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EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF AETOKTHONOS HYDRILLICOLA EXTRACT ON OXIDATIVE STRESS IN C6 CELLSAetokthonos hydrillicola, a species of cyanobacteria, has colonized an invasive species of hydrilla in the lakes of the Southeastern United States. This cyanobacterium is suspected to cause Avian Vacuolar Myclinopathy (AVM). AVM is a neurological disease that affect birds. Bald eagles and American coots have been primarily studied and known to be affected by AVM. Symptoms of AVM consist of brain lesions, loss of basic motor skills, and the disease often leads to death. Extracts of A. hydrillicola are toxic to C6 cells, and this cell line is used as a model to examine the mechanism of toxicity. The aim of this research project is to understand the role of oxidative stress in A. hydrillicola cytotoxicity and determine if antioxidant compounds may protect the cells. Common oxidative stress inhibitors, Gingko biloba extract and selenium, have been tested in different concentrations in order to determine if oxidative stress is present and preventable. These compounds did not prevent toxicity in the C6 cells exposed to the cyanobacterial extracts. The presence of oxidative is currently being further investigated using a 2-7 dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay, which indicates the presence of reactive oxygen species.