Getting poster data...
Iliona Wolfowicz, Annika Guse (Centre for Organismal Studies, Im Neuenheimer Feld 329, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany)Coral reef ecosystems strictly depend on a functional symbiosis between corals and unicellular algae. The photosynthetic algae transfer fixed nutrients to their hosts, a pre-requisite for corals to survive in nutrient-poor habitats. The sea anemone Aiptasia is a model system to study coral-algae endosymbiosis: similar to corals, Aiptasia produces non-symbiotic offspring and acquires symbiotic algae during larval stages from the environment. Algae are taken up by phagocytosis into endodermal host cells. We hypothesize that specialized cells exist within the endoderm for symbiont phagocytosis and maintenance and aim to reconstruct the endodermal organization at the cellular level by generating a 3-D model of symbiotic Aiptasia larvae.