Why is there no DNA test for color?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by chambe94, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. chambe94

    chambe94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know why DNA testing for color isn't available for chickens like it is for other species?

    Is it just lack of effort on the part of the industry, or is there something that makes it harder in chickens from a scientific standpoint?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When you ae showing chickens the judge sees what the judge sees. If the color/pattern, conformation, and all the other things meet SOP requirements, the chicken is not disqualified. There are often different ways genetically to make some of the colors. Black may be based on Extended Black. Black may be Birchen with Melanizers. As long as the chicken is black, the judge sees black. White could be based on Dominant White. White may be based on a totally different gene, Recessive White. Some people mix in barring with one of these white genes to get an even whiter white.

    All chicken breeds were developed by selective breeding and practically all chicken breeds were created by mixing different breeds. Occasionally you have a mutation but that is really rare. Breeds are almost always created by mixing breeds. Genetically the created breed will carry markers of the original breeds. It would get pretty messy to try to separate the genetics out. Another factor is that you can get a New Hampshire by crossing a Rhode Island Red with a Buff Orpington and using selective breeding if you know what you are doing. You could cross a Rhode Island Red with a Buff Rock and eventually get to a New Hampshire. As long as a flock breeds true for color, pattern, conformation, and everything that the SOP requires for 4 or 5 generations, that is considered a purebred, no matter how you got there.

    There is simply no need for genetic testing. What you see is what you get and there are different ways genetically to get there.
     
  3. chambe94

    chambe94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get all that, but the testing would be very helpful in getting there quicker.

    If you knew a bird had a recessive gene you were trying to select for or against a DNA test would tell you what genes he carries that you aren't seeing (rather than having to test breed). I'm not talking about parentage verification or breed determination, but ID"s genes.

    In horses for example, a $40 test will tell you all the alleles a horse is carrying over 17 different loci.

    Something like that for color or egg color would be nice in helping plan breedings easier. Especially because there are some may other modifiers, it can be hard to tell if a bird really has what you are breeding for, or just looks like it. Then when you go on to breed that bird you may never reach the goal you were hoping for because the genes weren't actually there.

    It would also help avoid unwanted recessive traits popping up.

    Obviously it wouldn't be for everyone, or even every bird in a persons flock, but it would be very useful in some cases.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I think I understand better where you are coming from. As you could tell, I wasn’t sure in that first post. I thought you might be wanting to have to prove a chicken was a purebred for it to be in a show.

    Follow the money. I can see in the horse industry that there would be a lot of interest in DNA testing a stallion going to stud. There is a lot of money in the different parts of the horse breeding industry. I could see research being funded. Of those 17 loci, how many involve color?

    I can see where DNA testing would be very helpful in selecting which chickens you breed. Those recessives are really a pain to breed out. But who would fund that research? There is a lot of money in the broiler and egg laying industries so they may have done something though probably not on color. I’ve seen posts on here where you can send off a sample from a chick and they will determine if it is male or female. I think that place was in Canada but I don’t have a link. If you could find them and chat with them, they may be able to give you much better insight than I can.
     
  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    There is little economic incentive to do so.
     

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