Scientists unveil geckos' wall-walking genes

Updated: 2015-11-26 16:54


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NANJING - Chinese scientists have found genetic evidence illustrating some of the most intriguing talents of geckos, including climbing up smooth walls.

As detailed in this week's edition of the Nature Communications journal, a team from Nantong University in Jiangsu Province sequenced the genome of a Schlegel's Japanese Gecko. They identified the functions of 22,487 genes, making this the largest genome sequencing performed on a reptile species.

Compared to reptiles lacking the wall-walking ability, geckos have more genes in the beta-keratin family, which prompts the formation of adhesive setae on their toes that help them cling to surfaces, said team leader Gu Xiaosong.

Studying such genetic features may help develop technology mimicking geckos' wall-walking abilities, Gu said.

The team also studied genes related to the reptiles' nocturnal vision and regeneration of tails.