In mammals, the Kiss1 receptor (Kiss1r) and its kisspeptin ligands are key factors regulating the onset of puberty. In fish, however, the mechanisms underlying the initiation of puberty are poorly understood and the role of the Kiss1r/kisspeptin pathway in this process has not been established. In this study, a bioinformatics approach was used to identify the genes for Kiss1 and Kiss1r in five teleost genomes and the information used to clone the corresponding transcripts from zebrafish. Zebrafish kiss1r was expressed predominantly in the brain, with a minor level of expression in the eye, and zebrafish kiss1 was expressed in brain, intestine, adipose tissue and testis. Analysis of the chromosome region containing the kiss1 locus showed high synteny across vertebrate genomes. In contrast to their mammalian homologues, teleost Kiss1 protein sequences were poorly conserved with the exception of the region representing kisspeptin-10. Signal peptide sequences and likely cleavage and amidation sites in the teleost Kiss1 sequences were determined and found to be similar to those in mammalian Kiss1. This is the first report of the existence and characterization of the Kiss1 gene outside the mammalian taxa, suggesting that a functional Kiss1/Kiss1 receptor pathway is conserved across vertebrate species.