Plumage color genes in domestic pigeons

The Fondon Lab teams up with researchers at the University of Utah and pigeon fanciers across the nation to uncover the genetic basis of plumage color variation in domestic pigeons.  Leveraging knowledge about the genetic basis of color variation in other species, Shreyas Krishnan and Clifford Rodgers, students in the Fondon Lab, identified mutations in three genes responsible for four different color traits, finding that some color variants evolved repeatedly through recurrent mutations in the same genes. 

Domyan et al. (2014) Epistatic and combinatorial effects of pigmentary gene mutations in the domestic pigeon.  Current Biology 24:459-64.

UTA press release