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Title: Genetic tools for the study of the mangrove killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus , an emerging vertebrate model for phenotypic plasticity

Kryptolebias marmoratus(Kmar), a teleost fish of the order Cyprinodontiformes, has a suite of unique phenotypes and behaviors not observed in other fishes. Many of these phenotypes are discrete and highly plastic—varying over time within an individual, and in some cases reversible. Kmar and its interfertile sister species,K. hermaphroditus, are the only known self‐fertile vertebrates. This unusual sexual mode has the potential to provide unique insights into the regulation of vertebrate sexual development, and also lends itself to genetics. Kmar is easily adapted to the lab and requires little maintenance. However, its internal fertilization and small clutch size limits its experimental use. To support Kmar as a genetic model, we compared alternative husbandry techniques to maximize recovery of early cleavage‐stage embryos. We find that frequent egg collection enhances yield, and that protease treatment promotes the greatest hatching success. We completed a forward mutagenesis screen and recovered several mutant lines that serve as important tools for genetics in this model. Several will serve as useful viable recessive markers for marking crosses. Importantly, the mutantkissylipslays embryos at twice the rate of wild‐type. Combining frequent egg collection with thekissylipsmutant background allows for a substantial enhancement of early embryo yield. These improvements were sufficient to allow experimental analysis of early development and the successful mono‐ and bi‐allelic targeted knockout of an endogenoustyrosinasegene with CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases. Collectively, these tools will facilitate modern developmental genetics in this fascinating fish, leading to future insights into the regulation of plasticity.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Medium: X Size: p. 164-177
p. 164-177
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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