Medakafish as a model system for vertebrate developmental genetics

Bioessays. 2000 May;22(5):487-95. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-1878(200005)22:5<487::AID-BIES11>3.0.CO;2-8.


Several teleosts, such as the zebrafish and the medakafish or medaka (Oryzias latipes), are used as vertebrate model systems in various fields of biology. The medaka is suitable for use in genomic studies because of its small genome size. Moreover, our recent results of small-scale mutagenesis in the medaka indicate that it is possible to identify mutations, the phenotypes of which could not be found in zebrafish mutants obtained by large-scale mutagenesis. An example is Oot (One-sided optic tectum), a maternal-effect mutation. In the Oot phenotype, bilateral symmetry is broken in the optic tectum in the early developmental stages, and either the left or right morphology is duplicated on both sides. Medaka inbred strains can be produced and used to study quantitative traits in vertebrate development. Data presented support the use of medaka as another important fish model for the study of vertebrate developmental genetics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Inbreeding
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Mutation
  • Oryzias / embryology
  • Oryzias / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable