Zebrafish and giant danio as models for muscle growth: Determinate vs. indeterminate growth as determined by morphometric analysis

Academic Article


  • The zebrafish has become an important genetic model, but their small size makes them impractical for traditional physiological studies. In contrast, the closely related giant danio is larger and can be utilized for physiological studies that can also make use of the extensive zebrafish genomic resources. In addition, the giant danio and zebrafish appear to exhibit different growth types, indicating the potential for developing a comparative muscle growth model system. Therefore, the present study was conducted to compare and characterize the muscle growth pattern of zebrafish and giant danio. Morphometric analyses demonstrated that giant danio exhibit an increased growth rate compared with zebrafish, starting as early as 2 wk posthatch. Total myotome area, mean fiber area, and total fiber number all exhibited positive correlations with larvae length in giant danio but not in zebrafish. Morphometric analysis of giant danio and zebrafish larvae demonstrated faster, more efficient growth in giant danio larvae. Similar to larger teleosts, adult giant danio exhibited increased growth rates in response to growth hormone, suggesting that giant danio exhibit indeterminate growth. In contrast, adult zebrafish do not exhibit mosaic hyperplasia, nor do they respond to growth hormone, suggesting they exhibit determinate growth like mammals. These results demonstrate that giant danio and zebrafish can be utilized as a direct comparative model system for muscle growth studies, with zebrafish serving as a model organism for determinate growth and giant danio for indeterminate growth. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Biga PR; Goetz FW
  • Volume

  • 291
  • Issue

  • 5