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The gene cortex controls mimicry and crypsis in butterflies and moths [Nature]

Subject terms : evolutionary genetics, evolutionary developmental biology, development, evolutionary biology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The wing patterns of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) are diverse and striking examples of evolutionary diversification by natural selection1, 2. Lepidopteran wing colour patterns are a key innovation, consisting of arrays of coloured scales. We still lack a general understanding of how these patterns are controlled and whether this control shows any commonality across the 160,000 moth and 17,000 butterfly species. Here, we use fine-scale mapping with population genomics and gene expression analyses to identify a gene, cortex, that regulates pattern switches in multiple species across the mimetic radiation in Heliconius butterflies.(...)

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