Integr Comp Biol. 2012 Dec;52(6):761-8. doi: 10.1093/icb/ics076. Epub 2012 May 15.
Mourabit S, Kudoh T.
Biosciences, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK.
The self-fertilizing mangrove killifish, Kryptolebias marmoratus, is an upcoming model species for a range of biological disciplines. To further establish this model in the field of developmental biology, we examined several techniques for embryonic manipulation and for imaging that can be used in an array of experimental designs. These methodological approaches can be divided into two categories: handling of embryos with and without their chorionic membrane. Embryos still enclosed in their chorion can be manipulated using an agarose bed or a methyl cellulose system, holding them in place and allowing their rotation to more specific angles and positions. Using these methods, we demonstrate microinjection of embryos and monitoring of fluorescent yolk syncytial nuclei (YSN) using both stereo and compound microscopes. For higher magnification imaging using compound microscopes as well as time-lapse analyses, embryos were dechorionated and embedded in low-melting-point agarose. To demonstrate this embedding technique, we further examined fluorescent YSN and also analyzed the yolk surface of K. marmoratus embryos. The latter was observed to provide an excellent imaging platform for study of the behavior and morphology of cells during embryonic development, for various types of cells. Our data demonstrate that K. marmoratus is an excellent model species for research in developmental biology, as methodological approaches for the manipulation and imaging of embryos are efficient and readily available.