Faculty Research 1980 - 1989


Frequency of congenital abnormalities and of anatomical variations among JAX rabbits.

Document Type


Publication Date



Animal, Blood-Vessels: ab, Face: ab, Gastrointestinal-System: ab, Heart-Defects-Congenital: oc, Hybridization, Rabbits: ah, hi, Respiratory-System: ab, Species-Specificity, Urogenital-System: ab, Variation-(Genetics)

JAX Location


JAX Source

Teratology. 1980 Feb; 21(1):113-21.


The frequency of congenital abnormalities and anatomical variations as observed among JAX rabbits is reported. Data were drawn from 32,082 inbred and partially inbred rabbits and 3,208 hybrids from the colony of the Jackson Laboratory over an eight-year period. Data reported here include stillbirths, rabbits dying from natural causes, and those killed for specific experimental regimens. Frequency data are based on the number of abnormalities observed in each category as a function of the total number of animals necropsied. This is approximately 95% of the animals born during the eight-year period and gives the frequency of abnormalities within each category rather than the number of individuals with one or more abnormalities. Anatomical variations have been found in almost all organ systems of JAX rabbits. Their presence adds to our knowledge of the characteristics of these strains, a knowledge that is critical to the understanding of the results of experimental manipulation or for determination of the presence of new mutations. There is considerable between-strain variation. Where frequencies are relatively high, the conditions are either known or suspected to be of genetic origin. Most of the anomalies are not deleterious, or their frequency is so low as to cause no problems within the colony. Hybrid populations have substantially fewer anomalies than do the parental strains. Where frequency is relatively high, it tends to be intermediate between the parental strains.

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