Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

High-Density Genotyping Panel for Genetic Analysis of Outbred Rats

Technology #6945

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Jun Li
Managed By
Tiefei Dong
Senior Licensing Specialist, Life Sciences 734-763-5332

The laboratory rat serves an important role as an animal model in biological research including the fields of psychology, medicine and new drug development. Many labs utilize congenic rat strains for their research, but studies done in certain fields require outbred strains of rats and mice to be used. One example is in the field of genetics for quantitative trait locus mapping where small sections of DNA are mapped out and correlated with a certain phenotype or trait in the rat, for instance the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer. Outbred rat strains can also be useful for identifying new disease characteristics or selecting for a particular trait of interest such as running capacity or mental acuity.

The problem with using outbred strains is that the genome for each individual rat is different, much as the genome of one person would be different from the genome of another. Research trying to link traits to particular genes or DNA sections therefore requires robust genotyping of each individual rat used in a given study. The most cost-effective option for full genome genotyping of rodents, and humans for that matter, involves the use of identifying single nucleotide variations or polymorphisms in a given animal using a gene chip array. The more SNPs that are available or used for a panel, the better resolution you can have of the animal’s genome. Researchers recommend that high-density SNP genotyping panels be used for the genotyping of outbred rats meaning potentially hundreds of thousands of SNPs should be used.

The problem is the research community lacks quality high-density SNP arrays for genotyping commonly used outbred rat strains such as the NIH Heterogeneous Stock rats.

High-density SNP genotyping panel for genetic analysis of outbred rats

The technology is a panel of over 700,000 SNPs to be used for the genotyping of outbred rat strains such as the N:NIH Heterogeneous Stock rats. The panel was designed to select for the most informative SNPs for tracking genomic segments in these rats and from the ancestral founder rat strains. The panel has genome-wide coverage and is enriched for markers unique to the NIH heterogeneous stock, its derived lines and the original 8 strains used to develop the heterogeneous stock rats. The panel also has near-complete coverage of coding variants


  • Genotyping and quantitative trait locus mapping of outbred rat strains


  • Genome-wide coverage
  • Near-complete coverage of coding variants
  • High-density SNP array panel