Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists move a step closer to understanding why leopards can't change their spots

14.01.2010
Research published in the journal Genetics identifies at least three different genes responsible for stripes and spots on domestic cats, and opens the door to future research that could impact human skin disorders

The leopard cannot change its spots, nor can the tiger change its stripes, but a new research report published in the January 2009 issue of the journal GENETICS tells us something about how cats end up with their spots and stripes.

It demonstrates for the first time that at least three different genes are involved in the emergence of stripes, spots, and other markings on domestic cats. Researchers have also determined the genomic location of two of these genes, which will allow for further studies that could shine scientific light on various human skin disorders.

"We hope that the study opens up the possibility of directly investigating the genes involved in pattern formation (i.e., the establishment of stripes, spots, and other markings) on the skin of mammals, including their structure, function, and regulation," said Eduardo Eizirik, a researcher involved in the work from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. "From these studies, we hope to understand how the different coat patterns have evolved in different mammalian groups, and to be able to investigate their roles in adaptation to different environments, such as their importance for camouflage in wild cat species."

Scientists crossed domestic cats with different coat patterns, such as stripes and blotches, and tracked the inheritance of these patterns among their offspring. Genetic samples were collected and used to type various molecular markers. Results showed that specific markers were inherited by a kitten every time a given coat pattern appeared, suggesting that the marker and the gene causing the coat pattern were located in the same region of the genome. Using statistical procedures called linkage mapping, scientists determined the genomic location of two genes involved in these traits. By clarifying the inheritance of markings in one mammalian species, researchers hope to identify and characterize the implicated genes and then determine if they apply to other mammals, such as humans. The hope is that this discovery will shed new light on human skin diseases that appear to follow standardized patterns.

"Coat color and markings of animals are obvious traits that have long attracted the interest of geneticists" said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal GENETICS, "and this study in cats may ultimately help us better understand the genetics behind hair and skin color in other mammals. In turn, this understanding could lead to new therapeutic strategies to correct skin problems in people."

DETAILS: Eduardo Eizirik, Victor A. David, Valerie Buckley-Beason, Melody E. Roelke, Alejandro A. Schäffer, Steven S. Hannah, Kristina Narfström, Stephen J. O'Brien, and Marilyn Menotti-Raymond
Defining and Mapping Mammalian Coat Pattern Genes: Multiple Genomic Regions Implicated in Domestic Cat Stripes and Spots

Genetics 2010 184: 267�

Since 1916, GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org) has covered high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. GENETICS, the peer-reviewed, peer-edited journal of the Genetics Society of America is one of the world's most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

Tracey DePellegrin Connelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cmu.edu
http://www.genetics.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>