, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 75-85,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Jan 2007

Mapping and identification of candidate loci responsible for Peromyscus hybrid overgrowth


Crosses between two recently diverged rodent species of the genus Peromyscus result in dramatic parent-of-origin effects on growth and development. P. maniculatus females crossed with P. polionotus males yield growth-retarded conceptuses, whereas the reciprocal cross results in overgrowth and lethality. These hybrid effects are particularly pronounced in the placenta. We previously detected linkage to two regions of the genome involved in the overgrowth effects. One locus, termed Peal, is a paternally expressed autosomal locus mapping to a domain whose house mouse equivalent contains several clusters of imprinted genes. The other locus, termed Mexl, maps to a gene-poor region of the X chromosome. Here we use an advanced intercross line to verify and narrow the regions of linkage and identify candidate genes for Mexl and Peal. While we have previously shown that Mexl affects both pre-and postnatal growth, we show here that Peal affects only prenatal growth. Utilizing criteria such as mutant phenotypes and allelic expression, we identify the loci encoding the homeobox protein Esx1 and the zinc-finger protein Pw1/Peg3 as candidates. Both loci exhibit expression changes in the hybrids.

Maria Loschiavo and Quang K. Nguyen contributed equally to this work.