Evolution of danio pigment pattern development

Heredity (Edinb). 2006 Sep;97(3):200-10. doi: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800867. Epub 2006 Jul 12.


Pigment patterns of danio fishes are emerging as a useful system for studying the evolution of developmental mechanisms underlying adult form. Different closely related species within the genera Danio and Devario exhibit a range of pigment patterns including horizontal stripes, vertical bars, and others. In this review, I summarize recent work identifying the genetic and cellular bases for adult pigment pattern formation in the zebrafish Danio rerio, as well as studies of how these mechanisms have evolved in other danios. Together, these analyses highlight the importance of latent precursors at post-embrynoic stages, as well as interactions within and among pigment cell classes, for both pigment pattern development and evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Body Patterning* / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Pigmentation* / genetics
  • Zebrafish / classification
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / growth & development*