International Mammalian Genome Society

logo18th International Mouse Genome Conference

17-22 October 2004, Seattle, USA


Lad HV, Coghill and The Eumorphia Consortium E L

MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell, United Kingdom

EUMORPHIA is an EU supported integrated research programme incorporating the expertise and resources of many European mouse genetics centres.  The focus is on the development of new approaches in phenotyping, mutagenesis and informatics leading to improved characterisation of mouse models for the understanding of human physiology and disease.

One of the key aims is to improve the reproducibility and comparability of phenotype tests across different laboratories and to provide access to new and improved phenotyping platforms. A major achievement has been the establishment of a new robust primary screening strategy – the European Comprehensive First Line Phenotyping protocol (ECFLP) for many of the body systems in the mouse. Validation and refinement of the tests selected for the ECFLP is underway using specific inbred and known mutant lines. Crucial to the development of the ECFLP as a resource has been its integration with a “standard operating procedure” (SOP) XML database as well as appropriate ontologies for improved data analysis, data dissemination and continuous SOP refinement. This resource will be publicly available through the EUMORPHIA website ( from summer 2004.

Two levels of first-line phenotyping have been defined; “primary tests” represent the routine core tests of the ECFLP protocol; “primary extended tests” are those valuable in a first-line screen, but dependent upon availability of specialised equipment, skills and resources. Progress within the “Sensory Systems” workpackage, which covers audition, vestibular function and vision, is described as an example of the type of work undertaken within this programme.

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