Meeting Abstract

11.4  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Morphology and histology of the gorgonian coral Swiftia exserta. MENZEL, Lorenzo P.*; STEIN, Barry; BIGGER, Charles H.; Florida International University; Indiana University; Florida International University

The geographic distribution of Swiftia exserta, a gorgonian octocoral, is the tropical western Atlantic from Brazil to Florida and the northern Gulf of Mexico in depths from 10 to 200 m. The easy availability, lack of endosymbionts (zooxanthellae), and aquarium tractability has lead to its use in our lab as a convenient animal model for tissue based immune responses (grafting and wound healing responses) and molecular biology. Yet, there is a paucity of structural information available for Swiftia exserta despite its being the type species of the genus. This report will show basic histology and ultrastructure of Swiftia exserta coenchyme and polyps, with basic cytochemistry.