Article

Ecotoxicology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 144-150

First online:

Genetic variation in strains of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and the implications for ecotoxicology studies

  • T. S. CoeAffiliated withEnvironmental and Molecular Fish Biology Group, University of Exeter
  • , P. B. HamiltonAffiliated withEnvironmental and Molecular Fish Biology Group, University of Exeter
  • , A. M. GriffithsAffiliated withMolecular Ecology and Evolution Group, University of Exeter
  • , D. J. HodgsonAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter Cornwall Campus
  • , M. A. WahabAffiliated withDepartment of Fisheries Management, Bangladesh Agricultural University
  • , C. R. TylerAffiliated withEnvironmental and Molecular Fish Biology Group, University of Exeter Email author 

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Abstract

There is substantial evidence that genetic variation, at both the level of the individual and population, has a significant effect on behaviour, fitness and response to toxicants. Using DNA microsatellites, we examined the genetic variation in samples of several commonly used laboratory strains of zebrafish, Danio rerio, a model species in toxicological studies. We compared the genetic variation to that found in a sample of wild fish from Bangladesh. Our findings show that the wild fish were significantly more variable than the laboratory strains for several measures of genetic variability, including allelic richness and expected heterozygosity. This lack of variation should be given due consideration for any study which attempts to extrapolate the results of ecotoxicological laboratory tests to wild populations.

Keywords

Zebrafish Danio rerio Microsatellites Genetic variation