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Science. 2011 May 20;332(6032):958-60. doi: 10.1126/science.1203043. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Industrial melanism in British peppered moths has a singular and recent mutational origin.

Author information

1
Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Abstract

The rapid spread of a novel black form (known as carbonaria) of the peppered moth Biston betularia in 19th-century Britain is a textbook example of how an altered environment may produce morphological adaptation through genetic change. However, the underlying genetic basis of the difference between the wild-type (light-colored) and carbonaria forms has remained unknown. We have genetically mapped the carbonaria morph to a 200-kilobase region orthologous to a segment of silkworm chromosome 17 and show that there is only one core sequence variant associated with the carbonaria morph, carrying a signature of recent strong selection. The carbonaria region coincides with major wing-patterning loci in other lepidopteran systems, suggesting the existence of basal color-patterning regulators in this region.

PMID:
21493823
DOI:
10.1126/science.1203043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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