Context Matters: Epistasis in a Whale Visual Gene

Does a genetic mutation in one organism have the same effect in another from a different species? New research from Ph.D. candidate Sarah Dungan in Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences highlights a case where parallel genetic changes don’t necessarily correspond to parallel phenotypic (trait) changes. This epistasis means that the functional roles of rhodopsin mutations in the visual evolution of whales, and the nature of the selective pressures behind them, need to be reassessed.

Congrats Sarah!

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