Stable transgenesis in Astyanax mexicanus using the Tol2 transposase system Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractAstyanax mexicanus is a well-established and widely used fish model system for evolutionary and developmental biology research. These fish exist as surface forms that inhabit rivers and 30 different populations of cavefish. The establishment of A. mexicanus as an emergent model organism for understanding the evolutionary basis of development and behavior has been accelerated by an increasing availability of genomic approaches to identify genotype-phenotype associations. Despite important progress in the deployment of new technologies, deep mechanistic insights into A. mexicanus evolution and development have been limited by a lack of transgenic lines commonly used in genetic model systems. Here, we expand the toolkit of transgenesis by characterizing two novel stable transgenic lines that were generated using the highly efficient Tol2 system, commonly used to generate transgenic zebrafish. A stable transgenic line consisting of the zebrafish ubiquitin promoter fused to eGFP expressed eGFP ubiquitously throughout development in a surface population of Astyanax. To define specific cell-types, we injected fish with a Cntnap2-mCherry construct that labels lateral line mechanosensory neurons in zebrafish. Strikingly, both constructs appear to label the predicted cell types, suggesting many genetic tools and defined promoter regions in zebrafish are directly transferrable to cavefish. The lines provide proof-of-principle for the application of Tol2 transgenic technology in A. mexicanus. Expansion on these initial transgenic lines will provide a platform to address broadly important problems in the quest to bridge the genotype to phenotype gap.

altmetric score

  • 28.834

author list (cited authors)

  • Stahl, B. A., Peu, R., McDole, B., Kenzior, A., Jaggard, J. B., Gaudenz, K., ... Rohner, N.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Stahl, Bethany A||Peuß, Robert||McDole, Brittnee||Kenzior, Alexander||Jaggard, James B||Gaudenz, Karin||Krishnan, Jaya||McGaugh, Suzanne E||Duboue, Erik R||Keene, Alex C||Rohner, Nicolas

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • January 2019