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Preserving the viscous coral surface mucus layer using low-acid glycol methacrylate (GMA) resin

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Reia Guppy, Barbara Brown, Professor John BythellORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer Verlag, 2019.

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© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The surface mucus layer (SML) is of critical importance in health, disease, and stress responses of corals; however, visualising the intact SML is challenging. Dehydration during histological preparation causes shrinkage and deformation of the mucus gel layer, while fragile, unattached mucus exudates are typically lost altogether. Here, we describe a novel technique using water-soluble glycol methacrylate resin embedding that more accurately preserves the in situ SML. Thickness of the preserved SML is similar to that previously measured on live corals using a glass microprobe. The technique allows microscopic visualisation of the SML structure, as well as thickness and continuity measurements, which are important indicators of SML function in health and disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guppy R, Brown B, Bythell JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Coral Reefs

Year: 2019

Volume: 38

Issue: 3

Pages: 521-526

Print publication date: 01/06/2019

Online publication date: 23/03/2019

Acceptance date: 18/03/2019

Date deposited: 04/06/2019

ISSN (print): 0722-4028

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0975

Publisher: Springer Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s00338-019-01791-y


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