Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Whats living inside corals?

What is living inside corals?

Tiny dinoflagellate algae (about 10 microns or 0.001mm) live inside most corals. They belong to the genus Symbiodinium, as the name indicates, they are symbiotic but not only in corals, but in anemones and giant clams too! Contrary to what I always believe in that corals exhibit different colors becos of the different species of zooxanthellae, but there seems to be a tremendous dispute on whether they are different species or just different varieties of one single species.

Corals especially reef builders are highly dependent on their zooxanthellae for their daily carbon needs and that makes them an invaluable asset to the corals. Thus, anything that goes wrong with their symbiont is likely to affect the coral's health themselves. And this basically forms the rational for my honours.

Surprisingly, in one of my samples, the ever helpful Mrs Ang found this. And its still alive and moving (but unfortunately stuck to an air bubble) even though the sample has been in the fridge for almost one week! Looks creepy.

Just spent an entire day in Mrs Ang's lab trying out this lab work. Although the procedure is clear cut (but spent another entire day compiling it) but its not as simple as written on paper. Have a long way to go. Pretty tramatised and stressed lately by the tight time and lack of progress. Sorry for ignoring anyone recently, thats what happens when I'm under depression~

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