Center for Fish Biology and Fishery Biotechnology

Research Group of Fish Gene-Engineering




PI: Prof. HU Wei, PhD

Members: Prof. Zuoyan Zhu, Academician of CAS; Prof. Wei Hu; Dr. Ji Chen; Dr. Yanlong Song and Dr. Binbin Tao, etc   

Contact Us:  

Tel: 86-27-68780051 

E-mail: huwei (AT)   

General Introduction:  

The study of the Research Group of Fish Gene-Engineering originated from the well-known experiment of fish nuclear transplantation in the 1970s. Led by late Prof. TONG Dizhou (CAS member), or Tung TC, a famous experimental embryologist in China, Prof. ZHU Zuoyan (CAS member) and his colleagues transferred blastula nuclei of common carp into the enucleated eggs of crucian carp and generated the first ever cloned vertebrate developed from a ‘hybrid egg’, i.e., an egg whose cytoplasm and nucleus were from different species.  

In the early 1980s, Prof. Zhu successfully produced the first batch of fast-growing transgenic fish in the world, which subsequently led to a new era of fish transgenic breeding. The two achievements mentioned above have been included in the esteemed textbook The Timetables of Science: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Science (Edited by A. Hellemans & B. Bunch, 1991, Publisher: Simon & Schuster).  

In recent years, researchers from this group uncovered the new functions and underlying mechanism of a variety of genes in fish reproductive development and sex differentiation; established a robust platform suitable for genomic manipulation in aquaculture fish; developed a controllable on-off strategy for the reproductive containment of fish; and cooperated to produce growth-enhanced “all-fish” GH-transgenic common carp and a completely sterile GH transgenic triploid carp.  

Current research interests:  

* Molecular hybridization (i.e. transgene) and molecular mutation (i.e. gene editing) of commercial fish such as common carp and ricefield eel 

* Developmental biology of model fish (zebrafish and medaka), including verifying the function of genes associated with important commercial characters in fish 

* Uncovering the mechanism underlying fish reproductive development, sex determination and differentiation, natural sex reversal 

* Establishing reproductive manipulation and sex-controlled breeding techniques in fish 

Recent Publications:  


1.      Xia H, Zhong C, Wu X, Chen J, Tao B, Xia X, Shi M, Zhu Z, Trudeau VL, Hu W. Mettl3 mutation disrupts gamete maturation and reduces fertility in zebrafish. Genetics, 2018, 208: 729-743. (spotlight in the carousel) 

2.      Tao B, Hu H, Mitchell K, Chen J, Jia H, Zhu Z, Trudear VL, Hu W.Secretogranin-II plays a critical role in zebrafish neurovascular modeling. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjy027. 

3.      Chen J, Wang W, Tian Z, Dong Y, Dong T, Zhu H, Zhu Z, Hu H, Hu W. Efficient gene transfer and gene editing in sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus). Frontiers in Genetics, 2018, 9: 117. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00117. 

4.      Chen J, Cao M, Zhang A, Shi M, Tao B, Li Y, Wang Y, Zhu Z, Trudeau VL, Hu W. Growth hormone overexpression disrupts reproductive status through actions on leptin. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2018, 9: 131. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00131. 

5.       Feng K, Luo H, Hou M, Li Y, Chen J, Zhu Z, Hu W. Alternative splicing of GnRH2 and GnRH2-associated peptide plays roles in gonadal differentiation of the rice field eel, Monopterus albus. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 2018, 267: 9-17. 

6.        Hu H, Tao B, Chen J, Zhu Z, Hu W. Fam60al as a novel factor involved in reprogramming of somatic cell nuclear transfer in zebrafish (Danio rerio). International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2018,14: 78-86. 

7.        Jiang M, Wu X, Chen K, Luo H, Yu W, Jia S, Li Y, Wang Y, Yang P, Zhu Z, Hu W. Production of YY super-male and XY physiological female common carp for potential eradication of this invasive species. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 2018, 49. doi: 10.1111/jwas.12492. 


1.         Song Y, Tao B, Chen J, Jia S, Zhu Z, Trudeau VL, Hu W. GABAergic neurons and their modulatory effects on GnRH3 in zebrafish. Endocrinology, 2017, 158: 874-886. 

2.         Feng K, Luo H, Li Y, Chen J, Wang Y, Sun Y, Zhu Z, Hu W. High efficient gene targeting in rice field eel Monopterus albus by transcription activator-like effector nucleases. Science Bulletin, 2017, 62: 162-164. 

