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Title: Mitochondrial DNA variation in British house mice (Mus domesticus, Rutty)
Author: Jones, Catherine S.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1990
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Morphometric, karyological and historical evidence indicates that Caithness and Orkney House mice (Mus.domesticus Rutty) are genetically distinct from other British mice, suggesting they are descended from introductions. Mitochondrial DNA is a small, rapidly evolving, maternally inherited molecule; hence each mtDNA molecule carries in its sequence the history of its lineage uncomplicated by recombination. Thus, mtDNA RFLPs can be used for analysing possible patterns of colonisation and gene flow in these populations. Highly purified mtDNA was isolated from each mouse and mapped, using the high resolution restriction method, with respect to the published sequence of mouse mtDNA. This allowed the types and incidence of mutational change by which mtDNA evolves in the House mouse to be evaluated. A total of 23 mtDNA composite genotypes, assayed using 14 restriction enzymes, were recognised among the British mice examined and a genetic "break" observed between individuals from the north of Britain (Orkney, Ireland and N.E. Scotland; N.W lineage) and those from the south (British mainland, south of Caithness and Sutherland; S.E lineage)~ The approximate location of this "break" corresponds with the Great Glen fault, which marks a boundary between inhospitable moorland, occupied by Apode7ltus. Geographic orientation of mtDNA variability is concordant with data from other sources, including the paternal Y-chromosome DNA. The House mouse is unlikely to have survived the 1ast glaciation, dating the earliest possible British colonisation to about 10,000 B.P. An integrated approach, using evidence from anthropological, palaeontological, genetical and historical sources, permits the progression of the house mouse to be followed through Europe. These data indicate that Mus domesticus probably reached North-West Europe and Britain in the Iron
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available