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Genesis. 2005 Dec;43(4):155-65.

Genetic evidence for a maternal effect locus controlling genomic imprinting and growth.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, College of Medicine, University of California Irvine, 92799-1700, USA.


Crosses between two species of deer mouse (Peromyscus) yield dramatic parent-of-origin effects. Female P. maniculatus (BW) crossed with male P. polionotus (PO) produce animals smaller than either parent. PO females crossed with BW males yield lethal overgrowth that has been associated with loss-of-imprinting (LOI). Previously, we mapped two loci influencing fetal growth. These two loci, however, do not account for the LOI, nor for the dysmorphic phenotypes. Here we report that maternal genetic background strongly influences the LOI. Analyses of crosses wherein maternal genetic background is varied suggest that this effect is likely due to the action of a small number of loci. We have termed these putative loci Meil. Estimation of Meil loci number was confounded by skewed allelic ratios in the intercross line employed. We show that the Meil loci are not identical to any of the DNA methyltransferases shown to be involved in regulation of genomic imprinting.

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