Of mice and ‘convicts’: origin of the Australian house mouse, Mus musculus
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Gabriel, S.I.; Stevens, M.I.; Mathias, M.L.; Searle, J.B.
The house mouse, Mus musculus, is one of the most ubiquitous invasive species worldwide and in Australia is particularly common and widespread, but where it originally came from is still unknown. Here we investigated this origin through a phylogeographic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences (D-loop) comparing mouse populations from Australia with those from the likely regional source area in Western Europe. Our results agree with human historical associations, showing a strong link between Australia and the British Isles. This outcome is of intrinsic and applied interest and helps to validate the colonization history of mice as a proxy for human settlement history.
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) provided funding. Part of this work was carried out by using the resources of the Computational Biology Service Unit from Cornell University which is partially funded by Microsoft Corporation.
Public Library of Science (PLOS)
Previously Published As
PLoS ONE (2011), 6(12): e28622