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Male Calicos?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I ahve been arguing with people for over an hour on a different site about calicos. Now heres my question.

Is there such thing as a male calico, and if there is, is it sterile?
post #2 of 15
Yes, and Yes . My understanding is that there's an extra sex chromosome there, so that instead of being an xy (male) they're xxy (male) and this somehow results in the expression of the calico coloration and because of the existance of the extra gene they are normally sterile. However, that's about the sum of my knowledge. A google for calico genetics might turn something a little more concrete.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I did do quite a bit of searching, and it did say yes, 1 male calico is born to evert 3,000 females and in 10,000 of those male calicos, only one will be sterile.. I would like to know where they get their facts though
post #4 of 15
This is the best I could come up with in a short search:

http://www.vmth.ucdavis.edu/vmth/ser...etics/faq.html

The best thing would be to do a search that would only return results from .edu domains which would hit the colleges and research labs, but I'm not sure if there's a way to do that as I've never had a reason to do it before.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
heres a link for anyone interested in looking.
Calico Genes, thingy
post #6 of 15
"Thingy" ... I like that I will definitely have to give that a read sometime today; I'm very weak on genetics and it looks to be a well written article. Thanks for the link!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86
Is there such thing as a male calico, and if there is, is it sterile?
Yes there are male calicos, I would post a link to a beautiful male Devon rex calico, but it wouldn't help 'cause all text is in Swedish som most of you wouldn't understand a word

If it is a "real" calico it is sterile, but sometimes it only looks like black spots on the red because of pigmentation, and in those cases it's not sterile.

Sissel
post #8 of 15
Huh, learn something everyday! I did not know there were male calicos.
post #9 of 15
Hi.
Ok, so to explain this first I'll go over genes really quick. There are 2 types of genes: autosomal (which are on a chromosome that ISN'T dealing with determining sex) and sex-linked (dealing with the X and Y chromosome, which determine whether the cat is male or female).

Now a gene is also going to be dominant or recessive. You get one copy from each parent, right? Well, a dominant gene is "stronger" than a recessive and takes over. Generally, capital letters are used to denote dominant genes and lower case are used for recessive. So, for example, if we had a gene determining.....oh lets say superpowers lol. Well call it the g gene, okay? If you got one G from each parent, you'd be GG and have superpowers. If you got one 'g' from each parent (recessive), you'd be gg and have NO powers. BUT if you have Gg (one from each), you still have super powers because it only takes one dominant (G) gene to give you the trait. You just might not have a much power as someone who's GG. Everyone still with me? If so, good for you, cuz this is confusing stuff lol.

Ok, now the orange gene is sex linked, which means it's on the X chromosome....Now, this is one case where having one of each (being heterogeneous) doesn't mean the same as having 2 capital letters.....let me explain.
If you have a male, you have XY, so only one orange gene is present (there isn't one on the Y, only on the X). With females, there are two Xs (XX), so there are two orange genes.

For a Female:
Xo Xo - 2 lower case orange genes means that orange is not expressed.....no orange in your cat.
XO XO - 2 uppercase, dominant orange genes means that orange is totally expressed, and your cat is ALL orange.
XO Xo - one of each....orange IS expressed, but not fully. It comes in over another pattern. THIS is a calico.

Now males:
Xo Y - no dominant upper case orange gene, so not orange in any way.
XO Y - a dominant orange (and only 1, cuz remember there's no orange gene on the Y chromosome) means the cat is COMPLETELY orange because there's no Xo to fight against.
There is no calico in a normal male, because a calico means 2 X genes, one with the uppercase dominant and one with the lowercase recessive. Well, males only have one X and one Y, so this doesn't happen......

EXCEPT!!!!!!! when you get a male who has an extra X chromosome. This happens as a result of a small mistake in division of the sperm or egg cells, even before conception.
If you have an XXY male, you can have:
XoXo Y - no orange
XO XO Y - all orange
Xo XO Y - Male calico!!!!
None of these three choices will be fertile, however, because of the extra X gene.

