Huang, J., Kayne, P. S. 2020. Buccal swab based genotyping of genetically modified mice. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 8(5) (September/October), 64-66.
Routine sample collection for genotyping genetically modified animals (rodents) (GMAs) typically includes tail snip, toe clip, or ear biopsy. To decrease the potential pain and distress caused by tissue sample collection for genetic analysis, we desired to use a nonsurgical approach. We also sought a methodology compatible with our qPCR-based (quantitative or real-time PCR) genotype analysis, and automation employed in this workflow. Buccal swab sampling of animals is noninvasive and can provide genetic materials needed for genotyping. To develop the methods detailed here, we tested approximately a dozen different swab types and processing variations (data not shown). With our optimized methods, we compared buccal-based genotypes to tissue-based for many hundreds of animals (data not shown). We found 100% concordance between the two sampling methods. Buccal sampling was conducted by three different scientists, with all reaching perfect concordance when optimized assays were used. Buccal swab sample collection is a refinement of the genotyping process for genetically modified animals, obviating the need for tissue collection.