ABSTRACT: The house mouse is a well-established model organism, particularly for studying the genetics of complex traits. However, most studies of mice use classical inbred strains, whose genomes derive from multiple species. Relatively little is known about the distribution of genetic variation among these species or how variation among strains relates to variation in the wild. We sequenced intronic regions of five X-linked loci in large samples of wild Mus domesticus and M. musculus, and we found low levels of nucleotide diversity in both species. We compared these data to published data from short portions of six X-linked and 18 autosomal loci in wild mice. We estimate that M. domesticus and M. musculus diverged <500,000 years ago. Consistent with this recent divergence, some gene genealogies were reciprocally monophyletic between these species, while others were paraphyletic or polyphyletic. In general, the X chromosome was more differentiated than the autosomes. We resequenced classical inbred strains for all 29 loci and found that inbred strains contain only a small amount of the genetic variation seen in wild mice. Notably, the X chromosome contains proportionately less variation among inbred strains than do the autosomes. Moreover, variation among inbred strains derives from differences between species as well as from differences within species, and these proportions differ in different genomic regions. Wild mice thus provide a reservoir of additional genetic variation that may be useful for mapping studies. Together these results suggest that wild mice will be a valuable complement to laboratory strains for studying the genetics of complex traits.
Project description:Resolving the mechanistic and genetic bases of reproductive barriers between species is essential to understanding the evolutionary forces that shape speciation. Intrinsic hybrid incompatibilities are often treated as fixed between species, yet there can be considerable variation in the strength of reproductive isolation between populations. The extent and causes of this variation remain poorly understood in most systems. We investigated the genetic basis of variable hybrid male sterility (HMS) between two recently diverged subspecies of house mice, Mus musculus domesticus and Mus musculus musculus We found that polymorphic HMS has a surprisingly complex genetic basis, with contributions from at least five autosomal loci segregating between two closely related wild-derived strains of M. m. musculus One of the HMS-linked regions on chromosome 4 also showed extensive introgression among inbred laboratory strains and transmission ratio distortion (TRD) in hybrid crosses. Using additional crosses and whole genome sequencing of sperm pools, we showed that TRD was limited to hybrid crosses and was not due to differences in sperm motility between M. m. musculus strains. Based on these results, we argue that TRD likely reflects additional incompatibilities that reduce hybrid embryonic viability. In some common inbred strains of mice, selection against deleterious interactions appears to have unexpectedly driven introgression at loci involved in epistatic hybrid incompatibilities. The highly variable genetic basis to F1 hybrid incompatibilities between closely related mouse lineages argues that a thorough dissection of reproductive isolation will require much more extensive sampling of natural variation than has been commonly utilized in mice and other model systems.
Project description:Being subject to intense post-copulatory selection, sperm size is a principal determining component of male fitness. Although previous studies have presented comparative sperm size data at higher taxonomic levels, information on the evolution of sperm size within species is generally lacking. Here, we studied two house mouse subspecies, Mus musculus musculus and Mus musculus domesticus, which undergo incipient speciation. We measured four sperm dimensions from cauda epididymis smears of 28 wild-caught mice of both subspecies. As inbred mouse strains are frequently used as proxies for exploring evolutionary processes, we further studied four wild-derived inbred strains from each subspecies. The subspecies differed significantly in terms of sperm head length and midpiece length, and these differences were consistent for wild mice and wild-derived strains pooled over genomes. When the inbred strains were analyzed individually, however, their strain-specific values were in some cases significantly shifted from subspecies-specific values derived from wild mice. We conclude that: (1) the size of sperm components differ in the two house mouse subspecies studied, and that (2) wild-derived strains reflect this natural polymorphism, serving as a potential tool to identify the genetic variation driving these evolutionary processes. Nevertheless, we suggest that more strains should be used in future experiments to account for natural variation and to avoid confounding results due to reduced variability and/or founder effect in the individual strains.
Project description:Inbred strains of mice vary in their frequency of liver tumors initiated by a mutation in the Hras1 (H-ras) proto-oncogene. We sequenced 4.5 kb of the Hras1 gene on distal Chr 7 in a diverse set of 12 commonly used laboratory inbred strains of mice and detected no sequence variation to account for strain-specific differences in Hras1 mutation prevalence. Furthermore, the Hras1 sequence is essentially monoallelic for an ancestral gene derived from the M. m. domesticus species. To determine if the monoallelism and associated low rate of polymorphism are unique to Hras1 or representative of the general chromosomal locale, we extended the sequence analysis to 12 genes in the final 8 Mb of distal Chr 7. A region of at least 2.5 Mb that encompasses several genes, including Hras1 and the H19/Igf2 loci, demonstrates virtually no sequence variation. The 12 inbred strains share one dominant haplotype derived from the M. m. domesticus allele. Chromosomal regions flanking the monoallelic segment exhibit a significantly higher rate of variation and multiple haplotypes, a majority of which are attributed to M. m. domesticus or M. m. musculus ancestry.
