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Are there any breeds where 'roaning' ISN'T considered a fault?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A frustrating session with google hasn't helped much (terminology differences between countries really don't help!), so I thought I'd turn to the good people of TCS and see if anyone knew.

Roaning - intermingling of unpigmented hairs in an otherwise pigmented coat, as in a roan horse.

I am sure that in most of the breeds I am interested in this would be viewed with horror, neutering arranged at the earliest opportunity, good pet home found etc.

However, it can also produce really beautiful effects. Radar has roaning on his black patches - sparse on his head patches, but extensive further down his body, resulting in a mottled 50/50 effect on his back legs, and fading out to black again on his tail.

I'm wondering if there are any breeds where this is considered a desirable trait?

BTW I'm NOT referring to the occassional tortie that occurs where either the black or red pigment isn't produced as the result of a mutation, resulting in a roan appearance female cat, that's a different thing.
post #2 of 16
Are you talking about the mix of white hairs in the color (like in a black/white)? As far as I know its better for the cats to be clearly marked and not mixed. Not sure if its a fault to be disqualified or just an undesirable coloring.

Personally, I like to see a clear marking in the color with not too much white hairs mixed in. "Roaning" and "Brindle" colors really are not my favs to start with in any breed of cat, dog, horse
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I understand it's not to everyone's taste, but surely I can't be the only one out there who finds it pleasing! I really am not keen on smokes although the smoke Mau is quite interesting. Ah well it was just curiosity.

Can't find much at all on the genetics/molecular biology of roaning in cats and I suspected at the time that it must be because no-one had ever really made a concerted attempt to breed it as a trait - usually if someone's tried to selectively breed for it then at very least there are multitudinous theories about how it works biologically and genetically, even if no-one has done a more scientific study- I mean no-one's actually fully worked out the genetics of white spotting yet in terms of additivity/multiple alleles/possible polygenous nature, and bicolour is accepted in a wide range of breeds so I think I was being overoptimistic.
post #4 of 16
Roaning is when an animal starts out with dark markings then over time they gradually fade out. I've never seen a cat that has roaned but in rats the markings start out very dark blue or black and fade to almost completely white.
Is this what you mean Epona?
Okay we posted at the same time. This was in response to Golden Kitty asking about the roaning, not your post that went entirely over my head.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shambles View Post
Roaning is when an animal starts out with dark markings then over time they gradually fade out. I've never seen a cat that has roaned but in rats the markings start out very dark blue or black and fade to almost completely white.
Is this what you mean Epona?
Okay we posted at the same time. This was in response to Golden Kitty asking about the roaning, not your post that went entirely over my head.
No it isn't in most animals- Roaning is non-fading and consistent throughout the animal's life, once the adult coat has developed. I don't know about rats, but that is not the definition of Roaning in horses, guinea pigs, cattle, or cats.

ETA: Just to clarify - the accepted meaning of roaning I am using is as it applies to horses - white hairs interspersed throughout a pigmented coat which are there from birth to death and do not lighten/darken.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
No it isn't in most animals- Roaning is non-fading and consistent throughout the animal's life, once the adult coat has developed. I don't know about rats, but that is not the definition of Roaning in horses, guinea pigs, cattle, or cats.

ETA: Just to clarify - the accepted meaning of roaning I am using is as it applies to horses - white hairs interspersed throughout a pigmented coat which are there from birth to death and do not lighten/darken.
OK I've looked up the rat thing! The end result is described as roaning and is the same appearance as roaning in other animals - but because it is dark initially and lightens, it is not biologically or genetically the same thing as what I'm talking about. Just to add confusion!!! Very interesting though, thanks for mentioning it because that's opened up a whole new subject to find out about
post #7 of 16
I'm only familiar with horses being roans, but WOW, wouldn't a blue roan or a strawberry roan kitty be gorgeous!!!
post #8 of 16
Actuarally, the only kind of roaning I know of in cats are dead hair sacks, Singapuras and fever coats. Dead hair sack is not a genetically inherited trait and neither are fever coats (fever coats usually grow away).

