Discovery and refinement of muscle weight QTLs in B6 x D2 advanced intercross mice

P. Carbonetto, R. Cheng, J. P. Gyekis, C. C. Parker, D. A. Blizard, A. A. Palmer, A. Lionikas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The genes underlying variation in skeletal muscle mass are poorly understood. Although many quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been mapped in crosses of mouse strains, the limited resolution inherent in these conventional studies has made it difficult to reliably pinpoint the causal genetic variants. The accumulated recombination events in an advanced intercross line (AIL), in which mice from two inbred strains are mated at random for several generations, can improve mapping resolution. We demonstrate these advancements in mapping QTLs for hindlimb muscle weights in an AIL (n = 832) of the C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2J (D2) strains, generations F8-F13. We mapped muscle weight QTLs using the high-density MegaMUGA SNP panel. The QTLs highlight the shared genetic architecture of four hindlimb muscles and suggest that the genetic contributions to muscle variation are substantially different in males and females, at least in the B6D2 lineage. Out of the 15 muscle weight QTLs identified in the AIL, nine overlapped the genomic regions discovered in an earlier B6D2 F2 intercross. Mapping resolution, however, was substantially improved in our study to a median QTL interval of 12.5 Mb. Subsequent sequence analysis of the QTL regions revealed 20 genes with nonsense or potentially damaging missense mutations. Further refinement of the muscle weight QTLs using additional functional information, such as gene expression differences between alleles, will be important for discerning the causal genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-582
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2014


  • hypertrophy
  • muscle wasting
  • forward genetics
  • advanced intercross line
  • inbred strains
  • quantitative trait loci
  • QTL mapping
  • genome-wide association studies
  • complex trait QTLs
  • mouse genetics
  • linear mixed models
  • genetic architecture
  • genome-wide association
  • twitch skeletal-muscle
  • inbred mouse strains
  • fiber types
  • genetic-determinants
  • population-structure
  • DBA/2J lineage
  • relatedness


Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery and refinement of muscle weight QTLs in B6 x D2 advanced intercross mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this