Understanding the essentials: Genetic monitoring is an essential part of maintaining the genetic integrity of animal models. Genetic monitoring programs are employed for the detection of genetic contamination or bottlenecking, but are not designed to detect genetic drift due to spontaneous mutations. Several methods of genetic monitoring are available, including biochemical markers, phenotypic analysis, and, more recently, microsatellite DNA and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. While each method has its advantages, Envigo uses SNP analysis because of the combination of speed, efficiency and accuracy at detecting genetic contamination.
Monitoring for consistency: Envigo regularly monitors production indices that are specific to each model (i.e., detailed production records, pedigrees, and cage cards) to ensure operational consistency in breeding our models. Technicians are also trained to identify and report phenotypic deviants.
SNP analysis: Testing is performed at the Bionomics Research and Technology Center (BRTC) at Rutgers University, a world-renowned genomics laboratory, which uses high-throughput liquid handling robot technology to evaluate the genetic integrity of Envigo’s rat and mouse colonies globally.
Testing inbred models: Using a custom panel of 48 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, all new barrier-bred foundation colony (FC) cages are tested quarterly. All isolator bred foundation colonies are tested annually (five inbred isolator cages per FC).
Testing outbred models: Using a custom panel of 96 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, colonies are tested from select models annually. These models include Hsd:Sprague Dawley® SD®, Hsd:RH Foxn1rnu, HsdBlu:LE, RccHan®:WIST, Hsd:ICR(CD-1®), and Hsd:Athymic nude-Foxn1nu.
Current routine genetic monitoring reports can be found on our genetic monitoring reports page.
A phenotype a set of observable characteristics resulting
from a genotype.
A short sequence of DNA consisting of multiple repetitions
of a set of two to nine base pairs, used as a genetic marker
when individuals differ in the number of repetitions.
A SNP is a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs
at a specific position in the genome, where each variation
is present to some appreciable degree within a population.
A pedigree is the record of descent, generally used to
track the ancestry of inbred mouse colonies.