Welcome to the introductory section covering the basic concepts of gerbil genetics.
Several of the existing genetics guides at eGerbil have now been updated with new information on both the old and new genes in circulation, and these pages have been redesigned with the beginner in mind. Each section has been taken from our existing genetics section and has been completely re-edited,updated, and compiled as an introduction into the basic concepts of gerbil genetics.
The Gerbil Gene Mutation Timeline
For anyone interested in the coat mutations of the Mongolian gerbil, our mutation timeline gives you accurate and up to date chronological information on each mutation since the gerbil was introduced as a pet, and the date when they were first discovered. Each section also gives you a potted history on each gene in question and also when it gained the interest of the scientific community.
Understanding The Primary Coat Colours
The second section introduces the novice to the primary coat colours of the Mongolian gerbil. This particular section, which also includes guides in flash format, discusses how each colour mutation changes the coat colour of an Agouti and also a Black (self) gerbil.
The Coat Colour Loci in the Mongolian Gerbil
The third section has been taken from the Gerbil Genetics Learning Centre and discusses all the relevent coat colour genes in the gerbil and how they work. A locus (plural loci) is the specific location of a gene, and in this section it explains how each of these loci work to bring about changes in a gerbils coat colour.
The entire guide has been designed in flash format and allows the reader to explore how each gene mutation works and how it changes their coat colour just by pressing the various buttons available on each guide.
Gerbil Gene Glossary
Lastly, our easy to understand quick reference guide has been updated to also include two recent hair structure mutations. The guide tells you at a glance how each allele works and its current genetic symbol.
The Gerbil Genetics Learning Centre
Packed with detailed information and animated graphics, discover every aspect of gerbil genetics at your own pace. Go on cellular journeys to discover how genes, chromosomes and DNA work. Read how Mendel's Laws apply to a gerbils coat colour, learn how to interpret and use Punnett squares and learn the aspects of basic breeding and various breeding concepts.
Mutations in Gerbil Coat Colour
An in-depth article covering all the known coat colour loci. Learn more about the biology of pigmentation and how the different coat colour mutations in gerbils affect their coats to produce the many colours we see today in our favourite pet, the Mongolian Gerbil.
Detailed articles on the specific loci involved that cause the different coat colours in the Mongolian gerbil and other domestic species.
The Grey Locus/ Underwhite locus
Has a new mutation lead to the identification of the G locus ?
In 1975, the Grey Agouti gerbil was first discovered in a London petshop, it later died out but a couple of years later it appeared again and is now very common in the UK and Europe, although in the USA it is still regarded as a fairly uncommon variety. The coat colour closely resembles the chinchilla mutation of the albino series of alleles (C locus) in mice and other domestic livestock...
The Underwhite Gene, a new Mutation in the Mongolian Gerbil
Over the years it has been the mouse coat colour genes that have played a significant role in the understanding of the basic aspects of mammalian genetics. This holds true for the Underwhite locus which encodes for the MATP (membrane-associated transporter protein) protein, which has been used repeatedly as a coat colour marker in gene linkage and mapping studies. For many years, it was the phenotypic marker of choice for locating genes on chromosome 15...
The Dilution locus
The Dilute Mutation in The Mongolian Gerbil & Other Domestic Species
The dilute mutation takes it's name from the affect the gene has on the coat colour of the animal. With the dilute gene the coat of the animal takes on a 'washed out' appearance, this is due to the failure of melanin containing vesicles being transported into the growing hair. The dilute gene is known to affect pigment transportation and also its deposition. This mutant gene is known in scientific literature as Myosin-5a (My05a (d)) and is a mutation of the protein Myosin 5. This mutation that is known to affect melanosome transport, also causes clumping of the pigment granules, which then gives the coat colour its diluted look...
The Pink-Eyed Dilution Locus
The Pink-Eyed Dilution Mutation in The Mongolian Gerbil & Other Domestic Species
The first early descriptions of the P locus and its mutations were by the maize geneticist Emerson, who analysed the inheritance of a variegating allele of the maize P locus during the early decades of the last century (1914, 1917 & 1929). In many domestic animals the Pink-eyed dilution mutation is a well known and very much established mutation, and in fancy mice its origins are ancient and are believed to have occurred first in Japanese wild mice (Mus musculus molossinus)...
The Dominant Spotting Locus
In January, 2003 after the Bradford championship show, the NGS held it's annual general meeting, at this meeting I put forward a proposal to give the mottled coat variety of the gerbil a provisional standard. I was pleased when this proposal was put to a vote and unanimously passed. Prior to this meeting the mottled gerbil had had to compete in the pied class and was often discriminated against as the white markings on this variety often well exceeded the acceptable amount of white markings that are laid down for the pied standard...
Further Notes on Spotting Genetics
On a lot of prominent gerbil websites they report that breeding two spotted gerbils together will produce smaller litters because the gerbils that would be SpSp never come to exist in the womb. This information is wrong, and needs amending...
