Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mouse genome sequences reveal variability, complex evolutionary history

Date:
September 15, 2011
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
A new paper, building on recent advances in sequencing capability, now reports the complete genomes of 17 different strains of mice, creating an unparalleled genetic resource that will aid studies ranging from human disease to evolution.

The genome of even a single organism is packed with information. A new paper, building on recent advances in sequencing capability, now reports the complete genomes of 17 different strains of mice, creating an unparalleled genetic resource that will aid studies ranging from human disease to evolution.

An international team of researchers, including University of Wisconsin-Madison geneticist Bret Payseur, describe in the Sept. 14 issue of the journal Nature the genome sequencing and comparison of 17 mouse strains, including several of the most common laboratory strains and four recently derived from wild populations. The resulting database, the largest for any vertebrate model organism, documents the range of genetic variation between mouse strains and its effects on phenotypes and gene regulation.

"Mice are the premier model organism for human disease. We've made a lot of progress in understanding the genetics of common human diseases by studying mice," says Payseur, an associate professor of medical genetics in the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. "Although we've been able to map genomic regions that contribute to disease risk, we haven't known the full spectrum of mutations involved."

The new genetic compendium will help researchers more quickly find the subset of sequence differences responsible for disease and other characters, he adds. The new paper identifies mutations associated with more than 700 biological traits, including diabetes and heart disease.

"We are living in an era where we have thousands of human genomes at our fingertips," says David Adams from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who led the project. "The mouse, and the genome sequences we have generated, will play a critical role in understanding of how genetic variation contributes to disease and will lead us towards new therapies."

In addition to advancing the use of mice as a model for human disease, Payseur says the work also advances studies of evolution, his key interest. "We were interested in the history of mice -- how did mice evolve and come to be such an important organism for research?" he asks.

He and graduate student Michael White probed the evolutionary history of the lab mouse using sequences of four wild-derived mouse strains, including three common subspecies of house mice and a more distant relative. These strains represent a few million years of evolution, offering a window into the processes that drive genetic and phenotypic change.

They found that the mouse genomes do not reflect a single evolutionary story. Rather, different parts of the genome showed different patterns of relatedness. For the three wild house mouse subspecies in this study, Payseur and White found that nearly 40 percent of the sequence supported one evolutionary relationship, another 30 percent supported another and the remaining 30 percent of the DNA suggested yet a third relationship.

The complexity uncovered here should serve as a cautionary tale for studies of evolutionary relationships between organisms, which have often made inferences based on one or a few genes, Payseur says. "If you're looking at closely related species, don't expect to infer the species history just by looking at a handful of regions. You really have to look at a large fraction of the whole genome."

Payseur hopes to conduct similar analyses of the other sequenced laboratory strains to begin to fill in the large gaps in existing lab mouse pedigrees. Understanding the evolution of the lab mouse will provide important genetic context for mouse studies of human disease and help other researchers choose the strain most appropriate for their research questions.

This genomic-sequencing project was supported by The Medical Research Council, U.K., and the Wellcome Trust. Payseur's work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. The original article was written by Jill Sakai. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Thomas M. Keane, Leo Goodstadt, Petr Danecek, Michael A. White, Kim Wong, Binnaz Yalcin, Andreas Heger, Avigail Agam, Guy Slater, Martin Goodson, Nicholas A. Furlotte, Eleazar Eskin, Christoffer Nellåker, Helen Whitley, James Cleak, Deborah Janowitz, Polinka Hernandez-Pliego, Andrew Edwards, T. Grant Belgard, Peter L. Oliver, Rebecca E. McIntyre, Amarjit Bhomra, Jérôme Nicod, Xiangchao Gan, Wei Yuan, Louise van der Weyden, Charles A. Steward, Sendu Bala, Jim Stalker, Richard Mott, Richard Durbin, Ian J. Jackson, Anne Czechanski, José Afonso Guerra-Assunção, Leah Rae Donahue, Laura G. Reinholdt, Bret A. Payseur, Chris P. Ponting, Ewan Birney, Jonathan Flint, David J. Adams. Mouse genomic variation and its effect on phenotypes and gene regulation. Nature, 2011; 477 (7364): 289 DOI: 10.1038/nature10413
  2. Binnaz Yalcin, Kim Wong, Avigail Agam, Martin Goodson, Thomas M. Keane, Xiangchao Gan, Christoffer Nellåker, Leo Goodstadt, Jérôme Nicod, Amarjit Bhomra, Polinka Hernandez-Pliego, Helen Whitley, James Cleak, Rebekah Dutton, Deborah Janowitz, Richard Mott, David J. Adams, Jonathan Flint. Sequence-based characterization of structural variation in the mouse genome. Nature, 2011; 477 (7364): 326 DOI: 10.1038/nature10432

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Mouse genome sequences reveal variability, complex evolutionary history." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915141235.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2011, September 15). Mouse genome sequences reveal variability, complex evolutionary history. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915141235.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Mouse genome sequences reveal variability, complex evolutionary history." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110915141235.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — An Allegiant Airlines plane from Las Vegas to Duluth, Minnesota turned around shortly after take-off, after a swarm of bees clouded the windshield and got sucked into the engines. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Complete Map of Mouse Genetic Variation

Sep. 26, 2011 — The laboratory mouse has been widely used for research on a variety of diseases and genetic studies to understand which genes are involved in various illnesses. However, actual variations in past ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins