Genetic study on the mandibular molar size of rats

H. Otani, Kazuaki Nonaka, M. Nakata

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Tooth size is determined by genetic and environmental factors like other quantitative characters such as body weight and body height. However, the degree of the relative contribution of both factors to the determination of tooth size has not been well clarified. In order to study the genetic and environmental factors affecting tooth size, we carried out a diallel cross mating by the cohabitation of pairs of males and females among 10 strains of rats. The bucco-lingual widths of the first, second, and third molars of the right mandible were measured in each offspring of F1 population. The body weight was also measured as a parameter that might indicate systemic growth factor in connection with tooth development. The quantitative genetic analysis was performed based on Wearden's model (Heredity 19:669-680, 1964). As a result, the size of the first and the second molars was more significantly controlled by genetic effect than maternal effect, while maternal effect could not be ignored for the size of the third molar in addition to genetic effect. The genetic effect on body weight became greater with age, while the maternal effect showed its maximum influence upon the body weight around the weaning. It is concluded that the size of the molar teeth beginning to develop in the uterus and to be calcified just after birth was mainly controlled by genetic factor, and that the size of the molar teeth beginning to develop approximately after birth was mainly controlled by maternal effect affecting body weight at the same period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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