Skeletal characterization of wild and reared zebrafish: anomalies and meristic characters

Authors

  • F. Ferreri,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratorio di Ecologia Sperimentale ed Acquacoltura, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy
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  • C. Nicolais,

    1. Laboratorio di Ecologia Sperimentale ed Acquacoltura, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy
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  • C. Boglione,

    1. Laboratorio di Ecologia Sperimentale ed Acquacoltura, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy
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  • B. Bmertoline

    1. Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Via A. Borelli 50, 00161 Roma, Italy
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‡ Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel.: +39 6 2595851; fax: +39 6 72595969;email: ferreri@uniroma2.it

Abstract

Among two groups of wild and reared zebrafishes (zf) Danio rerio, all meristic characters considered were variable except the numbers of rays and pterygophores of the dorsal fin and the principal caudal fin rays, which tended to be canalized. Wild and reared individuals differed in the number of intervertebrae and anal pterygophores, and the dorsal and anal fin insertion. There were some skeletal anomalies of vertebrae and fins, particularly the caudal fin. Cephalic and Weber-apparatus anomalies were rare. Types and frequencies of anomalies were quite similar in the two zf groups, but differences emerged for several less frequent anomalies. Such differences and the phenotypic variability of D. rerio make this species a perfect teleost model for investigating the influence of experimental or unfavourable environmental conditions on skeletal development of both domesticated and wild fish.

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