In order to establish a system to facilitate the systematic collection, preservation, and provision of laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) and their derivates, the National BioResource Project-Rat (NBRP-Rat) was launched in July 2002. By the end of 2008, more than 500 rat strains had been collected and preserved as live animals, embryos, or sperm. These rat resources are supplied to biomedical scientists in Japan as well as in other countries. This review article introduces NBRP-Rat and highlights the phenome project, recombinant inbred strains, BAC clone libraries, and the ENU-mutant archive, named the Kyoto University Rat Mutant Archive (KURMA). The future direction of rat resources are also discussed.
2009 Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science