My goal is to understand the genetic control of neural organization in vertebrates. I have initiated a new approach to this problem using the retina as a model for patten formation in the central nervous system: we will isolate specific mutations in the zebrafish retina and use phenotype analysis and molecular biology to characterize genes controlling retinal organization. The zebrafish provides an opportunity to develop an extremely fast-moving genetic system to explore developmental genes. Its primary advantage is the ability to exploit parthenogenetic development for genetics. The procedures I describe will make it possible to use genetic methods on a large scale to isolate novel vertebrate genes involved in specific functions. Methods will be developed for screening thousands of transgenic lines to identify retinal genes by insertional mutation and by lacZ expression. Mutants will be used to study the cellular interactions involved in assembling a retina and the molecules that mediate these interactions.
|Fulwiler, C; Schmitt, E A; Kim, J M et al. (1997) Retinal patterning in the zebrafish mutant cyclops. J Comp Neurol 381:449-60|