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Genetic Basis for Red Coloration in Birds [Current Biology]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The yellow and red feather pigmentation of many bird species plays pivotal roles in social signaling and mate choice. To produce red pigments, birds ingest yellow carotenoids and endogenously convert them into red ketocarotenoids via an oxidation reaction catalyzed by a previously unknown ketolase. We investigated the genetic basis for red coloration in birds using whole-genome sequencing of red siskins (Spinus cucullata), common canaries (Serinus canaria), and “red factor” canaries, which are the hybrid product of crossing red siskins with common canaries.(...)

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