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Thread: what is the concept and role of bloodline in breeding?

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    Sansai Reza's Avatar
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    what is the concept and role of bloodline in breeding?

    Dears
    I was thinking about the bloodlines. Their role in breeding and way of introducing, in a page writer was said that understanding the concept of bloodline will help to understand the koi. I do not understand what he said. could you possibly help me to understand it.

    Regards

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    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reza View Post
    Dears
    I was thinking about the bloodlines. Their role in breeding and way of introducing, in a page writer was said that understanding the concept of bloodline will help to understand the koi. i am not understand what he said. could you possibly help me understand it.
    Regards
    Koi are like the Persian Cat and Iranian High flyer pigeon. These breeds did not just happen in nature. Man selective choose desirable traits and mutations to produce a man-made domesticate animal. Persian cat breeders use established bloodlines, with the most desirable traits, to improve the Persian cat.
    dinh likes this.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The whole subject of bloodlines in koi is often misunderstood. Historically, there was much said and written about the major bloodlines of Kohaku and Sanke. In the period prior to World War II and again in the period immediately after World War II, breeders were working with koi that we would consider decorative pond fish today. As individual breeders succeeded in producing Kohaku and Sanke that stood out from the crowd, they would inter-breed their stock to fix the improved traits. This was done by many breeders working largely independently. From these efforts were produced some famous bloodlines that continue to be mentioned to this day... sensuke, manzo, yagoyen, sadazo, jimbei. etc. One can get the impression that there just a half-dozen or so bloodlines developed in those early days. This is not accurate. Review Nishikigoi Mondo and you will find references to numerous bloodlines nobody mentions anymore. The famous bloodlines are the ones that ended up dominating in breeding efforts as breeders sought out particular traits to inject into the gene pool of their stock. While you may come across occasional claims that a current breeder produces 'true Manzo bloodline' or 'true Sadazo bloodline', the fact is that the old bloodlines are long gone. They have been replaced by contemporary bloodlines and the 'keito' of individual breeders, which exhibit a mix of traits found in the old bloodlines as well as newer traits. This interbreeding to attain ever higher levels of accomplishment makes references to the old bloodlines more confusing than useful for most koikeepers. Still, for those who have a real understanding of the traits of the old famous bloodlines, it can be a useful tool for communication. So, if someone points to a Kohaku and says she has Manzo beni or a Sensuke body, someone with real knowledge of these foundational bloodlines would understand just what was meant. For anyone else, the reference adds useless complexity.

    Probably the most referenced newer bloodline is the Matsunosuke Sanke bloodline. It is difficult to discuss Sanke without it creeping into the conversation. Virtually all of the top Sanke breeders are dependent on Matsunosuke genetics. Those genes have been mixed with every sort of Kohaku Hi to get "improvement", and back to older lines of Sanke. For many years, Sanke breeders would proceed to cull their hundreds of thousands of fry by selecting for Matsunosuke conformation, size, etc. So, the Sanke produced by, say, Shintaro, may be unique to him and identifiable as such by the highly knowledgeable, but his Sanke is derived from the bloodline of Matsunosuke and the Matsunosuke traits would be identifiable by anyone with knowledge of Matsunosuke even if not familiar with the 'tweaks' accomplished by Shintaro. However, it should be understood that in a sense the famous Matsunosuke bloodline no longer exists, since the original fish to whom the name was given are gone and the Sakai brothers have used other bloodlines in continually improving what they produce. Indeed, someone visiting Toshio Sakai today would find that he has several lines of Sanke that he separates from one another.... and crosses in his continuing efforts at creating new improved traits. So, what is produced by Matsunosuke today is not what was produced under that name in the past. (But, if a koikeeper was wanting a Sanke as much like the Matsunosuke Sanke of 1987 as is possible, if anyone could supply it, I expect Toshio Sakai could. He seems to be more interested in maintaining separable gene pools than most breeders.) If you study the Sanke being produced today by Sakai Fish Farm and Momotaro, you will find the traditional Matsunosuke traits becoming more rare. The body forms are moving to be more like SFF Kohaku (trending toward blimps rather than cigars), the beni is different and the sumi is becoming more fixed (not so much 'coming up'/'going down'). I have two Momotaro Sanke over 85cm. The oldest is very Matsunosuke-like. The younger one is wholly different in nearly every respect, although derived from Matsunosuke deep in the genetic background.

