So, pursuant to a question I had for the more experienced breeders on this board, and so I don’t go cluttering other threads, I wanted to start this conversation. I’m hoping you folks can aim me in the right direction and at the same time, maybe help others who, like me, are just beginning their adventures in breeding.
Like many of us, I suspect, I have been lurking here, reading here, testing myself trying to identify genes in the pictures and so forth. And like many of us, my experience with keeping reptiles has now evolved to the breeding stage. Now, I’m pretty confident in my ability to anticipate the outcome for most of the better known and more common genes and morphs. And I’m mostly good with what I have currently breeding, but when it comes to my grow outs…?
So, specifically, I’m looking for advice on setting up pairings. Not to generate multi hets or visuals, I’m good up to there. But when you want to prove or disprove allelic genes, or even if they’re the same gene with different names (cause that never happens, right?), or how to show a new combo is actually an ALS? How can I prove I’m looking at a super, other than by producing 900 offspring all carrying a single copy of the gene?
I hope the ramble makes sense here. I find the complexity and variability of the gene expression in ball pythons fascinating and I’m looking forward to jumping into this. I just want to be sure I have good methods so I have good results that are reliable and useful to the rest of the community.
As an example:
I suspect these two genes I have named gravel and asphalt may be allelic, but I’m not sure.
In their single expression form, they are almost identical, and when mixed with certain other genes they affect the final expression in a similar kind of way.
They both have a super form and again the expressions are similar but not identical, so I can tell them apart. I haven’t yet bred them together so I don’t know what that looks like.
What pairings or combinations do I need to make to prove or disprove, in a useful way, that these genes are allelic or not? Would this schedule of pairings be the same for a gene that didn’t appear to have a super form? How would I prove/disprove that? And most importantly, what do I need to document for the information to be reliable to the rest of the community? I mean, are you guys just going to take my word for it with a couple random pics? Nope, me neither, so I have to make sure the method is sound, right? Sure, Justin or Travis or Billy says this gene and that gene are or are not allelic/the same. Ok, they have huge collections and lots of experience, expertise, and a track record. And presumably, he knows how to set up “breeding trials” that give reliable results, and I’m ok with giving the man that cred. I have no problem admitting someone else knows something I don’t, now, time to expand my base of knowledge.