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Open Access Use of Molecular Methods for Genetic Monitoring of an Institutional Mouse Breeding Colony

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It is important to perform genetic quality control on inbred mouse strains to minimize variability of genetic backgrounds. We used sensitive molecular methods to examine the genetic integrity of inbred mouse substrains maintained at an academic institution. Our goal, in part, was to compare the different molecular genetic monitoring methods to determine which were most sensitive, efficient, and beneficial in our genetic monitoring program. We examined the sensitivity and efficiency of simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) analysis of microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of minisatellites with commercial, human, and synthetic mouse minisatellite probes. Although no polymorphisms were detected with the microsatellite analysis, certain minisatellite probes detected a small degree of polymorphism between our mouse substrains and the commercially available strains used as controls. Minisatellite probes also detected intra-substrain variation within our colonies; this variation probably represents mutations in highly unstable loci rather than genetic variation. Our analysis indicated that the genetic integrity of in-house C57BL/Ka, BALB/cKa, and C3H/Km inbred substrains had remained intact over 35 generations. Genetic monitoring by RFLP minisatellite analysis was more sensitive and efficient in detecting substrain differences than was SSLP microsatellite analysis. On the basis of these results, we established a strategy for future analysis of the in-house breeding colony.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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