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  #1  
Old 01/09/10, 04:41 PM
aka avdpas77
 
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I am still trying to straighten out some of the rabbit coat and color genes. One of the problems is that different people seem to call the same color/pattern different names.

a) Does a "blue" rabbit have to have two recessive dilute genes?

B) is a "blue" rabbit blue all over? If so what is a blue rabbit with a white or cream underbelly called?

C) is the red (yellow/gold) gene recessive.... ie, if I have a kit out of a red parent , am I gaurenteed that an offspring will have at least one such gene?

D) Are any of the patterns or colors sex-linked (ie, a single recessive gene will appear dominant, since it is on the sex chromasome)

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Old 01/09/10, 04:55 PM
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NOT a guru, but I'll give it a shot

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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
a) Does a "blue" rabbit have to have two recessive dilute genes?
Yes
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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
B) is a "blue" rabbit blue all over? If so what is a blue rabbit with a white or cream underbelly called?
Opal

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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
) C) is the red (yellow/gold) gene recessive.... ie, if I have a kit out of a red parent , am I gaurenteed that an offspring will have at least one such gene?
The red colour is not produced by a single gene, but by a combination of genes and modifiers. You need an Agouti (A-) with full colour (C-) and a double wideband (ww) plus 1-5 rufus modifiers (more modifiers make a deeper red colour)

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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
D) Are any of the patterns or colors sex-linked (ie, a single recessive gene will appear dominant, since it is on the sex chromasome)
Hmmm, I don't THINK so, but I will look it up and report back.
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Old 01/09/10, 05:24 PM
aka avdpas77
 
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Hey, Thanks MK!

Now that I know that much, it is back to learn what else I don't know



er.... btw ... what is the difference between an opal and a fawn?

And does "full color" mean "solid color"?

and.............an opal still needs two recessive blue genes....right?

Genetics is almost as fun as calculus.

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Old 01/09/10, 06:55 PM
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the last poster was 99% right, so I'll just add to it...

You can have red without wideband, though the best reds are wideband reds. What you do need, in addition to the agouti and full color is non-extension [ee]. Then the red intensity (vs orange) is based on modifiers.

There are no sex-linked color traits in rabbits. I'm guessing you were thinking about calico cats, but no, nothing like that in rabbits.

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Old 01/09/10, 09:28 PM
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Falls-Acre is correct, I forgot to include the non-extension (ee) portion of the genetic mix to get a red rabbit. I had no idea that you could get a red without the wideband gene, but when I looked it up in my Huffman book, sure enough it says it right there under Red - "Most reds are ww, some are not"

So, on to your next questions while I have the book open here

Full colour refers to the 'C' allele. The other options are the chinchillas (cchd and cchl), the cal/himi (ch) or the albino (c). The term solid colour usually refers to the 'A' allele where a rabbit has both recessives (aa), also known as 'self'. I suppose the term solid could also be used to mean non-broken or non-harlequin, but I assume that you are asking about the difference between agouti and self. 'Self' is what a black or blue new zealand would be where the whole body is one solid colour. An opal rabbit is a blue that has at least one of the dominant 'A' creating an agouti pattern (light belly, eye rings, etc). So a blue rabbit is aaB_C_ddE_W_ and an opal rabbit is A_B_C_ddE_W_. Note: the 'D' is dilute and as you can see the opal does indeed have two of the recessive version (dd).

Fawn is one of those colours that has multiple names depending on which breed you are discussing. Orange, Fawn and Cream can all be used and there are a number of genotypes which can cause this sort of colouration (according to my Hoffman book). A_B_C_D_eeW_ or A_bbC_D_eeW_ or A_B_C_ddeeW_ or A_bbC_ddeeW_ or aabb(cchl)_ddee or aabb(cchl)_D_eeW_ will combine to create an orange/fawn/cream sort of rabbit. There are slight differences in the appearance of the above phenotypes, but all will have a general appearance that could be called "fawn".

I actually prefer genetics to calculus but if I had a genie bottle that granted wishes, you can bet that one would be for a handheld rabbit gene reader. Some cool little device that you could just stick in their ear and it would print out exactly what the colour genes for that rabbit were.

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  #6  
Old 01/09/10, 09:41 PM
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I'll take one of those rabbit gene readers as well!

