A Cross-Experimental Analysis of Coat Color Variations and Morphological Characteristics of the Japanese Wild Mouse, Mus musculus
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There are many coat colors in the laboratory mouse, <i>Mus musculus</i>. On the basis of traditional genetics, there are four loci, A-D, related to coat color expressions. As shown by previous studies, Japanese wild mice have gray backs and white bellies and are assumed to carry the <i>A<sup>w</sup></i> allele at the A (agouti) locus, which is dominant over any other alleles. However, we collected Japanese wild mice from central Honshu with black coats. To understand this black coat expression, we performed cross experiments concerning the four loci using wild-caught mice and DBA/2 laboratory mice from the standpoint of traditional genetics. The offspring of the current crosses showed the wild type, the blackish type, and the intermediate type from some combinations of parents. Considering the coat colors of the offspring, we did not obtain any evidence that the Japanese wild mice always carry the <i>A<sup>w</sup></i> allele at the A locus. Furthermore, we were not able to explain the current coat color expressions using the traditional logic with regard to the A-D loci and concluded that it is possible for another locus (loci) to be related to the coat color expressions. On the other hand, skull characteristics and external body measurements of the captured wild mice were fundamentally different from those of DBA/2 and offspring from captured wild mice and DBA/2 combinations. Thus, we concluded that the Japanese wild mice had original criteria from a morphological viewpoint.
- Experimental Animals
Experimental Animals 62(1), 25-34, 2013-01-01
Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science