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Genetics. Apr 2002; 160(4): 1573–1586.
PMCID: PMC1462040

Analysis of quantitative trait locus effects on the size and shape of mandibular molars in mice.


While >50 genes have been found to influence the development of teeth in mice, we still know very little about the genetic basis for the adaptive characteristics of teeth, such as size and shape. We applied interval mapping procedures to Procrustes size and shape data obtained from 10 morphological landmarks on the mandibular molar row of the F(2) progeny from a cross between the LG/J and SM/J strains of mice. This revealed many more QTL for molar shape (18) than for molar centroid size (3), although levels of dominance effects were comparable among QTL for size and shape. Comparisons of patterns of Procrustes additive and dominance shape effects and ordination of QTL effects by principal components analysis suggested that the effects of the shape QTL were dispersed among the three molars and thus that none of these molars represents a genetically distinct developmental structure. The results of an analysis of co-occurrence of QTL for molar shape, mandible shape, and cranial dimensions in these mice suggested that many of the QTL for molar shape may be the same as those affecting these other sets of characters, although in some cases this could be due to effects of closely linked genes.

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