3.         Dillon F. Da Fonte, Christopher J. Martyniuk, Lei Xing, Adrian Pelin, Nicolas Corradi, Wei Hu & Vance L. Trudeau. Secretoneurin A regulates neurogenic and infammatory transcriptional networks in goldfsh (Carassius auratus) radial glia. Scientific Reports, 7: 14930. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14930-8. 

4.         Zhu Tingbing, Zhang Lihong, Zhang Tanglin, Wang Yaping, Hu Wei, Olsen Rolf Eric, Zhu Zuoyan. Preliminarily study on the maximum handling size, prey size and species selectivity of growth hormone transgenic and non-transgenic common carp Cyprinus carpio when foraging on gastropods. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology,   


1.       Chen Ji. Cui Xiaojuan, Jia Shaoting, Luo Daji, Cao Mengxi, Zhang Yunsheng, Hu Hongling, Huang Kaiyao, Zhu Zuoyan & Hu Wei.Disruption of dmc1 produces abnormal sperm in medaka (Oryzias latipes). Scientific Reports, 2016, 6, 30912; doi: 10.1038/srep30912.  

2.       Mikwar M, Navarro-Martin L, Volkoff H, Hu Wei and Trudeau V.L. Stimulatory effect of the secretogranin-ll derived peptide secretoneurin on food intake and locomotion in female goldfish (Carassius auratus), Peptides, 2016, 78: 42-50.   

3.       Peng Wei, Cao Mengxi, Chen Ji, Li Yongming, Wang Yaping, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei, GnIH plays a negative role in regulating GtH expression in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio L. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 2016, 235: 18-28.  

4.       Shu Yuqin, Lou Qiyong, Dai Ziru, Dai Xiangyan, He Jiangyan, Hu Wei & Yin Zhan, The basal function of teleost prolactin as a key regulator on ion uptake identified with zebrafish knockout models. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6:18597, doi: 10.1038/srep18597.  

5.       Zhou Y, Wang M, Jiang M, Peng L, Wan C, Liu J, Liu W, Zhao R, Zhao X, Hu W, Liu S, Xiao Y. Autotetraploid cell line induced by SP600125 from crucian carp and its developmental potentiality. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6:21814. doi: 10.1038/srep21814.  

6.       Zhu T. B, Zhang L. H, Zhang T. L, Wang Y. P,  Hu W,  Ring? E.and Zhu Z. Y. .Effects of sustained predation by fast-growing transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758) on gastropods in artificial environments. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 2016, doi: 10.1111/jai.13130  


1.       Song Yanlong, Duan Xiaohai, Chen Ji, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. The distribution of Kiss1- and Kiss2-positive neurones and their connections with GnRH3 neurones in the zebrafish brain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 2015, 27: 198–211.(Cover paper) 

2.       Chen Ji, Luo Qing, Bao Hairong, Liao Lanjie, Li Yongming, Zhu Zuoyan, Wang Yaping, Hu Wei. The integration characteristics of the exogenous growth hormone gene in a transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) with fast-growth performance. Science Bulletin, 2015, 60: 1654-1660.  

3.       Chen Rong, Qi Jianxun, Yuan Hongyu, Wu Yanan, Hu Wei, Xia Chun. Crystal structures for short-chain pentraxin from zebrafish demonstrate a cyclic trimer with new recognition and effector faces. Journal of Structural Biology, 2015, 189:259-268.  

4.       Hu Wei and Chen Ji. Whole-genome sequencing opens a new era for molecular breeding of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus).Science China, life Sciences, 2015, 58: 619-620.  

5.       Luo Daji, Liu Yun, Chen Ji, Xia Xiaoqin, Cao Mengxi, Cheng Bin, Wang Xuejuan, Gong Wuming, Qiu Chao, Zhang Yunsheng, Cheng Christopher Hon Ki, Zhu Zuoyan & Hu Wei. Direct production of XYDMY?sex reversal female medaka (Oryzias latipes) by embryo microinjection of TALENs. Scientific Reports, 5:14057, doi: 10.1038/srep14057.  