Project description:The severe virulence of Toxoplasma gondii in classical laboratory inbred mouse strains contradicts the hypothesis that house mice (Mus musculus) are the most important intermediate hosts for its transmission and evolution because death of the mouse before parasite transmission equals death of the parasite. However, the classical laboratory inbred mouse strains (Mus musculus domesticus), commonly used to test Toxoplasma strain differences in virulence, do not capture the genetic diversity within Mus musculus. Thus, it is possible that Toxoplasma strains that are severely virulent in laboratory inbred mice are avirulent in some other mouse sub-species. Here, we present insight into the responses of individual mouse strains, representing strains of the genetically divergent Mus musculus musculus, Mus musculus castaneus and Mus musculus domesticus, to infection with individual clonal and atypical Toxoplasma strains. We observed that, unlike M. m. domesticus, M. m. musculus and M. m. castaneus are resistant to the clonal Toxoplasma strains. For M. m. musculus, we show that this is due to a locus on chromosome 11 that includes the genes that encode the interferon gamma (IFNG)-inducible immunity-related GTPases (Irgs) that can kill the parasite by localising and subsequently vesiculating the parasitophorous vacuole membrane. However, despite the localization of known effector Irgs to the Toxoplasma parasitophorous vacuole membrane, we observed that some atypical Toxoplasma strains are virulent in all the mouse strains tested. The virulence of these atypical strains in M. m. musculus could not be attributed to individual rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) alleles, a secreted parasite pseudokinase that antagonises the canonical effector Irgs and is indispensable for parasite virulence in laboratory inbred mice (M. m. domesticus). We conclude that murine resistance to Toxoplasma is modulated by complex interactions between host and parasite genotypes and may be independent of known effector Irgs on murine chromosome 11.
Project description:Patterns of genetic differentiation among taxa at early stages of divergence provide an opportunity to make inferences about the history of speciation. Here, we conduct a survey of DNA-sequence polymorphism and divergence at loci on the autosomes, X chromosome, Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA in samples of Mus domesticus, M. musculus and M. castaneus. We analyzed our data under a divergence with gene flow model and estimate that the effective population size of M. castaneus is 200,000-400,000, of M. domesticus is 100,000-200,000 and of M. musculus is 60,000-120,000. These data also suggest that these species started to diverge approximately 500,000 years ago. Consistent with this recent divergence, we observed considerable variation in the genealogical patterns among loci. For some loci, all alleles within each species formed a monophyletic group, while at other loci, species were intermingled on the phylogeny of alleles. This intermingling probably reflects both incomplete lineage sorting and gene flow after divergence. Likelihood ratio tests rejected a strict allopatric model with no gene flow in comparisons between each pair of species. Gene flow was asymmetric: no gene flow was detected into M. domesticus, while significant gene flow was detected into both M. castaneus and M. musculus. Finally, most of the gene flow occurred at autosomal loci, resulting in a significantly higher ratio of fixed differences to polymorphisms at the X and Y chromosomes relative to autosomes in some comparisons, or just the X chromosome in others, emphasizing the important role of the sex chromosomes in general and the X chromosome in particular in speciation.
Project description:Virtually all of our present understanding of endogenous murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) is based on studies with inbred mice. To develop a better understanding of the interaction between endogenous retroviruses and their hosts, we have carried out a systematic investigation of endogenous nonecotropic MLVs in wild mice. Species studied included four major subspecies of Mus musculus (M. m. castaneus, M. m. musculus, M. m. molossinus, and M. m. domesticus) as well as four common inbred laboratory strains (AKR/J, HRS/J, C3H/HeJ, and C57BL/6J). We determined the detailed distribution of nonecotropic proviruses in the mice by using both env- and long terminal repeat (LTR)-derived oligonucleotide probes specific for the three different groups of endogenous MLVs. The analysis indicated that proviruses that react with all of the specific probes are present in most wild mouse DNAs tested, in numbers varying from 1 or 2 to more than 50. Although in common inbred laboratory strains the linkage of group-specific sequences in env and the LTR of the proviruses is strict, proviruses which combine env and the LTR sequences from different groups were commonly observed in the wild-mouse subspecies. The "recombinant" nonecotropic proviruses in the mouse genomes were amplified by PCR, and their genetic and recombinant natures were determined. These proviruses showed extended genetic variation and provide a valuable probe for study of the evolutionary relationship between MLVs and the murine hosts.
