Image Orientation Standards for Community Submitted Images

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Image orientation standards:

To help maintain a consistent orientation of embryo images Xenbase makes the following recommendations for both images submitted to Xenbase and for publication, as the published images will also ultimately end up in Xenbase.

These recommendations are based on community discussions held back in the 90’s when online resources were first being set up, standards used and enforced in other model organisms (e.g. Drosophila), and pre-existing Xenbase datasets from high-throughput screens, of which there are more than 20,000.

Pages look awkward if some images face anterior left and others face anterior right, or the dorsal lip is sometimes to the left and others to the right.


The recommended guidelines are:


  • Lateral views

Pregastrular and gastrula; animal faces up, dorsal faces right Post gastrular; anterior faces left, dorsal faces up

Example gastrula.jpg e.g. stage 11 embryo expressing frzb2. Animal is up, dorsal is to the right.

Example tail bud.jpg e.g. stage 32 embryo expressing bmp7.2. Anterior is left, dorsal up


  • Dorsal views

Pregastrular and gastrula; animal faces up, dorsal faces forward

Neurula; anterior faces up

Post neurula after axis elongation (>stage 20); anterior faces left

Example dorsal.jpg e.g. stage 22 embryo expressing ets2-b, anterior is left


  • Vegetal views

Pregastrular and gastrula; dorsal faces up

Example vegetal.jpg e.g. gsc expression at stage 10.5, dorsal faces up