Larval Fish Bioassay

Objective: To test, observe and evaluate cultures of Pfiesteria and Pfiesteria-like organisms using an innovative larval fish bioassay.

Larval fish are exposed to Pfiesteria and Pfiesteria-like organisms in small-volume vessels.  The small size of the vessels allows for microscopic observations of dinoflagellate behavior and interaction with fish, as well as gross evaluation of fish mortality.

The larval fish bioassay has provided several new avenues for Pfiesteria research. For example, detailed observations regarding the life cycle and behavior of Pfiesteria have furthered our understanding of Pfiesteria biology and the interaction between Pfiesteria and fish. Additionally, the use of permeable membrane inserts has allowed us to definitively exclude a toxin as the cause of fish mortality in our pathogenic cultures of Pfiesteria shumwayae, as detailed in the recent Nature publication. Routine incorporation of histopathology, cell counts, water-quality measurements, and microscopic observations facilitates investigation of pathobiology and life history of toxic/pathogenic dinoflagellates.

Small volume vessels fish bioassay Larval Fish Bioassay
Small volume vessels fish bioassay Larval Fish Bioassay

see: Lovko, V.J., Vogelbein, W.K., Shields, J.D., Kator, H., Zwerner, D.E., Kiryu, Y. Development of a larval fish assay for testing Pfiesteria toxicity. In: Proceedings of the CDC National Conference on Pfiesteria: from Biology to Public Health. 18-20 October 2000, Atlanta, Georgia.

Principal Investigators