Phenotypic integration of skeletal traits during growth buffers genetic variants affecting the slenderness of femora in inbred mouse strains

Phenotypic integration of skeletal traits during growth buffers genetic variants affecting the... Compensatory interactions among adult skeletal traits are critical for establishing strength but complicate the search for fracture susceptibility genes by allowing many genetic variants to exist in a population without loss of function. A better understanding of how these interactions arise during growth will provide new insight into genotype-phenotype relationships and the biological controls that establish skeletal strength. We tested the hypothesis that genetic variants affecting growth in width relative to growth in length (slenderness) are coordinated with movement of the inner bone surface and matrix mineralization to match stiffness with weight-bearing loads during postnatal growth. Midshaft femoral morphology and tissue-mineral density were quantified at ages of 1 day and at 4, 8, and 16 weeks for a panel of 20 female AXB/BXA recombinant inbred mouse strains. Path Analyses revealed significant compensatory interactions among outer-surface expansion rate, inner-surface expansion rate, and tissue-mineral density during postnatal growth, indicating that genetic variants affecting bone slenderness were buffered mechanically by the precise regulation of bone surface movements and matrix mineralization. Importantly, the covariation between morphology and mineralization resulted from a heritable constraint limiting the amount of tissue that could be used to construct a functional femur. The functional interactions during growth explained 56-99% of the variability in adult traits and mechanical properties. These functional interactions provide quantitative expectations of how genetic or environmental variants affecting one trait should be compensated by changes in other traits. Variants that impair this process or that cannot be fully compensated are expected to alter skeletal growth leading to underdesigned (weak) or overdesigned (bulky) structures. Mammalian Genome Springer Journals

Phenotypic integration of skeletal traits during growth buffers genetic variants affecting the slenderness of femora in inbred mouse strains

Loading next page...
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Life Sciences; Zoology ; Anatomy ; Cell Biology
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial