Zebrafish are a powerful model system to study human development and disease. Zebrafish have several advantages: ability to rapidly generate targeted mutations; external fertilization and development of embryos provide unparalled access to developing cells and tissues for live imaging; high fertility of adults provides a cost-effective method to generate and test large numbers of embryos in experiments; cost-effective to perform unbiased genetic and chemical screens for a wide range of phenotypes including abnormal behavior, gene expression and anatomic development. In addition, zebrafish can be housed in high densities, maximizing animal housing space, are fertile for long periods of time, and are rapidly gaining in both usage numbers and applications. This model has also begun being utilized in new types of research including toxicology, pharmacology, and even vaccine development applications.
The Zebrafish Core provides specialized expertise and equipment for essential zebrafish services. The standard technology in the field includes: generation of transgenic and mutant zebrafish, chemical and genetic screening to identify phenotypes of interest, fluorescence microscopy of embryos and larvae to identify transgenic strains, assaying locomotor activity of embryos and larvae as a proxy for behavior, cryopreservation of zebrafish sperm. The Zebrafish Core will also assist users in preparing zebrafish for experiments requiring live imaging, microscopy, next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry.