Mammalian Genome

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 256–259

Molecular characterization of the Himalayan mink

  • Bernhard F. Benkel
  • Kirsti Rouvinen-Watt
  • Hossain Farid
  • Razvan Anistoroaei
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00335-009-9177-6

Cite this article as:
Benkel, B.F., Rouvinen-Watt, K., Farid, H. et al. Mamm Genome (2009) 20: 256. doi:10.1007/s00335-009-9177-6

Abstract

A rare color variant of the American mink (Neovison vison), discovered on a ranch in Nova Scotia and referred to as the “marbled” variety, carries a distinctive pigment distribution pattern resembling that found in some other species, e.g., the Siamese cat and the Himalayan mouse. We tested the hypothesis that the color pattern in question—light-colored body with dark-colored points (ears, face, tail, and feet)—is due to a mutation in the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase (TYR) that results in temperature-sensitive pigment production. Our study shows that marbled mink carry a mutation in exon 4 of the TYR gene (c.1835C > G) which results in an amino acid substitution (p.H420Q). The location of this substitution corresponds to the amino acid position that is also mutated in the TYR protein of the Himalayan mouse. Thus, the marbled variant is more aptly referred to as the Himalayan mink.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard F. Benkel
    • 1
  • Kirsti Rouvinen-Watt
    • 1
  • Hossain Farid
    • 1
  • Razvan Anistoroaei
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Animal SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada
  2. 2.Department of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Division of Animal Genetics and BioinformaticsUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark