Sandrine Bessette

Non-invasive investigation of the morphology and optical properties of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea with optical coherence tomography

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The jellyfish Cassiopea largely cover their organic carbon demand via photosynthates produced by their microalgal endosymbionts, but how holobiont morphology and optical properties affect the light microclimate and symbiont photosynthesis in Cassiopea remain unexplored. Here, we use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study the morphology of live Cassiopea medusae at high spatial resolution. We include detailed 3D reconstructions of external micromorphology, and show the spatial distribution of endosymbionts clustered in amoebocytes and white granules in the bell tissue. Furthermore, we use OCT data to extract inherent optical properties from light scattering white granules in Cassiopea and show that white granules enhance local light availability for symbionts in close proximity. Individual granules had a scattering coefficient of μs = 200-300 cm-1, and a scattering anisotropy factor of g = 0.7, while large tissue regions filled with white granules had a lower μs = 40-100 cm-1, a...

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