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Silver Genetics 101

 

ďONE IS SILVER, ONE IS GOLDĒ

An Experiment about the Inhibitor Gene in Feline Genetics

By: Tatyana Kalani

John Adams Elementary School

4th Grade

 

 

INTRODUCTION AND QUESTION

What makes a cat silver or not?

 What is genetics?

          -the study of hereditary transmission of characteristics in organisms

 What is a gene?

          -a hereditary unit that occupies a location on a chromosome and has a specific influence on type, such as the color of your hair

 

How can you get a silver cat and can silver cats be male or female?

 

HYPOTHESIS 

What is a hypothesis?  

          Something that I think will happen, an educated guess.

  My hypothesis is:  

          There must be a silver parent for a cat to be silver.  If you breed a brown and silver cat, you will get 50% silver kittens. Silver cats can be either male or female.

 

PROCEDURE 

How will I test my hypothesis?  

I am going to test my hypothesis by doing the following:

      1.     Learn and study the Punnett Square and create a table as it relates to the inhibitor gene affecting the catís color.

2.     Look at the litters of kittens raised, comparing the colors of both parents and the colors of the kittens.  

Record and review the data to reach a conclusion.

 

OBSERVATIONS AND DATA  

Punnett Square

i = brown gene        I = inhibitor (silver) gene

(The inhibitor gene blocks the color pigment making the cat silver.)

Parent Colors:

Brown/Brown

i

i

i

ii

ii

i

ii

ii

Results:

100% Brown Kittens

Parent Colors:

Brown/Silver

I

i

i

Ii

ii

i

Ii

ii

Results:

50% Silver Kittens

50% Brown Kittens

 

Parent Colors:

Silver/Silver

I

i

I

II

Ii

i

Ii

ii

Results:

75% Silver Kittens(25% Homozygous)

25% Brown Kittens

Parent Colors: Homozygous Silver/Brown

i

i

I

Ii

Ii

I

Ii

Ii

Results:

100% Silver Kittens

 

 

Actual Results

 

Brown to Brown  

Litter Date  

Sireís Name   Sireís Color   Damís Name Damís Color

Brown

M

Kittens

F

Silver

M

Kittens

F

Other

M

Kittens

F

Total  
  1/15/02 Topaz Brown Amber Brown - 2 - - - - 2  
  8/2/02 Corey Brown Monika Brown 3 - - - 1(Blue)   1(Blue)   5  
  3/15/03 Garth Brown Baby Brown - 4 - - 1(Snow)   - 5  
  4/1/03 Garth Brown Raindrops Brown 2 - - - 2(Snow)   1(Snow)   5  
  5/2/03 Garth Brown Safari Brown 1 - - - 2(Snow)   1(Snow)   4  
  2/7/04 Ischiron Brown Spirit Brown 2 1 - - - - 3  
  2/23/04   Fireball Brown Lucy Brown 3 2 - - - - 5  

Brown to Brown produced 100% Brown or Non-Silver Kittens.

Both male and female kittens were brown or non-silver.

 

 

Silver to Brown  

Litter Date  

Sireís Name   Sireís Color   Damís Name Damís Color

Brown

M

Kittens

F

Silver

M

Kittens

F

Other

M

Kittens

F

Total  
  11/18/01 Splendor Silver   Bernett   Brown 2   - - 2   - -
3/10/02 Splendor Silver Lace  Brown 1   1   - 1  - - 3
3/12/02 Splendor Silver R ena  Brown 1   2 - 2  - - 5
3/26/02 Splendor Silver Saka   Brown - 1   4 -  - - 5
4/20/02 Splendor Silver Dehleon Brown 1 - 1 - 1(Gold)   - 3
7/15/02 Slate Silver Cosette Brown - 1 2 - - - 3
3/12/03 Slate Silver Sahara Brown 1 2 1 1 - - 5
4/24/03 Silverado Silver   Monet Brown 1 - - - 1(Smoke)  1(Smoke)  3
5/13/03 Matalica Silver   Mirage Brown - - 1   2   - - 3
6/21/03 Splendor Silver   Mary Brown 1 1 1 1 - - 4
8/21/03 Slate Silver   Lace Brown - 2 - 3   - - 5
8/27/03 Splendor Silver   Katanga Brown - 2 2 3 - - 7
12/2/03 Jean Luc  Silver   Sahara Brown - 2 2 1(Snow) - 6
1/28/04 Silverado Silver   Silk Brown - 2 - 1 3(Smoke)   - 6
 2/05/04 Samurai Silver   Katanga Brown 1 2 2 2 - - 7
 2/09/04 S late Silver   Tara Brown 1 3 - - - 4
2/15/04 Samurai Silver   Pearl Brown 1 - 1 - - - 2

 

Silver to Brown produced 50% Silver and 50% Brown or Non-Silver.

Both male and female kittens were silver, brown, or non-silver.

 

 

 

Silver to Silver

Litter Date  

Sireís Name   Sireís Color   Damís Name Damís Color

Brown

M

Kittens

F

Silver

M

Kittens

F

Other

M

Kittens

F

Total  
  11/4/03 Silverado Silver Polar Silver 1 - - 1(Smoke) 1(Smoke) 4

Results were not conclusive as there was only one litter available.

 

 

 

ANALYSIS OF DATA

 

What I learned:

 

When both parents are brown, the kittens were 100% brown or non-silver. Of the 29, or all of the kittens born in this group, none were silver. This proves that a cat must have a silver parent in order to be silver. Silver is a dominant gene so if a cat is brown it can not carry silver.

 

In the silver to brown group, 75 kittens were born. Of the kittens, 38 were brown or non-silver and 37 were silver.  Thus, 49.33% or approximately 50% of the kittens were silver. Of the 37 silver kittens, 16 were male and 21 were female. This showed that silver cats can be male or female and the inhibitor gene is not sex linked.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Was my hypothesis correct?

 

          My hypothesis was correct!

 

          There must be a silver parent for a cat to be silver.  If you breed a brown and silver cat, you will get 50% silver kittens. Silver cats can be either male or female.

 

 

INFORMATION AND CREDITS

Websterís II        New Riverside University Dictionary

 

The Bengal Bulletin Volume 17 Number 2 Summer 2003

          The ďNewĒ Silver Bengal by: Dr. Linda Evans, M.D., M.P.H.

 

Stevens, Gloria. Legacy of the Cat. Raincoast Books. Vancouver , British Columbia 2001

 

Also:

 

Thank you to the following people who submitted litter results for my experiment:

 

Earl Shropshire, Natalie Sullivan, Rhonda Hauffe, Chuck and Connie Pealer, and Christina Dahleen. . . I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

 

A special thanks to my mom for helping type set my project.

 

Thank you to my dad and sister, Natasha, for helping paste my results on my board.

 

Thank you to all of the wonderful people at TICA and the shows for helping me learn and experience the wonderful world of Bengal Cats!!!!