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Abstract

Mouse embryonic stem cell lines offer an attractive route for introducing rare genetic alternations into the gene pool since the cells can be pre-screened in culture and the mutations then transmitted into the germline through chimera production. Two applications of this technique seem ideally suited for a genetic analysis of development are enhancer and gene trap screens for loci expressed during gastrulation and production of targeted mutations using homologous recombination. These approaches should greatly increase the number of mouse developmental mutants available and help to elucidate the genetic hierarchy controlling embryogenesis.