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Thread: Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Hi Steve,

    The appearance of sumi appearing in kohaku has several explanations. And if you examine shimmy closely, you will see that what are called shimmies come in very different looks, locations within the skin layers and locations on the body.
    All these things hint at what the sumi is.

    To complicate things, shimmies need to assessed also in context to what grade of koi you are looking at.

    So to begin at the beginning koi of a low grade typically have wild type sink, and in this example atavism. This is a simple reversion back to wild type genes (wild carp have peppering of black cells for camouflage) and it is this example that the old Japanese explanation of water conditions fundamentally arises from. But this example, although still possible as an explanation in individual case, is becoming less and less the driver for shimmies in modern nishikigoi.

    The second example or condition is the crossing of sanke with showa. The offspring can look phenotypically like either kohaku or sanke but a percentage will carry sanke genes genetically. I would like to add here that sumi in nishikigoi is not the same as sumi in wild carp. The reason being, the best sumi is a mutation based in hypermelanism.
    I sent a long time and many posts on the gene link from blue eye shadow, silver fern pupil and shimmies beginning some ten years ago now. That was early recognition of what are called linked traits demonstrated in phenotype and are expected gene expressions. In this example we used to see ‘ pure’ kohaku ( black doll eye and shiro eye brow). Now we see kohaku with make linked phenotype eye and eye lid and sometimes later, sanke markings ( albeit it weak) this leads us to the third example

    The last example is also linked to both example one and two and that is the example of mutation dominance.
    ALL nishikigoi are living examples of mutation genetics and typically are recessive genes in nature. But there is the same hierarchy of gene domination and combination within the recessive gene pool. So we have dominate recessives and also dilutes. In this case, the back crosses back to fish caring other sumi traits can emerge in gene combinations. This is also seen in the ‘new goshiki; by the way and has always been present in the gene pool of the a goromo variety.

    Big subject. JR
    Great explanation Jim. As you know, Koi Physiology is not my strong suit. That being said, I remeber those old conversations and posts you made concerning the blue hint in the eyes and the silver almost gin rin like apperance in the eye itself being indicators of cross backs to Sanke. In fact, Cheryl was asking me about this this last weekend.

    There is no doubt that originally , sumi was bred out of Kohaku (leaving some recessiveness genes that continue to be bred out over long periods of time, only t be reintroduced back with the breeding back to Sanke and Showa in more recent times. Logic them tells mne that the propensity of these recessive traist/shimi then become more likely until such time as they continue to be bred back out.

    While some may think that breeders do not sellect for this in their oyagoi, I would have a hard time believing such. It is not in a quality breeder's "genes" to let such an imperfection stay....providing they realize such.

    This then gets me back to the original question/point of soft verses hard water and their affects on bringing out sumi/shimi. While time also plays a roles, I am sure, I am not talking about a 10+ year old koi that in its mature years starts to get shimis but the younger koi who start to get shimis in their earlier years (1-5 lets say), in harder and perhaps even cooler water (both conditions known to help expedite shimi appearance).

    Now, this isn't about American verses Japanese breeders, but simply water conditions. We know that the concrete holding tanks add to hardness as does oyster shell that is commonly seem in Japan. But I wonder if even under these conditions if the propensity to disclose shimis in otherwise soft water is apparent to those breeders with soft water to that they can help to breed out (through culling), Kohaku that may be more likely to through shimis.

    I have lived in areas with both extreme of hardness to the source water and have moved koi from one ot another and it becomes amazing at how shimis come and go on the same koi based on the hardness. There are even certain breeders that I shy away from (for Kohaku) based on repetitive shimi developement in the koi that I have had from them.

