Automated metaphase finding: an assessment of the efficiency of the METAFER2 system in routine mutagenicity assay
The efficiency of the automated metaphase finding system METAFER2 is assessed in a routine mutagenicity assay using an aneuploid rat liver cell line treated with various promutagens. Data sets generated by automated and manual selection of metaphases are compared. It is demonstrated that METAFER2 routinely allows an efficient automatic identification of metaphases not only in lymphocyte preparations, but also in preparations from mammalian cell lines with varying chromosome numbers. Although larger slide areas are required for automated compared to manual metaphase scanning, the automatic system is faster by a factor of about 5. The interactive visual elimination of metaphases of insufficient quality is an easy and fast procedure. METAFER2 allows an unbiased selection of metaphases irrespective of their appearance as homogeneously stained first or harlequin-stained second division cells. Random selection of metaphases is neither influenced by various structural chromosome changes nor by increased frequencies of sister-chromatid exchanges.