11 October 2019 High-throughput sequencing is revealing genetic associations with avian plumage color
Erik R. Funk, Scott A. Taylor
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Avian evolution has generated an impressive array of patterns and colors in the ∼10,000 bird species that exist on Earth. Recently, a number of exciting studies have utilized whole-genome sequencing to reveal new details on the genetics of avian plumage color. These findings provide compelling evidence for genes that underlie plumage variation across a wide variety of bird species (e.g., juncos, warblers, seedeaters, and estrildid finches). While much is known about large, body-wide color changes, these species exhibit discrete color differences across small plumage patches. Many genetic differences appear to be located in regulatory regions of genes rather than in protein-coding regions, suggesting gene expression is playing a large role in the control of these color patches. Taken together, these studies have the potential to broadly facilitate further research of sexual selection and evolution in these charismatic taxa.

Copyright © American Ornithological Society 2019. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Erik R. Funk and Scott A. Taylor "High-throughput sequencing is revealing genetic associations with avian plumage color," The Auk 136(4), 1-7, (11 October 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/ukz048
Received: 3 May 2019; Accepted: 23 July 2019; Published: 11 October 2019
agouti signaling protein
genome-wide association
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