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sex linked colors?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I Know that red is sex linked in domestic cats but what about in wild cats such as the asian lepord cat, bobcat, fishing cat and others? Also is the black color gene sex linked in cats aswell? meaning that y chromsome has no color gene on it?

post #2 of 8
The X gene is the one that carries the color gene - so yes, the Y would not be a color carrier. Thats why males have the color gene from mom - not dad.

I'm not sure HOW the color genes work in the wild cats. Most would technically be "black" cats, so not sure what you would call the more "reddish/orange" like a tiger color. Its not a true "red" gene.
post #3 of 8
Not sure about wild cats, but red cats (ie those that do not produce any black/brown pigment) are a mutation from the norm.

In domestic cats, the genes for colour and markings are nearly all on chromosome B1, which is a normal paired chromosome, and is not sex linked. The only colour gene that is located on the X chromosome is the one referred to as the 'orange gene', and it has 2 alleles - 'red' and 'not red'. If a cat has the 'red' allele, this is a mutation and really it is a faulty gene that means the cat cannot produce black/brown pigment, so there is no expression of the black/brown alleles on chromosome B1. If the cat has the 'not red' allele, then the black/brown will be expressed normally.
post #4 of 8
Where does the rich non-sex linked red colours come from? I mean tigers for example are obviously able to produce black but also have the striking orange fur.

Then there are also abys and some bengals who are really quite red or orange but have black tipping and/or markings.
post #5 of 8
I'm curious too - but the "orange" color must not be a true "red" gene. Maybe it would be more like the rufus gene/color on some brown tabbys - I've seen some brown tabby MC's that had that warm reddish/orange base color that was NOT a red.
post #6 of 8
Yep - the 'orange gene' is just the gene that completely blocks all production of eumelanin pigments - blacks, browns, cinnamons, blues etc, it's not a gene for red pigment to be added to the coat, it's a gene for black/brown pigment to NOT be added to the coat.

A black cat produces eumelanin (which is really a very dark brown, there's no such thing in nature as a true black pigment) and phaeomelanin (which is yellow, orange, or nearly red pigment depending on the density). The black completely covers up the red in a solid black cat. A brown tabby also produces both, and the red pigment shows through as buff or yellowish or reddish colour where the hairs are banded, but doesn't show through on the dark stripes/blotches causing the tabby pattern. A red cat just doesn't produce the black/brown pigment at all. All coloured cats produce red pigment (in varying quantities and shades), but depending upon the amount of black/brown pigment it produces and in what pattern, it will either show through in varying shades or it is covered up by the black.
post #7 of 8
Very interesting - that's why I love genetics
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replys its always nice to learn some more cat genetics.
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