The Rabbit Color Genes

The dominant gene is listed with a capital letter.  The genes listed under the first one are progressively recessive to the others in the series.  For example -- the A is dominant to the at and the a.  The at is recessive to the A but is dominant to the a.

A series - determines the coat pattern only.  The other series determine the actual colors.
                    A = agouti - will show a banded hair shaft.
                    at = tan pattern - solid body color with the agouti type markings.
                    a = self - one solid color overall with no markings.

B series 
                    B = black
                    b = chocolate

C series
                    C = full color development - will show the yellow/gold pigment as in the Chestnut and Otters.
                    c(chd) = chinchilla/no yellow pigment in the coat color as in the Chins and Silver Martens.
                    c(chl) = shading - changes the black to a dark sepia brown as in the Siamese Sable.
                    c(h) = himalayan - makes a pure white body with the color only on the face, ears, feet, and tail.
                    c = albino/REW - a pure white rabbit with red/pink eyes.

D series
                    D = dense color - chestnut/castor, black, chocolate, cinnamon, sable, orange, etc.
                    d = dilute color - changes black to blue, chestnut to opal, chocolate to lilac and orange to fawn, etc.

E series
                    Es = steel/overabundance of dark pigment - can hide the agouti banding but leave the tipping.
                    E = normal extension of dark pigment.
                    ej = brindling - makes the harlequin and tri-colors.
                    e = non extension of dark pigment - red/yellow - for the torts, sable points, orange, fawn and red.

En series
                    En = broken - The EnEn produces the Charlie marked, the Enen produces the correct broken pattern.
                    en = solid

Du series
                    Du = normal color - the Dudu will put some dutch type markings on the rabbit.
                    du = dutch pattern.

V series
                    V
= normal eye and coat color - the Vv will usually produce mismarked rabbits.
                    v = white coat with blue eyes.

Si series
                    Si
= normal color.
                    si = silvered color.

THE PUNIT SQUARE - it sometimes helps to understand the genetic possibilities of a breeding by making a simple Punit square.  list the dam's genes across the top and the sire's genes down the left side.  The genes are combined in the square to determine the genes in the baby.  The example below shows the breeding of two black rabbits that each has a chocolate parent.  We thus know that they carry one B for black and one b for the chocolate.

Dam's Genes          

    B b
 Sire's Genes B BB - black Bb - black
b Bb - black bb - chocolate

Each baby has a 75% chance of being black and a 25% chance of being chocolate.

The Hollander Fall Issue October 2000