Specialized blood cells of many tunicates accumulate high concentrations of vanadium and phenolic peptide pigments called tunichromes (TC). In order to determine whether V and TC reside in the same cells, Ascidia nigra and Ascidia ceratodes blood cell subpopulations were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (flow cytometry) and chemically analyzed. V was found in the spherical, gree/grey signet ring cells, and to a lesser degree in the mulberry-shaped, yellow/ green morula cells (MRs), whereas free TC was detected mainly in MRs.
- Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS)
- morula cells
- signet ring cells