PMID: 590660Oct 20, 1977

Modification of pigmentation patterns in allophenic mice by the W gene

Differentiation; Research in Biological Diversity
J Gordon


Mouse embryos heterozygous at the W locus were combined with embryos which were wild type at this locus but homozygous for albino. The resulting allophenics displayed an unusual pigmentation phenotype consisting of entirely white fur and ruby-coloured eyes. Microscopic examination showed the eye pigment to be located exclusively in the retinal epithelium, which was a mosaic of black and white sectors. This ruby-eyed white pattern corresponds to what would have been expected for WWCC in equilibrium wwcc mosaics but not for WwCC in equlibrium wwcc mice. WW mice are black-eyed whites, but Ww mice have black eyes and black fur, except for a small ventral white spot. These results suggest that melanocytes of the Ww genotype, although capable of producting normally pigmented fur in Ww animals, fail to populate hair follicles when the competition with wwcc (albino) melanocytes that are wild type at the W locus. The genotype of these WwCC in equilibrium wwcc alophenes was proved by progeny testing. This is apparently the first report of a single gene change affecting the competitive ability of cells in allophenic mice, and suggests that such changes may play a significant role in the clonal selection of embryonic cells during development.


Aug 6, 1970·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·A K Tarkowski
Jun 13, 1973·Nature: New Biology·M TuffreyC E Ford
Jan 1, 1974·Annual Review of Genetics·B Mintz
Mar 1, 1957·The Journal of Experimental Zoology·B Mintz, E S RUSSELL


Jul 1, 1991·BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology·J J Panthier, H Condamine
May 1, 1987·Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society·J Michaelson

Related Concepts

Chimera Organism
Mice, Inbred Strains
Pigment Epithelium of Eye

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