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  #7  
Old 01/10/10, 11:06 AM
aka avdpas77
 
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I thought I was beginning to understand a little.... but now I recognize that I am toatly clueless

I spent 20 years studying pigeon genetics.... but I am totally confused on these... add to that the fact that some of the terms are close but not exactly the same in pigeons.

I thought agouti refered to the "wild" banding pattern on the fur.

I have a "red" rabbit (I would call it yellow if it was a pigeon) it is solid red with no banding pattern in the fur.... a hair is basically the same color top to bottom. In a pigeon, this could be caused by two completely differnt sets of genes according to the pattern.... and double recessive dilute genes would cause it to be a lighter red instead of an "intense" red.....

I think I am going to have to get myself "deprogrammed" from pigeon genetics and start all over.

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Old 01/10/10, 11:20 AM
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The agouti allele has an affect on several of our 'known' colors including red, harlequin (tri), and steel. The difference is that there are additional genes affecting the agouti gene to alter the appearance of the rabbit.

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Old 01/10/10, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
I thought agouti refered to the "wild" banding pattern on the fur.
You are absolutely correct. Agouti refers to rings/bands of colour on the hairshaft. A side effect of those rings is that the shorter fur (like belly fur) is missing the top band or more and appears as a different colour than the rabbit's back.

Occasionally when a newbie is trying to figure out if their rabbit is self or agouti and you tell them to "blow into the coat and count the rings", they have no idea what you are talking about -- especially if they have a self rabbit and there ARE NO rings. So sometimes it's just easier to say "flip the rabbit and look at the belly". If it's exactly the same colour as the back, then you probably have a self. If not, then you have an agouti (or otter - At)

It's hard to look at a single allele in isolation because the combination can affect how that allele displays. A red rabbit is agouti, but you don't see rings when you blow into the coat because the wideband (ww) does exactly what it's name implies and expands the width of the intermediary band (thus decreasing the number of bands or reducing them to limited visibility). Add in the non-extension gene (ee) which suppresses black and you've got one huge band of red over the whole hairshaft.

In most reds there is a creamy base to the hair which causes the belly to be lighter or even cream coloured. If your red rabbit has a belly the same colour as the back - HURRAH!!! Your red goes right down to the skin of the hairshaft - and can I buy him from you?

The red NZ standard currently allows a creamy belly as long as it isn't white. The NZ club is in the process of updating the standard to call for a belly colour that is the same as the back. While I understand that the goal of the red is to get a full hairshaft of red coloration, all the rabbits in MY barn have at least some cream to the belly. Once the new standard is published, I'm going to have years of selection ahead to get a good show quality red
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  #10  
Old 01/10/10, 09:44 PM
 
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Shaking head violently back and forth trying to make any sence of all this.


If'n yall can figure it out...good on ya!!!

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  #11  
Old 01/10/10, 10:06 PM
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with rex, the reds are the same way. They should be self appearing, but a cream belly is allowed, white, not allowed.

I spent a lot of years dealing with dog genetics, and am now learing rabbit. What is this Hoffman book of which you speak?

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  #12  
Old 01/10/10, 11:18 PM
 
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Thank you so much for all that great info. Dh was scratching his head when we were told that our lynx palomino was an agouti because there were no bands on the hair shaft!

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Old 01/11/10, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lonelyfarmgirl View Post
I spent a lot of years dealing with dog genetics, and am now learing rabbit. What is this Hoffman book of which you speak?
One of the most commonly quoted books on rabbit colour genetics is Rabbit Coat Color Genetics by Glenna M. Huffman. It's very hard to find, but if you google it, you should be able to find her email to contact. My copy was a gift from a friend and I have no idea what I would do without it.

Now if someone could just develop that nifty gene reader I've been wishing for....
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Old 01/11/10, 07:27 AM
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Dh was scratching his head when we were told that our lynx palomino was an agouti because there were no bands on the hair shaft!
Ah, lynx.... probably even more difficult to work with than reds!! There are so many combinations that can produce a colour that APPEARS to be lynx and often so much confusion on which rabbits are actually "lynx"....

