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Raina Hubley






The effects of hypoxia on Fathead Minnow behaviour and ‘omics


Behaviour is a beneficial parameter for observing the health of an array of species in the context of environmental changes. Behavioural monitoring is non-invasive and could be utilized as a refinement for fish studies. Traditional ‘omics methods can be utilized to determine changes in fish protein, metabolite, and lipid abundance due to toxic exposures. Dissolved oxygen (DO) fluctuations in water bodies have become more prevalent due to climate change and these fluctuations can lead to increased frequency and intensity of hypoxic conditions. We aimed to combine non-invasive methods with traditional methods to determine the effect of hypoxia on Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) behaviour and ‘omics. We exposed 90 Fathead minnows to hypoxic (2.10-2.80 mg/mL DO) and normoxic (5.80-7.50 mg/mL DO) conditions over a 7-day period. Fish were video recorded on days 1, 3, 5, and 7. Three blind observers analyzed the videos for fish tank location activity, foraging behaviour, and novel object behaviour. On day 8, we anaesthetized fish with 100 mg/L MS-222 and collected mucus, plasma, gill, and brain samples. In this presentation, we will share the integrated results of fish behaviour, brain, mucus, and plasma ‘omics. We found that hypoxia-exposed fish had altered activity levels over the course of the 7-day treatment. Additionally, the fish exhibited behavioural plasticity. Our proteomic analyses exhibited that hypoxic fish brain, mucus, and plasma protein abundances were significantly altered when compared to normoxic fish. Furthermore, the metabolomic data showed that asparagine was elevated in hypoxic fish brains (p-value<0.05), which may indicate apoptosis suppression and support tumor formation.

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