Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 522–527

Generating Transparent Zebrafish: A Refined Method to Improve Detection of Gene Expression During Embryonic Development

  • Johnny  Karlsson
  • Jonas  von Hofsten
  • Per-Erik  Olsson

DOI: 10.1007/s1012601-0053-4

Cite this article as:
Karlsson, J., von Hofsten, J. & Olsson, PE. Mar. Biotechnol. (2001) 3: 522. doi:10.1007/s1012601-0053-4

Abstract:

In zebrafish (Danio rerio) pigmentation is initiated during embryogenesis and begins in the retinal epithelium and in the melanophores. The pigment cells develop rapidly, and within hours they constitute a prominent feature of the embryo. In order to improve signal detection by whole mount in situ hybridization, confocal microscopy, or expression of GFP, embryos may be treated with 1-phenyl 2-thiourea (PTU) during embryogenesis. PTU inhibits melanogenesis by blocking all tyrosinase-dependent steps in the melanin pathway but can be toxic at high concentrations. The embryos remain transparent as long as the PTU treatment is continued. However, PTU treatment must be initiated before the initial pigmentation because it does not remove already formed pigment. Here we provide a protocol for generating transparent zebrafish while avoiding the toxic and teratogenic effects of PTU treatment.

Key words: zebrafish, pigmentation, PTU, transparency, embryo development. 

Copyright information

© 2001 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnny  Karlsson
    • 1
  • Jonas  von Hofsten
    • 1
  • Per-Erik  Olsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Division of Physiology, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, SwedenSE

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