French Bulldog Genetics
The coat color genes in the French Bulldog genetics color panel are E, A, D, K & S There are a number of genes which interact to dictate the coat colour of a dog – the genes tested in this panel are the main ones which dictate the coat colour in French bulldogs. Colours which dogs carry are often hidden, but become apparent in their offspring. It is in identifying these hidden genes that genetic testing has value.
French Bulldog Genetic Testing
Genetic testing can be used to identify some of the genes that a dog carries, and to help identify the possible outcome when dogs are bred. As with all genetic traits, every animal inherits one copy of each locus from each of its parents. So each gene test gives two results for each dog – one has come from his father and the other his mother. These are usually written one after the other e.g. at at. Further details about each of the gene tests follows below.
French Bulldog Genes and Genetics explained
E Gene: In Frenchies for sale the production of the two pigments eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (red/yellow/cream) is controlled by the Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R) gene, also known as Extension. The four alleles (variants) of this gene are, in order of dominance: melanistic mask (E m), grizzle (E g ), black (E) and red (e).
Different Genes for different breeds of dog
Some dog breeds are fixed for either black or red pigment, such as the Large Munsterlander for black and Irish Setters for red. Melanistic face mask is found in a variety of breeds including but not limited to Afghans, Akitas, Boxers, French Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Greyhounds, Pug Dogs and Whippets. For Pug Dogs and Boxers the trait is fixed, while it is variable in other breeds. Dogs that are overall eumelanistic (black, blue or brown) may have the mask but it is indistinguishable from the body colour.
Frenchie Genetics and Masks/Muzzles
Dogs with white muzzles may have the mask gene but expression is overridden by white spotting patterns. The mask phenotype is caused by the E m variant at the MC1R gene. Grizzle (also called domino) is a pattern of dark pigment (eumelanin) on the dorsal surface of the head, body and tops of the legs; light pigment (pheomelanin) is present on the lower legs, undersides and up the face around the eyes. The distinctive face pattern is often referred to as a widow’s peak. T
his variant has been seen in Afghan, Borzoi, Chart Polski and Saluki hounds. Grizzle can only be expressed when the Dominant black gene is not present (N/N) and the agouti gene is a t /at . This test screens for all 4 variants to provide a complete analysis and a better understanding of phenotype and breeding expectations.
Results are reported as: Em/Em 2 copies of mask- dog has mask Em/Eg 1 copy of mask and 1 copy of grizzle- dog has mask and carries grizzle Em/E 1 copy of mask and 1 copy of black- dog has mask and carries black Em/e 1 copy of mask and 1 copy of red/yellow- dog has mask and carries red/yellow/cream Eg/Eg 2 copies of grizzle-dog is grizzle if Dominant black is N/N and agouti is at/at Eg/E 1 copy of grizzle and 1 copy of black- dog is grizzle if Dominant black is N/N and agouti is at/at Eg/e 1 copy of grizzle and 1 copy of red/yellow/cream-dog is grizzle if Dominant black is N/N and agouti is at/at E/E 2 copies of black E/e 1 copy of black and 1 copy of red/yellow/cream e/e 2 copies of red/yellow are present. Dog is red/yellow/cream
A Gene with French Bulldog Genetics
A Gene: The Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene interacts with the MC1r gene to control red and black pigment switching in most mammals including dogs. Dog coat colour is further complicated by the interaction of other genes that restrict agouti expression such as the dominant black gene – Beta-Defensin 103.
There are 4 known alleles (variants) of agouti listed here with corresponding color pattern in order of dominance: fawn/ sable (ay ) yellow to red with some dorsal black tipped hairs, wild sable (aw ) banded hairs of yellow and black as in seen in wolves and coyotes, black and-tan (at ) black dorsal hairs with tan hair on cheeks, eyebrows and undersides, and recessive black (a) all black as seen in some herding dogs.
The Eurasier dog breed has all 4 alleles while some breeds are fixed for only one variant such as the Norwegian Elkhound for wild sable and the Beagle for black-and-tan. For many breeds, there are 2 or 3 alleles possible and it may be advantageous for breeders to predict the possible colors of offspring resulting from specific matings. The agouti test is also useful to help determine the color of dogs that have white patterns that may obscure the distribution of the colored pigment.
