This application seeks support to continue operations of the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) at the University of Kentucky. The AGSC maintains a historically significant collection of Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), an endangered species that provides living materials in support of biomedical research nationally and internationally. Most notably, axolotls are studied because they are unique among vertebrates in being able to regenerate numerous tissues and body parts. These include the spinal cord, limbs, jaw, retina, brain, heart, and tail, all of which can be regenerated at any poit during embryonic, larval, and adult life. Also, axolotls are used by researchers that work in many additional areas, including neurobiology, ecotoxicology, development, physiology, cell biology, genetics, genomics, and evolution. Over the next 5 years, the AGSC will implement a new resource management plan to better ensure long-term sustainability of axolotl stocks and move each year towards greater self- sufficiency. This will be accomplished by providing high quality stocks that the community has come to depend upon, increasing production and distribution of axolotls, and offering new products and services. In particular, the AGSC will offer a microinjection service to assist investigators in the creation of transgenic axolotls. The AGSC will continue to serve as an informatics hub where investigators obtain information about the collection, technical procedures, potential collaborators, and research findings. Overall, the project will ensure distribution and long-term sustainability of axolotl resources to NIH-funded investigators.
Living stock resources are needed for the Mexican axolotl so that biomedical investigators can translate biological information to humans. The Mexican axolotl is a primary vertebrate model for organ regeneration, tissue repair, and post--- embryonic development.
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