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A Gene For Jumping in Rabbits, Found:

  • Uncategorized
  • May 31, 2021

According to a new study, it is found out that some animals require a special type of genes to perform a particular function in their body. Experiments were performed to discover these things and it was performed with a rare type of rabbit that is not able to jump when there is a lack of a particular gene. Many animals have this gene and which helps them to take potential jumps such as rabbits and other hopping animals. They need a proper functioning RORB gene to move around by jumping as without it they won't be able to jump multi-directional or simply just jump in a particular direction. The study by Miguel Carneiro, Universidade do Porto and Leif Anderson, Uppsala University was able to publish the study in PLOS genetics. There are lots of species present on this planet that have the capabilities to jump like a rabbit, hares, kangaroos, and some rodent species, and their jumping is considered as a movement. This type of movement and activity hasn’t been properly understood on a molecular and genetic level. In the new paper, it is analyzed by researchers that jumping-related genes using an unusual breed of domesticated rabbit called the Sauteur d’Alfort.

In these species, there exists a different technique to alter and respond to a movement, it has a strange gait where it lifts its back legs and walks on its front paws. By breeding Sauteur d’Alfort rabbits with other kinds of breeds and them comparing the offspring genomes and the ability of jumping then researchers were able to find the cause of these developmental defects. They identified a very specific mutation in the RAR-related orphan receptor B (RORB) gene, this gene is proved to be found in most of the regions.

Typically, the RORB proteins are found in the nervous system of rabbits. It is also seen that mutation leads to a sharp decrease in the number of neurons in the spinal cord that can produce RORB.  This change is highly responsible for the Sauter d’Alfort weird walk.

This study can provide a rare example of an abnormal gait behavior that is mapped to a single base change and the first description of a gene required for saltatorial locomotion concluded by the authors. It further demonstrated the importance of the RORB protein for the normal wiring of the spinal cord.