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Basics about chicken color genetics inheritance in Silkies ;-)

This is the "top-page" with the complete color genetics explanation


Because of what I do/did, share knowledge itself, is me certainly not taken gratefully  !

Silkies are the collection of about ALL possible singularities in 1 chicken !!!


A collage of the differrent Silkie-coloration discribed in this webpage, all of them are recently breeded and of better quality.
        Black            Blue          Splash     Grigioperla      gold        Silver         Red         Buff         Cuckoo     Platenbont    white


MOROSETA


come li alleviamo



Almost all you wanted to know about Silkie colors you can find here :


For the beginner interested in basic genetics terms read first the 5 theoretical explanation to can follow completely the used informations.

Theoretical basic knowledge


Basics Color Genetics               &                Common Color Crosses

Breeding ground-colors :

E/E              eWh/eWh           eb/eb



Just something in between :

D. & T. Il Nostro Progetto

qui disponibile nella qualità adatta ma soltanto nella piccola quantità !
Moreheads
here available in suitable quality but only in small quantity !
disponible dans la bonne qualité mais dans le nombre limite
beschikbaar in goede kwaliteit maar in beperkt aantal

danny@zijdehoenders.be      TF GSM 0032 474 391 332

Moroseta "SUPERCALZATTA TESTA NERA" Argento

the presentation 2011 is ready for visit

Le mie nuove colorazioni e forme in Moroseta


They are "created" on beauty as well in shape, details as coloration, they are not just reproductions !
 (we have them in 3 variaties : Dark or BlackSilver, Grey or BlueSilver, Light or WhiteSilver)

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                    This page is a part of :
                             


    contact via :
danny@zijdehoenders.be               
                                                  tel. :        0032 474 391 332                                    

T&D are membres of :
T&D Nostro Progetto

and in a cooperation with :

http://www.moroseta.com

contact via :
tundec2007@gmail.com
             tel. :       0039 392 926 8134

T&D are members of :




and some other friends Silkie breeders.




My point of view on theoretical knowledge brought into the practice breeding.
This NOT explain how pigments & genes work, this only let see some breeding results and give them a possible practical explanation !
For the better and complete genetic explanations
how pigments & genes work look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.


(with photographycal examples of Silkies breeded by my friends and myself)

all photo's have copyrights by there owners.
Created by Tünde



This is my personal
attempt to speak about breeding Silkie colors, nothing more nothing less.
(about the normal pure color-breeding but also about the accuration of less common things  in our hobby-breedings).
You should interpretate this page as standing with both feet in the poultry and the theory in the back of the head.
Never be afraid to try out some idea's with a little luck sometimes accure a wonderful "accidental" result.


T&D are fans of Chicken Genetica
http://www.summagallicana.it/



Before starting we must know :
the same genetic recipe works not always the same (giving the same results) in all races.
MUCH depends on what the "ground-color" is stipulated on in every race independently.

Silkies and there genetic color recipes are NO exception on this !!!



most depends on the

TONALITY

in our 2 only excisting

COLOR   COLOR

PIGMENTS

they are very much influneced by the acting or interacting or not-acting of several "reinforcers" and "diluters",

the most common are :

as "Mh" (Mahogany) needs "s+" (gold or the red pigment) to can do is
reinforcing work
as "Ml" (Melanotic) needs "E" (black or the black pigment) to can do is
intensifingwork
same for
as "Di" (Dilute) needs "s+" (gold or the red pigment) to can do is diluting work
as "Bl" (Blue) needs "E"  (black or the black pigment) to can do is thinning work


nor Mh as Ml as Di as Bl contain pigment, they are are only Reinforcers or Diluters of pigments !



T&D are also members and fans of :

http://www.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/forum.aspx?c=99368&f=99368

Just registrate (it is for free) and become also a member.


_____________________________________________________________________________________


PART

1

Because if we not consider these 4 genes entwined, we will always missing the point.


In general


Since there are only 2 color-pigments, Black (eumelanin) and Red (pheomelanin) as we can see in the original Bankiva fowl
(see lower for the Bankiva fowl and his full genetic code)


E-locus    S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus


Black is determinate from the E-locus and on is best as E/E reinforced with Ml/Ml resulting in deep extended black with a green shine
Red is determinate from the S-locus and on is best as s+/s+ reinforced with Mh/Mh resulting in a deep extended red with a violet shine
.

When the Ml (Melanotic) Black enhancer and/or the Mh (Mahogany) Red reinforcer are in there original form (with a "+")
we never result in totaly Black and/or totaly Red phenotype colors.



Here we can see 2 of the better representants, one of a Red Silkie and one of a Black Silkie :

            Photo's of Louise            
         Red : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh - Black : E/E S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+
                       or 
                   eb/eb
(these with gray under fluff)




Each coloration (and each race) have his own singularities in breeding to perfection (with selection).


Singularity in Red Silkies :



Red, several times created in Silkies but now finaly brought to recognation with RED under fluff.

Photo of Louise
Red : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh (red under fluff)  (as in Holland)
Red : eb/eb Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ or (Ml/ml+) Mh/Mh (gray under fluff)  (as in Germany)


Even the "under fluff" can tell us something about the presence of a gene and of is quantity & quality.


             Photo of Louise                         Photo of Simone                            Photo of Louise
real Red under fluff = eWh/eWh    light Gray under fluff = eWh/eb    dark Gray under fluff = eb/eb
 



Singularity in Buff Silkies :



Red diluted to Buff, there is more needed than only "Di/Di" to eliminate the last bits of black !

Photo of Louise
Buff: eWh/eWH Co/Co s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh Di/Di


Also the tonality of the Buff coloration diverse from pale to intense , on what genetic reason?

