Genetic monitoring is an essential part of inbred colony quality control. 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 sensitivity at detecting genetic contamination of inbred lines.
It should be noted that currently available methods of monitoring are relatively insensitive at detecting genetic drift because they sample only a small portion of the genome. To rule out genetic drift, the full genome would have to be sequenced for all animals. All vendor programs for genetic monitoring currently are designed to detect genetic contamination, not genetic drift.