"High behavioural variability mediated by altered neuronal excitability in auts2 mutant zebrafish"
In this month's journal club we discussed a paper from Vatsala Thirumalai's lab (https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0493-20.2021). The paper was chosen by Kendra, who is interested in the zebrafish touch response circuit. Co-first authors Urvashi Jha and Igor Kondrychyn investigated the role of auts2a in zebrafish Mauthner cells and how it affects escape behavior. Using imaging, behavior paradigms, and electrophysiology, they show that auts2a mutants display highly variable success in their escape response, stemming from a higher threshold in Mauthner cells. We were particularly intrigued by the auts2a mutant data, where the variability seems to arise from two groups: those similar to wild types and those with highly delayed escape responses. What causes the differences between these groups? It would be interesting to tease apart the differences between the mutant phenotypes!
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