Photo's of Louise
Should be : eWh/eWH Co/Co s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh Di/Di   Can it be : eWh/! Co/! s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/! Di/!




Singularity in lavender Silkies :




Black diluted to lavender, with lav/lav mutation, is one way to dilute black omong several ways !

Photo of Tünde
lavender : E/E  s/- or S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ lav/lav


Photo's of Danny
In lavender chickens you can see "reserve pigments" in the neck-feathers (little black horizontale lines)




Singularity in Black Silkies :



The coloration tonality differences can have more than one reason.

Photo's of Louise and Rachele

         E/E   S/-  Ml/Ml mh+/mh+    -      E/E  s+/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
Here is good to see the first hen tonality of the black colorations, that is genotypical "E/E",  can be intense black when present "Ml"
the coloration tonality of the other hen is more pale black, with gold outbreak in the neck, this is the caused by the absence of "Ml"

An other example of coloration tonality (quantity & quality) difference, here in Black (E/E - E/eb)
(There is a little disturbance in the real color by the digital photo but in reality it is very good to see)

Photo's of Danny
           Black (intense) : E/E S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+    -    Black (paler) : E/eb S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+












When we want to understand the basics about chicken color genetics we have to make ourselves a little habituated to the frequently used terms in the explanations about the different inheritance ways.





There are several ways in which the color-genes act and interact with each other :
Dominant, Epistasis, incomplete Dominant, recessivity are the most common.


Since there are only 2 color-pigments, Black (eumelanin) and
Red (pheomelanin) as we can see in the original Bankiva fowl.


Bankiva partridge color is the bases on wich all color-variants are made of and is the so called genetic
  "wildcolor"
The Bankiva (Gallus Gallus)
All alleles are original (with a "+")
e+e+ co+co+ db+db+ pg+pg+ ml+ml+ Cha+Cha+ mh+mh+ di+di+ Ig+Ig+ cb+cb+ i+i+ bl+bl+ Lav+Lav+ C+C+ Mo+Mo+
b+b+ s+s+ Choc+Choc+ (males)    or    b+/- s+/- Choc+/- (females)

(the sex-linked genes)


The coloration of this chickens feathers is determinate by only two pigments. The phenotype-color of our chickens is NOT made of ONE gene but of SEVERAL genes that act and interact in different ways along their composition and along the different mutations on the different loci.

the red-pigment express itself mainly by the s+ allels (gold) it can take different forms of tonality
from the very light variant as wheaten (eWh) to the very dark variant mahogany (Mh)
the black-pigment express itself mainly by the E allels (black) it can take different forms of tonality
from the very light variant as lavender (lav) to the very dark variant melanotic (Ml)




When we want to speak about the color-inheritance rules of our chickens we MUST always mention the E-locus and the S-locus at the same time, this is important for 2 reasons :
- when the E-locus is for example "E/E" (pure = homozygote) Extanded Black, this mutated gene alone, without the presence of a black melaniser as "Ml", are NOT strong enough itself to cover completely the red-pigment of "s+", this gold will come to the surface especially in the cocks necks and wings;
- when the E-locus is for example "E/eb" (unpure = heterozygote) Black, this single black allel, without the presence of a black melaniser as "Ml", is surely NOT strong enough and will let come ALWAYS visible the expression of the "s+" (gold).


Photo's of Rachele

     Black (with gold) : E/E  s+/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+  -  Black (with gold and red) : E/E s+/s+ ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh


It is also important to mention at the same time in what way the black-melaniser "Ml" and the red-reinforcer "Mh" are present, in mutated form "Ml/Ml" or "Ml/ml+" or in his original form "ml+/ml+" as also for the mutated form "Mh/Mh" or Mh/mh+" or in his original form "mh+/mh+", because the outcome of the colors in the offspring will be always influenced by them whatever is there composition.







To be genetical theoretical complete I also mention which is a diluter, restrictor, pattern and absence.

Chickens have 2 kinds of pigment that define their plumage color. The black (sometimes darkbrownish) pigment eumelanin,  and the red (sometimes yellowbrownish) pigment pheomelanin. In wildtype (Bankiva) chickens the groundcolor is redyellow with blackdarkbrown, it is called "gold". By red enhancers this gold can be boosted to a (dark) red color. One groundcolor of a chicken is pheomelanin. When this is absent it is called "silver" which looks white. The common silver-gene allows the expression of some red features like salmon breast or red shoulders.

§ Until now we only spook about the enhancers or reinforcers of eumelanin en pheomelanin but to be complete we must also mention the Diluters of both color-pigments.
-Eumelanin diluters dilute eumalin as is : Blue (Bl/bl+), Dominant White (I/I or I/i+) and is variants as Smokey (I^s/I^s), Khaki (I^d/I^d) and Dun (I^d/i+) and there is the sex-linked chocholate (choc/choc * choc/-) and (a double diluter) lavender (lav/lav) that dilutes aswell eumelanin and also pheomelanin (ex. Isabel).
-Pheomelanin diluters do not dilute eumelanin and are : Dilute (Di/Di), Inhibitor of Gold (ig/ig), Champagneblonde (Cb/Cb).

§ There are also black-restricters as Coumbian (Co/Co) and Darkbrown (Db/Db).
Examples are
Columbian chickens as well in white as in red and gold.

§ There are complex pattern combinations as
(Pg/Pg+Ml/Ml+Co/Co) and can be added (Db/Db).
Examples are lacing (concentric pencilling, double and single lacing), spangling (not mottling) and transverse pencilling (autosomal barring).

§ Absence of all pigment delivers a white color. Dominant white (Inhibitor I) inhibits mainly black pigment, rendering the pattern white. Recessive white (Colorless c) inhibits both pigmentkinds, but could leak red. Mottled (mo) is a temporary/local inhibition of both pigments, especially at the feathertip. The sexlinked Barring factor (B) inhibits pigmentdepositing from time to time, giving a barred pattern.


