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.
Bret Payseur | EurekAlert!
Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex
New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences