Outbred Mouse Models

Genetic drift is a natural, unavoidable occurrence in any population. The challenge in breeding outbred mice is maintaining the diversity at the level of the individual, yet somehow standardize multiple production colonies of these outbred mice that are geographically separated so that each colony has the same range of genetic variation.

Charles River's International Genetic Standardization (IGS) program allows us to implement a global management program that genetically links all of our colonies of outbred mice, and ensures none diverge too far from the others. The result is that all outbred mouse colonies are genetically merged into one large colony residing in multiple locations around the world.

With more than 100 strains of mouse models at Charles River, and more specifically our comprehensive portfolio of outbred mouse models ensure you can obtain the appropriate outbred mice for your research. Need help selecting the right animal model or have questions about one of our mouse models?

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All available Outbred Mouse Models

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)About Outbred Mice

  • What is the difference between outbred and inbred mice?

    Inbred mouse strains are defined as colonies produced by a minimum of 20 generations of brother-sister mating, traceable to a single founding pair. This mating structure results in animals that are genetically identical within each inbred strain (i.e., fundamentally free of genetic variants that could increase variation in experimental results).

    Outbred mice are at least 4 generations of genetically variable mice that are bred to maintain heterozygosity. With outbred mice it is imperative to minimize genetic alterations. No two mice are genetically identical.

  • Why should I use outbred mice in my genetic study?

    Outbred mice are genetically different. No two mice are genetically identically. To maximize genetic diversity and hertozygosity in a study, outbred mice are typically used because they are bred to create diversity within a population. Outbred mice can account for the background variation on human disease.

  • How can I choose the right outbred mouse model for my study?

    Selecting the most appropriate outbred mouse model to use is an essential step a researcher makes when designing a study. To assist researchers in expediting the selection of an outbred mouse model, Charles River has an Animal Model Evaluation Program that allows you to assess the quality and compatibility of mouse models before making a commitment. Whether you have a new research protocol, conducting a pilot study or simply exploring new models, this program can help you make the right choice.

  • What is an outbred mouse?

    Each outbred mouse is genetically unique because they are bred specifically to maximize heterozygosity. These mice are maintained in large breeding colonies, but each animal is genetically different. The genetic variation of these mice depends on the history of the colony. Outbred mice are commonly used in toxicity research, genetic mapping, and selective breeding experiments.