As a vertebrate genetic model, the zebrafish has been well recognized for its strength in studying a variety of biological processes and human diseases. Traditional forward genetic screens in zebrafish have generated a large pool of mutants with interesting phenotypes resembling human diseases but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. A powerful approach to elucidate the mechanisms of these mutants is the modifier screen, which identifies 2(nd)-site mutations that specifically enhance or block the phenotype of a given mutant. Here we described the first genetic suppressor screen in zebrafish, which identifies a novel transcriptional mechanism regulating erythropoiesis. In combination with the haploid genetics in zebrafish, we have shown the feasibility and strength of a modifier screen in zebrafish. This strategy will greatly broaden the utility of the zebrafish as a model for making original discoveries and establishing novel paradigms for understanding vertebrate biology.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Related Faculty

Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

Search Menu