Development of zebrafish paired and median fin musculature: basis for comparative, developmental, and macroevolutionary studies

Sep 1, 2018

The model organism Dario rerio (zebrafish) is widely used in evo-devo and comparative studies. Nevertheless, little is known about the development and differentiation of the appendicular musculature in this fish. In this study, we examined the development of the muscles of all five zebrafish fin types (pectoral, pelvic, anal, dorsal and caudal). We describe the development of the muscles of these fins, including some muscles that were never mentioned in the literature, such as the interhypurales of the caudal fin. Interestingly, these caudal muscles are present in early stages but absent in adult zebrafishes. We also compare various stages of zebrafish fin muscle development with the configuration found in other extant fishes, including non-teleostean actinopterygians as well as cartilaginous fishes. The present work thus provides a basis for future developmental, comparative, evolutionary and evo-devo studies and emphasizes the importance of developmental works on muscles for a more comprehensive understanding of the origin, development and evolution of the appendicular appendages of vertebrate animals.