Zebrafish phylogeny and taxonomy

Braedan M. McCluskey, Ingo Braasch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a cypriniform teleost that belongs to the lineage of ray-finned fishes, one of the two major groups of bony vertebrates. In this chapter, we will first discuss the taxonomy and phylogenetic position of zebrafish within the vertebrate lineage before examining the closer relationships of zebrafish among cypriniforms and danoinids. We will then discuss important evolutionary considerations for using zebrafish as a model organism for vertebrate biology and human disease, such as the occurrence of three whole-genome duplication events in zebrafish’s evolutionary past. Importantly, zebrafish serves as the central “hub” for functionally uncovering the genotype-to-phenotype map in the fish world and is nested within a rich biodiversity of emerging fish model systems, offering an extensive evolutionary framework to investigate vertebrate development, evolution, genomics, and biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Zebrafish in Biomedical Research
Subtitle of host publicationBiology, Husbandry, Diseases, and Research Applications
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128124314
ISBN (Print)9780128124321
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Bony vertebrate
  • Cypriniformes
  • Danionidae
  • Evo-devo
  • Evolution
  • Genome duplication
  • Ostariophysi
  • Phylogenomics
  • Ray-finned fish
  • Teleost


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