Wild mouse open field behavior is embedded within the multidimensional data space spanned by laboratory inbred strains

E. Fonio, Y. Benjamini, A. Sakov, I. Golani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The vast majority of studies on mouse behavior are performed on laboratory mouse strains (Mus laboratorius), while studies of wild-mouse behavior are relatively rare. An interesting question is the relationship between the phenotypes of M. laboratorius and the phenotypes of their wild ancestors. It is commonly believed, often in the absence of hard evidence, that the behavior of wild mice exceeds by far, in terms of repertoire richness, magnitude of variables and variability of behavioral measures, the behavior of the classical inbred strains. Having phenotyped the open field behavior (OF) of eight of the commonly used laboratory inbred strains, two wild-derived strains and a group of first-generation-incaptivity local wild mice (Mus musculus domesticus), we show that contrary to common belief, wild-mouse OF behavior is moderate, both in terms of end-point values and in terms of their variability, being embedded within the multidimensional data space spanned by laboratory inbred strains. The implication could be that whereas natural selection favors moderate locomotor behavior in wild mice, the inbreeding process tends to generate in mice, in some of the features, extreme and more variable behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Keywords

  • Domestication
  • Exploratory behavior
  • Locomotor behavior
  • Mus musculus domesticus
  • Phenotyping mouse behavior
  • SEE
  • Wild-derived strains

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