How butterflies get their wing patterns and colors
Today’s Video of the Day comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and George Washington University and features a look at how scientists are using genomic techniques to better understand how butterflies get their vibrant and diverse wing patterns.
Butterflies and moths actually constitute 10 percent of all known biodiversity due to the wide variation of their wing colors and designs. Developmental biologist Arnaud Martin and his team of researchers are using the genome editing tool CRISPR to cut DNA and reveal how wing patterns are determined.
“The wing patterns are used in nature for camouflage, avoiding predators, indicating toxicity and to find mates,” said Martin. “So, we know why they are all so diverse, but now the question, I would say, is to understand how it happens, how do you create such an explosive diversity during deep evolutionary time.”