Zinc-induced peripheral anosmia and behavioral responses to novelty in mice: A quantitative-genetic analysis
Behavioral and Neural Biology. 1987-07-01; 48(1): 63-82
Adult male mice were made anosmic by intranasal flushing with a 5% zinc sulfate solution. Twelve behavioral variables were measured in treated as well as saline-irrigated control animals placed in a novel environment. The genetic underpinnings and the genotype—treatment interactions with regard to these behaviors were analyzed in a classical Mendelian cross between the inbred strains C57BL/6 and DBA/2 and in a full 4 × 4 diallel cross, replicated five times, between these strains and strains C3H/St an CPB-K. Based on the hypothesis of an evolutionary history of directional selection for a well-balanced information-processing system, one might expect directional dominance for decrease in exploration after anosmization. Although decreases were found for several behavioral phenotypes, only few and relatively unimportant genotype—treatment interactions were present. This absence of any kind of genetic variation for behavioral change after anosmization points to an extremely strong directional selection which has eliminated all less favorable alleles. The findings support the hypothesis of directional selection for an efficient olfactory information-processing system.