Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1551–1565 | Cite as

What can the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes tell us about the invasion of New Zealand by house mice Mus musculus?

  • Carolyn King
  • Alana Alexander
  • Tanya Chubb
  • Ray Cursons
  • Jamie MacKay
  • Helen McCormick
  • Elaine Murphy
  • Andrew Veale
  • Heng Zhang
Original Paper


We mapped the distribution and diversity of mitochondrial D-loop haplotypes among 502 New Zealand house mice (Mus musculus). By widespread sampling from 74 sites, we identified 14 new haplotypes. We used Bayesian phylogenetic reconstructions to estimate the genetic relationships between the New Zealand representatives of Mus musculus domesticus (all six known clades) and M. m. castaneus (clade HG2), and mice from other locales. We defined four distinct geographic regions of New Zealand with differing haplotype diversity indices. Our Results suggest (a) two independent pre-1840 invasions by mice of different origin (domesticus clade E and castaneus clade HG2) at opposite ends of the country; (b) multiple later invasions by domesticus clades E and F accompanying the post-1840 development of New Zealand port facilities in the central regions, plus limited local incursions by domesticus clades A, B, C and D1; (c) a separate invasion of Chatham I. by castaneus clade HG2; (d) previously undescribed New Zealand haplotypes, potentially the products of localised indigenous mutation, and (e) hybridisation between different lineages.


Mus musculus mtDNA haplotypes Geographic variation of genotypes Distribution and diversity Invasive house mice Colonisation history 



We thank Paul Jamieson for allowing us to re-sequence his stored collections, and Max Oulton for drawing the maps (Figs. 1, 2). The retrieving and resampling of the stored mice was done with the help of Ken Ayers. Representative samples to complete the South Island survey were contributed by Colin Bishop, Mike Bowie, Leon Dalziel, Terry Farrell, Tony Fortune, Ian Gamble, Peter Lawn, Kathryn Murdoch, James Reardon, Kirsty Owens and other DOC staff and volunteers. Sequences were generated by John Longmore of the University of Waikato DNA Sequencing Facility, and Ecogene (Auckland). We thank Jeremy Searle and Eleanor Jones for help in checking earlier versions of this MS. The study was funded by the University of Waikato Strategic Investment Fund, courtesy Prof Bruce Clarkson, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, with contributions from Lincoln University. We thank the Oregon State University Center for Genomics Research and Biocomputing and the Advanced Computing Facility (ACF) staff at The University of Kansas for their support with our high performance computing. We keenly appreciate the detailed, searching reviews provided by the Editor and two referees.

Supplementary material

10530_2016_1100_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
10530_2016_1100_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 24 kb)
10530_2016_1100_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (187 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 The Mus musculus domesticus tree represented in Fig. 3, with tips labelled with GenBank/NZ haplotype codes and clade names given as comments. Blue branches lead to clades with greater than or equal to 0.95 posterior probability. (PDF 187 kb)
10530_2016_1100_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (25 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Phylogenetic tree for M. m. castaneus represented in Fig. 4, with branch tips labelled by Genbank codes/NZ haplotype names and clades indicated by comments. Blue branches lead to clades with greater than or equal to 0.95 posterior probability. (PDF 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn King
    • 1
  • Alana Alexander
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tanya Chubb
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ray Cursons
    • 1
  • Jamie MacKay
    • 5
  • Helen McCormick
    • 1
    • 6
  • Elaine Murphy
    • 7
  • Andrew Veale
    • 8
  • Heng Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ScienceUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Biodiversity InstituteUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Marine Mammal Institute, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Hatfield Marine Science CenterOregon State UniversityNewportUSA
  4. 4.Tanya BlackburnWaikato Mail Centre, HamiltonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Wildland Consultants Ltd.Herne Bay, AucklandNew Zealand
  6. 6.Epigenetics LaboratoryVictor Chang Cardiac Research InstituteDarlinghurstAustralia
  7. 7.Department of EcologyLincoln UniversityLincolnNew Zealand
  8. 8.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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