Despite the rapid growth of the zebrafish field, an important gap is the ability to easily assess gene function beyond the first zygotic requirement for the gene. Conditional mutations, such as temperature-sensitive mutations that express phenotypes at a high or restrictive temperature (for instance, 33 degrees) but are normal at a low or permissive temperature (24 degrees) allow gene function to be taken away or restored at different times of development, to explore the contribution of gene function in different processes across the animal's life cycle. The zebrafish is ideal for employing temperature-sensitive strategies, because it grows robustly at temperatures from 24 to 33 degrees throughout its life. In this project, we will use forward and reverse genetic screening techniques to evaluate strategies for identifying temperature-sensitive mutations in zebrafish, assemble a panel of 100 temperature-sensitive mutations, and employ secondary screens, including one for phenotypes caused by maternal effects and a second for late larval defects in maintaining adult stem cells.

Public Health Relevance

We will employ forward and reverse genetic screens to identify a panel of 100 temperature-sensitive mutations. We will employ both haploids and diploid screens to identify mutations expressed at 33 degrees, but phenotypically normal at 24 degrees. Secondary screens will include assessing mutants in panel for maternal contribution and for maintaining cycling or quiescent adult stem cells.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Javois, Lorette Claire
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Zeng, Zhiqiang; Johnson, Stephen L; Lister, James A et al. (2015) Temperature-sensitive splicing of mitfa by an intron mutation in zebrafish. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 28:229-32
Lee, Hyung Joo; Lowdon, Rebecca F; Maricque, Brett et al. (2015) Developmental enhancers revealed by extensive DNA methylome maps of zebrafish early embryos. Nat Commun 6:6315