Previously, phenotypic observations derived from high content screening had to be added to imaging data using free-text. This non-standardised annotation prevented the integration of independent datasets, including those generated within different domains such as cell lines, mouse and human tissues. To harmonize the annotation of cellular phenotypes - and thus provide the basis for integration of imaging data from the different domains - the Cellular Microscopy Phenotype Ontology (CMPO) was developed. CMPO is a species-neutral ontology for describing general phenotypic observations relating to the whole cell, cellular components, cellular processes and cell populations. Building a bridge between Euro-BioImaging, INFRAFRONTIER and EATRIS, CMPO is compatible with related ontology efforts, allowing for future cross-species integration of phenotypic data. It is intended to support researchers generating phenotypic data in annotating the phenotypes identified in their screens. The development of annotation tools to facilitate and support the annotation of phenotype terms with CMPO is underway.
CMPO has been developed as part of the BioMedBridges Use case 'Interoperability of large scale image data sets from different biological scales'.