, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 73-83

Genetic and Developmental Influences on Infant Mouse Ultrasonic Calling. III. Patterns of Inheritance in the Calls of Mice 3–9 Days of Age

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Infant mice produce ultrasonic calls that may elicit retrieval by adult mice. Age-related differences and genetic effects, such as additivity and directional dominance, have been found for most call characteristics at 3 days of age. Significant maternal effects have been reported for calling rate. However, little is known about how the influence of these genetic effects changes with age. This study explored developmental-genetic patterns of inheritance of seven ultrasonic call characteristics at ages 3–9 days, from groups of mice derived from a complete 4 × 4 diallel cross. The results indicate that additive variance contributes significantly to all characteristics for all ages. Maternal effects have a small effect on call characteristics. Dominance effects decrease with age for rate, range, and length of calls, suggesting less selective pressure toward higher rates, greater range, and longer calls as pups become more competent thermoregulators.