Discrete genetic modules are responsible for complex burrow evolution in Peromyscus mice

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Discrete genetic modules are responsible for complex burrow evolution in Peromyscus mice

Citable link to this page


Title: Discrete genetic modules are responsible for complex burrow evolution in Peromyscus mice
Author: Weber, Jesse N.; Peterson, Brant K.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Weber, Jesse N., Brant K. Peterson, and Hopi E. Hoekstra. 2013. Discrete Genetic Modules Are Responsible for Complex Burrow Evolution in Peromyscus Mice. Nature 493, no. 7432: 402–405. doi:10.1038/nature11816.
Access Status: Full text of the requested work is not available in DASH at this time (“dark deposit”). For more information on dark deposits, see our FAQ.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Relative to morphological traits, we know little about how genetics influence the evolution of complex behavioural differences in nature1. It is unclear how the environment influences natural variation in heritable behaviour, and whether complex behavioural differences evolve through few genetic changes, each affecting many aspects of behaviour, or through the accumulation of several genetic changes that, when combined, give rise to behavioural complexity. Here we show that in nature, oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus) build complex burrows with long entrance and escape tunnels, and that burrow length is consistent across populations, although burrow depth varies with soil composition. This burrow architecture is in contrast with the small, simple burrows of its sister species, deer mice (P. maniculatus). When investigated under laboratory conditions, both species recapitulate their natural burrowing behaviour. Genetic crosses between the two species reveal that the derived burrows of oldfield mice are dominant and evolved through the addition of multiple genetic changes. In burrows built by first-generation backcross mice, entrance-tunnel length and the presence of an escape tunnel can be uncoupled, suggesting that these traits are modular. Quantitative trait locus analysis also indicates that tunnel length segregates as a complex trait, affected by at least three independent genetic regions, whereas the presence of an escape tunnel is associated with only a single locus. Together, these results suggest that complex behaviours—in this case, a classic ‘extended phenotype’—can evolve through multiple genetic changes each affecting distinct behaviour modules.
Published Version: doi:10.1038/nature11816
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34723152
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search