Of "mice" and mammals: utilizing classical inbred mice to study the genetic architecture of function and performance in mammals.

Title

Of "mice" and mammals: utilizing classical inbred mice to study the genetic architecture of function and performance in mammals.

Creator

Vinyard Christopher J; Payseur Bret A

Publisher

Integrative and comparative biology

Date

2008
2008-09

Description

The house mouse is one of the most successful mammals and the premier research animal in mammalian biology. The classical inbred strains of house mice have been artificially modified to facilitate identification of the genetic factors underlying phenotypic variation among these strains. Despite their widespread use in basic and biomedical research, functional and evolutionary morphologists have not taken full advantage of inbred mice as a model for studying the genetic architecture of form, function, and performance in mammals. We illustrate the potential of inbred mice as a model for mammalian functional morphology by examining the genetic architecture of maximum jaw-opening performance, or maximum gape, across 21 classical inbred strains. We find that variation in maximum gape among these strains is heritable, providing the first evidence of a genetic contribution to maximum jaw-opening performance in mammals. Maximum gape exhibits a significant genetic correlation with body size across strains, raising the possibility that evolutionary increases in size frequently resulted in correlated increases in maximum gape (within the constraints of existing craniofacial form) during mammalian evolution. Several craniofacial features that influence maximum gape share significant phenotypic and genetic correlations with jaw-opening ability across these inbred strains. The significant genetic correlations indicate the potential for coordinated evolution of craniofacial form and jaw-opening performance, as hypothesized in several comparative analyses of mammals linking skull form to variation in jaw-opening ability. Functional studies of mammalian locomotion and feeding have only rarely examined the genetic basis of functional and performance traits. The classical inbred strains of house mice offer a powerful tool for exploring this genetic architecture and furthering our understanding of how form, function, and performance have evolved in mammals.

Identifier

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

324–337

Issue

3

Volume

48

Citation

Vinyard Christopher J; Payseur Bret A, “Of "mice" and mammals: utilizing classical inbred mice to study the genetic architecture of function and performance in mammals.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed February 22, 2024, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/4190.