Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1990


Oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus) that are more heterozygous utilize food and maintain body weight under varying degrees of dietary stress better than their less heterozygous counterparts. Mice were collected in southern Florida and fed diets of three qualities. During each dietary treatment, body weight, amount of food eaten, amount of food absorbed, and feeding efficiency were determined. Body weights for all mice decreased during the experiment. More heterozygous mice maintained their weight better during periods of dietary stress than those that were less heterozygous. Mice with different levels of genetic variability had essentially the same mean feeding efficiency with high quality diets. Mice with high heterozygosities maintained the same efficiency with low quality diets, but those with lower heterozygosities had decreased feeding efficiencies. A slight increase in available energy for mice of different heterozygosities can dra- matically change fitness correlated characters, such as growth rates, body weights, energy stores, and reproductive rates

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Biology Commons