Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Alicia Ebert


zebrafish, development, lateral line, migration, crk, crkl


The adaptor proteins Crk and Crkl are known to be important regulators of cell migration, particularly in the layers of the Central Nervous System, as well as within heart and muscle tissues. Previous data from our lab has identified, through in situ hybridization in the organism Danio rerio, that they are also present in the sensory hair cells of the inner ear. Their role in this location, in addition to the similar sensory hair cells along the zebrafish lateral line, is unknown. Here, we explore the function of Crk and Crkl in hair cell development and migration along the posterior lateral line (pLL) by examining the structure and location of lateral line organs, known as neuromasts. To study these neuromasts, we used CRISPR knockout to remove Crk and Crkl—individually and together—from transgenic zebrafish expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the hair cells of the lateral line. Viewing these fish at different developmental stages using a fluorescence microscope allowed for clear visualization of neuromasts and the entire lateral line. We found that there were fewer neuromasts along the pLL in crk and crkl mutants, but that this number was proportional to the overall length of the zebrafish trunk. We also found that there were fewer sensory hair cells within each neuromast in crk and crkl mutants at 48 hpf, but there appeared to be some recovery of this phenotype in the single mutants at 72 hpf. This work provides a possible role for Crk and Crkl in the development of sensory hair cell cells of the zebrafish lateral line.

Available for download on Sunday, May 12, 2024