Coat color genetics is very complex but we hope we can help you interpret your dog's trait results and see just how amazing genetics can be!
There are two types of pigment in dogs. Eumelanin is found in the coat and is present in the other parts of the dog that need pigment—most notably the eyes (irises) and nose. On the other hand, phaeomelanin doesn't affect the eyes or nose and is only visible in the coat.
Recessive "Red" & Intensity
At the E locus, dogs that are ee can be "red" regardless of the other loci (this would be dominant over the A and K). We use the term red, but as you can see in these photos (www.doggenetics.co.uk/masks.html), many of the dogs are yellow, cream, or even appear white, depending on their intensity.
While many dogs that are white are ee at the E locus, there are a few other genes that can control white as well. For example, we offer testing for two variants that can cause albinism, and we report white spotting/parti/piebald (sp at the S Locus) which can affect whiteness in the coat. However, not all forms of white spotting, and specifically what is referred to as Irish spotting, have a known causative genetic variant.
Causes we don't test for
There are also other e alleles found in certain breeds, and these alleles are sometimes referred to as e2 and e3. Embark is currently working to add these to our testing platform. If you have dogs that have tested as hetero- or homozygous for e2 or e3, contact us to find out how you can help.
To learn more about coat color genetics, please click see Science Corner: Coat Color Genetics 101
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