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Article
Bmp4 and Morphological Variation of Beaks in Darwin's Finches
Science (2004)
  • Arhat Abzhanov, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • Meredith E. Protas, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • B. Rosemary Grant, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
  • Peter R. Grant, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
  • Clifford J. Tabin, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Abstract
Darwin's finches are a classic example of species diversification by natural selection. Their impressive variation in beak morphology is associated with the exploitation of a variety of ecological niches, but its developmental basis is unknown. We performed a comparative analysis of expression patterns of various growth factors in species comprising the genus Geospiza. We found that expression of Bmp4 in the mesenchyme of the upper beaks strongly correlated with deep and broad beak morphology. When misexpressed in chicken embryos, Bmp4 caused morphological transformations paralleling the beak morphology of the large ground finch G. magnirostris.
Keywords
  • Darwin's finches,
  • evolution,
  • evolutionary biology
Publication Date
September 3, 2004
Citation Information
Arhat Abzhanov, Meredith E. Protas, B. Rosemary Grant, Peter R. Grant, et al.. "Bmp4 and Morphological Variation of Beaks in Darwin's Finches" Science Vol. 305 Iss. 5689 (2004) p. 1462 - 1465 ISSN: 0036-8075
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/meredith-protas/11/