Strain Selection & Phenotyping
- How do I decide which disease model is best for me? What is the best model for my disease of interest? What is your most popular model for this disease?
- What is the difference between strain X and strain Y?
- What is a good control for my strain?
- I need a mouse with a specific inbred background, where can I find the background of a strain?
- Do you have this mutation on a different background?
- How do I tell how many times my strain has been backcrossed?
- How much does this strain cost?
- Where can I find phenotype information? What is the phenotype of strain X? Why don't you have [x] information about this strain?
A. Strain Selection FAQ
1. How do I decide which disease model is best for me? What is the best model for my disease of interest? What is your most popular model for this disease?
Investigators are encouraged to research the literature thoroughly, talk to colleagues, and review strain datasheets. The strain datasheets have literature using the specific strain curated into a reference list. The most popular strain is not always the best tool for answering a given research question.
You may find the Solutions by Therapeutic Area section of our website helpful.
2. What is the difference between strain X and strain Y?
For very similar appearing strains, there may be slight differences in expression patterns. Please review the strain datasheets side-by-side carefully. That information may be found in either the Detailed Description or the Genetics sections, particularly the Molecular Note.
3. What is a good control for my strain?
In the Details tabs of the strain datasheets is a subsection called Control Suggestions; see that section for a given strain's recommended controls.
Generally, if a mutation is maintained on a standard inbred background, that inbred strain is the appropriate control.
If a mutation is maintained on either a mixed or segregating genetic background, wild-type mice (phenotypically non–mutant mice) from the colony are the best controls. However, because many of our genetically engineered strains are maintained by homozygous matings, wild-type controls from the colony may not be available.
F2 hybrids are often used as approximate physiological controls for strains carrying targeted mutations (knockouts) on mixed backgrounds involving two strains, for example, the C57BL/6 x 129 background (designated B6;129). The F2 generation is produced by F1 x F1 matings. The genetic background of C57BL/6J x 129 F2 mice varies among littermates because of gene segregation from the F1 hybrid parents. Although these F2 mice are only an approximate genetic match to the B6;129 background, they do contain only genes derived from either the C57BL/6 or 129 genetic backgrounds. We currently distribute two C57BL/6J x 129 F2 hybrids, differing primarily in their 129 substrain progenitor:
B6129PF2/J (Stock number 100903)
Parental strains: C57BL/6J-Aw–J and 129P3/J (formerly 129/J)
Suggested control for strains designated B6;129P
B6129SF2/J (Stock number 101045)
Parent strains: C57BL/6J and 129S1/SvImJ (formerly 129S3/SvImJ)
Suggested control for strains designated B6;129S
The controls noted in the strain details for mice carrying targeted mutations are selected to most appropriately match the 129 strain used to derive the ES cell lines (Simpson et al. 1997).
Note: The B6129F1 hybrids are usually less appropriate controls than are the F2 hybrids because the parental alleles of F1 mice are not segregating as opposed to those on a mixed B6;129 background.
4. I need a mouse with a specific inbred background, where can I find the background of a strain?
Look in the Development section of the strain datasheet for this information.
5. Do you have this mutation on a different background?
We may. Please navigate to the Related Strains section on the datasheet and select "By Allele." If this allele is available on other backgrounds, they should be listed there.
6. How do I tell how many times my strain has been backcrossed?
This information should either be explicitly described on the strain datasheet in the Development section, or, immediately below the Overview in the Genetic Overview section under "Generation."
7. How much does this strain cost?
Pricing information can be found by clicking on the Pricing and Availability tab at the top of the strain datasheet.
B. Where can I find strains commonly used to study:
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Eye Mutant Resource
- Craniofacial Research Resource
- Optogenetics Resource: includes links to strains expressing specific rhodopsins, sensors, and receptors;
and an external resource list
- Cre-Dependent Optogenetics Tools
- Parkinson's Mouse Model Resource: includes links to strains expressing specific components
- Peripheral Neuropathy Resource
- Rare and Orphan Disease Center
- Special Mouse Strains Resource – Including Recombinant Inbred and Chromosome Substitution Panels
C. Strain Selection-Related Articles and Resources
- BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ: How Can I Choose? I'm So Confused!
- Inbred Mice: Genetic Tools for Modeling Infectious Diseases
- Three Ways a B6J Mouse Differs from B6N and Why it Should Matter to Your Research
- Choosing an Immunodeficient Mouse Model
- Immunodeficient Mouse and Xenograft Host Comparisons
- Immunodeficient Mice for Cancer Studies: Which Host Strain Should I Use?
D. Phenotype FAQ
1. Where can I find phenotype information? What is the phenotype of strain X? Why don't you have [x] information about this strain?
JMCRS focuses on maintenance and distribution of the strains, and ensuring their genetic integrity and high health status. For detailed phenotype information characteristics on the majority of strains (including detailed protocols), we refer to peer-reviewed, published reports. Tech support may also refer customers to our online strain datasheets or the Mouse Phenome Database for phenotype information.
Limited data for select strains can be found online in the Disease/Phenotype sections of those strains' datasheets.
E. Mouse Phenome Database
The Mouse Phenome Database (MPD) has baseline phenotype data sets as well as studies of drug, diet, disease, and aging. It also includes protocols, projects, publications, and SNP, variation, and gene expression studies.
The Mouse Phenome Database has several datasets that can be searched by strain that may help answer questions such as:
- How long does this strain live?
- How much food do mice eat per day?
- How much water do mice drink per day?
- What is a normal body weight for this strain?
- What are normal blood counts for this strain?
- What are normal blood glucose levels for this strain?
We do not have answers to the questions above for all of our strains. The phenotype data you are seeking may or may not be available on our site or in the literature; we can provide starting points for your research.
F. On Datasheets
Each strain datasheet has been curated in conjunction with the donating laboratory and offers a starting place for further research.
The Disease/Phenotype section contains data of potential interest. The Mammalian Phenotype Terms by Genotype links back to the primary literature describing the phenotype.
The Phenotype Information section may have data collected by JAX
G. Other Data from JAX
- Flow Cytometry of Immunocompromised Strains
- Diet-Induced Obesity / DIO Mice
- STZ-Induced Diabetes Data
- Body weight Data for Humanized Mice
- Aged C57Bl/6J Mice
- Characterized Cre Lines