Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

R. James Swanson

Committee Member

Christopher Osgood

Committee Member

Kent E. Carpenter

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B47 L44 2005


This investigation identified the morphological defects caused by different concentrations of chromium, copper, and arsenic (CCA) on the developing zebrafish embryo; in addition to defects caused by the three combined components (complete CCA). A change in the DNA of the developing embryos in response to the three components of CCA and complete CCA was also determined. Early Dania rerio embryos were cultured for five days with various concentrations of CCA components and complete CCA. Morphological defects were assessed with light microscopy and DNA fragmentation was determined by agarose gel electrophoresis. Embryonic exposure of D. rerio to sub lethal concentrations of chromium, copper, arsenic, and complete CCA caused a variety of morphological defects including head edema, abnormal finfold development, tail flexures, and cardiac malformations. The two types of morphological defects that were most consistent were abnormal finfold development and tail flexure. The genotoxicity of CCA components and complete CCA was confirmed by induction of DNA fragmentation.


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