Congenic mouse strains are widely used in mapping traits to specific loci or short chromosomal regions. The precision of the mapping depends on the information available about the length of the differential segment-the segment introduced from the donor into the background strain. Until recently, very few markers flanking the differential locus were known and consequently the length of the foreign segment could only be determined imprecisely. Now, in an attempt to construct a map of the mouse chromosome 17, we have produced a set of DNA markers distributed along the chromosome. These markers provide a new opportunity to measure the length of the differential segment of the congenic strains and thus increase their usefulness for gene mapping. Here we examined the DNA of 96 H-2 congenic strains using 30 DNA markers; of these, the most proximal is located roughly 1.5 centiMorgans (cM) from the centromere and the most distal is about 20 cM telomeric from the H-2 complex (the complex itself being some 20 cM from the centromere). The mapping depends on polymorphism among the input strains and can therefore establish only the minimal length of the differential segment. This point is emphasized by the fact that the average observed length of the differential segment is only about one half of the expected values.
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