A LABORATORY MARSUPIAL FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

  • VandeBerg, John L (PI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    The overall objectives are to develop a small marsupial, Monodelphis
    domestica, as an economical laboratory animal for biomedical research and
    to make the animal and techniques for its experimental manipulation readily
    accessible to other investigators. The specific aims are to develop an
    optimal diet for the species, to simplify husbandry procedures, to identify
    genetic markers for research and management purposes, to progress in
    developing inbred strains, and to provide animals, on site research
    facilities, and technical expertise to other investigators. Age-matched
    animals will be placed in four dietary groups and assessed for growth
    rates, reproductive performance, and general health characteristics over
    two generations. In an attempt to simplify husbandry procedures, we will
    study matched pairs of animals in the presence or absence of next boxes in
    order to determine if nest boxes are effective in reducing aggressive
    behavior and enhancing reproductive performance. Genetic markers will be
    identified and characterized by electrophoretic methods. Whereas some
    animals will be maintained as a non-inbred stock in which genetic
    variability is maximally preserved, others will be used for developing
    inbred strains by full-sib matings. Animals, biological materials from
    them, and information regarding their management and experimental
    manipulation will be provided to other investigators upon request and by
    publication, and local and visiting scientists will be encouraged to use
    our resource for on site collaborative research. The popularity of M. domestica as an animal model for research in
    developmental biology, physiology, gene regulation, and other
    health-related fields, is continuing to increase rapidly. Our resource is
    by far the largest marsupial colony in the world. It is unique also in
    being the only marsupial colony committed to the development of husbandry
    and experimental procedures for this species, to genetic management of the
    species in captivity, to assisting visiting scientists who would not
    otherwise be able to pursue their research interests efficiently, and to
    providing animals and biological material from them to investigators at
    other institutions. We expect that our efforts will continue to play a
    critical role in the burgeoning use of M. domestica as an animal model in
    biomedical research.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date9/1/829/22/89

    Funding

    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institutes of Health

    ASJC

    • Medicine(all)

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