Giant danio, zebrafish, and genetics

This is a giant danio video.

From the American Physiological Society:

Two fish that share much in common genetically appear to have markedly different abilities to grow, a finding that could provide a new way to research such disparate areas as muscle wasting disease and fish farming, a new study shows.

The study in the November issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, finds that the giant danio, unlike its cousin the zebrafish, appears to have the ability to recruit new muscle throughout its life.

Humans have the same ability before birth, but mostly lose it after birth.

Because the zebrafish and giant danio are closely related, and the zebrafish’s genome has already been mapped, scientists hope they can more easily identify the genetic keys to the difference in growth potential between them.


According to co-author Peggy R. Biga, “I don’t think there will be a major genomic difference between them. I believe it will be easy to define the difference.”

The study “Zebrafish and giant danio as models for muscle growth: Determinate versus indeterminate growth as determined by morphometric analysis,” was carried out by Biga and Frederick W. Goetz, both of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Wisconsin Aquatic Technology and Environmental Research (WATER) Institute, Milwaukee.

The American Physiological Society published the study.

Zebrafish versus Giant Danio

Zebrafish and giant danios, members of the minnow family, are easy to raise and are popular inhabitants of home aquariums.

They are native to the warm waters around India and some other areas of southern Asia.

Although both are small, the danio is a giant among minnows, growing to a maximum of six inches.

The zebrafish, in contrast, grows to about two inches.

Unlike humans, zebrafish are able to regenerate amputated appendages: here.

Zebrafish regrow fins using multiple cell types, not identical stem cells: here.

In the first experiments of their kind, researchers found significant discrepancies in data generated when tracking the social behavior of zebrafish in two dimensions as opposed to 3-D. Although the researchers say the cost of 3-D tracking is too expensive to replace 2-D studies, it could significantly reduce the number of fish needed for laboratory experiments: here.

Celestial pearl danio: here.

7 thoughts on “Giant danio, zebrafish, and genetics

  1. Texas’ Big Bend to get endangered minnows

    Associated Press – October 28, 2009 2:35 PM ET

    DEXTER, N.M. (AP) – Thousands of endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows reared at a national hatchery in southeastern New Mexico are being trucked to Texas, where the tiny fish will be released into the Rio Grande near Big Bend National Park.

    The release is part of a 5-year experiment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that aims to establish a population of minnows in the river’s southern reaches.

    Surveys show some minnows released at Big Bend last year are still there, so biologist Aimee Roberson says there’s hope for the reintroduction effort.

    Once abundant, minnow numbers plummeted due to habitat changes and environmental pressures on the Rio Grande. The fish was listed as endangered in 1994, and the New Mexico hatchery has been rearing them for release back into the wild.

    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.


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