GloFish Conquers a New Species, Glowing Saltwater Fish Coming Soon?

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Several years ago, the glowing green Zebra Danio made its appearance onto the freshwater aquarium scene. It was received with mixed emotion, as the fish glowed with unnatural colors and raised many concerns about genetic engineering. Despite the concerns, the fish were still quite popular among the freshwater enthusiasts, eventually causing more colors to be created. As popularity grew, the producers of the GloFish turned their attention to another species, the Whiteskirt Tetra. This new Electric Green Tetra, seen in the Fincasters video above, utilizes the same technology as the Danio. In a nutshell, specific genes from glowing jellyfish have been injected into fish embryos, causing the grown up fish to permanently glow. On top of that, the GloFish pass on this glowing trait to their offspring, requiring no further intervention by scientists.

Seeing as how popular these fish have become in the freshwater realm, we’re curious as to what kind of implications they will have on saltwater fish. We suspect that the fish saltwater species to get the GloFish genes will be clownfish. The clownfish are easy to breed, are readily available, and are already a crowd favorite. So, will glowing clownfish be the next big hit?

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  • I have mixed feelings about screwing with the genetic code of living things.

  • mpedersen

    Completely with the MadHatter, but objectively, I’d say yes, your forecast is probably right.  However, pragmatically, the question arises whether it would work or not.  Afterall, not only do we have glowing white skirt tetras, but this has also been done to Angelfish.  It seems in most cases, strains of the fish that are amelanistic in some capacity are generally chosen because there is not other pigment to obscure the glowing pigmentation developed by the genetic manipulation.  So in the clownfish, the albino-ish forms that are around may be the ticket..but would the striping be blown away or not (again, note the forms that are chosen in FW fish).  My hunch would be that if it didn’t work in clownfish, something relatively pale *might* be chosen.  I’m thinking Canary Blennies, Bluestreak Cardinalfish, Sunrise Dottybacks.  Glofish, you’ve been put on notice – I expect royalty checks if you use any of these species I’ve proposed 😉

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