Yelon, D. and Stainier, D.Y. (1999) Patterning during organogenesis: genetic analysis of cardiac chamber formation. Sem. Cell Dev. Biol.. 10(2):93-98.
A classical genetic approach, in which mutagenized organisms are screened for phenotypes of interest, is appealing for the analysis of developmental processes. Here, we describe the advantages of zebrafish genetics for the study of heart development. As an example of the utility of this strategy, we discuss its potential to illuminate the molecular mechanisms of cardiac chamber formation. The signals that specify ventricular and atrial lineages and the differentiation pathways that produce distinct chambers are poorly understood. Recently identified zebrafish mutations that disrupt ventricular or atrial development promise to reveal genes essential for these processes.