Evolution of the mouse t-haplotype – Recent and worldwide introgression to Mus musculus

Morita, TK, H.; Murata, K.; Nozaki, M.; Delarbre, C.; Willison, K.; Satta, Y.; Sakaizumi, M.; Takahata, N.; Gachelin, G.; Matsushiro, A.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,  89:6851-6855. 1992.

Mouse t haplotypes are variants of chromosome 17, consisting of four inversions. Despite the homozygous lethality and pleiotropic effect on embryonic development, sperm production, and recombination, they have widely spread in natural populations of the house mouse (10-40% in frequency) because of the meiotic drive advantage. We sequenced 14 Tcp-1 (t-complex polypeptide 1) genes from four t haplotypes, nine wild mice, and a rat as a reference. From a comparison of intron sequences of 610 base pairs, we dated the origin of t haplotypes to 2.9 +/- 0.7 million years ago, which predates the splitting of Mus musculus subspecies (almost-equal-to 1 million years ago). However, the Tcp-1 intron sequences of t haplotypes from different M. musculus subspecies from various parts of the world show no divergence, indicating the recent introgression (no earlier than 0.8 million years ago) of a single ancestral type. Nucleotide changes in coding regions are also consistent with this conclusion. Hence, polymorphisms among t haplotypes including lethality factors have accumulated during this short time period independently in each M. musculus subspecies.