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#36933 - 02/13/05 11:09 PM Breeding Albinos
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a question. I've tried to answer it myself by looking through old post archives, for fear my question will be interpreted wrong. It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, I'm hoping this is not how it is interpereted. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> Especially not Shelia!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
I was wondering what the purpose of breeding Albino's is. From what I've read, albino's are genetically undesireable (I don't know if that is the term I'm looking for). I'm not saying that people don't want albinos. I'm saying that they are extreamly delicate. Low immune(sp) systems and so many medical problems according to snipets of info I've read. Why would we breed for such a gene?
Do two albino's produce a color variation? Like the opposite of Albinoism (m-something erether). Do their hets help produce color variations?
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/worried2.gif" alt="" />

Mods, If this is too much of a touchy subject please just delete this post. I really don't want to offend anyone. I really just wanted to know what color/varition comes out of breeding albinos with albino if any.

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#36934 - 02/13/05 11:24 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


know one has bred two albinos together and Know one has produced albinos only a few people. Im sleepie I will post more tomarrow LOL

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#36935 - 02/13/05 11:27 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


First, in the case of sugar gliders, the reason why albinos often have health complications is because the albino trait (like several others) is a rare one, thus the genetic pool of albinos is quite limited, and line breeding and inbreeding which is needed to keep the trait alive, is usually the cause of most complications (and that goes for any species where line breeding or inbreeding occurs). This is why it is important to continue propogating and breeding the albinos so that we can gradually diversify the albino gene pool so health complications do not arise as often.

But to answer your question as to why we feel the need to breed albinos... the obvious reason is because they are in the eyes of many (including myself) quite attractive and it would be quite ideal if we could have a large stock of albino sugar gliders available (like we now have with ferrets, rats/mice, other rodents/lagomorphs, snakes, lizards, certain fish, various birds, etc.). Also, in promoting albino gliders, we can breed them with other colour phases to in turn produce even more interesting colour variations.

Eventually, it would be great to have a wide selection of colours, including albanism, available in the sugar glider pet trade, just as we have a wide selection of colours in ferrets, rats, etc. However, to obtain such a thing, we must unfortunately have to deal with the arising of health complications here and there in our albino gliders and gliders of other rare phases, and be extra cautious at intitiating breedings, paying special attention at pairing gliders that are as unrelated as possible, so to avoid the health complications and further promote albinism and other colours in the gliders. You must keep in mind that we've only domesticated gliders for about 20 years in North America so the fact that we have all these interesting colour phases produced from only the 20 or so generations of gliders is a sign of great progress in alter-colour propogation. The other species of animals that I have listed where albinos are quite common have had the centuries and decades and simply the opportunity to establish a multitude of solid albinistic lines, so health issues often don't arise as much in those animals. We haven't had that luxury with the gliders yet... so it's a slow and steady process with mush of the pressure on those few owning glider albinos like Sheila... *GOOOOOOO SHEILA!!!*

I'm sure there are more reasons that I may have left out, but these are the ones that came to mind.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#36936 - 02/13/05 11:41 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Albinos have ONLY albino genes. They do not have any grey genes, any melanistic genes, or any possible dilute genes. They are only homozygous (meaning they have just 2 genes and they are both for albino). Albinos will not produce melanistics, leucistics, blondes, cinnamons, or any other color variation besides albino.

However, because breeders don't want to inbreed the very few albinos that there are, they will often breed them with normal greys, producing grey gliders that are heterozygous for the albino gene. The hope is that they can produce more albinos further down the line without corrupting the gene pool.

Albino sugar gliders haven't been inbred like they have been in other animals (so far!). breeders have been responsible for keeping records and keeping track of lineages, so hopefully gliders will not suffer the same health effects we have seen in other species. By sites like GC, we can have good open communication about glider husbandry and clear up any breeding questions people might have, and hopefully in the future albinos will be more common, and still just as healthy as any grey glider.

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#36937 - 02/13/05 11:50 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I really feel that a glider registry should really be orchestrated somehow. I am aware of the fact that many have tried and that there are so many factors like time, money, members being commited, etc. I had originally thought that we've had at least a number of albinistic gliders in our midst but I am starting to feel like I am very wrong. Is the number more like 4 or 5?

