Temporal and spatial patterns of opsin gene expression in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Vis Neurosci. Sep-Oct 1995;12(5):895-906. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800009457.


In zebrafish, the first class of cone photoreceptor to become morphologically distinct is the ultraviolet-sensitive short single cone, at 4 days postfertilization, whereas the last class, the red- and green-sensitive double cone, becomes distinct at 10 days postfertilization. We have examined the time course of visual pigment gene expression in zebrafish using whole-mount in situ hybridization. Within the retina, opsins may be detected as early as 40 h postfertilization with the ultraviolet and rod visual pigments being expressed before the blue- (48 h) and red- (60 h) sensitive pigments. In the pineal, red-sensitive opsin is expressed at 48 h postfertilization. Visual pigment expression provides a useful tool for investigations of early cell fate in zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Rod Opsins / genetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / growth & development*


  • Rod Opsins