The use of transgenics in the laboratory axolotl

Dev Dyn. 2022 Jun;251(6):942-956. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.357. Epub 2021 May 13.


The ability to generate transgenic animals sparked a wave of research committed to implementing such technology in a wide variety of model organisms. Building a solid base of ubiquitous and tissue-specific reporter lines has set the stage for later interrogations of individual cells or genetic elements. Compared to other widely used model organisms such as mice, zebrafish and fruit flies, there are only a few transgenic lines available in the laboratory axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), although their number is steadily expanding. In this review, we discuss a brief history of the transgenic methodologies in axolotl and their advantages and disadvantages. Next, we discuss available transgenic lines and insights we have been able to glean from them. Finally, we list challenges when developing transgenic axolotl, and where further work is needed in order to improve their standing as both a developmental and regenerative model.

Keywords: Ambystoma mexicanum; genome editing; laboratory axolotl; transgenics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ambystoma mexicanum*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Mice
  • Zebrafish*