Cat Agouti Testing
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Testing for the Agouti gene can help breeders more quickly determine the carriers of the Agouti gene, and thus better plan and fast-track their breeding programs.
Many cats have hair that has alternate banding of black and yellow pigmentation along the shaft. This banding (or ticking) of hair is known as Agouti.
The gene that is responsible for this banding is called the “Agouti Signaling Protein or ASIP”.
A DNA change, or mutation in the ASIP gene can significantly affect the fur pattern in cats. In its homozygous form, that is, the cat carries two copies of this DNA change (aa), the result is black pigment along the entire shaft of hair and the cats coat being “solid” in color (sometimes called “self”).
The normal banding effect by the Agouti gene is dominant in terms if inheritance, that is, the banding pattern will result if the cat carriers either one (Aa) or two copies (AA) of the normal Agouti gene. Therefore, AA or Aa cats cannot be distinguished by look. Only a DNA test can prove which cat is a carrier of non-Agouti.
In many cats the banded, agouti fur alternates with solid color fur in some sort of pattern, which is called tabbying.
It is of interest to note that the “aa” form of the gene will hide the “tabby” pattern.
Our DNA test for Agouti identifies the mutation in the ASIP gene.
Testing for the Agouti gene can help breeders more quickly determine the carriers of the Agouti gene, and thus better plan their breeding programs.
Test Result Interpretation
AA = The cat has two copies of the normal Agouti gene. All offspring will have hair banding.
Aa = The cat is a carrier of the normal Agouti gene. Offspring will be determined by the Agouti gene status of the mating partner.
aa = The cat has two copies of the non-agouti gene (solid). Offspring will be determined by the Agouti gene status of the mating partner.
You can now screen your cat(s) for the Agouti gene simply by receiving one of our free sample collection kits. These allow you to take a mouth swab of your cat. The sample can then be sent to our laboratory from anywhere in the world by mail. Once received in our laboratory results will be available within 5- 7 working days.