Fishing for understanding: Unlocking the zebrafish gene editor's toolbox

Brandon W. Simone, Gabriel Martínez-Gálvez, Zachary WareJoncas, Stephen C. Ekker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of the field of gene editing can largely be attributed to the discovery and optimization of designer endonucleases. These include zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regular interspersed short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) systems including Cas9, Cas12a, and structure-guided nucleases. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have proven to be a powerful model system for genome engineering testing and applications due to their external development, high fecundity, and ease of housing. As the zebrafish gene editing toolkit continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to understand when and how to utilize which of these technologies for maximum efficacy in a particular project. While CRISPR-Cas9 has brought broad attention to the field of genome engineering in recent years, designer endonucleases have been utilized in genome engineering for more than two decades. This chapter provides a brief overview of designer endonuclease and other gene editing technologies in zebrafish as well as some of their known functional benefits and limitations depending on specific project goals. Finally, selected prospects for additional gene editing tools are presented, promising additional options for directed genomic programming of this versatile animal model system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Base editing
  • DNA repair
  • Designer nuclease
  • Genome editing
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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