BACKGROUND: Among Myc family genes, c-Myc is known to have a role in neural crest specification in Xenopus and in craniofacial development in the mouse. There is no information on the function of other Myc genes in neural crest development, or about any developmental role of zebrafish Myc genes. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We isolated the zebrafish mych (myc homologue) gene. Knockdown of mych leads to severe defects in craniofacial development and in certain other tissues including the eye. These phenotypes appear to be caused by cell death in the neural crest and in the eye field in the anterior brain. SIGNIFICANCE: Mych is a novel factor required for neural crest cell survival in zebrafish.
The corresponding author has contacted ZFIN regarding a correction to a marker name. In Figure 6G and 6H, the expression is attributed to neural crest marker snail1a. In fact, this is a typo and the correct marker name is snai1b.