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Genetics. 1980 Nov;96(3):757-65.

Response to divergent selection for nesting behavior in Mus musculus.


Replicated bidirectional selection (with control lines) for nest-building behavior in Mus musculus, where nesting scores consisted of the total weight of cotton pulled through the cage lid during four days of testing, yielded an eight-fold difference between high and low lines after 15 generations of selection. The overall realized heritability pooled across lines and replicates was 0.18 +/- 0.02 (0.15 +/- 0.03 for high nesting scores and 0.23 +/- 0.04 for low nesting scores), or 0.28 +/- 0.05 when adjusted for within-family selection. Across the 15 generations and the entire experiment, average body weight and number of infertile matings increased, while average litter size decreased, although these changes were not consistent across lines. Inbreeding could account for average decreases in the fertility traits, but there was also a correlated response to selection, since both high lines showed increased litter size and decreased infertile matings.

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