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The Mouse Genome as a Rodent Model in Evolutionary Studies

  1. Jessica Vamathevan1,
  2. Joanna D Holbrook2,
  3. Richard D Emes3

Published Online: 15 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020754.pub2



How to Cite

Vamathevan, J., Holbrook, J. D. and Emes, R. D. 2012. The Mouse Genome as a Rodent Model in Evolutionary Studies. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development Ltd, Stevenage, UK

  2. 2

    Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Singapore

  3. 3

    University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2012


The recently updated and complete genome of the C57BL/6J mouse strain provides a model mammalian system for genetics, comparative genomics and evolutionary studies. The extensive freely available resources of mouse genetics and breeds and similarity between mouse and much of human biology makes the mouse genome the primary choice to enable discernment of the biological function of human and other mammalian genes. Of huge importance is that along with human, mouse is currently the only mammalian genome to be sequenced to completeness allowing the investigation of lineage specific biology. In particular the mouse genome sequence provides an unrivalled resource for medical bioscience, in encouraging a deeper understanding of the shared mammalian evolutionary history of potential drug targets.

Key Concepts:

  • The availability of high quality genome sequence is the cornerstone of comparative genomics.

  • Although many mammalian genomes have been sequenced with high coverage they are considered ‘drafts’. Only the mouse and human genomes are characterised as ‘complete’ and do not contain gaps in their genome coverage. The comparison of genes and genomes allows the investigation of evolutionary history of species.

  • The availability of multiple animal genomes provides the raw material for the discipline of genome zoology.


  • comparative genomics;
  • positive selection;
  • adaptive evolution;
  • drug discovery