Standardized Reference Diets for Zebrafish: Addressing Nutritional Control in Experimental Methodology

Academic Article


  • The ideal of experimental methodology in animal research is the reduction or elimination of environmental variables or consistency in their application. In lab animals, diet has been recognized as a very influential response variable. Reproducibility in research using rodents required the development of a unique diet of consistent ingredient and nutrient composition to allow for cross-comparisons of lab results, spatially and temporally. These diets are commonly referred to as standard reference diets (SRDs). The established validity of published nutritional requirements combined with the cooperation of commercial partners led to species-specific reference diets commonly used by the research community. During the last several decades, zebrafish (Danio rerio) have become a widespread alternative animal model, but specific knowledge of their nutrition is lacking. We present a short-Term approach for developing an SRD for zebrafish, similar to that eventually attained for rodents over decades. Imminent development of an open-formulation, commercially produced SRD for zebrafish will notably advance translational biomedical science.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Watts SA; D'Abramo LR
  • Start Page

  • 511
  • End Page

  • 527
  • Volume

  • 41