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This study shows that the dominant mutation of Extension locus in the recessive locus of the agouti Indian three-striped palm squirrel results in constituting an active or hyperactive receptor. This is not inhibited by the agouti antagonist or agouti signalling protein, resulting in melanism. To the best of our knowledge, there is no earlier report of a melanic variant (black) of a three-striped palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum Linn.) from India. The colour change is due to mutation and is traced to melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene, where it is proved to be a sequence alteration causing a frame shift in the Extension locus of the wild type. This would have probably caused the constitutive activation of MC1R.


Agouti Signalling Protein, Dominant Mutation, Funambulus palmarum, Melanism, Melanocortin-1 Receptor.
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