Adaptive Variation in Beach Mice Produced by Two Interacting Pigmentation Genes

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Adaptive Variation in Beach Mice Produced by Two Interacting Pigmentation Genes

Citable link to this page

. . . . . .

Title: Adaptive Variation in Beach Mice Produced by Two Interacting Pigmentation Genes
Author: Hoekstra, Hopi; Weber, Jesse N; Steiner, Cynthia C

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Steiner, Cynthia C., Jesse N. Weber, and Hopi E. Hoekstra. 2007. Adaptive variation in beach mice produced by two interacting pigmentation genes. PLoS Biology 5(9): e219.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Little is known about the genetic basis of ecologically important morphological variation such as the diverse color patterns of mammals. Here we identify genetic changes contributing to an adaptive difference in color pattern between two subspecies of oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus). One mainland subspecies has a cryptic dark brown dorsal coat, while a younger beach-dwelling subspecies has a lighter coat produced by natural selection for camouflage on pale coastal sand dunes. Using genome-wide linkage mapping, we identified three chromosomal regions (two of major and one of minor effect) associated with differences in pigmentation traits. Two candidate genes, the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r) and its antagonist, the Agouti signaling protein (Agouti), map to independent regions that together are responsible for most of the difference in pigmentation between subspecies. A derived mutation in the coding region of Mc1r, rather than change in its expression level, contributes to light pigmentation. Conversely, beach mice have a derived increase in Agouti mRNA expression but no changes in protein sequence. These two genes also interact epistatically: the phenotypic effects of Mc1r are visible only in genetic backgrounds containing the derived Agouti allele. These results demonstrate that cryptic coloration can be based largely on a few interacting genes of major effect.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050219
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2640570

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6948]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

Search DASH


Advanced Search
 
 

Submitters