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Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:08 am
by ra.horakhty
Hello everyone. A few days ago i posted my bluey on facebook. I never expected that my bluey is that special. Some friends told me that my bluey not just a common axanthic, they say it could be hypo or t+ axanthic. I need some opinion here. What do you see about my bluey? :)
Thank you for your attention guys :)




Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:32 am
by Ray Gurgui
I saw these on facebook, but the pics are too small on there. You might have something even better than a common axanthic, or hypo or t+ axanthic .
I always thought that when you mix axanthic and hypo, like when breeding snakes you end up with a Ghost. But you wont know until you can breed them to prove the genes out.
Very cool, the large pics make a big difference.

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 12:05 pm
by Edward
Sorry I can't help with the genetics of your beautiful animals but ... please ...


Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Sat May 07, 2016 6:53 pm
by Richard.C
Only way to find out is by breeding them

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 10:55 am
by Susann
Is there anyone here who would like to explain to us in some detail what exactly the different terms mean that are being mentioned here?
T+ axanthic.
What is known about them and how are they proven?

(And, as a friendly reminder, prior to answering, let's remember the rules of this forum, especially about hypothesies and opinions...)

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:49 pm
by Dakota
The following is under the assumption the two genes at play here are tyrosinase-positive albino and axanthic. Since there is not enough information regarding the two genes specifically in Tiliqua gigas, I will assume both are recessive to give an understanding of what may be going on here as an example. This is just a hypothetical situation to explain how this animal could have come about, and a way to prove it out with the animals available.

Axanthic — RECESSIVE
A = dominant wild type allele
a = recessive axanthic allele

AA = normal, Aa = heterozygous for axanthic, aa = homozygous axanthic

T+ albino — RECESSIVE
B = dominant wild type allele
b = recessive T+ albino allele

BB = normal, Bb = heterozygous for T+ albino, bb = homozygous T+ albino

In order to get a double homozygous animal, you need to follow varying steps depending where you are starting from. For now, we will start off with a homozygous T+ albino mating with a homozygous axanthic. If the matings are successful, the babies will result in 100% double heterozygous for both traits, or AaBb/aAbB. Out of this, you can get the possibilities of AB, Ab, aB, ab. You will then need to pair the 100% double heterozygous siblings together. Since both parents are of this combination, you need to set up a 16 box Punnett square. Dam is positioned on the "x-axis", and the sire is positioned on the "y-axis".


Genotypically, you get:
1. Wild type (AABB)
2. Heterozygous for T+ albino (AABb/AAbB)
3. Heterozygous for axanthic (aABB/AaBB)
4. Double heterozygous for T+ albino and axanthic (aAbB/AaBb)
5. Homozygous T+ albino (AAbb)
6. Homozygous T+ albino and heterozygous for axanthic (aAbb/Aabb)
7. Homozygous axanthic (aaBB)
8. Homozygous axanthic and heterozygous for T+ albino (aabB/aaBb)
9. Double homozygous axanthic and T+ albino (aabb)

There is a 1 in 16 chance to hit the double homozygous possibility. Proving this animal out may be quite a headache — especially if the axanthic you have does not have the hypothetical T+ albino gene. However, in any case it does, it would be aabB/aaBb. If you were to break that down, you get the following: aB, ab, aB, and ab. On the contrary, the T+ albino axanthic is aabb. If you break this down, you get the following: ab, ab, ab, and ab. If you follow the steps I did above with these combinations, one half of the litter would be double homozygous T+ albino and axanthic, and the other half would be homozygous axanthic and heterozygous for T+ albino. If the "normal" axanthic posted above is NOT heterozygous for T+ albino, then you'll need to take a step backwards. This pairing would be aabb x aaBB. If you follow the steps I did above, 100% of the litter will be homozygous axanthic and heterozygous for T+ albino. So, once you pair these back to the double homozygous T+ albino axanthic animal, and 1/2 come out double homozygous, then the gene is ultimately proven.

HOWEVER, if for some reason you get phenotypically "normal" babies when you pair the possible T+ albino axanthic with a regular axanthic, then it would prove that this "gene" is not compatible with the already existing possible axanthic gene. It could mean the axanthic gene is on a completely different allele, or it is something completely different like Ray suggested above.

Other possibilities exist such as polygenic influence, as well. In other words, the grey could be a spectrum, or natural variation, of the homozygous axanthic trait. While this seems unlikely to me, we cannot infer what exactly is going on until this animal has been attempted to be proven. Time will tell, and it will definitely take some persistence.

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Sun May 15, 2016 6:23 am
by aaronhouts
As for what they mean,

we know Axanthic = no yellow pigment
like the Axanthic Halmahera in the original post

For more examples, here's how they work in boas.

Albino or Amelanistic = no black ("normal albino" "T- Albino")
What we normally call "Albinos" are T- amelantistics meaning no black pigment at all. This is what we'd call an albino boa:

T+ Albino ("Caramel albino") = black is present but processed differently = purple tint
It takes a little training to be able to spot this one and is harder to learn to do in photos.
T stands for tyrosinase which is an enzyme that controls how the melanin is processed. In T+ albinos, the melanin is still present in the animal but is processed differently usually resulting in a faded "purple" look. These are often called "Caramel Albinos." Several different strains of T+ albinos are present in Boa constrictors alone. There are also T+ ball pythons, burmese pythons and I'm sure many more. This is a VPI line T+ Motley Boa: Image
The Motley trait is the checkerboard pattern. The coloration is from the T+ trait. As I said, there are several incompatible strains of T+ in boas. This T+ boa comes from the VPI strain of T+ boas named after the reptile breeding facility (VPI) of Dave and Tracy Barker. Tracy Barker is the one one who established this line as well as did MANY other AMAZING things with reptiles and also happens to be a very nice lady.

