Ultrastructural evidence is presented of a chromatophoresystem in the zooxanthellae containing hermatypic, deep-water coral Leptoseris fragilis (Milne Edwards and Haime). It consists of multilobed cells which mainly occupy the intercellular space of the oral gastrodermis. The cellular processes are filled with electron-dense granules up to 1-μm-long and 0.5-μm-wide. Within the cytoplasm an elaborate system of microtubules is established. The ramifications of the pigment cells, containing the pigment granules, form a dense and nearly continuous layer close to the overlying zooxanthellae. It is speculated that host pigments may transform the violet portion of the incident light into longer wavelengths, thus increasing the photosynthetic efficiency of the zooxanthellae.
Israel - Red Sea