[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Genes Regulate Pigeon Colors

Caption: University of Utah biologists identified three major genes that determine feather colors in common rock pigeons, of which there are some 350 breeds. Top row, first three images from left to right, show ash-red color from a mutant form of the Tyrp1 gene, blue-black from a normal Tyrp1 gene, and brown from another Tyrp1 mutant. The fourth photo, upper right, shows a pigeon that is red due to a mutant Sox10 gene. The pigeons in the bottom four images have the same form of the Tyrp1 or Sox10 genes as the corresponding birds in the top row, but their colors are diluted or watered-down because they also have mutant gene named Slc45a2.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Eric Domyan from University of Utah

Usage Restrictions: None

Related news release: Birds of a different color

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]