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_FEATHER GENES_



     The message is about the genes that code for feathers.
     I meant to have a chat with my genetics professor on the subject, 
but I haven't had the chance yet, so I'll just pose the question to 
genetics folks on the list:
     Aren't there types of supergenes that code for a whole bunch of 
characteristics from different parts of the body, so that if selection 
only acts upon one of those features, the phenotypic frequencies for a 
species will be altered for all the other features as well?
     What I'm getting at is: are the alleles that determine feather form 
for the entire body linked in this way?  If early feathered theropods had 
hairlike feathers, but selection favored the rachis & barbs structure 
JUST for the arm feathers, if the feather structure genes WERE linked, 
wouldn't all the integument feathers develop the same structure even though 
there was no particular selective advantage to do so?  Fedducia says that 
the reason integument feathers have the same structure as flight fetahers 
is because they must have developed from flight feathers, but could linked 
genes produce the same effect?
     I'm only into my first semester of genetics, so I'd appreciate soem 
genetics person could clarify what I'm trying to talk about before 
shooting me down.   

LN Jeff
0-
"Salsa shark--we're gonna need a bigger boat!"