On the subspecific origin of the laboratory mouse

Nat Genet. 2007 Sep;39(9):1100-7. doi: 10.1038/ng2087. Epub 2007 Jul 29.


The genome of the laboratory mouse is thought to be a mosaic of regions with distinct subspecific origins. We have developed a high-resolution map of the origin of the laboratory mouse by generating 25,400 phylogenetic trees at 100-kb intervals spanning the genome. On average, 92% of the genome is of Mus musculus domesticus origin, and the distribution of diversity is markedly nonrandom among the chromosomes. There are large regions of extremely low diversity, which represent blind spots for studies of natural variation and complex traits, and hot spots of diversity. In contrast with the mosaic model, we found that most of the genome has intermediate levels of variation of intrasubspecific origin. Finally, mouse strains derived from the wild that are supposed to represent different mouse subspecies show substantial intersubspecific introgression, which has strong implications for evolutionary studies that assume these are pure representatives of a given subspecies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Speciation
  • Genome
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / classification
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide