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What is a zebrafish?

The zebrafish is a fish native to India and Malaysia. It lives in shallow waters such as rice fields. It is omnivorous and accepts all kinds of food (dry, live, frozen, etc.)

The scientific name of the zebrafish used in the laboratory is Danio rerio. It is an oviparous fish; the fish lay eggs in the water. It takes only 3 days for an egg to give birth to a small fish with all its organs. Thanks to its yolk sac (source of nutrients), it then continues to grow without feeding until the 5th day, when it becomes completely independent. It can live up to 2 years.

Why use zebrafish in research?

The zebrafish is easy to handle and very productive; a female can lay up to 200 eggs every 10 days.

A unique advantage of the zebrafish is that its embryos are transparent, allowing precise monitoring of its development.

The zebrafish has the ability to regenerate many parts of its body, such as its fins, retina, optic nerve and even its heart.

70% of human genes have a counterpart in zebrafish. This fish is therefore a relevant model, very close to humans and easier to study.

What is it used for?

At the IGFL, we use the zebrafish to :

  • Study the extracellular matrix