Generation and validation of a myoglobin knockout zebrafish model

Rasmus Hejlesen, Kasper Kjær-Sørensen, Angela Fago*, Claus Oxvig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Previous studies using myoglobin (Mb) knockout mice and knockdown zebrafish have presented conflicting results about in vivo phenotypes resulting from the loss of this conserved and highly expressed protein, and therefore a new well-characterized knockout model is warranted. We here describe the generation of three distinct zebrafish mb knockout lines using the CRISPR/Cas system. None of the three lines exhibited any morphological phenotypes, changes in length, or lethality during embryonic and larval development. The adult homozygous knockout mb(Auzf13.2) zebrafish line were absent of Mb protein, had an almost complete degradation of mb mRNA, and showed no changes in viability, length, or heart size. Furthermore, transcriptomic analysis of adult heart tissue showed that mb knockout did not cause altered expression of other genes. Lastly, no off-targeting was observed in 36 screened loci. In conclusion, we have generated three mb knockout lines with indistinguishable phenotypes during embryonic and larval development and validated one of these lines, mb(Auzf13.2), to have no signs of genetic compensation or off-target effects in the adult heart. These findings suggests that the mb(Auzf13.2) shows promise as a candidate for investigating the biological role of Mb in zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransgenic Research
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • CRISPR/Cas
  • Genetic compensation
  • Knockout
  • Myoglobin
  • Zebrafish


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