Intersubspecific subcongenic mouse strain analysis reveals closely linked QTLs with opposite effects on body weight

Mamm Genome. 2011 Jun;22(5-6):282-9. doi: 10.1007/s00335-011-9323-9. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


A previous genome-wide QTL study revealed many QTLs affecting postnatal body weight and growth in an intersubspecific backcross mouse population between the C57BL/6J (B6) strain and wild Mus musculus castaneus mice captured in the Philippines. Subsequently, several closely linked QTLs for body composition traits were revealed in an F(2) intercross population between B6 and B6.Cg-Pbwg1, a congenic strain on the B6 genetic background carrying the growth QTL Pbwg1 on proximal chromosome 2. However, no QTL affecting body weight has been duplicated in the F(2) population, except for mapping an overdominant QTL that causes heterosis of body weight. In this study, we developed 17 intersubspecific subcongenic strains with overlapping and nonoverlapping castaneus regions from the B6.Cg-Pbwg1 congenic strain in order to search for and genetically dissect QTLs affecting body weight into distinct closely linked loci. Phenotypic comparisons of several developed subcongenic strains with the B6 strain revealed that two closely linked but distinct QTLs that regulate body weight, named Pbwg1.11 and Pbwg1.12, are located on an 8.9-Mb region between D2Mit270 and D2Mit472 and on the next 3.6-Mb region between D2Mit205 and D2Mit182, respectively. Further analyses using F(2) segregating populations obtained from intercrosses between B6 and each of the two selected subcongenic strains confirmed the presence of these two body weight QTLs. Pbwg1.11 had an additive effect on body weight at 6, 10, and 13 weeks of age, and its castaneus allele decreased it. In contrast, the castaneus allele at Pbwg1.12 acted in a dominant fashion and surprisingly increased body weight at 6, 10, and 13 weeks of age despite the body weight of wild castaneus mice being 60% of that of B6 mice. These findings illustrate the complex genetic nature of body weight regulation and support the importance of subcongenic mouse analysis to dissect closely linked loci.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Body Weight / genetics*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Mice
  • Mice, Congenic / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phenotype*
  • Philippines
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*