Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 37, Number 2, March-April 2005
Page(s) 151 - 173
Genet. Sel. Evol. 37 (2005) 151-173
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2004042

Genetic variance and covariance patterns for body weight and energy balance characters in an advanced intercross population of mice

Larry J. Leamya, Kari Elob, Merlyn K. Nielsenb, L. Dale Van Vleckc and Daniel Pompb

a  Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
b  Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
c  Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, ARS, USDA, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA

(Received 12 May 2004; accepted 9 July 2004)

Abstract - We estimated heritabilities and genetic correlations for a suite of 15 characters in five functional groups in an advanced intercross population of over 2000 mice derived from a cross of inbred lines selected for high and low heat loss. Heritabilities averaged 0.56 for three body weights, 0.23 for two energy balance characters, 0.48 for three bone characters, 0.35 for four measures of adiposity, and 0.27 for three organ weights, all of which were generally consistent in magnitude with estimates derived in previous studies. Genetic correlations varied from -0.65 to +0.98, and were higher within these functional groups than between groups. These correlations generally conformed to a priori expectations, being positive in sign for energy expenditure and consumption ( +0.24) and negative in sign for energy expenditure and adiposity ( -0.17). The genetic correlations of adiposity with body weight at 3, 6, and 12 weeks of age ( -0.29, -0.22, -0.26) all were negative in sign but not statistically significant. The independence of body weight and adiposity suggests that this advanced intercross population is ideal for a comprehensive discovery of genes controlling regulation of mammalian adiposity that are distinct from those for body weight.

Key words: advanced intercross mice / body weight / genetic correlations / heritability / obesity

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005