In my second week of internship at OSU, I continued to monitor the spawning behavior of triploid zebrafish and continued to record the fertilization and 24 hour survival of the eggs.
Similar to last week, I had a very structured schedule Monday through Wednesday. From 7:30 to 10:30, I observed zebrafish spawning behavior. It is important that we allow the fish to mate at this time because of their unique circadian rhythm. After the fish stopped demonstrating mating behavior, we pulled the female fish out of the tank and stripped them of their remaining eggs to perform "in vitro fertilization", which is artificial fertilization that occurs outside of the organism. I would then check for the fertilization count in both the natural (in vivo) spawn and artificial (in vitro) spawn.
The video demonstrates one of the key spawning behaviors that occurs throughout the entire mating process: male chase female. The gender of adult zebrafish can be identified by their body shape. Female's are generally more round than males because of the eggs stored in their ovary.
We needed to give the fish time to rest after their 3 days of mating, so we decided to take a break from observing the spawning behaviors. This gave me a good opportunity to upload all of my information into the computer. This proved to take a long time because of the multiple different formats I had to use to input the information. It took the majority of the day. Afterwards, I helped clean the some fish tanks.
On Friday, I helped with another project: Studying the effect of different nutrition on zebrafish growth. Similar to last Friday, I helped input the growth data into the computer. Afterwards, I helped stain the DNA of the newly spawned zebrafish cells. My student mentor and I went to the Veterinary Medicine Lab to use their Flow Cytometer, which measures the fluorescence in each cell. Since the DNA was stained with a fluorescent stain, the amount of fluorescence is proportional with the amount of DNA. This allows us to evaluate the type of ploidy in each cell. What we found was very interesting. Each of our 24 samples were triploid.
I go back to school on Wednesday, so I will not be able to observe the zebrafish spawning behaviors because I will be at school during the 7:30-10:30 time period. Hopefully I will be able to continue to work at the lab in the after school on some days.