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Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Apr;108(4):441-6. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.94. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Healing quantitative trait loci in a combined cross analysis using related mouse strain crosses.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Inbred mouse strains MRL and LG share the ability to fully heal ear hole punches with the full range of appropriate tissues without scarring. They also share a common ancestry, MRL being formed from a multi-strain cross with two final backcrosses to LG before being inbred by brother-sister mating. Many gene-mapping studies for healing ability have been performed using these two strains, resulting in the location of about 20 quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Here, we combine two of these crosses (N = 638), MRL/lpr × C57BL/6NTac and LG/J × SM/J, in a single combined cross analysis to increase the mapping power, decrease QTL support intervals, separate multiple QTLs and establish allelic states at individual QTL. The combined cross analysis located 11 QTLs, 6 affecting only one cross (5 LG × SM and 1 MRL × B6) and 5 affecting both crosses, approximately the number of common QTLs expected given strain SNP similarity. Amongst the five QTLs mapped in both crosses, three had significantly different genetic effects, additive in one cross and over or underdominant in the other. It is possible that allelic states at these three loci are different in SM and B6 because they lead to differences in dominance interactions with the LG and MRL alleles. QTL support intervals are 40% smaller in the combined cross analysis than in either of the single crosses. Combined cross analysis was successful in enhancing the interpretation of earlier QTL results for these strains.

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