t-haplotypes are a meiotic drive system found on the 17th chromosome of the house mouse (Mus musculus). They can be found in wild populations of all four genetically differentiated subspecies. The drive phenomenon is male-specific, such that heterozygous males (+/t) show non-Mendelian transmission and transmit the t-chromosome to > 90% of their offspring. So far the most comprehensive studies on the frequencies of t-haplotypes in natural populations have been on just one of the subspecies (M. musculus domesticus). We applied molecular methods to accurately screen t-haplotypes in a large number of populations of a second subspecies (M. musculus castaneus) distributed in Taiwan. We found that the overall t-haplotype frequency is low in M. m. castaneus (0.108), and the chromosomes are patchily distributed among its populations, closely resembling the situation found in M. m. domesticus. Further, we found the frequencies of t-haplotypes in our sample did not differ in relation to the sex or age of mice. This resemblance in the frequency and distribution among populations of the two distinct subspecies suggests that similar general mechanisms might be responsible for the low frequencies in both subspecies.
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