Selection for reluctance to avoid humans during the domestication of mice
Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior published by International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Genes, Brain and Behavior
Volume 12, Issue 8, pages 760–770, November 2013
How to Cite
Goto, T., Tanave, A., Moriwaki, K., Shiroishi, T. and Koide, T. (2013), Selection for reluctance to avoid humans during the domestication of mice. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 12: 760–770. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12088
- Issue published online: 30 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 SEP 2013 01:18PM EST
- Manuscript Revised: 10 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 29 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 27 MAY 2013
- KAKENHI. Grant Number: 22300146, 24658240
- Research Organization of Information and Systems, Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Japan
- handling test;
- inbred strains;
- tame behavior;
- wild mice
Many animal species have been domesticated over the course of human history and became tame as a result of domestication. Tameness is a behavioral characteristic with 2 potential components: (1) reluctance to avoid humans and (2) motivation to approach humans. However, the specific behavioral characteristics selected during domestication processes remain to be clarified for many species. To quantify these 2 different components of tameness separately, we established 3 behavioral tests: the ‘active tame’, ‘passive tame’ and ‘stay-on-hand’ tests. We subjected genetically diverse mouse strains to these tests, including 10 wild strains (BFM/2Ms, PGN2/Ms, HMI/Ms, BLG2/Ms, NJL/Ms, KJR/Ms, SWN/Ms, CHD/Ms, MSM/Ms and CAST/Ei), a fancy strain (JF1/Ms) and 6 standard laboratory strains (C3H/HeNJcl, CBA/J, BALB/cAnNCrlCrlj, DBA/2JJcl, 129+Ter/SvJcl and C57BL/6JJcl). To analyze the effects of domestication, these 17 strains were divided into 2 groups: domesticated strains (fancy and laboratory strains) and wild strains. Significant differences between strains were observed in all traits, and the calculated estimates of broad-sense heritability were 0.15–0.72. These results illustrate that tameness in mice is significantly influenced by genetic background. In addition, they clearly show the differences in the features of tameness in domesticated and wild strains. Most of the domesticated strains showed significantly greater reluctance to avoid humans than wild strains, whereas there was no significant difference in the level of motivation to approach humans between these 2 groups. These results might help to clarify the genetic basis of tameness in mice.