Friday, 2 November 2012

New Cat Breed, Selkirk Rex, Genetically Different from Other Curly-Haired Cats

ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2012) — Of course, pet owners may base their choice of animal companions on personality but -- as with humans -- appearance may play a large part in the selection of partner. For reasons on which the reader is free to speculate, in many human societies curly hair represents a highly desirable trait -- Sam's song in "Casablanca" recognizes this and generations of hairdressers have grown rich by offering perms. So it should come as no surprise that pet owners and animal breeders are frequently attracted by curly-haired animals. Indeed, three curly-haired varieties of cat are already recognized and have been developed into competitive breeds. Serina Filler at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna now shows that a fourth curly-haired breed, Selkirk Rex, is genetically distinct from previously known breeds and presents a genetic analysis of the new cats.
Her results are published in the current issue of the Journal of Heredity.
In 1987, a domestic cat rescued from a shelter in Montana, USA surprisingly gave birth to a curly-haired kitten. The kitten ended up mating with a Persian male and giving birth to a mixture of curly-haired and normal-haired kittens, which strongly suggested that the mutation in the rescued cat was dominant in nature: its presence on one of the two copies of the gene involved is sufficient to cause cats to have curly hair. The curly-haired kittens were attractive and were soon recognized as a new breed: the Selkirk Rex.

1 comment:

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