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Detailed articles on the specific loci involved that cause the different coat colours in the Mongolian gerbil and other domestic species.

The Grey Locus/ Underwhite locus

Has a new mutation lead to the identification of the G locus ?

In 1975, the Grey Agouti gerbil was first discovered in a London petshop, it later died out but a couple of years later it appeared again and is now very common in the UK and Europe, although in the USA it is still regarded as a fairly uncommon variety. The coat colour closely resembles the chinchilla mutation of the albino series of alleles (C locus) in mice and other domestic livestock...

The Underwhite Gene, a new Mutation in the Mongolian Gerbil

Over the years it has been the mouse coat colour genes that have played a significant role in the understanding of the basic aspects of mammalian genetics. This holds true for the Underwhite locus which encodes for the MATP (membrane-associated transporter protein) protein, which has been used repeatedly as a coat colour marker in gene linkage and mapping studies. For many years, it was the phenotypic marker of choice for locating genes on chromosome 15...

The Dilution locus

The Dilute Mutation in The Mongolian Gerbil & Other Domestic Species

The dilute mutation takes it's name from the affect the gene has on the coat colour of the animal. With the dilute gene the coat of the animal takes on a 'washed out' appearance, this is due to the failure of melanin containing vesicles being transported into the growing hair. The dilute gene is known to affect pigment transportation and also its deposition. This mutant gene is known in scientific literature as Myosin-5a (My05a (d)) and is a mutation of the protein Myosin 5. This mutation that is known to affect melanosome transport, also causes clumping of the pigment granules, which then gives the coat colour its diluted look...

The Pink-Eyed Dilution Locus

The Pink-Eyed Dilution Mutation in The Mongolian Gerbil & Other Domestic Species

The first early descriptions of the P locus and its mutations were by the maize geneticist Emerson, who analysed the inheritance of a variegating allele of the maize P locus during the early decades of the last century (1914, 1917 & 1929). In many domestic animals the Pink-eyed dilution mutation is a well known and very much established mutation, and in fancy mice its origins are ancient and are believed to have occurred first in Japanese wild mice (Mus musculus molossinus)...

The Dominant Spotting Locus

Understanding piebaldism

In January, 2003 after the Bradford championship show, the NGS held it's annual general meeting, at this meeting I put forward a proposal to give the mottled coat variety of the gerbil a provisional standard. I was pleased when this proposal was put to a vote and unanimously passed. Prior to this meeting the mottled gerbil had had to compete in the pied class and was often discriminated against as the white markings on this variety often well exceeded the acceptable amount of white markings that are laid down for the pied standard...

Further Notes on Spotting Genetics

On a lot of prominent gerbil websites they report that breeding two spotted gerbils together will produce smaller litters because the gerbils that would be SpSp never come to exist in the womb. This information is wrong, and needs amending...

Semi-Dominant Lethal Spotting Locus


Semi-Dominant Lethal Spotting ~ A mutation Investigation Group Report

In 2008, a thread started on the eGerbil forum telling members that Pets@Home petshop chains were then selling what looked like Extreme White and White paws gerbils at a few of their outlets.  To explain further, White paws gerbils are carrying a single dominant lethal spotting gene, so in effect this type of lethal spotting is said to be in its heterozygous state, if it were homozygous, then the effects would be lethal and these pups die, usually any time after birth until just after being weaned...

A new spotting gene in Mongolian gerbils?

Kyra Gysel

For almost 40 years, a form of Dominant Spotting has been known and bred for in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). The homozygous form is prenatal lethal, the homozygotes die in uteri of anaemia. Heterozygotes also suffer from a very mild form of anaemia but is so slight that they are not impaired by that condition...