Research model featured on Developmental Dynamics cover
A recently published paper by Kevin Conway, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Curator of Ichthyology, highlights the Danionella vertebrate model as an important resource for brain and nervous system research.
Species of Danionella, small freshwater fish, are among the smallest vertebrates in the world. The miniature size of Danionella is in part due to extreme cases of progenesis, a term used to describe development being cut short by early onset maturity.
Over time, progenesis has affected the skeleton of Danionella, resulting in the absence of 60 skeletal elements, including some of the roofing bones of the skull. The lack of a skull roof in Danionella combined with presence of a fully formed hearing and sound producing apparatus makes these organisms a useful model in neurophysiological studies.
Developmental Dynamics, a peer-reviewed scientific journal of developmental biology and one of three official journals of the American Association of Anatomists, featured Conway’s emerging vertebrate model of Danionella on the April 2021 cover.