Wong, A.C., Draper, B.W., and Van Eenennaam, A.L. (2011) FLPe functions in zebrafish embryos. Transgenic Research. 20(2):409-415.
To assay the efficiency of the FLP/FRT site-specific recombination system in Danio rerio, a construct consisting of a muscle-specific promoter driving EGFP flanked by FRT sites was developed. FLPe capped RNA was microinjected into transgenic single cell stage zebrafish embryos obtained by crossing hemizygous transgenic males with wild-type females. By 48 h post fertilization (hpf), the proportion of embryos displaying green fluorescence following FLPe RNA microinjection was significantly lower (7.7%; P < 0.001) than would be expected from a cross in the absence of the recombinase (50%). Embryos that retained fluorescence displayed marked mosaicism. Inheritance of the excised transgene in non-fluorescent, transgenic embryos was verified by PCR analysis and FLPe-mediated recombination was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Sperm derived from confirmed transgenic males in these experiments was used to fertilize wild-type eggs to determine whether germline excision of the transgene had occurred. Clutches sired by FLPe-microinjected males contained 0-4% fluorescent embryos. Transgenic males that were phenotypically wild-type produced no fluorescent progeny, demonstrating complete excision of the transgene from their germline. FLPe microinjected males that retained some fluorescent muscle expression produced a small proportion of fluorescent offspring, suggesting that in mosaic males not all germline cells had undergone FLPe-mediated transgene excision. Our results show that FLPe, which is derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is an efficient recombinase in zebrafish maintained at 28.5 degrees C.