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Concept: Goldfish


Both endotherms and ectotherms (e.g., fish) increase their body temperature to limit pathogen infection. Ectotherms do so by moving to warmer places, hence the term “behavioral fever.” We studied the manifestation of behavioral fever in the common carp infected by cyprinid herpesvirus 3, a native carp pathogen. Carp maintained at 24°C died from the infection, whereas those housed in multi-chamber tanks encompassing a 24°C-32°C gradient migrated transiently to the warmest compartment and survived as a consequence. Behavioral fever manifested only at advanced stages of infection. Consistent with this, expression of CyHV-3 ORF12, encoding a soluble decoy receptor for TNF-α, delayed the manifestation of behavioral fever and promoted CyHV-3 replication in the context of a temperature gradient. Injection of anti-TNF-α neutralizing antibodies suppressed behavioral fever, and decreased fish survival in response to infection. This study provides a unique example of how viruses have evolved to alter host behavior to increase fitness.

Concepts: Thermoregulation, Infection, Cyprinidae, Fever, Goldfish, Bacteria, Gene expression, Immune system


Objective  To evaluate the physiological effect and response to noxious stimulation at five concentrations of MS-222 in koi (Cyprinus carpio). Study design  Prospective experimental study. Animals  Twenty-one healthy adult unknown sex koi fish weighing mean 450 ± SD 120 g. Methods  Each fish was exposed to five different concentrations of MS-222 (50, 70, 110, 150 and 190 mg L(-1) ) in a random sequence during the same anaesthetic event. For each concentration of MS-222, vital functions such as heart rate (HR) (via Doppler) and opercular rate (OpR) were recorded after a standardized induction period. Response to two noxious stimuli in the form of haemostat clamp pressure applied on the tail and the lip was evaluated, and blood was drawn to measure biochemical and blood gas values. Results  Decrease in response to noxious stimulation with an increase of MS-222 concentration both for the lip (p = 0.0027) and the tail (p < 0.0001) stimulus was observed. Biochemical values were unaffected by the concentration of MS-222 with the exception of lactate concentration which was weakly correlated with the duration of anaesthesia (r = 0.31, p < 0.001) and the number of times the fish was clamped or bled prior to sampling (r = 0.23, p < 0.001). Opercular rate decreased with the increase in anaesthetic concentration, and HR was not affected. Conclusions and clinical relevance  Our results indicated a decrease in response to stimulus and a decrease in OpR that were associated with increased concentrations of MS-222. This may assist in establishing anaesthetic protocols using MS-222 in fish and supports the use of supramaximal pressure stimuli to teleost fish under variable MS-222 concentrations as a model for future studies.

Concepts: Measurement, Common carp, Cypriniformes, Goldfish, Cyprinus, Koi, Cyprinidae, Carp


Abstract Spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) causes a highly contagious and serious disease of freshwater cyprinid fishes, generating significant economic and ecological impacts throughout the world. The SVCV is therefore listed as a notifiable pathogen by the International Organization for Animal Health. In June 2011, a significant mortality event of wild common carp Cyprinus carpio occurred in Minnehaha Creek near its confluence with Mississippi River Pool 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clinical signs of moribund fish included hemorrhagic lesions in the skin, eyes, and internal adipose tissue. The SVCV was isolated from pooled kidney and spleen of the fish. Rhabdovirus particles were seen upon examination of infected cell culture fluid by electron microscopy. The virus was confirmed to be SVCV subtype Ia by reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. This is the first report of SVCV within the state of Minnesota and the ninth documented case in North America. Received March 27, 2012; accepted July 2, 2012.

Concepts: Koi, Goldfish, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Carp, Minneapolis, Mississippi River, Cyprinidae, Common carp


Abstract We explored the behavioral game between a predator, the little egret (Egretta garzetta), and a prey, the common goldfish (Carassius auratus), in a laboratory theater containing three fish pools. We tested the hypotheses that the egrets maximize their total capture success by responding to the fish’s antipredatory behavior and that the behaviors of both players respond adaptively to the density distribution of fish among the pools. One experiment presented egrets with 15 fish per pool. The second experiment used a heterogeneous environment: pools 1, 2, and 3 had 10, 15, and 20 fish, respectively. Within each pool, fish could move between a safe, covered microhabitat and a risky, open microhabitat. Only the risky habitat had food, so fish were trading off food and safety by allocating the time spent in the two habitats. Egrets spent more total time in pools with more fish and returned to them sooner. Egrets maximized the number of fish they captured by following the matching rule of the ideal free distribution. The fish used the risky but productive habitat 65% of the time during experiments without egrets, but only 9% during experiments with 15 fish and egrets present somewhere in the theater. In addition, with egrets present, fish fine-tuned their behavior by reducing their use of the risky habitat as the egrets increased the frequency of their visits.

