Rod contributions to the electroretinogram of the dark-adapted developing zebrafish

Dev Dyn. 2001 Dec;222(4):564-70. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.1188.


Anatomical studies of the developing zebrafish retina have shown that rods approach maturity at about 15 days postfertilization (dpf). Past work has examined the photopic spectral sensitivity function of the developing zebrafish, but not spectral sensitivity under dark-adapted conditions. This study examined rod contributions to the dark-adapted spectral sensitivity function of the ERG b-wave component in developing zebrafish. ERG responses to stimuli of various wavelengths and irradiances were obtained from dark-adapted fish at 6-8, 13-15, 21-24, and 27-29 dpf. The results show that dark-adapted spectral sensitivity varied with age. Spectral sensitivity functions of the 6-8 and 13-15 dpf groups appeared to be cone dominated and contained little or no rod contributions. Spectral sensitivity functions of the 21-24 and 27-29 dpf groups appeared to have both rod and cone contributions. Even at the oldest age group tested, the dark-adapted spectral sensitivity function did not match the adult function. Thus, consistent with anatomical findings, the rod contributions to the ERG spectral sensitivity function appear to develop with age; however, these contributions are still not adult-like by 29 dpf, which is contrary to anatomical work. These results illustrate that the zebrafish is an excellent model for visual development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology*
  • Electroretinography*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Zebrafish / embryology*