The Jackson Laboratory Repository (JAX Repository) is dedicated to the maintenance and public distribution of mouse models to the global biomedical research community. Mouse lines considered for JAX Repository are critically reviewed monthly by the Genetic Resources Committee. Acceptance into the collection is based on criteria such as novelty, characterization, scientific utility, and demand.
Click the “Donate A Strain” button to open our very short submission form where you can describe the mouse strain(s) you want to donate. You will be notified by email once your strain has been reviewed.
We strongly recommend that you to retain some breeding age animals as a backup while we confirm the success of our freeze (may take several months for rederivation and genotyping for confirmation). See the FAQ section for more details.
A. Eligible strains for JAX Repository
B. I don't have a publication characterizing my new strain just yet - when is the best time to submit my new mouse to JAX Repository?
C. The most common reason the Committee declines a strain: not yet published, no manuscript, or not yet fully characterized.
D. What if I want to have my own colony at JAX? What if I want JAX to limit my strains distribution to specific collaborators?
E. I submitted my strain, but have not heard back with the decision
F. Legal agreement to distribute the mice
Ideally, the donating researcher will submit mouse lines having a unique mutation/allele that was generated at their institution (or they paid to have created for them) and has been characterized (proof-of-principle validation that it performs as intended) in a publication or pending manuscript.
If someone else created the unique mutation/allele, the donating researcher will need to ask the creator for permission - is the creator willing in-principal to have mice with their mutation/allele publicly distributed via JAX. An email from the creator is sufficient initially for Committee to consider the strain; a more formal agreement may be required later if the Committee decision is to accept the strain.
If you obtained a strain from JAX and then subsequently backcrossed it several generations onto a different inbred genetic background, then you can submit the new strain to JAX Repository. In completing the submission form, please describe any new characteristics, expression changes, research usefulness, etc compared to the original.
The best time to submit a new strain to us is when you are first submitting the manuscript that characterizes the strain to a journal. In that way, our Committee can make a fully informed decision on your offered strain, and if Committee recommends acceptance at that time, we can also ask you to put its JAX Stock # into the manuscript proofs.
In some cases, we may ask you to contact us later on at the time when you are submitting the manuscript to a journal. In that way, our Committee can make a fully informed decision on your offered strain, and if Committee recommends acceptance at that time, we can also ask you to put its JAX Stock # into the manuscript proofs.
JAX Repository mouse lines are made available for public distribution (i.e., publicly available to other researchers). However, if you are looking to have your mouse line maintained or cryopreserved for your own private use, or to control distribution to specific researchers/collaborators, please visit JAX Mice and Services Colony Management for options.
Our deadline to make the monthly Committee meeting agenda is the 3rd Wednesday of the month, with the Committee meeting the second Wednesday of the following month. If you have not heard from us within a few days after the Committee meeting date, you can email email@example.com to inquire.
If you have any questions for JAX or if you need JAX to contact your technology transfer or contracts office, please contact: TechTran@jax.org or (207) 288-6470. Please refer to the JAX Stock # our curator listed in your accept decision email or scientific information email.
See Step 3 above for more details.
A. Who pays to ship the mice to JAX?
B. Shipping to JAX - more info
C. After sending my mice to JAX, do I need to keep my own colony alive? If so, how long?
D. I am the donating investigator - can I get some mice sent back to me?
To allow us to offer our services to the most researchers (i.e., to allow us to accept as many novel mouse lines as we can from the scientific community), we ask the donating investigator to pay the costs of shipping us a few live mice (usually 2 males per strain) or a few vials of frozen sperm (if live mice are not available to send us). For domestic imports, this is typically between ~$500-700 per standard shipping crate. Upon arrival here, JAX invests thousands of dollars in every mouse line for their cryopreservation, genotyping, quality control, genetic background SNP testing, etc.
We typically request 2 male mice (ideally 5-12 weeks old; max 20 weeks old). The mice you send should harbor only the desired mutation/allele. Unless specifically requested, no female mice are needed - this is because our preferred approach is to freeze sperm from the mice you send and then recover a live colony to meet demand.
The Importation/Initiation team will task our preferred shipper/courier to contact you - BioTrans. If you use a different courier, they must co-ordinate the shipment with BioTrans. For biosecurity reasons, BioTrans is the only courier allowed on JAX campus. Please clearly label the box of mice with the JAX Stock #, Project #, and Strain Common Name. As you can imagine, we bring in a lot of strains every week, and it is imperative that we know what is in each box upon arrival. This is a request we ask during any import, but now it is vital that the mice are properly labeled when shipped.
