Thursday, November 28, 2019

Mosaic coat patterns in guinea pigs

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           The knowledge of guinea pig coat color is surprisingly more understood by scientists than any other rodent species including mice. There are twelve loci that determine pigmentation of coat color in guinea pigs. An common example of genetic mutation in guinea pigs is their coat patterns.
As demonstrated by corn and the way its wild type has many different colors, textures, and incomplete dominance, the guinea pig is quite commonly found having a pattern of colored spots whether it be a tortoiseshell, piebald or tricolor (which are all recessive genes). It has been found that these colors are a result of unstable somatic genes that code for the pigments of a guinea pigs coat. Obviously once a mutation happens it is carried out through the lineage of that organism, giving rise to the guinea pig species now that much less commonly is observed having one single coat color.
           Also interestingly enough, it has been observed that those mosaics of color coat pattern are found in what are called "mutant areas" on the guinea pig. While the wild type agouti coat is typically found in the center area the mutated intense portion of the guinea pig is more commonly around the face and behind.
            Many studies have been performed to test and study guinea pig coats and what really surprises me is that there is more understood about guinea pigs than any other rodent. I have a guinea pig myself and I always tend to research about them just to try and understand my pet more. I find very interesting knowledge about them, their herding tendencies, or even the mutations that occur in pigmentation of their coat. I always appreciate reading a new article discussing why they are such unique animals.

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