A phenotype is any observable characteristic or trait of an organism: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, or behavior. Phenotypes result from the expression of an organism's genes as well as the influence of environmental factors and possible interactions between the two. The genotype of an organism is the set of inherited instructions it carries within its genetic code. Not all organisms with the same genotype look or act the same way, because appearance and behavior are modified by environmental and developmental conditions. Also in the same way, not all organisms that look alike necessarily have the same genotype (Definition from Wikipedia).
Metris offers several ways to investigate the phenotypes of laboratory animals in a controlled automated way which is also efficient and reproducible. LABORAS is able to provide the data to investigate long term behavioral responses that include normal behaviors, stereotypical behaviour as well as social behaviour (using the Sociality cage module of LABORAS).
In contrast to most other systems that are based on "dependent" video tracking parameters (all derived from the postion of the animal), LABORAS provides a variety of independent parameters that are derived from the energy that is evoked by the muscle contractions of all body parts (including the jaws, head, fore paws, hind limbs, body, etc.).
In addition Metris is the only company offering automated Classification of Ultrasonic Vocalizations of laboratory animals. This functionality makes it possible to search for changes in the vocal patters (ultrasonic expressions or USV calls) over short and long test durations, adding an important number of parameters that can be used to phenotype an animal.
All systems are setup for long-term, high throughput testing by collecting important phenotypic parameters of large numbers of animals over a long test period and providing the endpoints in a compact and user friendly way, making the equipment extremely suitable for phenotyping.