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Lawrence C.,Aquatic Resources Program | Sanders E.,University of Washington | Henry E.,Reed Mariculture Inc.
Zebrafish | Year: 2012

The saltwater rotifer, Brachionus plicatilis, is widely used in the aquaculture industry as a prey item for first-feeding fishes due to its ease of culture, small size, rapid reproductive rate, and amenability to enrichment with nutrients. Despite the distinct advantages of this approach, rotifers have only been sporadically utilized for rearing larval zebrafish, primarily because of the common misconception that maintaining cultures of rotifers is difficult and excessively time-consuming. Here we present simple methods for maintaining continuous cultures of rotifers capable of supporting even the very largest zebrafish aquaculture facility, with minimal investments in materials, time, labor, and space. Examples of the methods' application in one large, existing facility is provided, and troubleshooting of common problems is discussed. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012. Source

Keck V.A.,Microbiology | Edgerton D.S.,Vanderbilt University | Hajizadeh S.,Vanderbilt University | Swift L.L.,Microbiology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science | Year: 2015

Sexually mature zebrafish were housed as single male-female pairs with or without plastic vegetation for 1, 5, or 10 d for comparison of whole-body cortisol measured by radioimmunoassay. Individually housed male zebrafish were used as controls. In the fish that were pair-housed without vegetation (NVeg), one animal died in 5 of 24 pairs, and one animal was alive but wounded in an additional pair. No deaths or wounds occurred in the fish that were pair-housed with vegetation (Veg). Cortisol levels did not differ between the treatment groups on day 1. On day 5, cortisol values were higher in the Veg group than in the individually housed fish (P < 0.0005) and the NVeg fish (P = 0.004). On day 10, the relationships were inversed: cortisol levels had risen in the individually housed and NVeg groups and had fallen to baseline levels in the Veg group. Cortisol values on day 10 were lower in the Veg group than in the individually housed (P = 0.004) and NVeg (P = 0.05) groups. Cortisol levels in individually housed male zebrafish increased over time. Although this study did not demonstrate a reduction in cortisol levels associated with providing vegetation, this enrichment prevented injury and death from fighting. These findings show how commonly used housing situations may affect the wellbeing of laboratory zebrafish. Copyright 2015 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Source

Watts S.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Lawrence C.,Aquatic Resources Program | Powell M.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | D'Abramo L.R.,University of Alabama at Birmingham
Zebrafish | Year: 2016

In the relatively short span of four decades, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as an increasingly important model organism for biomedicine and other scientific disciplines. As the scale and sophistication of zebrafish research expands, so too does the need to develop standards that promote the production and maintenance of healthy animals for experiments. A major, but long overlooked, contributor to fish health is nutrition. Historically, feeding practices for laboratory zebrafish have been designed to promote growth and reproductive function. However, as the field matures, it is becoming increasingly clear that the nutritional goals for these animals should evolve beyond basic production to the maintenance of clinically healthy research subjects. This review outlines weaknesses and limitations of current approaches and provides a justification for the development of defined standardized diets that will strengthen and facilitate the continued growth of the zebrafish model system. © 2016 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Lawrence C.,Aquatic Resources Program | Ennis D.G.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette | Kent M.L.,Oregon State University | Murray K.,Zebrafish International Resource Center | And 2 more authors.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Over the past several decades, a number of fish species, including the zebrafish, medaka, and platyfish/swordtail, have become important models for human health and disease. Despite the increasing prevalence of these and other fish species in research, methods for health maintenance and the management of diseases in laboratory populations of these animals are underdeveloped. There is a growing realization that this trend must change, especially as the use of these species expands beyond developmental biology and more towards experimental applications where the presence of underlying disease may affect the physiology animals used in experiments and potentially compromise research results. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop, improve, and implement strategies for managing health and disease in aquatic research facilities. The purpose of this review is to report the proceedings of a workshop entitled "Animal Health and Disease Management in Research Animals" that was recently held at the 5th Aquatic Animal Models for Human Disease in September 2010 at Corvallis, Oregon to discuss the challenges involved with moving the field forward on this front. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Lawrence C.,Aquatic Resources Program | Adatto I.,Harvard University | Best J.,Aquatic Resources Program | James A.,Aquatic Resources Program | Maloney K.,Aquatic Resources Program
Lab Animal | Year: 2012

The zebrafish and the medaka are both important model organisms in biomedical research. Both species are frequently characterized as having a generation time of approximately 2-4 months, but the precise onset of sexual maturity and the variability of reproductive success with age have not been previously examined. The authors studied reproduction in replicate groups of wild-type zebrafish (strain AB) and medakas (strain Cab) that were maintained together in the same aquaculture system. Length, weight and survival of the fish were measured and recorded once per week. Reproductive success and viability of offspring were also evaluated. Both zebrafish and medakas began producing viable embryos within 60 d post-fertilization. These findings show that it is possible to successfully maintain populations of both species within the same research infrastructure without compromising reproductive success or embryo viability. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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