The genus Musencompasses at least 38 species divided into four subgenera: Mus, Pyromys, Nannomys and Coelomys. The subgenus Mus, which comprises the house mouse and related species, is by far the most extensively studied, although the subgenus Nannomys is the most speciose. Although the relationships within the subgenus Mus are rather well characterized, those between subgenera are still unclear. In the present study, phylogenetic analyses of the whole genus were performed using a larger species sample of Nannomys than in previous studies, and a nuclear gene (IRBP) in addition to mitochondrial data (cytochrome b and 12S rRNA). Members of the Acomyinae and Murinae were used as outgroups. Separate and combined analyses were performed with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, and divergence times were estimated. The results showed that the monophyly of the genus Mus and of each subgenus was strongly supported by the three genes and the combined analysis. The phylogenies derived from the three genes were on the whole congruent; however, several conflicting topologies were observed such as the relationships between the three Asian species of the subgenus Mus (caroli, cervicolor and cookii). Increasing the taxonomic sampling of Nannomys did not satisfactorily improve the resolution of relationships between the four subgenera. In addition, molecular calibrations indicate that the Mus and Nannomys radiation coincided with major environmental changes. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 84, 417–427.