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  1. #1
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    Been a while... resuming work on publication on BP morphs

    Hello everyone!

    I posted here a while ago as I was working on a paper in herpetology, specifically requiring me to categorize and come up with unambiguous, precise descriptions of single-gene mutations in Python regius, and I got a lot of helpful information. While research carried me to other areas in the time since then, I have resumed working on this paper as there is a bountiful field of research that this publication would open up, into the precise genetic mechanisms determining color and pattern in snakes. The key issue right now is ensuring our dataset is as accurate as possible, ensuring we have no duplicates of the same morph, only including morphs that are legitimately distinct from the wildtype and possess a demonstrable inheritance pattern, as any statistical tests done on the data will not hold up if the data is inaccurate.

    So, I have come here in the hopes that there might be some experienced people who could help me answer some specific, targeted questions regarding several ball python morphs. I have included an image showing our description of the wildtype phenotype, as it shows the terminology we are using across all descriptions for the sake of consistency (the idea is that a description we write should be good enough for someone who has never seen the morph to be able to identify it - much like how a species description should be sufficient for a field biologist to identify a specimen). Any help is very greatly appreciated!

    Wildtype description:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xxbvxogh0w...dtype.jpg?dl=0

    Anyways, here are the morphs we are currently wrestling with, and the specific things we are needing to know:
    Lori: Based on the above description of the wildtype, how would you describe/characterize the heterozygote and homozygote forms of this mutation? I had trouble even identifying the heterozygote, and the homozygote seems to have such an aberrant pattern that I am not exactly sure where to start.

    Axanthic
    : I know that there are multiple different genes related to this phenotype - TSK, Markus Jayne, VPI, and Jolliff. However, one thing I am not clear on is whether or not Black Axanthic is the same as any of the aforementioned genes, or if it is instead its own strain of axanthic. Is Black Axanthic just another name for VPI axanthic? Also, any notes on ventral coloration in axanthics would be very helpful. Also, has anyone ever managed to produce offspring from a double het. pairing? I'd be curious to see if any double homozygotes for two axanthic genes have been produced.

    Bengal:
    My professor is unable to really tell exactly how this morph is distinct from the wildtype based on photos of homozygotes that I have shown to him. Is it a legitimate morph, or just a line-bred thing that is far more subtle? If the latter, I will exclude it from the dataset. If it really is a legitimate mutation, any demonstrations of exactly how it differs from the wildtype would be very helpful.

    Ghost/"Hypo"
    : Now, I know there are many different "lines" of ghost/hypo such as "orange ghost", "green ghost", etc., and I have excluded most from my analysis as there was nothing that said they were non-synonymous. However, I still have 3 similar mutants in my dataset - Desert Ghost, Ghost/Hypomelanistic, and G1 Hypo. Are these three all different names/lines of the same trait (ie Butter vs Lesser, Banana vs Coral Glow), or are they legitimately different from each other? If so, any data on how they differ (or if it is instead like the case with Axanthics where the phenotypes are identical but produce wildtypes when crossed) would be VERY helpful!

    Lavender Albino: This one I've had in there for a while, but I'm honestly unsure about it. I've never seen a lot of "lavender albino" ball pythons sold, and I don't know if it is actually a legitimate morph by itself, or if it is instead more like what we see in Clark-strain reticulated pythons (ie being a cross of two different albino alleles). Any clarification would be very helpful!

    Thanks in advance for any answers!

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    Lori: Lori is the Heterozygote of a Super Lori... Lori is very similar to Het Red Axanthic. Similar in the same way that Cinnamon is similar to Black Pastel.

    Axanthic: At the time of this posting. Black Axanthic is it's own line of Axanthic, and has not been proven to be allelic to any other bloodline of Axanthic. I don't think anyone has worked on a double visual Axanthic, it would be impossible to sell the offspring.

    Bengal: I don't think this "morph" ever proved to be genetic. Probably just an aberrant wild type. I could be wrong.

    Ghost/"Hypo": Hypo is the short version of Hypomelanistic... G1 Hypo seems to be just another line of Hypo. I cannot vouch if it is allelic/compatible with other lines of Ghost/Hypo. Desert Ghost is it's own morph, not in anyway similar to Hypo.

    Lavender Albino: This morph is not the same as Albino. It is it's own morph. The reason they are called Lavender Albinos is because as the specimen ages, the white turn a lavender/purple/pink color. Lavender Albinos are not related to Candy/Toffee's.
    Joe
    #1 Lurker...
    working with Spider, Pastel, Phantom, Bamboo, Special, Lesser, Het Daddy, Leopard, Black Head, Hypo, Desert Ghost and Clown.

