Automated reporter quantification in vivo: High-throughput screening method for reporter-based assays in zebrafish

Steven L. Walker, Junko Ariga, Jonathan R. Mathias, Veena Coothankandaswamy, Xiayang Xie, Martin Distel, Reinhard W. Köster, Michael J. Parsons, Kapil N. Bhalla, Meera T. Saxena, Jeff S. Mumm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Reporter-based assays underlie many high-throughput screening (HTS) platforms, but most are limited to in vitro applications. Here, we report a simple whole-organism HTS method for quantifying changes in reporter intensity in individual zebrafish over time termed, Automated Reporter Quantification in vivo (ARQiv). ARQiv differs from current "high-content" (e.g., confocal imaging-based) whole-organism screening technologies by providing a purely quantitative data acquisition approach that affords marked improvements in throughput. ARQiv uses a fluorescence microplate reader with specific detection functionalities necessary for robust quantification of reporter signals in vivo. This approach is: 1) Rapid; achieving true HTS capacities (i.e., >50,000 units per day), 2) Reproducible; attaining HTS-compatible assay quality (i.e., Z'-factors of ≥0.5), and 3) Flexible; amenable to nearly any reporter-based assay in zebrafish embryos, larvae, or juveniles. ARQiv is used here to quantify changes in: 1) Cell number; loss and regeneration of two different fluorescently tagged cell types (pancreatic beta cells and rod photoreceptors), 2) Cell signaling; relative activity of a transgenic Notch-signaling reporter, and 3) Cell metabolism; accumulation of reactive oxygen species. In summary, ARQiv is a versatile and readily accessible approach facilitating evaluation of genetic and/or chemical manipulations in living zebrafish that complements current "high-content" whole-organism screening methods by providing a first-tier in vivo HTS drug discovery platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29916
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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