The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a model system for identification and characterization of developmental toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae

John P. Berry, Miroslav Gantar, Patrick D.L. Gibbs, Michael C. Schmale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo has emerged as an important model of vertebrate development. As such, this model system is finding utility in the investigation of toxic agents that inhibit, or otherwise interfere with, developmental processes (i.e. developmental toxins), including compounds that have potential relevance to both human and environmental health, as well as biomedicine. Recently, this system has been applied increasingly to the study of microbial toxins, and more specifically, as an aquatic animal model, has been employed to investigate toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, including those classified among the so-called "harmful algal blooms" (HABs). We have developed this system for identification and characterization of toxins from cyanobacteria (i.e. "blue-green algae") isolated from the Florida Everglades and other freshwater sources in South and Central Florida. Here we review the use of this system as it has been applied generally to the investigation of toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, and illustrate this utility as we have applied it to the detection, bioassay-guided fractionation and subsequent characterization of developmental toxins from freshwater cyanobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume145
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Danio rerio
  • Everglades
  • Model system
  • Toxins
  • Vertebrate development
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology

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