HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Biologists at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, have found that a simple interaction between just two genes determines the patterns of fur coloration that camouflage mice against their background, protecting them from many predators. The work, published this week in the journal PLoS Biology, marks one of the few instances in which specific genetic changes have been linked to an organism's ability to survive in the wild.

"Our work shows how changes in just a few genes can greatly alter an organism's appearance," says Hopi E. Hoekstra, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "It also illuminates the pathway by which these two genes interact to produce distinctive coloration. There's reason to believe this simple pathway may be evolutionarily conserved across mammals that display lighter bellies and darker backs, from mice to tuxedo cats to German Shepherds."

Hoekstra and co-authors Cynthia C. Steiner at UCSD and Jesse Weber at Harvard studied Peromyscus, a mouse that is the most widespread mammal in North America. Within the last several thousand years, these mice have migrated from mainland Florida to barrier islands and dunes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, where they now live on white sand beaches. In the process, the beach mice's coats have become markedly lighter than that of their mainland brethren.

"In nature there is a tremendous amount of variation in color patterns among organisms, ranging from leopard spots to zebra stripes, that help individuals survive," says Steiner, a postdoctoral researcher in UCSD's Division of Biological Sciences. "However, we know surprisingly little about how these adaptive color patterns are generated. In this paper, we identify the genetic changes producing a simple color pattern that helps camouflage mice inhabiting the sandy dunes of Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. These 'beach m
'"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
13-Aug-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Interaction between stem cells and their niches key to differentiation
2. Gene regulation, not just genes, is what sets humans apart
3. Study finds gender differences in renal and other genes contributing to blood pressure
4. New databases put wings on search for bipolar risk genes
5. Research teams uncover risk genes for multiple sclerosis
6. Risk genes for multiple sclerosis uncovered
7. Sour taste make you pucker? It may be in your genes
8. U-M, Israeli scientists report major advance in search for genes associated with colon cancer
9. Rapid evolution of defense genes in plants may produce hybrid incompatibility
10. Alcohol abuse is in the genes
11. St. Jude study shows genes play an unexpected role in their own activation

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 17, 2020 , ... Commercial launch readiness ... pharma’s ability to discover a COVID cure or vaccine, the global economic downturn will ... price pressure is not going away and capturing full value from every product launch ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... B.V. (MBS) has announced a publication detailing the use of its revolutionary ... polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 16 minutes. The article, titled "Ultra-fast one-step ...
(Date:6/25/2020)... ... June 24, 2020 , ... ... software and software-driven clinical data services that accelerate drug development, is collaborating with ... an XPO1 inhibitor, in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. This is the first ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... to aid in the early detection and prevention of high-burden diseases, and Centric ... US-based hospitals and healthcare organizations to utilize existing data in order to identify ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s exclusive license ... to move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on the SARS-CoV-2 ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 International is now offering stem ... 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, treatment may be offered IV, ... die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the incidence continues to increase as ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... ... competitively procured purchasing contracts to its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products ... with the opportunity to purchase ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: