Dalia is a PhD student in the School of Life Sciences at HWU
Project title: Investigation of effects of the toxic cyanbacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) on zebrafish reproductive system physiology at molecular, tissue, and whole organism levels of biological organization.
Project funding: Iraqi Government / Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR).
Project supervisors: Drs. Ted Henry, Tony Gutierrez
Cyanbacteria (blue-green algae) are photosynthetic organisms that can be present in freshwaters in extremely high numbers (blooms) and cause major environmental problems. Among cyanbacteria are Microcystis sp. which can produce and release hepatotoxins known as microcystins (MCs) along with other biologically active substances including endo/exotoxins [e.g., lipopolysaccharides (LPS)].
This project will investigate the effects of microcystin (MC) and Microcystis aeruginosa on zebrafish reproductive system physiology at molecular, tissue, and whole organism levels of biological organization.
Microcystis aeruginosa will be cultured in the laboratory and lyophilized in preparation for zebrafish exposure via diet and aqueous routes. Zebrafish will be exposed at different life stages to lyophilized cells of Microcystis aeruginosa in fish water. Then, the zebrafish embryos, larva, and adults male and female will be exposed to pure MC-LR in different doses, and to pure LPS. Concentrations of microcystin that accumulate in tissues of zebrafish will be assessed, and toxicological endpoints from gene expression, enzyme activity, and tissue histopathology will be assessed in male and female fish, and reproductive success will be evaluated for groups of exposed fish.