Mus musculus helgolandicus : insights into their origin A study based on genetic and morphometrics analysis
My dissertation is concerned with the house mouse populating the island of Heligoland. It uses a variable modes of analysis including diagnostic nuclear markers , microsatellite loci, mtDNA genome and more specifically the mtDNA D-loop sequences. Additionally, geometric morphometrics using the mandible landmarking approach for both contemporary and old skull material. Furthermore, the whole genome sequence for three individuals was obtained and used to study patterns of introgression in their genome. The major findings from this study are the estimated colonization age into the island dating back to four centuries ago and the presence of one major haplotype and distinct population structure at larger K values. The house mouse genome show considerable levels of genome intermixing from M. m. musculus subspecies represented by (6.49%) which might explain part of the complex adaptation processes that could have shaped the genome of the house mouse on Heligoland.The fascinating findings from geometric morphometrics supports previous studies on this population, more importantly the distinct mandible shape and size.