How many are documented to date? Who owns them? If they haven't been fully inbred or line bred then have all the albinos we have randomly arisen purely by chance and genetic mutation or has there been an albino produced from mating a het with an albino?

In regards to:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Albinos have ONLY albino genes. They do not have any grey genes, any melanistic genes, or any possible dilute genes. They are only homozygous (meaning they have just 2 genes and they are both for albino). Albinos will not produce melanistics, leucistics, blondes, cinnamons, or any other color variation besides albino.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

In my genetics studies on albinism, the albinistic trait is usually a generic term used to describe a lack of pigmentation. However, the existence of not one but several types of albinism in other species eg. occular albanism (where the eyes appear pink/red), partial albanism (non-pigmented and pigmented areas), Nystagmus Albanism (lacking some albanistic traits), etc. suggest that albinism is not goverened only by one allele (or by "two genes" as you've described it, Mage) but is infact governed by more than one gene, and results from an interaction of multiple genes. Himalayan Bunnies are a good example; they have red eyes, all white bodies, are seemingly albinistic, but have black ears, which again suggests that albinism is governed by several genetic factors. Similar observations can be made in rats, mice, ferrets, and even humans suggesting that albinism in general is a very complex phenotype. In parakeet species albinism is even sex-linked. I wanted to ask, with regards to albino gliders, how do we know that the existent albinos are genotypically identical at the albino-determining gene loci? In other words, how do we know that there isn't more than one form of albino in gliders (like in rats where there exists both a RED-EYED WHITE and a PINK-EYED WHITE phenotype, which are quite different genotypically) and thus how do we know that albinism is, again, determined only at one gene locus (i.e. determined only by "two genes" as mentioned)? If we've never mated two albinos before, how can we know for sure that albinism is governed by only a single gene at a single gene locus (ie by "two genes" as Mage mentioned)? If we've never mated albinos with other albinos how can we confidently state that albinos don't carry the genes of other colour phases? In fact, how can we determine any certain conclusions on the nature of the albino genetics? See, if we've mated albinos with standard greys and produced albinos from mating two first generation hets or an albino/het pair, it still doesn't necessarily imply that albinism is governed by information at a single gene locus (i.e. Single Dominant allele=standard, Single Recessive allele=albino). To draw such a conclusion would require the analysis of the results of a large series of breedings, and I am begining to feel like that has yet to happen.

I'd imagine the albinistic phenotype in gliders is not completely understood at this point. Again, it's another reason why a registry is soooo needed!

*banging head against wall thinking about genetics again*

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#36938 - 02/14/05 12:01 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


OIC, I thought that albinos just had health problems cause they were albinos <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I dunno if that made sense. I didn't realise they had so many health problems because they were inbred not because of their albino gene.
So breeders are breeding them with norms and unrealated blood-lines and then breeding back in to keep the albino het and diversify the gene poplulation and eliminate the inbreding. IC!!!

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#36939 - 02/14/05 01:09 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
By George I think Eurynome's got it!!! What a simplified way of putting it! I almost got lost in Mikey's post lol!
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#36940 - 02/14/05 01:38 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm halfway through his explaination . . . don't discourage me!!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Hey, is diversify a word? Or did I make that up? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Eurynome (02/14/05 01:40 AM)

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#36941 - 02/14/05 01:46 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mikey, if I rember correctly, there are 2 known albinos, Sheila's female Pricess, and a male, I can't remember his name :\ There are also 2 delute albino females owned by Flying Fur Ranch/Animals Exotic. There are also several albino hets/possible hets produced by albinos and the pairs that have produced albinos.

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#36942 - 02/14/05 01:58 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mage, one thing I don't understand. You said Albino's only have albino genes. If albinos only have albino genes and not grey, why is it that they make grey babies with other greys? Don't both parents have to have the gene to pass that onto the emryo? Or is it in the case of a regressive trait, the dominate will give all dominate traits? Sorry, I only remember so much from high school. I dunno if I'm even using the right terms.
If this were true, what if you put third generation plat or WFB with an albino, would plat or WFB be dominate and produce Plat or WFB? Or are Plat and WFB not dominate traits and so therefore they will . . . go to a dominate grey?

