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Phenotyping transgenic embryos: a rapid 3-D screening method based on episcopic fluorescence image capturing

Nature Genetics volume 30, pages 5965 (2002) | Download Citation



We describe a technique suitable for routine three-dimensional (3-D) analysis of mouse embryos that is based on episcopic fluorescence images captured during serial sectioning of wax-embedded specimens. We have used this procedure to describe the cardiac phenotype and associated blood vessels of trisomic 16 (Ts16) and Cited2-null mutant mice, as well as the expression pattern of an Myf5 enhancer/β-galactosidase transgene. The consistency of the images and their precise alignment are ideally suited for 3-D analysis using video animations, virtual resectioning or commercial 3-D reconstruction software packages. Episcopic fluorescence image capturing (EFIC) provides a simple and powerful tool for analyzing embryo and organ morphology in normal and transgenic embryos.

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We are grateful to D. Summerbell, J.P. Martinez-Barbera and N. Brown for providing transgenic embryos; S. Pagakis for assistance with computing; and R. Chillingworth and J. Sawkins for technical assistance.

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  1. Integrative Morphology Group, Department of Anatomy, University of Vienna, Waehringerstrasse 13 A-1090 Wien, Austria.

    • Wolfgang Johann Weninger
  2. Developmental Biology Division, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.

    • Timothy Mohun


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Correspondence to Wolfgang Johann Weninger or Timothy Mohun.

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