From the bush to the bench: the annual Nothobranchius fishes as a new model system in biology

  title={From the bush to the bench: the annual Nothobranchius fishes as a new model system in biology},
  author={Alessandro Cellerino and Dario Riccardo Valenzano and Martin Reichard},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
African annual fishes from the genus Nothobranchius are small teleosts that inhabit temporary water bodies subject to annual desiccation due to the alternation of the monsoon seasons. Given their unique biology, these fish have emerged as a model taxon in several biological disciplines. Their increasing popularity stems from the extremely short lifespan that is the result of their specific life‐history adaptations and is retained under laboratory conditions. Nothobranchius furzeri, the most… 
Nothobranchius annual killifishes
The species N. furzeri holds the record of the fastest-maturing vertebrate and of the vertebrate with the shortest captive lifespan and is emerging as model organism in biomedical research, evolutionary biology, and developmental biology.
The evolution of diapause in Rivulus (Laimosemion)
It is hypothesize that the preferred microhabitat of this clade of killifish exposes their embryos to periodic desiccation, creating selection in favour of embryonic diapause.
Fish: Diapause, Dormancy, Aestivation, and Delay in Gonad Development
  • D. Lajus, V. Alekseev
  • Environmental Science
    Dormancy in Aquatic Organisms. Theory, Human Use and Modeling
  • 2019
The effectiveness of life strategies containing diapause depends very much on both the sensitivity of dormant organisms to environmental stresses and the accuracy of their responses to environmental cues––primary changes in photoperiod or temperature to induce or terminate dormancy.
Life stage dependent responses to desiccation risk in the annual killifish Nothobranchius wattersi.
P phenotypic plasticity induced by forthcoming drought is now also confirmed in annual fishes and could well be a common feature of the limited number of fish taxa that manage to survive in this extreme environment.
Nothobranchius furzeri, an 'instant' fish from an ephemeral habitat
The turquoise killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, is a promising vertebrate model in ageing research and an emerging model organism in genomics, regenerative medicine, developmental biology and
Metazoan parasites of African annual killifish (Nothobranchiidae): abundance, diversity, and their environmental correlates
The results suggest that Nothobranchius serve as important intermediate or paratenic hosts of parasites, with piscivorous birds and predatory fish being their most likely definitive hosts.
Study of the chorion of seasonal and non-seasonal Africa and Neotropical oviparous Cyprinodontiforme fishes
The study of the possible chorion variations between seasonal fishes inhabiting temporary pools of tropical regions and other, non-seasonal species revealed variations in the several types of complex adornments found on the external chorium surface when compared with the less complex chorions of the zebrafish.
Extremely rapid maturation of a wild African annual fish
Laboratory breeding of the short-lived annual killifish Nothobranchius furzeri
A protocol for the maintenance and breeding of the species under laboratory conditions is described, providing details for egg incubation, hatching, everyday care of juvenile and adult fish, breeding and treatment of most common diseases.


Annual fishes of the genus Nothobranchius as a model system for aging research
These fishes can become excellent models for aging studies and can be employed to test the effects of experimental manipulation on aging at a pace comparable with that of Drosophila and to probe the results of natural selection on the evolution of aging‐related genes.
The Neotropical Genus Austrolebias: An Emerging Model of Annual Killifishes
This work reviews and summarizes the available data on the evolution, reproduction strategy, developmental biology and conservation status of these Neotropical fishes.
Behavioral biology of the annual killifish nothobranchius guentheri
The behavior of Nothobranchius guentheri, an East African annual cyprinodontid is described from aquarium and outdoor pond observations and features of the species' biology and behavior in combination with drought resistance of the eggs and embryological diapauses serve to maximize reproductive success in a temporally and spatially unreliable environment.
Extremely short lifespan in the annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri
The temporal trajectory of survival shows an age-dependent increase in the mortality rate that is typical of organisms with defined lifespans, and N. furzeri could be used as a convenient model for ageing research.
Observations on the lifespans of several species of annual fishes and of the world's smallest fishes.
Desiccation plasticity in the embryonic life histories of non-annual rivulid species
The presence of plasticity for developmental timing and a prolonged developmental arrest in non-annual rivulids, suggest that a plastic developmental delay or diapause might have been present in the shared ancestor of annual and non-Annual South American killifish and that the evolution of Plasticity could have played a role in the emergence of the diapauses.
The strange case of East African annual fishes: aridification correlates with diversification for a savannah aquatic group?
A scenario where diversification of Nothobranchius started in rough coincidence with aridification of East Africa, establishment of grassland habitats and the appearance of the typical African bovid fauna of the savannah is proposed.
  • R. Haas
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1976
A number of genera of South American and East African cyprinodontid fishes are restricted to shallow, seasonally ephemeral habitats and for this reason are termed "annual fishes" (Myers, 1952).
Diet overlap among three sympatric African annual killifish species Nothobranchius spp. from Mozambique.
Stomach content analysis showed that all the species examined were generalists, with diets largely based on aquatic invertebrates, but the same invertebrate prey categories were consumed by all three species, but their relative proportions varied across species.