Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Christine Byrd-Jacobs

Second Advisor

Joshua Paris


The zebrafish, Danio rerio, serves as an important model in this study due to the neuroplasticity and fast neural regeneration rate of its olfactory system. The olfactory system of the zebrafish provides researchers with an uncovered sensory system fully exposed to the environment, allowing them to view the effects of olfactotoxicants and detergents on the olfactory organ and its epithelium. The olfactory epithelium contains specialized sensory neurons (OSNs), which project axons onto the surface of olfactory bulbs. It was hypothesized that there would be a significant loss of labeled OSN axons following chemical lesioning that could be seen by a decrease in the optical density the longer the zebrafish were exposed to the olfactotoxicant. This experiment investigated differences between the density of the olfactory bulb axons of the control group, which is the left olfactory organ, and the TritonX-100 chemically lesioned right olfactory organ of the zebrafish. The results showed that there was significant loss in structure of the 7-day TritonX-100 treated olfactory organ and bulb, since the bulbs are no longer symmetrical, and the distribution of the axonal projections appear disrupted from their normal patterns of appearance on the surface of the bulb. However, stastical analyses showed that there was not a significant decrease in the intensity of antibody labeling on the surface of olfactory bulbs following treatment with Triton X-100 detergent. This could be due to the robust structure of the axon, the limited sample size, or a longer treatment period may be needed to have an accurate portrayal of the impact of OSN loss on their corresponding axons.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted