Natalie, Dave, and Scott review discoveries about the genetics of carotenoid coloration

Spurred by several exciting findings in warblers and canaries, current lab members Dave Toews and Natalie Hoffmeister, and lab alum Scott Taylor, reviewed what is known about the evolution and genetics of carotenoid processing in animals in a paper just published in Trends in Genetics. Animals cannot synthesize carotenoids and so must acquire them from their environment. These molecules are important in animal coloration and vision. However, unlike the genes and biochemical pathways involved in melanin synthesis, only recently have the genes for carotenoid processing been identified. Their paper can be accessed for free online until mid-April:

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