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Simon M.M.,Medical Research Council Harwell Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mary Lyon Center | Moresco E.M.Y.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Bull K.R.,University of Oxford | Bull K.R.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | And 4 more authors.
Mammalian Genome

Mutagenesis-based screens in mice are a powerful discovery platform to identify novel genes or gene functions associated with disease phenotypes. An N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen induces single nucleotide variants randomly in the mouse genome. Subsequent phenotyping of mutant and wildtype mice enables the identification of mutated pathways resulting in phenotypes associated with a particular ENU lesion. This unbiased approach to gene discovery conducts the phenotyping with no prior knowledge of the functional mutations. Before the advent of affordable next generation sequencing (NGS), ENU variant identification was a limiting step in gene characterization, akin to ‘finding a needle in a haystack’. The emergence of a reliable reference genome alongside advances in NGS has propelled ENU mutation discovery from an arduous, time-consuming exercise to an effective and rapid form of mutation discovery. This has permitted large mouse facilities worldwide to use ENU for novel mutation discovery in a high-throughput manner, helping to accelerate basic science at the mechanistic level. Here, we describe three different strategies used to identify ENU variants from NGS data and some of the subsequent steps for mutation characterisation. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

Simon M.M.,Medical Research Council Harwell Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mary Lyon Center | Greenaway S.,Medical Research Council Harwell Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mary Lyon Center | White J.K.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Fuchs H.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 66 more authors.
Genome Biology

Background: The mouse inbred line C57BL/6J is widely used in mouse genetics and its genome has been incorporated into many genetic reference populations. More recently large initiatives such as the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC) are using the C57BL/6N mouse strain to generate null alleles for all mouse genes. Hence both strains are now widely used in mouse genetics studies. Here we perform a comprehensive genomic and phenotypic analysis of the two strains to identify differences that may influence their underlying genetic mechanisms. Results: We undertake genome sequence comparisons of C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N to identify SNPs, indels and structural variants, with a focus on identifying all coding variants. We annotate 34 SNPs and 2 indels that distinguish C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N coding sequences, as well as 15 structural variants that overlap a gene. In parallel we assess the comparative phenotypes of the two inbred lines utilizing the EMPReSSslim phenotyping pipeline, a broad based assessment encompassing diverse biological systems. We perform additional secondary phenotyping assessments to explore other phenotype domains and to elaborate phenotype differences identified in the primary assessment. We uncover significant phenotypic differences between the two lines, replicated across multiple centers, in a number of physiological, biochemical and behavioral systems. Conclusions: Comparison of C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N demonstrates a range of phenotypic differences that have the potential to impact upon penetrance and expressivity of mutational effects in these strains. Moreover, the sequence variants we identify provide a set of candidate genes for the phenotypic differences observed between the two strains. © 2013 Simon et al. Source

Koscielny G.,European Bioinformatics Institute | Yaikhom G.,Medical Research Council Harwell Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mary Lyon Center | Iyer V.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Meehan T.F.,European Bioinformatics Institute | And 29 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) web portal (http://www.mousephenotype.org) provides the biomedical community with a unified point of access to mutant mice and rich collection of related emerging and existing mouse phenotype data. IMPC mouse clinics worldwide follow rigorous highly structured and standardized protocols for the experimentation, collection and dissemination of data. Dedicated 'data wranglers' work with each phenotyping center to collate data and perform quality control of data. An automated statistical analysis pipeline has been developed to identify knockout strains with a significant change in the phenotype parameters. Annotation with biomedical ontologies allows biologists and clinicians to easily find mouse strains with phenotypic traits relevant to their research. Data integration with other resources will provide insights into mammalian gene function and human disease. As phenotype data become available for every gene in the mouse, the IMPC web portal will become an invaluable tool for researchers studying the genetic contributions of genes to human diseases. © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. Source

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