Agouti Gene

Improved Essays
Agouti Gene and Natural Selection
In “Adaptive Evolution of Multiple Traits through Multiple Mutations at a Single Gene” by Catherine R. Linnen et al. the article discussed how mutations of multiple traits from a single gene led species to thrive in their environment. The research was based upon the phenotype of light-colored mice being selectively advantageous on the sand soils of Nebraska Hills. The fur of the mice evolved into a light- pigmentation to prevent from being attacked by predators. Researchers hypothesized the light-colored fur trait was through pleiotropic mutations which independently gave off phenotypic traits from the Agouti Gene. More importantly, natural selection was the driving force upon the multiple mutations from the Agouti Gene.
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Researchers wanted to determine the rate of predators attacking the mice. The plasticine models were placed on the sand soils and found the dark mice models attacked frequently than the light –colored mice. In Fig 2, the phenotype of the light- colored mice resembled towards the sand soils as opposed to the dark colored mice. Hence, the light- colored mice were advantageous due to blending easily into the sand soil environment. Therefore, predators were able to detect the deer- mice rather than the light colored mice because of their dark pigmentation.
Another study was done to detect any relation between genetic variation and the light- colored trait. Researchers interbred the mice in order to create polymorphism and found that the mice were able to mate. However, the light colored mice were genetically favored of the phenotype, which confirmed no correlation between genetic variation and color trait. Hence, researchers were curious why the light- colored phenotype became advantageous for the light

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