Animal development is a fascinating and dynamic anatomical and physiological process beginning with an egg fertilization and growth of the one-celled zygote, progressing towards the complex multi-cellular organism. Gene-environment interactions impact the developmental outcome; understanding how particular variable(s) affect embryogenesis is a precursor to developing treatments for developmental disorders. We utilize Zebrafish (Danio rerio), a model organism with >70% genetic similarity to humans, to better understand critical stages of development and patterns of gene expressions relevant to sensitivity and tolerance to stress under controlled laboratory conditions. We further study effects of anthropogenic factors and environmental pollution on embryo development of killifish (Fundulus hteroclitus) embryo populations under more complex genotype-environment conditions.
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