Visualization of rod photoreceptor development using GFP-transgenic zebrafish

Genesis. 2002 Nov;34(3):215-20. doi: 10.1002/gene.10155.


Zebrafish retina contains five morphologically distinct classes of photoreceptors, each expressing a distinct type of opsin gene. Molecular mechanisms underlying specification of opsin expression and differentiation among the cell types are largely unknown. This is partly because mutants affected with expression of a particular class of opsin gene are difficult to find. In this study we established the transgenic lines of zebrafish carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene under the 1.1-kb and 3.7-kb upstream regions of the rod-opsin gene. In transgenic fish, GFP expression initiated and proceeded in the same spatiotemporal pattern with rod-opsin gene. The retinal section from adult transgenic fish showed GFP expression throughout the rod cell layer. These results indicate that the proximal 1.1-kb region is sufficient to drive gene expression in all rod photoreceptor cells. These transgenic fish should facilitate screening of mutants affected specifically with rod-opsin expression or rod cell development by visualization of rod cells by GFP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / embryology*
  • Rod Opsins / genetics
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / genetics*


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Rod Opsins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins