Zebrafish Basic Research

Zebrafish Basic Research

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly used to address key questions raised in basic and applied research, including biomedicine, toxicology, environmental science, biotechnology and aquaculture etc. In recent years, the number of publications per year on zebrafish as a model for biomedical research has been significantly increased. More than 1000 laboratories use zebrafish as a research model all over the world.

Zebrafish Basic Research

(The number of publications in PubMed per year when searching with the keywords "zebrafish" and "Biomedical.")

Zebrafish Basic Research

Why Do Zebrafish Make Such Good Animal Models?

Although humans may seem to be extremely different than zebrafish, we are actually much more similar to them than you might think. Zebrafish possesses several obvious advantages over other vertebrate models:

  • The zebrafish is similar to humans anatomically and genetically. Approximately 80% of the genes involved in human diseases have an equivalent in Zebrafish.

  • Due to the simplicity of their natural habitat, it is much easier to maintain them in a laboratory than to simulate the conditions essential for mammals. Their short generation time of 3-5 months improves the rate of experimental progress.

  • Adult zebrafish breed readily and can produce 50 to 300 eggs at a time.

  • The one-cell-stage fertilized eggs can be easily injected with DNA or RNA to permanently modify their genetic makeup to generate transgenic or knock-out zebrafish lines.

  • Zebrafish embryos and larvae are transparent and together with their small size allow the live observation of dynamic developmental and regenerative processes. Their transparency also enables the visualization of fluorescently labeled tissues in transgenic zebrafish embryos.

  • Because of the small size of the larvae, high-throughput screening of candidate compounds can be easily performed.


  • Teame T, et al. The use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as biomedical models. Animal Frontiers, 2019, 9(3): 68-77.
  • Saleem S, Kannan R R. Zebrafish: an emerging real-time model system to study Alzheimer’s disease and neurospecific drug discovery. Cell death discovery, 2018, 4(1): 1-13.

For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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