Behavior Genetics

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 201–210

Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci for Open-Field Behavior in Mice


  • Howard K. Gershenfeld
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Paul E. Neumann
    • Department of Anatomy & NeurobiologyUniversity of Dalhousie
  • Chantal Mathis
    • Laboratorie de Psychophysiologie, URA-CNRS 1295Universite Louis Pasteur
  • Jacqueline N. Crawley
    • NIMH, NIHExperimental Therapeutics Branch
  • Xiaohua Li
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Steven M. Paul
    • Lilly Research Laboratory
    • Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and ToxicologyIndiana University School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025653812535

Cite this article as:
Gershenfeld, H.K., Neumann, P.E., Mathis, C. et al. Behav Genet (1997) 27: 201. doi:10.1023/A:1025653812535


By performing a whole genome screen in an F2 intercross of two strains of mice (A/J and C57BL/6J), which differ markedly in their behavioral response to a brightly lit open field (O-F), we have mapped several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for this complex behavioral phenotype. QTL on chromosomes 1 and 10 were identified that affect both initial ambulation in the O-F (initial “response to novelty” ambulation) (lod of 7.1 and 8.8, respectively) and vertical rearings (lod of 4.5 and 8.5, respectively). For habituated O-F behavior, QTL were identified on chromosomes 3 and 10 for ambulation (lod of 4.1 and 14.7, respectively) and on chromosomes 1, 10, and 19 for vertical rearings (lod of 5.8, 6.0, and 4.7, respectively). The QTL on chromosome 1 (near D1Mit1 16; 101 cM) was specific for initial O-F ambulation behavior, whereas the QTL on chromosome 10 (near D10Mit237; 74 cM) affected both initial and habituated rearing behavior. Additional suggestive QTL (lod, >2.8) were mapped to chromosomes 1, 8, 11, 15, and 19. The QTL on chromosomes 1, 10, and 19 individually explain from 3.2 to 12.7%. Collectively, the multiple independent QTL explain from 16.3 to 24.1% of the F2 population's phe-notypic variance, depending on the trait. These identified QTL should prove useful for dissecting the genetic and behavioral dimensions of O-F behavior, fostering an understanding of individual differences.

Chromosomal mappingquantitative trait loci (QTL)exploratory behaviornoveltyhabituation

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997