The Effect of a Coat Colour-Associated Genes Polymorphism on Animal Health – A Review

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Abstract

In recent years, the knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms of skin, hair and eye colouration in vertebrates has significantly broadened. It was found that some of the identified coat colour genes show negative pleiotropic effect. They are associated with hereditary diseases, often of a lethal character. Most of these diseases have their counterparts in humans. There is no effective treatment for these diseases, therefore animal models can help to identify the genetic background of diseases and to develop appropriate treatment. Much less is known on the association of coat colour with animal performance. However, there are reports on the effect of coat colour on body measurements and milk production in subtropical environments. The knowledge on pleiotropic effects of coat colour genes is important for breeders who should be aware of the consequences of their decision on mating animals with given genotype.

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