Recombinant congenic strains derived from A/J and C57BL/6J: a tool for genetic dissection of complex traits

Genomics. 2001 May 15;74(1):21-35. doi: 10.1006/geno.2001.6528.


Complex genetic traits can be dissected in mice, using well-defined sets of recombinant inbred strains, congenic strains, and recombinant congenic strains (RCS). We report the creation of a series of 37 independent RCS derived from the commonly used inbred strains of laboratory mouse A/J (A) and C57BL/6J (B6). These RCS were derived by systematic inbreeding of independent pairs of animals from a (F1 x A) x A and a (F1 x B) x B double backcross (N3), to create AcB and BcA strains, respectively. Fifteen AcB strains and 22 BcA strains at between 18 and 30 generations of inbreeding have been generated, are healthy, and show stable breeding performance. These strains have been genotyped for a total of 625 informative microsatellite DNA markers covering the entire genome, with an average spacing of 2.6 cM. Haplotype analyses indicate that on average, AcB and BcA strains contain 13.25% of the donor genome, a value close to the 12.5% expected from the breeding scheme used in their creation. In the AcB set, approximately 79% of the B6 genome has been transferred in independent strains, while in the BcA set approximately 84% of the A genome is represented on the B6 background. This represents an excellent coverage of congenic segments from both parental genomes in the two sets of strains, which can now be used to map simple and complex traits in a genome-wide fashion. As an example of the power of AcB/BcA strains as a mapping tool, the 37 strains were typed for susceptibility to infection with Legionella pneumophila, a monogenic trait controlled by the Lgn1 locus on Chromosome 13. Analysis of the strain distribution pattern of L. pneumophila susceptibility allowed direct mapping of Lgn1 to a 3-cM interval. The AcB/BcA set should prove a useful tool with which to investigate the complex genetic basis of known interstrain differences between A and B6 for many important diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genome
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Congenic / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • DNA