I'm just glad New Zealands don't come in lynx so I don't need to worry about it for my own herd!
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Old 01/11/10, 11:00 AM
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I have found, that in small animals 'agouti' means the same across the board, if that is of any help--in other words, agouti is the same for cat, rabbit, guinea pig and mouse. The gray parts between the black stripes of a tabby cat is showing 'agouti' banding. Some breeds of dogs even show agouti banding patterns Australian cattle dogs come to mind right away,

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Old 01/11/10, 11:15 AM
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Lynx is honestly not as difficult as people make it out to be. It can be harder as an adult, but then so is trying to tell a blue from a lilac, a red from an orange, or a seal from a black. Lynx appear lilac at birth, with white bellies. If you have a pink baby at birth that grows up to 'appear lynx' it is not lynx, but a smutty fawn.

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Old 01/11/10, 11:24 AM
aka avdpas77
 
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Heh, I may throw a brick into the common reason most people are intersted.

Most people are interest in coat color genetics to create a certain color or improve one.... my interst is totaly different. In the production of a (haploid) gamete, each (non-sex) chomosome is unwound for the sprial, with ony half the information going in the given gamete. One side of that chromasome is from the parent doe, and one is from the parent buck. Since there are multiple chromasomes it is unlikely that any gamete will be exactly the same as the gamete from the animals parent. This is the case, unless a "crossover" happens, in which case some of the genes in the chomasome threads will be traded.

For each color gene in a rabbit, therefore, there is a bunch of genes linked to it in the thread that tend to stay with it. When one eliminates any color or pattern gene from his herd, thefore, he is eliminating any genes linked to it on that chomrasome thread (side). When one keeps a multiple of allelles (that are visually apparent) they are also keeping the genes in that thread.

It is my way of promoting genetic diversity for genes, for which I can not see visual effects.

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  #18  
Old 01/11/10, 01:08 PM
 
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To answer the first question again (-: , If you are talking about blue genetically then it must have two dilute genes and be black. The geneotype for blue is aaBCddE. But each breed is allowed to use whatever name they want and many of their colors were named before the genes where studied and named by scientists. I'm still confused by blue beverens. I've heard that they are lilac genetically. Brown is another confusing term. It sounds like chocolate but in silvers it is a black agouti. Beverens and silvers are some of our oldest breeds and their breeders have been using these names for a long time.
When you are first learning genetics or are speaking to an audience that works with different breeds it is simplest to just use the genetic terms for names instead of trying to learn every name for every color. IMO It is easiest to use as few color names as possible and to start with agouti. (Only steel and dominant black are more dominant than agouti.) Agouti is ABCDE. Everything else is made by changing something in this code or adding to it. Agouti has rings in the coat and tan pattern on the belly, eyes, ears, nose and nape of neck. Next is tan pattern atBCDE called otter (because tan the breed is a speciallized otter with rufus and wideband added). Otter is the same as agouti but with the rings removed and the tan pattern left. Next is self aaBCDE. Self rabbits are the same as otter but with the tan pattern removed. (solid usually means not broken when used in genetic discussions)
Each color comes in four base colors: black BD, blue Bdd, chocolate bbD and lilac bbdd. Blue is dilute of black and lilac is dilute of chocolate. So agouti comes in black, blue, choc and lilac. If you think of colors this way it makes it easier to understand that a chocolate agouti is a rabbit with chocolate rings and a tan pattern. You can think of the four base color versions in a block. It also makes for fewer names to remember; agouti instead of four names for each version. You just stick the base color in front of the name; agouti, blue agouti, chocolate agouti and lilac agouti. Usually you don't have to say black agouti or black otter. If you say agouti, otter or silver martin people will know you mean black. Using the base colors combined with the pattern name makes it easier to talk to other people as well since chocolate agouti can only be one color but if you say cinnamon or amber it can be confusing because you have to be familiar with the breeds that use those names.
If you change the extention gene in agouti ABCDE to nonextention you get fawn ABCDee. The non-extension gene removes most of the black/chocolate pigment and therefore blue/lilac as well since they are just dilute forms of black/chocolate leaving the yellow/red pigments. Fawns are still agouti so they show the tan belly,eye rings,ear lacing and nape of neck. The black/chocolate pigment is removed so there aren't any rings because only the yellow/red pigment is left. Fawns and selfs often have white undercolor which can be mistaken for a ring especially in fawns with a lot of smutt. Red is a speciallized form of fawn with rufus and sometimes wideband. Fawn comes in all four base colors. Fawns usually have enough ticking to tell the base color but they can be bred to have less ticking and the eye color will be different for dilutes as well.
If you change the full color gene in agouti ABCDE to chinchilla you get chinchilla ABc(chd)DE. The chinchilla gene and all genes below it in dominance remove varying amounts of the yellow/red pigments. The chinchilla gene removes all yellow/red pigment from the agouti. The chinchilla is just the same as an agouti except the rings are pearl instead of tan and the tan pattern is also pearl. The full color gene has all the black/chocholate and yellow/red pigments. If you change the full color gene in an otter a(t)BCDE to chinchilla you get a marten a(t)Bc(chd)DE. A blue otter is a blue rabbit with a tan pattern belly and no rings and a blue marten is a blue rabbit with a white belly and no rings.
Using the base colors and starting from agouti you can learn about each gene separately before you start combing them. You can learn about them in blocks instead of each color separately. All chinchillas should be the same with just the base color changing. Dilute can change the appearance of the red/yellow pigment so the tan part of a blue agouti's coat may appear different than the tan part of a chocolate agouti.
Not every one uses this method. There isn't an agreed on list of names for genetic colors. The only official names are the phenotype names recognized by ARBA. Also Europe uses different symbols and names than we do. I don't have the Huffman book but I don't think she uses the four base color method. I think she is using the ARBA colors for the netherland dwarfs? Maybe Moonkitten knows. I learned basic color genetics from articles by Candy Haenszel and you can order her booklet from her website. It is just black and white no photos. There are also other books you can get from Klubertanz but I haven't seen them. Huffman and Haenszel use different names for some of the colors so Moonkitten and I will probably use different names for some of the colors just because we learned from different sources.
Some colors names are more complicated than others. I think opal is always blue agouti but lynx can be different. If your breed has lynx, you need to carefully read the standard to see what genetic color you should aim for. A lilac agouti will be lilac with rings and tan pattern. I think they all call for agouti rings and tan pattern belly but if they don't specify rings a fawn or fox might fit the standard better than a lilac agouti. If the standard says no lilac undercolor allowed on the belly, you will need wideband. The wideband will change the appearance of the rings making the middle ring wider. This makes it easier to confuse it with blue or lilac fawn and fox. Lilac fawn will have the tan pattern and may give the appearance of having rings with the white color at the bottom of the hair and if it has a lot of smutt at the top. Fox is a non-extension otter a(t)bbCddee and is often called tort otter. It looks like a tortishell with tan pattern. It too is often mistaken for lynx since it can have false rings just like the fawn only with a lot more ticking. If the rabbit you are looking at has a dark belly it is a tortishell. To make it more confusing you can add different amounts of rufus to change the reddness of the tan sections of the pattern. This discussion can apply to any of the base colors just put black, chocolate or blue everywhere I put lilac
Well, I hope this answers most of the questions you asked. Tracy

