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Title: Concurrent imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence, Chlorophyll a content and green fluorescent proteins-like proteins of symbiotic cnidarians
Author: Leal, Miguel Costa
Jesus, Bruno
Ezequiel, João
Calado, Ricardo
Miranda Rocha, Rui Jorge
Cartaxana, Paulo
Serôdio, João
Keywords: Chl a
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Wiley
Abstract: Research on photosynthetic cnidarians has been mainly focused on the symbiosis established between the cnidarian host and its dinoflagellates endosymbionts from genus Symbiodinium. Despite the potential of imaging techniques for assessing the spatial distribution of key parameters of cnidarian photobiology, such as photochemical activity, chlorophyll a content or green fluorescent proteins (GFPs), to our best knowledge, no study has ever attempted to simultaneous map these three features. In this study, we developed a modified imaging pulse amplitude fluorometer by applying excitation light of different wavelengths and selectively detecting short spectral bands through bandpass filters. The imaging system was used to sequentially excite and quantify chlorophyll variable fluorescence (maximum quantum yield of photosystem II, Fv/Fm), Chl a content (normalized difference vegetation index) and relative content of GFPs. The spatial distribution of these photophysiological parameters was mapped both horizontally, across the surface of the soft corals Sarcophyton cf. glaucum and Sinularia flexibilis and the zoanthid Protopalythoa sp., and vertically, throughout a vertical section of S. cf. glaucum. Results showed bleached areas within each individual coral colony and registered photophysiological changes with S. cf. glaucum tissue depth. Analysis of Protopalythoa sp. polyps’ expansion revealed differential surface patterns of NDVI and GFP concentration, and a negative relation between these latter parameters within each polyp. This novel non-invasive approach allowed a high-resolution characterization of the spatial relationship between these key parameters through the analysis of image information on a pixel-by-pixel basis, which has great potential for investigating the physiological state of symbiotic associations.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1111/maec.12164
ISSN: 0173-9565
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