Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Community Forum > Aquaria Off-Topic
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-27-2015, 02:20 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
sinibotia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 3,904
Send a message via Skype™ to sinibotia
The Discus Thesis Progress Thread

As some of you may have heard (because I mention it constantly), I'm doing a thesis project on Discus! Specifically, as an Honors student at my university I'm required to complete some kind of thesis project related to my major in conjunction with a faculty advisor. My major is marine science/aquaculture, and one of my good friends at the university (a professor who teaches Biology of Fishes and Biology of Sharks among other classes) happens to be an avid freshwater aquarist like me, so I approached him about doing a project on discus. We chose discus because they are quite poorly studied due to their expense and relative difficulty of care, yet they are an important and growing part of tropical aquarium aquaculture. With both of our backgrounds in freshwater fishkeeping, we felt it was a challenge we could take on in order to break some interesting new ground with these fish.

The broad focus of the project is examining immunological aspects of discus mucus. There are quite a few reasons for doing this. Fish mucus in general is an important aspect of fish's immune health- the mucus itself is a barrier to pathogens, and also contains various innate and adaptive immune factors that are secreted into it by the fish. We are still discovering all kinds of new ways that fish mucus stops pathogens. In discus, the mucus is also used as a food for fry, which makes them a particularly interesting object of study, since very few other fish do this. Also, discus are both expensive and awesome, so studying their mucus (as opposed to studying, say, their blood or tissues) allows us to get samples without killing the fish. This means we can get a lot of data from a small number of fish.

There's some broad questions this research is going to be looking for answers to, or at least clues to answers. The very first of these is, how does protein expression in discus mucus vary with different physiological factors? We'll be looking at a couple of different circumstances- juvenile, adult, stressed (controlled and limited stress under safe lab conditions), and spawning (throughout the spawning process). We'll be using gel electrophoresis to sort the proteins by molecular weight and look for patterns of expression- basically, looking for proteins that might be showing up in multiple circumstances, vs ones that are only showing up under one condition. After we look at patterns of expression we can start narrowing our research based on what we find with that.

Two major hypotheses, the dumb one (mine) and the smart one (my advisor's): The first is that there will be a significant overlap in expression between stress response and spawning responses. This is because fry do not yet have fully functional immune responses- particularly an adaptive immune response- and so the mucus must be as free from pathogens as possible to protect the fry. It's also a stress on the parents as they are bitten constantly by the fry. The 2nd hypothesis is that we expect to see IgT- a form of antibody unique to fish- being passed from the adults to the fry through the mucus. This is because in other fish, it has been found that the eggs receive deposits of other antibodies as sources of nitrogen and an initial boost to adaptive immunity. We suspect that discus may do the same but through their mucus, and IgT is specifically a mucosal antibody. It might help explain why the survival rate for non-parentally reared discus is so abysmally low.

Over this summer, while I'm playing around with parasite-infected lobsters, I'll also be working on this. I've got a 125 gallon growout tank, several 55 gallon tanks set aside for spawning pairs, and access to a stupid amount of RO water. The research will likely be going on for the next year and a half, finishing right around the beginning of my final semester at university. This summer we'll at least get some results on juvenile discus, and as the discus mature and hopefully I can get them to spawn, we'll collect that data and use it to figure out where to go next. Ultimately we'd like to get this research published in a scientific journal.

I imagine that many of you might be interested in this, since many of you keep discus, and because aquarists tend to be big fans of science. I'm going to be doing this kinda like a build thread, keeping you updated as I go and showing off any cool results I get. If any of you have questions, I'd love to answer them! If you have suggestions, criticisms, whatever, I'd love to hear it! I want anyone who is interested to feel involved with what I'm doing.

Geez, that was a gigantic wall of text. Anybody still with me? I hope that you guys are interested and that you'll stick around as this project progresses! Thanks for reading and being interested!
__________________

__________________
Got a question about loaches? Ask me!
Loach count: 22
Baby fish count: 12 (multis)
sinibotia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 03:11 AM   #2
member

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Lawrence, Ks
Posts: 3,907
Oh yeah...... im following this for sure.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________

__________________
PoppaRyno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 07:43 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Bbush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Summertown, tn
Posts: 902
Got my interest. Just keep it dumbed down for us lay types.


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
Bbush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishperson's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,351
Very cool! I think I got it, you lost me a bit when you said your hypothesis but I understood your professors.
__________________
~ Alex
20 Gallon Shell Dweller Tank
"Stay fishy my friends."
Fishperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 09:38 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
sinibotia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 3,904
Send a message via Skype™ to sinibotia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishperson View Post
Very cool! I think I got it, you lost me a bit when you said your hypothesis but I understood your professors.
Really? I thought mine was the simple, dumb one. I guess it's even worse than I thought
__________________
Got a question about loaches? Ask me!
Loach count: 22
Baby fish count: 12 (multis)
sinibotia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 10:01 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishperson's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinibotia View Post
Really? I thought mine was the simple, dumb one. I guess it's even worse than I thought

Basically, you were saying that the proteins will be similar because the antibodies need to be passed to the fry, right?
__________________
~ Alex
20 Gallon Shell Dweller Tank
"Stay fishy my friends."
Fishperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 10:47 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
sinibotia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 3,904
Send a message via Skype™ to sinibotia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishperson View Post
Basically, you were saying that the proteins will be similar because the antibodies need to be passed to the fry, right?
No, the proteins will be similar because you don't want disease having a foothold in the source of nutrition for the fry, or infecting the parents after feeding the fry.
__________________
Got a question about loaches? Ask me!
Loach count: 22
Baby fish count: 12 (multis)
sinibotia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishperson's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinibotia View Post
No, the proteins will be similar because you don't want disease having a foothold in the source of nutrition for the fry, or infecting the parents after feeding the fry.

Alright, that makes sense. Would it also work the way I said it?
__________________
~ Alex
20 Gallon Shell Dweller Tank
"Stay fishy my friends."
Fishperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishperson's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,351
And is your professor's hypothesis the same but more specific?
__________________
~ Alex
20 Gallon Shell Dweller Tank
"Stay fishy my friends."
Fishperson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
SpaceFish42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,168
This is really fascinating! I'm definitely following this thread.
__________________

__________________
SpaceFish42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
discus

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
This thread shall mark my progress though my 40gal breeder build User Members Saltwater Tanks Showcase 7 11-01-2011 11:32 PM
First Reef Aquarium Progress thread Andari Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 11 01-07-2007 12:29 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.