  3. #3
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    Re: Been a while... resuming work on publication on BP morphs

    Quote Originally Posted by lovepig78 View Post
    Lori: Lori is the Heterozygote of a Super Lori... Lori is very similar to Het Red Axanthic. Similar in the same way that Cinnamon is similar to Black Pastel.
    I know that Lori and Super Lori are the two different states of the same morph, but I am trying to figure out the optimal way to formally describe the phenotypic alterations (compared to wildtype) that we observe in the heterozygote (Lori) and homozygote (Super Lori) state. I did not know that it is at the same locus as Het Red Axanthic, though. Do you have a source I could use for that claim? Just want to make sure I can reference things appropriately.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovepig78 View Post
    Axanthic: At the time of this posting. Black Axanthic is it's own line of Axanthic, and has not been proven to be allelic to any other bloodline of Axanthic. I don't think anyone has worked on a double visual Axanthic, it would be impossible to sell the offspring.
    This is important, as it raises the number of known mutations that result in a lack of yellow pigmentation from 4 to 5. Thanks for confirming.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovepig78 View Post
    Bengal: I don't think this "morph" ever proved to be genetic. Probably just an aberrant wild type. I could be wrong.
    Hopefully I can get more input, but for now I have left it in but noted that there is disagreement on its legitimacy as a morph.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovepig78 View Post
    Ghost/"Hypo": Hypo is the short version of Hypomelanistic... G1 Hypo seems to be just another line of Hypo. I cannot vouch if it is allelic/compatible with other lines of Ghost/Hypo. Desert Ghost is it's own morph, not in anyway similar to Hypo.
    I know that hypo/ghost is simply a hypomelanistic morph, but the primary concern is whether or not "hypo" and G1 hypo should be considered separate morphs or not for purposes of statistical analysis. It is good to confirm that Desert Ghost is its own morph, though. Problem for me is that my description of the Desert Ghost morph is effectively identical to the description given for Axanthic morphs, so I need to figure out a way to distinguish between the two. I also hope I can find out from someone whether or not G1 hypo is the same as "hypo."

    Quote Originally Posted by lovepig78 View Post
    Lavender Albino: This morph is not the same as Albino. It is it's own morph. The reason they are called Lavender Albinos is because as the specimen ages, the white turn a lavender/purple/pink color. Lavender Albinos are not related to Candy/Toffee's.
    This is definitely good to know. So, they look like a typical albino as hatchlings/juveniles, but the distinct lavender coloration becomes present through ontogeny?

    Again, thanks for the help!

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    Lori: Lori/Green Pastel/Het Red Axanthic are all the same morph in my opinion. There are several breeding records from several breeders online. Google would be a good start.

    Ghost/"Hypo": G1 Hypo and Hypo are just the same morph in my opinion, different bloodline. As aforementioned, I have not seen proof.

    Lavender Albino: I dont know why they turn Lavender, I just know that they do.

    Desert Ghost: I don't know where you read your morph descriptions from... but Axanthic's and Desert Ghost look nothing alike.
    Joe
    #1 Lurker...
    working with Spider, Pastel, Phantom, Bamboo, Special, Lesser, Het Daddy, Leopard, Black Head, Hypo, Desert Ghost and Clown.

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    Green Pastel is not included in our list, as far as I know it is just another line of Pastel (and any differences between Green Pastel and "Pastel" could be attributed to individual variation - I would have to see a Pastel x Green Pastel double heterozygote to see if they are truly different genes. Looking at a Super Lori from the few pictures I can find online, it does not look identical to Red Axanthic - the background coloration that shows thriugh in the lateral blotches (see the wildtype description attached to my opening post in this thread) in Super Lori is broken up and pixelated, and the blotch coloration seems far more grey than in the red axanthic. They could certainly be at the same locus, but I don't believe they are the same exact mutation. Then again, it is often difficult to find multiple pictures of single-gene mutants, so I am judging from a limited pool of individuals.

    G1 I actually looked up on the morphs section of this forum, where it was specifically stated that it does not cross with other "ghost" lines.

    As for axanthics and desert ghost, it may just be that the "desert ghost" pictures we used to draft our description are not accurate to the appearance of that mutation. The image I found of Desert Ghost individuals had the browns of the wildtype replaced with varying shades of grey, which is just what is seen in axanthics. I will have to search for more images of pure desert ghost individuals to solve this.

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    Re: Been a while... resuming work on publication on BP morphs

    Bumping because I have gone looking through the morph list again and there are still a few that need more information and reference material. I am going through recessive morphs first, as they are generally the easiest to describe. There are still a few I am having issues with due to a lack of available information or reference images of the single-gene mutations (multi-gene mutants are useless for describing the effects of a single gene on the wild-type phenotype due to phenomena such as epistasis).

    Specifically, right now I am looking for both images and information on:

    Atomic:
    What I have right now is simply that according to Mike Wilbanks, this mutation causes lighter coloration within blotches (for terminology, see the pdf linked in the original post). I have information on how it interacts with several other genes, namely causing strange distribution of phenotypes across the left and right sides of the body when combined with other morphs such as Fire, but I have so little information on Atomic by itself that I am very dissatisfied with its inclusion. I need more info on what this gene does by itself, so any information would be greatly appreciated. I could especially use any pictures of single-gene Atomic individuals. I have thus far been unable to find any images.

    Cryptic/Tribal: I have been unable to find any significant info on this mutation, or how it affects phenotype, other than some saying it "resembles the Desert morph", which is insufficient for my needs. If anyone has any links or photos that I could use for describing this morph (or if it is not really a morph at all), I would very much appreciate that info!

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