace with formalin soaked paper towels, and sealing and double bagging jar.  Samples should be accompanied by following info: Date of collection, location, species.  I would ask to be in email contact with folks doing collection so shipping can be coordinated.

Thierry M. Work
thierry_work at usgs.gov

(a suggestion from Doug- a plastic bottle with tight fitting lid would be better than a glass bottle for shipping, as it will not break so easily.)

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