An analysis of the phenotypic effects of certain colour pattern genes in Heliconius (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The colour patterns of Heliconius butterflies are built up from an array of serially homologous pattern elements known as the nymphalid groundplan. An analysis of the phenotypic effects of ten genetic loci from H. melpomene and H. cydno reveals that each alters the expression either of a single element of the groundplan or of an entire row of serially homologous elements. Five of the ten loci affect the size (or presence/absence) of specific pattern elements, two affect the colour in which a pattern element is expressed, two affect pattern‐inducing activity of the wing veins, and one appears to affect an overall threshold for pattern determination. Three of the ten loci have identical effects on homologues of the fore‐ and hindwing. We show that most of the apparently large and qualitative phenotypic effects of these genes can be readily explained by relatively small and quantitative changes in the dimensions or positions of specific pattern elements. Copyright © 1990, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors


Published Date

  • January 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 357 - 372

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-8312

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-4066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1990.tb00545.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus