Journal article

A conserved supergene locus controls colour pattern diversity in Heliconius butterflies

Mathieu Joron, Riccardo Papa, Margarita Beltran, Nicola Chamberlain, Jesus Mavarez, Simon Baxter, Moises Abanto, Eldredge Bermingham, Sean J Humphray, Jane Rogers, Helen Beasley, Karen Barlow, Richard H ffrench-Constant, James Mallet, W Owen McMillan, Chris D Jiggins



We studied whether similar developmental genetic mechanisms are involved in both convergent and divergent evolution. Mimetic insects are known for their diversity of patterns as well as their remarkable evolutionary convergence, and they have played an important role in controversies over the respective roles of selection and constraints in adaptive evolution. Here we contrast three butterfly species, all classic examples of Müllerian mimicry. We used a genetic linkage map to show that a locus, Yb, which controls the presence of a yellow band in geographic races of Heliconius melpomene, maps precisely to the same location as the locus Cr, which has very similar phenotypic effects in its co-m..

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University of Melbourne Researchers