[Coral-List] Coral histology protocol

Blue Water Volunteers bluewatervolunteers at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 19 12:14:29 EST 2010

Dear list,

I'm trying to compare the reproductive output of Montastrea faveolata or annularis between 2 treatments. I'm planning to section coral tissue and measure the surface area of the eggs present over the total surface area of the tissue section as my reproductive index. 

In the literature, I've come across a number of methods to decalcify, fix and stain corals for light microscopy. Is it better to fix in Zenker's solution, or would formalin do? I also recall a procedure to fix corals in potassium dichromate (+ formalin?) solution, though I don't have a reference for that. Secondly, would the omission of sodium tartrate from the HCl-EDTA solution matter in decalcifying corals? I'll be collecting samples in a rather remote location and would like to minimise the amount of chemicals I bring in or ship, if possible. Of course, if there are any updated protocols, it would be great to know as well.

I would also be very appreciative of any full protocols and will be happy to cite you in any publications arising from this work. Please direct any replies to tl7275 at uncw.edu. 

Thanks very much.

Tse-Lynn Loh
PhD student
University of North Carolina Wilmington


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