Seminar - Mike Shapiro

photo of Dr. Mike Shapiro
April 9, 2018 - 12:00pm
Location: 
601 Fairchild

Professor

Department of Biology

University of Utah

Host: Molly Przeworski

Title: Fancy feet and a checkered past: genetics of diversity in the rock pigeon

Abstract: The rock pigeon (Columba livia) is among the most phenotypically diverse and widely distributed avian species in the world. We are combining traditional genetics, whole-genome sequencing, and developmental analyses to understand the evolution of diversity among the hundreds of breeds within this species. In doing so, we are addressing fundamental questions about the genetic architecture of phenotypic change. In particular, our combined approach is revealing a spectrum of mutations that control the orientation, color, and placement of plumage within and among breeds. For example, we find that variation in two key transcription factors leads to a partial change in limb identity, resulting in the replacement of scales by feathers on the feet. We also find a surprising evolutionary origin for a putatively adaptive color pattern.  

Business Office

Department of Biological Sciences
500 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2401
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
biology@columbia.edu
212 854-4581