2006 Volume 55 Issue 2 Pages 97-108
The small testis (Smt) mutant mouse is characterized by a small testis of one third to one half the size of a normal testis, and its spermatogenesis is mostly arrested at early stages of meiosis, although a small number of spermatocytes at the late prophase of meiosis and a few spermatids can sometimes be seen. We performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of these spermatogenic traits and testis weight using 221 F2 males obtained from a cross between Smt and MOM (Mus musculus molossinus) mice. At the genome-wide 5% level, we detected two QTLs affecting meiosis on chromosomes 4 and 13, and two QTLs for paired testis weight as a percentage of body weight on chromosomes 4 and X. In addition, we found several QTLs for degenerated germ cells and multinuclear giant cells on chromosomes 4, 7 and 13. Interestingly, for cell degeneration, the QTL on chromosome 13 interacted epistatically with the QTL on chromosome 4. These results reveal polygenic participation in the abnormal spermatogenesis and small testis size in the Smt mutant.