Genetic Monitoring Reference Program

Program Name:

ICLAS Genetic Monitoring Reference Program (Short name: ICLAS GENReference Program)

Overview of Program

Reference DNA from the most commonly used rodent breeds have been made available to enable research institutions worldwide ( program participants) to check whether the specific strains of research animals they have developed are genetically sound and truly representative of their assumed genetic background.

Like ICLAS Performance Evaluation Program for diagnostic laboratories, the GENReference Program must be self-financing. For each DNA shipment, program participants will pay a fee to cover production, shipping and administration costs.

The initial focus will be on the genetic monitoring of rodents (mice and rats), both inbred and outbred (or closed colony animals). The program will start with trials involving those research facilities currently performing rodent genetic monitoring and will be opened later to other institutions as they become confident in their capabilities

DNA providers

DNA has been generously provided by internationally recognized breeders (donor breeders):

  • The Jackson Laboratory

  • Taconic Biosciences

  • Central Institute of Experimental Animals (CIEA)

DNA strains

The program starts providing reference DNA from the 12 most common inbred strains/ sub-strains of laboratory mice:

  • C57BL/6NTac- Taconic Biosciences
  • BALB/cAnNTac- Taconic Biosciences
  • C3H/HeNTac- Taconic Biosciences
  • 129S6/SvEvTac- Taconic Biosciences
  • C57BL/6J (registry#664)- Jackson Labs
  • BALB/cJ (registry#651)- Jackson Labs
  • NOD/LtJ (registry#1976)-Jackson Labs
  • A/J (registry#646)-Jackson Labs
  • DBA/2JJcl – CIEA
  • C3H/HeJJcl – CIEA
  • DBA/2NJcl – CIEA
  • FVB/NJcl – CIEA

As the program develops other mice strains and the most common rat strains will be incorporated.

DNA production

Donor breeders have isolated genomic DNA from mice of donated mouse strains.

The DNA has been prepared using a DNA preparation kit (

DNA confirmation

Donor breeders have confirmed quality of the samples of DNA with another program donor breeder or ICLAS Network lab.

Laboratories and Institutions involved in the program and their functions

LAQ Network LaboratoriesFunction
The Jackson Laboratory, USA

Taconic Biosciences, USA

Central Institute for Experimental Animals, RIKEN BioResource Research Center, Japan

Welcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK

Definition and supervision of the program
LAQ Network Distribution Center
SIAL, Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaStorage and distribution of the DNA samples
Donor Breeders
The Jackson Laboratory, USA

Taconic Biosciences, USA

CIEA, Japan

Donation of the animals or DNA
Participating institutions
Any scientific institution from around the worldRequest of DNA samples to perform in-house genetic monitoring program

Participation in the program:

Any institution worldwide can participate. There are no specific eligibility requirements. Apply now

Availability and cost of the Program

DNA sample of the required strain(s) will be sent on request. No annual fees are required.

Each DNA sample has a cost of €100

Shipment in dry ice transport of up to 12 samples: Europe €800. Rest of the World €1,300+ €300 if permits are necessary (i.e. China)

We are performing current testing to check viability of samples at RT. If RT transport becomes possible, shipping costs might be significantly reduced.

Sample shipments will be made all year around as soon as payment has been confirmed from the LAQ Specimen Distribution Center, Barcelona, Spain

Import Regulations

Specimens are shipped by World Courier who together with the Distribution Center will ensure that all of your country’s regulations referring to the importation of biological specimens are fulfilled. However, specific country regulation may cause additional expenses and delays. A close collaboration with the Distribution Center is essential to reduce these hazards to the minimum.

Self- assessment

Gen Reference Program is a self-assessment program. DNA provided is of high quality and has been cross verified by the donating institutions. This will allow the participating member to perform in-house genetic monitoring1.

No reports of results are required.

When and how to apply

You can apply any time. Simply complete the GenReference Program application form and return to us by email. Samples will be sent to you on receipt of your participation fee.

When and how to pay

On receipt of your application we will send you an invoice according to your request.


In Euros by check or bank transfer. Details will be provided in the invoice.

Further information

For further information or clarification on any of the above, please contact Patri Vergara at



1. Fahey JR, Katoh H, Malcolm R and AV Perez. The case for genetic monitoring of mice and rats used in biomedical research. Mammalian Genome 24 (3-4): 89-94, 2013

2. Yoshiki, A., Ballard, G. & Perez, A.V. Genetic quality: a complex issue for experimental study reproducibility. Transgenic Res 31, 413–430 (2022).