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Genet Res (Camb). 2008 Aug;90(4):331-9. doi: 10.1017/S0016672308009439.

Mendelian inheritance of t haplotypes in house mouse ( Mus musculus domesticus) field populations.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

Erratum in

  • Genet Res. 2008 Oct;90(5):453.


Alleles of many genes in the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) t complex influence embryonic development, male transmission ratio, male fertility and other traits. Homozygous t lethal alleles cause prenatal lethality, whereas male t semilethal homozygotes and males heterozygous for two complementing t lethal haplotypes are sterile. Without a mechanism maintaining these deleterious genes, t lethals and t semilethals should be eliminated by selection. The mechanism for maintaining them is transmission ratio distortion (TRD), which is said to occur when a t/+ male sires a significantly greater proportion of fetuses carrying his t haplotype (80-100%) than his wild-type chromosome 17. To understand how this selfish DNA functions in trapped populations, the objectives of this study were to examine the structure of t haplotypes in Colorado field populations and to determine transmission ratios in these populations. The data presented here indicate two possible causes for lower than expected transmission ratios in field populations: (1) single-sire fertilization by sperm from mosaic t males may lack all t haplotype genes causing high TRD. (2) t-bearing sperm fertilizing multiple-sire litters are diluted by+sperm from males having the most common genotype (+/+).

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