Artificial Selection for Increased Wheel-Running Behavior in House Mice
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Replicated within-family selection for increased voluntary wheel running in outbred house mice (Mus domesticus; Hsd:ICR strain) was applied with four high-selected and four control lines (10 families/line). Mice were housed individually with access to activity wheels for a period of 6 days, and selection was based on the mean number of revolutions run on days 5 and 6. Prior to selection, heritabilities of mean revolutions run per day (rev/day), average running velocity (rpm), and number of minutes during which any activity occurred (min/day) were estimated by midparent–offspring regression. Heritabilities were 0.18, 0.28, and 0.14, respectively; the estimate for min/day did not differ significantly from zero. Ten generations of selection for increased rev/day resulted in an average 75% increase in activity in the four selected lines, as compared with control lines. Realized heritability averaged 0.19 (range, 0.12–0.24 for the high-activity lines), or 0.28 when adjusted for within-family selection. Rev/day increased mainly through changes in rpm rather than min/day. These lines will be studied for correlated responses in exercise physiology capacities and will be made available to other researchers on request.
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