Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Little

Second Advisor

Michael Seibel

Third Advisor

Marcia Harrison


The blacknose dace, Rhinichthys atratulus, is a cyprinid minnow common to shallow streams throughout North America. It has been shown to be sensitive to anthropogenic stress and a study of the genetic nature of R. atratulus populations may yield information about their habitats. In West Virginia, two subspecies of R. atratulus are present, R. a. atratulus and R. a. obtusus, which are separated by the Allegheny divide. In north central West Virginia, R. a. atratulus was observed in the Cheat River drainage, an area previously thought be within the range of R. a. obtusus. Fish of the R. a. atratulus breeding phenotype were sampled from streams in this area and returned to the laboratory for analysis. Improved methods were developed for assaying muscle tissue isozymes lactate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase and phosphoglucomutase by isoelectric focusing (IEF). lsozymes separated by IEF were standardized to proteins of known isoelectric point. There was little variation and no populational markers found among the populations and loci assayed. Tail fin connective tissue was removed from live R. atratulus for primary culture of fibroblasts. The culture technique developed yielded confluent cultures in one week, with cultures stable for up to six weeks and producing large numbers of high quality mitotic metaphase chromosomes. Cytogenetic assays were performed from fibroblast cultures showed two nucleolar organizer regions, located on telocentric chromosomes.


Rhinichthys atratulus - West Virginia.

Rhinichthys atratulus - Genetics.