Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare recessive disorder marked by developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and a high risk for the development of leukaemia and solid tumours. The inactivation of FA genes, in particular FANCF, has also been documented in sporadic tumours in non-FA patients. To study whether there is a causal relationship between FA pathway defects and tumour development, we have generated a mouse model with a targeted disruption of the FA core complex gene Fancf. Fancf-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts displayed a phenotype typical for FA cells: they showed an aberrant response to DNA cross-linking agents as manifested by G2 arrest, chromosomal aberrations, reduced survival, and an inability to monoubiquitinate FANCD2. Fancf homozygous mice were viable, born following a normal Mendelian distribution, and showed no growth retardation or developmental abnormalities. The gonads of Fancf mutant mice functioned abnormally, showing compromised follicle development and spermatogenesis as has been observed in other FA mouse models and in FA patients. In a cohort of Fancf-deficient mice, we observed decreased overall survival and increased tumour incidence. Notably, in seven female mice, six ovarian tumours developed: five granulosa cell tumours and one luteoma. One mouse had developed tumours in both ovaries. High-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) on these tumours suggests that the increased incidence of ovarian tumours correlates with the infertility in Fancf-deficient mice and the genomic instability characteristic of FA pathway deficiency. Copyright © 2011 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.