Xenopus is an essential vertebrate model system for biomedical research that has contributed to important discoveries in many disciplines, including cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, developmental biology, and neurobiology. However, unlike other model systems no central repository/stock center for Xenopus had been established until recently. Similar to mouse, zebrafish, and fly communities, which have established stock centers, Xenopus researchers need to maintain and distribute rapidly growing numbers of inbred, mutant, and transgenic frog strains, along with DNA and protein resources, and individual laboratories struggle to accomplish this efficiently. In the last 5 years, two resource centers were founded to address this need: the European Xenopus Resource Center (EXRC) at the University of Portsmouth in England, and the National Xenopus Resource (NXR) at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. These two centers work together to provide resources and support to the Xenopus research community. The EXRC and NXR serve as stock centers and acquire, produce, maintain and distribute mutant, inbred and transgenic Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis lines. Independently, the EXRC is a repository for Xenopus cDNAs, fosmids, and antibodies; it also provides oocytes and wild-type frogs within the United Kingdom. The NXR will complement these services by providing research training and promoting intellectual interchange through hosting mini-courses and workshops and offering space for researchers to perform short-term projects at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Together the EXRC and NXR will enable researchers to improve productivity by providing resources and expertise to all levels, from graduate students to experienced PIs. These two centers will also enable investigators that use other animal systems to take advantage of Xenopus' unique experimental features to complement their studies.
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