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Tetrahymena and Aquatic Viral Interactions: Quantification of Antiviral Responses in GFP Reporter Larval Zebrafish

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

Viruses exist in vast amounts within aquatic ecosystems. Their presence influences host physiology, energy transmission, and microscopic communities. However, they are not well-studied due to a lack of model systems within a laboratory setting. To close this information gap, it is necessary to identify which viruses naturally infect fish. Preliminary evidence suggests that aquareoviruses, such as virus 13p2, is capable of infecting zebrafish (Danio rerio), a commonly used model organism. The first aim is to determine if virus 13p2 can successfully infect larval zebrafish and elicit an antiviral response. To accomplish this, we utilized genetically modified larval zebrafish that express GFP in response to viral infection. qPCR was performed to quantify the antiviral immune response in infected larval zebrafish. Additionally, interactions between aquatic viruses and other organisms are not fully understood. We hypothesize that small unicellular eukaryotes, like Tetrahymena, contribute to virus infectivity. Previous research revealed that T. thermophila increases the infectious viral titre of the aquareovirus, Chum Salmon Reovirus (CSV). These unicellular organisms serve as a source of sustenance for juvenile zebrafish. Therefore, the second aim is to determine if incubating aquareoviruses with T. thermophila alters the ability of the viruses to infect larval zebrafish and impacts the antiviral response. To achieve this, we incubated T. thermophila with different aquareoviruses before allowing them to infect the GFP reporter larval zebrafish. qPCR was used to quantify the antiviral immune response. The data acquired is utilized to compose a model system for researching aquatic virus mechanisms and transmission.

Presenter Name: Qootsvenma Denipah-Cook

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #67
College: Science
School / Department: School of Biological Sciences
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM