Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

June 1999


Published in Genetics 152: 699–711 ( June 1999).


Energy balance is a complex trait with relevance to the study of human obesity and maintenance energy requirements of livestock. The objective of this study was to identify, using unique mouse models, quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing traits that contribute to variation in energy balance. Two F2 resource populations were created from lines of mice differing in heat loss measured by direct calorimetry as an indicator of energy expenditure. The HB F2 resource population originated from a cross between a noninbred line selected for high heat loss and an inbred line with low heat loss. Evidence for significant QTL influencing heat loss was found on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, and 7. Significant QTL influencing body weight and percentage gonadal fat, brown fat, liver, and heart were also identified. The LH F2 resource population originated from noninbred lines of mice that had undergone divergent selection for heat loss. Chromosomes 1 and 3 were evaluated. The QTL for heat loss identified on chromosome 1 in the HB population was confirmed in the LH population, although the effect was smaller. The presence of a QTL influencing 6-wk weight was also confirmed. Suggestive evidence for additional QTL influencing heat loss, percentage subcutaneous fat, and percentage heart was found for chromosome 1.