1. Taft RA, Davisson M, Wiles MV, (2006).
“Know thy mouse“. Trends Genet.
22( 12):649-53. PMID: 17007958
2. Wiles MV, Taft RA, (2010). “The sophisticated mouse: protecting a precious
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10.1007/978-1-60761-058-8_ 2. PMID:
3. Baust JG, Gao D, Baust JM, (2009).
“Cryopreservation: An emerging paradigm
change”. Organogenesis, 5( 3):90-96. PMID:
4. Kopeika J, Thornhill A, Khalaf Y, (2014).
“The effect of cryopreservation on the genome of gametes and embryos: principles
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• Byers SL, Payson SJ, Taft RA, (2006).
“Performance of ten inbred mouse strains
following assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs).“ Theriogenology. 65( 9):1716-
26. PMID: 16271754
• Ostermeier GC, Wiles MV, Farley JS,
Taft RA, (2008). “Conserving, Distributing and Managing Genetically Modified
Mouse Lines by Sperm Cryopreservation“. PLoS ONE 3( 7): e2792.
Robert A. Taft, Ph.D. is the Director of Reproductive Technologies
and Business Development for the
Jackson Laboratory. Dr. Taft has
worked at The Jackson Laboratory
for 15 years and can be reached at
600 Main St. Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
susceptible to disease outbreaks,
breeding cessation, natural disasters,
and facility failures. Cryopreservation
ensures a rapid bounce-back from
unfortunate events, providing investigators an efficient mechanism to
get back on track with their research
Strain archiving is an effective management tool to arrest genetic drift. In science
it is key that the basic reagents are defined
and uniform. Unlike chemical reagents,
mice, like all living creatures, have an
intrinsic genetic drive to change, with
mutations accumulating over time leading
to increasing genetic variation and phenotypic change. These changes compromise
the reproducibility of experimental data
over time and place.1
Simplify Strain Distribution
Managing the distribution of increasing
number of available research strains is
a challenge. Outsourcing the distribution of your strains as frozen sperm
or frozen embryos saves you time and
money while fulfilling the NIH mandate
to share new model organisms with the
SELECTING A PROVIDER
How do you choose among various
vendors of cryopreservation services? It
is wise that you do your own research
before you make such an important
decision. It is important to ask exactly
what is included when you are given a
quote for the cost of cryopreservation
or cryorecovery. Some facilities limit
their service to only storing frozen
sperm or embryos. Other facilities
guarantee the cryorecovery of several breeding
pairs. While cost is an
it should not be the
determining factor when
selecting the provider.
It is important to
know the success rates
of facilities that you are
considering. Many fac-
tors contribute to a facil-
ity’s success rate, and
these may change with time. Look for
organizations that continue to advance
the science of reliable, cost effective
cryopreservation of mouse strains.
Only consider cryoservices from provid-
ers that have extensive experience col-
lecting and cryopreserving large numbers
of mouse germoplasm. Most importantly,
limit your consideration to vendors that
have proven experience successfully
cryorecovering diverse types of strains,
including the ones you have at hand.
Naturally, it is also important to look for
organizations that have robust inventory
systems and can store samples in more
than one tank and in more than one physi-
cal location, to ensure the safety of your
samples from potential facility failures.
Safeguarding valuable mouse strains
from catastrophe is a critical aspect
of research. There are other benefits
to long-term storage of mouse lines:
cryopreservation reduces the cost of
animal care, saves space in the vivarium, and simplifies importing and
exporting mouse lines. Since frozen
cells remain unaffected by mutation,
genetic drift, or disease, cryopreservation minimizes the risk of strain
loss due to contamination, disease,
breeding problems, and disaster.
There are a variety of factors to weigh
when selecting a cryopreservation
provider that is right for you. The
most important factors to consider are
experience executing high throughput
cryopreservation and history of high
success with cryorecovery and scientific expertise.
"cryopreservation minimizes the
risk of strain loss due to contamination, disease, breeding problems, and disaster."