Concepts: Egret, Behavior, Habitat, Optimal foraging theory, Little Egret, Predation, Egretta, Goldfish


The applicability of a programmable freezer for the increased-scale cryopreservation of common carp sperm was investigated. The effect of different equilibration times, cryopreservation methods, extenders, dilution ratios, activating solutions on the post-thaw motility of common carp sperm was investigated. The suitable post-thaw storage time-interval as well as fertilizing capacity of cryopreserved sperm was also examined. The motility, curvilinear velocity (VCL) and straightness (STR) values did not decrease significantly during 60 minutes of equilibration neither in equilibrated nor thawed groups. Motility parameters of thawed sperm were similar using a conventional cryopreservation technique using a polystyrene box [motility (33%), VCL (47 μm/s) and STR (88%)] and a programmable freezer: [motility (32%), VCL (54 μm/s) and STR (89%)]. The highest motility and VCL was measured with a sugar based extender (grayling extender) at a ratio 1:9 (motility: 52%, VCL: 76 μm/s) and 1:20 (motility: 49%, VCL: 76 μm/s). The activating solution for cyprinids (ASC) could prolong sperm movement up for 2 minutes. A storage time of six hours following thawing did not have a significant effect on the motility parameters of thawed carp sperm. Agglutination was observed during cryopreservation of an elevated volume of sperm whereas motility 47%, VCL 62 μm/s and STR 91% were measured after thawing. Fertilization rate with thawed sperm (32%) was significantly lower compared to the control group (73%). According to our results, the developed method using a programmable freezer is suitable for the cryopreservation of elevated number of straws. However, carp sperm agglutination during freezing may have a negative effect on the fertilizing capacity.

Concepts: Cryopreservation, Cryobiology, Goldfish, Common carp, Koi, Cyprinus, Carp, Cyprinidae


Cypriniformes (minnows, carps, loaches, and suckers) is the largest group of freshwater fishes in the world (~4300 described species). Despite much attention, previous attempts to elucidate relationships using molecular and morphological characters have been incongruent. In this study we present the first phylogenomic analysis using anchored hybrid enrichment for 172 taxa to represent the order (plus three out-group taxa), which is the largest dataset for the order to date (219 loci, 315,288 bp, average locus length of 1011 bp).

Concepts: Cobitidae, Gene, Class, World, The Order, Goldfish, Freshwater fish, Cypriniformes


The bioaccumulation of a broad range of pharmaceuticals and personal care product chemicals (PPCPs) was studied in Cootes Paradise Marsh (CPM), an urban wetland that receives tertiary treated municipal waste waters as well as urban storm runoff. We measured PPCPs in caged and wild goldfish, as well as wild carp, and compared observed bioaccumulation factors (BAFP) using concentrations in surface waters and fish blood plasma, with modeled BAFs. Thirty-two PPCPs were detected in water from the central CPM site (CPM3) while 64 PPCPs were found at higher concentrations at a site immediately downstream of the effluent outflow (CPM1). Following a 3-week deployment, 15 PPCPs were detected in the plasma of caged goldfish at CPM1, and 14 at CPM3, compared to only 3 in goldfish caged at a reference site. The highest BAFP in goldfish were for the antidepressant Σfluoxetine averaging 386 L/kg in caged and 906 L/kg in wild goldfish, respectively. In carp, ΣDiazepam (diazepam and oxazepam) had the highest BAFP (927 L/kg). This study identified a broader range of PPCPs in fish and surface waters than previously reported. However, modeled BAFs did not show good agreement with observed whole body or plasma BAFs, demonstrating that more work is needed to better explain bioaccumulation of PPCPs.

