Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 29;100(9):5268-73. Epub 2003 Apr 18.

The genetic basis of adaptive melanism in pocket mice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Biosciences West Building, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. nachman@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

Identifying the genes underlying adaptation is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Here, we describe the molecular changes underlying adaptive coat color variation in a natural population of rock pocket mice, Chaetodipus intermedius. Rock pocket mice are generally light-colored and live on light-colored rocks. However, populations of dark (melanic) mice are found on dark lava, and this concealing coloration provides protection from avian and mammalian predators. We conducted association studies by using markers in candidate pigmentation genes and discovered four mutations in the melanocortin-1-receptor gene, Mc1r, that seem to be responsible for adaptive melanism in one population of lava-dwelling pocket mice. Interestingly, another melanic population of these mice on a different lava flow shows no association with Mc1r mutations, indicating that adaptive dark color has evolved independently in this species through changes at different genes.

PMID:
12704245
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC154334
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Secondary Source ID

Publication Types

MeSH Terms

Substances

Secondary Source ID

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central Icon for Faculty of 1000
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk