zes the second year for the Section on Sensory Cell Development and Function. Our main focus has been on training new lab members and establishing solid research projects and goals for each lab member. The lab continues to demonstrate proficiency in several areas: animal husbandry, the creation of mutant and transgenic zebrafish, electrophysiology, and rapid, swept-field confocal imaging in zebrafish. General accomplishments for this fiscal year include setting up a satellite zebrafish facility in building 35 near our lab space, working to complete our main zebrafish facility in 35, creating several novel transgenic and mutant zebrafish strains, and obtaining preliminary results for our research program. In addition, we have set up several collaborations with other labs at the NIDCD, and the surrounding area. Through these collaborations we will apply our expertise and tools in zebrafish to advance and complement other aspects of auditory research. Currently some of the research lab is focused on examining how sensory information is encoded in vivo. For example, within a neuromast organ in the zebrafish lateral line, how does a given sensory stimuli activate all hair cells in the organ, and how do all the cells and synapses coordinate to convert that information into a meaningful signal that is sent to the brain. Using high-speed confocal imaging we are able to measure calcium, vesicle release and postsynaptic glutamate responses with precise temporal and spatial resolution in all cells and synapses within a neuromast organ. This information is providing new insight on how hair cells cooperate to encode sensory stimuli. In addition to examining sensory encoding, we have also successfully created several CRISPRs-based zebrafish mutants to knockdown genes required for ribbon synapse function, development and regeneration. We are currently characterizing several of these mutants zebrafish for phenotypes using functional imaging techniques.

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Deafness & Other Communication Disorders
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Ji, Young Rae; Warrier, Sunita; Jiang, Tao et al. (2018) Directional selectivity of afferent neurons in zebrafish neuromasts is regulated by Emx2 in presynaptic hair cells. Elife 7:
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