Web edition: February 21, 2013
What a difference a gene makes! For pigeons, one gene can make or break the appearance of fancy feathers.
Many pigeons have crests or collars, tufts of feathers on the head or neck that appear to go the wrong way. They point up toward the head instead of down toward the tail. This funny feature decorates many different pigeon breeds, but all of those birds have one thing in common: a genetic change. In January, scientists reported they had pinpointed the altered gene responsible for the feathery twist.
T. Hesman Saey. Pigeons’ prominent plumage traces to one gene. Science News Online. January 31, 2013. [Go to]