We are excited to announce a major update to our genetic calculator. This update adds support for allelic recessive genes. Also known as “visual hets”, these are different recessive genes which can combine to create visual outcomes. Read on to learn about this and some other improvements.
In 2015, MorphMarket launched its platform with a genetics engine that powered its calculator and trait extractor. This system was later extended to other species.
One innovative feature of our calculator was the support for possible het output. For instance, when breeding a het recessive to a wild type, each baby will be either het or wild type, but a person can’t tell from looking which is which. Each baby has a 50% chance of being het, so the calculator will label each one as “50% possible het”.
Yet there was a limitation in that it did not correctly model allelic recessive traits. Output for these combos included a disclaimer explaining that it was not fully modeled.
For example, in Ball Pythons, the Albino trait and the Candy trait are both recessive traits, but they share the same locus. A ball python cannot be both fully Albino and fully Candy, but it can be 50% of each, or “Double Het (DH)” for both. So if you breed a DH Albino Candy to a Normal, the calculator. would output “100% 50% ph Albino and 50% ph Candy”. The correct output, which is now displayed, is “100% Het Albino OR Het Candy”. This is because either one or the other gene must be passed on to all offspring.
These improvements are not limited to Ball Pythons of course. This fixes issues with visual recessives across Boa Constrictors, Reticulated Pythons, and Corn Snakes, to name a few.
We have updated our engine’s knowledge of complexes from feedback in our forums. If we are missing any data please comment on this in the appropriate forum discussions.
If you have used MorphMarket ’s Offspring Groups to track and advertise your breeding history, you have noticed that our wizard will assist by automatically adding traits to offspring that you add.
Initially, traits added were those which would be inherited 100% of the time. Now, we add traits which are most likely to be inherited, to minimize the number of updates you have to make to those offspring. For example, in a het x het scenario, the system pre-assigns all offspring to be 66% PH. You would now only have to update 25% to visuals, which reduces the data entry by 75%.
A simple but elegant change is that we now display 100% Het traits on the site as just “Het.” Het implies 100%, so there’s no need to state this explicitly. This makes the interface a bit cleaner. We still need to update this in the select inputs but it is rendered in the new way on all pages.
The calculator previously refused to process breeding pairs with more than 10 total genes. Thanks to optimizations in the algorithm, it now supports up to 14 traits. This is very helpful in Corn Snakes where there tend to be a high number of traits.
One thing that is still not resolved for ads is the representation of trait disjunctions. That is, the traits on ads do not yet allow sellers to label an animal as having trait A OR B. This is tricky for a few reasons, not the least of which is the interface to input this data.
We’re glad to have finally tackled the tough issues mentioned above that pave the way for even more great improvements to come! These were important as we will be leveraging the calculator more extensively throughout the site in features for animal management.