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Dev Dyn. 2011 Jul;240(7):1694-704. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22668.

Embryonic development of the self-fertilizing mangrove killifish Kryptolebias marmoratus.

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Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.


The mangrove killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus, is a self-fertilizing vertebrate offering vast potential as a model species in many biological disciplines. Previous studies have defined developmental stages but lacked visual representations of the various embryonic structures. We offer detailed photographic images of K. marmoratus development with revised descriptions. An improved dechorionation method was developed to provide high resolution photographs, in addition to a microinjection technique enabling cell marking in the yolk syncytial layer. Embryos were also treated with PTU (1-phenyl 2-thiourea), an inhibitor of melanogenesis, to provide optical transparency revealing internal structures in late stages of development. Chemical exposures (PTU and retinoic acid) demonstrated that K. marmoratus embryos were sensitive to chemicals, illustrating further their usefulness in developmental biology studies. Our data suggest that K. marmoratus embryos are easily used and manipulated, supporting the use of this hermaphroditic vertebrate as a strong comparative model system in embryology, evolution, genetics, environmental and medical biology.

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