The genetics of hearing and balance in zebrafish

Annu Rev Genet. 2005;39:9-22. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genet.39.073003.105049.


The zebrafish is an excellent model system for studying the molecular basis of inner ear development and function. The eggs develop ex utero and the ear is transparent for the first few weeks of life. Forward genetic screens and antisense technology have helped to elucidate the signaling pathways and molecules required for inner ear development and function. This review addresses the most recent advances in our understanding of how the ear forms and discusses the molecules in hair cells that are essential for sensing sound and movement in the zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ear, Inner / anatomy & histology
  • Ear, Inner / embryology
  • Ear, Inner / metabolism
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / physiology
  • Hearing / genetics*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Postural Balance
  • Zebrafish / anatomy & histology
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / physiology*