Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 688-694.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019307

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Correlation between color polymorphism and the MC1R gene of Lanius schach

Gang Ren1,2,En Li1,Shiye Zhao3,Yanqiong Jiang3,Shasha Wang2,Sixian Tang3,*(),Huijian Hu2,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000
    2 Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangzhou 510260
    3 School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062
  • Received:2019-09-27 Accepted:2020-02-21 Online:2020-06-20 Published:2020-03-27
  • Contact: Sixian Tang,Huijian Hu


MC1R (melanocortin-1 receptor) is an important gene that controls melanin synthesis in animals. The variation of plumage color in birds is closely related to variation in the MC1R gene. Lanius schach exhibits color polymorphism that differentiates into brown, black, and white-remiged black morphs in many provinces along the east coast of China. In order to explore the relationship between genetic variation in MC1R and color polymorphism in Lanius schach in Guangdong, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and amino acid polymorphisms in the coding region of the MC1R gene were analyzed in 11 Lanius schach individuals of three different color types. The results showed: (1) A total of 4 haplotypes in the MC1R gene sequences of 11 individuals, among which the black morphs and the white-remiged black morphs shared haplotype H3; (2) There were 47 base mutations in 899 bases of the coding region (34-931), and the corresponding amino acid sequence had a total of 18 mutation sites. These mutation sites did not correspond to the black phenotype; (3) The deletion of 36 bases in the 268-303 coding region of the black morph and the white-remiged black morph individual genotypes, resulting in the deletion of 12 amino acids. This deletion corresponded to the black phenotype. Therefore, we speculate that the melanism of Lanius schach is closely related to the deletion of the base fragment of the MC1R gene.

Key words: Lanius schach, plumage polymorphism, MC1R gene