One gene, two sides of butterfly's wings

The apterous A gene could be used as a biomarker to study the patterns of colourful butterflies such as the morpho butterfly (left), said Ms Prakash. The African squinting bush brown butterfly (right) is not colourful but it has eyespots. Left: Assoc
Above: Associate Professor Antonia Monteiro (at left) and PhD student Anupama Prakash, whose study was published in the Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London early this year.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The apterous A gene could be used as a biomarker to study the patterns of colourful butterflies such as the morpho butterfly (left), said Ms Prakash. The African squinting bush brown butterfly (right) is not colourful but it has eyespots. Left: Assoc
The apterous A gene could be used as a biomarker to study the patterns of colourful butterflies such as the morpho butterfly (above), said Ms Prakash. The African squinting bush brown butterfly is not colourful but it has eyespots.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The apterous A gene could be used as a biomarker to study the patterns of colourful butterflies such as the morpho butterfly (left), said Ms Prakash. The African squinting bush brown butterfly (right) is not colourful but it has eyespots. Left: Assoc
The apterous A gene could be used as a biomarker to study the patterns of colourful butterflies such as the morpho butterfly, said Ms Prakash. The African squinting bush brown butterfly (above) is not colourful but it has eyespots. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

NUS biologists identify gene that affects patterns on top and bottom wing surfaces

The African squinting bush brown may not be a colourful butterfly to look at, but it has eyespots - markings which resemble the human eye - that demand attention.

Biologists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have identified a gene that affects the appearance of eyespots found on the butterfly's wings.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2018, with the headline 'One gene, two sides of butterfly's wings'. Print Edition | Subscribe