GEPHE SUMMARY Print
Gephebase Gene
Entry Status
Published
GepheID
GP00000600
Main curator
Martin
PHENOTYPIC CHANGE
Trait Category
Trait State in Taxon A
Coereba flaveola
Trait State in Taxon B
Coereba flaveola
Ancestral State
Taxon A
Taxonomic Status
Taxon A
Common Name
Bananaquit
Synonyms
Bananaquit; Coereba flaveola (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rank
species
Lineage
Show more ... erygii; Dipnotetrapodomorpha; Tetrapoda; Amniota; Sauropsida; Sauria; Archelosauria; Archosauria; Dinosauria; Saurischia; Theropoda; Coelurosauria; Aves; Neognathae; Passeriformes; Thraupidae; Coereba
NCBI Taxonomy ID
is Taxon A an Infraspecies?
No
Taxon B
Common Name
Bananaquit
Synonyms
Bananaquit; Coereba flaveola (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rank
species
Lineage
Show more ... erygii; Dipnotetrapodomorpha; Tetrapoda; Amniota; Sauropsida; Sauria; Archelosauria; Archosauria; Dinosauria; Saurischia; Theropoda; Coelurosauria; Aves; Neognathae; Passeriformes; Thraupidae; Coereba
NCBI Taxonomy ID
is Taxon B an Infraspecies?
No
GENOTYPIC CHANGE
Generic Gene Name
MC1R
Synonyms
CMM5; MSH-R; SHEP2; MSHR
Sequence Similarities
Belongs to the G-protein coupled receptor 1 family.
UniProtKB
Homo sapiens
GenebankID or UniProtKB
Presumptive Null
No
Molecular Type
Aberration Type
SNP
SNP Coding Change
Nonsynonymous
Molecular Details of the Mutation
E92K
Experimental Evidence
Taxon A Taxon B Position
Codon - - -
Amino-acid - - -
Authors
Theron E; Hawkins K; Bermingham E; Ricklefs RE; Mundy NI
Abstract
Evolution depends on natural selection acting on phenotypic variation, but the genes responsible for phenotypic variation in natural populations of vertebrates are rarely known. The molecular genetic basis for plumage color variation has not been described in any wild bird. Bananaquits (Coereba flaveola) are small passerine birds that occur as two main plumage variants, a widespread yellow morph with dark back and yellow breast and a virtually all black melanic morph. A candidate gene for this color difference is the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), a key regulator of melanin synthesis in feather melanocytes.

We sequenced the MC1R gene from four Caribbean populations of the bananaquit; two populations of the yellow morph and two populations containing both the yellow morph and the melanic morph. A point mutation resulting in the replacement of glutamate with lysine was present in at least one allele of the MC1R gene in all melanic birds and was absent in all yellow morph birds. This substitution probably causes the color variation, as the same substitution is responsible for melanism in domestic chickens and mice. The evolutionary relationships among the MC1R haplotypes show that the melanic alleles on Grenada and St. Vincent had a single origin. The low prevalence of nonsynonymous substitutions among yellow haplotypes suggests that they have been under stabilizing selection, whereas strong selective constraint on melanic haplotypes is absent.

We conclude that a mutation in the MC1R is responsible for the plumage polymorphism in a wild bird population and that the melanic MC1R alleles in Grenada and St. Vincent bananaquit populations have a single evolutionary origin from a yellow allele.
Additional References
RELATED GEPHE
Related Genes
No matches found.
Related Haplotypes
No matches found.
COMMENTS
T960C in 3'UTR is in perfect association with the coding mutations and the color, suggesting that no recombination between these positions within the MC1R gene has occurred since the melanic haploptype originated - this mutation may also be causal
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