These mutant rabbits walk on two legs, and heredity now knows why

A Sutur d'Alfort rabbit walking on its front legs, the result of a genetic mutation.

a Sutter d’Alfort rabbit walking on its front legs, the result of a genetic mutation.
Photo: S. Boucher

The entire breed of French rabbits has been handstand for almost a century. According to one paper, stunts in acrobatic rabbit costumes don’t run much. Published This week’s PLOS heredity.

The first discovery a Pet A rabbit living in the Parisian suburbs in 1935, the dim feature is a product of a genetic mutation that may be Hidden in the genetic code of animals for generations, Only then on the surface. It is not a superpower. Rabbit Variety – “Sutter d’Alfort,“Or” Alfert Jumper “- it is also likely to develop cataracts and Becomes blind.

Miguel Carnero, co-author of the genetics at the University of Porto in Portugal, said in an email: “This mutant rabbit will not survive long in the wild because of its harmful effects.”

Rabbits have bipedals and are often blind.

Rabbits have bipedals and are often blind.
Image: Carnero et al. 2021 (Others)

While moving slowly, the rabbit walks on all fours, but in a hurry, turning towards the handstand. Method. No.W, a team of geneticists at the root of all these problems DNA of the species.

Illustration for this Mutant Rabbits and Walk to Two Legs article, and Geneticists Know Now Why

Photo: S. Boucher

To find the origins of animal abnormalities, a team of geneticists and evolutionary biologists raised Alfert Jumper with rabbits that walk normally and the DNA of their offspring comes sequentially. They found that rabbits ending up in the bipadal had a change on the first chromosome; In particular, a mutated gene called RORB, which expresses a protein of the same name.

“With the help of modern technology, it is easier to find genes and avoid simple disorders,” said Lefersanderson, a geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden. “The expectation was that there was something wrong with the spine, Because they do not coordinate their forelegs and hind legs. “

Among the Alfert jumping rabbits (probably a mis-writer, if there are no hops for the rabbit), it proved to be true. The RORB protein is a transcription factor, meaning it has a hand in a number of genes, all of which are characterized by symptoms. Proteins are usually produced in inhibitory interneurons that block communication in the body. (Imagine that the operator will refuse to serve your calls.) In the weird-Walking rabbits, interneurons were either less present or completely absent, and, In the latter case, the rabbits overfilled their hind legs, giving them an inability to hope.

“What’s happening when you migrate is that you have these neurons firing all the time, and they coordinate muscle contraction and receive feedback on the balance of different organs.” “This coordination of muscle contractions in this rabbit is not appropriate.”

As you might think, the rabbit’s handstand itself does not change, but is akin to the otherwise weak prohibition of the iconic means of the animal’s location. Andersen said the two-legged locomotive did not cause any harm to the animals, of which he was aware.

He is not the only animal to experience it Due to gate disruption Genetic mutation. Similar behavior was observed In rats with RORB mutations, and Previous work Anderson has discovered that the gene DMRT. The change in hinders the manipulation of rats and horses. (Interestingly, work changes when you look at the different breeds of horse breeding, from Tennessee walkers to Louisiana fox tractors.)

T.Hanks for genetics, This Secrets can be decrypted on microscopic scales And can help To advance medical research, better understand our own (human) spinal communication centers.