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  #19  
Old 01/11/10, 03:54 PM
aka avdpas77
 
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Originally Posted by Tracy Sayre View Post
(Only steel and dominant black are more dominant than agouti.)
Er.... is there a "recessive black" also, or were you speaking of the gene being dominant?

Thanks Tracy
This will help a bunch! (Although I may have to read through it 20 or 30 times )

I am beginning to think, that I may need to make myself a list of Phenotypes because part of my confusion comes from what a rabbit color of a given appearance is called.
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Old 01/12/10, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by o&itw View Post
For each color gene in a rabbit, therefore, there is a bunch of genes linked to it in the thread that tend to stay with it. When one eliminates any color or pattern gene from his herd, thefore, he is eliminating any genes linked to it on that chomrasome thread (side). When one keeps a multiple of allelles (that are visually apparent) they are also keeping the genes in that thread.

It is my way of promoting genetic diversity for genes, for which I can not see visual effects.
You have a very good mindset in that last statement. I found that in dogs, the breeders that NEVER used phenotypes they did not 'want', often had, after a long period of time, dogs that could not survive without a LOT of extra human help. Oddly, very few people seem to realize, that an expression of say- a stray white hair in a solid colored coat- may very well indicate the presence of a 'switch' that can keep something else from expressing itself-- like Hip Dysplasia (HD) or Osteochondritis Desicans(OCD) When Cornell University finally published that "Everything is polygenetic" I was elated to finally be 'backed up' after 20 years of dog training, showing and breeding. i Love my Chessie with too much white on his chest- and I reallyliked that affectionate MR with ears that were 'too long' for show purposes. Another HT person told me what those long ears indicate, and believe me, I definitely want some in my breeding program!!! _besides, long ears-- the more to stroke, my dear....
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