    JR, you also mentioned the different types of Shimi. Being simplistic, I will simply call them surface verses deep shimis. I do not worry too much about the surface shimi since the magic fingernail does the trick on these. Its those deeper shimi that I think imminate from the deeper skin levels that bother me, especially if they appear in the beni. I "think" this type is more closely (generations wise) linked back to the Sanke/Showa back breeding and may be less recessive?
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  2. #12
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    so on the water quality thing,

    low grades bring out a physiological reaction and atavism. On the higher grades look to genetics first but don't eliminate an individuals ability to revert in the presents of less than ideal conditions. Just study the sumi shape, density and depth to get an idea as to which is at work.

    Kohaku comes from asagi which comes from asgai magoi - which is a race of magoi in which the first mutation rose from.

    So kohaku has had the 'sumi dominance' bred out. At the heart of rise of kohaku ( even though it comes out of asgai) is really leucism and one of the early mutations of koi - I.E. benigoi. benigoi is a mutation of black. So 'sumi' or black, is removed by the dilute gene which replaces black with red. As you know, the Yamakoshi clan did serious work turning the blackish red koi to bright clear red.
    So in low grade koi we can still see this battle.

    In good grades, not so much. JR

  3. #13
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    Forums are of course for “discussion”, so science rarely rears her ugly head here, and no one should expect her to do so. Koi terminology, so often adapted from the Japanese, can often be inexact and misleading (like with ginrin or fukurin for example). Sometimes this confusion is of the “lost in translation” variety sometimes it is more deliberate to hide our “lack of understanding”. Shimi is one of those inexact adapted terms. When you combine the “translation loss” and “knowledge gap” relating to shimi with our desire to understand and control it the questions raised quickly lead to explanations that are either far “too short to tell the story” or way “too long to hold a simple truth”.

    As an example, the simplest instance in this case may be the thumbnail shimi. Since this is “easily” removed, even without trace, it must be very much surface level. Fine but what did you actually remove? Since we are unable to answer even this, perhaps the most basic of questions, regarding shimi, how then could we speak with any certainty? Certainly one doesn’t have to know the chains of chemical reactions and genetic interactions to know if hard or soft water is a factor in shimi. That is husbandry, and that is all well and good (but even here the guidance is ambiguous). Since, as far as I know, no one can say if a shimi is even melanin then saying anything more is largely speculation as to origins. Koi people, and the Japanese are every bit as prone to this as anybody else, like to ascribe everything to “genetics”. But genetics is actually a demanding discipline and one that has moved far beyond the understanding of hobbyists. And although it should be possible to assess the possible genetic component of thumbnail shimi this would require levels of expertise and of finance and of interest that are unlikely anytime soon to be brought to bear on a question so that is so esoteric. Rob

  4. #14
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    Hi,

    Three questions arise here.

    Q. Why are shimi NOT seen at any Japanese breeder’s harvests or indoor premises in all parts of Japan despite the widely varying degrees of water hardness/softness in these different areas?

    Q. Why are shimi readily visible in many Japanese collectors’ ponds and many other ponds outside of Japan when I have visited them - irrespective of the original breeder/lineage/bloodline?

    Q. Why have I NEVER personally seen shimi arising in a Koi pond that’s less than 30 months old?

    These same three questions can also be asked of hikui.

    Your thoughts?


    Peter Waddington.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    Forums are of course for “discussion”, so science rarely rears her ugly head here, and no one should expect her to do so. Koi terminology, so often adapted from the Japanese, can often be inexact and misleading (like with ginrin or fukurin for example). Sometimes this confusion is of the “lost in translation” variety sometimes it is more deliberate to hide our “lack of understanding”. Shimi is one of those inexact adapted terms. When you combine the “translation loss” and “knowledge gap” relating to shimi with our desire to understand and control it the questions raised quickly lead to explanations that are either far “too short to tell the story” or way “too long to hold a simple truth”.

