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Investigation of sequence variation in common inbred mouse strains has revealed a segmented pattern in which regions of high and low variant density are intermixed. Furthermore, it has been suggested that allelic strain distribution patterns also occur in well defined blocks and consequently could be used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) in comparisons between inbred strains. We report a detailed analysis of polymorphism distribution in multiple inbred mouse strains over a 4.8-megabase region containing a QTL influencing anxiety. Our analysis indicates that it is only partly true that the genomes of inbred strains exist as a patchwork of segments of sequence identity and difference. We show that the definition of haplotype blocks is not robust and that methods for QTL mapping may fail if they assume a simple block-like structure.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





9734 - 9739


Alleles, Animals, Anxiety, Genetic Variation, Haplotypes, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Microsatellite Repeats, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Quantitative Trait Loci, Sequence Analysis, DNA