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Cambridge Resource Centre for Comparative Genomics


Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.


  • Professor Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith FRS
    Dog chromosome 7 and 38 paints on human chromosome 1q reveals inversions (Sargan 2000)
  • Dr Fumio Kasai (Visiting Scientist)
  • Jorge C Pereira




The Centre was established in October 2002 by the Wellcome Trust in view of the need for a readily-available source of chromosome specific DNA by those working in comparative genomics. It was recognised that the Molecular Cytogenetics Research Group at the Cambridge University Veterinary School was in a position to provide these resources and, in fact, was doing so in a limited scale in collaborative arrangements with over 40 academic institutions world-wide. However, the demand had become more than could be supplied by these informal arrangements. As a result the Biomedical Resources Panel of the Wellcome Trust approved funds for an initial 3-year period and renewed for a further 3 years (until October 2008).

The Centre continues to consider requests from bona fide scientists in recognised institutions and is glad to answer queries and provide information on its services by email. Recipients are now asked to help defray resonable costs and to sign their agreement to conditions of use of the material supplied by the Centre.

Cat chromosome C1 probe maps to 10 regions of dog (left) and fox. (Yang 2000)

Note about Cell Lines

Many of Professor Ferguson-Smith's collaborators have provided cell lines in the past for joint studies. While the cell lines are used to prepare chromosome-specific DNA, the Centre is not able to distribute the cell lines to others.

See List of species for which cell lines are banked at the Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory


Requests for chromosome specific DNA should be sent to the Resource Centre and be accompanied by a brief project outline so that the Centre can determine the level of work required (see Application check list with the Agreement).

It should be noted:-

  1. Chromosome-specific DNA will be supplied only for non-commercial purposes.
  2. The originator of the request will normally be responsible for providing a clean, actively growing cell line suitable for preparing chromosome suspensions for sorting.
  3. The material supplied will consist of unlabelled secondary PCR amplification products of sorted chromosomes, together with a flow karyotype indicating the peak of origin of the sorted chromosomes.
  4. Normally, the investigator making the request will be responsible for identifying the chromosome of origin of the amplified DNA by labelling and hybridisation to metaphase preparations in his/her own laboratory.
  5. If (4) is not possible, arrangements may be made for the investigator to undertake chromosome verification at the Centre with the help of the staff of the Centre. Arrangements for visiting the Centre must be made at the investigator's expense.
  6. Requests for undertaking collaborative work with the Centre can be considered.

Additional Considerations

  1. Confidentiality. All applications are treated in strict confidence.
  2. Cell lines will be stored in the Centre's cell bank at the owner's risk. No guarantee can be given that stored lines can be successfully recovered, although every effort will be made to ensure the safety of each deposit.
  3. Chromosome-specific DNA from deposited cell lines will be prepared for other investigators only with the written consent of the depositor. Where other projects are not in conflict with the original project, permission for preparing chromosome-specific DNA should not normally be refused, provided that an assurance can be given not to pass on the material to other laboratories without the depositor's permission.
  4. The Centre retains the right to store chromosome-specific DNA from each flow-sorting experiment it undertakes as such material could be of value to the investigator or to other investigators (with permission) in the future.
  5. Stored chromosome-specific DNA will be available for distribution for research purposes to members of the comparative genomics community on request, after the lapse of two years, or at such time as agreed with the depositor.

Please click here for the Agreement Form


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