Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and medaka (Oryzias latipes) are small fish that offer a rich repertoire of genetic, molecular and cellular manipulation tools that are of central importance for the BioInterfaces programme. Their unique properties (small size, numerous offspring, optical transparency of the embryo, amenability to genetic and chemical screens) make them ideal for the identification in vivo of new key targets and small molecules that control cell behaviour. Indeed they are currently the only vertebrate system that permit screens of phenotypic changes in response to genetic alterations or small molecules to be made efficiently. Moreover, the transparency and small size of the embryos allow the monitoring and modelling of cell behaviour underlying vertebrate development and organ formation, unique features not offered by other vertebrate models and of central importance for the BioInterfaces programme. The availability of several thousand existing mutants and transgenic lines is also a vital resource. Small fish models are invaluable for many fields, including cell biology, developmental genetics and biomedicine. As a consequence, the pharmaceutical industry is strongly interested in using fish for drug screens and whole animal toxicology studies.
|One of the rooms in the fish facility housing several hundreds of
recirculating water aquaria.
The KIT houses the largest experimental fish facility in Europe with a capacity of more than 300.000 fish. The facility is now being further enlarged to serve as a European Zebrafish Resource Center (EZRC). This center will be unique as it will not only maintain and distribute a large number of existing mutant and transgenic zebrafish lines but will also provide screening services and technologies such as imaging and high-throughput sequencing. In close interaction with physicists, engineers and IT specialists, we are actively expanding the medium/high throughput screening technologies that have been recently established at KIT. Key areas include automation of embryo handling and automated image acquisition and processing. Our platform also involves the development of novel microscopy techniques, (e.g. SPIM, DSLM, robotic macroscope) to permit high-resolution, real-time imaging in 4D. Furthermore, computational methods pave the way for virtual screens where researchers anywhere in the world will be able to link into the EZRC database to access the high resolution models of wild-type, transgenic, mutant and chemically exposed embryos for particular traits of interest.
In addition the fish facility keeps a range of medaka stocks, maintained by the Loosli group.
Stock requests and submissions
Construction of fish rooms for the EZRC was recently finished, and the EZRC is now open for business.
We currently maintain approximately 30 wildtype, 70 mutant and 160 transgenic lines and are rapidly importing additional lines, including all knock-out mutants produced by the Sanger Institute (for more information on these please see the website of the ZF-HEALTH project).
Note that we can accept lines only as eggs disinfected with bleach, after completion of a submission form. Moreover all submitted mutant, transgenic, and wild-type lines must have a ZFIN record and approved nomenclature. Please contact ZFIN at nomenclature_coordinators for nomenclature assistance. For questions regarding submitting a fish line please contact Jana Maier or Robert Geisler at ∂zfin orgEZRC-Submissions. ∂itg kit edu
A stock list will be available online in the near future. For now please address inquiries to EZRC-Requests. Requesters will be charged for shipping and handling. ∂itg kit edu
We are planning to organize collaborative screens where KIT will provide the facilities (including our high-throughput screening pipeline), biological material, software and coordination, while guests bring their own assays. We expect to screen mainly TILLING mutants which will be continuously supplied by the Sanger Institute (approx. 4 families representing a total of 60 KOs per week) from 2013 onward.
To participate please send your ideas for assays as soon as possible to robert geisler. ∂kit edu
Video tour of the EZRC