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Use of Xenopus tropicalis recommended

Xenopus tropicalis is a closely related species of Xenopus laevis that has been widely used as a model organism in developmental biology. The characteristics of X. tropicalis, such as a compact diploid genome (approximately 1.9 Gbp) and a short sexual maturation time (4–6 months), make it suitable for genetic studies, and the X. tropicalis experimental system has recently been developed. X. tropicalis is also the first amphibian species subjected to the whole genome sequencing project, revealing that more than 79% of the genes involved in human diseases are present as orthologues in this species (Hellsten, U. et al., Science 328: 633-636, 2010). The I-SceI meganuclease method works quite efficiently for transgenesis, in which introduced transgenes are integrated into the host chromosomes of founder animals and transmitted to the offspring (Ogino, H. et al., Nat. Protoc. 1: 1703-1710, 2006; Ogino, H. et al., Mech. Dev. 123: 103-113, 2006). Regarding genome editing; the CRISPR-Cas9 method disrupts target genes in more than 90% of the somatic cells of founder animals (Shigeta, M. et al., Genes Cells 21: 755-771, 2016).

  In order to develop life science research using X. tropicalis, the Hiroshima University Amphibian Research Center (ARC) is driving the National BioResource Project (NBRP) under the financial support of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In this project, we are collecting living (wild inbred animals, genetically engineered animals, etc.) and non-living (nucleic acid materials such as plasmids, genome sequence information, etc.) resources from academic researchers to preserve them for public use  and for distribution to (other) researchers upon request. Technical training courses and academic symposia are held annually to teach low-cost breeding techniques, transgenesis, genome editing and bioinformatics methods to promote cutting-edge research. The ARC also has a well-equipped special public laboratory, where researchers from outside of Hiroshima University can perform experiments using X. tropicalis, under the technical support of ARC staff. Those who wish to stay at ARC during experiments may use the university accommodation if necessary.

  X. tropicalis is one of the international standard amphibian species utilized for life science research. Considering the rapid growth of research infrastructure, one can effectively use this species not only for general "wet" experiments but also for recent "dry" next-generation sequencer analyses. We hope that our X. tropicalis resources help the research community in the further development of life sciences.

  1. Use of Xenopus

  2. tropicalis recommended

“Formation and utilization of the resource base for genetics and genomics of Xenopus tropicalis” in the official YouTube channel of NBRP Xenopus  tropicalis (in Japanese)