Data from: Using the Mus musculus hybrid zone to assess covariation and genetic architecture of limb bone lengths
Skrabar, Neva et al. (2018), Data from: Using the Mus musculus hybrid zone to assess covariation and genetic architecture of limb bone lengths, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rg6k9
Two subspecies of the house mouse, Mus musculus domesticus and Mus musculus musculus, meet in a narrow contact zone across Europe. Mice in the hybrid zone are highly admixed, representing the full range of mixed ancestry from the two subspecies. Given the distinct morphologies of these subspecies, these natural hybrids can be used for genome-wide association mapping at sufficiently high resolution to directly infer candidate genes. We focus here on limb bone length differences, which is of special interest for understanding the evolution of developmentally correlated traits. We used 172 first-generation descendants of wild-caught mice from the hybrid zone to measure the length of stylopod (humerus / femur), zeugopod (ulna / tibia) and autopod (metacarpal / metatarsal) elements in skeletal CT scans. We find phenotypic covariation between limb elements in the hybrids similar to patterns previously described in M. m. domesticus inbred strains, suggesting that the hybrid genotypes do not influence the covariation pattern in a major way. Mapping was performed using 143,592 SNPs and identified several genomic regions associated with length differences in each bone. Each candidate region explains only a small proportion of phenotypic variance, suggesting that bone length is highly polygenic. None of the candidate regions includes the canonical genes known to control embryonic limb development. Instead, we are able to identify candidate genes with known roles in osteoblast differentiation and bone structure determination, as well as recently evolved genes of, as yet, unknown function.