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dc.contributor.authorSteiner, Cynthia C
dc.contributor.authorWeber, Jesse N
dc.contributor.authorHoekstra, Hopi
dc.date.accessioned2009-03-01T00:56:32Z
dc.date.issued2007
dc.identifier.citationSteiner, 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.en
dc.identifier.issn1545-7885en
dc.identifier.issn1544-9173en
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2640570
dc.description.abstractLittle 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.en
dc.description.sponsorshipOrganismic and Evolutionary Biologyen
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen
dc.relation.isversionofhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050219en
dash.licenseLAA
dc.subjectevolutionary biologyen
dc.titleAdaptive Variation in Beach Mice Produced by Two Interacting Pigmentation Genesen
dc.relation.journalPLoS Biologyen
dash.depositing.authorHoekstra, Hopi
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pbio.0050219*
dash.contributor.affiliatedHoekstra, Hopi


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