Our lab uses zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism. Zebrafish are small freshwater fish from India that have proved to be an excellent system for all kinds of research. They can be kept in large numbers, produce many embryos which develop externally, and are amenable to modern imaging and genetic techniques as well as classical embryological approaches such as cell transplantation. Over one thousand labs worldwide now use the zebrafish in the study of diverse aspects of biology including embryogenesis, regeneration, neuroscience, metabolism and cancer biology.
Zebrafish research was pioneered at the university of oregon
In the 1970s and 1980s, the zebrafish system was pioneered by George Streisinger and colleagues working at the University of Oregon.
Large-scale forward genetic screens in zebrafish
In the early-to-mid 1990s, large-scale forward genetics screens were performed to generate and isolate mutant lines. One was led by Wolfgang Driever and Mark Fishman in Boston and the other by Christian Nusslein-Volhard in Tubingen. The screens identified thousands of mutants, mostly impacting genes controlling embryogenesis, and were published as many back-to-back papers in a single issue of Development in 1996. Many scientists in the zebrafish community have spent time since analyzing these mutant lines and the roles of their mutated genes in various biological processes.
Forward genetic screens continue to be performed in the zebrafish...