Primate Genetics Core

Stained Images of DNA strands

Our mission

The Primate Genetics Core supports both investigators' and colony genetic management needs by providing a range of services for comprehensive genetic and genomic analysis of NHPs, including DNA sequencing, nucleic acid extraction, macaque-specific genotyping assays, and NHP DNA Bank distribution services.  

Key focus areas are:

  • Rhesus macaque SNP genotyping to validate parentage assignment
  • Rhesus macaque SNP–based ancestry testing to distinguish Indian-origin and Chinese-origin macaques
  • Rhesus macaque MHC expressed-allele analysis and SSP-based Class I allele analysis
  • NextGen and capillary DNA sequencing
  • Custom allele-specific genotyping services
  • High-quality nucleic acid extractions
  • Macaque Genotyping -by-Sequencing library construction
  • ONPRC NHP DNA Bank management and sample distribution
  • Providing investigators with access to state-of-the-art technologies with core-delivered services and core-supervised, customer self-service options to maximize research flexibility and efficiency

About us

The Primate Genetics Core is located at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) West Campus.  

Contact us

Sam Peterson, Ph.D., Director, 503-346-5565,

Yibing Jia, MS, Molecular Biology Lead,

CoreyAyne Singleton, MS, Cell Biology Lead,

Gwen Steinbach, B.S., Research Assistant 2, 503-346-5565,

Samantha Martin, Research Assistant 2, 503-346-5565,

Shipping address
Primate Genetics Core
Cooley Building Room 101
Oregon National Primate Research Center
Oregon Health and Sciences University
505 NW 185th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97006

Phone: 503-346-5494

Primate Genetics Core Services

Genotyping for parentage validation is performed using a 96 SNP assay, performed on a Fluidigm Biomark HD platform. This SNP assay was developed in partnership with the NPRC Genetics and Genomics Working Group Consortium to enable consistent genotyping and comparison of rhesus macaques across all NPRCs. Quality Control: two replicate samples are included with each assay to evaluate the reproducibility of genotype calls.

This SNP assay includes 122 Ancestral Informative Markers (AIMs) selected for high information content and broad genomic representation. The genotyping is carried out using the ABI QuantStudio 12K Flex System. The genotypes are then compared with 74 animals of known origin (35 Indian rhesus, 35 Chinese rhesus, and 4 hybrid animals of mixed Indian/Chinese origin). STRUCTURE analysis (Pritchard et al., 2000) is used to calculate a statistical probability of assignment into the two populations, with the 90% probability interval reported. For quality control: two previously genotyped DNA samples are included to evaluate consistency of genotype and ancestry calls. Ancestry determination is not made on DNAs with more than 10% missing genotype information. 

For projects and assays not requiring the throughput of the NovaSeq 6000 operated by the OHSU Massively Parallel Sequencing Shared Resource, the Primate Genetics Core has options for NGS (Illumina MiSeq) and capillary sequencing (ABI 3730xl). We specialize in working with researchers to optimize assays to meet research needs in a timely fashion.  

MHC expressed allele assay

Macaque MHC class I genotyping is performed using the RNA-based expressed allele assays, as described by Wiseman et al., 2009. Targeted polymorphic MHC Class I regions are amplified, multiplexed and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq sequencer. The resulting reads are compared against all defined MHC alleles to identify alleles and haplotypes. Alleles with a minimum of 0.2% sequence representation are reported. Finalized MHC alleles and haplotypes are reported directly or uploaded into the PRIMe database. Quality Control: A previously analyzed RNA sample is included in each round of library construction to ensure the reproducibility of results. 

Custom genotyping assays

The design of assays to distinguish macaque Single Nucleotide Variants (SNVs) or Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTRs) are available for investigators by request. Genotyping based on previously established assay designs (CLN7 c.769delA, 5-HTTLPR, MAOA-LPR, CRH C-2610T, TPH2 A2051C, Mamu-A*01, Mamu-B*08, Mamu-B*17) are also available. DNA samples with known genotypes are included to assure the reproducibility of assay results. 


The ONPRC DNA Bank contains whole blood and liver samples collected on an ongoing basis from all rhesus and Japanese macaques to support internal and external research programs. DNA is extracted as needed from buffy coat, whole blood, or liver samples. Currently, the DNA Bank includes over 50,000 archived samples from more than 19,000 NHPs, including 11 different species.

Most specialized and general equipment maintained and operated by the core is also available for use by individual investigators. Training, supervision, and necessary reagents is supplied. Available equipment includes real-time PCR machines, automated nucleic acid extraction robots, DNA/RNA QC platforms, plate readers, cell counters, and gel imagers. Please inquire about other services or requests.

The Primate Genetics Core has extensive experience extracting DNA and RNA from a variety of tissue sources using standard protocols and automated systems. Quality and quantity of isolated samples is assayed with ThermoFisher Qubit Fluorometer, Nanodrop Spectrophotometer and Agilent Bioanalyzer.

Sample submission

For ONPRC and OHSU users
All materials/samples are supplied either in person or shipped directly to the Genetics Core using the inter-campus courier.  Please give notice before shipping and provide the appropriate manifest or submission form at the time of notification.  Please provide billing information with sample submission.

For external (non-OHSU) users
External billing proceeds through the ONPRC billing office. Please email us with any inquires and we will generate a quote. ONPRC guidelines require external users supply us with a purchase order (PO) before initiating services. After the work is completed, external users will receive an invoice for review and the supplied PO will be billed.

Materials should be submitted by FedEx.  All materials should be packaged according to your institution's biosafety requirements and following IATA guidelines for shipping dangerous goods.  Please give us at least 24 hours of notice, via email, before shipping samples to the Genetics Core.  Provide the appropriate manifest or submission form with your notification.  

Results for genotype assays will be provided by email.