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A pre pattern formation mechanism for animal coat markings

A pre pattern formation mechanism for animal coat markings

Journal of Theoretical Biology 88(1): 161-199

Color patterns in animals are genetically determined but the mechanism is unknown. A single mechanism which can exhibit an infinite variety of patterns is suggested. A reaction-diffusion system is proposed which can be diffusively driven unstable could be responsible for the laying down of the pre-pattern for animal coat markings. A specific practical substrate inhibition reaction mechanism is considered in detail. The geometry and scale of the domain, the relevant part of the integument, during the time of laying down plays a crucial role in the resulting structural patterns. Patterns exhibiting a limited randomness are obtained for a selection of geometries and are specifically related to the coat color distribution in the spotted felidae, zebra and other animals.

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Accession: 004610158

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DOI: 10.1016/0022-5193(81)90334-9

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