Gene for feathered legs.

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Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Gallina Blanca » 10 Feb 2011, 15:42

I have some North Holland blues and the breed standard says that they should have lightly feathered legs. At present I have 1 girl and one boy with what I assume are heavily feathered legs (feathers all over and lots of feathers on feet), and 1 boy with ditto lightly feathered legs (we ate the other one) which have feathers on the outside of the leg and a few on the feet.. Can I take it that 2 copies of the feather genes make heavily feathered legs, and one copy makes lightly feathered, or is it more complicated than that? Even the heavily feathered feet are less feathered than Wilts cochins, for instance.

And what will happen if I put the lightly feathered boy to the heavily feathered girl? (Although she prefers the heavliy feathered boy. Ooer!)
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Wilt » 10 Feb 2011, 16:02

Here they are GB do you want the genetic code they are supposed to have, or just how they look?

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If they are like this, they are Cochins!! :lol: :lol: ;)

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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Hen-Gen » 10 Feb 2011, 16:07

Thats a hard one. It is now believed that there are three separate genes responsible for leg/foot feathering. Two of these each have the wild type which is unfeathered and a mutant gene which is dominant. They have an additive effect so moderately feathered breeds have one or other of the mutations whereas heavily feathered breeds, like Cochins, have both of them.
In addition is the third gene pair but in this case the unfeathered legs are the dominant form and the feathered form is a recessive mutation. It has been established however that this mutation is incompletely recessive and so expresses partially in birds that have one copy of the wild type gene and one copy of the mutation in about half of such birds.
So this makes predicting the outcome of any mating a bit of a guess. There are studies that can be read if you are really keen. The technical term for leg/foot feathering is 'ptilopody' so a search should throw up something.
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Gallina Blanca » 10 Feb 2011, 20:51

Wow, that was quick!

Two really good answers. If as Hen Gen says there are 3 possible genes for feathered feet, then yes please I would like to know which one the North Holland Blues are supposed to express, Wilt. I'll try to get time to photograph the birds tomorrow, I think my cockerels tails are too long according to those pictures.
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Hen-Gen » 11 Feb 2011, 20:05

Sorry for the delay in answering, Gallina Blanca, but this was not one I could answer from memory so I had to do some research. Unfortunately what is known is not sufficient to say which gene is present in the North Holland Blue. You may recall that I mentioned above that the condition is called ptilopody. The genes alleles are thus known as Pti-1 and Pti-2 for the two dominant ones and pti-3 for the recessive one. The NHB does not have the recessive one. But it has not been established which of the other two it does have. They both have the effect of inducing feathering on the outside of the tarsometatarsus (the shank) and on the outer toe as exemplified in Wits pictures above.
So now you know as much as I do on that subject! ;) ;) ;)
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Gallina Blanca » 11 Feb 2011, 23:56

Hen-Gen wrote:. It is now believed that there are three separate genes responsible for leg/foot feathering. Two of these each have the wild type which is unfeathered and a mutant gene which is dominant. They have an additive effect so moderately feathered breeds have one or other of the mutations whereas heavily feathered breeds, like Cochins, have both of them.


So does this mean that we have 4 grades of leg feathering here, with the 2 genes if they're Pti-1 Pti-1 pti-2 pti-2, or Pti-1 pti-1 Pti-2 pti-2 they'd have the same degree of leg feathering, if they're pti-1 pti-1 pti-2 pti-2 they'd have no leg feathering if they have Pti-1 Pti-1 Pti-2 Pti-2 They're cochins, etc? Just to check I'm getting this right.
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Hen-Gen » 12 Feb 2011, 00:25

Because Pti-1 and Pti-2 are both dominant alleles the effect of one or two copies of either being present is the same. So a bird that was Pti-1/Pti-1 would be indistinguishable from one that was Pti-1/pti-1+. And similarly with the other dominant mutation. The additive effect comes into play when both are present in at least one copy.
A Cochin that was Pti-1/Pti-1, Pti-2/Pti-2 would be true breeding for its heavy leg/foot feathering whereas one that was Pti-1/pti-1+, Pti-2/pti-2+ would not be. But both would look the same.
Its a complicated one to get hold of but thats my understanding.
Returning to NHBs, only one of these alleles is present. Lets say its the Pti-1 mutation. So an individual bird can be Pti-1/Pti-1 and be true breeding. It can be Pti-1/pti-1+ and look the same but not be true breeding. Or it can be pti-1+/pti-1+ and have no leg feathering. So there are three grades of feathering-
1) where at least one copy of both Pti-1 and Pti-2 are present (Cochin feathering)
2) where at least one copy of Pti-1 OR Pti-2 are present (NHB feathering)
3) where neither are present (bare legged)
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Re: Gene for feathered legs.

Postby Wilt » 12 Feb 2011, 10:04

As I understand it The good quality Cochin has three leg feather genes Two being dominant and one Pti3 being recessive. Once again as a believe it and like Murray, I have read it somewhere but can't now find to. The North Holland blue has(Or is supposed to have) Pti-1L The 1L denoting langshans leg feather type as opposed to 1B (Pti-1B,)which is Brahma leg feather type.

Interestingly, the Cochin, though probably the most prolifically leg feathered breed does not have an annotation but should have all (& pti-1+ -> wild type), Pti-2 (& pti-2+ -> wild type) and pti-3 (& Pti-3+ -> wild type) Present to be of show quality.
B = allele found in Brahma

Image

L = allele found in Langshans

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Where your problem might lie GB, is B is dominant to the required L, so if someone has added a more profusely leg feathered breed to the mix, it will be difficult to eradicate. :crybaby: :crybaby:
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