Hi! I am a fish lover from the Philippines. In the Philippines, we call fish as "isda". Then, I notice my initials are E, E, S, and D. Also, my family and I call my fish place the "Aviary." We do so because it was initially built for the family's African love birds and finches. So, I combined my initials and the initial of "Aviary." There is the pattern: E-E-S-D-A. This approximates "isda."

I am EESDA, fish lover from the Philippines.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Orange Betta and My Thoughts

Here are my thoughts about the expression of orange in bettas.

I believed of three genes in expressing red and its variations (yellow, orange)

NR - red, dominant* (this is just a representative of the "normal" red color)
nr1 - yellow, recessive**
nr2 - orange, recessive** as well

*dominant = only needs one gene to be expressed; it takes over the recessive gene
**recessive = needs two genes to be expressed

Therefore, doing a punnet square of nr1nr1 x nr2nr2 would yield 100% nr1nr2

Here's a little guide to genetics: http://bettaterritory.nl/BT-AABtermgenetics.htm

Since both nr1 and nr2 are recessive and need two copies to be expressed, nr1nr2 fry will turn out to be red. My friend did a cross with yellow and orange fish, although he used bi-colors. True to my expectation, all the fish are red.
I got two fish from my friend for my own crosses. I did two crosses of his fish with my fish:

(1) Yellow x Red Dragon (my friend's)
nr1nr1 x nr1nr2 = 50% nr1nr1, 50% nr1nr2

(2) Red Dragon (my friend's) x  Red Dragon (carries nr1)
nr1nr2 x NRnr1 = 25% NRnr1, 25% NRnr2, 25% nr1nr1, 25% nr1nr2

Aside from getting my expected mix of yellow and red, I got two orange fish in each spawn.
Theoretically, that would be impossible. How could the nr2 gene be expressed with just one copy?
I wonder what could other factors do in expressing orange. 

So, my hypothesis on orange now is that (1) it is not based on a single gene. Another friend noted that orange is highly recessive. So maybe, yes, another gene is being neglected. (2) Another possibility is the effect of some marble gene limited to only red and produce the orange color - a sort of cambodian gene for the entire red layer.

Another question to be raised is...will these "orange fish" breed true? That will be the ultimate test of their true genetics. I would do an F2 of each orange to a sibling. If they do produce orange fish, they are certainly orange.

On a side note, I will try these crosses with an orange fish I got.
(a) Orange x Red Dragon (my friend's; fish in cross #1)
(b) Orange x Red Dragon (my line; fish in cross #2)

But for now...
The idea of the nr2nr2 to produce orange still holds but I am still curious on what else is there...

UPDATE (11/03/2013):
So, I came back to answer...did those oranges breed true? Yes. I also added another trait. I saw an orange dalmatian VT (even when people would say it's a stupid decision) and crossed that to fish from my line. Then, the offspring are bred to the orange and nr1nr2 as well. The nr1nr2 cross yielded me with cambodian reds and platinum reds. The orange cross yielded this fish:

Here is the result. It's an orange dalmatian DTPK. The spots on the fins are from the orange dalmatian VT ancestor. Both the color and fins need work. The color is washed out and is very light. Most likely, it is the effect of the cambodian gene. The finnage needs more spread and branching especially the caudal. Still, this will be a worthy piece for my projects.

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