Rats are currently the small model species physiologically closest to humans. This characteristic, together with recent advances in genetic manipulation and the ease of surgery due to its large size (a rat is 10 times larger than the mouse), make the rat a very attractive model. It is commonly used for the study of numerous human pathologies, as well as for the discovery of new therapeutic targets and molecules.

  • Name : Rattus norvegicus
  • Phylogenetic classification: mammal, family muridae
  • Genome sequencing complete
  • Genome size : 2,5 billion bp.
    Number of genes : about 21,000.
  • Some of the information on this page requires an update. Thank you for your understanding and please contact the webmaster if you wish to contribute to this section

Breeding season: all year round

Gestation time: 21 to 23 days

Physiological weaning: about 4 weeks

Social withdrawal: 5 to 6 weeks

Breeding age: males 5 to 7 weeks, females 4 to 10 weeks old.

Number of offspring: 7 to 14 pups per litter (on average)

Number of litters per year: 6 to 8

  • Three million SNP identified between different rat lines, more than 800,000 EST and more than 5,000 annotated gene sequences.
  • 20,000 SNP identified from 300 isogenic lines have been selected to characterize numerous QTLs (Quantitative Trait Locus), and to map genes responsible for diseases.
  • Wide range of genetic tools: inbred lines, consomic lines, congenic lines, isogenic lines, mutant lines obtained by ENU mutagenesis, model lines for diseases, etc.
  • Various transgenesis technologies, whether targeted or not, including: DNA transfer using a viral vector, sperm-mediated gene transfer, and RNAi.
  • Knock-out rats targeted using zinc finger nucleases. Recently, it has been possible to obtain ES cells and it will therefore be possible to generate mutated rats from them.
  • Various advanced functional exploration techniques
  • Articles

“Progress and prospects in rat genetics: a community view”, Aitman, Nature genetics, 2008

  • Websites

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