A million base pair adaptive deletion, called a supermutation, has been found to be present in stick insects in North America. There are known to be multiple genes that affect the look of an organism in addition to its environment. Factors such as color are affected by such genes and adaptations in non-domesticated organisms. Seven different species of stick insects were looked at for genetic mutations that cause cryptic coloration, known more commonly as camouflage. One particular species, Timema chumash, was found to be able to morph to show various colors, besides the usual greens and browns.
Scientists were able to use genome mapping to find a supermutation, which is a million base pair deletion. The supermutation caused the type of color variation found in the Timema chumash, called a continuum of color variation by Gompert who is an author on the paper, to be converted into the more discrete morphs seen in other species. So far, researchers believe that this may give insight into any gaps or shifts in evolution, which is known to be a continuous process.
Overall, this paper shows great insight into evolution and how what we know about it has changed and will continue to change. Mutations in one species of an organism may have different effects in another. This tells us that the world and its beings are forever changing, and although there are gaps we do not currently have data for, gene mapping may be the process that can answer such questions.
Related Article: https://www.usu.edu/today/story/sticking-out-usu-genetic-ecologist-uses-genome-mapping-to-reveal-supermutation