Zebrafish muscle development and evolution




A combination of genetic and embryological amenability has placed zebrafish at the forefront of attempts to understand how genes function to control vertebrate development.


The optical transparency of the zebrafish embryo provides the ability to visualise every cell in the forming embryo by simple optical inspection as well as enabling the use of a host of cell labeling and transgenic approaches to dissect embryonic development.


Furthermore, the large-scale mutagenesis of the zebrafish genome has also produced many different classes of mutations that disrupt gene function. We use the many advantages of zebrafish embryology to dissect molecular mechanisms that act to pattern the vertebrate embryo.

    In particular, we are interested in how specific muscle cell types are determined within the developing embryo.

    Funding acknowledgements

    • National Health and Medical Research Council
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association, USA
    • Australian Research Council
    • Human Frontiers Science Program

    Peter D. Currie received his PhD in Drosophila genetics from Syracuse University, New York, USA.

    He undertook postdoctoral training in zebrafish development at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, UK. He has worked as an independent laboratory head at the UK Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, UK and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, Australia where he headed a research programme focused on skeletal muscle development and regeneration.

    His work is centred on understanding how the small freshwater zebrafish is able to build and regenerate both skeletal and cardiac muscle.

    In 2016 he was appointed Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is a recipient of a European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators Award and a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship and currently is a Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia.

    Authors
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    A myogenic precursor cell that could contribute to regeneration in zebrafish and its similarity to the satellite cell.

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