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Annu Rev Genet. 2010;44:217-41. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-051710-151001.

The art of medaka genetics and genomics: what makes them so unique?

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


The medaka fish, Oryzias latipes, is an emerging vertebrate model and now has a high quality draft genome and a number of unique mutants. The long history of medaka research in Japan has provided medaka with unique features, which are complementary to other vertebrate models. A large collection of spontaneous mutants collected over a century, the presence of highly polymorphic inbred lines established over decades, and the recently completed genome sequence all give the medaka a big boost. This review focuses on the state of the art in medaka genetics and genomics, such as the first isolation of active transposons in vertebrates, the influence of chromatin structure on sequence variation, fine quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, and versatile mutants as human disease models.

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