The Zebrafish, Danio rerio, is tropical freshwater fish and a very popular model organism for scientific research in the fields of development, vertebrate processes, genetics, and more.
The Zebrafish is an omnivorous vertebrates and consumes zooplankton, insects, insect larvae and phytoplankton.
Female zebrafish spawn every 2-3 days and produce several hundred eggs in each clutch. Males must be present at spawning and for successful ovulation. Zebrafish eggs are relatively transparent--a characteristic that makes it a very desirable model organism for development biology study. Also, the zebrafish development is quite fast, with precursors to all major organs developing within 36 post-fertilization. Eggs hatch within 48-72 hours post-fertilization. With five days of fertilization, larvae display food seeking and avoidance behaviors.The generation time of zebrafish is approximately 3-4 months, which is convenient for selection experiments.
Basic stuff about Zebrafish
Zebrafish embryo development
Video: Zebrafish embryogenesis nuclear divisions, from Keller et al. 2008.
Resources about Zebrafish
Current research questions
- New studies are being done in order to understand the impact inhibitors have on Zebrafish. One such inhibitor is SP600125 which is a JNK inhibitor. This inhibitor has a profound impact on the Zebrafish. Studies are being done in order to understand how and why this inhibitor has such harsh effects on the Zebrafish. (Link)
- New studies have been done to understand the involvement of Delta/Notch signaling in zebrafish adult pigment stripe patterning. Studies have been done with xanthophores and melanophores. (Link)
Agnathans (jawless fish)
- Research paper about embryogenesis and chondrogenesis of the viscerocranial skeleton of Sea Lampreys.
- Research about the function of steroids as migratory pheromones for Sea Lampreys.
Keller PJ, AD Schmidt, J Wittbrodt, EHK Stelzer 2008. Reconstruction of Zebrafish Early Embryonic Development by Scanned Light Sheet Microscopy, Science 322:1065-1069
Shinya M, Furutani-Seiki M, Kuroiwa A, Takeda H 1999. Mosaic analysis with oep mutant reveals a repressive interaction between floor-plate and non-floor-plate mutant cells in the zebrafish neural tube, Dev Growth Differ. 41:135-42 DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-169x.1999.00417.x
Webb SE and Miller AL 2007. Ca2+ signaling and early embryonic patterning during zebraﬁsh development, Proc Austral Physiol Soc 38:43-51
Spence, R., G. Gerlach, C. Lawrence, and C. Smith. 2007. The behaviour and ecology of the Zebrafish, Danio rerio. Biological Review 83: 13-34.