Research press release


Scientific Reports

Genetics: The long and short of a cat’s tail



今回、Shu-Jin Luoたちは、2世代のネコ(合計13匹)の遺伝的解析を行い、その後、これらのネコと血縁でない233匹のネコ(126匹の野良猫と107匹の飼い猫)のスクリーニングを行って、尻尾の長さに関連する遺伝的バリアントを調べた。その結果、正常なHES7遺伝子と変異のあるHES7遺伝子(アミノ酸残基のバリンがアラニンに置き換わっている)を1コピーずつ有するネコの尻尾が短いことが判明した。その長さは、わずかに短くなったもの(長さ約25 cm)から長さ10~20 cmまでさまざまだった。また、今回の研究で調べた中国の短尾猫の約3分の1は、短い尻尾に関連するHES7遺伝子やT-box遺伝子の遺伝的バリアントを持っていなかったが、この結果は、これらのネコの短い尻尾に寄与する別の遺伝子の存在を示唆している可能性がある。

A genetic basis for short tails in Japanese Bobtail and Chinese short-tailed feral cats is identified in a study published in Scientific Reports this week. The research suggests that a mutation in the gene HES7 is responsible for the trait in these breeds.

Previous research has identified that the short tailed/tailless trait in the Manx and several bobtail cat breeds is due to a mutation in the T-box gene. However, it has been shown that this gene is not associated with the short-tailed trait in the Japanese Bobtail, indicating that at least one additional gene is involved in determining tail length in domestic cat breeds.

Shu-Jin Luo and colleagues conducted a genetic analysis of 13 cats from two generations and screened an additional 233 unrelated cats (including 126 feral cats from Asia and 107 breed cats) for genetic variations linked to tail length. The authors found that cats with one copy of the HES7 gene, with a mutation in which the amino acid valine is replaced with alanine, exhibited shortened tails to varying degrees. This ranged from a slight shortening (where the tail was approximately 25cm long), to tails between 10-20cm long. They also found that approximately one-third of the short-tailed cats from China examined did not carry the genetic variations in HES7 or T-box associated with short tails, which may suggest the existence of additional genes that contribute to short tails in these breeds of cat.

doi: 10.1038/srep31583


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