Recessive Black (allele a) - Latest Addition to MyDogDNA Color Tests

The MyDogDNA test panel includes now a new genetic test for coat colors: The a allele in the color locus A. The result is available to all MyDogDNA 2015 tested dogs on the "Traits" tab.

The A-locus, also known as the ASIP gene, affects the production of the pigment molecule responsible for black color. Four different alleles are known at the A locus: ay, aw, at and a allele.

Fawn and sable color is caused by the ay allele. The ay allele causes the production of red pigment and reduces the production of dark pigment. Due to this allele, the coat has reddish and dark pigment.

The aw allele is known to be common for instance in wolves and coyotes.

Black-and-tan color and saddle-tan color result from the at allele, that allows red pigment to be expressed only above eyes, on the muzzle, neck, abdomen and legs. Otherwise the dog is dark. Saddle-tan dogs have a black "saddle" on their back.

The recessive a allele is responsible for black coat colour, which means only dark pigment is produced. The dominance hierarchy in the A locus stands as follows: ay > aw > at > a.

Learn more about the color loci hierarchy from the MyDogDNA color chart (click on the link or the picture below)!