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Dev Biol. 2017 Jul 15;427(2):241-250. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.11.008. Epub 2016 Nov 12.

Pigeonetics takes flight: Evolution, development, and genetics of intraspecific variation.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, United States. Electronic address: eric.domyan@uvu.edu.
2
Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States. Electronic address: shapiro@biology.utah.edu.

Abstract

Intensive artificial selection over thousands of years has produced hundreds of varieties of domestic pigeon. As Charles Darwin observed, the morphological differences among breeds can rise to the magnitude of variation typically observed among different species. Nevertheless, different pigeon varieties are interfertile, thereby enabling forward genetic and genomic approaches to identify genes that underlie derived traits. Building on classical genetic studies of pigeon variation, recent molecular investigations find a spectrum of coding and regulatory alleles controlling derived traits, including plumage color, feather growth polarity, and limb identity. Developmental and genetic analyses of pigeons are revealing the molecular basis of variation in a classic example of extreme intraspecific diversity, and have the potential to nominate genes that control variation among other birds and vertebrates in general.

KEYWORDS:

Evolution; Feather; Genetics; Limb development; Pigeon; Pigmentation

PMID:
27847323
PMCID:
PMC5521274
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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