Dog Coat Colour Genetics: A Review

Rashid Saif, Ali Iftekhar, Fatima Asif, Mohammad Suliman Alghanem


Canis lupus familiaris is one of the most beloved pet species with hundreds of world-wide recognized breeds, which can be differentiated from each other by specific morphological, behavioral and adoptive traits. Morphological characteristics of dog breeds get more attention which can be defined mostly by coat color and its texture, and considered to be incredibly lucrative traits in this valued species. Although the genetic foundation of coat color has been well stated in the literature, but still very little is known about the growth pattern, hair length and curly coat trait genes. Skin pigmentation is determined by eumelanin and pheomelanin switching phenomenon which is under the control of Melanocortin 1 Receptor and Agouti Signaling Protein genes. Genetic variations in the genes involved in pigmentation pathway provide basic understanding of melanocortin physiology and evolutionary adaptation of this trait. So in this review, we highlighted, gathered and comprehend the genetic mutations, associated and likely to be associated variants in the genes involved in the coat color and texture trait along with their phenotypes. Moreover, genetic diversity of other associated genes were also pointed out to understand this phenomena in detail along with their genotypes for better understanding the expression and mode of inheritance of this trait for describing dog breeds with more accuracy.

Keywords: Dog breeds; Dog color variants; Dog texture genetics; Dog breed differentiation  

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