Colour Coat DNA Tests

The recent webinar with Dr Kylie Munyard walked us through colour genetic research about inheritance patterns and molecular causes of all colours and patterns in alpacas.  If you missed the webinar and you would like a catch-up option find out more.

The DNA tests now available on coat colour testing can be organised through the AAA office either individually or in conjunction with male certification or parentage verification – please contact the office at info@alpaca.asn.au for more information. Cost is $39 for the test on its own, or $110 when combined with parentage verification and $310 when combined with male certification.

DNA test for identifying colour in alpacas to help breeders better predict breeding outcomes. This is of interest to alpaca breeders of all colours – while an alpaca may look like one colour, it might actually be something else! You can learn how to identify homozygous for the “white” allele and then breed to ensure progeny from white and fawn alpaca will be white.

Coat  colour  in  alpacas  is  a  complex  trait,  involving two  main genes  responsible  for  base  coat  colour  (ASIP  and  MC1R),  and  an  as yet  unknown  number  involved  with  pattern.  Alpaca  fleece has  22 natural  shades  that  ranges  from black  to  white,  grey,  fawn to champagne.  Breeding  for  a  specific  coat  colour  can  be a  complex process.

The  ‘classic  grey’  phenotype  can  be problematic  in  breeding  due to  its  association  with  the  blue  eye  white  phenotype  and  associated possible  health  defects.   Classic  grey  can  be hidden  or  cryptic  on white  or  light  backgrounds.

With  the  release  of the  Alpaca  Coat test,  breeders  have  the opportunity to  test  their white  or light  fawn animals,  those with uncertain  patterns  or  mutations  or animals  they wish to  determine  the base  coat  colour to  deduce common  progeny  colours.  The test also  identifies  animals  with ‘cryptic  grey’  coat  patterns  that are  generally to  pale  to  see.

Example  of Results

Breeders  will  receive  a  grey/non-grey  status  for tested  animals,  as  well as  a  base  coat  phenotype  for the  following  colours:

 

w

PSW

White

Pink Skinned  White

White fibre,  Dark skin

White  Fibre,  Pink skin

F Fawn Fawn  Fibre,  Dark skin
CF Clear Fawn Fawn  fibre, Pink  skin
BB Bay/Brown Red/Brown  body fibre, Black fibre  on extremities,  Black skin
CH Chestnut Red/Brown  fibre,  Pink to  Red/Brown
B Black Black fibre and  skin