But remember :
the same genetic recipe works not always the same (giving the same results) in all races.
MUCH depends on what the "ground-color" is stipulated on in every race independently.



Chickens are NOT as flowers these can have Red/Red X White/White = Red/White expressing as Rose


CONCLUSION

Not ONE gene but of SEVERAL genes that act and interact in different ways along their composition.

                 1.   We look first the "ground-color" = what genes are on the E-locus;
                 2.   Is this "ground-color" reinforced = which are the alleles on the Ml-locus;
                 3.   The "ground-color" basis = is it the original or the mutation on the S-locus;
                 4.   Is this "ground-color" basis reinforced = which are the alleles on the Mh-locus.

These 4 genes all together will show us the exact tonality color in the phenotype.




The following tabel is my personal opinional view on the genetic classification how genes works !!




All 18 loci in one table :
E - Ml - Mh - S - Di - ig - Cb - Bl - I - choc - lav - Co - Db - Pg - mo - c - B - cha

They all can take different forms resulting in different phenotypes and I classifie them as follow :
(5 groundcolor stipulators, 3 reinforcers, 2.1/2 phenotypical variants, 10 diluters, 2 ristricters, 1 pattern-complexe and 4 inhibitors).



Chicken feather colors concist out of 2 color-pigments only:
          RED-pigment expressing as :                   and                  BLACK-pigment expressing as :
                     YELLOW/RED                                                              BLACK/DARKBROWN       
Photo's kippenencyclopedie.nl

First we have the 5 big "genetic families" that stipulate the "ground-color" places of the feather colors,
(there where several sub-families but these are not more counted, as "ey" recessive wheaten "es" speckled and "ebc" buttercup)
these 2 color-pigments are determinated in all five E-locus genes in more or less quantity & quality.
Depending based on gold or Silver these 5 big "genetic families"  show complete different phenotypes :


     Extended Black           Birchen                  Wheaten             Asiatic partridge           Bankiva
            E/E                       ER/ER                   eWh/eWh                   eb/eb                      e+/e+

hens based on gold, as you can see here under these based on Silver have complete different phenotype


     Extended Black            Birchen                  Wheaten             Asiatic partridge           Bankiva
             E/E                       ER/ER                   eWh/eWh                    eb/eb                     e+/e+

hens based on Silver, as you van see here above these on gold have a complete different phenotype

Pictures from the chickencolorcalculator of Henk



these 2 color-pigments determinated in the genes of the E-locus are influenced by the Ml- and Mh- loci
the "enhancers"  and  the "reinforcers"
             Melanotic                                           charcoal                                  Mahogany
   Ml/Ml or Ml/ml+  and  ml+/ml+                 cha/cha                Mh/Mh or Mh/mh+  and  ml+/ml+
                                                             (black head and neck)
                                                         is a less common enhancer 
on e+, s+ and Ml / on e+, S and Ml            on eb, Co and cha          on e+, s+ and Mh / on e+, S and Mh
                Pictures from the chickencolorcalculator of Henk  
            


Second we have the 2.1/2 "variants" that give the ground-color is typical phenotypepical look,
the ground-color of a chicken is "gold". When this is absent it is called "Silver" which looks white.
These "color" variants are determinated in the S-locus gene in more or less quantity & quality,

                                          gold                          Golden                            Silver
                                   s+/s+ * s+/-                      S/s+                          S/S * S/-
                                      on eb/eb                    only cocks                       on eb/eb

                       Here, as you can see there is NO "Ml" or "Mh" only ml+/ml+ and mh+/mh+
Pictures from the chickencolorcalculator of Henk


The 2.1/2 variant give complete different looking phenotype in the 5 different genotype of the E-locus
(2.1/2 is my way of saying this gene is a  sex-linked gene because hens are hemizygote in it, s+/- or S/-)
There are to many phenotypes to show here but just try it out in the chickencolorcalculator,
he is free to use on the internet !

Not covered : autosomal red, some recessive melanizers, the unknown black inhibitors in the Buff phenotype (tail and wings).
Simplified/omitted : crossing with extended black often causes persistent silver/gold leakage in hackle and saddle of cockerels.
Note : Illustrations are meant as a basic indication of the phenotype. Text description should not be ignored!





Once we considered these color-consisting genes (on E- and S-loci) with the 2 enhancer genes (on Ml- and Mh-loci) we look the other loci:

these other genes are NOT color-genes but factors as that accentuate the phenotype:

                                                                  DILUTERS:

 of the red-pigment tonality                                    of the  black-pigment tonality
 Diluter   inhibitor    Blonde        Blue   Smokey   khaki        Dun              chocolate         lavender
  Di/Di       ig/ig       Cb/Cb        Bl/bl+   Is/Is      Id/Id        Id/i+     choc/choc *choc/-    lav/lav


                                                            BLACK-RESTRICTERS:
                                                     Columbia                        Dark brown
                                                        Co/Co                              Db/Db   


                                                       PATTERNER-COMPLEXES:   
                                             laced
       (Pg/Pg + Ml/Ml + Co/Co)  can be added  Db/Db


 ABSENCE OF COLOR:

           motteled                 Dominant White              recessive white               Barred
           mo/mo                        I/I or I/i+                          c/c                B/B or B/b+  *  B/-
       (inhibits temporary/local)                                                              (inhibits temporary/local)
Photo's kippenencyclopedie.nl


Again, there are other ways to classifie these accentuating factors but this is my personal own practical classification.



