Characterize CRISPR mutants in zebrafish

CRISPR is THE tool to modify any genetic information. This project offers you hands-on practice in the design, development and screening of zebrafish mutants for biological research. The mutants will lay the foundation for future publications in Developmental biology.


Project background 

The Valen Lab is interested at mechanisms governing translation regulation during embryonic development. To study the impact of specific factors on RNA degradation and usage, we generate knock-out mutations in zebrafish using state-of-the-art CRISPR experiments and microinjections.
The successful applicant will further our efforts to generate mutants of key translation regulation molecules. The applicant will perform extensive screening for mutations and phenotypical characterisation of the resulting changes to embryonic development. Through zebrafish husbandry we will establish multiple mutant lines that will be used for follow-up experiments. These involve standard molecular biology tasks, but also will lead to next-generation sequencing experiments that shed light on changes of translation regulation.



Zebrafish – Photo: Photo by Lynn Ketchum, courtesy of Oregon State University (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Reoccuring methods are zebrafish husbandry and care, zebrafish genotyping (fin clip & PCR), qPCR and observation of embryonic development.
New mutants will essential CRISPR experiment design and microinjection of zebrafish embryos.
Upon successful screening, qPCR and Western Blot validation experiments will be performed. Occasional involvement in sequencing experiments will follow as well.


The project involves: labwork.

Starting date/period: February 2nd, 2020 – December 18th, 2020.


Experience/skills to be acquired:

The main experience that will be gained is zebrafish care and husbandry. Zebrafish has recently become one of the most valued experimental laboratory animals. The applicant will regularly breed zebrafish, get involved in sorting and phenotypic assessment of fish, and take care for their growth.
Additionally, the tasks will involve extensive monitoring of zebrafish embryos, with a focus on studying embryonic developments. The applicant will gain deep insights into embryonic development and fish embryo handling.
In the laboratory, the applicant will routinely perform PCR and gel electrophoresis, but will also acquire skills in Western Blotting, qPCR and Sequencing Library preparations.


Involvement: Flexible, up to 20 hours.


Interested by this project? Need more info? Contact Maximilian Krause (

Project number: 023

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