Mutations affecting pigmentation and shape of the adult zebrafish
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Mutations causing a visible phenotype in the adult serve as valuable visible genetic markers in multicellular genetic model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Arabidopsis thaliana. In a large scale screen for mutations affecting early development of the zebrafish, we identified a number of mutations that are homozygous viable or semiviable. Here we describe viable mutations which produce visible phenotypes in the adult fish. These predominantly affect the fins and pigmentation, but also the eyes and body length of the adult. A number of dominant mutations caused visible phenotypes in the adult fish. Mutations in three genes, long fin, another long fin and wanda affected fin formation in the adult. Four mutations were found to cause a dominant reduction of the overall body length in the adult. The adult pigment pattern was found to be changed by dominant mutations in wanda, asterix, obelix, leopard, salz and pfeffer. Among the recessive mutations producing visible phenotypes in the homozygous adult, a group of mutations that failed to produce melanin was assayed for tyrosinase activity. Mutations in sandy produced embryos that failed to express tyrosinase activity. These are potentially useful for using tyrosinase as a marker for the generation of transgenic lines of zebrafish.
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