6.       Tang Haipei, Liu Yun, Luo Daji, Ogawa Satoshi, Yin Yike, Li Shuisheng, Zhang Yong, Hu Wei, Parhar Ishwar S, Lin Haoran, Liu Xiaochun, Cheng Christopher H.K.. The kiss/kissr systems are dispensable for zebrafish reproduction: evidence from gene knockout studiesEndocrinology, 2015, 156: 589-599.  

7.       Wang Y, Lu Y, Zhang Y, Ning Z, Li Y, Zhao Q, Lu H, Huang R, Xia X, Feng Q, Liang X, Liu K, Zhang L, Lu T, Huang T, Fan D, Weng Q, Zhu C, Lu Y, Li W, Wen Z, Zhou C, Tian Q, Kang X, Shi M, Zhang W, Jang S, Du F, He S, Liao L, Li Y, Gui B, He H, Ning Z, Yang C, He L, Luo L, Yang R, Luo Q, Liu X, Li S, Huang W, Xiao L, Lin H, Han B, Zhu Z. The draft genome of the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) provides insights into its evolution and vegetarian adaptation. Nature Genetics, 2015, 47: 625-631.  

8.       Zhang Yunsheng, Chen Ji, Cui Xiaojuan, Luo Daji, Xia Hui, Dai Jun, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. A controllable on-off strategy for the reproductive containment of fish. Scientific Reports, 2015, 5, 7614, doi: 10.1038/srep07614.  


1.       Cao Mengxi, Chen Ji, Peng Wei, Wang Yaping, Liao Lanjie, Li Yongming, Trudeau Vance L, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. Effects of growth hormone over-expression on reproduction in the common carp Cyprinus carpio L. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 2014,195: 47-57.  

2.       Chu Lianhe, Li Jianzhen, Liu Yun, Hu Wei, Cheng Christopher H.K.. Targeted gene disruption in zebrafish reveals noncanonical functions of Lh signaling in reproduction. Molecular Endocrinology, 2014, 28: 1785-1795.  

3.       Garcia-ReyeroNatàlia, Tingaud-SequeiraAngèle, Cao Mengxi, Zhu Zuoyan, Perkins Edward, Hu Wei. Endocrinology: Advances through omics and related technologies, General and Comparative Endocrinology, 2014, 203: 262-273.  

4.       Liu Y, Luo D, Lei Y, Zhao H, Hu W, Cheng HK, A highly effective TALEN-mediated approach for targeted gene disruption in Xenopus tropicalis and zebrafish, Methods, 2014, 69: 58-66.  

5.       Qiu Chao, Cheng Bin, Zhang Yunsheng, Huang Rong, Liao Lanjie, Luo Daji, Hu Wei, Wang Yaping. Efficient knockout of transplanted green fluorescent protein gene in medaka using TALENs. Marine Biotechnology, 2014, 16: 674-683.  

6.       Zhang L, Gozlan RE, Li Z, Liu J, Zhang T, Hu W and Zhu Z. Rapid growth increases intrinsic predation riskin genetically modified Cyprinus carpio: implications for environmental risk. Journal of Fish Biology, 2014, 84: 1527-1538.  


1.       Chen Ji, Hu Wei & Zhu ZuoYan. Progress in studies of fish reproductive development regulation. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2013, 58: 7-16.  

2.       Duan M, Zhang T, Hu W, Xie S, Sundstrom LF, Li Z and Zhu Z. Risk-taking behaviour may explain high predation mortality of GH-transgenic common carp Cyprinus carpio. Journal of Fish Biology, 2013, 83: 1183-1196.  

3.       Li X, Yan Q, Xie S, Hu W, Yu Y, Hu Z. Gut microbiota contributes to the growth of fast-growing transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Plos one, 2013, 8: e64577.   

4.       Lian Hao, Hu Wei, Huang Rong, Du Fukuan, Liao Lanjie, Zhu Zuoyan, Wang Yaping. Transgenic common carp do not have the ability to expand populations. Plos one, 2013, 8: e65506.  

5.       Liu Yun, Luo Daji, Zhao Hui, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei, Cheng Christopher H. K.. Inheritable and precise large genomic deletions of non-coding RNA genes in zebrafish using TALENs. Plos one, 2013, 8: e76387.  

6.       Zhong C, Song Y, Wang Y, Zhang T, Duan M, Li Y, Liao L, Zhu Z, Hu W. Increased food intake in growth hormone-transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) may be mediated by upregulating agouti-related protein (AgRP). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 2013, 192, 81-88.  

