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Giant danios (genus Devario), like zebrafish, are teleosts belonging to the danioninae subfamily of cyprinids. Adult giant danios are used in a variety of investigations aimed at understanding cellular and physiological processes, including heart regeneration. Despite their importance, little is known about development and growth in giant danios, or their cardiac and coronary vessels development. To address this scarcity of knowledge, we performed a systematic study of a giant danio (Devario malabaricus), focusing on its cardiac development, from the segmentation period to ten months post-fertilization. Using light and scanning electron microscopy, we documented that its cardiovascular development and maturation proceed along well defined dynamic and conserved morphogenic patterns. The overall size and cardiovascular expansion of this species was significantly impacted by environmental parameters such as rearing densities. The coronary vasculature began to emerge in the late larval stage. More importantly, we documented two possible loci of initiation of the coronary vasculature in this species, and compared the emergence of the coronaries to that of zebrafish and gourami. This is the first comprehensive study of the cardiac growth in a Devario species, and our findings serve as an important reference for further investigations of cardiac biology using this species.

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