Fishman, M.C. and Stainier, D.Y.R. (1994) Cardiovascular development: prospects for a genetic approach. Circulation research. 74:757-763.
Genetics is a powerful tool, especially when used in combination with embryology, in the seeking of genes necessary for assembly of the cardiovasculature. The first questions must address the types of cellular decisions that are made during development. As for simpler systems in C elegans and D melanogaster, the lineage and cell-fate decisions of the cardiovascular progenitors need to be assessed. In addition it is likely that new paradigms will emerge for multicellular assembly. The study of cardiovascular mutations will define individual genetic steps that define organotypic decisions. A genetic approach is a natural extension of embryology, physiology, and anatomy, fields of great sophistication with regard to the cardiovasculature, because, like them, it focuses on integrative biology and on the intact organism. The zebrafish is particularly well suited to a combination genetic-embryologic study of the fashioning of the cardiovasculature.