A 13-plex of tetra- and penta-STRs to identify zebrafish.


Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48823, USA. [Email]


The zebrafish species Danio rerio has become one of the major vertebrate model organisms used in biomedical research. However, there are aspects of the model that need to be improved. One of these is the ability to identify individual fish and fish lines by DNA profiling. Although many dinucleotide short tandem repeat (diSTR) markers are available for this and similar purposes, they have certain disadvantages such as an excessive polymerase slippage ("stutter") that causes difficulties in automated genotyping and cross-laboratory comparisons. Here we report on the development of a 13-plex of tetranucleotide and pentanucleotide STRs (tetraSTRs and pentaSTRs, respectively) that have low stutter. The system uses an inexpensive universal primer labelling system, which can easily be converted to a direct labeling system if desired. This 13-plex was examined in three zebrafish lines (NHGRI-1, kca33Tg, and kca66Tg, originally obtained from ZIRC). The average observed heterozygosity (Ho) and expected heterozygosity (He) in these highly inbred lines were 0.291 and 0.359, respectively, which is very similar to what has been found with diSTRs. The probability of identity (PI) for all fish tested was 2.1 × 10-5 and the PI for siblings (PIsib) was 6.4 × 10-3, as calculated by the Genalex package. Ninety percent of the fish tested were correctly identified with their respective strains. It is also demonstrated that this panel can be used to confirm doubled-haploid cell lines. This multiplex should find multiple uses for improving the accuracy and reproducibility of studies using the zebrafish model.