Genetic exchange across a paracentric inversion of the mouse t complex

M. F. Hammer, S. Bliss, L. M. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Mouse t haplotypes are distinguished from wild-type forms of chromosome 17 by four non-overlapping paracentric inversions which span a genetic distance of 20 cM. These inversion polymorphisms are responsible for a 100-200-fold suppression of recombination which maintains the integrity of complete t haplotypes and has led to their divergence from the wild-type chromosomes of four species of house mice within which t haplotypes reside. As evidence for the long period of recombinational isolation, alleles that distinguish all t haplotypes from all wild-type chromosomes have been established at a number of loci spread across the 20-cM variant region. However, a more complex picture emerges upon analysis of other t-associated loci. In particular, ''mosaic haplotypes'' have been identified that carry a mixture of wild-type and t-specific alleles. To investigate the genetic basis for mosaic chromosomes, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of eight t complex loci within 76 animals representing 10 taxa in the genus Mus, and including 23 previously characterized t haplotypes. Higher resolution restriction mapping and sequence analysis was also performed for alleles at the Hba-ps4 locus. The results indicate that a short tract of DNA was transferred relatively recently across an inversion from a t haplotype allele of Hba-ps4 to the corresponding locus on a wild-type homolog leading to the creation of a new hybrid allele. Several classes of wild-type Hba-ps4 alleles, including the most common form in inbred strains, appear to be derived from this hybrid allele. The accumulated data suggest that a common form of genetic exchange across one of the four t-associated inversions is gene conversion at isolated loci that do not play a role in the transmission ratio distortion phenotype required for t haplotype propagation. The implications of the results pose questions concerning the evolutionary stability of gene complexes within large paracentric inversions and suggest that recombinational isolation may be best established for loci residing within a short distance from inversion breakpoints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-812
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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