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Zebrafish Services

A powerful and versatile model organism, the zebrafish is an ideal tool for investigators in basic and applied biomedical research.

Arkana Zebrafish Research Program

Zebrafish are small, freshwater fishes that can be easily and inexpensively reared in a laboratory setting. Over the past two decades, zebrafish has become a potent model to study many aspects of human health and development.  Indeed, greater than 70% of human genes are found in zebrafish, including 82% of known disease-causing genes. Furthermore, most major human organ systems have counterparts in zebrafish which share many anatomical and functional similarities. Additionally, the high fecundity of zebrafish permits many types of high-throughput experiments that require larger sample sizes.  Thus, zebrafish enable researchers to effectively study their organ, gene, or disease of interest. 

No longer viewed as just an alternative in vivo model, the zebrafish model system provides more functionally relevant, timely, and cost-effective information when compared with conventional in vitro assays and traditional mammalian models.

Current Service Offerings

In our state-of-the-art facility located in Little Rock, Arkansas, we offer customized services which include generation of gene-edited and transgenic lines, as well as pre-clinical toxicity/efficacy evaluation using the zebrafish model system.



Using the up-to-date transgenesis methods and the latest CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we work with customers to create unique transgenic zebrafish models in order to meet their research requirements. Our scientists provide personalized assistance to customers in the creation and development of specialized disease and reporter models. Line curation and maintenance is offered as part of this service.


Toxicity Screen

Zebrafish embryos/larvae are permeable to most water-soluble test compounds.  Combined with a high number of embryos that can be obtained from a single mating pair and their rapid development, toxicity screen using zebrafish provides quick results with high statistical power while saving time and money. Our basic toxicity screening assay is performed based on OECD guideline 236 while using minimal amounts of test compounds in order to determine acute and general toxicity.  The acute toxicity assay tests up to 5 logarithmic concentrations per compound for LC50 and EC50 (or NOEC, LOEC) values.  The general toxicity screen provides results for predefined morphological, developmental, and behavioral endpoints which can be accommodated based on specific research needs. Test compounds are to be provided by the investigator or study sponsor.


General Resources

We offer developmentally staged embryos, adult zebrafish, and rack rentals to individual investigators who wish to use the zebrafish model system but do not have convenient access. Our current zebrafish lines include 5D, AB, TU, and Casper.

For more information contact

Why zebrafish?

Vertebrate: shares most major organ systems with mammals.
High genetic homology with humans: >70% similarity.
Easy manipulation: external fertilization and embryogenesis.
High productivity: 50-300 embryos per mating pair per week.
Easy to study: transparent embryos.
Short generation time: 8-12 weeks.
Amounts of compound to be screened are very small.
Rapid organogenesis, with access to all stages of development.
Short experiment duration (3-5 days).
Fewer ethical impediments as compared to other animal models.