Xiphophorus fishes have been used as a vertebrate experimental model for fundamental biomedical research for over 60 years. This R24 proposal outlines both resource and research components designed to maintain and enhance the Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center (XGSC) that has operated within the United States since the 1930's making it one of the oldest live animal resources centers worldwide and a national scientific treasure. The XGSC houses over 60 pedigreed genetic lines representing 25 Xiphophorus species in over 1,400 aquaria. The XGSC has provided pedigreed fish and materials to researchers in over 30 laboratories representing 11 countries. The traditional strength of the Xiphophorus experimental model involves the non-biased assessment of genetic inheritance patterns associated with complex phenotypes within intact animals. For example, genetic control of tumor susceptibility has been documented in both pure Xiphophorus strains and select interspecies hybrids, for a variety of spontaneous and induced neoplasms including several genetically distinct melanomas. Our preliminary studies represent a first global comparison of the relative abundance of species-specific allele expression in two vertebrate species and Fl hybrids. In this initial study we were able to identify substantial changes in gene expression levels for parental alleles in the interspecies hybrid genetic background. We also found a new class of genetic interactions that lead to substantially suppressed gene expression in Fl hybrids relative to either parent. These initial experiments, employing RNAseq to follow allele specific gene expression in Fl interspecies hybrids, serve as examples of the Xiphophorus model may be used to uncover new knowledge regarding the mechanics of gene interactions, the genetic basis of developmental programs, complex behaviors, and the molecular processes underlying disease initiation and progression. If the goals of this proposal are realized, mechanistic dissection of Xiphophorus interspecies hybrid melanoma models may be approached and the results gleaned will have translational significance to tumorigenesis in humans.

Public Health Relevance

If the goals of this proposal are realized, mechanistic dissection of Xiphophorus interspecies hybrid melanoma models may be approached since genome and transcriptome sequences of both parental species will allow assessment of genetic regulatory changes that produce an individual that is predisposed to melanoma. These results will have direct translational significance to tumorigenesis in humans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Comparative Medicine Review Committee (RIRG)
Program Officer
Contreras, Miguel A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Texas State University-San Marcos
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Marcos
United States
Zip Code
Lu, Yuan; Boswell, Mikki; Boswell, William et al. (2017) Molecular genetic analysis of the melanoma regulatory locus in Xiphophorus interspecies hybrids. Mol Carcinog 56:1935-1944
Hu, E; Childress, William; Tiersch, Terrence R (2017) 3-D printing provides a novel approach for standardization and reproducibility of freezing devices. Cryobiology 76:34-40
Martínez-Páramo, Sonia; Horváth, Ákos; Labbé, Catherine et al. (2017) Cryobanking of aquatic species. Aquaculture 472:156-177
Klotz, Barbara; Kneitz, Susanne; Regensburger, Martina et al. (2017) Expression signatures of early-stage and advanced medaka melanomas. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol :
Torres, Leticia; Liu, Yue; Guitreau, Amy et al. (2017) Challenges in Development of Sperm Repositories for Biomedical Fishes: Quality Control in Small-Bodied Species. Zebrafish 14:552-560
Boswell, William T; Boswell, Mikki; Walter, Dylan J et al. (2017) Exposure to 4100K fluorescent light elicits sex specific transcriptional responses in Xiphophorus maculatus skin. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol :
Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Hu, E; Daniels, Harry et al. (2017) Vitrification as an Alternative Approach for Sperm Cryopreservation in Marine Fishes. N Am J Aquac 79:187-196
Gonzalez, Trevor J; Lu, Yuan; Boswell, Mikki et al. (2017) Fluorescent light exposure incites acute and prolonged immune responses in zebrafish (Danio rerio) skin. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol :
Tiersch, Nolan J; Tiersch, Terrence R (2017) Standardized Assessment of Thin-film Vitrification for Aquatic Species. N Am J Aquac 79:283-288
Boswell, Mikki; Boswell, William; Lu, Yuan et al. (2017) The transcriptional response of skin to fluorescent light exposure in viviparous (Xiphophorus) and oviparous (Danio, Oryzias) fishes. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol :

Showing the most recent 10 out of 43 publications