GENOMIC FEATURES ORIGINATING FROM THIS LAB
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH INTERESTS
ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-110706-1
How is sensory information transformed into meaningful neuronal information?
ZEBRAFISH PUBLICATIONS OF LAB MEMBERS
Research in our lab is aimed at answering this question by understanding the process of sensory transduction. In the auditory and vestibular systems of vertebrates, the hair cell is the specialized mechanoreceptor that transforms mechanical stimuli, such as sound waves, into electrical signals. For fish and amphibians, hair cells are also utilized by a third sensory system called the lateral line. In the lateral line, hair cells are arranged into rosette structures called neuromasts, which are located at regular intervals around the head and trunk of the animal. These neuromasts convey information about the movements of water around the animal. This sense of distant touch is important for behaviors such as shoaling and schooling, predator avoidance, and detection of prey.
Currently, we are using a combination of fluorescence microscopy and electrophysiology to study hair cells and the lateral line in zebrafish. Transgenic zebrafish allow us to use fluorescence to visualize specific cells and proteins involved in the lateral line circuit. We are also able to utilize mutant zebrafish lines to study what happens when the function of a specific protein has been disrupted. Electrophysiological recordings of both hair cell and afferent nerve activity allow us to examine sensory transduction in intact larval zebrafish. These techniques, combined with studies of zebrafish behavior will further our understanding of how an organism interacts with the world around it.
Bergeron, S.A., Hannan, M.C., Codore, H., Fero, K., Li, G.H., Moak, Z., Yokogawa, T., and Burgess, H.A. (2012) Brain selective transgene expression in zebrafish using an NRSE derived motif
Front. Neural Circuits6:110.
Obholzer, N., Wolfson, S., Trapani, J.G., Mo, W., Nechiporuk, A., Busch-Nentwich, E., Seiler, C., Sidi, S., Söllner, C., Duncan, R.N., Boehland, A., and Nicolson, T. (2008) Vesicular glutamate transporter 3 is required for synaptic transmission in zebrafish hair cells