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Genetics. 1981 Aug;98(4):801-16.

Evolutionary relationships among five subspecies of Mus musculus based on restriction enzyme cleavage patterns of mitochondrial DNA.


The intra- and intersubspecific genetic distances between five subspecies of Mus musculus were estimated from restriction enzyme cleavage patterns of maps of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The European subspecies, M. m. domesticus and Asian subspecies, M. m. bactrianus, M. m. castaneus, M. m. molossinus and M. m. urbanus were examined. For each subspecies, except M. m. urbanus, at least two local races from widely separated localities were examined. Intrasubspecific heterogeneity was found in the mtDNA cleavage patterns of M. m. bactrianus and M. m. castaneus. M. m. molossinus and M. m. domesticus, however, revealed no intrasubspecific heterogeneity. Four of the subspecies had distinct cleavage patterns. The fifth, M. m. urbanus, had cleavage patterns identical to those of M. m. castaneus with several enzymes. Estimates of genetic distances between the various races and subspecies were obtained by comparing cleavage maps of the mtDNAs with various restriction enzymes. Nucleotide sequence divergences of mtDNA between local races were estimated to be less than 0.4% in M. m. bactrianus and less than 0.3% in M. m. castaneus. The times of divergence of both subspecies were calculated to be 0.1--0.2 x 10(6) years. These values suggest that the intrasubspecific divergence began some 0.1--0.2 x 10(6) years ago. On the other hand, nucleotide sequence divergences between European subspecies M. m. domesticus and Asian subspecies M. m. bactrianus and M. m. castaneus were 7.1% ane 5.8%, respectively. The times of divergence were calculated to be 2.1--2.6 x 10(6) years. Further, the nucleotide sequence divergence and time of divergence between M. m. molossinus and the other two Asian subspecies were comparable to those between M. m. molossinus and M. m. domesticus (about 3% and 1 x 10(6) years, respectively). These results suggest that M. m. molossinus is situated in a unique evolutionary position among Asian subspecies.

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