Mutant Mouse Resource & Research Center at The Jackson Laboratory

Grant Number: U42 OD010921

Research Emphasis/Objectives

For most of the last century, mutant mice have contributed greatly to our basic understanding of the genetics underlying mammalian biology and human disease. The scientific community’s demand for well-characterized, genetically stable, phenotypically reproducible, high-health-status mutant mice remains significant and poised to grow due to widespread adoption of genome-editing technologies. Comprised of four regional distribution centers, the primary responsibility of the Mutant Mouse Resource & Research Centers (MMRRC) is to facilitate a wide spectrum of research activities by serving as a reliable, readily accessible, quality-assured repository of mutant mouse strains. The MMRRC at The Jackson Laboratory (MMRRC-JAX) rapidly meets the needs of researchers through expedient order fulfillment, ready access to live mice for widely utilized mutant lines, and cryopreserved products. All activities are accomplished in concert with fellow consortium members and the Informatics, Coordination, and Service Center (ICSC). Founded in 1920, JAX brings nearly 100 years of repository experience, large-scale capacities for strain archiving and distribution, and research excellence in mammalian genetics and genomics to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Identify, evaluate, and acquire biomedically significant, genetically-engineered, mutant mice for inclusion in the MMRRC program.
  2. Import/acquire and archive mouse strains into a high-quality, secure storage facility using state-of-the-art rederivation methods to eliminate specific pathogens and advanced cryopreservation techniques to safely store germplasm and embryos.
  3. Distribute mouse strains in the form of live mice, cryopreserved germplasm, or embryos, in addition to cryopreserved embyonic stem cell lines.
  4. Operate a state-of-the-art quality control program to ensure genetic stability by monitoring mutant genotype, mutant phenotype, and genetic background and to protect animal health by monitoring material tracking, pathogen testing, and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  5. Develop awareness of the MMRRC by promoting mouse strains and research services, as well as provide outstanding customer service and technical support to the research community.
  6. Enhance the existing resources through model generation. 

Current Research

Systems genetics endeavors to explain the integration, coordination, and expression of genetic information across phenotypes at all scales (molecular, cellular, physiological, and population) and across many contexts (health, disease, infection, environment, etc.). These systems-level approaches operate on networks and have the potential to explain higher-order functions and emergent properties of biological systems. With the explosion of -omics technologies, advanced computational methods for big data analysis, and the availability of advanced genetic reference sequences for human and model organism populations, systems genetics approaches are more powerful than ever. Our research project is a pilot that will will generate the methodologies, capabilities, infrastructure, and proof-of-concept for an in vitro systems genetics service platform. This project is responsive to the rising interest in the integration of genetic diversity in biomedical research, a key growth area for the MMRRC consortium.

Services Provided

MMRRC-JAX offers the following services in concert with JAX:

  • Breeding and rederivation services, including dedicated supply, speed expansion, congenic development, strain rescue, and microinjection.
  • Cryopreservation, storage, and recovery services, including sperm and embryo cryopreservation.
  • Phenotyping and pathology services.
  • Genome sciences services, including gene mapping, genome scanning, and QTL analysis.

Contact Information

The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1500

Principal Investigator(s)

Cathleen Lutz, Ph.D.
Phone: 207-288-6341
Fax: 207-288-6149

Laura Reinholdt, Ph.D. (Co-PI)
Phone: 207-288-6693
Fax: 207-288-6149

Resource/ Additional Contact

Steve Rockwood
Phone: 207-288-6437
Fax: 207-288-6149

Last updated: 09-07-2021