Exploding fish

James Mohler jmohler at barnard.columbia.edu
Mon Sep 8 11:52:02 EST 1997

Recently, we have been experiencing about 10% mortality per
week in our zebrafish cultures.  Occasionally the dead fish
are eviscerated, their abdomens apparently exploded.  I am curious
whether yeast carry-over from the Drosophila larvae we feed
thme might be the culprit.

We are growing the Drosophila larvae in potato flake-live yeast
media.  We suspend the media with 3rd instar larvae in 20% sucrose
to float the larvae (residual potato clumps sink), skim off the larvae,
then collect the larvae by filtration through cheesecloth.  
Having been told by my mother not to eat raw bread dough, because
your stomach might explode (which I thought of as an old wives
tale), I've got to wonder whether this might be the problem (I've
heard that gas in sheep is often lethal as well).  Could our
larvae preparation be the problem?

How do most labs that use Drosophila larvae for food prepare the
larvae for the fish?

Jym Mohler

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