OH OH OH!!! And so Shelia is possibly tring to breed out far enough but keep the het gene so that she can possibly breed a het with a albino or another het so that we can start breeding for albinos?


Edited by Eurynome (02/14/05 02:04 AM)

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#36943 - 02/14/05 02:25 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sheila is trying to breed for albino's. She's pairing a possible het with another possible het... She most likely will produce something eventually, but it might take a while.

In regards to the genetics of albinos... Albinisum is caused by a lack of melanisum, the chemical that prodces pigment in our skin. From what I understand, it's usually caused by a missing or damaged gene. Breeding an albino to a normal, you should in theory, always get a normal. THe alblino doesn't have a color gene to offer, there for the trate can not be passed dirrectly down (like WFB's for example). Instead, you have to pair two gliders together that are missing their second color gene and hope that when they breed their genes match up just right and they threw an albino...

I'm kind of over simplifying, but that's the best way I can think of to explain the genetics of albinos...

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#36944 - 02/14/05 02:55 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


IC I think I'll stick to criminal minds and computers <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> So simple is best <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#36945 - 02/14/05 12:35 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
In regards to the genetics of albinos... Albinisum is caused by a lack of melanisum, the chemical that prodces pigment in our skin. From what I understand, it's usually caused by a missing or damaged gene. Breeding an albino to a normal, you should in theory, always get a normal. THe alblino doesn't have a color gene to offer, there for the trate can not be passed dirrectly down (like WFB's for example). Instead, you have to pair two gliders together that are missing their second color gene and hope that when they breed their genes match up just right and they threw an albino...

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Leyna is very correct in several points!

I just thought I might clarify and elaborate on a few things. Leyna is exactly correct in stating that albinism is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the skin, governed by a chemical that affects the production of melanin in the skin, fur, occular tissue, etc. However, this "chemical" is located in all the cells of the skin, fur, iris, and so forth and is actually the biochemical reaction caused by the activity of the DNA within each cell. In ordinary grey gliders, the DNA/genes send a chemical message to the ribosomes of the cell (in the fur, skin, eyes, etc) to begin producing melanin, giving the gliders the right colours in the right places. In albinos, the genes (for reasons I'll explain next) do not send this chemical message to the ribosomes, so no melanin is produced and there is no pigment. So, in fact albinism is caused by genes and it therefore can be passed down to lower generations, as it does in every other animal where an albino form is existent. If you mate 2 albino rats, you will often end up with albino young and hets. I highly expect similar observations with the albino gliders. Essentially, there is no biological process that can occur naturally within an organism's body that acts independent of or is not influenced by the workings of DNA (other than the onset of cancers, mutations, or other events affecting the DNA itself, etc). DNA and genes are the building blocks of life. All naturally produced biochemicals, proteins, substances, hormones and the like within the body of an organism are produced by instructions indicated by the genes and they do not simply spontaneously come about.

Having said that, Leyna mentioned that albinism is caused by a damaged gene or perhaps a missing one. The word "damaged" basically describes a mutation in the gene (or genes). The gene(s) is still there and it has not disappeared as such, however it has been altered (refering to the term "damaged") and sometimes deactivated (refering to the term "missing") from its normal state, and thus fails to send out that biochemical that instructs the ribosomes to produce melanin. Mutations in DNA are completely natural and is in fact the driving force of evolution. Evolution itself is essentially based on lines of DNA mutations. This is also how we all have certain unique features about us like moles and such... I have two moles over my lip and one tiny blonde eye brow which grows out of my right eye brow line... how those mutated features will increase my chances of me passing my genes down to the next generation has yet to be proven... lol <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, in light of this, refering to what Leyna mentioned that albinism isn't passed down from parents, spontaneously occuring albinos caused by a genetic mutation (occuring during the transcribing of parents' DNA at sperm/egg production) do not occur from a particular "albino" gene from the parents, however all albinos do infact have that "albino" gene or genes (a mutated one/s) there that determine the albinism and it can definitely be transcribed into the young's DNA, as it does in other animals. I feel albinism is considered a completely natural occurence and any albino can carry its traits down to its young much like any other glider with its own unique traits would.

Also, if we have yet to mate two albinos we can't know for sure that albinos cannot pass down the albanism to their offspring. I guess what I'm trying to say is that first generation albinos DO NOT occur from exact "albino" genes passed on from parents, but any resulting albinos occuring in offspring afterwards occur not spontaneously but from their passed on "albino genes"/"albino DNA" like any other trait.

