*cue Westworld intro music*
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality, or at least why Kuiper is considered a “blue brindle” 💙 when he’s obviously like 90% red(ish)? ❤️ No bamboozle, Bernard; the answer has to do with genetics. Lots of genes control dog coat color & this is just an intro.
The “base” amount of black in the coat is handled by the “dominant black” gene locus K. KB is dominant (solid), and ky is recessive (i.e. not solid black, but nose is black and dog may have black markings.) Based on Kuiper’s DNA results (KB/ky) he ought to have a solid black coat. 🤔 He clearly does not, but stay with me.
Expression of K is controlled by the “extension” gene E. Alleles: Em (mask), Eg (grizzle), E (“normal”) or e (recessive red.) e/e = no black at all & coat is red regardless of K. Kuiper tested as Em/Em, which means he should have a black mask on his snoot (like a pug or a German Shepherd.) However, if he were really a solid black dog we wouldn’t be able to see it.
The test didn’t return results for the D dilution gene. dd double recessive lightens all black to the grey color we call “blue” (and may lighten red.) Based on the color of his snoot and stripes, we can be pretty confident Kuiper is dd. Both of Kuiper’s parents have regular black on their noses/coats, so they must both be Dd. There’s also a dilution gene B that lightens black to liver (chocolate/brown); Kuiper is BB.
So why isn’t Kuiper a solid blue dog with an invisible mask? It turns out there’s a third option for K which causes brindle (black stripes on red.) It’s called “Kbr.” We can’t currently test for it, but we know that the dominance sits inbetween KB and ky. Kuiper could be either Kbr/ky or Kbr/Kbr. Since his black stripes are dilute, we call him a blue brindle.
Also, whippets are generally ay/ay (“sable”) on the A “Agouti” locus; they don’t come in black and tan markings (like Rottweilers.) Dogs with both B&T and brindle end up with “brindle points,” which look pretty rad. Kuiper’s ay sable + dilute gives him some gray-tipped red hairs all over, creating a shimmery effect. 😍
Out of space; the white spotting gene will have to wait!
Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj8d3x8Ack0/