Fast, easy and early (larval) identification of transparent mutant zebrafish using standard fluorescence microscopy

F1000Res. 2020 Aug 10;9:963. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.22464.1. eCollection 2020.


The availability of transparent zebrafish mutants (either TraNac: tra b6/b6; nac w2/w2 or casper: roy a9/a9; nac w2/w2 ) for live imaging studies together with the ease of generating transgenic lines are two of the strengths of the zebrafish model organism. The fact that transparent casper ( roy a9/a9;nac w2/w2) and silver nacre ( nac w2/w2) mutants are indistinguishable by eye at early stages (1-5 days post-fertilization; dpf) means many fish must be raised and later culled if they are not transparent. To identify translucent mutants early and easily at the early larval stage (≤5 dpf) before they are classified as protected animals, we developed a simple screening method using standard fluorescence microscopy. We estimate that this procedure could annually save 60,000 animals worldwide.

Keywords: Zebrafish; casper; iridophore; nac; screening; tra; trab6/b6nacw2/w2; translucent; transparent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Larva / genetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Reference Standards
  • Zebrafish* / genetics

Grant support

This work was funded by the Imperial College President’s PhD scholarship and by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs; Grant reference number NC/N003446/1).