Fluorescence-activated cell sorting for the isolation of scleractinian cell populations

Grace A. Snyder, William E. Browne, Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Benyamin Rosental

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coral reefs are under threat due to anthropogenic stressors. The biological response of coral to these stressors may occur at a cellular level, but the mechanisms are not well understood. To investigate coral response to stressors, we need tools for analyzing cellular responses. In particular, we need tools that facilitate the application of functional assays to better understand how cell populations are reacting to stress. In the current study, we use fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to isolate and separate different cell populations in stony corals. This protocol includes: (1) the separation of coral tissues from the skeleton, (2) creation of a single cell suspension, (3) labeling the coral cells using various markers for flow cytometry, and (4) gating and cell sorting strategies. This method will enable researchers to work on corals at the cellular level for analysis, functional assays, and gene expression studies of different cell populations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere60446
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number159
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Biology
  • Cell biology
  • Cnidaria
  • Coral
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)
  • Issue 159
  • Scleractinia

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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