If we had to classifie the phenotypical colors of or Silkies in a genotypical tabel I should do it as this :

The E-locus variants for Silkies, only 4 families :
( there was a sub-familie but it is not more counted,  "ey" recessive wheaten )


                                      E/E (optional E/ER - E/eWh - E/eb)                                  

        Extended Black : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+
                              Blue : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml or ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/bl+
        Splash : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/Bl
          lavender : E/E s+/s+ * s/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml or ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ lav/lav
           Cuckoo : E/E S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ B/B or B/b+ * B/-
Platenbont : E/E S/S * S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+ I/? (mo/mo)!?
white : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ c/c (Bl/bl+,Bl/Bl,lav/lav,B/B or B/b+*B/-,I/?)
* chocolate : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ choc/choc * choc/-

* ER/ER (optional ER/eWh - ER/eb)

* Birchen (Silver) : ER/ER  S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
* Blue Birchen (Silver) : ER/ER  S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/bl+
* white : ER/ER s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ c/c (Bl/bl+,Bl/Bl,lav/lav,B/B or B/b+*B/-,I/?)

eWh/eWh (optional eWh/eb)

Buff : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh Di/Di
Red : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh (red under fluff)
white : eWh/eWh s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ c/c (Bl/bl+,Bl/Bl,lav/lav,B/B or B/b+*B/-,I/?)

eb/eb

gold Asiatic partridge : eb/eb s+/s+ * s+/- Pg/Pg ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
Silver Asiatic partridge : eb/eb S/S * S/- Pg/Pg ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
Red : eb/eb Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ or (Ml/ml+) Mh/Mh (gray under fluff)
white : eb/eb s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ c/c (Bl/bl+,Bl/Bl,lav/lav,B/B or B/b+*B/-,I/?)


Of each Silkie-phenotype of the above putted genotypes is a photo inserted in this page !


* are Silkie colors to be ("under constructions") !
hobbynames in grayish = excist but not recognized (yet)
hobbynames in bluish = sex-linked genes
factors in greenish = optional hidden genes


As you can see there are NO Silkies based on the e+/e+ variant, as you also can see white c/c is possible on aswell the E/E, *ER/ER, eWh/eWh and eb/eb, that is why we say under the white phenotype is always hidden and other "goundcolor" that can and will come to the surface in a done "colorcross" !

Here were putted all E-locus genes (aswell as all other loci-genes) in homozygote / hemizygote form.
But they all can take heterozygote forms also, example for the E-locus :
(than our Silkie will be named unpure for there ground-coloration)
E/*ER - E/eWh - E/eb = (heterozygote)  but a black standard, phenotype depending on the other loci;
*ER/eWh - *ER/eb = (heterozygote) but a Birchen standard, phenotype depending on the other loci;
eWh/eb = (heterozygote) but a Buff standard, phenotype depending on the other loci.

* here is putted also the "ER" because is under construction but is not effective yet !


Simple decision for Silkies and his acting and interacting genes :
(are not counted the Platenbont and chocolate because not yet recognized)

Only a few things and a few genes we need to considerate to know and understand better what we breed in SILKIES.
As can be seen in the above genotypes our Silkies have actual 3 ground-colors : "E" - "eWh" and "eb".
These 3 ground-colors can be based on only 2 basis : "s+" and "S".
The 2 excisting pigments have each 1 reinforcer : pheomelanine have "Mh" and eumelanine have "Ml".

The 2 excisting pigments have each 2 diluters : pheomaline have "Di" and "lav" and eumelanine have "Bl" and "lav".
The pattern complex : "Pg-Ml-Co" play is role on the ground-color "eb" mostly.
The inhibiting of color completely or local and temporary is caused by "c" and "B".


Only 3 ground-colors, 2 basis, 2 reinforcers, 3 diluters, 1 pattern-complex and 2 inhibitors are the common 13 genes in SILKIES.
Each of them have very typical signatures or circumstances they appear in so they tell us if they are present or not.
Is good to see especially in "one-day/week-chicks" , but this is an other story !!


        Just some examples

Photo's of Tünde and Louise
                                                            Red on "eb"= stripes on back    Red on "eWh"= no stripes on back


an other example

Photo's of Danny
                                                                   white on "s+"= yellow fluff  white on "S"= gray fluff


an example of feet color

Photo's of Louise en Tünde
                                                                  Red on "eWh"= yellow toes        Buff on "eb"= gray toes


an example of Cucula

Photo's of Tünde
                                                                         white dot = Cucula             no dot = Black


an example of Columbia

Black dot on white = Co               Black dot on red = Co


an example of Patridge

Photo's of Tünde and Danny
Silver Partridge "eb" on "S" left: dark version with "B", right: light version with "Co".



There are many other examples in one day/week-chicks that can indicate us several interesting pieces of information.



Photo's of Danny

All are Silver Partridges but all have different tonalities !




examples of dilutions of Black

Photo's of Danny
                  lavender=E/E lav/lav                Splash=E/E Bl/Bl                         Blue=E/E Bl/bl+                  Black=E/E bl+/bl+



My personal intrepretation on the effect of ground-colors and certain characterisations :

What genes could/should be looked for in our common Silkies on basis of what we know and see?
We can count our Silkies in 3-BIG E-locus families (each of them have is own typical characthers)

- Silkies with ground-color "E" (which match very good with eumelanine=black pigment) should be unicolors as Black, Blue, Splash, pearlgray (they are primely on eumelanine). Also the Cucula is based on "E" ground-color.
This "E" ground-color can be based on s+ (gold) or S (Silver), when the ground-color is NOT reinforced by "Ml" than that gold or Silver will can come to the surface in necks and wings, when the gold is darker red than it is reinforced by "Mh".
Some typical characthers on "E" are : eyes, feet, comb, skin are mostley dark.

