The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is one of the most popular vertebrate systems for studying developmental genetics, primarily due to a number of advantageous features, including high fecundity, generation of many transparent embryos that develop outside the mother (in the water), and the conservation of the vertebrate organs, which allows comparison with that of humans. Thanks to the development of methods for transgenesis and genome-editing (especially CRISPr/Cas9 technology) zebrafish has recently "exploded" as powerful experimental model for in vivo studies of human diseases, including tumors.
The Zebrafish Unit is entirely dedicated to the maintenance and use for scientific purposes of zebrafish strains (and/or other small freshwater fish) and provides a direct access to the zebrafish. It includes:
Facility staff manages all aquarium maintenance and water quality monitoring, feeding, and breeding of animals to be raised in the facility. Thanks to our facility, investigators and scientific groups have the possibility to analyze and study in vivo, in a vertebrate model system, the function and the role of the homologues of human genes involved in human diseases and developmental biology. Moreover, zebrafish embryos represent a powerful platform for genetic and drug screening.