Journal Article

QTL Underlying Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Interactions with the “Mini Muscle” Locus and Sex

Derrick L. Nehrenberg, Shiliang Wang, Robert M. Hannon, Theodore Garland and Daniel Pomp

in Journal of Heredity

Published on behalf of American Genetic Association

Volume 101, issue 1, pages 42-53
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0022-1503
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1465-7333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esp066
QTL Underlying Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Interactions with the “Mini Muscle” Locus and Sex

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Exercise improves many aspects of human health, yet many people remain inactive even when exercise is prescribed. We previously created a backcross (BC) between mice selectively bred for high levels of voluntary wheel running (VWR) and fixed for “mini muscle” (MM), a recessive mutation causing ∼50% reduction in triceps surae mass. We previously showed that BC mice having the MM trait ran faster and further than mice without MM and that MM maps to chromosome 11. Here, we genotyped the BC with genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling voluntary exercise and tissue and body mass traits and to determine whether these QTL interact with the MM locus or with sex. We detected 3 VWR QTL, representing the first voluntary exercise QTL mapped using this high running selection line, and 5 tissue mass QTL. Several interactions between trait QTL and the MM locus as well as sex were also identified. These results begin to explain the genetic architecture of VWR and further support MM as a locus having major effects, including its main effects on the muscle phenotype, its pleiotropic effects on wheel running and tissue mass traits, and through its interactions with other QTL and with sex.

Keywords: artificial selection; complex trait; genetic architecture; physical activity; running

Journal Article.  6206 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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