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Bengal Cat Forums • View topic - Genetics of the Bengal
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:56 pm 
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It would be nice to know, but I think it is immaterial what she was as the input of the solid non-agouti gene could have come from anywhere. Although the ASH often gets blamed it needs two to tango.
Many cats and breeds were used originally and I am sure the Bengal breed has its fair share of oops matings too, some way back, others may be very recent. As non-agouti (a) is a recessive gene, it is possible it may have lain hidden for long enough. Also as melanistic kittens were secreted away and denied by many breeders then it is impossible to say exactly where it came from and to be able to map its descent accurately.

Because the Bengal is a "Dominant" breed then it tends to stamp its dominant traits onto anything it mates with, so I am sure there are "purebred" cats out there and in pedigrees who were sired by the local tom when the queen escaped, or by another breed that the breeder just happened to have at the time.
If that sire was solid then you get 100% solid carriers in the kittens Aa, if those cats never meet another solid carrier or never have DNA testing then it is never exposed, but can be passed on down the generations.

The blue/dilute gene is another recessive that may have a similar story to tell, same with the recessive longhair gene.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:53 am 
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Last edited by Thundercat on Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:07 am 
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Oooops - just re-read that, and don't want it to be misinterpreted as things so easily can online - and thought I'd better clarify that that last line isn't meant to imply what breeders should be thinking about, I'm certainly in no position to be saying that - just what I would be thinking if I were a breeder - but I'm a bit of a geek and get fascinated by some things that would make the average person slip into a coma :oops: :oops: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:47 am 
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Thanks Karen (Suntouched) for adding some further clarification on this. Karen explained that her boy Merlin who has superb black expression has been genetically tested and definitely does not carry non-agouti (a). So that definitely answers my question.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:54 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:36 pm 
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 Post subject: genetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: genetics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:50 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:54 am 
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Hi Ann,

Many thanks for that. I really appreciate the translation, it made sense. Well it does explain how the agouti protein is involved in regulation of banding. Interesting that agouti and MSH are in competition for MC1-R, as analogues they'll be from the same gene family, which certainly lends itself to a range of polygenes. I'm assuming given the range of coat colours that Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin are not the only 2 pigments involved, I can see how this could quickly become quite complex.

But it does still leave me with my question (which is effectively the same/similar as Elaine's key question) unanswered. It seems as though something could potentially be upregulating expression of melanostimulin (or more ultimately expression/translation of eumelanin as I guess it could even be due to another pathway) in certain cells, causing some hairs to grow completely black, whereas others remain banded.

It's very intriguing as when I look at my cats 3 of them (2 SBT Bengals and a Blue Tabby Maine Coon) have clear banding that means their pattern is essentially superficial - part their fur at even their darkest point and the lighter undercoat is the same light colour as it is everywhere else, whereas the F2 boy is quite different. His black markings really are full length black hairs, part his fur where he is black, and it's black down to the skin. If I were to shave his fur the stubble would still be spotty! I find it really quite fascinating (small things eh) as its suddenly very obvious that I have not ever seen it before on any cat. (maybe I just haven't lived?? :oops: :lol: :lol: )

Even without understanding the mechanism, it could be very interesting to start identifying which cats have this feature, and seeing how reproducible it is if lines are strategically bred.

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