A search for quantitative trait loci exhibiting imprinting effects on mouse mandible size and shape

L J Leamy, C P Klingenberg, E Sherratt, J B Wolf, J M Cheverud

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Genomic imprinting refers to the pattern of monoallelic parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression where one of the two alleles at a locus is expressed and the other silenced. Although some genes in mice are known to be imprinted, the true scope of imprinting and its impact on the genetic architecture of a wide range of morphometric traits is mostly unknown. We therefore searched for quantitative trait loci (QTL) exhibiting imprinting effects on mandible size and shape traits in a large F3 population of mice originating from an intercross of the LG/J (Large) and SM/J (Small) inbred strains. We discovered a total of 51 QTL affecting mandible size and shape, 6 of which exhibited differences between reciprocal heterozygotes, the usual signature of imprinting effects. However, our analysis showed that only one of these QTL (affecting mandible size) exhibited a pattern consistent with true imprinting effects, whereas reciprocal heterozygote differences in the other five all were due to maternal genetic effects. We concluded that genomic imprinting has a negligible effect on these specific morphometric traits, and that maternal genetic effects may account for many of the previously reported instances of apparent genomic imprinting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-526
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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