Cryopreservation

The European Mutant Mouse Archive (EMMA) welcomes submissions of mutant mouse and rat strains from all over the world, archives free of charge and facilitates global distribution.
You can submit your strains to EMMA here:
Deposit your mutant strain

Online Submission

Please use the  online submission form to submit your strains to EMMA. The submission form captures information on depositor and owner, mutation(s), phenotype, genetic background, literature references, strain characterization, scientific interest, intellectual property rights and some additional information that is needed for handling the animals. Genotyping protocol and health certificate will be requested during the submission. Receipt of the online submission form will be confirmed by an automatic email notification.
Please note that CRISPR strains can be only considered for evaluation if peer-reviewed phenotypic information is available.

Evaluation

Mutant strains submitted for archiving are evaluated by INFRAFRONTIER’s  external Evaluation Committee, which is composed of experts in the field of mouse genetics. They evaluate each submission to the EMMA repository, thereby ensuring that the research community has access to valuable mouse and rat mutant strains with significance for current and future genetic research. Major evaluation criteria are: sound scientific methods, evidence of heritability, identifiable genotype, and stabilised phenotype. If the information provided through the online submission form is clear enough, EMMA will inform depositors about the outcome of the evaluation within 60 days.

Requirements for Cryopreservation

Once approval has been granted, depositors have to provide a health status report for the mice or rats they want to send to EMMA. This report must be less than 3 months old. In the case of mouse lines, due to its methodological simplicity and reduced costs, for most strains sperm will be cryopreserved. Depositors are then asked to send a minimum of 5 heterozygous or homozygous males (as appropriate) of breeding age to the EMMA node to which the mutant line has been assigned to for cryopreservation. Embryo cryopreservation will only be considered in special cases where the strain background may not be available in the archiving centre in order to preserve the genetic background upon recovery and/or for strains containing several mutations. If a strain needs to be frozen down as embryos a minimum of 5 males and 5 females is required. Provision of more mice than the specified minimum will accelerate the freezing process. Under normal circumstances it will take EMMA between 4 and 6 months to freeze down a heterozygous mutant strain once the archiving centre has received the animals. This time frame includes a viability control.

Intellectual Property Rights

Deposited lines are archived under the  EMMA repository conditions. EMMA only acts as distributor and any already existing Material Transfer Agreement will remain in full force and effect.

Costs

The EMMA cryopreservation service is free of charge. However, customers have to cover the actual costs for shipping material to the EMMA facilities.

Nomenclature Service and Integrated Resources

Depositors should be aware that to aid curation of archived strains, official nomenclature (including laboratory code) will be requested from  Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) when required. All registered alleles etc. will remain reserved, but not public on the MGI website, until they appear in any publication, or the strain is made public on the INFRAFRONTIER website.
In the following link you will find an overview about the nomenclature services offered by EMMA and the different resources integrated in order to enrich the information related to EMMA strains.
Nomenclature service and integrated resources

Emergency Archiving during COVID-19 Crisis

Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, there may be a need to urgently archive various valuable mouse models. Please contact us for archiving possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I submit a mutant strain to EMMA?

On this webpage  you can find a  submission form, which you should complete and send to EMMA via the website. On the submission form you will be asked to give information on depositor and owner, mutation(s), phenotype, genetic background and sanitary status of your mouse/rat strains, literature references, scientific interest and intellectual property rights, as well as some additional information that is needed for handling the animals. Upon sending your submission you will receive an automatic email notification. Applications for archiving are evaluated by an external Evaluation Committee and, if the information provided through the submission form is clear enough, EMMA will contact you within 60 days and discuss how to proceed. Do not hesitate to contact  VASENSEBAGVRE if there are questions you would like to address in advance.

Who can deposit strains in EMMA?

Anybody who wants his/her mutant strains cryopreserved may deposit strains with EMMA. However, depositors must be aware that these strains become freely available to other researchers following deposition in EMMA.

What does EMMA require from the depositor?

Once approval has been granted, the archiving EMMA node will inform the submitter about which documents are required and which animals (age, sex, numbers) need to be provided. For example, depositors have to provide a health status report for the animals they want to send to EMMA. This report must be less than 3 months old.

In the case of mouse lines, due to its methodological simplicity and reduced costs, for most strains sperm will be cryopreserved. Depositors are then asked to send a minimum of 5 heterozygous or homozygous males (as appropriate) of breeding age to the EMMA node to which the mouse line has been assigned to for cryopreservation. If a strain needs to be frozen down at homozygous state, embryos will be cryopreserved and a minimum of 5 males and 5 females is required. Provision of more animals than the specified minimum will accelerate the freezing process. Under normal circumstances it will take EMMA between 4 and 6 months to freeze down a heterozygous mutant strain once the archiving centre has received the animals. This time frame includes a viability control.

What does EMMA charge for archiving strains?

The depositor has to bear the expense of shipping the mice to the EMMA partner responsible for archiving the strain. However, EMMA does not charge the depositor for the archiving service.

Which are the criteria used to evaluate new submissions to EMMA?

Major evaluation criteria are: sound scientific methods, evidence of heritability, identifiable genotype, and stabilised phenotype.

How long does it take for a strain to become available for distribution?

Several factors such as the mode of cryopreservation (sperm or embryo freezing), the genetic background and the health status of the mutant strain imported to EMMA influence the time required before a strain becomes available for distribution. Usually, we need 4 to 6 months to archive heterozygous mutant strains. Up to 12 months could be required for freezing a homozygous strain. The timelines include rederivation controls.

Does EMMA offer a delayed release of the mutant lines?

EMMA can grant a grace period of up to two years. During this grace period the mutant strain will be archived by EMMA but will not be published on the list of available EMMA strains. If you wish to make use of the grace period, you should complete the respective fields in the submission form and briefly explain why you need it.

Can I cover my intellectual property rights by an MTA?

Depositors can provide EMMA with a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). If distribution requires a MTA, EMMA will not ship the strain until the recipient has signed the MTA. The MTA applies in relation between provider (depositor) and recipient. EMMA merely acts as a broker.

Does EMMA provide a nomenclature service?

EMMA provides a nomenclature service for archived mice according to the rules and guidelines established by the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice. Depositors should be aware that to aid curation of archived strains, official nomenclature (including laboratory code) will be requested from Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) when required. All registered alleles etc. will remain reserved, but not public on the MGI website, until they appear in any publication, or the strain is made public on the INFRAFRONTIER website.

Which methods does EMMA use?

All EMMA partners use validated protocols for mouse embryo and spermatozoa freezing techniques, in vitro fertilisation procedures and embryo transfers. However, the EMMA partners use different protocols that are optimized for their individual settings. EMMA distribution centres will provide to users ordering frozen embryos or spermatozoa the centre specific validated thawing protocols. Your can download the protocols that are practiced in EMMA training courses at the MRC-Harwell and that are routinely used at Harwell.

Will EMMA accept not published/peer-reviewed strains?

Although publication is not a requisite for cryopreserving a strain at EMMA, it is highly appreciated that some phenotypic information is available. If the strain has been published, please add all publications where the submitted strain has been used in the ‘References’ section in the submission form. This information is useful for the evaluation of your submission, but also for users interested in obtaining your strain from EMMA in the future.
However, according to the EMMA policies, CRISPR strains can only be considered for archiving at EMMA if peer-reviewed phenotypic information is available.

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