SYLLABUS FOR ZO 515 FISH PHYSIOLOGY

 


OFFERED: Fall Semesters, alternate years (odd-numbered).

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Craig V. Sullivan
 

Department of Biology

Office: Room 242 David Clark Laboratories

Office hours: by appointment 

Telephone: 515-7186 

Mail to: craig_sullivan@ncsu.edu

PREREQUISITES: None. Open to graduate students and junior and senior undergraduates with permission of instructor.

CREDIT HOURS: 3

DESCRIPTION: This graduate level course examines the similarities and differences between structural parts and their functional systems in a natural assemblage of organisms, the fishes. Fishes, with their many divergent forms, habits and habitats, are ideal for comparative study because their history is relatively well-known. The course emphasizes evolutionary relationships between fish groups, although the 'facts' do not always fall on simple phylogenetic lines. The course is arranged in three parts. We will begin by reviewing the environmental concerns, general characteristics, systematics and anatomy of fishes. Then we consider the familiar subjects of physiology: osmoregulation, respiration, circulation, and so forth. These are considered with respect to major environmental features such as oxygen, water chemistry, or temperature, which must be adapted to and exploited by fishes if they are to survive and prosper. Emphasis will be placed on control of homeostasis. In the second part of the course, we examinethe sensory biology of fishes, how they move about in their world and obtain and process information. The neuroendocrine system is the chemical link between the organism and both its external environment and internal milieu. We will evaluate how it integrates and controls physiological systems to provide for coordinated functioning of the whole animal. In the last third of the course, the phenomena of fish growth and reproduction are considered together in detail, as linked physiological processes. Finally, we discuss fishes as models for basic and biomedical research, and examine how knowledge of their physiology contributes to management of commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

TEXT: None. Various reading assignments will be given. These are required and should be completed in advance of the correlated lecture.

GRADING POLICIES: There is a mid-term examination (100 points), a mini-symposium presentation (100 points) and a final examination (200 points). A term paper may be substituted for the mini-symposium presentation. The final examination is comprehensive, although it emphasizes the second half of the course. Classroom participation is also evaluated (100 points). A total of 500 points is possible. Grading will be on a percentage basis adjusted by a performance curve. No graded quizzes or homework assignments are given. Absences from class and examinations must be excused in advance with the exception of documented illness or emergency. Unexcused late term papers or presentations will carry a penalty of 20 percentage points per week. Incomplete grades must be cleared by mid-term of the semester following enrollment.

LECTURE TOPICS:

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Course description, objectives and expectations
2. Comparison between aquatic and terrestrial life
3. General characteristics, systematics and anatomy of fishes

II. OSMOREGULATION

1. General review and evolutionary aspects
2. Osmoregulation by integument, gills, kidney and intestine
3. Integration of osmoregulation

III. CIRCULATION

1. Overview, anatomy and evolution of cardiovascular system
2. Composition of blood and hemodynamics
 
3. Coagulation, hemostasis and immune function
4. Integrated cardiovascular functions

IV. RESPIRATION and BUOYANCY CONTROL

1. General principles, abiotic factors, evolutionary concerns
2. Lungs, swim bladders, other gas-exchanging organs and tissues
3. The respiratory pump, blood and water flow in gills
4. Erythrocyte and hemoglobin functions
5. Responses and adaptations to the environment

V. NUTRITION, DIGESTION and EXCRETION

1. Nutritional requirements of fishes
2. General digestive and excretory functions
3. Ammonia and urea metabolism and excretion

VI. LOCOMOTION

1. Propulsion systems
2. Muscle types and metabolism
3. Energy balance and environmental effects

VII. BODY TEMPERATURE, BIOENERGETICS, and METABOLISM

1. Intermediary metabolism
2. Bioenergetics, performance envelopes, growth efficiency
3. Integration of metabolic processes

VIII. SENSORY ORGANS and PERCEPTION

1. Photoreceptors: eyes and pineal gland
2. Lateral line system, otoliths and semicircular canals
3. Chemosensory organs
4. Electroreceptors and others receptors

IX. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

1. System overview
2. Projection of sensory input, cerebral and cerebellar functions
3. Other functional centers, autonomic nervous system
4. Coloration and chromatophores

X. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

1. Overview and evolutionary concerns
2. The hypothalamus, pituitary and urophysis
3. Thyroid function, endocrine pancreas, gut hormones
4. Calcium regulation, ultimobranchial, corpuscles of Stannius
5. Interrenal and chromaffin tissue, stress and adaptation

XI. BIOLOGY OF GROWTH

1. General concepts and characteristics of organismic growth
2. Environmental factors
3. Neuroendocrine control of metabolism and growth
4. Growth and reproduction as a continuum

XII. BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION

1. Evolution, diversity and adaptation
2. Environmental and neuroendocrine control
3. Puberty, gametogenesis, final maturation
4. Developmental biology

XIII. EXPERIMENTAL and APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY

1. Basic research on fish, the value of comparative physiology
2. Fish as biomedical models
3. Physiology in fishery management
4. Applications of physiology to aquaculture
5. Surgery, anesthetics and other selected methods in fish physiology


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