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Addgene Zebrafish Collection Icon Zebrafish Plasmids and Resources

The zebrafish (Danio rerio), named for the horizontal stripes on the sides of the adult body, is a tropical freshwater fish in the minnow family. It has long been established as a powerful vertebrate model organism for the study of genetics and developmental biology. With its rapid development (embryogenesis is complete in ~3 days), short generation time (~3 months), ease of care and breeding, and transparency of the embryo and larvae, it is easy to culture large populations that are amenable to genetics, high-throughput screening and non-invasive live imaging. A standard toolbox of genetic methods, such as Tol2 transposons, Cre-mediated site-specific recombination, morpholinos, zinc finger nucleases, TALENS, and CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing make the zebrafish a stalwart research model. With more than 70% of human disease genes having an ortholog in zebrafish, this species has more recently emerged as a model system for human disease and translational research, including the study of cancer, inflammation and infection, regeneration, human neurological disorders, microbiota studies, and drug discovery and development. Here we highlight some of the plasmids and tools available at Addgene for use in zebrafish.

Browse Plasmids

Plasmid Tools for Use in Zebrafish

Looking for plasmids containing your zebrafish gene of interest? Search Addgene's collection for plasmids that contain a zebrafish gene or sequence.

The table below highlights plasmids that contain tools for use in zebrafish research. This includes plasmids for genome editing, empty backbones, fluorescent proteins, reporters, biosensors, and Cre expression plasmids. Large collections or kits are described below.

ID Plasmid Description Gene/Insert PI

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Highlights of Zebrafish Tools in our Collection


Please refer to Addgene's CRISPR Guide for a general introduction to CRISPR technology or the zebrafish CRISPR resources for a full selection of plasmids expressing Cas9 and empty gRNA backbones. A few examples of useful zebrafish CRISPR resources can be found below:

Lineage Tracing

Cell lineage tracing in multicellular systems typically relies on genetic markers, somatic mutations, or labeling with fluorescent proteins to visualize and track clones of cells over time. Examples of useful tools for studying cells that share clonal origin in zebrafish can be found below:

Other Tools of Interest

A few examples of popular tools to use in zebrafish, ranging from optogenetics to tools for studying diseases, are listed below:

  • Lipid droplet reporters - Richard White Lab. An imaging platform to study lipid dynamics in vivo.
  • Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) tools - Marco Morsch Lab. A vertebrate model to study ALS-linked aggregates in real time.
  • Live imaging of astroctyes - Kelly Monk Lab. Live imaging tools to study the development and function of zebrafish astrocytes.
  • Knock-in tagging - Michel Bagnat lab. Targeting cassettes encoding fluorescent proteins for tagging genes at endogenous genomic loci in zebrafish.
  • NTR 2.0 - Jeff Mumm Lab. NTR 2.0/MTZ-based cell ablation system that allows sustained cell loss and ablation of previously resistant cell types.
  • CreLite - George Eisenhoffer Lab. An optogenetically controlled Cre/loxP system that enables precise temporal and spatial control of gene expression in zebrafish using red light.
  • LipoGlo - Steven Farber Lab. A reporter system that allows direct assessment of lipoprotein abundance, size, and localization in high-throughput.
  • MAZERATI platform - Leonard Zon Lab. A platform to rapidly model potential cancer drivers in vivo.
  • Biotagging toolkit - Tatjana Sauka-Spengler Lab. A genetic binary system for cell- and compartment-specific biotin labeling in zebrafish.
  • pGCS Vector Kit - Hai-Ning Du Lab. A set of pCS2+ backbone-based Gateway destination vectors (pGCS), bearing either amino- or carboxyl-terminal tags, including Myc, HA, Flag, GST and eGFP epitopes.
  • Zebrafish Tol2 Gateway-compatible Kit for Neurodegenerative Disorders - Nicholas Cole Lab. A kit consisting of plasmids with four promoters, six fluorophores, and empty vectors designed to streamline the production of transgenic zebrafish for studying neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Fluorescent Protein Fusion Construct Set - Amro Hamdoun Lab. A useful “starter kit” for screening fluorescent protein fusion expression in organisms or cells in which an exogenous mRNA can be injected and expressed.
  • EXPRESs Plasmids for Zebrafish Receptors and Zebrafish Monoclonal Antibody plasmids - Gavin Wright Lab. Collections of plasmids that encode zebrafish receptors or monoclonal antibodies to zebrafish cell surface receptors and secreted proteins.

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Other Resources

Addgene Blog Posts

External Resources

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Do you have suggestions for other plasmids that should be added to this list?

Fill out our Suggest a Plasmid form or e-mail [email protected] to help us improve this resource!