How are mutant and transgenic line records entered in ZFIN?

ZFIN is populated with thousands of mutant and transgenic lines and at first glance you might be unsure how these records come to be in ZFIN.

Step 1: The first step to entering your lines in the database is to create a record for you and your lab in the database. At ZFIN we want to make sure our records are as useful as possible so we want people to know who to contact with their questions about a line. In order to create your records in the database we can accept the following information.

For your personal record:



Phone and fax numbers 

Email address 


For the Lab record:

Lab mailing address 

Names and email addresses of lab members 

Their positions in the lab, i.e., Post-Doc, Grad student, etc. 

Contact person for the lab 

Phone and fax numbers 

Optional information such as a statement of research interests and a short biography.

If you don’t have time to submit a biography or a photo, no worries. You can always add that information later.

Step 2:  The next step is to figure out which institution designation you will be using for your lines. ZFIN keeps a list of organizations and their designations on the page linked below. Some institutions have more than one designation assigned. In that case it is best to speak to the other zebrafish labs at your institution to decide which designation will be the best for your lab to use. In other cases, your organization may not be listed at all, which means that we will need to create a new designation for you to use. If that is the case please contact us and we will be happy to set up a designation for your institution.

Step 3: Now that you have a record in ZFIN and know which designation you are using you can start assigning line numbers to your new mutant and transgenic lines. Line numbers consists of a letter code identifying the institution (from Step 2), followed by a number, so that the combination of the code and number is unique.

If you would like to see a list of the line numbers that are already in use you can follow the link below and click on the "+" next to your letter code in the left-hand column.

Once you know which line number you are going to use for your line there are a few ways for you to assign that number.

  1. You can do this by publishing the line with that number. As soon as we receive the publication we can create this record for you in the database.
  2. You can submit the line number to ZFIN directly by following the link below.
  3. You can do nothing, and you will receive an email requesting that you assign a line number to your new line (this is our least preferred method). 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you might have.