Gene plays key role in monarch butterfly's miraculous migration

October 1, 2014 5:15 PM

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Gene plays key role in monarch butterfly's miraculous migration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 3,000-mile (4,800-km) mass migration of monarch butterflies in North America is one of the insect world's fantastic feats, with millions embarking on the arduous journey from as far north as Canada down into Mexico and the California coast each autumn.

Scientists who scoured the genome of these colorful insects offered new insight on Wednesday into this annual airborne adventure. They pinpointed a single gene related to flight muscle efficiency that plays a major role in the monarch butterfly's migration.

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