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    The various coat colorations exhibited in different mammalian groups is an attractive biological phenomenon, and is also one of the excellent models for studying and understanding mammalian adaptive evolution. Coat color polymorphism in mammals plays an important role in avoiding predator, predation, courtship, and protection against UV radiation. The coloration of hair or coat in mammal is determined by the quantity, quality and distribution of melanin in the body. Pigmentation in cells is a complicated cell process, including the differentiation and maturation of melanocytes, the morphogenesis of melanosome, the anabolism of melanin and the transportation of melanin in melanocytes. Every stage or phase of pigmentation in cells can always proceed with the participation of some important functional genes. The complex regulatory network formed through interactions between these genes has greatly led to different coat colors. With the coat color polymorphisms, mammals can adapt to various environments. Revealing the genetic basis of different coat colors in mammals has been an important research focus in genetics and evolutionary biology. In this review, we summarize the main advance in molecular mechanisms of pigmentation in cells and the genetic basis of coloration-related adaptations in mammals. Our review is expected to provide new clues for molecular mechanism studies on coat color polymorphism and adaptive evolutions in mammals.


    Zhang Yuxing, Wu Hong, Yu Li. Progress on coat color regulation mechanism and its association with the adaptive evolution in mammals. Yi chuan = Hereditas. 2021 Feb 16;43(2):118-133

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    PMID: 33724215

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