Message Number: YG2962 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-04-26 04:02:00 UTC
Subject: re: Bob C: Albinism, Depigmentation, and Domestication

Linda wrote:

>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

I was left with the same question in part. Tell me if I am getting
this right, Bob: it seems to me that you are saying that this suite
of characters may be sometimes (not necessarily always since there
are already three known alleles in mammals which can cause WS and
different loci are involved) may be a situation in which several
physical characteristics often associated with domestication may be
located physically near each other on a strand of chromosome -- if
the Star hypothesis is correct -- so that things upon that chunk of
chromosome have a larger probability of being present in domesticated
populations than in wild ones, and that they may at times appear
together? Given that in chromosomal rearrangements it is not unusual
for things close to each other to travel together in chunks and thus
be more likely to be inherited together this makes sense to me.

If you had to attach a level of importance to various aspects of the
Star features which would you consider to possibly have the greatest
bearing on domestication? Neotany? Is too little known to make such
a leap?

Also, certainly in the last decade, and especially the last five
years Waardensburg signs have been seen by us a lot more often as
people have selected for them. It might be that they were present in
far lower numbers earlier. If they had been hidden under albinism I
would have to conclude that earlier breeders chose to not breed
select for it over an extended time when they got the ones with WS
pelage -- perhaps because they noticed the deafness. There simply
are so many WS marked ferrets now when there were not in earlier