    I have only mentioned Kohaku and Sanke because until Kobayashi created his Showa, there was no Showa bloodline worth talking about. I'll get into trouble saying it, but as of today it seems to me that there is really just one Showa bloodline... what has become in my mind the Dainichi bloodline. There is IMO another in process, the one Momotaro is developing, which is drawn from Dainichi but has so much brought in from elsewhere that it has a chance of ending up being recognized as a separate bloodline. But, until the traits get better fixed, I would not consider it separate. A lot of the Momotaro nisai Showa put up for auction each year could appear on the Dainichi website and few if anyone would question it.

    Above I used the term 'keito'. It is a confusing word. Sometimes it is defined as a "brand", but I think that is inaccurate or misleading. The meaning is deeper. A keito is the mix of genetics an individual breeder has brought together to produce his particular line. Some of the larger breeders have more than one keito, and some are at the point that they refer to their lines by reference to the female parent alone (as if it did not matter so much which male fertilized the particular egg, when actually they spend as much or more effort finding the right males as finding the females!). There are many keitos derived from the same bloodline. For example, the Shintaro Sanke is a Matsunosuke bloodline. In the U.S., Mat McCann (Quality Koi/Nisei Koi Farm) is developing his own keito from Matsunosuke bloodline Sanke... and they are wonderful. The McCann Sanke and the Shintaro Sanke may both be from the Matsunosuke bloodline, and share various characteristics, but they are quite different. A person familiar with how the Shintaro Sanke usually develops over a period of years may get a surprise along the way, because individual fish do vary from the norm; but, there can be confidence that usually sumi that looks a certain way on a nisai will develop in a certain manner by the time the koi is gosai. If the same koikeeper acquired a McCann Sanke and was not familiar with that keito, he could not have the same level of confidence.

    I'm just rambling on and probably causing some confusion. The key thing is to understand that nothing about koi genetics is static. These are not wild fish that all develop alike and end up looking alike. All the breeders are seeking to produce koi better than those that ever existed. And, as a group, they are succeeding. Every year there is progress in quality improvements. The more one learns about individual breeders' efforts, seeing hundreds or thousands of their koi, seeing what they keep and what they sell off, seeing how a koi develops from tosai, to nisai, to sansai and ultimately in the show ring in her 6th year, the deeper the understanding of that breeder's line and the greater the confidence one can have in making choices. Of course, just as you think you can see what the breeder sees, he will go and switch the male oyagoi, or the female will die and be replaced by a sister. After the 2004 earthquake, a lot of the Niigata breeders ended up with SFF Kohaku for oyagoi and began anew in developing their own keito. Nothing in koi is static.

    Select the koi you enjoy and appreciate the fact so many have worked so hard for generations to allow you the pleasure of having it. Then, with each koi, you have your own journey of discovery.
    dinh, APOLONASGR36 and Reza like this.

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    Sansai Reza's Avatar
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    I read this article from: Bloodlines - Select Nishikigoi International
    BLOODLINES




    One aspect of Koi understanding that is still far from accepted even when it is understood is the importance and relevance of individual bloodlines. It is fair to say that unless you fully understand the importance of bloodline then you can never really understand Koi at all. The bloodline of a Koi and the traits of that line can and do make very significant differences as to what you can expect from the Koi in question.

    So, firstly, just what is a Koi bloodline? Who better to ask than the Japanese Koi breeders them selves? However before we do this I feel I should point out one essential fact. I learnt very early on that when you ask a breeder a question you should never take the first reply that you receive as fact. Now I do not mean that you may have been given an incorrect answer as such, but that you should always double check. Ask everything again and again until you are completely satisfied with the reply. Let me explain. Many years ago a hobbyist accompanied a buying trip to Japan upon which I was a member of staff. The gentleman in question was not totally convinced that what he had been told by dealers with regard to over wintering his Koi was totally true. Whilst visiting one breeder who does speak English the hobbyist asked me to ask what this particular breeder recommended as a winter keeping regime. I suggested that he ask himself so as to get the information absolutely first hand. This he promptly did. He asked if the breeder “gave his Koi a winter”. Yes was the reply from the breeder, I stop feeding and allow the water to cool. At this point the hobbyist gave me a look as though to say you see they don’t need the heating and feeding in the winter time that he had been told they did. I then asked him to ask the breeder exactly what he meant by giving his Koi a winter. With a look of some confusion the question was asked. The breeder explained that he brought the temperature right down to 15 degrees C, 60 degrees F and reduced feeding to only twice a day. The hobbyist was flabbergasted at the difference in the replies as he saw it. I had to explain several things to him that you have to bear in mind when asking such questions in Japan. In this example whilst the breeder spoke good English he did not know the word for “reduce” so he could not say to “reduce the amount of food given” so he simply said “stop feeding” as he thought that this would mean a similar thing. A minor thing that had a large knock on effect to the reply! With regard to the recommended water temperature the 15 degrees C that the breeder mentioned is the absolute lowest temperature that he ever allows his Koi to experience. So to him this was cold! When I then went on to inform the hobbyist that if he asked the same question the next day at another breeders premises he would probably get a totally different answer he just looked at me. All breeders have their preferred way of doing things. You can never say “Oh, in Japan they do this and this”, who in Japan? Where in Japan? When I Japan? I mention this only to help the following question and answer, hopefully, make more sense.
    WHAT EXACTLY IS A BLOODLINE?

