Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology • Kawakami Group

The genetic basis of development and behaviors in zebrafish



Research Summary

We developed the highly efficient transposon transposition system in zebrafish, and developed powerful genetic methods, including the transgenesis, gene trap, enhancer trap, Gal4-UAS methods. By using these methods, we created a large number of transgenic fish lines that express the yeast Gal4 transcription activator in specific cells, tissues and organs for the applications in developmental biology and neuroscience. We are studying the structure and function of specific neuronal circuits that regulate locomotion, learning and memory. Also, we visualize neuronal activity during behavior by calcium imaging to identify functional neuronal circuits.

GFP expression in specific cells, tissues and organs by gene trapping and enhancer trapping. (upper, left) skeleton, (upper, right) cells on the skin, (lower, left) blood vessels, (lower, right) sensory neurons.


Wada, H., Iwasaki, M., and Kawakami, K. (2014). Development of the lateral line canal system through a bone remodeling process in zebrafish. Dev Biol 392, 1-14.

Muto, A., Ohkura, M., Abe, G., Nakai, J., and Kawakami, K. (2013). Real-time visualization of neuronal activity during perception. Curr Biol 23, 307-311.

Asakawa, K., Abe, G., and Kawakami, K. (2013). Cellular dissection of the spinal cord motor column by BAC transgenesis and gene trapping in zebrafish. Front Neural Circuits 7, 100.

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