2015 Participants
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NAME: Nicholas King

Integrating In Vitro and In Vivo Toxicology Methods in Fish

Prymnesium parvum, golden algae, excrete multiple toxins which lead to massive fish kills like at Dunkard Creek in West Virginia during 2009. We are continuing our research of the algae and its toxins from the previous work of Brianna Mayfield et al. who worked with and successfully grew golden algae. A 96 well plate assay using the RTgill-W1 cell line and the toxins of P. parvum in vitro is underway and then in vivo experimentation with fathead minnows will take place. The fathead minnow is a small, widely distributed, fresh water fish which is a very important species used in aquatic toxicology and is actively being raised by Dr. Mindy Armstead and her team. The fish are not well characterized genetically, but there is extensive next generation sequencing data in the NCBI database, which can be used to identify stress genes and their expression. Both Dr. Murray and Dr. Armstead want to ultimately develop a faster and more sensitive method for testing the effects of toxins in fish with confocal microscope imaging of the fathead minnow in vivo during the developmental stages. Developing such an assay could revolutionize current methods and better our understanding of how toxins such as P. parvum’s are affecting fish throughout their life-cycles.