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Confocal microscopy as a useful approach to describe gill rakers of Asian species of carp and native filter-feeding fishes of the upper Mississippi River system

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Abstract

To better understand potential diet overlap among exotic Asian species of carp and native species of filter-feeding fishes of the upper Mississippi River system, microscopy was used to document morphological differences in the gill rakers. Analysing samples first with light microscopy and subsequently with confocal microscopy, the three-dimensional structure of gill rakers in Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Dorosoma cepedianum was more thoroughly described and illustrated than previous work with traditional microscopy techniques. The three-dimensional structure of gill rakers in Ictiobus cyprinellus was described and illustrated for the first time.

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