date of inoculations, history of surgical procedures and postoperative care, information on experimental use, and necropsy findings where applicable.
Basic demographic information and clinical histories enhance the value of individual animals for both breeding and research and should be readily accessible to investigators, veterinary staff, and animal care staff.
Breeding, Genetics, and Nomenclature Genetic characteristics are important with regard to the selection and management of animals for use in breeding colonies and in biomedical research (see Appendix A). Pedigree information allows appropriate selection of breeding pairs and of experimental animals that are unrelated or of known relatedness.
Outbred animals are widely used in biomedical research. Founding populations should be large enough to ensure the long-term genetic heterogeneity of breeding colonies. To facilitate direct comparison of research data derived from outbred animals, genetic management techniques should be used to maintain genetic variability and equalize founder representations (Hartl 2000; Lacy 1989; Poiley 1960; Williams-Blangero 1991). Genetic variability can be monitored with computer simulations, biochemical markers, DNA markers and sequencing, immunologic markers, or quantitative genetic analyses of physiologic variables (MacCluer et al. 1986; Williams-Blangero 1993).
Inbred strains of various species, especially rodents, have been developed to address specific research needs (Festing 1979; Gill 1980). When inbred animals or their F1 progeny are used, it is important to periodically monitor genetic authenticity (Festing 1982; Hedrich 1990); several methods of monitoring have been developed that use immunologic, biochemical, and molecular techniques (Cramer 1983; Festing 2002; Groen 1977; Hoffman et al. 1980; Russell et al. 1993). Appropriate management systems (Green 1981; Kempthorne 1957) should be designed to minimize genetic contamination resulting from mutation and mismating.
Genetically modified animals (GMAs) represent an increasingly large proportion of animals used in research and require special consideration in their population management. Integrated or altered genes can interact with species or strain-specific genes, other genetic manipulations, and environmental factors, in part as a function of site of integration, so each GMA line can be considered a unique resource. Care should be taken to preserve such resources through standard genetic management procedures, including maintenance of detailed pedigree records and genetic monitoring to verify the presence and zygosity of transgenes and other genetic modifications (Conner 2005). Cryopreservation of fertilized embryos, ova, ovaries, or spermatozoa should also be considered as a safeguard against alterations in transgenes over time or accidental loss of GMA lines (Conner 2002; Liu et al. 2009).