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Color Gene Testing Centers 


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Reading DNA results
We have used UC Davis for many years and recommend them above all other labs for color testing. The Results Chart below uses UC Davis' letter system. Other labs have different lettering systems, which is very important to differentiate. CREDITS: The reading and results in the chart, are predominantly excerpts from the UC Davis Website.
Other genes restrict agouti expression such as the dominant black gene. There are 4 known alleles of agouti which are: fawn/ sable (ay), wild sable (aw), black-and-tan (at), recessive black (a). 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.
ay ay Full fawn/sable.
ay aw Fawn, carries wild sable.
ay at Fawn, carries black and tan.
ay a Fawn, carries recessive black.
aw aw Full wild sable.
aw at Wild sable, carries black and tan.
aw a Wild sable, carries recessive black.
at at Full black and tan.
at a Black and tan, carries recessive black.
a a Full Recessive Black.
There are two alleles, the dominant full color (B) and the recessive brown (b). Two copies of brown are needed to dilute black pigment to brown. For red or yellow dogs, the brown allele does not dilute the hair color, but will change the color of nose and foot pads from black to brown if two brown alleles are present.
B B Full Color, no brown gene present.
B b Carrier, 1 copy of brown present.
b b Full brown. Black pigment, if present, is diluted to brown, red/yellow dogs will have brown noses and foot pads.
There are two alleles, the dominant full color (D) and the recessive dilute (d). Two copies of dilute are needed to lighten black pigment to grey, which we call blue, and red pigment to cream.

Full color, no dilute gene present.

D d Carrier, 1 copy of dilute present.
d d Full Dilute. Black pigment, if present, is diluted to blue, red/yellow dogs will have blue noses and foot pads.
This gene produces dominant black vs. brindle vs. fawn/sable colors.
K K Full Dominant Black. This could present as Brindle or Seal and is confirmed visually.
K N Carrier, 1 copy of Dominant Black present.
N N Does not carry Dominant Black.
Merle is governed by a SINE insertion in SILV gene. Merle only dilutes black pigment, so dogs with an MC1R ee genotype have no black pigment and thus do not express merle. However, they can produce merle offspring. The 3 alleles for merle are, merle (M), SINE with longer poly-A tail, cryptic merle (Mc), SINE with shorter poly-A tail,  and non-merle (N). Dogs with Mc typically display little to no merling. Inheritance of merle is genetically unstable for both M and Mc alleles. During DNA replication and cell division, M may occasionally undergo poly-A tail reduction to produce Mc, while Mc may undergo expansion and revert to M. 
M M Full Merle. 2 copies of Merle present.
M Mc Full Carrier. 1 copy of both Merle genes present.
M N Carrier. 1 Copy of Merle present.
Mc Mc Full Carrier. 2 copies of Cryptic Merle present.
Mc N Carrier. 1 copy of Cryptic Merle present.
N N Non-Merle. No copies of Merle or Cryptic Merle.
A DNA variant has been found in the MITF gene that is associated with piebald spotting. 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. Additional mutations in MITF or other white spotting genes appear to be present in some 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. White/Piebald can be either recessive or dominant according to the breed, and in some breeds also behaves as a dosage dependent trait.
N N Non Piebald/White. No copies of piebald/white present.
N S Carrier. 1 copy of piebald/white present
S S Full Piebald/White. 2 copies present.
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