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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

AN ANALYSIS OF ANTERIOR HOX GENE EXPRESSION PATTERNS IN THE PHARYNGEAL ARCHES OF ZEBRAFISH (DANIO RERIO)

Abstract

The pharyngeal arches (PAs) are a group of embryonic tissue primordia that give rise to craniofacial tissues, including bones, in vertebrate animals. Several developmental studies have shown that the Hox paralog group (PG) 3-6 genes in mouse (Mus musculus), dogfish shark (Scyliorhinus canicula), and several teleost fishes, including the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), are expressed in the posterior PAs. While it is known where most of zebrafish (Danio rerio) Hox PG3-6 genes are expressed within the hindbrain, little is known of where these genes are expressed in the posterior PAs. We are currently uncovering the PA expression patterns of the zebrafish Hox PG3-6 genes. We have developed sense and antisense RNA probes for zebrafish hoxa3a, a4a, a5a, b5a, b6a, b6b, c3a, c5a, c6a, d3a, and d4a. To date, by performing whole-mount in situ hybridization, we have found that hoxb5a is expressed in the posterior PAs. We expect many of the other aforementioned genes to be expressed also in the posterior PAs, especially since their expression domains appear to be conserved across evolutionarily divergent lineages, including mouse, shark, medaka and tilapia.

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