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Keywords:

  • guinea fowl;
  • MC1R;
  • melanism

Summary

We have characterized a deletion in the MC1R gene causing the loss of one amino acid (p.Phe256del), which is perfectly associated with melanism in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). Co-segregation of the p.Phe256del with melanism was confirmed in 25 offspring born from a cross of two heterozygote birds; therefore we suggest that this mutation is responsible for the black phenotype. Interestingly, this is the first case of recessive melanism linked to MC1R.