The Collaborative Cross was proposed as a rapid, high precision resource for analyzing complex traits, as described by Threadgill, Hunter and Williams. Following the first Complex Trait Consortium, scientific support for the Cross increased. The official proposal for The Collaborative Cross was published in Nature Genetics in 2004.
Founder strains were selected to maximize diversity, while including strains whose genomes had been sequenced (A/J, C57BL/6J, 129S1/SvlmJ), models for type 1 diabetes (NOD/LtJ) obesity (NZO) and wild-derived strains (CAST/Ei, PWK/Ph, and WSB/Ei). The figure above shows the phylogenetic relationship of the founders, among a total of 102 strains tested at markers genome-wide. The founders may be considered as the “great-grandparents” of The Collaborative Cross’s “family tree.”
In May 2005, three sites undertook the production of strains of The Collaborative Cross: our site at The Western Australian Institute for Medical Research and the University of Western Australia, ORNL in the USA, and Tel Aviv University.
We welcome collaborators who would like to characterize The Collaborative Cross for their research projects.