Animal Production Core
Center for Reproductive Biology
Animal Production Core
Generating and preserving gene-edited and genetically-modified animal models

Animal Production Core

The Animal Production Core (APC) offers a range of services for generating and preserving gene-edited and genetically-modified animal models for investigators at WSU. Projects from investigators outside WSU are also welcome, and we are happy to discuss possible research collaborations. 

Embryo microinjection and micromanipulation services are available for generation of transgenic, knock-out, knock-in, or otherwise genetically-engineered animals, using zygote or blastocyst injection with DNA, RNA, CRISPR-Cas9 reagents, or ES cells. We work in close collaboration with the Gene Editing Reagent Core (GERC) to provide full-service genome editing services, from design of targeting strategies to delivery of founder animals to investigators. 

The Animal Production Core can provide a range of traditional transgenic core services, with experience and expertise in embryo transfer surgeries, embryo and sperm cryopreservation and cryorecovery, rederivation of specific-pathogen-free lines, in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and other reproductive biology techniques. Well-established protocols are in place for working with mouse and rat embryos and gametes, and we are happy to work with other laboratory animal models and large animal species as well. 

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Note on required approvals: Investigator must have proper approval in place for receipt and/or generation of any animal model through the WSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), i.e., approved Animal Subject Approval Form (ASAF), Biosafety Committee i.e., approved biosafety approval form (BAF), and other relevant regulatory entities before the Core may initiate services. Investigators are responsible for ensuring appropriate material transfer agreements are in place. Please contact the core director for information on how to obtain approval.

Note for microinjection services: These services do not include costs for generation or purification of reagents for microinjection. Investigators may work with the Gene Editing Reagent Core to design and produce these reagents, or may provide appropriately purified injection-ready reagents to the core (we are happy to offer advice or provide protocols if needed).

  • Washington State University will include an 8% administrative service charge for all out-of-area projects not supported by federal funds.
  • Fees are based on actual costs for providing these services. We are unable to guarantee outcomes, but will ensure minimum thresholds are met for each project.
  • The WSU Animal Production Core is here to support your animal research needs however we can. Please contact Dr. Miranda Bernhardt for more information or to discuss proposed projects.

CRISPR/Cas9 microinjection for single validated guide/single session knock-out production or DNA microinjection for transgenic production.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 18 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 100 embryos injected, 40 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 2 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

CRISPR reagent microinjection to produce a knock-in, small change, large deletion, or multiple deletions, or other microinjection projects with complex or low-efficiency targets.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 30 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 5 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 4 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 40 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 200 embryos injected, 80 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 3 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first). If only a single microinjection session is performed and a suitable founder is produced, the basic microinjection rate will be charged.

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

CRISPR/Cas9 microinjection for single validated guide/single session KO production or DNA microinjection for transgenic production, using a mouse strain with typically higher embryo yields.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 12 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 100 embryos injected, 40 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 2 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

CRISPR reagent microinjection to produce a knock-in, small change, large deletion, or multiple deletions, or other microinjection projects with complex or low-efficiency targets, using a mouse strain with typically higher embryo yields.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 24 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 5 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 4 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 40 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 200 embryos injected, 80 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 3 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first). If only a single microinjection session is performed and a suitable founder is produced, the basic microinjection rate will be charged.

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), or additional services beyond set thresholds. Extra expenses will be charged at cost.

For cases in which a desired founder is not produced after completion of a basic or complex microinjection service, additional sessions may be added for the same project at a standard rate.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 10 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), and tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups). Cost of pathogen screening will be covered by charges from the original service, unless additional screening is required.

Thresholds for a single session: 60 embryos injected, 25 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 1 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

As for the original service, additional expenses not included in the service rates will be charged at cost.

Rederivation from live mice to produce a specific pathogen free population.

2-4 males (>8 weeks old) from the desired line are needed for heterozygous offspring production. If homozygous offspring are required, at least 5 females (4-6 weeks of age for best results) are needed in addition to the 2-4 males.

Service includes superovulation, mating with quarantined males, embryo collection (up to 5 donor females), embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: collection of embryos from 5 donor females, transfer of embryos to 3 recipient females, or 2 sessions (whichever is met first).

