1. Chromosomes and Gene Expression
  2. Genetics and Genomics
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Phenotypic Diversity: Setting the bar

  1. Charles Y Feigin
  2. Ricardo Mallarino  Is a corresponding author
  1. Princeton University, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e39068 doi: 10.7554/eLife.39068
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Genetic origins of different phenotypes in rock pigeons (Columba livia).

(A) Rock pigeons can have one of four patterns on their wings: t-check (which is the most melanistic), checker, bar and barless (which is the least melanistic). (B) The genomic region that controls wing pattern in pigeons, dubbed the C locus, harbors a copy number variable (CNV) region that contains between one and four repeated units per chromosome. Increased copy number was associated with higher levels of melanism (shown by the grayscale): this suggests that the CNV region contains an element that regulates the expression of a gene called NDP. In addition, a mutation (purple star) in the start codon for this gene is likely responsible for the barless phenotype. Note: the unlabeled pigeon is an intermediate between the checker and t-check phenotypes. Images courtesy of the Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah; www.learn.genetics.utah.edu.

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