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Selection for constancy of score and pattern of secondary vibrissae in ta ta ta y and ta plus mice


, : Selection for constancy of score and pattern of secondary vibrissae in ta ta ta y and ta plus mice. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences 30(4): 303-318

In wild-type mice, total secondary vibrissa score is almost invariably 19. This score is made up of the scores at 3 paired sites and 1 median site on the head and 1 paired site on the fore paws, namely supraorbital (2/2), postorbital (1/1), postoral (2/2), inter-ramal (3) and ulnacarpal (3/3). When the sex-linked gene Tabby (Ta) is introduced, total score is reduced in all genotypes and total and individual site scores become more variable. In Ta/Ta females and Ta/Y males total score becomes about 7 as a result of score reductions at all sites. The most common scores at these sites are: supraorbital (1/1), postorbital (0/0), postoral (1/1), inter-ramal (1), and ulnacarpal (1/1). In Ta/+ females total score becomes about 15, largely as a result of score reductions at the sites around the mouth. The most common scores at these sites are postoral (1/1) and inter-ramal (1). Lines selected for constancy of total secondary vibrissa score in Ta/Ta-Ta/Y mice (ASH line) and for constancy of total score in Ta/+ mice (ASL line) were examined for evidence as to whether constancy of total score was the result of regulation of total scores or of regulation of scores at the individual whisker sites. In the ASH line it was found that the increase in the proportion of Ta/Ta-Ta/Y mice with 7 vibrissae was due, almost exclusively, to an increase in the frequency of animals with scores characteristic of standard Ta/Ta-Ta/Y animals at the individual whisker sites. In the ASL line, also, the increase in the proportion of Ta/+ mice with 15 vibrissae was due largely to a rise in the frequency of mice with individual site scores characteristic of the standard Ta/+ mouse. In neither line was there any evidence of negative correlations between site scores in either the selected or the unselected genotypes. Constancy of total score in mice carrying the Ta gene is apparently due to regulation of scores at the individual whisker sites rather than to regulation of total vibrissa score.

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