Project description:Here we provide a genome-wide, high-resolution map of the phylogenetic origin of the genome of most extant laboratory mouse inbred strains. Our analysis is based on the genotypes of wild-caught mice from three subspecies of Mus musculus. We show that classical laboratory strains are derived from a few fancy mice with limited haplotype diversity. Their genomes are overwhelmingly Mus musculus domesticus in origin, and the remainder is mostly of Japanese origin. We generated genome-wide haplotype maps based on identity by descent from fancy mice and show that classical inbred strains have limited and non-randomly distributed genetic diversity. In contrast, wild-derived laboratory strains represent a broad sampling of diversity within M. musculus. Intersubspecific introgression is pervasive in these strains, and contamination by laboratory stocks has played a role in this process. The subspecific origin, haplotype diversity and identity by descent maps can be visualized using the Mouse Phylogeny Viewer (see URLs).
Project description:Hybrid dysfunction, a common feature of reproductive barriers between species, is often caused by negative epistasis between loci ("Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities"). The nature and complexity of hybrid incompatibilities remain poorly understood because identifying interacting loci that affect complex phenotypes is difficult. With subspecies in the early stages of speciation, an array of genetic tools, and detailed knowledge of reproductive biology, house mice (Mus musculus) provide a model system for dissecting hybrid incompatibilities. Male hybrids between M. musculus subspecies often show reduced fertility. Previous studies identified loci and several X chromosome-autosome interactions that contribute to sterility. To characterize the genetic basis of hybrid sterility in detail, we used a systems genetics approach, integrating mapping of gene expression traits with sterility phenotypes and QTL. We measured genome-wide testis expression in 305 male F2s from a cross between wild-derived inbred strains of M. musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus. We identified several thousand cis- and trans-acting QTL contributing to expression variation (eQTL). Many trans eQTL cluster into eleven 'hotspots,' seven of which co-localize with QTL for sterility phenotypes identified in the cross. The number and clustering of trans eQTL-but not cis eQTL-were substantially lower when mapping was restricted to a 'fertile' subset of mice, providing evidence that trans eQTL hotspots are related to sterility. Functional annotation of transcripts with eQTL provides insights into the biological processes disrupted by sterility loci and guides prioritization of candidate genes. Using a conditional mapping approach, we identified eQTL dependent on interactions between loci, revealing a complex system of epistasis. Our results illuminate established patterns, including the role of the X chromosome in hybrid sterility. The integrated mapping approach we employed is applicable in a broad range of organisms and we advocate for widespread adoption of a network-centered approach in speciation genetics.
Project description:Comparative genetic mapping provides insights into the evolution of the reproductive barriers that separate closely related species. This approach has been used to document the accumulation of reproductive incompatibilities over time, but has only been applied to a few taxa. House mice offer a powerful system to reconstruct the evolution of reproductive isolation between multiple subspecies pairs. However, studies of the primary reproductive barrier in house mice-hybrid male sterility-have been restricted to a single subspecies pair: Mus musculus musculus and Mus musculus domesticus. To provide a more complete characterization of reproductive isolation in house mice, we conducted an F(2) intercross between wild-derived inbred strains from Mus musculus castaneus and M. m. domesticus. We identified autosomal and X-linked QTL associated with a range of hybrid male sterility phenotypes, including testis weight, sperm density, and sperm morphology. The pseudoautosomal region (PAR) was strongly associated with hybrid sterility phenotypes when heterozygous. We compared QTL found in this cross with QTL identified in a previous F(2) intercross between M. m. musculus and M. m. domesticus and found three shared autosomal QTL. Most QTL were not shared, demonstrating that the genetic basis of hybrid male sterility largely differs between these closely related subspecies pairs. These results lay the groundwork for identifying genes responsible for the early stages of speciation in house mice.
Project description:Commonly used classical inbred mouse strains have mosaic genomes with sequences from different subspecific origins. Their genomes are derived predominantly from the Western European subspecies Mus musculus domesticus, with the remaining sequences derived mostly from the Japanese subspecies Mus musculus molossinus. However, it remains unknown how this intersubspecific genome introgression occurred during the establishment of classical inbred strains. In this study, we resequenced the genomes of two M. m. molossinus-derived inbred strains, MSM/Ms and JF1/Ms. MSM/Ms originated from Japanese wild mice, and the ancestry of JF1/Ms was originally found in Europe and then transferred to Japan. We compared the characteristics of these sequences to those of the C57BL/6J reference sequence and the recent data sets from the resequencing of 17 inbred strains in the Mouse Genome Project (MGP), and the results unequivocally show that genome introgression from M. m. molossinus into M. m. domesticus provided the primary framework for the mosaic genomes of classical inbred strains. Furthermore, the genomes of C57BL/6J and other classical inbred strains have long consecutive segments with extremely high similarity (>99.998%) to the JF1/Ms strain. In the early 20th century, Japanese waltzing mice with a morphological phenotype resembling that of JF1/Ms mice were often crossed with European fancy mice for early studies of "Mendelism," which suggests that the ancestor of the extant JF1/Ms strain provided the origin of the M. m. molossinus genome in classical inbred strains and largely contributed to its intersubspecific genome diversity.