Cole-Parmer in Research: The Zebrafish and the Lure of Love

Cole-Parmer in Research Zebrafish

Investigating response of zebrafish to stimuli

Diaz-Verdugo et al (2019) recently investigated the response of zebrafish to stimuli. It is known that the class Actinopterygii, consisting of 448 families of ray-finned fish, including zebrafish, respond to mating opportunities and threats depending on the olfactory stimuli they receive. The study included a behavioural bioassay and neural mapping of responses.

Using very low flow pulsation and rates

For the behaviour bioassay study, zebrafish were placed in 900 mL of water within a breeding tank. Pipette tips were preloaded with a solution of skin extract and delivered at a rate of 6 mL per minute via a digitally-controlled Masterflex Ismatec® Reglo ICC Peristaltic Pump. One treatment that was applied was water that was conditioned by a mating fish, whilst another included the addition of skin extract which had the purpose of causing alarm. Mating behaviour of pairs of female and male zebrafish was assessed in relation to the presence of olfactory stimuli (mating and threat). The Masterflex Ismatec Reglo ICC is ideal for this use as it offers the ability to pump accurately at flow rates between 0.001 to 35 mL/min (per channel), via up to four channels, while offering very low pulsation, due to the pump head design (with up to 12 rollers available).


Surprisingly, Diaz et al (2019) demonstrated that responses to threats are dependent on the mating status of the zebrafish, with a choice of reproduction being made over the chance to escape. This contrasts with mammals where the preferred decision is for survival rather than the proliferation of the species.

Author: Dr J J Lock, EMEA Cole-Parmer

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