University of California, Davis. With funding by The Winn Feline Foundation and others, Dr. Leslie Lyons and her associates at the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, successfully mapped the Tabby genetic locus to a specific chromosome (feline chromosome B1). The researchers performed a genome scan on a large number of cats that were sorted for Tabby coat markings, specifically for the Abyssinian/ticked (Ta) and blotched/classic (tbt b) phenotypes. There was linkage between the Tabby locus and eight markers on cat chromosome B1. Other Tabby markings will be studied in the near future. This work was recently published in the August 2006 issue of the journal, Animal Genetics.
The successful genetic mapping of feline coat colors and patterns enables pedigreed cat breeders to refine breeding strategies for more precise results. Genetic tools can reduce the numbers of litters required to obtain the desired color and pattern results. Identification of the genetics of coat colors is also very useful in the field of forensic science.
Winn is the only international nonprofit devoted solely to the advancement of feline health.