Concepts: Personal care, Actinopterygii, Water, Chemistry, Fishkeeping, Blood, Water pollution, Goldfish


Ornamental fishes are among the most popular and fastest growing categories of pets in the United States (U.S.). The global scope and scale of the ornamental fish trade and growing popularity of pet fish in the U.S. are strong indicators of the myriad economic and social benefits the pet industry provides. Relatively little is known about the microbial communities associated with these ornamental fishes or the aquarium water in which they are transported and housed. Using conventional molecular approaches and next generation high-throughput amplicon sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA gene hypervariable regions, we characterized the bacterial community of aquarium water containing common goldfish (Carassius auratus) and Chinese algae eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) purchased from seven pet/aquarium shops in Rhode Island and identified the presence of potential pathogens. Our survey identified a total of 30 phyla, the most common being Proteobacteria (52%), Bacteroidetes (18%) and Planctomycetes (6%), with the top four phyla representing >80% of all sequences. Sequences from our water samples were most closely related to eleven bacterial species that have the potential to cause disease in fishes, humans and other species: Coxiella burnetii, Flavobacterium columnare, Legionella birminghamensis, L. pneumophila, Vibrio cholerae, V. mimicus. V. vulnificus, Aeromonas schubertii, A. veronii, A. hydrophila and Plesiomonas shigelloides. Our results, combined with evidence from the literature, suggest aquarium tank water harboring ornamental fish are an understudied source for novel microbial communities and pathogens that pose potential risks to the pet industry, fishes in trade, humans and other species.

Concepts: Proteobacteria, Fish, Fishkeeping, Microbiology, Ribosomal RNA, Aquarium, Goldfish, Bacteria


Fish faced with stressful stimuli launch an endocrine stress response through activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI-) axis to release cortisol into the blood. Scientifically validated biomarkers to capture systemic cortisol exposure over longer periods of time are of utmost importance to assess chronic stress in governmental, wildlife, aquaculture and scientific settings. Here we demonstrate that cortisol in scales of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) is the long-sought biomarker for chronic stress. Undisturbed (CTR) and daily stressed (STRESS) carp were compared. Dexamethasone (DEX) or cortisol (CORT) fed fish served as negative and positive controls, respectively. Scale cortisol was quantified with a validated ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method. An increase in scale cortisol content was found in STRESS and CORT but not in CTR and DEX fish. Scale cortisol content reflects its accumulation in a stressor and time dependent manner and validates the scale cortisol content as biomarker for chronic stress. Plasma analyses confirmed that (i) CTR, DEX and CORT treatments were effective, (ii) plasma cortisol of STRESS fish showed no signs of chronic HPI-axis activation, and (iii) plasma cortisol is a poor predictor for chronic stress. The expression of HPI key genes crf, pomc, and star were up-regulated in STRESS fish in the absence of a plasma cortisol response, as was the target gene of cortisol encoding subunit α1 of the Na+/K+-ATPase in gills. When lost, scales of fish regenerate fast. Regenerated scales corroborate our findings, offering (i) unsurpassed time resolution for cortisol incorporation and as such for stressful events, and (ii) the possibility to investigate stress in a well defined and controlled environment and time frame creating novel opportunities for bone physiological research. We conclude that the cortisol content in ontogenetic and regenerated scales is an innovative biomarker for chronic stress offering ample applications in science and industry.

Concepts: Common carp, Goldfish, Dexamethasone, Aquaculture, Carp, Anxiety, Stress, Cortisol


We examined how traditional farmers preserve the genetic diversity of a local common carp (Cyprinus carpio), which is locally referred to as “paddy field carp” (PF-carp), in a “globally important agricultural heritage system” (GIAHS), i.e., the 1,200-y-old rice-fish coculture system in Zhejiang Province, China. Our molecular and morphological analysis showed that the PF-carp has changed into a distinct local population with higher genetic diversity and diverse color types. Within this GIAHS region, PF-carps exist as a continuous metapopulation, although three genetic groups could be identified by microsatellite markers. Thousands of small farmer households interdependently obtained fry and parental carps for their own rice-fish production, resulting in a high gene flow and large numbers of parent carps distributing in a mosaic pattern in the region. Landscape genetic analysis indicated that farmers' connectivity was one of the major factors that shaped this genetic pattern. Population viability analysis further revealed that the numbers of these interconnected small farmer households and their connection intensity affect the carps' inherent genetic diversity. The practice of mixed culturing of carps with diverse color types helped to preserve a wide range of genetic resources in the paddy field. This widespread traditional practice increases fish yield and resource use, which, in return, encourages famers to continue their practice of selecting and conserving diverse color types of PF-carp. Our results suggested that traditional farmers secure the genetic diversity of PF-carp and its viability over generations in this region through interdependently incubating and mixed-culturing practices within the rice-fish system.

Concepts: Ecology, Farmer, Goldfish, Common carp, Cyprinidae, Cyprinus, Koi, Carp