Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
In 1981, George Streisinger and his colleagues began to use zebrafish as a model organism for research. Since then, they have become a popular model organism for biomedical research. Zebrafish primarily have been used to study vertebrate development, evolution, genetics, and disease. Zebrafish are popular as pets and genetically modified, glow-in-the-dark zebrafish have been developed for the aquaria trade as well.
Zebrafish have many attributes that make it a popular model organism for biomedical research. They are small, have a short generation time, and are easy to raise in captivity. Additionally, in comparison to other vertebrates, zebrafish produce a large number of eggs per mating event. Zebrafish undergo external fertilization which allows all stages of development to be easily observed and manipulated. Zebrafish embryos are transparent, making them particularly useful for developmental and embryological research.
Positive Impacts: pet trade ; research and education