elegans will lead to insights in understanding human cognition. Nothing declared. Papers of particular interest, published within the period of review, have been highlighted as: • of special interest This work was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery Grant to CHR. “
“Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 2015, 2:21–27 This review comes from a themed issue
on Behavioral genetics 2015 Edited by William Davies and Laramie Duncan http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2014.07.007 Selumetinib 2352-1546/© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. The zebrafish is a small freshwater teleost from South East Asia, India and Nepal (Figure 1, panel a). It inhabits a variety of habitats from small slowly flowing creeks to ponds and rice paddies . It is an insectivore that mainly eats from the surface of the water, and it is usually found swimming farther away from the bottom. Its predators include fishing birds and a variety of piscivorous fish species . It forms groups, or shoals, in the laboratory and in nature. In the natural habitat of zebrafish, shoals have been observed to contain from only a few up to several hundred members, species-specific features that are all relevant for the design of appropriate behavioral selleck chemicals llc test paradigms
in the laboratory. The zebrafish has been well known in the aquarium trade because this little fish, in addition to its beautiful appearance and active nature, is easy to keep, and it breeds well even in the confines of a small fish tank. It tolerates a variety of water conditions,
and it is a voracious eater of a number of artificial fish foods. For these reasons and because a single female can produce 2–300 eggs at every spawning, scientists started to take notice of this species about four decades ago . Initially, zebrafish were utilized mostly in developmental biology research. Embryologists took advantage of the zebrafish’s fast embryonic development (it completes within 5 days) and the fact that throughout the process the embryo remains Etomidate transparent . During these years, several genetic tools were developed for the zebrafish so that the biological mechanisms of organ development and vertebrate embryogenesis could be investigated. Because of the accumulation of these tools and, in general, the excellent characterization of the genetics of this species, the zebrafish has become one of the preferred model organisms of geneticists, and it now competes well with the other favorites, the house mouse and the fruit fly . About 15 years ago a paradigm shift started to occur in zebrafish research . Because of the accumulated genetic tools, scientific fields other than developmental biology began to employ zebrafish. One of these fields was behavioral genetics .