Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 395–404 | Cite as

Dominance and reproductive behavior of wild house mice in a seminatural environment correlated with T-locus genotype

  • Patricia Franks
  • Sarah Lenington


Behavior of mice whose T-locus genotype was either +/+ or +/t was observed in a seminatural environment. Heterozygous females were less likely to be dominant, less likely to go into behavioral estrus, and less likely to become pregnant than were +/+ females. The relative fitness of +/t as compared with +/+ females was 0.32:1.00. In contrast, +/t males produced 35% more young than did +/+ males. The higher fitness of +/t males was primarily due to a greater production of young on the part of +/t as compared with +/+ subordinate males. Little evidence was found under these naturalistic conditions, of non-random mating with respect to T-locus genotype. The indication of overdominance for +/t males makes it unlikely that heterozygote disadvantage will be sufficient to account for the frequency of t-alleles in natural populations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Franks
    • 1
  • Sarah Lenington
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Animal BehaviorRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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