Partial sequence of a gene involved in skin coloration (MC1R) from the Pennsylvanian Grotto Sculpin.

Luis Espinasa, Amy Cahill, Sean McCaffery, Courtney Millar


Studies have shown that parallelism at the molecular level may be a common theme in the evolution of troglomorphic characters in cave adapted species. Studies have shown that a pigment regulating gene, MC1R, has independently been the target of mutations in populations of Astyanax fish. In this study we sequenced a portion of the MC1R gene in fish of genus Cottus, but failed to find any difference between cave and surface morphs. Our study does not support parallelism across species for the MC1R in cave adaptation, although the regulatory sequence of the MC1R gene and its extreme 5′ and 3’ coding regions remain to be sequenced in the Pennsylvanian Grotto Sculpin.


Cottus bairdi; Cottus cognatus; troglobite; MC1R; OCA2; albinism; convergence

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