Arrival pathogen screening performed on founder mice will be billed directly to WSU PIs or will be an added cost for outside users (typically ~$200). Arrival shipping costs and housing charges for founder mice will be billed directly to the PI (contact vivarium manager for pricing information). Extra expenses may occur for additional serology, per diems for housing rederived mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Rederivation from live mice to produce a specific pathogen free population.

2-4 males (>8 weeks old) from the desired line are needed for heterozygous offspring production. If homozygous offspring are required, at least 5 females (4-6 weeks of age for best results) are needed in addition to the 2-4 males.

Service includes superovulation, mating with quarantined males, embryo collection (up to 5 donor females), embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: collection of embryos from 5 donor females, transfer of embryos to 3 recipient females, or 2 sessions (whichever is met first).

Arrival pathogen screening performed on founder mice will be billed directly to WSU PIs or will be an added cost for outside users (typically ~$200). Arrival shipping costs and housing charges for founder mice will be billed directly to the PI (contact vivarium manager for pricing information). Extra expenses may occur for additional serology, per diems for housing rederived mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

If the desired number of rederived offspring are not obtained after 2 attempts or after reaching the threshold for the original service, additional single rederivation rounds may be added for the same project at a standard rate.

Service includes superovulation, mating with quarantined males, embryo collection (up to 3 donor females), embryo transfer (up to 2 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), and tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups). Cost of pathogen screening will be covered by charges from the original service, unless additional screening is required.

Thresholds for a single service: collection of embryos from 3 donor females, transfer of embryos to 2 recipient females, or 1 sessions (whichever is met first).

As for the original service, additional expenses not included in the service rates will be charged at cost.

Rederivation of a mouse line from cryopreserved embryos.

Service includes receipt of cryopreserved embryo shipment, temporary storage in Core’s liquid nitrogen tank, quality control test thaw if samples are provided, embryo thaw/recovery according to sending facility protocol (one line, up to 3 vials or straws), coordination of return shipment for dry shipper, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: thaw of up to 3 vials or straws of embryos from a single line or transfer of embryos to 3 recipient females (whichever is met first).

The investigator should coordinate with the sending facility to have cryopreserved samples shipped to the Core. Shipping charges, cost of the samples, and customs fees are the PIs responsibility. The core will arrange for return of the shipping container to the sending facility, and will bill the PI for the shipping costs. The Core is not responsible for loss of embryos due to damage or delays during shipment or problems arising from improper treatment during freezing. Extra expenses may also occur for additional serology, per diems for housing rederived mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, costs for shipping or transporting rederived mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Production of embryos through in vitro fertilization using fresh or frozen sperm and embryo transfer to produce offspring.

Service includes receipt/temporary storage/thawing of cryopreserved sperm (or collection of fresh epididymal sperm from 1-3 males from the same strain, provided by the investigator), superovulation and egg collection (up to 10 donor females), sperm capacitation/IVF/short-term embryo culture, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages). Core cannot be responsible for low fertilization due to poor sperm quality.

Thresholds for a single service: incubation of sperm with 100 eggs, 40 embryos transferred, or 2 sessions (whichever is met first).

If cryopreserved samples are being shipped from another location, the investigator should coordinate with the sending facility to have samples shipped to the Core. Shipping charges, cost of the samples, customs fees, and costs to return shipping containers to the sending facility are the PI’s responsibility. The Core is not responsible for sample loss due to damage or delays during shipment or problems arising from improper treatment during freezing. Extra expenses may also occur for additional serology, per diems for housing rederived mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, costs for shipping or transporting rederived mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Rodent husbandry services, including handling, setting breeders, weaning, IP and SC injections, routine health care/monitoring, and record-keeping.

Hourly rate for necessary husbandry services, charged in 1/4 hour increments.

Husbandry services for mice outside of the core’s direct care may be provided based on technician availability.

Surplus mice produced by the core’s breeding colonies and not needed for core services may be available for investigators to purchase.

When occasional extra stocks are available, researchers may purchase mice for use in their own colonies. Costs listed are for mice not needed for Core services; at this time, additional mice will not be bred for this service, but extra mice will be made available for purchase.

Mice <3 weeks will be provided for the cost of husbandry time to select and transfer mice to the investigator.

