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Dev Dyn. 2003 Nov;228(3):393-404.

Transgene driving GFP expression from the promoter of the zona pellucida gene zpc is expressed in oocytes and provides an early marker for gonad differentiation in zebrafish.

Author information

1
Developmental Biology, Institute Biology 1, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. onichtchouk@develogen.com

Abstract

Although mechanisms of sex differentiation have been studied intensely in mammals, insects, and worms, little is known about this process in lower vertebrates. To establish a marker for female gonad differentiation in zebrafish, we generated a transgenic line in which 412 bp from the promoter and 5' mRNA leader of the female-specific zebrafish zona pellucida gene zpc are fused to the coding region of green fluorescent protein (GFP). The zpc0.5:GFP transgene is expressed exclusively in oocytes, starting from the onset of female-specific differentiation, and closely resembles the expression pattern of the wild-type zpc. Strong GFP expression persists throughout oogenesis and is visible through the body wall of females. We have also characterized a putative upstream factor of zpc, FIGalpha, and show that distribution of FIGalpha RNA is compatible with its postulated role in the regulation of zpc. The zpc0.5:GFP transgenic line described here will be useful for studying oocyte development and the mechanisms that determine sex-specific gene expression in the zebrafish. It is also the first promoter characterized to date to drive stable and efficient expression specifically in the zebrafish female germline.

PMID:
14579378
DOI:
10.1002/dvdy.10392
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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