Cultured Fish Epithelial Cells Are a Source of Alarm Substance
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In various species of fishes, chemical cues play an essential role facilitating predator avoidance. Damage to the skin during a predation event releases an alarm substance (AS), which diffuses through the water column and binds to olfactory receptors of conspecifics. This causes fish to engage in several anti-predator behaviors that may include darting, schooling, or hiding. Behavioral responses to AS and physiological mechanisms that underlie those responses is an active area of study. The goal of this project was to demonstrate 1) a noninvasive primary cell culture protocol to obtain alarm substance and 2) the demonstration of anti-predatory behaviors in fish exposed to alarm substance.