Rapid adaptation of molecular resources from zebrafish and medaka to develop an estuarine/marine model

Xueping Chen, Li Li, Chris K C WONG, Shuk Han Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Many estuary and coastal waters are highly threatened by heavy anthropogenic pollutants. Oryzias melastigma, also called O. dancena, a marine medaka that showed sensitive response to hypoxia and estrogenic endocrine disruptors in previous studies, is becoming a sentinel species for marine ecotoxicology studies. However, the lack of strong molecular foundation and knowledge of early developmental stages hampers its practical applications. Combining our research strength on zebrafish embryos, this study revealed both morphological and molecular (at mRNA and protein levels) development of embryos of this emergent model. Whole mount immunostaining technique specific for O. melastigma was successfully developed based on zebrafish standard protocols. We demonstrated that 17 out of 61 primary antibodies, which were previously tested in zebrafish, showed specific immunoreactivity with O. melastigma. These antibodies clearly illustrated the embryonic development of target tissues (principally neurons) in this medaka. Additionally, partial cDNA fragments of 11 organ-specific marker genes were isolated according to genomic resources of zebrafish, Japanese medaka and other fishes. Of the 11 genes, 8 are widely used as organ markers and their expression patterns were remarkably similar to their homologues in zebrafish and Japanese medaka. The expression profiles of the remaining 3 genes in fish are reported for the first time. These molecular markers (17 antibodies and 11 mRNA probes) can be used as responsive indicators in environmental toxicity evaluation. Moreover, this study brought forward and demonstrated the advantage of transferring techniques and resources from one model to another to hasten the research of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Dlx2
  • DM1A
  • Eng2
  • HuC/HuD
  • Islet-1
  • Krox-20
  • Marine model
  • Medaka
  • MF20
  • Oryzias dancena
  • Oryzias melastigma
  • Otx2
  • Zebrafish


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid adaptation of molecular resources from zebrafish and medaka to develop an estuarine/marine model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this