What lab mice are made of

The most detailed genetic maps to date of classical lab mouse strains reveal limited genetic diversity

Megan Scudellari
Jun 1, 2011
Researchers have created genome-wide, high-resolution genetic maps of 100 inbred mouse strains. Compared with wild-derived strains, most of today's classical lab strains have limited genetic diversity and overwhelmingly originate from a single species of domestic mouse, the researchers report.
Fancy mice, Mus musculus domesticus
linkurl:Wikimedia Commons;http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fancy_mice.jpg
The findings resolve competing views on the origins and composition of laboratory mice. The paper, published online this week in linkurl:Nature Genetics,;http://www.nature.com/ng/ also unveils linkurl:an online tool;http://msub.csbio.unc.edu/ with which scientists can visualize detailed genetic data and phylogeny trees of inbred and wild-derived mouse strains to decide which strains are likely to be most useful in an experiment."It's a really nice paper. It sorts out the controversy of what the background of these animals really is," said linkurl:Elizabeth Fisher,;http://www.ucl.ac.uk/neuroscience/Page.php?ID=12&ResearcherID=43 a neuroscientist at University College London who was not involved in the research. As for the online tool, she adds, "I'm sure we'll all...
Mus musculus domesticusM. m. domesticus,M. m. domesticusH. Yang, et al., "Subspecific origin and haplotype diversity in the laboratory mouse," Nat Genet, doi:10.1038/ng.84, 2011.

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