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Posted by Brian Macker on April 08, 2003 at 18:46:21:
In Reply to: Re: Beginning Breeding posted by NAHerps on April 07, 2003 at 13:15:45:
Actually there is no single gene for flame morph. There are several genes that control the amount of red. The more of these red genes the redder the snake. That is when bred against an average garter or a melanistic.
I don't think we have enough info on the Erythristic snakes that Scott Felzer started with to know what the case is.
By the way the word dominant for genes does not mean how common they are in the wild. Nor does being dominant guarentee you will find more of them in the wild. It just means that it will express itself when there is only a single copy of the gene. That is an animal het for a dominant gene will "look" like that gene. Actually being recessive can make a gene be more likely in the population that it otherwise would be. Imagine if the gene for albino was dominant. Then every individual with the gene would be white and thus more likely to get eaten, sunburnt, and lack good vision. As a recessive the albino gene can hide in a population despite it's bad effects.
Another way of saying it is that Albino genes are not rare in the wild because they are recessive. The are rare because they are harmful to the animals possessing them. Were the albino gene dominant it would be even more rare in the wild since all the animals possessing it would be wiped out. Currently only the animals possessing two copies of the albino gene are wiped out. There would be much higher selective pressures against a dominant albino gene. Doesn't mean they would get wiped out right away but would happen much sooner than for recessive.
:What does that make the flame morph gene? not recessive. it sounds dominant, but if it was dominant it would be more common in the wild. If it was co-dominant then a flame and a normal would make semi-red snakes. so what is it?