Acta histochemica

Simultaneous 16S and 18S rRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on LR White sections demonstrated in Vestimentifera (Siboglinidae) tubeworms.

PMID 21507466


Traditional morphological identification of invertebrate marine species is limited in early life history stages for many taxa. In this study, we demonstrate, by example of Vestimentiferan tubeworms (Siboglinidae, Polychaeta), that the simultaneous fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of both eukaryotic host and bacterial symbiont cells is possible on a single semi-thin (1 μm) section. This allows the identification of host specimens to species level as well as offering visualization of bacteria distributed within the host tissue. Previously published 18S rRNA host-specific oligonucleotide probes for Riftia pachyptila, Tevnia jerichonana and a newly designed Oasisia alvinae probe, as well as a 16S rRNA probe targeting symbionts found in all host species, were applied. A number of standard fixation and hybridization parameters were tested and optimized for the best possible signal intensity and cellular resolution. Ethanol conserved samples embedded in LR White low viscosity resin yielded the best results with regard to both signal intensity and resolution. We show that extended storage times of specimens does not affect the quality of signals attained by FISH and use our protocol to identify morphologically unidentifiable tubeworm individuals from a small data set, conforming to previous findings in succession studies of the Siboglinidae family.

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L9774 LR white acrylic resins, Medium