Genes controlling beak size and shape in Darwin's finches
Andersson, Leif Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, and Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Grant, Peter R. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Grant, B. Rosemary Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Lamichhaney, Sangeet Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Evolutionary tree of the Darwin's finches
- The ALX1 locus and variation in beak shape
- The HMGA2 locus and control of beak size
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Millions of species make up the extraordinary variety of organisms on Earth. The evolutionary variety is displayed in miniature by several groups of animals and plants that have diversified rapidly. Among these is a group of 18 species called Darwin's finches, named after Charles Darwin, who collected specimens on his visit to the Galápagos archipelago in September 1835, and who made the first scientific observations on them. Since then, field studies have revealed that each species has a distinctive ecological niche and that variation in beak morphology is an important part of their ecological specialization (Fig. 1). Moreover, studies on embryos have revealed some genes that are expressed differently during the development of beaks of closely related species of ground finches with different beak morphology. For example, the gene encoding bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) produces a signaling molecule that has a prominent role in species with deep beaks. See also: Animal evolution; Aves; Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution; Ecological communities; Gene; Island biogeography; Oceanic islands as evolutionary laboratories; Organic evolution; Speciation
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information