• Article

Electrophoretic variation in multiple recessive tester, T, stock mice

The multiple recessive tester stock, homozygous for seven recessive visible markers, has been used since the 1950s in the specific locus test of mutagenicity in the mouse. The stock was developed by W.L. Russell in Oak Ridge, sent to the MRC Radiobiology Unit (Harwell) in 1953 and then passed to Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in 1988. Stocks are maintained by random mating in all three centres. and in addition stocks that have been selected for homozygosity at certain enzyme and protein markers are kept at both Harwell and RTI. The extent of electrophoretic variation was investigated in the random bred tester stocks at Harwell in 1981 and 1990, and in both random bred and fixed tester stocks at RTI in 1990. Altogether 44 loci were scored and eight of these (Acy-1, Es-3, Gpi-1, Hba, Hbb, Idh-1, Mod-1 and Pgd) have been polymorphic in one or more colonies at various times. Three loci (Es-3, Hbb and Mod-1) had low levels of polymorphism in 1981 and had become monomorphic by 1990. Despite this slight loss of variation, overall the tester stocks show considerable variability. The proportion of polymorphic loci and mean heterozygosity is of the same order of magnitude as island populations of wild mice or other isolated random bred laboratory populations. Contamination of tester stocks with other stocks can be ruled out, and thus tester stocks can be considered to be characteristic island populations. The retention of an appreciable amount of genetic variability in tester stocks is of practical importance in designing new mutation tests involving these mice. When using these stocks, care must be taken to ensure that they are homozygous for the loci under test


Peters, J., & Lewis, S. (1991). Electrophoretic variation in multiple recessive tester, T, stock mice. Mutation Research, 249(2), 323-330.