The biological actions of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are mediated primarily by the IGF-I receptor (lGF-IR), and the IGF family has been highly conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. In this study we report the isolation of a 3 kb cDNA clone for the zebrafish IGF-IR that includes the complete 3' untranslated region and polyA tail and mapping of the receptor gene to zebrafish linkage group 7. The open reading frame deduced from the cDNA sequence encompasses the juxtamembrane and protein tyrosine kinase portions of the receptor, and is 70 and 67% identical to the corresponding regions of the IGF-IRs of the turbot and Xenopus, respectively. By RT-PCR, zebrafish IGF-IR expression was detected from early blastula to early larval stages of development. Using whole mount in situ hybridization, IGF-IR expression was detected after gastrulation. Expression was evident in most tissues but was particularly evident in the tail, in eye and ear primordia and in the brain. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.