Imaging of surface O2 dynamics in corals with magnetic micro optode particles

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Journal Article
Marine Biology, 2012, 159 (7), pp. 1621 - 1631
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We present a new method for quantifying spatio-temporal O-2 distribution and dynamics at biologically active surfaces with a complex surface topography. Magnetized O-2 optode microparticles (similar to 80-100 mu m) containing the NIR-emitting luminophore platinum (II) meso-tetra(4-fluorophenyl) tetrabenzoporphyrin (PtTPTBPF; ex. max. 615 nm; em. max. 780 nm) were distributed across the surface tissue of the scleractinian coral Caulastrea furcata and were held in place with a strong magnet. The O-2-dependent luminescence of the particles was mapped with a lifetime imaging system enabling measurements of the lateral surface heterogeneity of the O-2 microenvironment across coral polyps exposed to flow. Mapping steady-state O-2 concentrations under constant light and O-2 dynamics during experimental light-dark shifts enabled us to identify zones of different photosynthetic activities within a single coral polyp linked to the distribution of coral host pigments. Measurements under increasing irradiance showed typical saturation curves of O-2 concentration and estimates of gross photosynthesis that could be spatially resolved at similar to 100 mu m pixel resolution. The new method for O-2 imaging with magnetized optode particles has much potential to be used in studies of the surface microenvironment of other aquatic systems such as sediments, biofilms, plant, and animal tissue.
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