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On breeding for color

2589 Views 21 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  toyah
For those of you have interested in this subject, here's the skinny.

From hiiriforumi; I asked:

When one breeds in order to achieve a change in the color of fur, is there a genetic change that occurs along with the change of appearance of the mousie?

I think there must be some sort of change of genotype when there's a change of phenotype. Nothing else makes sense, considering what I know, however little that may be.

I've been reading about Cattanach's Translocation, absorbing it slowly since the material is highly technical. If nothing else, it will be educational. Thank you all for your help and encouragement. Knowledge is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

The mod answers:

So... If I understand correctly, you're asking whether the differences in colour / coat / etc. in mice have a background in genetics?

I have to make sure what you meant because what I think you're asking is kind of fundamental foundation in breeding mice and understanding how colours and many other things are inherited.

The answer is: Yes they do.

You should probably read Finnmouse's "colour varieties" -pages and then continue to Willys K. Silvers' The Coat Colors of Mice - A Model for Mammalian Gene Action and Interaction.
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RNA shouldn't be in the expressing mix at all, unless I'm misremembering my bio. Don't worry about anything but the plain DNA, everything else is for getting it from the strand to the skin.

I totally understand what you're asking, I tried to ask it before on a different topic, and I believe it boils down to "modifiers." You are only looking at ONE allele, one small (relatively) section of code, that says "be A(vy)." That will give you a basis to run with. Next up comes all the rest of the DNA that will affect how your final mouse comes out; there are all sorts of "on/off" switches rampant in DNA, something that seems completely unrelated could turn off some little section that makes your color look redder in mouse A than mouse B, and that's inheritable too. Therefore, selection is inheriting the small, important modifiers alongside the big, basic genes.

I hope I helped, hopefully I didn't miss your point entirely! XD (I am AWFULLY tired though, heh)
moustress said:
That's exactly right, Willow.

LGM, RNA does affect the appearance of color; there are factors that limit or allow color to appear in particular ways. This isi not an area I know in any detail, but I believe this is the mechanism that gives marked meeces that are clones of each other different markings. Also, from what I remember, there are many environmental and developmental factors that randomize that process, as if you were throwing dice. The two dice are identical but you are unlikely to roll sevens all the time, and less likely to roll snake eyes or boxcars. (2's and 12's) Other than those factors, which I learned from someone with a lot of experience breeding animals for show, there are probably many that I am nor aware of. Extranuclear genetics is one of those areas of inquiry where new discoveries happen on a weekly basis, and in the other areas as well. There's even an area of study to try to find out why, in certain pairings, genes are not expressed in an orderly recessive/dominant manner, but the mothers or fathers recessive is expressed even when there is a dominant gene in the mix.
I definitely bow to your wisdom there; I'm a bit used to doing this stuff with bacteria, where there is no nucleus and extra DNA is always important :lol: Now I know something new, though, and I'm off to go research the heck outta it. :)
Genetics (and its subfields of course) are probably the fastest growing field in biology right now, second only to biotech. I could never do the math for! But Moustress, if you really want to know more about epigenetics specifically, you could go sniff out the scientific journals at your library. :) I bet there's tons of recent stuff published on it that Time could barely scratch the surface of.
I'm also searching through A&M's articles, as their library has about a million journal subscriptions. Most of them are open access, too. I'll let you know what I find :)
Some of the ones I've found are Open, some are only sharable through person to person email, and some don't say anything on their copyright. I can't post any of the ones I've found so far on the forum anyways, since I downloaded them in PDF and I think the journals I pulled them from are password protected (another reason not to share them broadly). I've sent you a PM with a few of the titles if you're interested in them and I can email them to you, otherwise you should totally check out the google articles like Jack recommended, or search at your library. If nothing else, the abstracts are usually readable :)
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