In a large scale mutagenesis screen for embryonic mutants in zebrafish, we have identified 63 mutations in 24 loci affecting the morphogenesis of the zebrafish brain. The expression of marker genes and the integrity of the axonal scaffold have been studied to investigate abnormalities in regionalization, neurogenesis and axonogenesis in the brain. Mutants can be broadly classified into two groups, one affecting regionalization along the anterior-posterior or dorsal-ventral axis, and the other affecting general features of brain morphology. The first group includes one locus that is required to generate the anlage of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary region at the beginning of somitogenesis. Four loci were identified that affect dorsal-ventral patterning of the brain, including the previously described cyclops locus. Mutant embryos of this class show a reduction of ventral neuroectodermal structures and variable fusion of the eyes. The second group includes a large class of mutations affecting the formation of brain ventricles. Analysis of this class reveals the requirement of a functional cardiovascular system for ventricle enlargement during embryogenesis. Mutations in one locus lead to the formation of supernumerary primary neurons, a phenotype reminiscent of neurogenic mutants in Drosophila. Other mutant phenotypes described here range from abnormalities in the fasciculation and outgrowth of axons to defects in the diameter of the neural tube. The identified loci establish the genetic foundation for a further analysis of the development of the zebrafish embryonic brain.
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - 1996|