Monarch Butterfly Migration Moving into the Genetic Era. Academic Article uri icon


  • The genetic architecture and neurogenetics of animal migration remain poorly understood. With a sequenced genome and the establishment of reverse genetic tools, the monarch butterfly has emerged as a promising model to uncover the genetic basis of migratory behavior and associated traits. Here, we synthesize major advances made in the genetics of monarch migration, which includes the discovery of genomic regions associated with migration and molecular mechanisms underpinning its seasonality. We highlight the catalytic role that a rapidly growing number of contemporary genetic and molecular technologies applicable to nonconventional organisms have had in these discoveries, and outline new avenues of investigation to continue moving the field forward.

published proceedings

  • Trends Genet

altmetric score

  • 11.9

author list (cited authors)

  • Merlin, C., Iiams, S. E., & Lugena, A. B.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Merlin, Christine||Iiams, Samantha E||Lugena, Aldrin B

publication date

  • January 2020