Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Genome Mapping of Lavender Corn Snakes


    Corn snakes are a species of non-venomous snake native to New Jersey. They come in a wide range of color varieties that have been bred for the pet trade. The pet trade often demands new and interesting morphs of snakes and lizards to draw high prices and interest. These morphs are created through breeding and the genes involved in their color have complex interactions.

    In 2020, a study was conducted to map the genome of lavender corn snakes and compare it to the wild type. DNA samples were taken from lavender and wild-type corn snakes and sequenced. Researchers hypothesized the lavender mutation was due to a mutation in the LYST gene responsible for making a protein called the lysosomal trafficking regulator. They also hypothesized that this mutation affected the xanthophores and melanophores responsible for pigment in corn snakes. They concluded that there was a mutation in the premature stop codon of the LYST gene of lavender corn snakes that is responsible for the pink and gray coloration. 

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