Paw, B.H. (2001) Cloning of the zebrafish retsina blood mutation: a genetic model for dyserythropoiesis and erythroid cytokinesis. Blood cells, molecules & diseases. 27(1):62-64.
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged in recent years as an exciting animal model system for studying vertebrate organ development (reviewed in 1) and heritable disorders (reviewed in 2, 3). The combined genetic and embryologic advantages of the zebrafish are ideal for studying the developmental processes of organogenesis, and in particular, hematopoiesis (reviewed in 4-6). A combination of short generation time to sexual maturity, prolific fecundity, large brood size, external fertilization, and optical transparency permit large scale genetic screens. Recent chemical mutagenesis of the zebrafish genome in Tübingen, Germany (7) and at the Massachusetts General Hospital (8) has recovered ~1200 mutations, representing ~500 genes of developmental importance. Genetics screens have the distinct advantage of assigning function to genes based on the observed phenotype in an unbiased manner. Recent successes in the identification of genes affected in several zebrafish mutations have revealed both novel genes, as well as, surprising insight into the additional function of already known genes.