DeBruyne, J., Hurd, M.W., Gutierrez, L., Kaneko, M., Tan, Y., Wells, D.E., and Cahill, G.M. (2004) Isolation and phenogenetics of a novel circadian rhythm mutant in zebrafish. Journal of neurogenetics. 18(2):403-428.
Widespread use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) in genetic analysis of embryonic development has led to rapid advances in the technology required to generate, map and clone mutated genes. To identify genes involved in the generation and regulation of vertebrate circadian rhythmicity, we screened for dominant mutations that affect the circadian periodicity of larval zebrafish locomotor behavior. In a screen of 6,500 genomes, we recovered 8 homozygous viable, semi-dominant mutants, and describe one of them here. The circadian period of the lager and lime (lag(dg2)) mutant is shortened by 0.7 h in heterozygotes,and 1.3 h in homozygotes. This mutation also shortens the period of the melatonin production rhythm measured from cultured pineal glands, indicating that the mutant gene product affects circadian rhythmicity at the tissue level, as well as at the behavioral level. This mutation also alters the sensitivity of pineal circadian period to temperature, but does not affect phase shifting responses to light. Linkage mapping with microsatellite markers indicates that the lag mutation is on chromosome 7. A zebrafish homolog of period1(per1) is the only known clock gene homolog that maps near the lag locus. However, all sequence variants found in per1 cDNA from lag(dg2) mutants are also present in wild type lines, and we were unable to detect any defect in per1 mRNA splicing, so this mutation may identify a novel clock gene.