Data from: Gene duplication and gene expression changes play a role in the evolution of candidate pollen feeding genes in Heliconius butterflies

Gilbert Smith, Aide Macias-Muñoz & Adriana D. Briscoe
Heliconius possess a unique ability among butterflies to feed on pollen. Pollen feeding significantly extends their lifespan, and is thought to have been important to the diversification of the genus. We used RNA sequencing to examine feeding-related gene expression in the mouthparts of four species of Heliconius and one non-pollen feeding species, Eueides isabella. We hypothesized that genes involved in morphology and protein metabolism might be upregulated in Heliconius because they have longer proboscides than...
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