Immobilisation of living coral embryos and larvae

Carly J. Randall, Christine Giuliano, David Mead, Andrew J. Heyward, Andrew P. Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Embedding and immobilisation of living cells and microorganisms is used in a variety of research and commercial applications. Here we report the successful extended immobilisation of coral larvae in a low-gelling temperature agarose. Embryos and larvae of five broadcast-spawning Scleractinian species were immobilised in agarose gel and tested in a series of exploratory survival and settlement assays. The optimal developmental stage for immobilisation was after ciliation at approximately 24 hours post-fertilisation, after which, survival of immobilised larvae of all species was nearly 100%. In long-term assays, 50% of Montipora digitata larvae survived immobilised for 89 days. Furthermore, immobilised larvae of multiple species, that were released from the agarose, generally remained capable of settlement. These results demonstrate that the immobilisation of the early life-history stages of corals is possible for a variety of applications in basic and applied science.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14596
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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