The Genetics and Evolution of Animal Coloration

April 2010

Animals display incredibly diverse color patterns. Yet little is known about the underlying genetic basis of these adaptive phenotypes. What are the genes that produce animal color patterns? What is the functional DNA sequence variation that causes color pattern variation among individuals, populations, and species? How does the process of development translate this DNA sequence variation into different color pattern phenotypes?

The answers to these questions are just beginning to emerge and, as they do, they reshape our view of how the process of adaptive evolution occurs. We will bring together the leading experts in the field of adaptive pigmentation in animals for a two-day exploratory seminar.

This meeting will provide a unique venue for an active research community to discuss (1) the function and evolution of color across biological systems, (2) various approaches available to explore the genetic basis of adaptive pigmentation, and (3) the conclusions that study of animal pigmentation can contribute to understanding larger questions about how adaptation proceeds at the molecular level.

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