A novel strategy for genetic dissection of complex traits: the population of specific chromosome substitution strains from laboratory and wild mice

Mamm Genome. 2010 Aug;21(7-8):370-6. doi: 10.1007/s00335-010-9270-x. Epub 2010 Jul 11.


The mouse is an irreplaceable model for understanding the precise genetic mechanisms of mammalian physiological pathways. Thousands of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been mapped onto the mouse genome during the last two decades. However, only a few genes' underlying complex traits have been successfully identified, and rapid fine mapping of QTL genes still remains a challenge for mouse geneticists. Currently, the Collaborative Cross (CC) has proceeded to the goal of establishing more than 1,000 recombinant inbred strains for the sub-centimorgan mapping resolution of QTL loci. In this article, a novel complementary strategy, designated as population of specific chromosome substitution strains or PSCSS, is proposed for rapid fine mapping of QTLs on the substituted chromosome. One specific chromosome (Chr 1) of recipient mouse strain C57BL/6 J has been substituted by homologous counterparts from five different inbred strains (C3H/He, FVB/N, AKR, NOD/LtJ, NZW/LacJ), an outbred line Kunmin mouse in China, and 23 wild mice captured in different localities. The primary genetic studies on the structure of these wild donor chromosomes (Chr 1) show that these donor chromosomes harbor extensive genetic polymorphisms, with a high density of SNP distribution, abundant variations of STR alleles, and a high level of historical recombination accumulation. These specific chromosome substitution strains eventually form a special population that has the identical genetic background of the recipient strain and differs only in the donor chromosomes. With simple association studies, known QTLs on the donor chromosome can be rapidly mapped in high resolution without requirement of further crosses. This approach, taking advantage of the extensive genetic polymorphisms of wild resources and chromosome substitution strategy, brings a new outlook for genetic dissection of complex traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory / genetics*
  • Animals, Wild / genetics*
  • China
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Genetics, Population / methods
  • Humans
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Mice, Congenic
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Phylogeny
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*