RE: [Histonet] Razor Clams

From:"Rittman, Barry R"

Talking through the back of my head - I know nothing about clams - I
suspect that the growth rings may differ significantly in their
absorption of many dyes. You may want to try to expose the cut surface
of the shell to a dye such as dilute methylene blue to see if this is
Could also use Procion dyes (chloro-s-triazines) to stain the protein

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 3:49 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Razor Clams

Hello Histonetters,

I have a researcher that is ageing (aging) Razor Clams and would like to
better differentiate the conchiolin, a keratin like substance, versus
calcium carbonate of the shell.  The growth rings consist of alternating
bands of calcium carbonate and conchiolin ( as far as I can find out
conchiolin is keratin "like").  A smooth facet of the shell is produced
after a diamond saw is used to slice it in two.   The growth bands are
the smooth facet but difficult to see.  
The bands in older animals are very close together and very difficult to
see.  Does anyone have any suggestions re: stains or procedures that
help better differentiate the bands?  
Thanks in advance for any help.

Bill Bennett
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pacific Biological Station
Nanaimo, B.C. 
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