The zebrafish, Brachydanio rerio, is rapidly becoming a system of choice for vertebrate developmental biologists. It presents unique embryological attributes and is amenable to saturation style mutagenesis, a powerful approach that, in invertebrates, has already led to the identification of a large number of key developmental genes. Since fertilization is external, the zebrafish embryo develops in the dish and is thus accessible for continued observation and manipulation at all stages of development. Furthermore, because the embryo is transparent, the developing heart and vessels can be resolved at the single-cell level. A large number of mutations that affect the development of cardiovascular form and function have recently been isolated from large-scale genetic screens for zygotic embryonic lethals. Our further understanding of the development of the cardiovascular system is important not only because of the high incidence, and familial inheritance, of congenital abnormalities, but also because it should lead to novel, differentiation-based strategies for the analysis and therapy of the diseased state.
Copyright © 1994. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Related Faculty

Photo of Mark C. Fishman

Mark C. Fishman’s group studies the heart-brain connection. They employ a range of genetic, developmental, and neurobiological tools in zebrafish to understand what the heart tells the brain, and how critical internal sensory systems adjust homeostatic and somatic behaviors, including social interactions.

Search Menu