Abstract Anterior-posterior (A-P) patterning in the neuroectoderm is established during gastrulation in zebrafish and amphibians. We isolated a novel zinc-finger gene fez-like ( fezl) from zebrafish, which displays sequence similarities to Xenopus Fez. The fezl transcripts were detected in the anterior edge of neuroectoderm, the prospective dorsal forebrain, from the late gastrula (80% epiboly stage) to the mid-segmentation period. fezl was also expressed in the ventral forebrain overlying the prechordal plate at these stages. The expression of fezl was enhanced in embryos expressing the Wnt inhibitor Dkk1 and reduced in embryos expressing Wnt8b. The expression in the ventral forebrain was eliminated in the one-eyed pinhead mutant and the antivin RNA-injected embryos, which lack the prechordal plate. Radiation hybrid mapping revealed that the fezl gene is localized to linkage group 11.