The population genetics of the H-2 polymorphism in European and North African populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus L.)

J. H. Nadeau, E. K. Wakeland, D. Goetze, J. Klein

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Abstract

Two hundred and two house mice (Mus musculus L.) from 29 populations in Europe and North Africa were typed for 16 H-2K and 17 H-2D antigens, each antigen defining a different allele. Among the 13 best characterized populations, 1 to 4 common and 3 to 20 rare antigens were observed. However, an average of 37% of the H-2K and 39% of the H-2D antigens remain to be identified. Ninety-four percent of the 50 mice tested were heterozygous for H-2K antigens and 89% for H-2D antigens. In 4 of the 8 populations tested, the most common H-2K and H-2D antigens occurred in the same individual more often than if randomly associated. Associations between common H-2K and H-2D antigens and excess heterozygosities may be the consequence of the small size and instability of populations composed primarily of related individuals. Estimates of the genetic distances between populations revealed that Danish, Egyptian, and several of the Orkney Island populations were related. These were the only populations in which metacentric chromosomes were not found. In contrast, populations which were antigenically different were also karyotypically different, regardless of taxonomic status of allozymic similarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalGenetical Research
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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