study the mechanisms regulating heart size and shape, we take advantage
of the unique arsenal of experimental approaches available in zebrafish.
A large part of the appeal of the zebrafish derives from the transparency
of its embryo, which permits high-resolution inspection of heart size,
shape, and function. Additionally, the zebrafish has proven to be
excellent for largescale genetic screens and subsequent identification
of mutated genes. Screening for cardiac phenotypes is particularly
effective, since the zebrafish embryo does not require a functional
cardiovascular system for its survival during embryogenesis. By combining
the benefits of zebrafish genetics and embryology, we can identify
crucial regulators of chamber formation and determine their precise
impacts on cell fate and cell behavior.