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Genetics. 1998 Apr; 148(4): 1931–1939.
PMCID: PMC1460090

Genetic basis of response to 50 generations of selection on body weight in inbred mice.


A long-established inbred strain of mice was divergently selected for body weight for 50 generations. Selection of new mutations affecting the trait eventually led to a divergence of approximately three phenotypic standard deviations between the high and low lines. Heritability for body weight increased at a rate between 0.23% and 0.57% per generation from new mutations, depending on the genetic model assumed. About two-thirds of the selection response was in the upward direction. The response was episodic, suggesting a substantial contribution from the selection of mutations with large effects on the trait. A maximum likelihood procedure was used to estimate the number of factors contributing to the response using data from line crosses, with models of n equivalent gene effects (i.e., to estimate the Wright-Castle index), or n genes with variable effects. The results of the analysis of data from a cross between the selected high line and an unselected control line indicated that two major factors were involved, with the suggestion of an additional minor factor.

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Selected References

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