Aspects of Larval Rearing

Carole Wilson

Carole Wilson, Molecular Genetics (Hons), is Head of Fish Facilities, Division of Biosciences, University College London, United Kingdom.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Carole Wilson, Division of Biosciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK or email


Fish—and zebrafish (Danio rerio) in particular—are now the second-most used biomedical model in the United Kingdom. The use of fish in research rose by 23% in 2011, primarily reflecting a rise in the use of zebrafish. Despite the increasing importance of zebrafish as a biomedical model system, there are currently no legislative guidelines or requirements for larval husbandry in the United Kingdom, the European Union, or the United States. This has led to a variety of procedures and methods being developed for larval rearing, many of which are not derived from peer-reviewed protocols. This article reviews published work relating to larval rearing and some unpublished protocols to establish optimized and standardized husbandry procedures.

Key Words: Danio rerio; fry; husbandry; larval rearing; zebrafish

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