                                               Photo of Tünde                     Photo of Angela
                                           A lavender on "E" : dark face, eyes, comb    A Black on "E" NO "Ml" : dark face, eyes, comb



- Silkies with ground-color "eWh" (which match NOT good with eumelanine=black pigment but match very good with pheomelanine=red pigment) are normaly also unicolors as Red and Buff (they are primely on pheomelanine).
This "eWh" ground-colors mostley based on s+ (gold) can be reinforced by "Mh" to become the Red Silkie or when this Red is diluted by "Di" we become Buff. Other genes also play a role as "Co" for distributing.
Some typical characthers on "eWh" are : eyes, feet, comb, skin are mostley lighter.

Photo of Louise
A Buff on "eWh" : red face, eyes, comb




- Silkies with ground-color "eb" have normaly a pattern as gold- or Silver-Partridges (see also the Red and Buff Silkies with gray under-fluff) gold is reinforced by "Mh" (here matches as well the eumelanine as the pheomelanine).
When based on gold-partridge mostly NOT reinforced by "Mh". When based on Silver-partridge mostley NOT reinforced by "Ml". Other genes influence the phenotype, mainly the pattern-complex "Pg-Co-Ml".
Some typical characthers on "eb" are : eyes, feet, comb, skin can be lighter and can be darker.

Photo of Tünde and Louise
A Buff on "eb" : dark face, eyes, comb              A red on "eb" : red face and comb dark eyes


As can be seen on "eb" both directions are possible


Photo's of Tünde and Danny
                                       gold partridge on "eb" NO "Mh"           Silver partridge on "eb" NO "Ml"

Both possese the "Morehead" gene "rb" in a pale form


Photo of Danny
on "eb" NO "Ml" but intense "Morehead"



* recessive white "c/c" is mostley on eb/eb but can also on E/E and on eWh/eWh.

Photo of Tünde
White on "eb" dark comb, face and eyes

Two things we may not forget in all this, pheomelanine need always s+ and eWh and eb cocks show darker because of there testosterone !

For an explanation about this male hormones phenomenon look ASA-newsletter 8





*
Autosomal red "Ar+" (only a problem for Silver-breeders)

These different phenotypes are weird in this "unknown" red. It can only be shown on silvers to prove its not Mh nor s+ .


But it should be a sin not to mention this "something", it is not really officially recognized but is undoubtedly present in our silkies the
"Autosomale red". it is a kind of red that make his presence on both sexes and it act completely independly from "s+" and it is not "Mh", meaning a pure Silver bird S/S or S/- can show this in his phenotype
. It is something very tough and only with selection it can be avoided.

Photo's Danny
eb/eb S/S  and  Ar+/Ar+            eb/eb S/S  and  ar/ar
Wildtype Ar+ would result in red-leftovers in shoulders of homozygote silver duckwing cocks
.

If this phenomene Autosomal red have something to do with the salmon-red as in "e+" and "eWh" chickens is unknown because no reseach



Sometimes difficult to say with which unwanted red we are strugeling !!


*

Sex-linked red "s+" reinforced by "Mh" (can give also problems for white-breeders)


Photo's of Tünde & Danny
                                     eb/eb s+/-  and  Mh/Mh             eb/eb S/-  and ar/ar        
Also "s+ with Mh" could result in red-leftovers in shoulder and breast of white colored Silkies probebly because by malfunctioning of the
inhibiting of "c/c"
but this is something completely different than the red-leftovers of the Ar+ on silver colored Silkies.

Silvers and whites should be free of red-leftovers as on both examples on the right.



_____________________________________________________________________________________


PART


2

After considering the general entwined rules we can go on with the common inheritance ways.

In common
For discribe these "common" ways of inheritance I give genotypes and show some phenotypes in Silkies.
For the better and complete genetic explanations look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.


There are several ways in which the color-genes act and interact with eachother:
Dominant, Epistasis, incomplete Dominant, recessivity are the most common.



First example :

We give an example of a color cross that is frequently done in the hobby breeding.
This example will show us what Dominance means.


BLACK (homozygote Dominant Black)    X    white (homozygote recessive white)   

E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus    X    E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus
   E/E        s+/s+    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/C+           eb/eb     s+/-      ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+    c/c
                                                                    or                                                                                 or
                                                               lav-locus                                                                     lav-locus
                                                              Lav+/Lav+                                                                     lav/lav


We not need to consider ONLY the mutated genes because ALL genes will effect the outcome !

Resulting in :

E/eb  s+/s+ * s+/-  ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+ C+/c  or  Lav+/lav

= 100% Black phenotype (unpure E-locus) and carrier of one white allel (with possible outbreak of gold).
or
and carrier of one lavender allel

Photo of Rachele
unpure Black E/eb (even pure Black E/E) (with gold/red) s+/s+ ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh (C+/c or Lav+/lav)
This is only an example of a black genotype that in the phenotype as the cock here with NO melanising of  "E" by "Ml",  so the gold can break out specific in the neck and on the wings of this cocks.  When the gold is darker red this means there is reinforcing of  "s+" by  "Mh".


  The darkness of the black increases by the amount of melanisers "Ml" = the decrease of the gold"s+"

The one "E" allel is DOMINANT over the "eb" allel and there is only one mutated recessive "c" allel (recessive genes need  both alleles to express in the phenotype) therefore all the offspring will be black and carrier of one "eb" (Asiatique partridge) allel and carrier of one "c" (recessive white) allel.

Special remarke also here ! "E" is a dominant gene, "eb" is a recessive gene so that one E-allel MUST dominate that one eb-allel, what it does, otherwise the cock on the photo would show a white wing triangle (what is typical for eb-cocks). Than this would be co-Dominance !
BUT nevertheless there is no black melaniser (Ml) to reinforce the E-allel and that "E" alone will not be strong enough to cover the red pigment "s+", this gold will come to the surface. It will be just (yellow) gold and not darker red because there is also no red reinforcer (Mh).


