The deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus and congeneric species are the most common native North American mammal. They range from Alaska to Central America and occur in many natural habitats. Because of their abundance, these mice constitute a major component of nearctic terrestrial ecosystems. Laboratory stock of both wild-type and genetically variant Peromyscus are used for investigations in which laboratory-based studies can be interfaced with those of natural populations. Deer mice differ distinctly from laboratory house mice Mus domesticus and rats Rattus norvegicus and are not closely related to these species.
The two main functions of the Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center (pdf) are:
I. To furnish genetically defined, variant and normal, living Peromyscus or their tissues to investigators and educators for research and instruction.
II. To improve Peromyscus as a laboratory animal resource. The mission of the Center is not only to serve as a source of living animals. It also includes activities designed to enhance the research potential of this important genus.