Spot the Difference: Zebrafish

Step into the shoes of a genetic scientist and carry out a phenotype analysis with the model organism, zebrafish.

In this activity you will carry out an analysis of the physical characteristics (phenotype) of zebrafish with different mutations in their DNA. You will compare zebrafish containing a specific mutation to zebrafish without the mutation, also known as the ‘wild type’. This will help you to characterise the effect of the mutation on the animal’s phenotype.

Some of the images focus on embryos or specific body parts of the fish, whereas some focus on the whole organism. To aid your investigation there is a glossary to provide you with hints, clues and the definitions for specific scientific terms.

The zebrafish is a tropical fish native to Southeast Asia. It is about 2.5 to 4 cm long, transparent and has blue stripes that run along its body. Because it has a genetic structure similar to ours (they share 70 per cent of genes with us), it is a useful organism to work with in genetics research. 

Age: 14 years + (KS4 +)

This page was last updated on 2021-07-21