As you can see a simple color cross as a "Black" cock with a "white" hen can implicate some thinking !!
It even implicate MUCH more thinking and calculating when more genes have mutated alleles.
Here comes in very handy the "chickencolorcalculator" of Henk (that is free to use on the internet).
Even more processor power is needed to calculate the outcome when several genes are heterozygote and/or different in cock and hen.
Just try it out in the calculator and you will experience that the possible outcome multiplies enormous with only a few mutated alleles extra.

CONCLUSION : try to breed as pure (homozygote) as possible because breeding pure is predictible,
                        breeding unpure (heterozygote) will give nothing else but (on)wanted surprices.


For an explanation about the different E-locus combinations look ASA-newsletter 6




Second example :


Now an example with on the first view same color cross as in the first example.
This example will show us what recessivity means.



BLACK (heterozygote Dominant Black)    X    white (homozygote recessive white)    

E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus    X    E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus
   E/eb      s+/s+    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/C+           eb/eb     s+/-      ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+    c/c
                                                                    or                                                                                 or
                                                               lav-locus                                                                     lav-locus
                                                              Lav+/Lav+                                                                     lav/lav
Notice there is only ONE allel different and most of the times this is not visible in the phenotype!

Resulting in :

= E/eb      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/c  or  Lav+/lav
=
eb/eb    s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/c  or  Lav+/lav

= 50% Black phenotype (unpure E-locus "E/eb")
and carrier of one white allel (with outbreak of gold).
  = 50% Asiatic partridge phenotype (pure E-locus "eb/eb") and carrier of one white allel.   
                or and carrier of one lavender allel                 

 Photo of Tünde
pure Asiatic partridge eb/eb s+/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ (C+/c or Lav+/lav)
        
When we do such color crosses we do this the best with chickens we know (where we breeded with for a few generations by ourselves or by a trusted other breeder) because if not we will become nothing but surprices and quick will be tought that the genetic rules NOT work correctly ! But beleave me they work correct when applicated in the correct way. These rules are the result of many and long scientific rechearches, so we hobby-breeders with or many modern possibillities now, we should use them good.
This chicken is a homozygoot RECESSIVE mutation on the E-locus = Asiatic (gold) partridge Silkie.


If in the above cross the cock S-locus had been "E/eb S/S ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+ C+/C+ or Lav+/Lav+" than half of the 50% offspring had been pure Asiatic Silver partridge hens (because of the sex-linkage  of the S-locus genes) "eb/eb S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ (C+/c or Lav+/lav)"  instead of pure Asiatic gold partridge as in the hen on the photo of Tünde "eb/eb s+/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ (C+/c or Lav+/lav)".




Just something in between about one of my passions in Silkie-breeding:

Silkies with "Moreheads" Silver-plated



Photo's of Danny

Asiatic SILVER partridges eb/eb S/S * S/- (Co/co+) (Pg/pg+) ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ (C+/c or Lav+/lav)
Both have here only 6 months of age, so they are not fully grown yet, but they give an idea where we want to become with the "moreheads"
Both will give there chicks a "Co"-allel what will result in an extra wave of Silver-plate.
(which is to see in this cock and hen, one Co-allel,  phenotypes because they are yet more "whiter" than Asiatic Silver Partridges should be)



Photo's of Danny
Detail photo's of the "morehead" probebly caused by "rb/rb"
The "moreheads"

But this is an other story :

Both have something special ! They both have the "morehead" (black ciuffo and beard). This is NOT caused by the "cha/cha" gene because than also the neck should have been black. In these cases the neck stayed Silver (or gold) colored. The reason for this is "rb/rb" (a not catalogued assembling of recessive black genes) that leave black pigment on the ciuffo and beard. (As well on cocks as on hens).

The much more lighter breast of the hen here is caused by "Co/co+" (Columbia) out of the combination of genes (Co-Ml-Pg) that is frequently on "eb"-gene, as I explained also in complex pattern combination.


Is something we will try to stabilze in our breeding project : "Zilvervloot"

Photo's of Danny
These are photo's of chickens we started with 3 years ago, now we evoluated more to the "moreheads".


The selection is not finished yet, nor in shape nor in color. We are now at the third generation and we have still four or five generations to go before we are where we want to be !


for the full story see :


Moreheads
and
http://www.zijdehoenders.be





Third example :


Now we go on with the F1 (first generation) brother X sister as out of the second example.
This example will show us what Epistasis means.



 BLACK (heterozygote Dominant carrying one "c")   X   Black (heterozygote Dominant carrying one "c")    

E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus    X    E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   C-locus
   E/eb      s+/s+    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+   C+/c           E/eb      s+/-      ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+    C+/c
                                                                    or                                                                                 or
                                                               lav-locus                                                                     lav-locus
                                                               Lav+/lav                                                                      Lav+/lav

This is what is called a "backcrossing" a pure inbreeding cross.

Resulting in :

= E/E      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/C+
= E/E      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/c   
= E/E      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  c/c  or lav/lav   
                                   = E/eb     s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/C+
                                   = E/eb     s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/c   
                              = E/eb     s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  c/c or lav/lav     
  = eb/eb    s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/C+
= eb/eb    s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  C+/c 
= eb/eb    s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  c/c  or lav/lav  

= 56,25% Black phenotype of which pure and unpure "E" carrying not or one "c" allel or one "lav" allel     = 18,75% Asiatic partridge phenotype which are pure eb/eb carrying not or one "c" allel or one "lav" allel
= 25% white phenotype of which 6,25%   "epistasis"  over E/E   
or
= 25% lavender phenotype of which 6,25%   "epistasis"  over E/E     


Photo of Tünde
pure E/E and pure c/c = white phenotype

Now something remarkable, "E" is a Dominant gene, "c" is a recessive gene but when the two "c" alleles comes together in one chick as "c/c" (homozygote recessieve white) it is EPISTASIS over the "E/E" (homozygote Dominant Black) and it will let see the recessive color white in the phenotype.
Epistasis: some genes (here c/c) overrule the effect of other genes (here E/E).


