Publications by authors named "Judith L Morgan"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Viable Mice with Extensive Gene Humanization (25-kbp) Created Using Embryonic Stem Cell/Blastocyst and CRISPR/Zygote Injection Approaches.

Sci Rep 2018 10 9;8(1):15028. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Genetic Resource Science, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA.

Here, we describe an expansion of the typical DNA size limitations associated with CRISPR knock-in technology, more specifically, the physical extent to which mouse genomic DNA can be replaced with donor (in this case, human) DNA at an orthologous locus by zygotic injection. Driving our efforts was the desire to create a whole animal model that would replace 17 kilobase pairs (kbp) of the mouse Bcl2l11 gene with the corresponding 25-kbp segment of human BCL2L11, including a conditionally removable segment (2.9-kbp) of intron 2, a cryptic human exon immediately 3' of this, and a native human exon some 20 kbp downstream. Using two methods, we first carried out the replacement by employing a combination of bacterial artificial chromosome recombineering, classic embryonic stem cell (ESC) targeting, dual selection, and recombinase-driven cassette removal (ESC/Blastocyst Approach). Using a unique second method, we employed the same vector (devoid of its selectable marker cassettes), microinjecting it along with redundant single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and Cas9 mRNA into mouse zygotes (CRISPR/Zygote Approach). In both instances, we were able to achieve humanization of Bcl2l11 to the extent designed, remove all selection cassettes, and demonstrate the functionality of the conditionally removable, loxP-flanked, 2.9-kbp intronic segment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33408-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177426PMC
October 2018

Developmental constraint through negative pleiotropy in the zygomatic arch.

Evodevo 2018 27;9. Epub 2018 Jan 27.

2Alberta Children's Hospital Institute for Child and Maternal Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB Canada.

Background: Previous analysis suggested that the relative contribution of individual bones to regional skull lengths differ between inbred mouse strains. If the negative correlation of adjacent bone lengths is associated with genetic variation in a heterogeneous population, it would be an example of negative pleiotropy, which occurs when a genetic factor leads to opposite effects in two phenotypes. Confirming negative pleiotropy and determining its basis may reveal important information about the maintenance of overall skull integration and developmental constraint on skull morphology.

Results: We identified negative correlations between the lengths of the frontal and parietal bones in the midline cranial vault as well as the zygomatic bone and zygomatic process of the maxilla, which contribute to the zygomatic arch. Through gene association mapping of a large heterogeneous population of Diversity Outbred (DO) mice, we identified a quantitative trait locus on chromosome 17 driving the antagonistic contribution of these two zygomatic arch bones to total zygomatic arch length. Candidate genes in this region were identified and real-time PCR of the maxillary processes of DO founder strain embryos indicated differences in the RNA expression levels for two of the candidate genes, and .

Conclusions: A genomic region underlying negative pleiotropy of two zygomatic arch bones was identified, which provides a mechanism for antagonism in component bone lengths while constraining overall zygomatic arch length. This type of mechanism may have led to variation in the contribution of individual bones to the zygomatic arch noted across mammals. Given that similar genetic and developmental mechanisms may underlie negative correlations in other parts of the skull, these results provide an important step toward understanding the developmental basis of evolutionary variation and constraint in skull morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13227-018-0092-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787316PMC
January 2018

Effects of housing density in five inbred strains of mice.

PLoS One 2014 21;9(3):e90012. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America.

To evaluate the effect of increased mouse density in a cage, mice were housed at the density recommended by the 1996 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and at densities that were approximately 2, 2.6, and 3 times greater. Five strains of mice (129S1/SvImJ, A/J, BALB/cByJ, C57BL/6J, and DBA/2J) were evaluated throughout 3- and 8-month timeframes for health and well-being, including mortality, cardiac measures, plasma cholesterol, body weight, bone mineral density, organ weights, hematology, behavioral observations, and open field and light-dark tests. For 22 of the 27 traits measured, increased housing density had no significant effect. Kidney weight, adrenal weight, and heart rate decreased as mice were housed more densely, and some of the decreases were statistically significant. Reduced kidney weight, adrenal weight, and heart rate are not considered to be negative outcomes and may even indicate reduced stress. However, all measurements of these three traits were within normal physiological ranges. Percent fat increased slightly in strains 129S1/SvImJ, A/J, and DBA/2J, but did not increase in strains BALB/cByJ, and C57BL/6J. These results indicate that mice can be housed at higher densities than those currently recommended.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0090012PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962340PMC
January 2015

Mouse gestation length is genetically determined.

PLoS One 2010 Aug 25;5(8):e12418. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America.

Background: Preterm birth is an enormous public health problem, affecting over 12% of live births and costing over $26 billion in the United States alone. The causes are complex, but twin studies support the role of genetics in determining gestation length. Despite widespread use of the mouse in studies of the genetics of preterm birth, there have been few studies that actually address the precise natural gestation length of the mouse, and to what degree the timing of labor and birth is genetically determined.

Methodology/principal Findings: To further develop the mouse as a genetic model of preterm birth, we developed a high-throughput monitoring system and measured the gestation length in 15 inbred strains. Our results show an unexpectedly wide variation in overall gestation length between strains that approaches two full days, while intra-strain variation is quite low. Although litter size shows a strong inverse correlation with gestation length, genetic difference alone accounts for a significant portion of the variation. In addition, ovarian transplant experiments support a primary role of maternal genetics in the determination of gestation length. Preliminary analysis of gestation length in the C57BL/6J-Chr#(A/J)/NaJ chromosome substitution strain (B.A CSS) panel suggests complex genetic control of gestation length.

Conclusions/significance: Together, these data support the role of genetics in regulating gestation length and present the mouse as an important tool for the discovery of genes governing preterm birth.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0012418PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928290PMC
August 2010