Semi-Dominant Lethal Spotting Locus
Semi-Dominant Lethal Spotting ~ A mutation Investigation Group Report
In 2008, a thread started on the eGerbil forum telling members that Pets@Home petshop chains were then selling what looked like Extreme White and White paws gerbils at a few of their outlets. To explain further, White paws gerbils are carrying a single dominant lethal spotting gene, so in effect this type of lethal spotting is said to be in its heterozygous state, if it were homozygous, then the effects would be lethal and these pups die, usually any time after birth until just after being weaned...
A new spotting gene in Mongolian gerbils?
For almost 40 years, a form of Dominant Spotting has been known and bred for in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). The homozygous form is prenatal lethal, the homozygotes die in uteri of anaemia. Heterozygotes also suffer from a very mild form of anaemia but is so slight that they are not impaired by that condition...
The Coat Structure Loci in the Mongolian Gerbil
The Gerbil Gene Mutation Timeline
For anyone interested in the coat mutations of the Mongolian gerbil, our mutation timeline gives you accurate and up to date chronological information on each mutation since the gerbil was introduced as a pet, and the date when they were first discovered. Each section also gives you a potted history on each gene in question and also when it gained the interest of the scientific community. This section also includes a brief history of the Hairless gene and has been recently updated with two new hair structure mutations; Waved and Rexoid.
Gerbil Gene Glossary
Our easy to understand quick reference guide has been updated to also include two recent hair structure mutations. The guide tells you at a glance how each allele works and its current genetic symbol.
Mutations in Gerbil Coat Type
An in-depth article covering all the currently known genes which alter hair structure. Learn more about the biology of each mutation and how the different coat structure mutations in the gerbil affect their coat type..
The Fur of the Mongolian Gerbil & Other Gerbil Species: Hair Function & Anatomy - Part 1
An introduction to the fur of the gerbil, how it has evolved and for what purpose.
The Fur of the Mongolian Gerbil & Other Gerbil Species: Hair Function & Anatomy - Part 2
Anatomy of a hair follicle, Hair growth cycles & moulting in the Mongolian Gerbil.
The Hairless Mutation in the Mongolian Gerbil & Other Rodents
- The Hairless gerbil ~ Introduction
- Phenotype of the Hairless gerbil
- Establishing the Hairless gene
- General Pathology/Histological study
- The history of the Hairless locus in mice
- So what exactly was the gerbil Hairless gene?/ Hairless skin phenotypes
- Hair loss (shedding) pattern phenotypes
- A brief history of the Nude locus
- Athymic Nude Rats
- Lifespan and reproduction of Nude rats
- Immunological phenotypes of hairless
- The potential dangers of hairless genes
- A cautionary tale...
- Hairless mutations gallery
- References & literature cited
- Hairless Mutations Gallery
Rexoid Mutations in the Mongolian Gerbil & Other Small Livestock
- The history of the Castor Rex rabbit
- Health problems with Castor Rex
- The Orylag ® Rabbit
- Rexoid mutations in the Mongolian gerbil
- Waved: a recessive rexoid mutation in the Mongolian gerbil
- Two Waved variants: Satin and Shorthair
- Rexoid: a dominant rexoid mutation in the Mongolian gerbil
- Pathological phenotypes: Health notes on Waved and Rexoid
- Recessive rexoid phenotypes in the mouse
- The epidermal growth factor receptor network
- Other recessive rexoid alleles
- Dominant rexoid alleles
- Other dominant rexoid alleles (Waved 5 and Velvet)
- Keratin genes
- Keratin mutations
- Keratin mutations and implications on health
- Rexoid mutations gallery
Rexoid Gerbil Breeding at the Mutation Investigation Group
- Heterozygous Rexoid Gerbils- Pups & Juvenile coat development
- Heterozygous Rexoid Gerbils- Adults
Homozygous Rexoid Gerbils - Juvenile coat development
- Breeding Diary 1 (Days 1, 3, 5)
- Breeding Diary 2 (Days 7, 9, 12)
- Breeding Diary 3 (Day 15)
- Breeding Diary 4 (Day 19)
Post Juvenile Moult
Waved Gerbil Breeding at the Mutation Investigation Group
Waved pup development ~ A breeding Diary of the first Waved carrier x Waved carrier cross conducted at the M.I.G.
by Liz Arblaster
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 1
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 2
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 3
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 4
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 5
- Waved Breeding Diary - Part 6
Heterochromia iridum in the Mongolian gerbil
Recently with the appearance of a new spotting gene known as Semidominant lethal spotting, odd-eyed gerbils have begun to appear in breeding lines when this new gene is combined with the well known Dominant spotting gene. The gerbils in question didn't appear to have any related problems with this eye condition and appeared quite healthy...
Meiosis in Gerbils
Meiosis is a special kind of cell division that leads to the formation of gametes. During meiosis the number of chromosomes must be halved in the daughter cells, and to do this properly, most organisms use an amazing strategy: during the first of the two meiotic divisions, homologous chromosomes associate in pairs, undergo a reciprocal genetic interchange, and then each member of the pair segregates into a different daughter cell. Genetic exchange, called meiotic recombination, is a key process to ensure that homologous chromosomes remain tightly associated until they segregate. In general, sex chromosomes are subjected to the same processes as the rest of chromosomes. But, of course, exceptions exist. This is the case in the Mongolian gerbil, a mammal whose sex chromosomes pair and segregate during male meiosis without undergoing meiotic recombination.