The zebrafish is a powerful model system for studying human development and disease. A number of favorable attributes, including its small size, rapid development and generation time, optical transparency during early development, tractability in forward genetic screens, and genetic similarity to humans make it an excellent model for a number of experimental applications. At Children's Hospital Boston, we have pioneered the use of the zebrafish system to study hematopoiesis. In the 90’s, two large-scale genetic screens for developmental mutants produced >50 independent mutants affecting blood cell formation. These and other more recently identified hematopoetic zebrafish mutants affect the entire spectrum of erythroid differentiation, from the very earliest of mesoderm induction to red cell maturation and hemoglobin production ( Figure ), and hence have great utility for in-depth characterization of the molecular control of hematopoiesis.
Recent advances in transposon-mediated transgenesis in zebrafish have greatly expanded the number of transgenic zebrafish strains in existence. Many of these strains are designed with tissue specific promoters driving fluorescent proteins (GFP, DsRed, mCherry, or AmCyan) or oncogenes, and a small but increasing number of these strains are engineered to allow for spatial and temporal control of transgene expression. The CORE maintains a number of transgenic strains, including a number specifically applicable to studying hematopoesis.
Presently, the Core serves as a repository for a large number of zebrafish mutant and transgenic strains useful for the study of the molecular regulation of hematopoesis. The Core supports various studies utilizing these strains, as well as their distribution to the research community.
A dedicated, full-time staff maintains the Core. The staff, which is responsible for the management of all fish strains, as well as the fish life support systems, is comprised of the following three people:
Christian Lawrence: Manager
Isaac Adatto : Lead Research Technologist
Li-Kun Zhang : Aquatics Technician
Additionally, seven research technicians also devote a percentage of their time to basic fish husbandry, in addition to their respective research projects.
1. Maintain zebrafish hematopoietic mutant stocks.
2. Establish developmental relationships of gene expression during embryonic and adult hematopoiesis in wild-type and mutant zebrafish.
3. Develop new focused screens for mutants that regulate hematopoietic cell induction, specification, and stem cell self-renewal.
gata1m651/m651 (vlad tepes)
sart3cz3/cz3 (earl grey)
sart3cz5/cz5 (earl grey)
sart3cz11/cz11 (earl grey)
sart3cz303/cz303 (earl grey)
mibm132/m132 (mind bomb)
roya9/a9 (roy orbison)
csf1rj4e1/j4e1; mitfaw2/w2; roya9/a9 (casper triples)
mitfaw2/w2; roya9/a9 (casper)
roya9/a9; albb4/b4 (ruby)
Tg(hsp70:Cre-RFP) (from Shuo Lin lab)
Tg(lyzC:dsRed) (from Phil Croiser lab)
Tg(b-actin gfp); Tg(gata1-dsRed)
Tg(kdrl:EGFP)s843 --- (flk1)
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