Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Procedures for the Study of Coralline Algae

Ian at work in the lab

Sectioning and microscopy can reveal some interesting aspects of the articulates.

       Selected portions of collected articulate specimens were placed in small glass dishes containing 10% nitric acid and seawater solution. Samples were selected by simple examination of conceptacle density. Highly reproductive areas were cut and monitored over the course of two hours for progress in decalcification. Smaller, thinner sections decalcified much more quickly than larger sections.

       After decalcification was complete, samples were placed in 70% ethanol and seawater solution for preservation. Small pieces were taken out of solution and placed on slides for two minutes. This time allowed samples to dehydrate, making them easier to shave sections from. Dry samples were cut under a a light microscope with a razor blade.

       Upon completion of sectioning, cuttings were rehydrated with seawater. Cover slips were placed on top of samples. Phase contrast microscopes were used to examine sections.

Evolution  |  Ecology  |  Systematics  |  Mechanics  |  Pigmentation  |  Morphology  |  Reproduction  |  Life HistoryReferences  |  Procedures  Acknowledgements  |  Main   

© 2001 Ian Ehrenreich. All rights reserved.