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Control Of Gene Expression » Color Gene Expression

Kitty Chromosomes And Gender

Studying kitty chromosomes is no different than the study of human chromosomes. It gives an insight into the fascinating procedure and occurrence of cat development. The study of feline DNA takes into account many different aspects and the results are most astonishing.

Recent studies in cats have shown that there are nineteen pairs of chromosomes found in all cats. The amazing part of all of this is that only one pair of chromosomes is given by the mother cat and the rest are from the father. Kitty chromosomes are what determines if the cat will be male of female, X or Y chromosomes.

For a cat to be a calico or tortoiseshell it must possess two X kitty chromosomes. The X chromosome has the gene for the fur colors of orange and black. The Y chromosome contains the gene that is responsible for the gender of the kittens. It also regulates the male cat's sexual development and genes. The Y chromosome has no fur color gene.

A male calico or tortoiseshell cat has two X and one Y chromosomes. All female cats have two X kitty chromosomes that contain genes creating the three calico pattern colors. A male calico or tortoiseshell has only one X chromosome. This X chromosome gives the fur color of orange or black. In the calico cat there is a gene for the white color of the calico pattern.

It may sound a bit confusing; a male calico or tortoiseshell could either be of the XY pattern or XXY combination. A female cat possesses the XX chromosome pattern. A male calico or tortoiseshell is very rare and will always be sterile. For this reason, it is not possible to mate a female calico with a male calico or tortoiseshell cat.

For a cat to be a calico or tortoiseshell it must have the two X chromosomes. These X chromosomes are responsible for the fur colors and they are inherited from the mother only. Should the kitten end up with two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome then it will be a sterile male calico and tortoiseshell.

About the Author: Paulina Jenkins has a website http://www.kittycatjoy.com with information on all breeds of kitty cats, cat supplies and cat products.

Source: www.ezinearticles.com