The closest thing that comes to mind is the coloration in Singapuras:




The coloration of the Singapura is due to several different traits, Singapuras are genetically:
- Agouti (AA)
- Black (BB)
- Sepia (cbcb) which is the gene that makes the black appear to be brown
- Non-dilute (DD) which means that the dilute gene has nothing to do with the unique coloration
- Non-silver (ii)
- Tabby marked (TaTa) which gives the specific pattern of the coat. Ticked tabby just like the Aby and Somali.
post #9 of 16
I would suppose you could call an Aby/Somali/Oci coat with the ticking closer to what roaning would be. But if you are talking about the white hairs being mixed in the coat - I don't know any color standards in pedigree that specifically allows that.

Most of the color descriptions want clearly marked color with no white hairs mixed in.

Here's CFA standards in some colors.

BI-COLOR: white with unbrindled portions of black, white with unbrindled portions of blue, white with unbrindled portions of red, or white with unbrindled portions of cream. Eye color: brilliant gold.

I'm assuming that the unbrindled means no white hairs mixed in.
post #10 of 16
Any breed that doesn't award points for colors, like Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest, and Siberian (and others). For breeds like this, it's simply "Check Yes or No, does cat have allowable coloration, if yes, continue, if no, disqualify." And brindling is not on the list of non-allowed colors (things like fawn, or pointed are).
post #11 of 16
A quick Google search shows that it's a pretty rare anomaly. However, as pointed out, this is partially due to not breeding for it.

Check out the cat named Pandora at http://messybeast.com/mosaicism.htm. She's a black and white brindle. The author also talks about seeing a red and white brindle at another point in the site. It seems to occur on tortishell cats (technically, they are brindled) where one color or the other looses pigment. Seems that torti causes the brindling and some other unknown gene (or polygene, or mutation) causes the loss of pigment on one color. It's not known if this is inheritable.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol View Post
Actuarally, the only kind of roaning I know of in cats are dead hair sacks, Singapuras and fever coats. Dead hair sack is not a genetically inherited trait and neither are fever coats (fever coats usually grow away).

The closest thing that comes to mind is the coloration in Singapuras:




The coloration of the Singapura is due to several different traits, Singapuras are genetically:
- Agouti (AA)
- Black (BB)
- Sepia (cbcb) which is the gene that makes the black appear to be brown
- Non-dilute (DD) which means that the dilute gene has nothing to do with the unique coloration
- Non-silver (ii)
- Tabby marked (TaTa) which gives the specific pattern of the coat. Ticked tabby just like the Aby and Somali.
No, that's not what I'm talking about at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I would suppose you could call an Aby/Somali/Oci coat with the ticking closer to what roaning would be. But if you are talking about the white hairs being mixed in the coat - I don't know any color standards in pedigree that specifically allows that.

Most of the color descriptions want clearly marked color with no white hairs mixed in.

Here's CFA standards in some colors.

BI-COLOR: white with unbrindled portions of black, white with unbrindled portions of blue, white with unbrindled portions of red, or white with unbrindled portions of cream. Eye color: brilliant gold.

I'm assuming that the unbrindled means no white hairs mixed in.
I know what the registies say, and what is 'desired', but that doesn't mean that other things don't happen. If they mention 'unbrindled' then it's a fairly good indication that other alternatives do exist, no? And no I'm not talking about ticking which is agouti colouring, not unpigmented at all. The pigment on the underside is very sparse, but there is still a melanocyte and it still produces melanin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bab-ush-niik View Post
A quick Google search shows that it's a pretty rare anomaly. However, as pointed out, this is partially due to not breeding for it.

Check out the cat named Pandora at http://messybeast.com/mosaicism.htm. She's a black and white brindle. The author also talks about seeing a red and white brindle at another point in the site. It seems to occur on tortishell cats (technically, they are brindled) where one color or the other looses pigment. Seems that torti causes the brindling and some other unknown gene (or polygene, or mutation) causes the loss of pigment on one color. It's not known if this is inheritable.
Yes, Pandora is a tortie who doesn't produce phaeomelanin. That's not what I'm talking about either. If she were XOXO rather than XOXo, she would be white all over.