The same result will be becomed when we replace the C-locus by the Lav-locus in the above crosses for Dominant & recessive, for epistasis we will result in this other beautiful Silkie color Prealgray (lavender) :

Photo of Tünde

Pure E/E and pure lav/lav = lavender phenotype

In lavender chickens you can see "reserve pigments" in the neck-feathers (little black horizontale lines),
 you could see it as clumping of the melanosomes in the destination cells.
for the better and complete genetic explanations look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.


For an explanation about the white Silkies look ASA-newsletter 1






Fourth example :



Now a last example of a cross with two extremities resulting in an intermediar color
This example will show us what incomplete Dominance means.



   BLACK (homozygote Dominant Black)    X    white (homozygote Dominant Blue)      

E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus   Bl-locus   X   E-locus   S-locus   Ml-locus   Mh-locus  Bl-locus
   E/E       s+/s+    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+   bl+/bl+         E/E       s+/-      ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  Bl/Bl

When we cross these two extremities we become an "intermediar color" = Blue.

Resulting in :

= E/E      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+  bl+/bl+
   =
E/E      s+/s+ * s+/-    ml+/ml+  mh+/mh+    Bl/bl+    

= 50% Black phenotype (pure E-locus)  (with possible outbreak of gold).
                      = 50% Blue phenotype (pure E-locus)  (with possible outbreak of gold).                       


Photo's of Tünde
                     E/E  bl+/bl+ = Black             E/E  Bl/bl+ = Blue                 E/E  Bl/Bl = Splash       


Sometimes alleles are INCOMPLETE DOMINANT , example are blue on chickens. It always shows, but stronger when purebred. Bl/bl+ is blue, Bl/Bl is splash, bl+/bl+ is wildtype, black on a unicolor chicken.


But also here we can notice differences in the gradation of the blue-color :



           Photo's of Tünde and Danny        
                                           Blue : E/E s+/- or S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/bl+

All 3 hens have the same genotype but the clearness of the blue increases by the amount of diluter "Bl" and with the reduction of the melaniser "Ml" at the same time. So intermediar can be interpretated !!

Graphic of Hans
                                        Bl/Bl           -            Bl/bl+        -         bl+/bl+
                                         B/B            -             B/b+         -          b+/b+

A graphic for Platenbont but it can be used also for Blue (more or less Diluting Blue) and for Cuckoo.



_____________________________________________________________________________________


PART

3

I only limit myself here to give a genotype and to let see some phenotypes in our Silkies.

In specialisation

For discribe these more "special" ways of inheritance we need a better qualified person than myself,
for the better and complete genetic explanations look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.



There are other, less common ways, color-genes act and interact with eachother:


Just a little common information about the sex-linked colors.

To be clear there are only 3 loci that are sex-linked:

S-locus : mutation is Silver = S/S * S/- or original is NOT Silver but gold = s+/s+ * s+/-
cocks can be unpure Silverish = S/s+ (because S dominant over s+)

B-locus : mutation is Barred (light cock) = B/B * B/- or original is NOT Barred but black = b+/b+ * b+/-
cocks can be unpure dark Barred = B/b+ (because B dominant over b+)

choc-locus : mutation is chocolate = choc/choc * choc/- or original is NOT chocolate but black = Choc+/Choc+ * Choc/-
cocks can be unpure Black = Choc+/choc (because Choc+ dominant over choc)



  Photo's of Tünde, Manuela, Louisa and Hans of the sex-linked colors (choc not yet in Silkies)        
  
       gold s+/-                        Silver S/-             Cucula B/- * B/b+       chocolate choc/choc

For the completer genotype look the summary below.


B-locus


Also here we have a genetic rule that not comport itself as we learned it should comport itself !

The B-locus can contain the original "b+" and the mutation "B" expressing in Black- or Cuckoo-phenotype
These Cuckoo-phenotypes, in the cocks can have 2 variants, the light-variant contain B/B
and the dark-variant contain B/b+ . Hens are always dark and contain B/-.





Photo of Louisa
Here we see the cock is much lighter colored, he is on the B-locus B/B (homzygote).
Was us not learned that a Dominant color-gene need ONLY 1 allel to have the same effect as 2 alleles !?
ex.: Ml/ml+ (heterozygote) have the same effect in one dose as in two doses Ml/Ml (homozygote)
          Mh/mh+ (heterozygote) have the same effect in one dose as in two doses Mh/Mh (homozygote)
                                 so : B/b+ (heterozygote) should have the same effect in one dose as in two doses B/B (homozygote)
But this is NOT the case !! Is the Dominant B-gene only INCOMPLETE DOMINANT !?



On one of the last exhibitions I was we discussed this with a judge and he putted it in a splendid way :
"Try to become Cuckoo Silkies with dark comb, skin, legs and eyes is the same as wanting a negro woman with blond hairs from herselv
e"


For an explanation about Cuckoo Silkies inheritance look ASA-newsletter 2



S-locus


Photo's of Willem and Manuela

Photo's of Tünde and Manuela

As you can see the gold s+/s+ cocks and Silver S/S cocks have a different phenotype as the hens
This happen under influnence of the male hormones "testosterone"
For an explanation about this male hormones phenomenon look ASA-newsletter 8

The S-locus can contain the original "s+" or the mutation "S" expressing in a gold- or Silver-phenotype.
These gold- and Silver phenotypes, aswell in cocks as in hens have 3 variants , dark, middle and light.


