Forward genetic analysis is an unbiased approach for identifying genes essential to defined biological phenomena. When applied to mice, it is one of the most powerful methods to facilitate understanding of the genetic basis of human biology and disease. The speed at which disease-causing mutations can be identified in mutagenized mice has been markedly increased by recent advances in DNA sequencing technology. Creating and analyzing mutant phenotypes may therefore become rate-limiting in forward genetic experimentation. We review the forward genetic approach and its future in the context of recent technological advances, in particular massively parallel DNA sequencing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and haploid embryonic stem cells.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.