, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 526-537
Date: 12 Jun 2006

Quantitative trait loci for body size components in mice

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Do body size components, such as weights of internal organs and long bone lengths, with different functions and different developmental histories also have different genetic architectures and pleiotropic patterns? We examine murine quantitative trait loci (QTL) for necropsy weight, four long bone lengths, and four organ weights in the LG/J × SM/J intercross. Differences between trait categories were found in number of QTL, dominance, and pleiotropic patterns. Ninety-seven QTLs for individual traits were identified: 52 for long bone lengths, 30 for organ weights, and 15 for necropsy weight. Results for long bones are typically more highly significant than for organs. Organ weights were more frequently over- or underdominant than long bone lengths or necropsy weight. The single-trait QTLs map to 35 pleiotropic loci. Long bones are much more frequently affected in groups while organs tend to be affected singly or in pairs. Organs and long bones are found at the same locus in only 11 cases, 8 of which also include necropsy weight. Our results suggest mainly separate genetic modules for organ weights and long bone lengths, with a few loci that affect overall body size. Antagonistic pleiotropy, in which a locus has opposite effects on different characteristics, is uncommon.