OBJECTIVE: Various TEL-JAK2 fusions have been identified in patients with lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemias that result in constitutive activation of the JAK2 kinase domain. Such fusions can mediate factor-independent growth of hematopoietic cell lines and induction of malignancy in mouse models. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To assess whether zebrafish could be utilized as a suitable model for the study of myeloid oncogenesis, we generated a zebrafish tel-jak2a fusion oncoprotein based on that seen in a case of chronic myeloid leukemia. This was transiently expressed in zebrafish embryos under the control of the spi1 promoter, which is strongly active in myeloid precursors. RESULTS: Visual, histological, and molecular analysis revealed disruption of normal embryonic hematopoiesis, including perturbation of the myeloid and erythroid lineages. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the zebrafish tel-jak2a oncoprotein is functional, and suggest that this organism will be useful for the experimental study of myeloid malignancy.