Hypomelanistic ("hypo") = less black, more red
Hypo really just means "less" but is usually short for hypomelanistic meaning that the melanin is there but has been reduced. This allows for the other colors normally covered up by the black pigment to show more prevalently. For instance in boas, there are many areas on their bodies which seem brown because there is both red and black pigment present and mixed together. If the melanin (black) is reduced, the red shows through better and "hypo" boas are typically more red than normal boas. This is a hypo boa:

Ghost = Anerythristic AND Hypomelanistic ("hypo") = no red, reduced black
Ghost is a tricky one because it means different things in different species. In boas a ghost is actually two morphs together in one snake: Anerythristic (no red) and hypo (reduced black). In ball pythons, it's a single gene and is also often called "hypo" just to make thing confusing. This is a Ghost boa:

These things vary from species to species because some of these are scientific terms and some are marketing terms and some are scientific terms that have been changed to be marketing terms.

They also vary from species to species because the traits sometimes work in different ways in the different species.

In addition, the base color scheme of the "normal type" determines what traits will be more visually distinct. An example of this would be Axanthic (no yellow) vs anery (no red). In ball pythons, the Axanthic trait serves as the anery trait in boas. AFAIK, there is no anery Ball python. There doesn't seem to be too much red in BPs and manipulating the yellow pigment yields a more dramatically different animal. This seems to be the same with gigas. In boas (again AFAIK) there is now axanthic trait. Since wild type boas often have lots of red in them the presence of the anerythrristic trait which reduces the red pigment changes the visual appearance of the animal more dramatically.

As the individual traits are isolated and understood, the next step is "designer morphs" which are the mixing of multiple traits into one animal. For instance, when we bred boas, we were within the first 2-3 breeders in the world to produce Snow Motleys (three visual traits=Motley, Anery and Albino) and then the next year Moonglow Motleys (four visual traits=Motley, Anery, Albino and hypo)

This is what may have happened with the animal in this post. I suspect it is visual for both Axanthic and T+ because both of these traits have been present in Halmaheras for years. Plus, since they are not stark which like albinos, it is likely that these animals could exist and breed in the wild. In boas, there were many naturally occurring ghosts found in Nicaragua. These animals were visual for both hypo and anery and both of these morphs were prevalent in WC shipments.

There are so many species that have many different traits that have been established, it can be helpful to take a look at them to see what the possibilities are for BTS. I recommend checking out the morphs in: Corn snakes, Boa constrictors, Ball pythons, burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, blood pythons, Hognose snakes, green iguana etc..

To make it even more confusing, you really have to know what the wild type looks like to spot the differences. As we discussed in the other post, if there is a lot of variation in individual specimens in the wild types, that makes things more complicated. If there are regional variations, this is even more complicated.

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Sun May 15, 2016 6:27 am
by aaronhouts
All of these snakes came out of one litter where there were 4 genes in play:

There were even more different phenotypes in this litter but we were showcasing the Motley (a pattern trait) gene in this pic. There is one of each of the following phenotypes in this pics:
Motley 1 trait (checkerboard pattern)
Anerythristic Motley 2 traits (checkerboard pattern and anery = no red)
Sunglow Motley 3 traits (Checkerboard pattern and hypo = less black and amel = no black)
Snow Motley 3 traits (Checkerboard pattern and amel = no black and anery = no red)
Moonglow Motley 4 traits (checkerboard pattern and amel = no black and anery = no red and hypo = reduced black)

To make things even crazier a lot of the snakes in the above pic are carrying traits that they aren't showing.

All photo credits go to my wife, Susan.

These were pictures were some of our boas taken in our back yard. All but our "Old Faithful" (yep, they're really known as that) breeding pair, Casper the albino and Strawberry the hypo (also het albino) and the T+ Motley were babies produced by us. The T+ Motley came from Adam Chesla whom a lot of you know.

I believe our experience with care, genetics and marketing of these boas is really helping us with the BTS.

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:09 am
by Susann
Thank you so much Aaron for the explanation!
If anyone out there has examples of BTS in the different "morphs" that are being discussed on this thread, please post pictures of them; we'd love to see the examples in BTS!

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:18 am
by Susann
Oh and, thank you Dakota for posting that as well. It was a bit more than I was asking for ...was hoping for a more "layman's" explanation of how to prove it out, but I'm sure there are plenty out there who will make sense of what you were describing :D

Re: Need to know what genes is my bluey

Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:33 am
by Dakota
Whoops — was trying to live up the "advanced" part of this forum. :edward: Funnily enough, one of the first posts I ever made on this site was asking how to prove out axanthics. I suppose I've came a long ways. :)

That aside, this episode talks about creating a double homozygous animal called a "snow" using the anerytheristic/axanthic gene from Tiliqua scincoides scincoides. The same principle applies, just replace the T- albino with a T+ albino. Whilst the principle is the same, the product is not. Though the gene is coming from a completely different species, they are characteristically the same — silver and black coloration with very dark grey iris. There are also unproven axanthic/anertherystic Northerns from Darwin, Kimberley region Northerns, and Blotcheds on top of this proven line of anerytheristic/axanthic Easterns that all share the same characteristics.