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As a first step towards a comprehensive functional annotation of the mouse genome, EUMODIC will undertake a primary phenotype assessment of 500 mouse mutant lines. In addition, a number of these mutant lines will be subject to a more in depth secondary phenotype assessment. The EUMODIC consortium is made up of 18 laboratories across Europe who are experts in the field of mouse functional genomics and phenotyping and have a track record of successful collaborative research in EUMORPHIA.

The EUMODIC consortium will build on the work in the EUMORPHIA project that delivered a comprehensive database - EMPReSS - of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that can be used to determine the phenotype of a mouse. EUMODIC has developed a selection of these screens, EMPReSSslim, which is structured for comprehensive, primary, high throughput phenotyping of large numbers of mice. We will also adopt innovative approaches to the generation and assessment of cohorts of age-matched mutants and controls for phenotyping. Primary phenotype assessment using EMPReSSslim will be undertaken in four large-scale phenotyping centres at the HMGU, Germany; ICS, France; MRC Harwell, UK and the Sanger Institute, UK. This primary phenotyping data will then be made publicly available on EuroPhenome http://www.europhenome.org/ Further phenotyping will be undertaken by the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium - http://www.mousephenotype.org. Mutant lines will be made available from another EU initiative, the EUCOMM (European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis) project which aims to produce conditional mutations in 20,000 mouse genes. EUMODIC will use these ES cells in the null configuration. A distributed network of centres with in depth expertise in a number of phenotyping domains will undertake more complex, secondary phenotyping screens and apply them to a subset of the mice which have shown interesting phenotypes in the primary screen. The partners will also develop technologies to refine EMPReSSslim and improve throughput of mouse phenotyping. A key element will be the continued development of bioinformatics resources to store the phenotype information and link them to existing database resources. Overall, EUMODIC is a first step towards tackling the need for large-scale phenotyping in the mouse and the comprehensive study of mammalian gene function and its role in disease.