Heliconius Genome Project

Postman butterfly
Image source: Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

About the Project

The BCM-HGSC sequenced the Postman Butterfly (Heliconius melpomene) and several races in collaboration with the Heliconius genome consortium, a group of 8 laboratories who collaborated to fund this sequencing project.

Heliconius butterflies are famous for their wing patterns, and this work was aimed at understanding the molecular genetic components of the wing pattern mimicry found between races in different locations in South America.

This work has been published in Nature, "Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species."

Collaborators included:

W. Owen McMillan: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

Chris Jiggins: Cambridge University, UK

Robert Reed and Adriana Briscoe: University of California at Irvine, USA

Mark Blaxter: University of Edinburgh, UK: Mark Blaxter

Marcus Kronforst: Harvard University, USA

Sean Mullen: Boston University, USA: Sean Mullen

Mathieu Joron: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France

Richard ffrench-Constant: University of Exeter, UK

James Mallet: University College London, UK, and Harvard University, USA

Genomic Resources

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Postman butterfly

Related Publications