pbx1, a TALE (three–amino acid loop extension) homeodomain transcription factor, is involved in a diverse range of developmental processes. We examined the expression of pbx1 during zebrafish development by in situ hybridization. pbx1 transcripts could be detected in the central nervous system and pharyngeal arches from 24 hpf onwards. In the swim bladder anlage, pbx1 was detected as early as 28 hpf, making it the earliest known marker for this organ. Morpholino-mediated gene knockdown of pbx1 revealed that the swim bladder failed to inflate, with eventual lethality occurring by 8 dpf. The knockdown of pbx1 did not perturb the expression of prdc and foxA3, with both early swim bladder markers appearing normally at 36 and 48 hpf, respectively. However, the expression of anxa5 was completely abolished by pbx1 knockdown at 60 hpf suggesting that pbx1 may be required during the late stage of swim bladder development. Developmental Dynamics 239:865–874, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.