Genetic Mapping of Behavioral Traits Using the Collaborative Cross Resource

Wei Xuan, Ling Zhang, Yu Zhang, Xiuping Sun, Jue Wang, Xianglei Li, Lingyan Zhang, Xinpei Wang, Grant Morahan, Chuan Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The complicated interactions between genetic background, environment and lifestyle factors make it difficult to study the genetic basis of complex phenotypes, such as cognition and anxiety levels, in humans. However, environmental and other factors can be tightly controlled in mouse studies. The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a mouse genetic reference population whose common genetic and phenotypic diversity is on par with that of humans. Therefore, we leveraged the power of the CC to assess 52 behavioral measures associated with locomotor activity, anxiety level, learning and memory. This is the first application of the CC in novel object recognition tests, Morris water maze tasks, and fear conditioning tests. We found substantial continuous behavioral variations across the CC strains tested, and mapped six quantitative trait loci (QTLs) which influenced these traits, defining candidate genetic variants underlying these QTLs. Overall, our findings highlight the potential of the CC population in behavioral genetic research, while the identified genomic loci and genes driving the variation of relevant behavioral traits provide a foundation for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number682
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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