7.       Zhu T, Zhang T, Wang Y, Chen Y, Hu W, Zhu Z. Effects of growth hormone (GH) transgene and nutrition on growth and bone development in common carp. Journal of Experimental Zoology. 2013, 319: 451-460.  


1.       Cao Mengxi, Duan Jundan, Cheng Nana, Zhong Xueping, Wang Zequn, Hu Wei, Zhao Haobin. Sexually dimorphic and ontogenetic expression of dmrt1, cyp19a1a and cyp19a1b in Gobiocypris rarus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 2012, 162: 303-309.  

2.       Cao Mengxi, Yang Yuhui, Xu Hongyan, Duan Jundan, Cheng Nana, Wang Jialin, Hu Wei, Zhao Haobin. Germ cell specific expression of Vasa in rare minnow, Gobiocypris rarus, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 2012, 162: 163-170.  

3.       Yang Yuhui, Peng Kou, Liu Xiaoyan, Zhao Dongmei, Duan Jundan, Hu Wei, Zhao Haobin. Effects of sex steroids on expression of myostatin in rare minnow, Gobiocypris rarus. Aquaculture, 2012, 350-353: 1-7.  

4.       Zhong Chengrong, Song Yanlong, Wang Yaping, Li Yongming, Liao Lanjie, Xie Shouqi, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. Growth hormone transgene effects on growth performance are inconsistent among offspring derived from different homozygous transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Aquaculture, 2012, 356-357: 404-411.  


1.       Guan Bo, Ma Hong, Wang Yaping, Hu Yuanlei, Lin Zhongping, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (VHb) overexpression increases hypoxia tolerance in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Marine Biotechnology, 2011, 13: 336-344. (cover paper)  

2.       Duan M, Zhang TL, Hu W, Li ZJ, Sundstrom LF, Zhu TB, Zhong CR & Zhu ZY. Behavioral alterations in GH transgenic common carp may explain enhanced competitive feeding ability. Aquaculture, 2011, 317: 175-181  

3.       Feng Hong, Liu Hong, Kong Renqiu, Wang Lu, Wang Yaping, Hu Wei, Guo Qionglin. Expression profiles of carp IRF-3/-7 correlate with the up-regulation of RIG-I/MAVS/TRAF3/TBK1, four pivotal molecules in RIG-I signaling pathway. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 2011, 30: 1159-1169.  

4.       Li Deliang, FU Cuizhang, Wang Yaping, Zhu Zuoyan, Hu Wei. The hematological response to exhaustive exercise in ‘all-fish’ growth hormone transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Aquaculture, 2011, 311: 263-268.  

5.       Luo Daji, Hu Wei, Chen Shangping, Zhu Zuoyan. Critical developmental stages for The efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer In zebrafish. International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2011,7: 476-486.   

6.       Xu Jing, Huang Wei, Zhong Chengrong, Luo Daji, Li Shuangfei, Zhu Zuoyan and Hu Wei, Defining global gene expression changes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in female sGnRH-antisense transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio), PLoS One, 2011, 6: e21057.   

7.       Yu Fan, Xiao Jun, Liang Xiangyang, Liu Shaojun, Zhou Gongjian, Luo kaiKun, Liu yun, Hu wei, Wang Yaping & Zhu Zuoyan. Rapid growth and sterility of growth hormone gene transgenic triploid carp. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2011, 56: 1679-1684.  


Our team have been issued 3 patents by United States Patent and Trademark Office, and issued 5 patents by China Patent and Trademark Office. 

1.         Hu Wei, Zhang Yunsheng, Dai Jun and Zhu Zuoyan. Controllable on-off method for fish reproduction. United States Patent and Trademark Office2015US 9187764 B2 

2.         Hu Wei, Zhu Z, Ma H, Guan B, Lin Z, and Hu R. Recombinant gene which enhances the ability of fish to tolerate low dissolved oxygen stress and the use thereof. United States Patent and Trademark Office2013, US8546644 B2. 

3.         Hu Wei, Zhu Zuoyan, Wang Yaping and Li Shuangfei. Method for preparing a sterile transgenic carp. United States Patent and Trademark Office2007, US7,230,156B2. 

4.         Hu Wei, Jiang Mouyan, and Zhu Zuoyan. Method for production YY super-male and XY physiological female common carps, United States Patent and Trademark Office2018Application number: 15870334.