Target-Selected Inactivation of the Zebrafish rag1 Gene

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Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 99-102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071762

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The zebrafish has become a favorite organism for genetic analysis of vertebrate development, but methods for generating mutants by reverse genetic approaches have been lacking. We report a method to obtain stable mutants of a gene based on knowledge of the gene sequence only. Parental fish were mutagenized withN-ethyl-N-nitrosourea; in 2679 F1fish, the rag1 gene was analyzed for heterozygous mutations by resequencing. In total, we found 15 mutations: 9 resulted in amino acid substitutions and 1 resulted in a premature stop codon. This truncation mutant was found to be homozygous viable and defective in V(D)J joining. Although presumably immune deficient, these homozygous rag1 mutant fish are able to reach adulthood and are fertile. As sperm samples from all 2679 F1 fish were collected and cryopreserved, we have in principle generated a mutant library from which mutants of most zebrafish genes can be isolated.

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