Breeding & husbandry

Breeding & husbandry

Mouse breeding & husbandry

At Ozgene, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, full-circle services that meet all your mouse model needs. Whether you’re initiating breeding for your newly generated knockout, knock-in, humanized or transgenic mouse models, or seeking expertise in managing and expanding your existing mouse and rat colonies, we have tailored solutions to support you. Your breeding projects can be undertaken in Australia or the US, including a fully equipped Vivarium in Indianapolis, USA, recognised for our commitment to quality and animal welfare with AAALAC accreditation since 2022.

We employ a holistic approach to mouse and rat breeding, ensuring your research benefits from our advanced technology and ethical standards. Our services are designed to offer maximum convenience and efficiency with:

  • 24/7 online access to your colony data, allowing you to monitor your projects anytime, anywhere.
  • Transparent, fixed cost estimates for breeding services, enabling predictable budgeting.
  • Lean operations management, ensuring efficiency, reducing waste and speeding up turnaround times.

With Ozgene, you can expect a partnership that values not only the quality of service but also the integrity and welfare of the animals in our care.

Our mouse breeding services are customised to your needs and include:

Cre knock-in mice are bred to your gene-targeted mice. The Cre gene is expressed early in embryonic development, resulting in the removal or inversion of floxed sequences. We can also breed your mice to remove the Cre gene. Your gene-targeted mice that carry the Cre gene will be mated with wild-type mice of the appropriate genetic background. Gene-targeted offspring lacking the Cre gene will be determined by qPCR.

Tissue-specific Cre strains can remove or invert floxed sequences in a specific tissue or cell type, at a defined developmental stage, or in an inducible manner. Many tissue-specific Cre strains have been published and are available from various sources. These can be imported on your behalf for mating to your gene-targeted mice. Gene-targeted offspring carrying the tissue-specific Cre gene will be determined by qPCR.

We can generate homozygous mice in which both alleles are genetically modified. This is recommended in cases where heterozygous gene-targeted modification does not result in an obvious or observable phenotype due to the presence of the remaining wild-type allele. We breed your heterozygous gene-targeted male and female mice to generate offspring that are homozygous for the gene-targeted modification. Offspring are then genotyped by qPCR. It is expected that 25% of offspring will be homozygous, 50% will be heterozygous and 25% will be wild-type.

We can establish and maintain a colony at a predetermined size, age and gender, made available for regular shipments from Australia or the USA. The production colony can be designed to specifically suit your requirements for one or more colonies.

Cryopreservation services enable you to quickly introduce a new strain into your facility without lengthy and expensive quarantine time. Embryo and sperm cryopreservation are also good long-term storage options when you are not actively using a model, ensuring your valuable strains are protected from unfortunate events, including facility failures and outbreaks.

Mouse breeding

Mouse breeding and Ozgene’s approach to animal welfare

Animal research is necessary from an ethical and scientific perspective. At Ozgene, we adhere to rigorous animal welfare standards, with all work conducted in mouse breeding and investigations governed by international, national and local legislative requirements. Our vivariums are Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) and comply with major national and international research institutes, operating in accordance with the following:

  • Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)
  • Department of Agriculture (DAWE)
  • Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR)
  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)
  • US facility: American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care certification (AAALAC).

Ozgene’s Lean/continuous improvement philosophy promotes our constant commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards for the health and care of laboratory mice. All activities associated with the use and care of mice are regularly reviewed by our animal ethics committees. These committees are made up of internal staff, external peers and laypeople, who are able to provide invaluable insight into laboratory animal health and welfare, breeding performance and research. All animal projects pursued use well-established and commonly-used welfare methods to ensure high quality results.

Ozgene strives to produce the minimum number of animals necessary. Each Ozgene facility regularly reviews the internationally recognised 3Rs for animal-based research:

  • Reduce – producing and using the minimum number of animals necessary.
  • Refine – minimising distress or discomfort during the live cycle of the mice.
  • Replace – replacing animal studies with non-animal systems.

Ozgene’s proprietary goGermline™ technology has a significant impact on industry 3Rs goals and performance outcomes, with the guarantee that only ES cell-derived animals are produced at chimera breeding. This results in benefits to germline efficiency, project timelines and animal welfare. In 2017, the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) selected goGermline as the winner of the ISTT 3Rs prize due to ‘the significant impact that the widespread application and use of this transgenic technology provides.’

Employees from within the animal facility, as well as researchers working with laboratory animals, undertake numerous hours of training to ensure that all mouse studies are conducted according to best practice scientific standards. The nature and scope of training are based on national and international requirements. Staff regularly participate in in-house and external continuing education programs. Such programs include accredited courses offered by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) and the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART). Topics of training include, for example, handling pregnant females, breeding mice and offspring health, and mutant strain breeding performance.

Get in touch

We offer personalised services for your research needs. Request a free quote today.

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