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A single locus regulates a female-limited color pattern polymorphism in a reptile

Citation

Feiner, Nathalie (2022), A single locus regulates a female-limited color pattern polymorphism in a reptile, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cnp5hqc64

Abstract

Animal coloration is often expressed in periodic patterns that can arise from differential cell migration, yet how these processes are regulated remains elusive. We show that a female-limited polymorphism in dorsal patterning (diamond/chevron) in the brown anole is controlled by a single Mendelian locus. This locus contains the gene CCDC170 that is adjacent to, and co-expressed with, the Estrogen receptor-1 gene, explaining why the polymorphism is female-limited. CCDC170 is an organizer of the Golgi-microtubule network underlying a cell’s ability to migrate and the two segregating alleles encode structurally different proteins. Our agent-based modeling of skin development demonstrates that, in principle, a change in cell migratory behaviors is sufficient to switch between the two morphs. These results suggest that CCDC170 might have been co-opted as a switch between color patterning morphs, likely by modulating cell migratory behaviors.

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