About the XGSC
The Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center (XGSC) is located at the Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. The XGSC serves as a national stock center for Xiphophorus species as well as an education and training center for animal husbandry, genetics, transgenesis, genomics, and bioinformatics. The XGSC is funded by the National Institute of Health, Office of the Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP). The XGSC provides a facility for maintaining genetic stock of 24 Xiphophorus species, providing stocks to researchers, developing new experimental tools and resources for comparative and tranlational biomedical research, and meeting needs of the Xiphophorus research community through workshops and conferences.
The Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center (XSGC) was originally established in the early 1930’s by Dr. Myron Gordon at Cornell University following several collecting trips to Mexico and Central America. There, he collected fish to determine if Xiphophorus from natural populations could develop pigment cell abnormalities or whether the observed melanoma was a consequence of hybridization between domesticated platyfish and swordtails. In 1938, Gordon moved the XGSC to the New York Aquarium and then to the American Museum of Natural History on Coney Island. Dr. Gordon established one of the original animal models to show genetic inheritance of cancer called the Gordon-Kosswig cross which is still used today.
After the sudden passing of Dr. Gordon in 1959, Dr. Klaus Kallman, who was formerly Dr. Gordon’s doctoral student, took over as Director of the Center. He moved the center to the Osborn Laboratory of Marine Sciences at the New York Aquarium in 1968 where he continued to study and collect Xiphophorus to substantially expand the Stock Center from 6 to 22 species with over 60 pedigreed lines. Dr. Kallman served as the XGSC Director for 35 years until his retirement in 1992. He then transferred the Xiphophorus lines to Texas State University over a period of 3 years under the direction of Dr. Ronald Walter. During his 27-year tenure, Dr. Walter, in collaboration with Dr. Manfred Schartl, established the first Xiphophorus genome utilizing X. maculatus. Over time, he extensively used interspecies hybrids for gene mapping resulting in robust Xiphophorus gene maps, and now whole genomes. Thus, Dr. Walter’s research helped solidify the role of Xiphophorus as a genetic model to address a range of complex genetic questions including those associated with human disease.