Mus Domesticus (mu + domesticu)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 1 2009
Matthew D. Dean
Barriers to gene flow can arise at any stage in the reproductive sequence. Most studies of reproductive isolation focus on premating or postzygotic phenotypes, leaving the importance of differences in fertilization rate overlooked. Two closely related species of house mice, Mus domesticus and M. musculus, form a narrow hybrid zone in Europe, suggesting that one or more isolating factors operate in the face of ongoing gene flow. Here, we test for differences in fertilization rate using laboratory matings as well as in vitro sperm competition assays. In noncompetitive matings, we show that fertilization occurs significantly faster in conspecific versus heterospecific matings and that this difference arises after mating and before zygotes form. To further explore the mechanisms underlying this conspecific advantage, we used competitive in vitro assays to isolate gamete interactions. Surprisingly, we discovered that M. musculus sperm consistently outcompeted M. domesticus sperm regardless of which species donated ova. These results suggest that in vivo fertilization rate is mediated by interactions between sperm, the internal female environment, and/or contributions from male seminal fluid. We discuss the implications of faster conspecific fertilization in terms of reproductive isolation among these two naturally hybridizing species. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 9 2004
Bret A. Payseur
Abstract A complete understanding of the speciation process requires the identification of genomic regions and genes that confer reproductive barriers between species. Empirical and theoretical research has revealed two important patterns in the evolution of reproductive isolation in animals: isolation typically arises as a result of disrupted epistatic interactions between multiple loci and these disruptions map disproportionately to the X chromosome. These patterns suggest that a targeted examination of natural gene flow between closely related species at X-linked markers with known positions would provide insight into the genetic basis of speciation. We take advantage of the existence of genomic data and a well-documented European zone of hybridization between two species of house mice, Mus domesticus and M. musculus, to conduct such a survey. We evaluate patterns of introgression across the hybrid zone for 13 diagnostic X-linked loci with known chromosomal positions using a maximum likelihood model. Interlocus comparisons clearly identify one locus with reduced introgression across the center of the hybrid zone, pinpointing a candidate region for reproductive isolation. Results also reveal one locus with high frequencies of M. domesticus alleles in populations on the M. musculus side of the zone, suggesting the possibility that positive selection may act to drive the spread of alleles from one species on to the genomic background of the other species. Finally, cline width and cline center are strongly positively correlated across the X chromosome, indicating that gene flow of the X chromosome may be asymmetrical. This study highlights the utility of natural populations of hybrids for mapping speciation genes and suggests that the middle of the X chromosome may be important for reproductive isolation between species of house mice. [source]

The occurrence of commensal rodents in dwellings as revealed by the 1996 English House Condition Survey

S.D. Langton
Summary 1,The presence of commensal rodents was assessed in the 1996 English House Condition Survey (EHCS). Logistic regression techniques were used to identify the key factors that might determine the susceptibility of dwellings to infestation. 2,The overall percentages of dwellings that were infested, weighted to allow for the more intensive sampling used in certain categories of dwellings, were 183% for mice Mus domesticus, 023% for rats Rattus norvegicus living indoors and 160% for rats living outdoors. These figures excluded vacant properties, properties with some commercial use, and purpose-built flats, as these groups showed different patterns of infestation and were therefore excluded from the logistic regressions. 3,The prevalence of both rats and mice was significantly greater for dwellings where pets or livestock were kept in the garden. 4,Dwellings classed as unfit for human habitation were more likely to be infested with mice. 5,Dwellings in areas of low-density housing had a significantly higher prevalence of both rat and mouse infestation. This probably reflects the general suitability of the rural environment for commensal rodents. 6,Older properties had a relatively high prevalence of rats. This may be because their mature gardens provided suitable habitats for colonization. Once other confounding factors were taken into account, the age of the property did not influence the rate of infestation by mice. 7,Dwellings in areas with substantial problems, such as dereliction, litter, vacant properties and unkempt gardens, had a significantly higher prevalence of rats and mice. 8,This study reveals the value of applied ecological techniques, including logistic regression of presence,absence data, in understanding the distribution of commensal rodents in relation to dwellings, with the prospect of more effective management practices being developed as a consequence. [source]

Arid Recovery , A comparison of reptile and small mammal populations inside and outside a large rabbit, cat and fox-proof exclosure in arid South Australia

Abstract Australian arid zone mammal species within the Critical Weight Range (CWR) of 35 g,5.5 kg have suffered disproportionately in the global epidemic of contemporary faunal extinctions. CWR extinctions have been attributed largely to the effects of introduced or invasive mammals; however, the impact of these threatening processes on smaller mammals and reptiles is less clear. The change in small mammal and reptile assemblages after the removal of rabbits, cats and foxes was studied over a 6-year period in a landscape-scale exclosure in the Australian arid zone. Rodents, particularly Notomys alexis and Pseudomys bolami, increased to 15 times higher inside the feral-proof Arid Recovery Reserve compared with outside sites, where rabbits, cats and foxes were still present. Predation by cats was thought to exert the greatest influence on rodent numbers owing to the maintenance of the disparity in rodent responses through dry years and the differences in dietary preferences between rabbits and P. bolami. The presence of introduced Mus domesticus or medium-sized re-introduced mammal species did not significantly affect resident small mammal or reptile abundance. Abundance of most dasyurids and small lizards did not change significantly after the removal of feral animals although reductions in gecko populations inside the reserve may be attributable to second order trophic interactions or subtle changes in vegetation structure and cover. This study suggests that populations of rodent species in northern South Australia below the CWR may also be significantly affected by introduced cats, foxes and/or rabbits and that a taxa specific model of Australian mammal decline may be more accurate than one based on body weight. [source]