This test will help determine possible coat color outcomes from specific matings. Results are reported as: a y / ay Homozygous for fawn/ sable. a y / aw Dog is fawn and carries wild sable. a y / at Dog is fawn and carries black-and-tan. a y / a Dog is fawn and carries recessive black. a w / aw Homozygous for wild-sable. a w / at Dog is wild-sable and carries black-and-tan. a w / a Dog is wild-sable and carries recessive black. a t / at Homozygous for black-and-tan. a t / a Dog is black-and-tan and carries recessive black. a/a Homozygous for recessive black.
The D Gene A recessive mutation in the melanophilin (MLPH) gene was identified as the cause of color dilution phenotypes in the dog. Two alleles (variants) are described: the dominant full color (D) and the recessive dilute (d). Two copies of dilute are needed to lighten black pigment to grey (often called blue) and red pigment to cream (also called buff). A diagnostic DNA test identifies the specific variants of the MLPH gene. NOTE: Another as yet unidentified mutation causing color dilution is known to occur in some breeds such as Doberman Pinscher, French Bulldog, Italian Greyhound, Chow Chow and Shar-Pei.
In these breeds, and likely others as well, some dogs may carry both the known and unknown dilution mutations and present a dilute phenotype. Results from the DILUTE test are reported as: D/D Full color, no dilute gene present D/d Full color, carries 1 copy of the dilute gene d/d Dilute, 2 copies of the dilute gene The K Gene The wide variety of coat colors in mammals is achieved by the production of two pigments, eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (red or yellow).
In most mammals, the switching between these 2 pigments is controlled by MC1R and Agouti genes. In dogs, original coat color research of pedigrees suggested that a third gene, named Dominant Black (K locus), was involved. This gene produces dominant black vs. brindle vs. fawn colors in breeds such as Great Danes, Pugs and Greyhounds among others. Researchers recently have discovered that dominant black is due to a mutation in a Beta-defensin gene (CBD103).
This test can assist owners of black dogs to determine if their dogs are homozygous for dominant black or if they carry brindle or fawn. Results are reported as: K/K 2 copies of dominant black are present K/N* 1 copy of dominant black is present N/N Dog does not have the dominant black mutation *
This result is sometimes associated with the brindle pattern. The S Gene White spotting patterns that occur in many dog breeds do not have a uniform genetic basis. Some white patterns, such as the Irish spotting, are symmetrical with white markings on the undersides, collar and muzzle, and/or blaze such as seen in Boston Terriers and Corgis. The white pattern called mantle is phenotypically similar to Irish spotting but with more white extending onto the thigh and up the torso, as seen in some Great Danes. A pattern of less symmetrical white spotting, often called piebald, parti or random white, is present in many breeds.
A DNA variant has been found in Microphthalmia Associated Transcription Factor- (MITF) gene that is associated with piebald spotting in many breeds. The genetic determination of white spotting in dogs is complex. In breeds such as Collie, Great Dane, Italian Greyhound, Shetland Sheepdog, Boxer and Bull Terrier, piebald behaves as a dosage-dependent trait. A dog with one copy of the MITF variant has some white pattern expression, while a dog with 2 copies of the variant display more extreme white with color only on the head and perhaps a body spot.
In Boxers and Bull Terriers, dogs with 2 copies of the MITF variant are completely white and dogs with 1 copy display the mantle (called flash in these breeds) pattern. However, additional mutations in MITF or other white-spotting genes appear to be present in these breeds that affect the amount of white being expressed. In other breeds, piebald behaves as a recessive trait- that is 2 copies of piebald are needed to produce white spotting. This test will assist breeders with selection of matings that can produce the desired outcome for white.
Results are reported as: N/N Dog has no copies of piebald S/N Dog has 1 copy of piebald S/S Dog has 2 copies of piebald Note- expression of white patterns varies from breed to breed and among individuals within a breed. This test is specific for the mutation in MITF known to be associated with piebald/random white spotting.