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Correlated responses in male reproductive traits in mice selected for litter size and body weight



Correlated responses in male reproductive traits in mice selected for litter size and body weight



Genetics 99(3-4): 513-524



Correlated responses in male reproductive traits were determined at 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age in lines of mice selected for large litter size (L+), large 6-week body weight (W+), large litter size and small body weight (L+W-) and small litter size and large body weight (L-W+), and in an unselected control (K). Concentration of serum testosterone and weights of testes, seminal vesicles, epididymides and adrenal glands increased with age. Line differences in testosterone concentration were not detected. L+ and W+ males exhibited positive correlated responses in testes, epididymides and seminal vesicle weights. Testis weight adjusted for body weight was significantly larger for L+ than controls and approached significance for W+. Realized genetic correlation be-testis weight and litter size was 0.60 +/- 0.04, and the realized partial genetic correlation holding body weight constant was 0.42. Therefore, pleiotropic loci, acting via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, affect testis weight and litter size independently of body weight. Additionally, genes influencing overall growth have a pleiotropic effect on testis weight and litter size in mice; the realized genetic correlations of body weight with testis weight and with litter size were 0.60 +/- 0.03 and 0.52 +/- 0.10. Testis weight increased in both L+W- and L-W+ males. The positive correlated response in L+W- may have resulted from changes in frequency of genes controlling reproductive processes; whereas, in L-W+ it could have been the result of changes in the frequency of genes associated with body weight.

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Accession: 000848743

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PMID: 7200925


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