The world-famous GloFish are genetically modified zebrafish that now threaten to destroy the biodiversity of Brazilian river areas.
Very often the animal kingdom is a victim of human interference that try to modify habits and appearance of some specimens to make them more «pleasant» to our eyes. Genetic modifications are made, as in the case of zebra fish that today have become a danger to all the river ecosystems of the ancient Brazilian Atlantic Forest.
How did GloFish originate?
The alarm is raised by an article in Focus where it is explained how these fluorescent fish were born and have now literally invaded the waters of the rivers of Brazil. It all began in the late ’90s when a team of researchers decided to modify zebrafish and make them fluorescent. They were to be sentinel animals that activated their luminescence only when in contact with toxic substances. They called them GloFish and since they were also very appealing on the commercial side, they began to be sold on a global scale.
Escaping from a farm and threatening local ecosystems
20 years after their creation, so to speak, thanks to their innate resistance, GloFish today threaten the Brazilian river ecosystem.
Thanks to a study published in Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, we now know that breedings of fluorescent cyprinids are found all over the world. But when an alien species forcibly comes into contact with another ecosystem there are consequences. It seems that some modified zebrafish escaped from a farm in Muriaé, in the state of Minas Gerais. In a short time this species has invaded all the surrounding areas devouring the food that was previously intended for the local fauna. But that’s not all, it seems that GloFish don’t even have predators and this allows them to reproduce non-stop and smoothly.
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If this invasion continues the consequences for the biodiversity of this area of the world could be at risk