    The Japanese use the word “keito” to describe bloodlines. This word translates in several different ways, some of the most common being as “trademarks” or “traits” or “characteristics”. We can see from this just what they are getting at. The “Keito” dictates the characteristics of a breeders parent sets. Remember not all Koi parents from the same breeder will share the same characteristics. Let’s go a little further.
    Every individual bloodline has its own particular characteristics, and whilst it is true. That only Kohaku and Sanke actually have genuine bloodlines it is now equally as true that most varieties have established lines at least to some degree or another. It is a fact that all Sanke originate from the Torazo line of Sanke. Similarly Tomoin Kohaku are said by many breeders to be the original high class Kohaku. Some lines can be described as “temporary” in so much as it is sometimes the case that a breeder who may be well known for producing particularly good examples of a variety of Koi relies on only one female parent Koi. If he cannot select a future parent Koi from his production then, naturally his line may well vanish when anything happens to his lone female parent as he may not be able to produce Koi of such good quality any more.

    Also some bloodlines are not as old as others. A good example of this is Dainichi. Minoru Mano, the man behind the Dainichi bloodline was so successful that he managed to establish and to stabilise his own line himself. So successful was he and so good is the Dainichi bloodline that many, many breeders now use Dainichi parent Koi or at least have Dainichi blood in their own lines. Matsunosuke is another example of a particularly successful line that is now included in numerous breeders lines.

    So how does the bloodline of a potential purchase affect the Koi hobbyist? To be honest if you are not worried about the future potential or lack of it, of a new Koi then it really does not matter. However if you are serious about your Koi and wish to maximise the chances of growing on a genuinely high class Koi then the bloodline is very important indeed. For example;

    I have dealt with breeders whose Kohaku can be sexed at Tosai with 90% certainty. How do they do this? Easy, if their Tosai Kohaku have strong red pigmentation then you can be almost certain that they are male. However other breeders whom I purchase from have Tosai Kohaku that all have very strong colouration but this has no bearing upon their sex whatsoever. Again some breeders from whom I regularly purchase the Showa variety have Koi that until three or four years of age have very soft orangey coloured hi pigmentation and this is fine. At around four years of age the hi will strengthen beautifully and the Koi will look magnificent. On the other hand I know breeders from whom I would not dream of purchasing Showa from if the hi was weak looking as I would know hat it would never strengthen. All of these differences are due solely to the bloodline of the Koi in question. We can see that it is not acceptable to assume that with any one variety there are hard and fast points to look for, to do this can be very misleading indeed. Another example of how bloodlines can differ between the same breeders Koi is the Sanke variety from Sakuma Koi farm in Isawa. Sakuma San uses Sanke parents from Sadazo bloodline also from Matsunosuke line as well as his own established Sakuma line Koi. The Sanke from the Sadazo line have nice body shape from two years upwards, lovely and full and they only get better. However his Sanke produced from his Matsunosuke line parents are much slimmer until four to five years of age and many people look at them and assume that they are all male when in fact the opposite is the case. The Koi are slim due to their bloodline and only fill out later on and this is when they attain a fantastic body shape.
    They spend the first four to five years putting on length, this growth then slows and the volume comes. But if you don’t know the bloodlines of this breeders Koi!!

    Omosako Koi farm use several different parent sets for their world famous Shiro Utsuri and these have very different traits. Whilst some Koi have very strong Sumi patterns from Tosai onwards which change very little as the Koi grows others have very faint Sumi indeed. If you did not know the bloodline of these Koi you would almost certainly not wish to purchase this type of Koi as you would probably think that the Sumi was never going to strengthen. Grow one of these Koi on however and you will find that at five years of age the Sumi pattern is as strong as any other Koi form this very famous breeder. Again though, if you did not know this you could be totally mislead by what you think may or may not happen with the Koi. Yet again this difference is completely down to the individual bloodlines from the same breeder.
    If you were to see a young Shiro Utsuri from the parents who produce the strong Sumi in the young offspring that had weak colouration you should probably avoid it as it goes against the traits of its line. We should be starting to see where we are going with this now.

