Message Number: YG2939 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Linda Iroff
Date: 2001-04-25 12:10:00 UTC
Subject: re: Bob C: Albinism, Depigmentation, and Domestication

Ok I read Bob's post at least a couple times, and while I think I
understand albinism pretty well, I'm a bit befuddled on the difference
between the expression of the Star Gene and Waardenburg's Syndrome.

On the FML a while ago, there was a discussion of Waardenburg's and
associated problems, such as deafness, and other possible related health
problems. Some suggested that breeding for "fancy" colors such as blazes
and pandas was increasing the incidence of these health problems. There
were further suggestions that shows should not encourage these colorations
and that breeders should stop breeding for them.

But if blazes and pandas are expressions of the Star Gene, which is
naturally selected for by domestication, is this not an impossible task?
Can one deselect for one (blazes) without deselecting the other

It seems to me from what admittly little reading I've done, that as
recently as early last century (ie the 1900s), such color markings were
very rare. Ferrets were either sable (polecat colored) or albino. Only in
recent decades, when ferrets became popular as pets, did the color
variations with white markings we know today become prevalent.

So I guess I'm asking: What is the difference between Waardenburg and Star
Gene? Can you reduce the prevalence of one without effecting the other?

Linda Iroff
Oberlin OH