What is CMPO?

The Cellular Microscopy Phenotype Ontology (CMPO) provides a species-neutral controlled vocabulary for describing phenotypic qualities relating to whole cells, cellular components, cellular processes and cell populations. CMPO terms can be used to annotate phenotype descriptions from high-content screening databases and cellular image repositories.

Why do we need CMPO?

Phenotype data associated with images from high-content screening (HCS) are often annotated using free-text descriptors. As a result, the same pheontype can be described using different words by various researchers. This makes it difficult to search for and to analyse images that have phenotypes in common. By annotating a dataset with an ontology we add value to our data, and allow for it to be exploited computationally to support smarter querying and facilitate data integration. Researchers can explore multiple datasets for results of interest and discern new scientific insights.

For example, a researcher could examine data on mouse knockouts to compare mouse phenotypes with data on human disease phenotypes and generate new hypotheses as to the underlying genetic causes of human disease.