Theoretical and empirical issues for marker-assisted breeding of congenic mouse strains

Nat Genet. 1997 Nov;17(3):280-4. doi: 10.1038/ng1197-280.


Congenic breeding strategies are becoming increasingly important as a greater number of complex trait linkages are identified. Traditionally, the development of a congenic strain has been a time-consuming endeavour, requiring ten generations of backcrosses. The recent advent of a dense molecular genetic map of the mouse permits methods that can reduce the time needed for congenic-strain production by 18-24 months. We present a theoretical evaluation of marker-assisted congenic production and provide the empirical data that support it. We present this 'speed congenic' method in a user-friendly manner to encourage other investigators to pursue this or similar methods of congenic production.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Breeding / methods*
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Heterozygote
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics*
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Genetic


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Genetic Markers