I will post some close-ups of Radar's beauty when my batteries have recharged so that hopefully we'll all be on the same page!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure I was clear on what I was looking for, so I'll try to explain. I have developed a bit of an obsessive interest in melanin production or otherwise, whether it's down to lack of melanocytes due to inhibited foetal melanocyte migration (white spotting), absence of tyrosinase (albinism), temperature labile tyrosinase (himalayan), or sparce melanocytes (roaning).

Two of those mechanisms (albinism and himalayan - ie. the ones where it is the enzyme at fault) are fairly well understood at a molecular level. However, white spotting and roaning are far more complex gene interactions which aren't fully understood - we just use the term 'white spotting gene' as a kind of shorthand. There are theories that suggest mitting may be a different gene or a different allele of the same gene, as in some breeds/lines cats can be homozygous for 'white spotting' and only have mitts, yet other lines produce low grade spotting only in heterozygous individuals, and homozygous for white spotting results in harlequin or van pattern, indicating that there are different mechanisms with different additive effects involved - but that's really the extent of current thinking, and it's all hypothetical.

And as for roaning - one thing I've never seen is a completely roan cat as one would expect in a roan horse (honestly I think it would make a beautiful cat colour), with evenly interspersed white hairs throughout the coat (except in cases of XOXo where phaeomelanin is not produced - absence of a substrate used in phaeomelanin synthesis but not eumelanin synthesis such as L-Caseine? Not sure - and I'm not the only one). But roaning as a 'brindling' at the edges of white spotting patterns can and does happen, but it doesn't seem as though anyone's researched it, no-one knows whether it's a straightforward heritable trait, simply because at the moment it's 'not desirable' - hence nothing known about it. Is it another type of white spotting, or is it a separate unlinked trait? Who knows!

I was hoping there may be some rare breed in a distant corner of the globe where this was bred for, because breed specific genetic research is much easier to come across, but it seems not.

Anyway my point is that if anyone comes across any scientific articles or research about either different types of white spotting, roaning, or roaned white spotting, I'd be grateful if you could let me know!
post #14 of 16
I've seen the "brindling" or mixing of a lot of white hairs in a solid color (like a black/white bicolor) in mixed breed HHP's in the shows. Its pretty common in them, especially those that are dominate white with smaller patches of color.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I've seen the "brindling" or mixing of a lot of white hairs in a solid color (like a black/white bicolor) in mixed breed HHP's in the shows. Its pretty common in them, especially those that are dominate white with smaller patches of color.
That's excellent - the sort of thing that makes me think it only occurs in cats in the way roaning occurs in for example Clydesdale horses - as brindling around a white spot (I think called Sebiano in horses? Not sure, horse genetics don't help much because roaning also gets the 'we don't know how it works' skimming over, although at least heritability is known for that species ) Otherwise, regardless of what was deemed acceptable for purebreds, we would likely see the occassional completely roan moggie, a demographic in which recessive genes are more likely to lurk for generations undetected just waiting to strike....

I promise I will get some nice close-ups of Radar's markings, his hind legs especially are rather special, the white 'bleeds' quite a long way into his black spots and even at the centre of black areas there are white hairs, when he's not in close up it gives the visual effect of white merging into blue merging into black. Interestingly, he has mitts - and there is NO brindling from his mitts, absolutely none whatsoever - just from his body spots. His mum was mitted with nice clean demarkation between the mitts and pigmented hair, and his dad was bicolour.

I am sure that this ought to be researched, just because it could provide a wealth of information to bicolour breeders to improve the markings in their lines, if the gene interactions are better understood.
post #16 of 16
That is true. I'll talk to some shorthair bicolor breeders at the shows and see if they get a lot of proper color markings or is there a problem with the "brindling".

At shows you only see the best, so no way to tell if they are more successful then a mixed breeding in keeping it clean colors.

IMO its just a color fault - so if two clear cats are bred, you should wind up with clear marked offspring.
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