    We are so often told to look for such and such when buying a particular variety of Koi and this is so often completely wrong and misleading. If we are serious about selecting a Koi that we wish to achieve a very high level of accomplishment then we must know its bloodline, not what variety it is!! How often have you been told that “all” Chagoi grow to very large sizes? Many times I bet. The truth is that if you wish to grow a Chagoi or any other Koi to a truly large size then you must find out the size of the mother. The female parent dictates the potential size of the off spring. She does not guarantee it but she does dictate the potential size. If the mother is only 60cm then there is very little, if any, chance of the off spring attaining a size larger than this. If on the other hand she is 105cm then the off spring have a very good chance of reaching a similar size given the correct conditions. If a Koi lacks the genetic ability to grow to a truly large size then no keeping techniques on earth will coerce it into doing so. This is just one more reason why knowledge of the bloodline is vital.

    Many people try to shrug off the importance of bloodlines and to convince others that they are not important. However if you are serious about Koi and are striving to do the very best that you can with them then this knowledge is absolutely essential. Whilst there are never any guarantees with regard to the potential of any Koi what we must do is to try to minimise the chances of being disappointed and this is exactly what knowing the traits of a particular Koi’s background can do for us.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    The above article is from Select Nishikigoi International who is in the business of supplying high class Koi with a genuine pedigrees. More about the role of bloodlines in Koi purchases.

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The article from the website of Select Nishikigoi International is excellent, but I do get concerned that it could scare many from venturing into the purchase of higher priced koi. There is so much emphasis on needing to know each individual keito of a breeder to make a purchase decision that a hobbyist would have to spend years studying a breeder's work before making any purchase. (Or, of course, rely on a dealer who has spent years working with a breeder.) No doubt, a person who makes such a study will make better informed decisions. However, learning how to identify quality pigments and appreciating body form goes a long way in making good decisions no matter who the breeder may be.

    Even knowing a bloodline does not assure that an offspring will develop in an expected way. There are always surprises. So, I would not get too fixated on the bloodline, and never let knowledge of a bloodline get in the way of seeing the individual koi in front of you. If they all developed predictably, there would not be much adventure in keeping koi.


    ....I liked the reference to Chagoi. I have one that came from a meter+ female parent known to have produced meter long Chagoi. When I got mine as a tosai, it was much larger than other tosai from the spawn. When it turned out female, and grew wonderfully her second summer, I was sure I would end up with a monster fish. She has grown slowly ever since and has pretty much stopped at around 27 inches (under 70cm). I like her very much, but no monster sized Chagoi in my future.

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    Sansai Reza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The article from the website of Select Nishikigoi International is excellent, but I do get concerned that it could scare many from venturing into the purchase of higher priced koi. There is so much emphasis on needing to know each individual keito of a breeder to make a purchase decision that a hobbyist would have to spend years studying a breeder's work before making any purchase. (Or, of course, rely on a dealer who has spent years working with a breeder.) No doubt, a person who makes such a study will make better informed decisions. However, learning how to identify quality pigments and appreciating body form goes a long way in making good decisions no matter who the breeder may be.

    Even knowing a bloodline does not assure that an offspring will develop in an expected way. There are always surprises. So, I would not get too fixated on the bloodline, and never let knowledge of a bloodline get in the way of seeing the individual koi in front of you. If they all developed predictably, there would not be much adventure in keeping koi.


    ....I liked the reference to Chagoi. I have one that came from a meter+ female parent known to have produced meter long Chagoi. When I got mine as a tosai, it was much larger than other tosai from the spawn. When it turned out female, and grew wonderfully her second summer, I was sure I would end up with a monster fish. She has grown slowly ever since and has pretty much stopped at around 27 inches (under 70cm). I like her very much, but no monster sized Chagoi in my future.
    Mike it is very interesting replies, I am very thankful for your knowledge and experience sharing and making time to writing. I have several requests also. if is possible and you have the famous bloodline's photo please share it here, actually internet is full of their photo but in googling it appears many different results.
    the bloodline is one concept but the a bloodline generation is long way. in momotaro Mako showa bloodline I found they used several bloodlines. I think the best way to understand it is to understand how a bloodline will generate.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails what is the concept and role of bloodline in breeding?-mako.jpg  

