Summary of May 11,1999 organizational meeting at NIH

to discuss establishment of an anatomical dictionary for zebrafish

(prepared by Eck Doerry)


Development of a complete and uniform anatomical dictionary for the zebrafish is vital to the success of zebrafish science. Specifically, the dictionary is necessary for:


Although the need for an anatomical dictionary has been recognized for some time, development been slow. Bill Trevarrow made a tremendous start in 1996, but progress stalled due to anatomical quandaries and lack of time to resolve them. In addition, several pragmatic efforts have yielded rudimentary dictionaries to characterize specific sets of in situ or mutant data. It is vital that these efforts be coordinated before they conflict and/or diverge too far; untangling the chaos post hoc would be a nightmare.

To make a start at coordinating development of the dictionary, an informal breakfast meeting of interested parties was arranged on May 11,1999, at the annual NIH-sponsored workshop on zebrafish genomic and genetic tools. Although not all interested parties were able to attend, this provided a convenient, low-cost, low-commitment opportunity for introductions and quick overviews of projects, perspectives on the dictionary, and planning for future development.

People and Projects


Others who have expressed interest but could not attend:

Outcomes and Plans

Predictably, everyone in attendance agreed that developing the anatomical dictionary is a high priority. The need is so urgent, in fact, that we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having to develop the dictionary, while at the same time using it to characterize data being produced today. The following points sketch out specific conclusions: