What makes domestic animals such as mice and dogs tame

Press Release

Selective breeding and selection mapping using a novel wild-derived heterogeneous stock of mice revealed two closely-linked loci for tameness

Yuki Matsumoto, Tatsuhiko Goto, Jo Nishino, Hirofumi Nakaoka, Akira Tanave, Toshiyuki Takano-Shimizu, Richard F Mott, Tsuyoshi Koide

Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 4607 (2017) DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-04869-1

Pressrelease (In Japanese only)

Tameness play important role during the process of domestication, and can be divided into two potential components: motivation to approach humans (active tameness) and reluctance to avoid them (passive tameness). To understand the genetic basis associated with active tameness in mice we applied selective breeding of a genetically heterogeneous population that we founded by crossing eight wild mouse strains. As a result of selective breeding, the level of active tameness increased over the generations, compared to an unselected control experiment. We performed two selection and two control experiments. Genetic differences between the selected and control groups, measured using a high-dense array of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, were assessed using a computer simulation experiment. In one selection experiment we found a significant increase in the occurrence of a particular genomic segment present in just one of the founder strains, compared to the control groups. This selected region contains two loci related to active tameness and is syntenic to genomic regions which are known to be a region selected during dog domestication, suggesting that responsible genes in these loci are associated with active tameness in both mouse and dog.

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