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Thread: Genetics refinement question

  1. #1
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Genetics refinement question

    Got a genetics question. In terms of refinement we have: 1- Kohaku, 2- Sanke and 3- Showa. Are these refined as a matter of simply time and process, or are the genes more pliable to work with? Meaning- did Japanese just happen to spend more effort on Kohaku just as a matter of chance, or did they follow the genetic path? Basically, which is the horse and which is the cart?

  2. #2
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Kohaku is by far the most refined nishikgoi and it is the genesis of most every patterned koi. It has been bred the longest and also is the most common type of nishikigoi bred by far. I am not sure what you mean by pliable but it certainly has more simple genetics with only a red & white pattern. Color and pattern quality are amazing but even more impressive are the refinements in body shape/proportion and skin quality. Showa are much less refined with Sanke considered in between Kohaku and Showa in terms of refinement. Remember that black color/pattern both sanke and showa black is a dominate trait somewhat closer to wild genetics than the pure white and red colors/pattern of kohaku.
    Tosai_Sunny likes this.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    "Refinement" as it pertains to Koi genetics is hard to understand and hard for me to explain, assuming that I fully understand it.
    I agree with Ray and would say the modern Kohaku genetics is the farthest from the wild common carp. Not the same with Asagi.




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  4. #4
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Easy really, a bit like comparing a Shakespearean sonnet to a hallmark greeting card

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I think Ray has touched on the important point among the gosanke. Black pigment necessarily pushes the fish closer to the wild genetics.

    I think of refinement in different ways. Skin and pigment quality are traits that gosanke and Shiro Utsuri rank far ahead of other varieties, although an occasional Goromo or Goshiki may be so Kohaku-like that it will stand out. These are few. For basic genetics, I go back to the idea that an established line of Kohaku bred to Kohaku produces mainly Kohaku, plus shiromugi and higoi. Sanke bred to Sanke produces a wider range of phenotypes, with a lower percentage being marketable Sanke, which is why Sanke is said to be the most difficult. And, then there is Showa.... a huge percentage of offspring are immediately eliminated when free swimming. Deformities abound.

    Even with Kohaku having been bred to Kohaku over and over for more than a century, there is still no line of Kohaku that does not produce shiromuji and higoi. There is none in which no offspring exhibit fading Hi. There is none in which no offspring possesses red pigment in any fin.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I think Ray has touched on the important point among the gosanke. Black pigment necessarily pushes the fish closer to the wild genetics.

    I think of refinement in different ways. Skin and pigment quality are traits that gosanke and Shiro Utsuri rank far ahead of other varieties, although an occasional Goromo or Goshiki may be so Kohaku-like that it will stand out. These are few. For basic genetics, I go back to the idea that an established line of Kohaku bred to Kohaku produces mainly Kohaku, plus shiromugi and higoi. Sanke bred to Sanke produces a wider range of phenotypes, with a lower percentage being marketable Sanke, which is why Sanke is said to be the most difficult. And, then there is Showa.... a huge percentage of offspring are immediately eliminated when free swimming. Deformities abound.

    Even with Kohaku having been bred to Kohaku over and over for more than a century, there is still no line of Kohaku that does not produce shiromuji and higoi. There is none in which no offspring exhibit fading Hi. There is none in which no offspring possesses red pigment in any fin.
    HI Mike,

    I will add one more to your list. No line of Kohaku that does not produce shimmi's.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    In answer to the initial question, I think you have to take into account, the difference between gosanke and others in the mind of the japanese. Kohaku as Ray rightly suggests has been worked on the most and is so important to the refinement being put into sumi-mono gosanke. lots of effort lately has been done with goshiki.

    If it wasn't for hosokai, the first color variety would have lapsed by the way side. Otsuka has also refined the asagi pattern and many today appreciate what is known as "reverse". There are many subtle points being worked on with this koi as with others color varieties. those that have ever seen the silver around the edge of asagi han, knows what i mean. lately "Yuki" or snow asagi are becoming popular especially in GR. An all white koi, red fins and no asagi-han.

    i think it's important to understand the national pride of the colors red and white, just as we have red,white and blue in our flag.
    Dick Benbow

  8. #8
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayJordan View Post
    HI Mike,

    I will add one more to your list. No line of Kohaku that does not produce shimmi's.
    Sure there is...you just aren't talking to the right dealer
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  9. #9
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Refinement is the act of removing impurities from a substrate to approach an ideal state. Remove the dross from the gold, the chaff from the wheat and the wild from the domestic to refine them. If the ideal nishikigoi is a “big red and white carp” then obviously kohaku are the most refined. But there is always bigger redder and whiter. Each variety is a kind of refinement, if the most refined is taken to mean the “closest to the varietal ideal end state” then it is less clear to me that kohaku are the most refined. If the difficulty in achieving the end state is reckoned one color might be easier than two colors and two easier than three, let alone heisei nishiki.

    The refinement of nishikigoi is an art, a high art, it is not a science, it is not genetics. The artist’s eye picks oyagoi not based upon science but based on experience, based on a dream. The strict selection of offspring, the devotion to nurture, and the pride of show are realized in living art. For the production of refined nishikigoi: genealogy is key and genetics is irrelevant.

    What is meant by “refinement”?

  10. #10
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    The refinement of nishikigoi is an art, a high art, it is not a science, it is not genetics.
    Not my understanding of refinement as it portrays to judging Koi.




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