    As an example, the simplest instance in this case may be the thumbnail shimi. Since this is “easily” removed, even without trace, it must be very much surface level. Fine but what did you actually remove? Since we are unable to answer even this, perhaps the most basic of questions, regarding shimi, how then could we speak with any certainty? Certainly one doesn’t have to know the chains of chemical reactions and genetic interactions to know if hard or soft water is a factor in shimi. That is husbandry, and that is all well and good (but even here the guidance is ambiguous). Since, as far as I know, no one can say if a shimi is even melanin then saying anything more is largely speculation as to origins. Koi people, and the Japanese are every bit as prone to this as anybody else, like to ascribe everything to “genetics”. But genetics is actually a demanding discipline and one that has moved far beyond the understanding of hobbyists. And although it should be possible to assess the possible genetic component of thumbnail shimi this would require levels of expertise and of finance and of interest that are unlikely anytime soon to be brought to bear on a question so that is so esoteric. Rob
    Would it be realistic to think of the surface shimi as a hard water deposit?

  6. #16
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    Some of my thougts Peter.

    Quote Originally Posted by waddy View Post
    Hi,

    Three questions arise here.

    Q. Why are shimi NOT seen at any Japanese breeder’s harvests or indoor premises in all parts of Japan despite the widely varying degrees of water hardness/softness in these different areas?

    I can only speak from my visit with you to Niigata and Isawa but, with water being primarily from snow and surface water, both of these regions have very low levels of hardness, especially in comparison to well water which much of the US has. This is also evident by the bags upon bags of oyster shell used to help buffer the softer water for the koi houses. The limited time exposure in the concrete breeder ponds before being released back to the softer ,mud pond water also comes into play I would think.


    Q. Why are shimi readily visible in many Japanese collectors’ ponds and many other ponds outside of Japan when I have visited them - irrespective of the original breeder/lineage/bloodline?

    Concrete ponds tend to have higher hardness levels due to the calcium within and thus, over longer terms wuld also tend to have harder water. In addition, depending on hardness, temperature and perhaps other factors such as age, shimis will tend to surface at varying lengths of time.


    Q. Why have I NEVER personally seen shimi arising in a Koi pond that’s less than 30 months old?

    Less time for the calcium to leach out, plus time exposed to harder water is less and can come into play.


    These same three questions can also be asked of hikui.

    Your thoughts?


    Peter Waddington.
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post

    Since, as far as I know, no one can say if a shimi is even melanin
    Shimi is melanin.

    Kohaku without any shimi include melanin pigment in its beni / Hiban.
    kohaku can not hold the beni colors without melanin pigment. Otherwise, it's a Akeme kigoi.

  8. #18
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    Would it be realistic to think of the surface shimi as a hard water deposit?
    I don’t know. Does a thumbnail shimi come from outside of the koi or from inside of the koi or both? Like I said in an earlier post, a possible explanation is that a shimi is an immune system reaction to an external stimulant (like acid, etc.). A shimi looks like it is a variant of the sumi we see in nishikigoi. It probably is, meaning that it is melanin. Is this melanin bound in melanosomes (membranes)? If so are these melanosomes within melanophores? A population of melanophores? MSH influences? Like I say, I only know enough to ask question and it is an esoteric question at that.

    Waddy your observation refers to cleanliness?

  9. #19
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    Peter, as an amendment to my earlier response, Isawa has more well water if I am not mistaken? It may in fact be harder than Yamakoshi...one reason perhaps that I have not had deep shimis in INC Kohaku (but I have had surface shimis). Perhpas others have had diferent experiences in this regard?
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    Some of my thougts Peter.
    Q1. The Koi spend NINE months of each year in concrete ponds and only 90 - 100 DAYS in earth ponds. The concrete ponds use city water for human drinking purposes with all the additives that are required for drinking water. This is not ground/snow water.

    Q2. Agreed, yet despite these conditions for nine months of the year, still no shimi surface - why?


    Q3. That's one argument but does calcium also leach out of a liner pond? I've seen all these symptoms in ponds waterproofed by a wide range of materials.


    Peter Waddington.

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