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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phylogeographic origin of Hokkaido house mice (Mus musculus) as indicated by genetic markers with maternal, paternal and biparental inheritance.

We examined intraspecies genetic variation in house mice (Mus musculus molossinus) from the northern third of the Japanese Islands, in order to obtain evidence of the history of mouse colonization that might have shaped the current genetic diversity. We extended the previous sampling of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence and added information from the Y- linked Sry gene and ribosomal RNA gene surveys. We distinguish mitochondrial haplotypes characteristic of the North Asian musculus subspecies group (involving M. m. musculus and M. m. molossinus) as 'MUS', and that of the Southeast Asian castaneus subspecies group as ' CAS' (although the mice resemble MUS morphologically). There was a clear geographic partition of MUS and CAS types into southern and northern Hokkaido, respectively. Conversely, on Tohoku, the MUS and CAS types were interspersed without clear geographic subdivision. In contrast to the mtDNA data, all Hokkaido and Tohoku mice examined were found to possess a unique type for the Y-linked Sry gene, specific to Korea and Japan. Restriction site analysis of nuclear rDNA probe showed a consistent distribution of MUS and CAS types, as major and minor components, respectively, in the Hokkaido and Tohoku mice. These data support the previous notion that the Hokkaido and Tohoku mice experienced genetic hybridization between primary residents of CAS origin and MUS newcomers arriving via a southern route. The invasion of the MUS type could correspond with the evidence for arrival of prehistoric peoples. There are, however, alternative interpretations, including genetic admixture between MUS arriving by a southern route and CAS from a northern route.[1]


  1. Phylogeographic origin of Hokkaido house mice (Mus musculus) as indicated by genetic markers with maternal, paternal and biparental inheritance. Terashima, M., Furusawa, S., Hanzawa, N., Tsuchiya, K., Suyanto, A., Moriwaki, K., Yonekawa, H., Suzuki, H. Heredity (2006) [Pubmed]
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