Researchers in the United States say they have solved the mystery of Darwin’s pigeon

Researchers in the United States say they have solved the mystery of Darwin's pigeon

Photo of an old German owl on the left and Racing Homer on the right. Two domestic pigeons are the ancestors of more than 100 pigeons, and the study looked at why the sizes of domestic pigeon hooks are so different. (Sydney Stringham via University of Utah)

Salt Lake City – There are many animals of interest during Charles Darwin’s nineteenth – century mythology.

He was often associated with turtles and sparrows, but he often lived in the domestic pigeon. This is because the fact that domestic pigeons were artificially selected helped to shape the species’ natural selection theory. Michael Villak wrote an article for Rockefeller University “Incubator” in 2013.

But one aspect of the pigeons heard is, why are there more than 300 different types of pigeons with hooks of different shapes and sizes, small enough for parents to feed their young?

For more than a century, University of Utah researchers have now found the answer to what has been called “Darwin’s short-crane mystery.” They claim that the short cranes of pigeons are the result of a genetic mutation, the same genetic mutation that causes Rubino syndrome in humans. Their findings were published in the journal Tuesday. “Current Biology. “

To achieve their findings, the team of researchers bred two pigeons with different cranes. Michael Shapiro, James e. Dalmage, Department of Biology and lead author of the Department of Biology and Research at the University of Utah, explained that domestic pigeon breeders chose cranes based on aesthetics, rather than anything that benefits nature’s species. For this reason, the researchers knew that they could find the genes responsible for different sizes of coke.

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“One of Darwin’s big arguments is that natural and artificial selection are differences in the same process,” Shapiro said in a statement Tuesday. “The size of the pigeon’s beak was helpful in figuring out how this works.”

The group began breeding Homer races with a medium-sized beak similar to the old German owl, a luxurious breed of small built pigeons, despite its name. Its chick is characterized by medium-length cranes; When these birds mated with each other, their offspring appeared in different sizes and shapes of beaks.

Elena Boer – a medical diversity scientist at ARUP Labs, a former graduate researcher at the University of Utah and lead author of the study – later used computed tomography to measure the cranes of more than 100 birds produced as the offspring of the original pair of pigeons. It was found that not only the cranes of the birds differ but also the shape of the bird’s droppings.

“These analyzes showed that the variation of the beak within the group was due to actual differences in the length of the beak, rather than differences in skull or total body size,” he said in a statement.

But the paper’s biggest discovery is that there are narrower cranes as a result of mutations in the ROR2 gene. It was discovered in two steps.

They initially used a process called quantitative mapping, which helped identify DNA sequence variations and the ability to search for mutations in offspring chromosomes. According to Shapiro, the results confirmed what the researchers expected based on previous traditional genetic tests. He said they found that grandchildren with small cranes had “the same piece of chromosome” as a grandfather with a small crane.

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They then analyzed all genetic sequences from different pigeon strains. This research shows that all small bill birds have the same DNA sequence in the gene containing the ROR2 gene. Boer said it was “very interesting” to find the same result in two different ways, because it asserts that the ROR2 gene is a key factor in crane scale.

Mutations in the ROR2 gene also lead to human rubyno syndrome, he said.

“Some notable features of Rubino syndrome include facial features, including a broad, prominent forehead and a narrow, wide nose and mouth, reminiscent of the pinotype of a short beak in pigeons,” he explained. “It makes sense in terms of development because we know that the ROR2 signal pathway plays a key role in the development of cranial vertebrae.”

One of Darwin’s many dilemmas about animal mutations has now been solved.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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