Behavioral responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to different 2D non-moving stimuli
Keywords:zebrafish, behavioral tests, shoaling behavior, EthoVision XT, artificial stimuli
- The behavioral response to social and sexual 2D non-moving images representing conspecifics were examined.
- Sexually mature fish underwent non-invasive behavioral tests in a cross-maze. Artificial non-moving 2D images were created using photoshop graphics software.
- We observed significant sex-related differences in zebrafish responses to fixed artificial stimuli. Females showed a statistically significant preference for 2D images of phenotypically less similar individuals.
- These results improve knowledge on zebrafish visual perception regarding shoaling and mate choice. The paper offers an alternative to use of animals in experimental research.
Abstract: Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is considered an experimental model organism with numerous applications in different fields. The mechanisms underlying social and reproductive preferences are complex. Most of the literature on conspecific interactions focus on the chemical communication mediated by scattered signals in the aquatic medium. The aim of this research was to evaluate the behavioral responses induced in the tested animals by artificial social stimuli. We used 20 sexually mature individuals that underwent several non-invasive behavioral tests in a cross-maze. Artificial non-moving 2D images were created for this study, using photoshop graphics software. Ethological measurements were conducted using video-tracking software (EthoVision XT). The findings showed significant sex-related differences in zebrafish responses to fixed artificial stimuli. In particular, females shoaled more with 2D non-moving images representing conspecifics phenotypically more distant (i.e. color) from them. Integrating dimension and number of individual, one large stimulus was preferred over three small stimuli in terms of cumulative and mean duration for males, and only in terms of cumulative duration for females. We concluded that 2D images representing conspecifics, even without movements, can induce a behavioral response in this species.
Received: August 23, 2019; Revised: November 10, 2019; Accepted: November 12, 2019; Published online: December 11, 2019
How to cite this article: Lenzi C, Grasso C, Nicoara M, Savuca A, Ciobica A, Plavan GI, Strungaru SA. Behavioral responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to different 2D non-moving stimuli. Arch Biol Sci. 2020;72(1):45-52.
Hamilton F. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London: Archibald Constable and Co.; 1822. 405 p.
Robea MA, Strungaru SA, Lenzi C, Nicoara M, Ciobica A. The Importance of Rotenone in Generating Neurological and Psychiatric Features in Zebrafish - Relevance for a Parkinson's Disease Model. AOSR. 2018;7(1):59-67.
Lenzi C, Grasso C, Nicoara M, Savuca A, Ciobica A, Plavan GI, Strungaru SA. Influence of environmental colors and long-term sex isolation on zebrafish shoaling behavior. Arch Biol Sci. 2019;71(2):329-37.
Arunachalam M, Raja M, Vijayakumar C, Malaiammal P, Mayden RL. Natural history of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) in India. Zebrafish. 2013;10(1):1-14.
Spence R, Fatema MK, Ellis S, Ahmed ZF, Smith C. The diet, growth and recruitment of wild zebrafish (Danio rerio) in Bangladesh. J Fish Biol. 2007;71(1):304-9.
Woo KL, Rieucau G. From dummies to animations: a review of computer-animated stimuli used in animal behavior studies. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 2011;65:1671-85.
Chouinard-Thuly L, Gierszewski S, Rosenthal GG, M Reader SM, Rieucau G, Woo KL, Gerlai R, Tedore C, Ingley SJ, Stowers JR, Frommen JG, Dolins FL, Witte K. Technical and conceptual considerations for using animated stimuli in studies of animal behavior. Curr Zool. 2017;63(1):5-19.
Scherer U, Godin JGJ, Scuett W. Validation of 2D-animated pictures as an investigative tool in the behavioral sciences: A case study with a West African cichlid fish, Pelvicachromis pulcher. Ethology. 2017;123:560-70.
Gerlai R. Social behaviour of zebrafish: From synthetic images to biological mechanism of shoaling. J Neurosci Methods. 2014;234:59-65.
Ladu F, Bartolini T. Panitz SG, Chiarotti F, Butail S, Macrì S, Porfiri M. Live predators, robots, and computer-animated images elicit differential avoidance responses in zebrafish. Zebrafish. 2015;12(3):205-14.
Qin M, Wong A, Seguin D, Robert Gerlai R. Induction of Social Behavior in Zebrafish: Live Versus Computer Animated Fish as Stimuli. Zebrafish. 2014;11(3):185-97.
Saverino C, Gerlai R. The social zebrafish: Behavioral responses to conspecific, heterospecific, and computer animated fish. Behav Brain Res. 2008;191(1):77-87.
Polverino G, Abaid N, Kopman V, Macrì S, Porfiri M. Zebrafish response to robotic fish: preference experiments on isolated individuals and small shoals. Bioins Biomim. 2012;7:036019.
Kopman V, Laut J, Polverino G, Porfiri M. Closed-loop control of zebrafish response using a bioinspired robotic-fish in a preference test. J R Soc Interface. 2013;10(78):20120540.
Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Offic J Eur Union. 2010;53:276
Etinger A, Lebron J, Palestis BG. Sex-assortative shoaling in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Bios. 2009;80(4):153-8.
Noldus LPJJ, Spink AJ, Tegelenbosch RAJ. EthoVision: A versatile video tracking system for automation of behavioral experiments. Behav Res Meth Ins C. 2001;33(3):398-414.
Blaser R, Gerlai R. Behavioral phenotyping in zebrafish: Comparison of three behavioral quantification methods. Behav Res Methods. 2006;38(3):456-69.
Spink AJ, Tegelenbosch RAJ, Buma MOS, Noldus LPJJ. The EthoVision video tracking system - A tool for behavioral phenotyping of transgenic mice. Physiol Behav. 2001;73(5):731-44.
Jaykaran C. “Mean ± SEM” or “Mean (SD)”? Indian J Pharmacol. 2010;42(5):329.
Ruberto T, Mwaffo V, Singh S, Neri D, Porfiri M. Zebrafish response to a robotic replica in three dimensions. R Soc Open Sci. 2016;3(10):160505.
Ruhl N, McRobert SP. The effect of sex and shoal size on shoaling behaviour in Danio rerio. J Fish Biol. 2005;67(5):1318-26.
Snekser JL, Ruhl N, Bauer K, McRobert SP. The Influence of Sex and Phenotype on Shoaling Decisions in Zebrafish. IJCB. 2010;23:70-81.
Delaney M, Follet C, Ryan N, Hanney N, Lusk-Yablick J, Gerlach G. Social Interaction and Distribution of Female Zebrafish (Danio rerio) in a Large Aquarium. Biol Bull. 2002;203(2):240-1.
How to Cite
Authors reatin copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work’s autorship and initial publication in this journal.