Coral fluorescence highlights tissue growth extension

Posted On: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Leptoseris fluorescence

Fluorescence can highlight things that can be very hard to see under white light. I recently gave a presentation on The Function of Fluorescence on the Reef to the Boston Reefers aquarium club. I brought my stereo microscope, outfitted with the NIGHTSEA Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter, along with me to the meeting to show the attendees first-hand what coral fluorescence looks like at higher magnification. Club Treasurer Tony Diep brought along some small corals that we could look at. An image of the growing margin of a specimen of Leptoseris sp. nicely illustrates how fluorescence can provide rich information that would otherwise be hard to see.

(Click any image for larger view)

The coral was growing on a plug. Tissue extended beyond what appeared to be the edge of the coral structure but you could not see that well in white light. With fluorescence, the distinctive granules of yellow fluorescent protein easily drew the eye to the tissue margins.

Check out our other post from this meeting showing the effects of different excitation wavelength and barrier filter choices.


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