Generation of animals with multiple genetic alterations often involves crossing different GMA lines and can lead to the production of offspring with genotypes that are not of interest to the researcher (either as experimental or control animals) as well as unexpected phenotypes. Carefully designed breeding strategies and accurate genotype assessment can help to minimize the generation of animals with unwanted genotypes (Linder 2003). Newly generated genotypes should be carefully monitored and new phenotypes that negatively affect well-being should be reported to the IACUC and managed in a manner to ensure the animals’ health and well-being.

Accurate recording, with standardized nomenclature when available, of both the strain and substrain or of the genetic background of animals used in a research project is important (NRC 1979b). Several publications provide rules developed by international committees for standardized nomenclature of outbred rodents and rabbits (Festing et al. 1972), inbred rats, inbred mice, and transgenic animals (FELASA 2007; Linder 2003). In addition, the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee maintain online guidelines for these species (MGI 2009).


The variety of needs for fish and aquatic or semiaquatic reptiles and amphibians is as diverse as the number of species considered. This section is intended to provide facility managers, veterinarians, and IACUCs with basic information related to the management of aquatic animal systems (Alworth and Harvey 2007; Alworth and Vazquez 2009; Browne et al. 2007; Browne and Zippel 2007; Denardo 1995; DeTolla et al. 1995; Koerber and Kalishman 2009; Lawrence 2007; Matthews et al. 2002; Pough 2007). Specific recommendations are available in texts and journal reviews, and it will be necessary to review other literature and consult with experienced caregivers for further detail on caring for aquatic species (see Appendix A).

Aquatic Environment

Microenvironment and Macroenvironment

As with terrestrial systems, the microenvironment of an aquatic animal is the physical environment immediately surrounding it—the primary enclosure such as the tank, raceway, or pond. It contains all the resources with which the animals are in direct contact and also provides the limits of the animals’ immediate environment. The microenvironment is characterized by many factors, including water quality, illumination, noise, vibration, and

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