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Molecules 2010, 15(4), 2609-2622; doi:10.3390/molecules15042609
Article

High-Throughput Behavioral Screens: the First Step towards Finding Genes Involved in Vertebrate Brain Function Using Zebrafish

Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road North, Rm 3035, Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6, Canada
Received: 9 February 2010 / Revised: 26 March 2010 / Accepted: 7 April 2010 / Published: 12 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-throughput Screening)
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Abstract

The zebrafish has been in the forefront of developmental biology for three decades and has become a favorite of geneticists. Due to the accumulated genetic knowledge and tools developed for the zebrafish it is gaining popularity in other disciplines, including neuroscience. The zebrafish offers a compromise between system complexity (it is a vertebrate similar in many ways to our own species) and practical simplicity (it is small, easy to keep, and prolific). Such features make zebrafish an excellent choice for high throughput mutation and drug screening. For the identification of mutation or drug induced alteration of brain function arguably the best methods are behavioral test paradigms. This review does not present experimental examples for the identification of particular genes or drugs. Instead it describes how behavioral screening methods may enable one to find functional alterations in the vertebrate brain. Furthermore, the review is not comprehensive. The behavioral test examples presented are biased according to the personal interests of the author. They will cover research areas including learning and memory, fear and anxiety, and social behavior. Nevertheless, the general principles will apply to other functional domains and should represent a snapshot of the rapidly evolving behavioral screening field with zebrafish.
Keywords: zebrafish; high-throughput behavioral screening; fetal alcohol syndrome; alcoholism; learning and memory; fear and anxiety zebrafish; high-throughput behavioral screening; fetal alcohol syndrome; alcoholism; learning and memory; fear and anxiety
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Gerlai, R. High-Throughput Behavioral Screens: the First Step towards Finding Genes Involved in Vertebrate Brain Function Using Zebrafish. Molecules 2010, 15, 2609-2622.

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