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Department of Biological Sciences

Drs. Shannon Davis and Mike Felder published a new study in Behavior Genetics

The genus Peromyscus, commonly known as the deer mouse, is the most abundant mammal in North America. These small rodents are caught in the wild and can be reared using standard mouse housing and husbandry conditions. Peromyscus maniculatus, including the laboratory stock BW, have been used as a model organism for autism spectrum disorders and obsessive–compulsive disorder because of the high occurrence of stereotypy. While several studies have identified neurological and environmental components of the phenotype, the heritability of the phenotype has not been examined. In their new study titled "Genetic Analysis of the Stereotypic Phenotype in Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice)", Drs. Shannon Davis, Mike Felder and their collaborators characterized the incidence and heritability of vertical jumping stereotypy and backflipping  behavior in the BW stock of the Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center, which are two behaviors indicative of autism spectrum disorders. They found that both vertical stereotypy and backflipping stereotypy are heritable but display differing patterns of inheritance. Learn more about it here!

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