Mammalian Genome

, Volume 29, Issue 5–6, pp 310–324 | Cite as

Genome-wide association for testis weight in the diversity outbred mouse population

  • Joshua T. Yuan
  • Daniel M. Gatti
  • Vivek M. Philip
  • Steven Kasparek
  • Andrew M. Kreuzman
  • Benjamin Mansky
  • Kayvon Sharif
  • Dominik Taterra
  • Walter M. Taylor
  • Mary Thomas
  • Jeremy O. Ward
  • Andrew Holmes
  • Elissa J. Chesler
  • Clarissa C. Parker


Testis weight is a genetically mediated trait associated with reproductive efficiency across numerous species. We sought to evaluate the genetically diverse, highly recombinant Diversity Outbred (DO) mouse population as a tool to identify and map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with testis weight. Testis weights were recorded for 502 male DO mice and the mice were genotyped on the GIGAMuga array at ~ 143,000 SNPs. We performed a genome-wide association analysis and identified one significant and two suggestive QTLs associated with testis weight. Using bioinformatic approaches, we developed a list of candidate genes and identified those with known roles in testicular size and development. Candidates of particular interest include the RNA demethylase gene Alkbh5, the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor gene Cdkn2c, the dynein axonemal heavy chain gene Dnah11, the phospholipase D gene Pld6, the trans-acting transcription factor gene Sp4, and the spermatogenesis-associated gene Spata6, each of which has a human ortholog. Our results demonstrate the utility of DO mice in high-resolution genetic mapping of complex traits, enabling us to identify developmentally important genes in adult mice. Understanding how genetic variation in these genes influence testis weight could aid in the understanding of mechanisms of mammalian reproductive function.



Funding was provided by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (Grant No. P20-GM-103449).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua T. Yuan
    • 1
  • Daniel M. Gatti
    • 2
  • Vivek M. Philip
    • 2
  • Steven Kasparek
    • 3
  • Andrew M. Kreuzman
    • 4
  • Benjamin Mansky
    • 4
  • Kayvon Sharif
    • 4
  • Dominik Taterra
    • 4
  • Walter M. Taylor
    • 4
  • Mary Thomas
    • 4
  • Jeremy O. Ward
    • 5
  • Andrew Holmes
    • 6
  • Elissa J. Chesler
    • 2
  • Clarissa C. Parker
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Program in Molecular Biology & BiochemistryMiddlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA
  2. 2.The Jackson LaboratoryBar HarborUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMiddlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA
  4. 4.Program in NeuroscienceMiddlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biology, Program in Molecular Biology & BiochemistryMiddlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA
  6. 6.Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)US National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

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