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Continuous Noninvasive Measuring of Crayfish Cardiac and Behavioral Activities

Published: February 6th, 2019



1Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, South Bohemian Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, University of South Bohemia in České Budĕjovice
* These authors contributed equally

This article presents a noninvasive biomonitoring system for the continuous recording and analyses of crayfish cardiac and locomotor activities. This system consists of a near-infrared optical sensor, a video-tracking module, and software for evaluating crayfish heartbeats that reflects its physiological condition and characterizes crayfish behavior during heartbeat fluctuations.

A crayfish is a pivotal aquatic organism that serves both as a practical biological model for behavioral and physiological studies of invertebrates and as a useful biological indicator of water quality. Even though crayfish cannot directly specify the substances that cause water quality deterioration, they can immediately (within a few seconds) warn humans of water quality deterioration via acute changes in their cardiac and behavioral activities.

In this study, we present a noninvasive method that is simple enough to be implemented under various conditions due to a combination of simplicity and reliability in one model.

This approach, in which the biological organisms are implemented into environmental evaluation processes, provides a reliable and timely alarm for warning of and preventing acute water deterioration in an ambient environment. Therefore, this noninvasive system based on crayfish physiological and ethological parameter recordings was investigated for the detection of changes in an aquatic environment. This system is now applied at a local brewery for controlling quality of the water used for beverage production, but it can be used at any water treatment and supply facility for continuous, real-time water quality evaluation and for regular laboratory investigations of crayfish cardiac physiology and behavior.

The subject of aquatic organisms' applications, both as model organisms for various laboratory investigations1,2 and as tools for monitoring industrial and natural/environmental water quality3,4, appears to be well studied. Nevertheless, this topic is still of noteworthy interest for humans, irrespective of whether they belong to the scientific community or to other occupations. In spite of the existence of a number of advanced methods for monitoring certain parameters (so-called "biomarkers")5,

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1. Crayfish Selection

  1. In order to successfully apply the current approach to crayfish, select the respective adult specimens with sufficient carapace sizes (which is a carapace length of at least 30 mm) for sensor attachment, visually examine it for the absence of diseases, and check whether it lifts both chelae when it is touched. The above-mentioned parameters indicate an eligible state of crayfish health.
    NOTE: If several crayfish are expected to be used in the trial and are exposed.......

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As a result, we obtained a combination of crayfish cardiac and behavioral activities, recorded and saved in a txt-format file (Figure 3). Besides the number of experimental crayfish, the date, and the sampling rate, the file consists of three columns: (1) the continual time in hh:mm:ss format; (2) the heart rate automatically calculated in beats per minute; (3) the locomotion registered as absence (0) or presence (1) of any movement. When the crayfish was ina.......

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It has been widely suggested that the measurement of certain physiological parameters (such as heart or ventilation rate or both) is a more reliable method for recording crayfish reactions than the evaluation of behavioral responses that do not always occur immediately11. However, it is evident that the most efficient approach for assessing real crayfish reactions to environmental changes is the combination of cardiac activity and behavior recordings since that makes it possible to see the reason(.......

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This study was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic-projects "CENAKVA" No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024 and "CENAKVA II'' No. LO1205 under the National Sustainability Program I, by the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice (012/2016/Z), and by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (No. 16-06498S)


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Phototransistor EVERLIGHT ELPT15-21C
Resistor ROYAL OHM 0805S8J0201T5E
Resistor ROYAL OHM 0805S8F2200T5E
Capacitor KEMET C0805C334K5RACTU
Connector HARTING 21348100380005
Connector HARTING 21348000380005
Dielectric gel KRAYDEN Sylgard 535
Analogue-to-digital convertor TEDIA UDAQ-1416CA
Glue KUPSITO.SK 7338723044
Kinect video camera ABCSTORE.CZ GT3-00002
Analysis software University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, Institute of Complex Systems Link to the software:
User name: frov
Password: CF2018

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