BTW, Leyna thank you SO much for the info on who has albinos. I'll attempt to contact them to find out more.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#36946 - 02/14/05 02:43 PM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mikey you always have so much to say on genetics I love reading your post but you said every thing that I was going to say and then some LOL!

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#36947 - 02/15/05 08:49 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Sheila Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/05/00
Posts: 5363
Loc: Ok
I will say this about Princess's babies this time. They tend to look more like cinnamon. Gus, the father was a gray glider as well as parents and grandparents. Buttercup and Humperdink who are brother and sister to Princess are more cinnamon color as well as Princess's parents. Go figure that one. The three other joeys born to Princess were all gray. Pictures coming soon.
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#36948 - 02/15/05 09:36 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, Sheila. I just quickly visited your site and Princess is stunning to say the least!

I had a feeling this was the case. The fact that some of Princess' offspring and parents/grandparents are cinnamon, and not simply standard greys, just inidcates that what I was saying about there being multiple genes (more than just the one allele pair) responsible for the expression of albinism is highly likely and probably the case. I feel the homozygous albino glider is genetically quite complex.

If there was only one gene controling albinism, where albinism was plainly recessive and the standard grey colour plainly dominant, then there would be no intermediary (i.e. the cinnamons). If albinism was a simple case of the single allele pair, like whether or not you can roll you tongue in the shape of a "U" (ability to roll tongue = dominant allele, inability to do so = recessive allele), then Princess' parents/grandparents would have been standard greys and nearly all her offspring should be standard greys, too (even if some of them are albino hets).

There are several possibilites here. The first being that albinism is controlled by more than one gene, and is infact governed by the interaction of two or more genes, or there could be that possibility that albinism is controled by mutltiple alleles where there is more than just the two existent alleles. Third, it's highly likely that it can even get more complex and both those possibilites could be true. Genetics is such a complex thing...

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#36949 - 02/15/05 09:58 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ah Ha! That answered my other question. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#36950 - 02/17/05 12:49 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The way I make most of my assumptions about color breeding is by looking at other animals. We simply don't have the kind of data to back up any facts on sugar glider colors yet, but some color genetics, like albinism, tend to have universal traits.

In all animals I know of, albinism is caused by two recessive alleles. It's not cause by missing or damaged genes, just the presence of 2 of the same rare gene.

It is not known if cinnamon is a dominant or recessive gene. I think that it might be dominant or co-dominant, because it is so prevalent among glider populations, and even greys mated with cinnamon will sometimes produce a more diluted cinnamon. In either case, a cinnamon gene will always dominate over an albino gene. So in the case where a glider has one albino gene and one cinnamon gene, it will appear cinnamon. It's still heterozygous for cinnamon and albino the same way a glider could be heterozygous for grey and albino. It's just a different combination.

Mikey, I think you forgot that gliders don't need to have any grey genes in them at all. They can have only cinnamon genes, only albino genes, or a mixture of both.

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#36951 - 02/17/05 03:52 AM Re: Breeding Albinos [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You're exactly right in saying that things like albinism tend to have universal principles. OK, now I'm going to have to think back to university papers. Alright...

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
In all animals I know of, where albinism has been recorded, albinism is caused by two recessive alleles. It's not cause by missing or damaged genes, just the presence of 2 of the same rare gene.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Actually, in nearly all animals I know of it's caused by more than just the allele pair (i.e. the "two recessive alleles" as you've described), but is caused by many recessive alleles. That was my whole point in my posts above. There is much evidence in studies of mammalian genetics that more than just a single gene or allele pair is involved at producing an albino. Many colour breeders of animals and science textbooks have simplified the principle in regards to the nature of the albino genetics generalizing that it is a recessive phenotype, yes, however it is in fact not necessarily determined at a single gene locus (and this fact/explanation is left out for possibly for purposes of simplification, and to provide the breeders with a general guideline). Otherwise, we wouldn't be getting half albinos, normal looking animals with no pigment in the eyes, different types of albinos bringing about clearly different ratios of albino young, etc. One could argue that these semi-albinos are brought about simply through co-dominance, but then that would be suggesting that the ALBINO phenotype may be a partially dominant allele in these animals? I feel albinism is truly and inherently a purely recessive trait. If albinism was governed by only the recessive pair of alleles like you say then we would be getting approximately 25% albino babies from mating two homozygous albinos in all species, and that this 25% figure would be consistent no matter what albino animal we may be looking at. However, it's not always 25% albino young from albinos. In many mammals, the number is actually quite smaller than that, again showing evidence that albinism in those animals is much more complex than being governed by just the single allele pair.

