Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs

Second Advisor

Dr. John Jellies

Third Advisor

Dr. John Spitsbergen

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Permanent removal of the olfactory organ in adult zebrafish has been shown to result in a significant reduction in the total volume of the ipsilateral olfactory bulb. The overall objective of the current project was to investigate the hypothesis that contact between the axons of the olfactory sensory neurons and the olfactory bulb is necessary for the maintenance of the normal post-synaptic organization of the olfactory bulb by quantifying the morphological changes that take place within specific laminae of the olfactory bulb following peripheral deafferentation. Complete, unilateral ablation of the olfactory organ resulted in permanent deafferentation of the ipsilateral olfactory bulb and caused a significant reduction in total bulb volume that corresponded to a reduction in the laminar volume of the olfactory nerve layer, the glomerular layer, and the internal cell layer of the deafferented olfactory bulb. Although the deafferentation procedure did not appear to affect the size distribution of nuclear profiles within the deafferented olfactory bulb, changes in both cell density and cell number were observed within the glomerular layer and internal cell layer following peripheral deafferentation. These results support the conclusion that contact with olfactory sensory neurons is required to maintain the normal morphology of the ipsilateral olfactory bulb and that several different populations of neurons throughout the olfactory bulb are likely to be affected by the loss of afferent input.

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