Investigation of genetic linkage between myosin and actin genes using an interspecific mouse back-cross


The introduction of cloned probes to follow the segregation of DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) has led to a revival of mendelian genetics in attempts to map the human genome1. In the mouse, however, it has often proved difficult to detect an RFLP with a DNA probe between different inbred strains of the laboratory mouse. To circumvent this problem, we have used two species, Mus musculus domesticus and Mus spretus2 which interact as sympatric species3 but can be interbred under laboratory conditions4. Because of the relative evolutionary distance between these species, they exhibit polymorphism at many more loci than do different strains of the usual M. m. domesticus laboratory mouse2. This is also observed at the DNA level when the sizes of restriction fragments encoding a specific gene are compared5. We have used these RFLPs between M. m. domesticus and M. spretus to follow the segregation of genes encoding different isoforms of myosin alkali light chains in the backcross progeny between these species and to compare this with that of other contractile protein genes. No linkage between these genes was observed.


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Robert, B., Barton, P., Minty, A. et al. Investigation of genetic linkage between myosin and actin genes using an interspecific mouse back-cross. Nature 314, 181–183 (1985).

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