These 3 variants in color-tonality of the Asiatic Partridge is again the expression of the présence or absence of the reinforcers or diluters


                  Photo Angela                                 Photo Danny                              Photo Danny
                     Dark Silver Partridge hen                Middle Silver Partridge hen                    Light Silver Partridge hen

With these 3 visible examples I want to indicate the importance to take into account all genes.
All 3 hens are pure eb/eb S/- and have the same genotype but look different in there phenotypes !
When we not look deeper than these 2 Loci "E" and "S" than we can't explain why these differences.
This is why we must count always with the presence or absence of the melanisers and diluters.



choc-Locus


the choc/choc cock and the choc/- hens have exactely the same phenotype.
The choc-locus can contain the original "Choc+" and the mutation "choc" expressing in a Black- or chocolate-phenotype
Not yet photo's availeble of chocolate Silkies !


Internet photo's
The first looking as "chocolate Silkies", still a long way to go !!








The less common ways of inheritance are:

-A bit a special way of inheritance is the SEX-LINKED inheritance, sex-linked traits are gold/silver, cuckoo and chocolate. In sexlinked inheritance the gender that has an odd couple of sex chromosomes always shows the sexlinked traits and those traits come from the opposite gendered parent.
Example : E/E choc/choc (chocolate cock) X E/E Choc+/Choc+ ( Black hen) = Black cocks and chocolate hens.
-There is also the CO-DOMINANCE when both alleles of a genepair express but of this there is not an example available in the chicken colors.
Example :
an example is AB in our blood group.
-An other very special way of inheritance also in chickencolors is the CROSSING-OVER  when genes are far apart on the chromosome they can segregate independantly, a piece of chromosome can be interchanged then, when the genes loci are close to one another on the chromosome there is a certain chance of recombination.
Example : co+-ml+-pg+//co+-ml+-pg+ can also be added db+/db+
-Than a more experimental cross is the RECIPROCAL cross, with the phenotype of each sex reversed as compared with the original cross, to test the role of parental sex on inheritance pattern. A pair of crosses of the type genotype A(female) X genotype B(male) and genotype B(female) X genotype A(male).
Example : red hen X black cock and black hen X red cock.







Something very special : two Dominant genes in ONE chicken "E" and "I". As far as known only in Silkies !

Can we speak here of Co-Dominance !?  NO, we can't ,  because Co-Dominance must be the expression in the phenotype of TWO alleles of the same gene, here it are two DIFFERENT genes that express !!!

Photo's of Tünde
To be complete in the Silkie colors here the Platenbont : E/E S/S * S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+ I/? (mo/mo)!

For more specific explanations about platenbont see ASA-newsletter 3


But still some mysteries for this genotype !!!!     







The genes to take in considaration in our recognized Silkie colors should be:

Summary of the Silkies genotypes :

white : eb/eb s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ c/c
Black : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+
Blue : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml or ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/bl+
lavender : E/E s+/s+ * s/- or S/S * S/- Ml/Ml or ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ lav/lav
Red : eb/eb Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh (gray under fluff)
Red : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh (red under fluff)
Buff : eWh/eWh Co/Co s+/s+ * s+/- ml+/ml+ Mh/Mh Di/Di
gold Asiatic partridge : eb/eb s+/s+ * s+/- Pg/Pg ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
Silver Asiatic partridge : eb/eb S/S * S/- Pg/Pg ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+
Cuckoo : E/E S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ B/B or B/b+ * B/-
out of categorie
Platenbont : E/E S/S * S/- Ml/Ml mh+/mh+ I/? (mo/mo)!
Splash : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ Bl/Bl

Alleles in red are the mutated alleles, those in white we must consider also, those in bluish are options.
In grayish written names are excisting colorations in Silkies but who are not (yet) regognized officially.
In blue written names are sex-linked colors (the chocolate was not mentioned because not yet in Silkies)

At this very moment there is being worked on bringing this coloration also in Silkies so here is genotype

chocolate : E/E s+/s+ * s+/- or S/S * S/- ml+/ml+ mh+/mh+ choc/choc * choc/-



Always a phenotype can hide a heterozygote recessive color-allele what than can result in unexpected colors in the offspring when those both hidden recessive color-alleles comes together in the chick via
the sperm of the cock (which is containing ONE allel of all genes) and the eggcell of the hen (which is also containing ONE allel of all genes *exception for the sex-linked genes*) becoming again a complete homozygote recessive color-gene that will express itself in the new phenotype of the new born chick.






With this personal view about breeding in practice with the genetic rules in the back of the head I hope to have been of some assistance for other hobby Silkie-breeders and chicken color-breeders in general.

For the better and complete genetic explanations look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.
But also "http://www.summagallicana.it/Volume3/terzo_volume.htm" by Dr. E Corti.
And the other most interesting links, see lower.

Thank you for your attention.

Danny

My special thanks to my friends that gived me permission to use there photo's.

Bacio per tutti.







Breeding in extern genes on Silkies until + back 98%  pure Silkie and other specificities, click the star :

*



Again, for the better and complete genetic explanations look the "genetica dei polli" by Tünde Csanadi.


For all colorations of Silkies in real poultry see theseTünde's poultry  Louise's poultry  Angela's poultry


For 3 alternative Silver Silkie coloration variations in progress see these : http://www.zijdehoenders.be


contact viadanny@zijdehoenders.be



                     Other intresting links : http://www.libroavicoltura.bravehost.com/
                                                         http://www.tuinvee.nl/pagina42.html
                                                         http://www.kippenencyclopedie.nl/
                                                         http://kippenjungle.nl/kruising.html
                                                         http://www.moroseta.bravehost.com/
                                                            http://volaillepoultry.pagesperso-orange.fr/
                                                            http://www.agraria.org/polli/romagnola.htm
                                                         http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/lists/disease