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Asian medaka fishes offer new models for studying mechanisms of seawater adaptation.

Author information

1
Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakano, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan. inouek@ori.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) is a freshwater (FW) teleost that is popular throughout the world for laboratory use. In this paper, we discuss the utility of Japanese medaka and related species for studying mechanisms of seawater (SW) adaptation. In addition to general advantages as an experimental animal such as their daily spawning activity, transparency of embryos, short generation time and established transgenic techniques, Japanese medaka have some adaptability to SW unlike the strictly stenohaline zebrafish (Danio rerio). Since other species in the genus Oryzias exhibit different degrees of adaptability to SW, comparative studies between Japanese medaka, where molecular-biological and genetic information is abundant, and other Oryzias species are expected to present varying approaches to solving the problems of SW adaptation. We introduce some examples of interspecies comparison for SW adaptabilities both in adult fish and in embryos. Oryzias species are good models for evolutionary, ecological and zoogeographical studies and a relationship between SW adaptability and geographic distribution has been suggested. Medaka fishes may thus deliver new insights into our understanding of how fish have expanded their distribution to a wide variety of osmotic environments.

PMID:
14662290
DOI:
10.1016/s1096-4959(03)00204-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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