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MGC Project Summary


The NIH Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) program is a multi-institutional effort to identify and sequence cDNA clones containing a full-length open reading frame (FL-ORF) for human, mouse, and rat genes. To date, the MGC has produced over 0 cDNA libraries derived from human tissue and cell lines, as well as mouse and rat tissues. The MGC has sequenced and verified the complete FL-ORFs for a non-redundant set of 17,592 human, 17,701 mouse, and 6,486 rat genes.

MGC infrastrucure and protocols are also being applied to two other gene collection projects:

  • Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis (XGC)
  • Danio rerio (ZGC)

The Bovine Gene Collection (BGC) is a Genome Canada initiative that supports the production of cDNA libraries, clones and sequences to provide a complete set of full-length (open reading frame) sequences and cDNA clones of expressed genes for the cow. The MGC infrastructure provides materials distribution. Details about this project can be found at


  • Clone generation:
    • From the inception of the MGC, 5' expressed-sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from cDNA libraries and analyzed to identify candidate clones for human, mouse and rat that might contain complete ORFs. (See references 1, 4, and 5)
    • Since 2004, PCR generation and in vitro synthesis of human and mouse cDNAs have been performed to isolate genes missing from the MGC. (See references 2 and 3)
  • All clones are subjected to high accuracy full-insert sequencing and assessed for complete ORFs.
  • Candidate clones for genes are clones that have been identified as potentially complete ORFs and are awaiting full-insert sequencing.
  • All MGC sequences are deposited in GenBank and available without restriction.
  • The cDNA clones generated by the MGC are available through the IMAGE clone distribution network (See Where to Buy) and are fully accessible to the community.