MUTATIONS - Colors & Blends Defined
Mutation - a change in a gene, potentially capable of being transmitted. In the fur industry the term mutation refers to colors other than standard.
Allelic Genes - Genes that occupy the same position on a specific pair or chromosomes and control the heredity of a particular characteristic such as eye color, density or fur color.
Dominant - When a gene is called dominant, it is implying that it is dominant to the standard. In the breeding of dominants, the simple basic rule is: If you cannot see it, it is not there as there are no carriers for dominant genes. An animal that has one mutation gene is hetero, two of the same genes is homo and if they have one of one color and one of another color, they are blends.
Double Dominant - An animal carrying two different dominant genes.
Recessive - Opposite of dominant. a recessive gene has no effect of phenotype homozygous. A recessive is homozygous and every time it breeds it passes on its recessive gene. To produce a recessive, one must have the recessive gene in both parents; it is dependent upon what it is mated to as to what it will produce.
Double Recessive - An animal carrying two different recessive genes.
Genotype - Genes which make up each characteristic an animal possesses. Each pair of genes determines the genotype for a different characteristic although it may not be visible. This classification is made on the basis of genetic formulas.
Phenotype - The composition of visible, genetically determined characteristics (such as color) which may appear alike, but which may differ in genetic makeup. In other words, it is what you see.
Heterozygous - Genetically impure, having unlike genes. An animal carrying two different color genes, one from each parent. Sometimes referred to as half-blood. An animal with one dominant and one recessive gene for a particular trait is heterozygous.
Homozygous - Purebred. When the animal inherits the same gene from both parents. It is also sometimes referred to as a full-blood.
1. White - White can not be obtained through a homozygous state because two of the dominate genes are lethal when they occur in the same animal. Depending on the color that these animals are bred with, different patterns will show themselves in the offspring. In the silvering pattern, there is a very short, dark tip on the end of the fur fibers and there is a blue underfur instead of a white underfur.
In a show the whites are divided into the following categories:
a. Predominantly White
b. White with Dark Guard Hairs
c. White with Pink/Beige Markings
d. White Mosaic/Broken Pattern
e. Silver (has color in underfur and a bar)
2. Saphire - A recessive mutation that has a crystal blue veiling, a white bar, and a soft light blue underfur. It has pink ears and a light colored tail.
In a show the saphires are divided into the follwing categories:
d. Extra Dark
3. Violet - A beautiful lavendar or lavendar/violet color with nice even veiling, good clear white belly, nice texture, and good overall appearance. It has a beautiful lavendar type underfur and a pale lavendar bar.
In a show the violets are divided into the following categories:
d. Extra Dark
4. Beige - This mutation is completely dominant with no lethal factor and a homozygous animal can occur. The homozygous animals has a much lighter and finer type of fur than the heterozygous beige. It's eyes can range from a pale pink to a ruby red color. Generally the darker heterozygous beige has the darker eyes and the homozygous animal has the lighter colored eyes.
In a show the beiges are divided into the following categories:
a. Extra Light
e. Extra Dark (usually Beige/Black cross)
d. Wraps (Tans)
5. Naturalle - In chinchillas, the standard color is a pearl-blue-gray in six different color variations ranging from light/medium to extra dark. This animal is sometimes known as the standard. The standard has an agouti-fur pattern meaning it has a tip, bar, and underfur. All agouti-patterned animals are lighter on their under parts.
In a show the naturalles are divided into the following categories:
f. Extra Dark
6. Black - This peculiar type of dominant has a black "cape" extending
over the head, neck and back of the animal. The sides are gray. The animal has a very bright appearance and a clear white belly.
In a show the Blacks are divided into the following categories:
d. Extra Dark
7. Ebony - Ebonies can range from "every hair shiny black" to an animal that looks almost like a standard. Ebonies have grey or black bellies and no bar.
In a show the ebonies are divided into the following categories:
d. Extra Dark
NOTE: Maintaining accurate records is important because a recessive gene may be carried for generations without expressing itself until such time as it is matched with a mate carrying the same gene. If a recessive is mated to a standard, it will produce all standard offspring; those offspring will carry the recessive gene. If that standard that is a carrier for recessive is mated to a recessive, they will produce on an average 50% recessive and 50% standard carrier offspring. If two recessives are mated together, they will produce 100% of that mutation. By using this method, improvements in size or fur qualities may be done.