Service Group Lab Animal Facility

In animal breeding research, laboratory mice are used in model animal studies in order to derive fundamental physiological and genetic findings in mammals through a standardized, cost-effective, and time-saving approach.

The Lab Animal Facility service group is part of the Institute of Genetics and Biometry. Worldwide, the Dummerstorf mouse lines are unique with respect to the number of generations and to the broad-ranging variations of selected traits. The scientific value of these long-term selected mouse lines can best be appreciated by considering that equivalent selection experiments with cattle would take over 600 years.

The up to 6,000 mice are kept in a specific pathogen-free (SPF) environment with defined hygienic conditions and conforming to the international standards for the welfare of laboratory mice. The direct involvement of mouse models in the farm animal biology questions investigated at the FBN takes advantage of the short generation time of mice. The main areas of interest are the regulation and investigation of the physiological mechanisms of growth and differentiation, fat and muscle development, reproductive fitness and life expectancy. Long-term selected mouse lines and transgenic mouse models are used to elucidate the physiological and genetic principles that underlie the regulation of animal performance.

Since the 70s the Dummerstorf long-term selected mouse lines have continuously been developed, providing valuable resource populations for investigations of growth, endurance and fertility.

Given the continuity of the selection, the high level in selection success in the different traits, the population sizes used, the quality of the related documentation and the comprehensive characterization of the mice, these long-term selected mouse lines are highly valued and in great demand by national and international research groups.

The base line FZTDU had been established by systematic crossing of the following founder lines:

Selection success after 47 years of breeding:

Selection for high fertility

Compared to the unselected control FZTDU

Selection for growth traits

Compared to the unselected control FZTDU

Selection for high endurance fitness

Compared to the unselected control FZTDU