This text contains an abundance of information and resources on all aspects of mutant mouse generation and analysis in one invaluable volume. At present, too many mouse phenotypes are going unnoticed, but this book will certainly help to redress the balance. Any laboratory whose work involves the generation and analysis of mutant mice should have at least one copy of this book.
Nature Cell Biology
This handbook written by renowned mouse developmental biologists Virginia E. Papaioannou (Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons) and Richard R. Behringer (University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center) presents by far and away the most organized and systematic approach for generating and phenotyping a mouse mutant that has been published to date....
Investigators with little or no expertise in mouse development will still be able to follow the straightforward procedures described in the handbook, and where more detailed protocols are necessary, the reader is referred to the Manipulating the Mouse Embryo (CSHL Press; ISBN: 0879695919), which can be considered a companion text to the handbook. Being an author on both texts, Richard Behringer clearly aided in their crossplatform compatibility. The handbook emphasizes embryonic development, and the intended audience is anyone embarking on the generation and or analysis of a mouse mutant. Again, the easy readability and extensive glossary make it accessible to scientists of all training levels, and it provides al the tools and concepts that will be needed to analyze mouse mutants.”
This book focuses primarily on the analysis of mutants generated by targeted mutagenesis and emphasizes the importance of knowing the expression pattern of a gene when designing experiments and analyzing mutant phenotypes. The book is equally helpful, however, in the absence of knowledge about the expression pattern or before the molecular identification of the disrupted gene, for example, in mutants identified in forward genetic screens.
The figures, schematics and drawings throughout the book are informative and nicely illustrate important aspects of mouse genetics. This is particularly true for examples of representative mouse mutants on color plates selected from publications by the authors and their colleagues.
Most interesting to me was a diverse set of experimental procedures suggested for the analysis of mutant phenotypes at the periimplantation and early postimplantation stages. Dissecting earlystage mouse embryos can be very difficult, even for those who are technically competent. It is generally believed that this skill can be acquired only from an experienced colleague or advisor, who learned from his or her advisor. I admire the authors’ attempts to overcome this myth by suggesting a variety of procedures to observe mutant phenotypes in dissected or cultured embryos.