Faculty mentor: Mike Shapiro
Many species show variation in iris color, including the domestic pigeon. Pigeons have 3 main iris colors: orange, white, and “bull” (black). Classical breeding experiments show that orange is dominant to white, and bull is linked to white plumage, but the genes that control these traits remain unknown. We used comparative genomics to identify the genome regions that control bull eye color in the domestic pigeon, and to find a genetic link between eye and plumage color in pigeons with bull eyes.
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