Revised: September 2010
International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice
Chairperson: Dr. Janan T. Eppig
Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee
Chairperson: Dr. Goran Levan
In 2001, the International Committee on Standardized Nomenclature for Miceand the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee agreed to establish a joint set of rules for strain nomenclature, applicable to strains of both species. These rewritten guidelines reflect this collaboration, in addition to documenting new and revised rules for the naming of strains. This document is updated annually by the international nomenclature committees for mouse and rat.
Reference to formerversions of the rules for mouse strain nomenclature can be found in Snell (1941), Committee for Standardized Genetic Nomenclature in Mice (1952, 1960, 1976, 1981, 1989, 1996), Festing (1979, 1993), Staats (1986), Maltais et al. (1997). A recent summary of mouse guidelines was published in 2006 (Eppig 2006). Reference to former rules for rat strain nomenclature can be found in Committee on RatNomenclature (1992).
An archived version of the previous online guide (January 2009) is available here.
Current nomenclature rules for naming genes are available online at:
For mouse: http://www.informatics.jax.org/mgihome/nomen/gene.shtml#genenom
For rat: http://rgd.mcw.edu/nomen_rules.html
Table of Contents
1.2 Rats2. Laboratory codes
3. Inbred Strains and Hybrids
3.2 Nomenclature of Inbred Strains
3.3 Indication of Inbreeding
4. Strains Made from Multiple Inbred Strains
4.1 Recombinant Inbred Strains
4.2 Mixed Inbred Strains
4.3 RecombinantCongenic Strains
4.4 Advanced Intercross Lines
5. Coisogenic, Congenic, and Segregating Inbred Strains
5.1 Coisogenic Strains
5.2 Congenic Strains
5.3 Chromosome Substitution or Consomic Strains
5.3.1 Consomic Strains
5.4 Segregating Inbred Strains
5.5 Conplastic Strains
6. Outbreds and ClosedColonies
6.2 Closed Colonies
Mice and rats used in the laboratory derive from a variety of sources. Production of inbred strains means that these backgrounds can be defined and thus require nomenclature conventions. It should be borne in mind that genetic drift means that there may still be unknown geneticdifferences between individuals within strains.
Most laboratory mice have contributions from both Mus musculus musculus and Mus musculus domesticus. There is evidence that smaller contributions also may have come from Mus musculus molossinus and Mus musculus castaneus. Therefore, they should not be referred to by species name, but rather as laboratory mice or by use of a specific strainor stock name. (In addition, some recently developed laboratory mouse strains are derived wholly from other Mus species or other subspecies, such as M. spretus).
Mouse strain names should be registered through the Mouse Genome Database (MGD) at http://www.informatics.jax.org/mgihome/submissions/amsp_submission.cgi.
Laboratory rat strains derive from the Rattus norvegicus species.Another species, Rattus rattus, also is used as an experimental model, but has not contributed to the common laboratory rat strains.
Rat strain names should be registered through the Rat Genome Database (RGD) at http://rgd.mcw.edu.
2. Laboratory codes
A key feature of mouse and rat nomenclature is the Laboratory Registration Code or Laboratory code, which is a code of usually three to four...