Hope that was educational and didn't just confuse everyone lol.
post #10 of 15
Aha! NOW, I understand it, Leli!! You've done a fantastic job of clarifying this dispute. And I can get my TCS "fix" guilt-free. How many of you think that Leli's post should be a "sticky" or some other similar easily-accessed permanent source of cat info? I vote "yes"! Susan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leli
Hi.
Ok, so to explain this first I'll go over genes really quick. There are 2 types of genes: autosomal (which are on a chromosome that ISN'T dealing with determining sex) and sex-linked (dealing with the X and Y chromosome, which determine whether the cat is male or female).

Now a gene is also going to be dominant or recessive. You get one copy from each parent, right? Well, a dominant gene is "stronger" than a recessive and takes over. Generally, capital letters are used to denote dominant genes and lower case are used for recessive. So, for example, if we had a gene determining.....oh lets say superpowers lol. Well call it the g gene, okay? If you got one G from each parent, you'd be GG and have superpowers. If you got one 'g' from each parent (recessive), you'd be gg and have NO powers. BUT if you have Gg (one from each), you still have super powers because it only takes one dominant (G) gene to give you the trait. You just might not have a much power as someone who's GG. Everyone still with me? If so, good for you, cuz this is confusing stuff lol.

Ok, now the orange gene is sex linked, which means it's on the X chromosome....Now, this is one case where having one of each (being heterogeneous) doesn't mean the same as having 2 capital letters.....let me explain.
If you have a male, you have XY, so only one orange gene is present (there isn't one on the Y, only on the X). With females, there are two Xs (XX), so there are two orange genes.

For a Female:
Xo Xo - 2 lower case orange genes means that orange is not expressed.....no orange in your cat.
XO XO - 2 uppercase, dominant orange genes means that orange is totally expressed, and your cat is ALL orange.
XO Xo - one of each....orange IS expressed, but not fully. It comes in over another pattern. THIS is a calico.

Now males:
Xo Y - no dominant upper case orange gene, so not orange in any way.
XO Y - a dominant orange (and only 1, cuz remember there's no orange gene on the Y chromosome) means the cat is COMPLETELY orange because there's no Xo to fight against.
There is no calico in a normal male, because a calico means 2 X genes, one with the uppercase dominant and one with the lowercase recessive. Well, males only have one X and one Y, so this doesn't happen......

EXCEPT!!!!!!! when you get a male who has an extra X chromosome. This happens as a result of a small mistake in division of the sperm or egg cells, even before conception.
If you have an XXY male, you can have:
XoXo Y - no orange
XO XO Y - all orange
Xo XO Y - Male calico!!!!
None of these three choices will be fertile, however, because of the extra X gene.

Hope that was educational and didn't just confuse everyone lol.
post #11 of 15
Yeah... that defines it a lot. Female is XX. Male is XY. In order to get a calico male, you need an anomaly of XXY, which causes the complication of a cat with male attributes (to put it mildly ) but with a coloring you only find in a female.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86
I did do quite a bit of searching, and it did say yes, 1 male calico is born to evert 3,000 females and in 10,000 of those male calicos, only one will be sterile.. I would like to know where they get their facts though
actually, it said 1 male calico is born to every 3,000 females and in 10,000 of those male calicos, only one will be fertile.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227
actually, it said 1 male calico is born to every 3,000 females and in 10,000 of those male calicos, only one will be fertile.

oh god thats right.. thats what I get for being up all night.

I still can't get them to understand. They are also saying that Calicos are a rare breed. I have met well over 150 calicos, they are not rare and don't need anything but to be spayed to prevent overpopulation.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86
oh god thats right.. thats what I get for being up all night.

I still can't get them to understand. They are also saying that Calicos are a rare breed. I have met well over 150 calicos, they are not rare and don't need anything but to be spayed to prevent overpopulation.
not only that, but i wouldn't call them a breed, but a coat variation!
post #15 of 15
:bump: Leli´s post! TCS is Educational!
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