Because of its genetic, immunological, physiological and pathological similarities with humans, the mouse serves as a key model to study many great diseases, and facilitates the understanding of the function of several genes. As of today, the mouse is the leading model organism in both basic and applied research. Its high reproductive capacity and excellent knowledge for its maintenance in breeding facilitate its handling. Moreover, obtening very stable lines and modify them genetically is easy: by mutagenesis, additional transgenesis, homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells or targeted recombination in vivo.

Many tools are available to monitor gene expression, affect genes spatially and temporally, and characterize cell populations in or ex vivo. Major international programmes aim to generate one mutant per gene in the mouse genome.

  • Name : Mus musculus
  • Phylogenetic classification : rodent, family Muridae
  • Sequenced genome complete
  • Genome size : 3,4 billion pb.
    Number of genes : about 25.000. About 90% of genes in human and mouse are direct orthologs.

Breeding season : all year round

Sexual maturity: 6 to 8 weeks

Number of litters per year: 4 to 8

Gestation period: 18 to 21 days

Number of pups per litter: usually between 5 and 12 pups.

Weaning age: 4 weeks

  • Large number of inbred, congenic and consomic lines
  • Large number of natural or induced mutants
  • Transegenesis: production of mutations gain of function (overexpression of a gene)
  • Targeted transgenesis: production of mutations loss of function ("knock-out") gene substitution ("knock-in"), point mutations or conditional mutations (time/space)
  • Numerous functional exploration techniques
  • Plateforme d'hébergement et expérimentation animale de l'Institut Jacques Monod - Université de Paris
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[FR] « Un siècle de génétique avec des souris » Jean-Louis Guénet

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