Navigation Links
Research reveals how butterflies copy their neighbors to fool birds
Date:8/14/2011

The mystery of how a butterfly has changed its wing patterns to mimic neighbouring species and avoid being eaten by birds has been solved by a team of European scientists. The study is published today (14 August 2011) in the journal Nature.

The greatest evolutionary thinkers, including Wallace, Bates and Darwin, have all wondered how butterflies that taste bad to birds have evolved the same patterns of warning colouration. Now for the first time, researchers led by the CNRS (Musum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris) and the University of Exeter (UK) have shown how butterflies perform this amazing trick, known as 'Mllerian mimicry'.

Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the study focused on the Amazonian species Heliconius numata, which mimics several other butterfly species at a single site in the rainforest. One population of Heliconius numata can therefore feature many distinct wing colour patterns resembling those of other butterflies, such as the Monarch's relatives Melinaea, which are unpalatable to birds. This acts as a disguise, protecting them against predators.

The researchers located and sequenced the chromosomal region responsible for the wing patterns in H. numata. The butterfly's wing-pattern variation is controlled by a single region on a single chromosome, containing several genes which control the different elements of the pattern. Known as a 'supergene', this clustering allows genetic combinations that are favoured for their mimetic resemblance to be maintained, while preventing combinations that produce non-mimetic patterns from arising. Supergenes are responsible for a wide range of what we see in nature: from the shape of primrose flowers to the colour and pattern of snail shells.

The researchers found that three versions of the same chromosome coexist in this species, each version controlling distinct wing-pattern forms. This
'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Toronto researchers first to discover new genetic clue in the development of rheumatoid arthritis
2. Visiting researcher at IU leads international team in formal identification of new fungi class
3. OU-led research team receives $1.28 million grant from DOE
4. Researchers decode workings of mysterious, but critical TB drug
5. Researchers fight cholera with computer forecasting
6. Most plant species important in various and varying ecosystems: ISU research
7. Vanderbilt researchers, international team, uncover genes linked to multiple sclerosis
8. Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report; but older adults? Not so much
9. Groundbreaking research reveals clues to the formation of hearts, intestines and other key organs
10. York U researchers zero in on protein that may help treat obesity, diabetes
11. U. Iowa research team finds new genetic cause of blinding eye disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Research reveals how butterflies copy their neighbors to fool birds
(Date:10/15/2014)... Oct. 15, 2014   Neurotechnology , a ... the availability of the VeriLook Surveillance 3.0 ... provides real-time biometric face identification using live video ... cameras. The new version not only identifies faces ... from objects while they are moving through the ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... shows SIRT6—a protein known to inhibit the growth ... skin cancers by turning on an enzyme that increases ... Previously considered protective, SIRT6 is part of a family ... stability and prevent some of the genetic flaws associated ... lead to cancer. This study, in the journal,s October ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... house fly genome for the first time, revealing robust ... that thrives in pathogen-rich dung piles and garbage heaps. ... Genome Biology , will increase understanding of house ... adapt to resist insecticides, which could lead to novel ... and transmit more than 100 human and animal diseases, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):VeriLook Surveillance 3.0 SDK Identifies Faces and Moving Objects, Differentiates Pedestrians from Other Moving Objects in Video Surveillance Systems 2VeriLook Surveillance 3.0 SDK Identifies Faces and Moving Objects, Differentiates Pedestrians from Other Moving Objects in Video Surveillance Systems 3Two-faced gene: SIRT6 prevents some cancers but promotes sun-induced skin cancer 2House fly genome reveals expanded immune system 2
... understand extreme sea creaturesExtraordinary creatures who inhabit extreme underwater ... three-year project. These deep-sea communities could reveal an evolutionary ... give us clues to how life could exist onother ... - incredibly hot environments in the deep sea - ...
... how Listeria monocytogenes, which causes a major ... and hide from the body's immune system. They believe ... , The Listeria bacterium, found in ... undercooked and unpasteurized food, causing flu-like symptoms or gastrointestinal ...
... blood pressure-lowering gene into cells and enables that gene to ... to take gene therapy for the disorder a step closer ... a report released online in the Proceedings of the National ... the leading causes of death and disability in adults worldwide," ...
Cached Biology News:Gene discovery sheds light on causes of rare disease, cancer 2Gene therapy to lower blood pressure just enough 2
(Date:10/22/2014)... 22, 2014   Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE ... for serious infections and diseases, announced today that the ... of Allowance for a composition of matter patent application ... program, SYN-004. This is Synthetic Biologics, first allowed ... and adds to the Company,s extensive C. difficile ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... HONG KONG , Oct. 22, 2014 ... enterprise, announced today that rare disease expert John ... president, research. Dr. McKew brings more than two decades ... at the National Institutes of Health, Wyeth Research and ... McKew will lead aTyr,s efforts to expand and translate ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... 20, 2014 Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE ... signed a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) with ... October 1, 2014.  The NGA provides for the ... release of additional grant funds pursuant to the ... clinical development of Asterias, product, AST-OPC1. The grant ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... Oct. 20, 2014 PureTech , a ... big healthcare problems, announced today the closing of ... participation from Invesco Perpetual, a $120 Billion group ... drive PureTech,s existing pipeline forward and to advance ... the scientific creativity to really go for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 2Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Allowance of Key U.S. Composition of Matter Patent for C. difficile Program 4aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 2aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 2Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 4PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 2PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 3PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 4PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 5PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 6
... (Nasdaq and SWX: BMRN) announced today that AnGes ... Japan, has,received approval for its Marketing Application for ... and Welfare,(MHLW) for the treatment of patients with ... to work with AnGes in bringing the first ...
... Company Cites Important Progress With Needle-free Vaccine Technology and ... Bird Flu ... March 31, 2008, IRVING, Texas, March 31 Carrington,Laboratories, Inc. ... net loss of $9.8 million, or ($0.90) per basic and,diluted share, ...
... Inc. (NYSE: CRY ),(the "Company"), a biomaterials, ... entered into a credit facility with GE Healthcare,Financial ... in revolving,credit for working capital, acquisitions and other ... at which time the outstanding,principal balance will be ...
Cached Biology Technology:Naglazyme Approved by Japanese Ministry of Health 2Naglazyme Approved by Japanese Ministry of Health 3Naglazyme Approved by Japanese Ministry of Health 4Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 2Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 3Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 4Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 5Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 6Carrington Reports 2007 Financial Results 7CryoLife Closes on $15 Million Credit Facility with GE Healthcare Financial Services 2CryoLife Closes on $15 Million Credit Facility with GE Healthcare Financial Services 3