Zebrafish as a potential animal model

Zebrafish as a potential animal model
The freshwater fish, Danio rerio (zebrafish) belonging to the family Cyprinidae was the first vertebrate to be cloned. It is one of the most widely used animal models. Its entire genome has been sequenced and has been found to have the highest number of species-specific genes along with 26,206 protein-coding genes, the largest among the ones sequenced so far. It is estimated that around 70% of the human genes have zebrafish counterparts. Male and female fishes are easy to distinguish in Danio rerio unlike other animals. Male fishes have streamlined appearance, dark blue stripes, pinkish yellow cast; they are more golden mainly on the ventral fin and are more active. Female fishes have white protruding belly, bluish-white cast and silver stripes between blue stripes. Studying the relationship between zebrafish and humans helps in identifying the gene function and in identifying the models for diseases. Their small size, easy adaptability and cost-effectiveness make them easy to be housed, reduce stress and minimise the number of animals used in the study and they are the more potential source. They can be bred at a pH of 6.6 to 6.8 and a temperature of 78 to 82 degree Fahrenheit. The number of offsprings produced by the fishes is almost 20 times more than that produced by other rodents. Larvae and eggs are transparent and hence can be easily stained and visualised giving more accurate and reproducible results. Embryos absorb chemicals added to water; hence, it is easy to cause genetic mutation using chemical mutagens rather than sophisticated procedures since they withstand more mutagens than rodents.


How to cite this article:
Prasidhee V. Zebrafish as a potential animal model. BioLim O-Media. 09 March, 2016. 4(3).
Available from: http://www.biolim.com/read/BOMA0111.