Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cat challenge

Here's a little challenge of your understanding of the piebald spotting gene, elementary genetics, and (most important) ability to search for cute animal pictures on the internet.

Suppose the two cats below mate. Think about what the resulting kitten would look like. Find the cutest kitten you can that could result from this mating, post it (or a link to it) in the comments section, and explain its genetics. I want to see some cuteness, people.



Fishfrog said...

The bottom cat would be SS and the top cat ss, so the resulting kitten would be Ss. Here's a link to a cute orange cat whose belly is not visible, but which would be, had it been born to these two cats, white.

scarlet panda said...

Cute! Your genetics are right, but I don't think that cat is Ss--its paws are orange. If the pigment cells made it all the way to the paws, they probably made it all the way to the belly too.

Nell said...

Am I right, or am I right?

Matt said...

I like Nell's cat and I have a question. How do these genes interrelate with the orange/black pigmentation genes?

Like, if I had a cat that was either Ss or ss, and also had the semi-functional Siamese pigmentation O, would I get a cat that had a striped athletic socks look to its paws, or does the piebald spotting gene keep all that pigment from getting anywhere. If that were true, would it mean that all siamese-colored cats must necessarily be SS cats?

Regardless, kitties!

scarlet panda said...

Nell: you could not be more right. Congratulations!

Matt: good question. No matter what version of the C gene you have, color will only show up in places the pigment cells have been able to get to. So, a regular Siamese cat (black paws, ears, tail) would have to be SS, because only SS cats have any pigment on their paws.

If you had a cat that was Ss and had the semi-functional version of the c gene, here's what would happen: It would have pigment cells everywhere except the paws and belly. But because of its semi-functional C gene, the pigment would only show up in the cold areas. So you'd get a cat that looked like a Siamese cat on the top but had white paws. I don't know if such cats exist.