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Keywords:

  • retina;
  • rods;
  • cones;
  • teleost;
  • morphology

Abstract

Morphological development of photoreceptors in the central retina of the zebrafish, Brachydanio rerio, was studied by using light and electron microscopic techniques. Outer segments (OS) first appeared at 2.5 days postfertilization (d2.5). On d3, synaptic elaborations were seen. By d8, two OS types were present and were identified as cones. The first indication of rod formation was also evidenced at this time, when vitreally positioned nuclei were observed and rodlike cells were infrequently detected in electron micrographs. At d12, the full complement of zebrafish photoreceptors, rods and four cone types, was identified. From this time on cells grew until adult dimensions were reached at d24. These structural observations are consistent with results of functional studies which utilized physiological and behavioral techniques.