New study reveals how some chickens got striped feathers

Published: 2017-04-19


Coq coucou de Rennes is one example of striped feather characteristic as a result of of sex-linked barring. Photo: Édouard Hue

The Coucou de Rennes is one example of striped feather characteristic as a result of sex-linked barring. Photo: Édouard Hue

Birds show an amazing diversity in plumage color and patterning. But what are the genetic mechanisms creating such patterns? In a new study published in PLOS Genetics, led by Leif Andersson, Uppsala University/SciLifeLab, Swedish and French researchers report that two independent mutations are required to explain the development of the sex-linked barring pattern in chicken. Both mutations affect the function of CDKN2A, a tumor suppressor gene associated with melanoma in humans.

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