Ton C, Hwang DM, Dempsey AA, Tang HC, Yoon J, Lim M, Mably JD, Fishman MC, Liew CC. 2000. Identification, characterization, and mapping of expressed sequence tags from an embryonic zebrafish heart cDNA library. Genome research. 10(12):1915-27. Pubmed: 11116087


The generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) has proven to be a rapid and economical approach by which to identify and characterize expressed genes. We generated 5102 ESTs from a 3-d-old embryonic zebrafish heart cDNA library. Of these, 57.6% matched to known genes, 14.2% matched only to other ESTs, and 27.8% showed no match to any ESTs or known genes. Clustering of all ESTs identified 359 unique clusters comprising 1771 ESTs, whereas the remaining 3331 ESTs did not cluster. This estimates the number of unique genes identified in the data set to be approximately 3690. A total of 1242 unique known genes were used to analyze the gene expression patterns in the zebrafish embryonic heart. These were categorized into seven categories on the basis of gene function. The largest class of genes represented those involved in gene/protein expression (25.9% of known transcripts). This class was followed by genes involved in metabolism (18.7%), cell structure/motility (16.4%), cell signaling and communication (9.6%), cell/organism defense (7.1%), and cell division (4.4%). Unclassified genes constituted the remaining 17.91%. Radiation hybrid mapping was performed for 102 ESTs and comparison of map positions between zebrafish and human identified new synteny groups. Continued comparative analysis will be useful in defining the boundaries of conserved chromosome segments between zebrafish and humans, which will facilitate the transfer of genetic information between the two organisms and improve our understanding of vertebrate evolution.

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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.

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