Forward genetic analysis in the zebrafish has largely until now been restricted to the developmental period from the time of zygotic genome activation through the end of embryogenesis. However, the use of the zebrafish as a model system for the analysis of larval, juvenile and adult traits, including fertility and maternal and paternal effects, is gaining momentum. Here, we describe two different approaches, an F3-extended family and a gynogenesis-based approach, that allow genetic screening for and recovery of mutations affecting post-embryonic stages, including adult traits, fertility, and parental effects. For each approach, we also describe strategies to maintain and map the identified mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microtubule-microfilament interactions are important for cytokinesis and subcellular localization of proteins and mRNAs. In the early zebrafish embryo, astral microtubule-microfilament interactions also facilitate a stereotypic segregation pattern of germ plasm ribonucleoparticles (GP RNPs), which is critical for their eventual selective inheritance by germ cells. The precise mechanisms and molecular mediators for both cytoskeletal interactions and GP RNPs segregation are the focus of intense research. Here, we report the molecular identification of a zebrafish maternal-effect mutation motley as Birc5b, a homolog of the mammalian Chromosomal Passenger Complex (CPC) component Survivin. The meiosis and mitosis defects in motley/birc5b mutant embryos are consistent with failed CPC function, and additional defects in astral microtubule remodeling contribute to failures in the initiation of cytokinesis furrow ingression. Unexpectedly, the motley/birc5b mutation also disrupts cortical microfilaments and GP RNP aggregation during early cell divisions. Birc5b localizes to the tips of astral microtubules along with polymerizing cortical F-actin and the GP RNPs. Mutant Birc5b co-localizes with cortical F-actin and GP RNPs, but fails to associate with astral microtubule tips, leading to disorganized microfilaments and GP RNP aggregation defects. Thus, maternal Birc5b localizes to astral microtubule tips and associates with cortical F-actin and GP RNPs, potentially linking the two cytoskeletons to mediate microtubule-microfilament reorganization and GP RNP aggregation during early embryonic cell cycles in zebrafish. In addition to the known mitotic function of CPC components, our analyses reveal a non-canonical role for an evolutionarily conserved CPC protein in microfilament reorganization and germ plasm aggregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal homozygosity for three independent mutant hecate alleles results in embryos with reduced expression of dorsal organizer genes and defects in the formation of dorsoanterior structures. A positional cloning approach identified all hecate mutations as stop codons affecting the same gene, revealing that hecate encodes the Glutamate receptor interacting protein 2a (Grip2a), a protein containing multiple PDZ domains known to interact with membrane-associated factors including components of the Wnt signaling pathway. We find that grip2a mRNA is localized to the vegetal pole of the oocyte and early embryo, and that during egg activation this mRNA shifts to an off-center vegetal position corresponding to the previously proposed teleost cortical rotation. hecate mutants show defects in the alignment and bundling of microtubules at the vegetal cortex, which result in defects in the asymmetric movement of wnt8a mRNA as well as anchoring of the kinesin-associated cargo adaptor Syntabulin. We also find that, although short-range shifts in vegetal signals are affected in hecate mutant embryos, these mutants exhibit normal long-range, animally directed translocation of cortically injected dorsal beads that occurs in lateral regions of the yolk cortex. Furthermore, we show that such animally-directed movement along the lateral cortex is not restricted to a single arc corresponding to the prospective dorsal region, but occur in multiple meridional arcs even in opposite regions of the embryo. Together, our results reveal a role for Grip2a function in the reorganization and bundling of microtubules at the vegetal cortex to mediate a symmetry-breaking short-range shift corresponding to the teleost cortical rotation. The slight asymmetry achieved by this directed process is subsequently amplified by a general cortical animally-directed transport mechanism that is neither dependent on hecate function nor restricted to the prospective dorsal axis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many animals, factors deposited by the mother into the egg control the earliest events in development of the zygote. These maternal RNAs and proteins play critical roles in oocyte development and the earliest steps of embryogenesis such as fertilization, cell division and embryonic patterning. Here, this article summarizes recent discoveries made on the maternal control of germline specification in zebrafish. Moreover, this review will discuss the major gaps remaining in our understanding of this process and highlight recent technical innovations in zebrafish, which allow tackling some of these questions in the near future.
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 11/2014; 50(1). DOI:10.3109/10409238.2014.985816 · 7.71 Impact Factor
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