In vitro oocyte culture-based manipulation of zebrafish maternal genes

Sreelaja Nair, Robin E. Lindeman, Francisco Pelegri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In animals, females deposit gene products into developing oocytes, which drive early cellular events in embryos immediately after fertilization. As maternal gene products are present before fertilization, the functional manipulation of maternal genes is often challenging to implement, requiring gene expression or targeting during oogenesis. Maternal expression can be achieved through transgenesis, but transgenic approaches are time consuming and subject to undesired epigenetic effects. Here, we have implemented in vitro culturing of experimentally manipulated immature oocytes to study maternal gene contribution to early embryonic development in the zebrafish. We demonstrate phenotypic rescue of a maternal-effect mutation by expressing wild-type product in cultured oocytes. We also generate loss-of-function phenotypes in embryos through either the expression of a dominant-negative transcript or injection of translation-blocking morpholino oligonucleotides. Finally, we demonstrate subcellular localization during the early cell divisions immediately after fertilization of an exogenously provided maternal product fused to a fluorescent protein. These manipulations extend the potential to carry out genetic and imaging studies of zebrafish maternal genes during the egg-to-embryo transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Cellular island
  • Centrioles
  • Futile cycle
  • Maternal gene
  • Maternal-effect
  • Mission impossible
  • Oocyte culture
  • Oogenesis
  • Reverse genetics
  • Sas-6
  • Zebrafish

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro oocyte culture-based manipulation of zebrafish maternal genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this