No More Running Blind In A Maze-The Laboratory Rat Genetic And Radiation Hybrid Map Is Here

A High-Density Integrated Genetic Linkage And Radiation Hybrid Map Of The Laboratory Rat

Considered a major, central, and essential resource for understanding genetics in the rat (Rattus norvegicus) -- one of the primary animal models for human medical research -- the completion of a high-density integrated genetic linkage and radiation hybrid map is a landmark in the field of genomic science. The rat map was a collaborative effort of several groups including researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, led by Howard Jacob, and The Whitehead Institute, led by Eric Lander.

The genetic linkage map presented in this report has a very dense coverage of genetic markers, with a total of 4,740 simple sequence-length polymorphisms (SSLPs) localized in relation to their position and relative distance from one another over the entire rat genome. This report also presents the first ever radiation hybrid map (RH Map) for the rat, which is a map that provides physical rather than genetic distance of genetic markers. The researchers then used common markers between the genetic and RH maps to integrate the two maps so that they can be used as a common and very valuable resource.

The rat has been used extensively for the past century as a model for comparative human behavioral and physical disorders, including alcoholism, autoimmunity disease, cancer, diabetes, neurobiological disorders, renal failure, toxicology, skeletal disease, hypertension, and more. These new maps will allow researchers previously hampered by an incomplete genetic infrastructure for the rat the means to connect disorders in the rat to their underlying genetic components and will give human geneticists an invaluable comparative tool for pinpointing related genes in humans that may be involved in human disease.


Contact: Howard Jacob
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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