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Keywords:

  • volumetric x-ray computed tomography;
  • microCT;
  • phenomics;
  • fetus;
  • phenotyping;
  • embryogenesis;
  • imaging;
  • mouse

Abstract

Forward and reverse genetics now allow researchers to understand embryonic and postnatal gene function in a broad range of species. Although some genetic mutations cause obvious morphological change, other mutations can be more subtle and, without adequate observation and quantification, might be overlooked. For the increasing number of genetic model organisms examined by the growing field of phenomics, standardized but sensitive methods for quantitative analysis need to be incorporated into routine practice to effectively acquire and analyze ever-increasing quantities of phenotypic data. In this study, we present platform-independent parameters for the use of microscopic x-ray computed tomography (microCT) for phenotyping species-specific skeletal morphology of a variety of different genetic model organisms. We show that microCT is suitable for phenotypic characterization for prenatal and postnatal specimens across multiple species. Anat Rec, 291:475–487, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.