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Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Jan;24(1):15-21. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

Zebrafish in functional genomics and aquatic biomedicine.

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  • 1Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has many features that make it an ideal model for the study of developmental biology. It is small and easy to contain, it has transparent embryos, it is easy to breed and its early development is well characterized; these same characteristics have also made it an ideal vertebrate model in the areas of biomedicine and biotechnology. In aquaculture, the need for a well-characterized fish model has been satisfied by the zebrafish owing to the availability of functional genomics and molecular biology data to facilitate studies of growth, reproduction, meat quality and disease biology, with the corresponding development of vaccines and therapies. Zebrafish are also increasingly used in toxicogenomics to analyze the effects of toxins and pollutants in the environment, and for creating biomonitors that emit alarm signals when a toxic compound is detected. As detailed in this review, the zebrafish is a versatile and well-characterized model with applications in many fields of study.

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