The synaptonemal complex protein 1 (Sycp1) is required for the formation of crossovers that occurs during the meiotic prophase. The tissue and cell-specific expression pattern of the Sycp1 protein have been studied in mammals and fish, but data on the corresponding transcript remain scarce. In this report, we described for the first time in zebrafish the tissue- and cell-specific expression pattern of the sycp1 gene. In ovary, the expression of the sycp1 transcript was restricted to the early primary oocytes. In testis, the sycp1 transcript was observed in primary spermatocytes in agreement with a previous report describing the localization of the Sycp1 protein in those cells. Unexpectedly, sycp1 transcript expression remained high in spermatids. To gain insight on the genomic region responsible for the sycp1 gene expression pattern, we generated four independent Dr_sycp1:eGFP transgenic zebrafish lines carrying the −1482/ 338 gene fragment fused to the enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter gene. We demonstrate that this promoter fragment contains the information required for the cell-specific expression of the endogenous sycp1 gene in males and in females. However, the GFP protein and its associated fluorescence persist in spermatozoa and maturing oocytes. The Dr_sycp1:eGFP zebrafish lines have the potential to be valuable models to trace meiosis onset in zebrafish and constitute the first transgenic lines expressing the GFP reporter protein only in the male meiotic and postmeiotic cells in fish.
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Vol. 89 • No. 4