The non-agouti mutation in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) selected for behavior

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The frequency of aa homozygous descendants was studied in crosses of aa heterozygous Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769)) parents selected for tame and aggressive behavior. First, aa heterozygotes were obtained in crosses between tame homozygotes for the wild-type allele (aa) and aggressive homozygotes for the non-agouti allele (aa). The most tame and the most aggressive descendants were selected from the progeny of the aa genotype by using the glove test. Then aa rats were crossed among tame and among aggressive descendants, and the aa and aa genotypes of grey descendants were identified by polymerase chain reactions (PCR). The segregation of descendants into the aa, aa, and aa genotypes was cumulatively analyzed in five generations of selection with regard to the phenotypic manifestation of tame and aggressive behavior in their parents. The frequency of aa descendants in the progeny of mothers with low aggressive behavior scores was less than expected and less than in the progeny of mothers with high aggressive behavior scores.
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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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