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Genetic architecture of tameness in a rat model of animal domestication


Abstract

A common feature of domestic animals is tameness-i.e., they tolerate and are unafraid of human presence and handling. To gain insight into the genetic basis of tameness and aggression, we studied an intercross between two lines of rats (Rattus norvegicus) selected over >60 generations for increased tameness and increased aggression against humans, respectively. We measured 45 traits, including tameness and aggression, anxiety-related traits, organ weights, and levels of serum components in >700 rats from an intercross population. Using 201 genetic markers, we identified two significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for tameness. These loci overlap with QTL for adrenal gland weight and for anxiety-related traits and are part of a five-locus epistatic network influencing tameness. An additional QTL influences the occurrence of white coat spots, but shows no significant effect on tameness. The loci described here are important starting points for finding the genes that cause tameness in these rats and potentially in domestic animals in general.

Abstract

A common feature of domestic animals is tameness-i.e., they tolerate and are unafraid of human presence and handling. To gain insight into the genetic basis of tameness and aggression, we studied an intercross between two lines of rats (Rattus norvegicus) selected over >60 generations for increased tameness and increased aggression against humans, respectively. We measured 45 traits, including tameness and aggression, anxiety-related traits, organ weights, and levels of serum components in >700 rats from an intercross population. Using 201 genetic markers, we identified two significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for tameness. These loci overlap with QTL for adrenal gland weight and for anxiety-related traits and are part of a five-locus epistatic network influencing tameness. An additional QTL influences the occurrence of white coat spots, but shows no significant effect on tameness. The loci described here are important starting points for finding the genes that cause tameness in these rats and potentially in domestic animals in general.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Equine Department
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:June 2009
Deposited On:17 Nov 2014 14:24
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 17:32
Publisher:Genetics Society of America
ISSN:0016-6731
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.109.102186
PubMed ID:19363126

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