A key problem in mutagenesis research is developing methods that are sufficiently sensitive to detect a wide range of abnormal phenotypes. Major variants may be easy to identify, but it can be difficult to detect mutations that have subtle effects, particularly on a complex genetic background. This paper describes a targeted mutagenesis protocol with enough sensitivity to detect recessive mutations that have modest quantitative effects. The procedure relies on consomic inbred strains of mice—strains in which one homologous pair of chromosomes of an inbred strain has been replaced with the corresponding pair from a donor strain. Mice that carry the desired donor chromosome—the target of the screen—are mutagenized and bred back to the original recipient strain. The first-generation progeny (G1) that are heterozygous only for the donor chromosome are also bred back to the recipient strain. G2 animals that inherit nonrecombinant donor chromosomes are identified by genotyping. These animals may be backcrossed repeatedly to the recipient strain to dilute off-target mutations, but ultimately, nonrecombinant G2 animals are bred to each other. Their G3 progeny are genotyped at markers spaced at 5- to 10-cM intervals to identify mating pairs that are homozygous for shared segments of the mutagenized donor chromosome. Entire litters of G4 progeny that are homozygous for defined intervals are screened. By comparing phenotypes within and among litters of nearly isogenic G4 animals, mutations can be verified and simultaneously mapped with a precision of 5–10 cM. This method has the potential to consistently detect mutations that have effects on trait means of well under one standard deviation.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 1999
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