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Genetic influences on behavior of infantMus domesticus: A comparison of results from diallels derived from single and multiple populations

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A complete diallel cross was generated from six Jax inbred strains ofMus domesticus from diverse origins and a second 6×6 diallel generated from strains derived from a single wild population. During their second day of life, infants from both diallels were tested for latency to orient toward and root beneath mothers and, in a separate test, for latency to attach to mother's nipple. Rooting latency showed a significant additive maternal strain effect but little systematic effect of pup genotype. Nipple attachment latencies exhibited complete genetic dominance favoring rapid attachment, with no maternal effects. Patterns of genetic and environmental influences obtained from the two diallels were highly similar for both behaviors, suggesting that for many traits the requirement that strains be drawn from a common base population may be relaxed.

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This work was supported by Grant BNS-8121540 from the National Science Foundation.

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Henderson, N.D. Genetic influences on behavior of infantMus domesticus: A comparison of results from diallels derived from single and multiple populations. Behav Genet 19, 551–574 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01066254

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Key Words

  • Mus domesticus
  • housemice
  • infant behavior
  • diallel analysis
  • genetic variance
  • heritability
  • genetic dominance
  • fitness
  • domestication
  • heterosis
  • heterozygote advantage
  • selection
  • evolution
  • ecological niche