ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130708-10
FishFace: interactive atlas of zebrafish craniofacial development at cellular resolution
Eames, B.F., Delaurier, A., Ullmann, B., Huycke, T.R., Nichols, J.T., Dowd, J., McFadden, M., Sasaki, M.M., and Kimmel, C.B.
Date: 2013
Source: BMC Developmental Biology   13(1): 23 (Journal)
Registered Authors: DeLaurier, April, Dowd, John, Eames, Brian F., Huycke, Tyler, Kimmel, Charles B., McFadden, Marcie, Nichols, James Tucker, Sasaki, Mark, Ullmann, Bonnie
Keywords: craniofacial development, website atlas, zebrafish, bone, cartilage, skeleton, evolution
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Face/anatomy & histology*
  • Skull/anatomy & histology*
  • Zebrafish/anatomy & histology*
PubMed: 23714426 Full text @ BMC Dev. Biol.


The vertebrate craniofacial skeleton may exhibit anatomical complexity and diversity, but its genesis and evolution can be understood through careful dissection of developmental programs at cellular resolution. Resources are lacking that include introductory overviews of skeletal anatomy coupled with descriptions of craniofacial development at cellular resolution. In addition to providing analytical guidelines for other studies, such an atlas would suggest cellular mechanisms underlying development.


We present the Fish Face Atlas, an online, 3D-interactive atlas of craniofacial development in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Alizarin red-stained skulls scanned by fluorescent optical projection tomography and segmented into individual elements provide a resource for understanding the 3D structure of the zebrafish craniofacial skeleton. These data provide the user an anatomical entry point to confocal images of Alizarin red-stained zebrafish with transgenically-labelled pharyngeal arch ectomesenchyme, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts, which illustrate the appearance, morphogenesis, and growth of the mandibular and hyoid cartilages and bones, as viewed in live, anesthetized zebrafish during embryonic and larval development. Confocal image stacks at high magnification during the same stages provide cellular detail and suggest developmental and evolutionary hypotheses.


The FishFace Atlas is a novel learning tool for understanding craniofacial skeletal development, and can serve as a reference for a variety of studies, including comparative and mutational analyses.