Up to one third of homozygous mouse knockout lines are embryonic lethal. Therefore, a systematic unbaised phenotyping pipeline was established to morphologically evaluate mutant embryos to ascertain the primary perturbations that cause their death and gain insight into gene function.
As determined in IMPReSS (see interactive diagram here), all embryonic lethal lines undergo gross morphology assessment at E12.5 to determine if defects occur earlier or later in development. A comprehensive imaging platform is then used to assess dysmorphology at the most appropriate stage. Embryo gross morphology and 2D and 3D imaging is actively being obtained by the IMPC for embryonic lethal lines.
Read more in our paper on High-throughput discovery of novel developmental phenotypes, Nature 2016