Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

Correlation between genetic distances based on single loci and on skeletal morphology in inbred mice.

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Bone-and-Bones: ah, hi, Chromosome-Mapping, Comparative-Study, Mice, Mice-Inbred-Strains

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Genet Res 1989 Feb; 53(1):45-55.


Genetic and morphometric distances between 12 inbred strains of mice ranging from closely related substrains to a sub-species were estimated using published data on single locus polymorphisms, and on the basis of up to 44 measurements on seven different bones, respectively. Simulation was also used to investigate sampling effects for the single loci. There were strong and statistically highly significant correlations among all measures of genetic distance ranging from 0.58 for the comparison of single loci with the logarithm of the Mahalanobis distance based on 24 measurements on four bones, to 0.72 for estimates of genetic distance based on single loci and the morphology of the mandible. These findings are in sharp contrast with those of Wayne & O'Brien (1986) who claimed that 'structural gene and morphometric variation of mandible traits are uncoupled between mouse strains'. Their failure to find such a correlation is probably because their sample of inbred strains included only a single pair of closely related substrains, and no substrains separated for less than 40 years, and because they failed to correct for non-linearity between morphometric and single-locus measurement scales. Simulations and regression analysis suggested that genetic distances could be estimated with approximately equal precision using morphological data on bone measurements or about 10 cladistically informative single loci, which would usually involve sampling about 50 loci. Data based on single-gene markers is usually more informative than morphometric data for studying the similarity of independently-derived strains. However, similarities among closely related populations such as sublines of an inbred strain can usually be studied more efficiently using morphometry.

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