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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know what genes might affect tail length, or how it is modified or determined? Might it be linked with any color type or something? Do you need to actively include certain genes to obtain longer or shorter tails, or can it simply be worked towards with selective breeding? I couldn't find much on what determines tail length, and was just wondering. Thanks in advance!
 

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Selective breeding is "actively includ[ing] certain genes to obtain longer or shorter tails..." but in this case it's a whole host of modifiers of genes.

Tail length is not the only aspect of the tail that has to be worked on when dealing with tails, however. Tail set is also important. I've had some mice who had gorgeous long tails that weren't set on properly. Very frustrating.
 

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Yeah, I have some meeces with long tails with nice pointy tips, coming 'well out of the body' but the tails have a little 'pinch' where the tail attaches to the torso. It's a frustrating little thing as I do love I really nice tail on a mousie. I highly recommend finding an English or 1/2 English to breed into your lines as the English meeces that tails that are down the block and out of sight. Any American breeder with quality show mice will have had in infusion of English genes to pump up the size of the animals and the quality of the tails in their meeces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not actually looking to get long tails right now, I was actually looking into short tails some day far off in the future, when I have the time/space to dedicate to another line. Reading someone's discussion on tailless mice got me thinking about what governs the tail length, and I suppose, the "set." The difference in what I'm trying to ask is basically - are mice likely to already HAVE the gene forms they need for tail length, and they just need to be selectively picked out and purified, or can you never get a long or short tail from an average mouse? Do you specifically have to bring in ("actively include") a certain gene form for tail length that is simply not present in your average population? I can't make a satin mouse appear out of nowhere. Is it equally impossible to manipulate the tail length if it hasn't been considered before, and might therefore be het at whatever loci it might involve? Or are the modifiers around and just need to be poked at?

When I worked at the lab, some of the mice had notably shorter tails, and it definitely seemed to be genetic, albeit unimportant at the time. I just wasn't sure if you could bring out the same difference in a separate or random selection of mice, by breeding the shortest or longest tailed, or if you needed a starter mouse to bring it in. I'm also not sure if it's linked to any other condition, either of coat type or color, or health conditions (especially regarding the spine), or anything like that. I don't know if that makes sense, heh.
 

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Tailless mice are caused by a recessive manx gene. It's a mutation like with the coat colours, you couldn't select a black to be paler and paler until it's dove, you need the PE gene.

I don't know much about mouse manx, but in rats the manx gene causes a lot of problems in the beginning. It causes a lot of kittens to be born with spines that are too short or deformed so rigourous selection is needed to produce a healthy line.

I had a tailless rat pop out in a litter from a line with no history of manx. She was perfectly healthy but she used to hop with her back feet together like a rabbit does rather than scurry like a rat, and she couldn't climb very well at all. I didn't breed her, so I don't know whether it was manx or just a random deformity.

Sarah xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SarahY said:
Tailless mice are caused by a recessive manx gene. It's a mutation like with the coat colours, you couldn't select a black to be paler and paler until it's dove, you need the PE gene.
Yeah, that's what I was getting at basically. The tailless thing definitely got me thinking, but it's a pretty extreme example that I definitely figured was it's own gene. I wasn't as sure about more moderate tails, though. I did hear that manx mice have spine problems, but I have no idea if manipulating tail length to simply be short(ish) or longer also caused spine problems, or was linked to any other maladies or types. Very interesting stuff :)
 

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I found this: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060822152840AA9YMzb

I think it's American and the writer of the answer is talking about a dominant manx gene not recessive, but the basic info with regards to spinal problems etc is the same. It certainly doesn't sound like a variety for the squeamish, there's a lot of nasty things that could happen!

Sarah xxx
 

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One of my good friends (WNTMousery) breeds manx for show and has some very beautiful dove/silver manx. It's a dominant gene in the US mouse fancy and only very, very rarely (despite what you may read) causes problems, and even then only usually with a manx female who is giving birth. The recessive Australian version seems to give more problems (is the variety you have in Europe, too?).

You won't be able to breed regular tailed mice to have shorter tails "from scratch" without creating more problems than it's worth.
 
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