Summary: To facilitate genetic screens to identify and maintain recessive mutations that map to the short arm of human chromosome 1, we have utilized chromosome engineering to generate two mouse strains that carry large inversions on the distal region of mouse chromosome 4. The inversion intervals are 16 and 22 cM in size together they cover approximately half of chromosome 4. Since recombination between the wild-type and inversion chromosomes does not occur within these inversion intervals, mutant alleles of genes mapping to this region can be identified and maintained. Therefore, these inversion chromosomes work as balancer chromosomes. These inversions have the additional advantage that they are tagged with genes encoding the visible coat color markers tyrosinase and agouti, and therefore the dosage of the inversion chromosome (+/+, Inv/+, Inv/Inv) can be visually recognized. These inversion strains will be extremely useful for mutagenesis screens that focus on functional annotation of human chromosome 1p.
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