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Thread: First time hobby breeder decides what parents to select

  1. #1
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    First time hobby breeder decides what parents to select

    Often, there are questions raised along the lines of "what koi should I cross with what"

    If you have a female koi that you really like and she has all the right things you hope to see in the fry, when she is bred, only 50% of her genes will be passed onto the fry. The fry will carry only half of her looks. Therefore, when looking for a suitable male, remember the he will contribute the other 50% of the genes. As most of the genes we hope to see expressed in the fry are recessive, it is vital that the right female/male combination is found to allow most of these desired recessive genes to be expressed. Generally, the least desired traits are dominant. Most will understand that when crossing recessive and dominant genes, the fry will mostly express the dominnant genes, while the recessive ones with be hidden away and not show in the look of the koi.

    So imagine, you have a top class female. Most of her genes are going to be the recessive type. If she is crossed with a fairly low grade looking koi you can expect that most of the koi will tend to look low grade. This is because, most of the genes in the low grade koi are of the dominant type.

    Imagine you put this same female with a much better male. The outcome will be entirely different. More of the fry will tend to look good. The genes from both parents are more likely to be of the recessive type. When you cross two recessive together, most of the recessive genes are going to be expressed.

    Since the fry will carry half of the genes from each of the better parents, at least you know that 50% of their good looks will be inherited. Hopefully, the combination will be a nice match and the overall look in enough of the fry will be the best 50% from each parent.



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    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    This approach is fairly simplified, but is the best starting point, for anyone who is looking to breed for the first time. Unfortunately, the numbers of good koi that come from a single spawn is low, even when the parents are both top class. If this simple approach is applied, the percentage of fry that have the right look will always be higher when both parents are carrying more recessive genes.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Most first time breeders do not yet understand how many genes go into making a koi. It is often my experience that there is an assumption made there is a gene for each colour and maybe one for pattern. Little consideration at this stage is made for the genes that are required for skin type, scale arrangement or type, lustre, kiwa development , sashi development, finishing physiology, body shape, deformities and so on. Imagine the genes that go into body shape alone! Bone structure, head shape, fin shape, odome etc.

    There are alot more genes that make up a good koi than is first perceived and my short list is just that SHORT. Consider, the 50% percent contribution from each parent can be numerous in their permutations. Consider also, that often it is the combinations of genes, not one single gene standing alone that results in a good koi. I have an affair with sumi. Whenever I raise a spawn where sumi is a dominant element, I have found there are a minimum of 4 different types expressed. To get that result, there has to be more than one gene involved in producing those differing looks.

    In a single spawn, it is not just the inheritance of the right 50% from each parent, but the right combinations when these are put together. No wonder the percentage of good koi in a single spawn will be low.

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Re: First time hobby breeder decides what parents to select

    I look at it as what will I get if a breed my Collie to a Boxer.

  5. #5
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    Most first time breeders do not yet understand how many genes go into making a koi. It is often my experience that there is an assumption made there is a gene for each colour and maybe one for pattern. Little consideration at this stage is made for the genes that are required for skin type, scale arrangement or type, lustre, kiwa development , sashi development, finishing physiology, body shape, deformities and so on. Imagine the genes that go into body shape alone! Bone structure, head shape, fin shape, odome etc.

    There are alot more genes that make up a good koi than is first perceived and my short list is just that SHORT. Consider, the 50% percent contribution from each parent can be numerous in their permutations. Consider also, that often it is the combinations of genes, not one single gene standing alone that results in a good koi. I have an affair with sumi. Whenever I raise a spawn where sumi is a dominant element, I have found there are a minimum of 4 different types expressed. To get that result, there has to be more than one gene involved in producing those differing looks.

    In a single spawn, it is not just the inheritance of the right 50% from each parent, but the right combinations when these are put together. No wonder the percentage of good koi in a single spawn will be low.
    Great topic...thanks for your insight BB! I did see the same result on multiple types of sumi being expressed in my sanke spawn, which I posted the result in another thread. My question is how do we identify the dominant and recessive gene just by looking at the fish? Sorry, I slept through biology class in college. :-)

    Best Regards,
    Sunny

  6. #6
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tosai_Sunny View Post
    My question is how do we identify the dominant and recessive gene just by looking at the fish? Sorry, I slept through biology class in college. :-)
    As koi genetics does not follow typical Mendelian results, college biology is a basic prep to understanding dominant & recessive relationships. But, I do believe it is an important starting point to understanding koi genes and their nature of inheritance. I would suggest a good textbook reading of first year undergraduate genetics is the best.

    Just looking at a fish becomes a starting point. Ideally, you need to know the line of parents to start to know if the genotype is homogynous or not. And the results of the cross (ideally done as several test crosses) will also help to reveal the answer. Remember, a single gene comes in a pair. One from each parent. There is one that is expressed as the phenotype; the look and the other is hidden away. If the hidden gene is not the same as the other, it will only be revealled in the offspring and only when an homogynous pair is present.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Excellent discourse!

    At this time, there are few gentically refined varieties. The gosanke and Shiro Utsuri are generally considered as 'more refined'. It is not unreasonable to argue that only Kohaku could be so categorized, since Sanke can throw Kohaku and Showa/Shiro Utsuri require culling for kuroki as a first step. I'd say there are some Ogon lines that come fairly true, even if the colors range from white to yellow to orange. But crossing Kohaku with Shiro Utsuri is not going to give what folks may expect because they are coming from different base genetics, and crossing the recessives of Kohaku with the recessives of Ogon is not going to produce a lot of paired recessives. There will be a lot of undesired dominant genes expressing themselves.

    JR has spokenabout the importance of gene elimination in an isolated population. Nishikigoi cannot revert to true wild carp as a result. But, there are still far too many 'wild genes' present, and too many genetic origins, for matching up many recessives when stepping outside a narrow bloodline. So, even with the most careful selection of oyagoi, it is still the eye of the breeder in culling that counts. Somebody has to realize what they are seeing when the recessive match-up occurs.
    Last edited by MikeM; 08-25-2011 at 08:38 AM.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    JR has spokenabout the importance of gene elimination in an isolated population. Nishikigoi cannot revert to true wild carp as a result. But, there are still far too many 'wild genes' present, and too many genetic origins, for matching up many recessives when stepping outside a narrow bloodline. So, even with the most careful selection of oyagoi, it is still the eye of the breeder in culling that counts. Somebody has to realize what they are seeing when the recessive match-up occurs.
    Exactly and the first time breeder is many years and many generations from creating an homogynous genetic pool. The same problem occurs in the Oz hobby and is a hinder to the advance of our stocks. Many hobby breeders try this or that one year, but only a minor handful repeat the process to create their own true line. But, becasuse our pool is relatively small, there has been plenty of inbreeding, much to ignorance of the owner. Our hobby has had limited deliberate linebreeding, but enough accidental to move the variety forward.

  9. #9
    AWL
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    Great thread guys

    I am a little behind so keep on posting i will catch up eventully.
    I really should have stayed at school longer.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    AWL,

    identical topics, two paths........both are interesting

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