Formation and Evolution of Colour Patterns in Estrildid Finches and Poultry birdsMarie Manceau (Collège de France, Paris)
The color patterns that adorn animals’ coats exhibit extensive diversity linked to various ecological functions, but also display recurrences in geometry, orientation or body location. How processes of pattern formation shape such phenotypic trends remains a mystery. We surveyed plumage color patterns in poultry birds and passerine finches respectively displaying variation in striped pattern and color domain distribution, and identified conserved features that we linked to embryonic pre-patterns (i.e. putative embryonic skin regions outlined by the combinatory expression of few genetic markers). We showed that these pre-patterns are instructed by early developmental tissues, variation resulting from late dose-dependent mechanisms controlling stripe width, or pigmentation choices that mask or display skin domains. This work revealed that early conserved landmarks and molecular pathways are a major cause of phenotypic trends.
Marie Manceau is invited by Antoine Zalc.