Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gene Linkage

I have to admit that I had forgotten all about gene linkage from my high school/college days until I read Candy Haenzel's genetics booklet last year. I originally ordered it because it had a great chart for Angora rabbit folks (like me) who were confused about the different color names and genotypes of Angora rabbits. I use it as a reference for all my color work now as I feel Candy is the foremost expert on Angora rabbit genetics... BUT, my favorite part of her booklet was actually the chapter on Linkage. 

I have a black buck that carries shaded. His genotype is aaBbCc^chlDdEe. He has produced several pearls and sable kits, all of them chocolate based. 

According to the rules of linkage, genes that are linked will remained linked about 65% of the time. In rabbits, the B and C loci are linked. So...I hypothesized that my black buck's b is linked to the shaded gene (c^chl) since the shadeds he produces have all been chocolate (bb) based.    

One of this buck's offspring was also black. I kept him and wondered if my hypothesis was correct. If it was, this young black buck would probably not carry shaded as his mother (a chocolate doe) would not have a B to contribute. His B would have to come from his father. Since the father's b was linked to his shaded gene, it would follow that the father's B was linked to his C.

I bred this younger buck to a REW doe because I felt they would be a nice pairing with the added benefit of seeing if the buck carried shaded.  

Did I get REW or shaded kits so my hypothesis could be easily confirmed? Nope. I got 3 black kits and one lilac tortoiseshell. The buck could be CC. I hadn't planned on breeding him again as I have a better potential herd sire now, but I admit that it is tempting just to see if I was right


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