Document Type


Date of Award



Mice, Behavior genetics, Obesity

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

John L. Fuller

Second Advisor

Richard G. Burright

Third Advisor

Peter Donovick


Three hundred and seventy-seven genetically heterogeneous mice were reared on either high or low fat diets for the first forty days of life. The mice were cross fostered to permit the separation of genetic and environmental effects in a sibling analysis. A total of 26 measures were taken on these mice, before and after 40 days of age, including: body weights, oxygen consumption, activity in a wheel and an open field, sucrose consumption when food deprived, body weight changes when bitter and high fat diets were given as the only food, organ weights, specific gravity, body length, and tibia length. A principal-factor analysis of these measures produced eight factors, four of which were correlated with both behavioral and morphological measures. Analyses of variance on the individual factor scores indicated that genetic influences contributed to five of the factors and sex contributed to three of the factors. However none of the main effects of diet, gene by environment interactions, or sex by environment interactions were significant. The results indicate that though obesity and behaviors are correlated, the magnitudes of the correlations are generally small.

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