Please include 8 days of food/water/gel. As a result of increased frequency of airline cancellations, interruptions and delays across the airline industry, it is imperative that you pack your mice with enough sustenance to last 8 days. JAX suggests that mice are packed with a minimum of 25g of food per mouse, and a minimum of 1 standard hydrogel pack (8 oz) for 1-10 mice.
JAX also suggests that no more than 10 mice are packed in a single box and that only mice that you already had housed together are packed in the same box.
We always recommend that the donating investigator keep at least a small colony alive until the JAX cryopreservation effort is complete. In most cases, we freeze sperm from the mice you send us within 3-4 weeks of arrival - but the subsequent rederivation, quality control and genotyping steps take several months to confirm the frozen sperm is viable (able to reanimate live mice with the desired mutant allele). If needed, please set yourself a calendar reminder for 5 months from its arrival date to ask the scientific curator if our cryopreservation effort is complete.
As the donating investigator, you may place 1 order for up to 3 pair of the donated strain with no per-mouse fees - you will only incur the costs of shipping them to you.
Please note this one-time offer is only available to you while the strain is live on JAX Repository shelves. If you would like these mice, we encourage you to Register Interest as soon as possible - as we are unable to guarantee how long live mouse colonies will be maintained. By registering interest, you will receive a notification when the mice can be ordered.
You can register interest and/or order mice by visiting the JAXMice datasheet for your mice and clicking the blue box in the upper right side of the page.
When placing your order, put the following in the notes section of the order form "JAX#0##### Donating Investigator (YOUR NAME) using one-time order of up to 3 pair (no per-mouse fees; pays shipping only). If validation needed, please contact Jason.Beckwith@jax.org ."
A. My strain was accepted but we have not yet sent the mice to JAX. I do not know where the process is stalled:
B. My strain was accepted, and I have recently sent (or will very soon be sending) the mice to JAX, but I do not see my mouse line on the JAX public website (JAXMice datasheet is not yet active / not found):
C. Researchers interested in my mouse line (Register Interest and Ordering)
D. Mice available from a live colony versus available from cryopreserved stocks? How long on live shelf?
There are several reasons this could be the case. You can contact the JAX scientific curator you worked with to ask if anything else is needed. If you do not recall who the curator is, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
The most common reason in this scenario is that JAX Technology Transfer group is waiting for your institution to finalize the distribution agreement. Please inquire with your institution's legal group to see if there is anything they need from you or from us. In doing so, please copy TechTran@jax.org. Of note, it is very helpful to refer to the JAX Stock # that our scientific curator listed in your accept decision email or scientific information email.
Please advise interested researchers to find the strain's JAXMice datasheet by going to the JAX Mouse Search webpage and searching by its JAX Stock #, common name, mutant allele or donating investigator last name, etc.
For public strains that are awaiting arrival or have recently arrived, interested researchers should visit the strain’s JAXMice datasheet and click the Register Interest button located in the ordering box (upper right side of the webpage). Researchers who Register Interest will be notified by email when we can begin taking Pre-Orders for the strain.
To place an order, researchers should go to the JAXMice datasheet and click the Preorder or Order button located in the ordering box (upper right side of the webpage). If the approximate start date for filling order is known, the estimated to begin distribution date will be listed above the ordering button.
JAX tries to make all new strains publicly available to order from our live colony for at least three months (i.e., the minimum time it takes from strain arrival to the time when we have rederived mice genotyped as carriers). During that time, interest and order activity is evaluated.
Once all orders are filled and there is a period of no demand/orders, we then remove the live strain. This makes sense from a resource point of view, but more importantly, from an animal welfare perspective.
Of course, we thereafter maintain a public cryopreserved stock to allow researchers to obtain live mice.
The decision to remove the live colony is determined almost entirely by the level of demonstrable demand. JAX maintains between 1-2 thousand live mouse colonies for public distribution. This dynamic set of live mouse colonies is determined by constantly evaluating the orders we receive from the research community. JAX puts a great deal of effort into the evaluation process - we strenuously avoid breeding mice that won't be used.
If ordering mice from cryopreserved stocks, the cryorecovery typically takes ~12 weeks. If the recovery is favorable, the actual cost/mouse price may be comparable to ordering an equivalent number of live mice.
Please know that for mouse lines we have available from cryopreserved stocks, if we receive a critical mass of orders (~8-10 orders in a 12 month period), we will consider bringing it back to a live colony.