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    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The Mako Showa chart shows why I consider Momotaro in the process of creating a true bloodline of their own. The beginning is Maeda's well-known Mako Kohaku, which came out of Sanke with Matsunosuke heritage. This gave a parentage grounded in length and Hi quality. Showa was then mixed in to produce Showa. (I am not certain of the source of the Showa Momotaro was raising back then. I have heard a couple of different stories, all of which may be partially true.) This produced a Showa with a great body form, quite unlike traditional Showa, but lacking some of the quality traits becoming expected of the best Showa. The chart shows how Showa from Takeda and Dainichi were mixed in, producing the fish distributed as Mako Showa several years ago. Since then, the main female oyagoi have been Momotaro-produced koi. He now lists Lion Queen (listed at 99cm, but reportedly over a meter) and Red Tiger (listed at 95cm, but reportedly edging closer to a meter) as the main female Showa oyagoi. These are no longer being called 'Mako Showa'. In last season's auctions there were other female oyagoi originating at Momotaro as well. I would like to know what males are being used for spawnings and their heritage. I know some males originating at Momotaro have been used in the past. I expect males from other sources have also been brought in. I have not seen reports on what Maeda-san is up to now. He is never satisfied with how things are.
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    Sansai Reza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The Mako Showa chart shows why I consider Momotaro in the process of creating a true bloodline of their own. The beginning is Maeda's well-known Mako Kohaku, which came out of Sanke with Matsunosuke heritage. This gave a parentage grounded in length and Hi quality. Showa was then mixed in to produce Showa. (I am not certain of the source of the Showa Momotaro was raising back then. I have heard a couple of different stories, all of which may be partially true.) This produced a Showa with a great body form, quite unlike traditional Showa, but lacking some of the quality traits becoming expected of the best Showa. The chart shows how Showa from Takeda and Dainichi were mixed in, producing the fish distributed as Mako Showa several years ago. Since then, the main female oyagoi have been Momotaro-produced koi. He now lists Lion Queen (listed at 99cm, but reportedly over a meter) and Red Tiger (listed at 95cm, but reportedly edging closer to a meter) as the main female Showa oyagoi. These are no longer being called 'Mako Showa'. In last season's auctions there were other female oyagoi originating at Momotaro as well. I would like to know what males are being used for spawnings and their heritage. I know some males originating at Momotaro have been used in the past. I expect males from other sources have also been brought in. I have not seen reports on what Maeda-san is up to now. He is never satisfied with how things are.
    Thanks mike, what I understand is that a bloodline is a process of making a hi quality fish as oyagoi or breeder special quality (like brand). this process may be start with/without other bloodlines. I found most recently developed bloodlines have Matsunosuke in the beginning and like Momotaro's Mako Showa, and in progress by crossing result with Dainichi , Mako Kohaku they achieve to Mako Showa BloodLine. here is some question how long a breeder could use of its own bloodline and how they could save it?

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Many years ago the first popular koi discussion board for 'serious koikeepers' was Nishikigoi International, referred to as the NI board. Back 15-16 or so years ago, there was a discussion going on in which there were comments expressing regret that no true Torazo Sanke could be found. I was a comparative novice and asked the 'dumb question', why not? Surely some koi collectors would want in have an example of such a famous line of Sanke. I was quickly informed that unlike other hobbies, with koikeeping there is no value in nostalgic, historical examples of genetic lines long surpassed by new improvements. A koikeeper may keep some photos for reference, but pond space goes to the best and highest quality that can be obtained.

    I have no doubt that the Kawakami family could have maintained its famous 'Tiger Sanke' line, but that would have left them behind as improvements in Sanke were made by others. They certainly had the oyagoi, ponds and facilities to keep the old line going, but who would buy it? As much as Japanese culture honors tradition and ancestry, the real hallmark is constant striving for a higher level of accomplishment. The Torazo Sanke was so famous that even to this day the koi farm is known as Torazo and Tsuyoshi Kawakami is even referred to as Torazo as if that was his personal name (although it was his grandfather and father who created and produced the Torazo Sanke). The Torazo Sanke was the cutting edge accomplishment of the late 1960s. It was long ago surpassed. The name lives on in memory and as the name of the koi farm, but long, long ago the farm began breeding Sanke with Matsunosuke parentage. I believe Sanke are still produced at Torazo, but the farm is much better known today for producing very fine Kohaku. I cannot recall the last time I saw a dealer listing Sanke from Torazo for sale. Their Kohaku sell out quickly.

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