[Press Release] Roots of Japanese house mice: implications for understanding the origin of Japanese

[Press Release] Roots of Japanese house mice: implications for understanding the origin of Japanese

A research group of Prof. Hitoshi Suzuki (Division of Biosphere Science) have long investigated genetic diversity of Japanese house mice (Mus musculus) across Eurasia, including the Japanese archipelago, for over 30 years. Here, by using genetic analyses, his group revealed a long-standing question: when and how the ancient house mice immigrated into Japan. The results of the analyses indicated that the ancient wild populations of the mice immigrated at least twice into Japan in association with prehistoric developments in agricultural techniques by human beings: first from Southern China ca. 4000 years ago and then from the Korean Peninsula ca. 2000 years ago. These two lineages were mixed first in western Japan, then in northern Japan with a delay of about 1,000 years. Furthermore, the results also suggest that another lineage of South Asia-origin might have immigrated into Japan before the two lineage immigrations.

This research outcome is published in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, a British biological journal.

Please visit links below to view the press release (Japanese ver. only).
Research Press Release (PDF)

Graduate School of Environmental Sceince, Hokkaido University