Mice >16 weeks will rarely be available; cost will be determined as the 12-16 week rate plus $0.63/cage/day for housing past 16 weeks.

Cryopreservation of embryos from an existing mouse line.

At least 5 males (>8 weeks old) from the desired line are needed for to produce heterozygous embryo cryopreservation. If homozygous embryos are required, at least 5-10 females (4-6 weeks of age for best results) are needed in addition to the 5 males; number of embryos generated will be dependent on the number of mice available and their breeding success.

Service includes superovulation and collection of embryos from up to 12 female mice mated with males from the investigator’s line, embryo collection, culture to the 2-cell stage, embryo cryopreservation, and up to one year of storage in in Core’s liquid nitrogen tank (samples from specific-pathogen-free mice are split between 2 tanks). A quality control test thaw will be performed if the investigator requests. Thawing of embryos and culture in vitro to the blastocyst stage is included in the service; thawing of embryos and transfer to recipient females to confirm live offspring may be provided as an additional service.

Thresholds for a single service: collection and cryopreservation of 100 2-cell embryos, collection of embryos from up to 12 donor females, or 2 collection/cryo sessions (whichever is met first).

As an optional measure of quality control, investigators may choose to have 1-2 vials of embryos cryopreserved by the core thawed and transferred to recipient females to ensure viability and robust development.

In association with a embryo cryopreservation service performed by the Core, this service includes thawing 1-2 straws or vials of embryos, transfer of embryos to a recipient female, and confirmation of live offspring. Service does not include pathogen screening or transfer of offspring to investigator.

Thresholds for a single service: thaw of up to 2 vials or straws of embryos from a single line or transfer of embryos to 2 recipient females (whichever is met first).

Cryopreservation of sperm for preservation of a genetic line or strain (1-2 males).

Males provided should be 3-6 months old, and should be single-housed for 1 week prior to collection for best results.

Service includes collection of sperm from up to two males from the same genetic line, cryopreservation of up to 20 straws, quality control thawing of one straw per male, and storage of samples for up to one year (samples from specific-pathogen-free mice will be split between 2 storage tanks).

Thresholds for a single service: collection and cryopreservation of up to 2 males from the same genetic line, cryopreservation of up to 20 straws, and thawing of 2 straws for quality control assessment.

As an optional measure of quality control, investigators may choose to have sperm cryopreserved by the Core used in an IVF assay to confirm the sperm are capable of fertilization and generation of developmentally competent embryos (in vitro culture).

Service includes thawing 1-2 straws of cryopreserved sperm using recommended techniques, preparation and incubation with up to 60 mouse eggs, and monitoring of fertilization and in vitro development to the blastocyst stage. Service does not include generation of live offspring.

Thresholds for a single service: thaw of up to 2 straws or vials of sperm from a single line, incubation of thawed sperm with up to 60 eggs, or 2 IVF sessions (whichever is met first).

Yearly storage and maintenance of cryopreserved embryos or sperm.

Annual fee for storage and maintenance of cryopreserved embryos, sperm, or cells in the Core’s liquid nitrogen tanks. Samples may be contained in vials or straws held in canes or cassettes appropriate for the storage vessels.

Samples from 1 line may include 1-4 canes or cassettes containing samples from a single genetic line.

Injection of genetically modified mouse embryonic stem cells into blastocyst embryos for generation of chimeric mice with the goal of achieving germ line transmission.

Service includes culture, expansion, and cell preparation for 1-2 investigator-provided ES cell clones, superovulation, mating, and embryo collection (up to 12 blastocyst donor females), blastocyst ESC microinjection, non-surgical embryo transfer (up to 4 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages). Investigator must provide results of recent mycoplasma testing for the cell lines provided. Karyotyping to confirm euploidy of ES cell line is highly recommended for best results. Core cannot guarantee germ-line transmission of any ES cell line.

Thresholds for a single service: 60 embryos injected, 40 embryos transferred, 5 >20% chimeric founders provided, or 2 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Microinjection of sperm heads (provided by the investigator) into eggs to produce embryos for transfer and production of offspring.

