Color differences among feral pigeons (Columba livia) are not attributable to sequence variation in the coding region of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene MC1R

R. Derelle, F. Kondrashov, V. Arkhipov, H. Corbel, A. Frantz, J. Gasparini, L. Jacquin, G. Jacob, S. Thibault, E. Baudry, BMC Research Notes 6 (2013).

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Journal Article | Published | English
Author
Derelle, Romain; Kondrashov, FyodorIST Austria ; Arkhipov, Vladimir; Corbel, Hélène; Frantz, Adrien; Gasparini, Julien; Jacquin, Lisa; Jacob, Gwenaël; Thibault, Sophie; Baudry, Emmanuelle
Abstract
Background: Genetic variation at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene is correlated with melanin color variation in many birds. Feral pigeons (Columba livia) show two major melanin-based colorations: a red coloration due to pheomelanic pigment and a black coloration due to eumelanic pigment. Furthermore, within each color type, feral pigeons display continuous variation in the amount of melanin pigment present in the feathers, with individuals varying from pure white to a full dark melanic color. Coloration is highly heritable and it has been suggested that it is under natural or sexual selection, or both. Our objective was to investigate whether MC1R allelic variants are associated with plumage color in feral pigeons. Findings. We sequenced 888 bp of the coding sequence of MC1R among pigeons varying both in the type, eumelanin or pheomelanin, and the amount of melanin in their feathers. We detected 10 non-synonymous substitutions and 2 synonymous substitution but none of them were associated with a plumage type. It remains possible that non-synonymous substitutions that influence coloration are present in the short MC1R fragment that we did not sequence but this seems unlikely because we analyzed the entire functionally important region of the gene. Conclusions: Our results show that color differences among feral pigeons are probably not attributable to amino acid variation at the MC1R locus. Therefore, variation in regulatory regions of MC1R or variation in other genes may be responsible for the color polymorphism of feral pigeons.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2013-01-01
Journal Title
BMC Research Notes
Acknowledgement
Romain Derelle was supported by grant from Plan Nacional 004302 BFU2012-31329. Fyodor A Kondrashov was supported by grants HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) 003803 and EMBO 003691 EUI-EURYIP-2011-4320.
Volume
6
Issue
1
IST-REx-ID
894

Cite this

Derelle R, Kondrashov F, Arkhipov V, et al. Color differences among feral pigeons (Columba livia) are not attributable to sequence variation in the coding region of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene MC1R. BMC Research Notes. 2013;6(1). doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-310
Derelle, R., Kondrashov, F., Arkhipov, V., Corbel, H., Frantz, A., Gasparini, J., … Baudry, E. (2013). Color differences among feral pigeons (Columba livia) are not attributable to sequence variation in the coding region of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene MC1R. BMC Research Notes, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-6-310
Derelle, Romain, Fyodor Kondrashov, Vladimir Arkhipov, Hélène Corbel, Adrien Frantz, Julien Gasparini, Lisa Jacquin, Gwenaël Jacob, Sophie Thibault, and Emmanuelle Baudry. “Color Differences among Feral Pigeons (Columba Livia) Are Not Attributable to Sequence Variation in the Coding Region of the Melanocortin-1 Receptor Gene MC1R.” BMC Research Notes 6, no. 1 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-6-310.
R. Derelle et al., “Color differences among feral pigeons (Columba livia) are not attributable to sequence variation in the coding region of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene MC1R,” BMC Research Notes, vol. 6, no. 1, 2013.
Derelle R, Kondrashov F, Arkhipov V, Corbel H, Frantz A, Gasparini J, Jacquin L, Jacob G, Thibault S, Baudry E. 2013. Color differences among feral pigeons (Columba livia) are not attributable to sequence variation in the coding region of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene MC1R. BMC Research Notes. 6(1).
Derelle, Romain, et al. “Color Differences among Feral Pigeons (Columba Livia) Are Not Attributable to Sequence Variation in the Coding Region of the Melanocortin-1 Receptor Gene MC1R.” BMC Research Notes, vol. 6, no. 1, BioMed Central, 2013, doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-310.

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