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count my zooxanthellae

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  • count my zooxanthellae

    At the extreme limits of my current shoddy camera setup with the mesoscope, I have achieved something that could REVOLUTIONIZE how we evaluate our corals' health and even maybe how scientists count zoox density. I have optically and digitally zoomed into view of individual zoox cells. I look forward to a day when I can laugh at the quality of this image.

    12x plus 3x optical zoom



    digital crop and zoom,

    Jake Adams
    Reef Builders

  • #2
    Very very cool stuff...

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    • #3
      holy moly
      400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

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      • #4
        Thats very nice Jake! Are those brown spots the spherical zooxanthallae encapsulated in its choloroplast where photosynthesis occurs?

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        • #5
          In illustration form of what you are looking at:
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            What you see at the tip is mostly individual cells of zooxanthellae, some of the larger brown spots are probably 2-3 cells. The chloroplasts are equivalent to our mitochondria, they are within the zoox. cells. I think the zeoheads have a huge application for determining zoox. density. In normal coral tanks the zoox density is so high far from the tip that the color is solid brown and it is impossible to discern individual cells. I assume that in a ZEO tank it should be possible to see individual cells and clusters further down the branches. So which one of you guys has a mesoscope you can use to photograph zoox. density in your ZEO corals?
            Jake Adams
            Reef Builders

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            • #7
              Right. Changes in pigment darkening can be due to a variety of factors such as temperature changes, concentrations of nutrient and the amount of light its been exposed to. With stronger light exposures, your increasing the amount of UV radiation to these cells. You can count on increased UV on shallow waters. But the amount of light is one thing to think about.. what about the quality of light. This also affects the rate of photosynthesis and therefore change pigment intensity. 10K vs 20K. Too dark or too light tells you the coral is under stress. You may be able to get a better picture of the zooxanthellae by increasing the amount of fluorescent light to this coral (higher Kelvin).

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              • #8
                Greetings All !


                coralite ...



                WAY cool pics ...

                I'm disturbingly into microscopy toys ... what camera did you use, and with what kind of adapters/rings?

                TIA!


                What you see at the tip is mostly individual cells of zooxanthellae ...
                While I LOVE your pics ... Please post MORE ... I'm not so sure about cellular component IDs just yet ...



                Very very cool stuff...
                Indeed!




                I think the zeoheads have a huge application for determining zoox. density. In normal coral tanks the zoox density is so high far from the tip that the color is solid brown and it is impossible to discern individual cells. I assume that in a ZEO tank it should be possible to see individual cells and clusters further down the branches.
                Well ... assertions regarding definitive contrasts between ZEOvit systems vs. "normal coral tanks" may be a bit premature. My Zeovit system, with its emergent oligotrophic equilibria, appears very "normal" to me ... hehe ...

                ...

                Not quite down to your pics' resolution, but the zooxanthellae/pigment complex "banding" is relatively distinct ...





                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                Hunter S. Thompson

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                • #9
                  Greetings All !


                  ... I'm not so sure about cellular component IDs just yet ...
                  Mind you ... I don't mean to be critical of coralite's assertion that what we're looking at is zooxanthellae. I'm just saying that definitive ID, and resolution which will allow density calculations is going to require pictures like this ...



                  Picture obtained from:
                  University of Wisconsin
                  http://botit.botany.wisc.edu:16080/i...Zooxanthellae/


                  JMO ...
                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                  Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #10
                    Gary, I was looking at the same thing... but wasnt sure how much of an microscopic intensity we needed to get to see zooxanthallae.

                    here's zooxanthellae from a M. Verrucosa cultured:



                    And here's one of the endoderm of the same Monti species:

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                    • #11
                      Those pics were from:

                      If you look at the last gray pic, the big spheres are the zooxanthellae.. at least the protective layer of it.

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                      • #12
                        Greetings All !


                        Ahhh ... some NOAA pics ... great stuff!

                        Pictures of Zooxanthellae Cells
                        http://www.coral.noaa.gov/themes/zoox_pics.html

                        I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out that coralite's pic's "brown specs" are indeed clusters of zooxanthellae cells ... but we're talking MANY cells per "spec".

                        ... but wasnt sure how much of an microscopic intensity we needed to get to see zooxanthallae ...
                        The next time I have $80,000 lying around that I have no particular use for ... and an empty room sitting around to properly house it ...

                        ... it's electron microscope group buy time ...

                        Still, coralite's pics are intriguing ... and WAY cool ...

                        JMO ...
                        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                        Hunter S. Thompson

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mesocosm
                          Greetings All !

                          I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out that coralite's pic's "brown specs" are indeed clusters of zooxanthellae cells ... but we're talking MANY cells per "spec".
                          MO ...
                          Isnt it like a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand zooxanthellae cells per square centimeter? Forgot which one it was.

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                          • #14
                            Greetings All !


                            BTW ... you've just got to love an avatar sig line/descriptor that includes "PAM fluorometer."

                            For anyone interested ... a PAM fluorometer (as in Pulsed Amplitude Modulation (PAM) fluorometry) is a device that can be used to analyse quantum yields and relative Electron Transport Rates (ETRs) ... as with photosynthesis ... very cool stuff.

                            Dana Riddle did an excellent article which including data obtained from using one ...

                            PAM Fluorometer Experiments

                            Part I: Effects of Metal Halide Lamp Spectral Qualities on Zooxanthellae Photosynthesis in Photoacclimated Fungia Corals: The Red Light Theory

                            Part II: Effects of Water Motion on Zooxanthellae Photosynthesis

                            by Dana Riddle
                            http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu...04/feature.htm


                            When you introduce photgraphic toys into the apparatus mix, you can get stuff like this ...




                            And people wondered why the microEinstein is my favorite unit ...

                            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                            Hunter S. Thompson

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                            • #15
                              AHH! I was way off:

                              These algal cells appear under the microscope as yellowish-brown spheres, and they are extremely abundant in the coral tissue, normally numbering millions of cells per square centimeter of coral surface.

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