Service includes sperm preparation, superovulation, egg collection (up to 12 donor females), intracytoplasmic sperm injection, short-term embryo culture, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 2 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 2 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 80 eggs injected, 40 embryos transferred, 10 offspring provided, or 2 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing mice beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting mice (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

CRISPR/Cas9 microinjection or DNA microinjection for transgenic production in Sprague Dawley rats.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 16 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 6 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 6 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 40 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 3 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: 100 embryos injected, 40 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 2 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing pups beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting animals (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

For cases in which a desired founder is not produced after completion of a rat microinjection service, additional sessions may be added for the same project at a standard rate.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 8 donor females), microinjection, embryo transfer (up to 3 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 3 cages), and tail biopsy collection (up to 20 pups). Cost of pathogen screening will be covered by charges from the original service, unless additional screening is required.

Thresholds for a single session: 60 embryos injected, 25 embryos transferred, 5 positive founders provided, or 1 microinjection sessions (whichever is met first).

As for the original service, additional expenses not included in the service rates will be charged at cost.

Rederivation from live rats to produce a specific pathogen free population.

2-4 males (>8 weeks old) from the desired line are needed for heterozygous offspring production. If homozygous offspring are required, at least 5 females (4-6 weeks of age for best results) are needed in addition to the 2-4 males.

Service includes superovulation, embryo collection (up to 8 donor females), embryo transfer (up to 4 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 4 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 30 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 3 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: collection of embryos from 8 donor females, transfer of embryos to 4 recipient females, or 2 sessions (whichever is met first).

Arrival pathogen screening performed on founder animals will be billed directly to WSU PIs or will be an added cost for outside users (expected cost ~$200-300). Arrival shipping costs and housing charges for founder animals will be billed directly to the PI (contact vivarium manager for pricing information). Extra expenses may occur for additional serology, per diems for housing rederived pups beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting animals (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Rederivation of a rat line from cryopreserved embryos.

Service includes receipt of cryopreserved embryo shipment, temporary storage in Core’s liquid nitrogen tank, quality control test thaw if samples are provided, embryo thaw/recovery according to sending facility protocol (one line, up to 3 vials or straws), coordination of return shipment for dry shipper, embryo transfer (up to 4 recipients), costs for housing pregnant dams and pre-weaning pups (up to 4 cages), tail biopsy collection (up to 30 pups), and standard pathogen screening (1 round, up to 3 cages).

Thresholds for a single service: thaw of up to 3 vials or straws of embryos from a single line or transfer of embryos to 4 recipient females (whichever is met first).

Additional expenses may occur for extra reagent preparation, additional serology, per diems for housing pups beyond weaning age, extra husbandry, additional breeding, costs for shipping or transporting animals (e.g., World Courier charges, disposable caging, hydration packs), added consultation time for complex projects, or additional services beyond set thresholds. Added expenses will be charged at cost.

Cryopreservation of embryos from an existing rat line.

At least 5 males (>8 weeks old) from the desired line are needed for to produce heterozygous embryo cryopreservation. If homozygous embryos are required, at least 5-10 females (4-6 weeks of age for best results) are needed in addition to the 5 males; number of embryos generated will be dependent on the number of animals available and their breeding success.

Service includes superovulation and collection of embryos from up to 12 females mated with males from the investigator’s line, embryo collection, culture to the 2-cell stage, embryo cryopreservation, and up to one year of storage in in Core’s liquid nitrogen tank (samples from specific-pathogen-free mice are split between 2 tanks). A quality control test thaw will be performed if the investigator requests. Thawing of embryos and culture in vitro to the blastocyst stage is included in the service. Thawing of embryos and transfer to recipient females to confirm live offspring is not currently offered as a standard core service; please contact Core director for more information.

Thresholds for a single service: collection and cryopreservation of 100 2-cell embryos, collection of embryos from up to 12 donor females, or 2 collection/cryo sessions (whichever is met first).

Small animal surgical services, such as embryo transfer, ovariectomy, castration, or vasectomy.

Hourly rate for stand-alone surgical services conducted by the Core. Costs are estimated based on a typical 3-hour sterile surgical session with one staff member. Added costs may occur for additional personnel and non-standard equipment or supplies.

Microinjection-only service for investigators who provide injection-ready reagents and oocytes/eggs/embryos.

Per-session rate (up to 3 hours) for stand-alone microinjection services conducted by the Core. For sessions up to 6 hours, cost of additional personnel time will be added.