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Lab Anim Sci. 1993 Dec;43(6):535-40.

Research-oriented genetic management of nonhuman primate colonies.

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Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX 78228-0147.


Genetic management is an important component of the general management of nonhuman primate colonies. However, standard genetic management techniques were developed primarily to address the goals of population conservation, particularly in zoo situations. The special needs of colonies that produce animals for biomedical research have not previously been fully addressed and the great potential of genetic management in the research environment remains to be realized. A research-oriented genetic management approach balances long-term breeding goals and current and future experimental needs, yielding a comprehensive overall colony management program. Pedigree information, genetic markers (e.g., serum proteins, red blood cell enzymes, restriction fragment length polymorphisms, and single-locus microsatellites), and quantitative traits (e.g., routinely gathered clinical chemical values, weights, and blood pressures) can be used alone or in combination to estimate genetic variability in the colony and to characterize animals for experimentally relevant traits. The statistical power of experiments using nonhuman primates can be improved when animals are selected on the basis of their genetic values or genotypes for experimentally relevant traits because the quantified genetic variation among subjects can then be minimized. The incorporation of experimental needs into the overall genetic management plans for captive breeding colonies helps ensure the long-term viability of colonies for meeting the demands of both breeding and research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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