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Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 19;9(1):4855. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07374-9.

Growth factor gene IGF1 is associated with bill size in the black-bellied seedcracker Pyrenestes ostrinus.

Author information

1
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, USA. vonHoldt@princeton.edu.
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.
3
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
4
Center for Tropical Research, Institute for the Environment, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
5
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, USA.
6
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. tbsmith@ucla.edu.
7
Center for Tropical Research, Institute for the Environment, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. tbsmith@ucla.edu.

Abstract

Pyrenestes finches are unique among birds in showing a non-sex-determined polymorphism in bill size and are considered a textbook example of disruptive selection. Morphs breed randomly with respect to bill size, and differ in diet and feeding performance relative to seed hardness. Previous breeding experiments are consistent with the polymorphism being controlled by a single genetic factor. Here, we use genome-wide pooled sequencing to explore the underlying genetic basis of bill morphology and identify a single candidate region. Targeted resequencing reveals extensive linkage disequilibrium across a 300 Kb region containing the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) gene, with a single 5-million-year-old haplotype associating with phenotypic dominance of the large-billed morph. We find no genetic similarities controlling bill size in the well-studied Darwin's finches (Geospiza). Our results show how a single genetic factor may control bill size and provide a foundation for future studies to examine this phenomenon within and among avian species.

PMID:
30451848
PMCID:
PMC6242981
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-07374-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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