Shu-Fang Cui, Qian Zhou and Xiu-Hua Qu
Ensuring the genetic homogeneity of the mice used in laboratory experiments contributes to the Reduction aspect of the Three Rs, by maximising the quality of the data obtained from any animals that are used for these purposes, and ultimately reducing the numbers of animals used. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping is especially suitable for use in the analysis of the genetic purity of model organisms such as the mouse, because bi-allelic markers remain fully informative when used to characterise crosses between inbred strains. Here, we attempted to apply a microarray-based method for a SNP marker to monitor the genetic quality of inbred mouse strains, so as to validate the reliability, stability and applicability of this SNP genotyping panel. The amplified PCR products containing four different SNP loci from four inbred mouse strains were spotted and immobilised onto amino-modified glass slides to generate a microarray. This was then interrogated through hybridisation with dual-colour probes, to determine the SNP genotypes of each sample. The results indicated that this microarray-based method could effectively determine the genotypes of the four selected SNPs with a high degree of accuracy. We have developed a new SNP genotyping technique for effective use in the genetic monitoring of inbred mouse strains.