Also, in regards to damaged or missing genes, I explained that the genes aren't actually missing or damaged as such. They are still there only they have been altered due to a mutation originating during the transcribing of the DNA at gamete production (i.e. when haploid DNA from the parent is thrown into the sperm cells and the eggs or even at transcription during cellular mitotis after gamete union), and in the case of albinos, a series of mutations (due to the evidence that albinism is caused by information at multiple gene loci). Due to the alteration in the genes, particularly in the genes responsible for sending signals out to the ribosomes to produce melanin, no chemical signal is sent out to the ribosomes and no melanin is produced, hence there is no colour.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Mikey, I think you forgot that gliders don't need to have any grey genes in them at all. They can have only cinnamon genes, only albino genes, or a mixture of both.


<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Perhaps there may be a misunderstanding as to the way genes and colours work here. To put it simply, specific genetic info dictates what goes on in the cells of an organism. There are specific genes/alleles that indicate for the ribosomes to produce a lot of melanin bringing about black, those that cause the production of not so much melanin bringing about the colour brown, and those that send out no message resulting in no melanin being produced bringing about no colour or the colour white (or in the case of the eyes RED due to blood seen at the surface of the iris). Ont top of that, there are also different types of pigment and melanin itself can exist in various forms, patterns, distributions, bringing about the vast array of colours, and all this information is determined by the specific combination of the various genes (not determined by one gene at one gene locus), but at multiple loci. What colour appears in a shaft of hair depends on the combination of genes, because each gene dictates that a different amount, form, distribution, and pattern of melanin is to be produced in the hair cell. On top of that, there are genes responisble for the melanin production in different body parts, like those colour genes responsible for colour of the eyes, those genes responsible for the colour of the skin, those responsible for the colour of the tail hair, etc. Thus, in light of this fact, in the gliders it's more than highly likely that the different colour phases incorporate some of the same genes into the genotype as other phases, only they have it in a different combination thus bringing about the different colour. For instance, black eyed white gliders share similar eye colour DNA with standard greys (both colours have the black eyes), but also could possibly share the "no-colour-in-the-hair" DNA with albinos, for instance. Now, I don't know if that's the case but it's only one of a multitude of possibilities. Thus, the different colours do infact share colour-influencing genes.


Again, many highschool textbooks really simplify the principles of genes using examples of the ALBINO phenotype being recessive while treating it like it's governed by only a pair of alleles. In most animals, it may be generally recessive but it certainly isn't determined by information at one gene locus, and this is again due to scientific evidence both on an empirical level and on a electrophoresis level. In some animals like many reptiles the albinistic genes are quite simple, however it seems the endothermic vertebrates seem to have more complex albinistic genes (I'm assuming it may perhaps even have something to do with the ability of reptiles to expand and contract the melanin, i.e. colour change. I don't remember if this is true).

What I'm trying to say is that from the trends observed in the breedings (including Sheila's - originating from cinnamon parents/grandparent, and giving birth to cinammons from a standard greay male), there is much evidence that there may be no single "CINNAMON" genetic factor or single "ALBINO" genetic factor or "this colour" genetic factor or "that colour" genetic factor, and that in fact the colours more likely come about through a combination of the right genetic factors, and it should be called the "ALBINO" genetic combo, the "CINNAMON" genetic combo, or the "This colour" genetic combo, or "that colour" genetic combo, etc.


You are correct in stating that co-dominance may be a factor, and I believe it is, along with everything else I've said up there. Genetics can get really complex, as I mentioned before.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

PS- sorry for the sloppy terminology (i.e. "genetic factor", "single allele pair", "info at single gene locus", even the word "gene") but just note that I used all those terms mostly to refer to info provided at a single gene locus. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

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