Forward genetics: identifying novel genes important for cardiovascular development

wt_ref_22s_myl7-1The ENU-induced mutant, refuse-to-fuse (ref) was found in a forward genetic screen for cardiac defects. ref was found to be a mutation in pdgfra leading to the identification of PDGF signaling as being important for cardiac fusion. For more information see Bloomekatz et al. 2017.

Quantitative live-imaging

wt_ref_tracks_merged_4Quantitative tracking of cardiomyocyte movement (Purple-to-Red) in wildtype and ref mutant embryos allows for the dissection of different properties of movement


Biomechanics RCGZO1-16s18s_10_Series035W_002_ZO1onlyscale

Different shapes of cardiomyocytes during heart tube formation. Analysis of cell morphology as well as biophysical experiments such as laser ablation can reveal the biomechanics underlying cardiac morphogenesis.

Systems biology and bioinformatics

Whole genome and high throughput techniques for non-reductionist approaches to cardiovascular development.


timelineExternal fertilization, optical transparency, large clutch size, ease of genetic manipulation, great genetic tractability and great scientific community are just some of the advantages that make zebrafish a great vertebrate model system with which to study cardiovascular biology