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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

The aggressive spiegeldanio, carrying a mutation in the fgfr1a gene, has no advantage in dyadic fights with zebrafish of the AB strain

Mustafa, Arshi; Thornqvist, Per-Ove; Roman, Erika; Winberg, Svante


Zebrafish which carries a mutation in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1A (fgfr1a), also known as spiegeldanio (spd), has previously been reported to be bolder and more aggressive than wildtype (AB) zebrafish. However, in previous studies aggression has been quantified in mirror tests. In dyadic fights the behavior of the combatants is modified by the behavior of their opponent, and fighting a mirror has been reported to have different effects on brain gene expression and brain monoaminergic systems. In the present study aggression was quantified in fgfr1a mutants and AB zebrafish using a mirror test after which the fish were allowed to interact in pairs, either consisting of two fgfr1a mutants or one AB and one fgfr1a mutant fish. Following dyadic interaction aggressive behavior was again quantified in individual fish in a second mirror test after which the fish were sacrificed and brain tissue analyzed for monoamines and monoamine metabolites. The results confirm that fgfr1a mutants are more aggressive than AB zebrafish in mirror tests. However, fgfr1a mutant fish did not have any advantage in fights for social dominance, and agonistic behavior of fgfr1a mutants did not differ from that of AB fish during dyadic interactions. Moreover, as the AB fish, fgfr1a mutant fish losing dyadic interactions showed a typical loser effect and social subordination resulted in an activation of the brain serotonergic system in fgfr1a mutants as well as in AB fish. Overall the effects of dyadic interaction were similar in fgfr1a mutant fish and zebrafish of the AB strain.


Aggression; Agonistic behavior; Dominance; Dopamine; Scrotonin

Published in

Behavioural Brain Research
2019, Volume: 370, article number: 111942Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

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