Myostatin (MSTN) suppresses skeletal muscle development and growth in mammals, but its role in fish is less well understood. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 to mutate the MSTN gene in medaka (Oryzias latipes) and evaluate subsequent growth performance. We produced mutant F0 fish that carried different frameshifts in the OlMSTN coding sequence and confirmed the heritability of the mutant genotypes to the F1 generation. Two F1 fish with the same heterozygous frame-shifted genomic mutations (a 22 bp insertion in one allele; a 32 bp insertion in the other) were then crossbred to produce subsequent generations (F2~F5). Body length and weight of the MSTN-/- F4 medaka were significantly higher than in the wild type fish, and muscle fiber density in the inner and outer compartments of the epaxial muscles was decreased, suggesting that MSTN null mutation induces muscle hypertrophy. From 3~4 weeks post hatching (wph), the expression of three major myogenic related factors (MRFs), MyoD, Myf5 and Myogenin, was also significantly upregulated. Some medaka had a spinal deformity, and we also observed a trade-off between growth and immunity in MSTN-/- F4 medaka. Reproduction was unimpaired in the fast-growth phenotypes.
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