Shrimp genetics - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
Yes, it's more complicated than it seems. Coloration is one thing, patterning is another, I have experiments going now experimenting in the extremes of coloration, patterning and also some things that people have been saying is impossible.

Basically if you want to experiment, that is the best way to figure this stuff out. Not waiting for a laboratory to figure it out for you. In my opinion that is just being lazy.
Certain color traits or patterns are x-linked and others y-linked in diffreent species. Color patterns in Endlers, for example, are specifically y-linked. Male offspring will carry the father's pattern traits, nothing is from the mother. The spot patterns on a guppy's tail can be used to trace it back to one of the original 6 strains that were developed in a lab in the 50s or 60s. It isn't a matter of mixing paint to get the desired colors/patterns. It is selecting the proper parent stock to begin isolating the desired characteristics.

It isn't laziness, it's efficiency. Not everybody has the space or resources to set up tons of tanks to experiment and keep track of which parents led to what traits after so many generations or to see what happens when you cross back desired traits. It takes a lot of separation and isolation to do that. Even more tanks are required when other traits or random mutations show up that look promising. The other method relies on tons of time and luck in a larger populated tank, which doesn't lend its self well to closely monitoring which shrimp are breeding to determine which traits are passed on from which parent. That method is better suited to cleaning up the current line or improving the finished look. Not so much for bringing out a completely new color or pattern.
Having the genetics mapped out would allow for desired traits to be developed in fewer generations more accurately while being able to provide a more diverse gene pool through less inbreeding by having more of the desired patterns/colors from more parents and having the ability to line breed with fewer tanks and less space. Also, it allows those that don't have the money to invest in expensive breeding stock to try to develop something; they would be able to invest in fewer initial stock selected for the desired traits to develop something new.

When people talk about breeding shrimp they say that inbreeding doesn't affect the shrimp, their genetics allow for excessive inbreeding due to their native habitats. But then in other places the same people are talking about how certain strains are more susceptible to infection or don't breed well because they are so inbred. So I think having the ability to have a more broad genetic base to start with will help alleviate the issues of stability with certain strains.

I hope this doesn't come off as ranting or argumentative. I don't think the laziness comment is fair. Not everybody can invest the time and money to try to this stuff out on their own. The information that is out there now has taken decades to figure out and it isn't anything close to getting consistent results for new patterns/colors (at least not that I have found). The stuff they are getting out of guppies now is incredible, they couldn't have imagined it years ago. And they are designing it before they even select the initial breeding stock.
I know that you said that shrimp genetics are recessive, so it wouldn't be possible to design shrimp in the same manner as guppies, but having the information would help out a lot.

As far as the profit thing goes, top guppy breeders still bring in big money. Probably more than they ever could before due to the ability to design new crazy patterns, colors, and sizes. The average person can still develop their own line, but they can't approach the quality or diversity that top breeders do. And the people that have hundreds or thousands of dollars to drop on a single fish are still buying the exclusive lines. Most hobbyists are still buying the better quality lines and just trying to maintain them or improve certain qualities. If anything, the information has increased the top breeders' ability to make money. I'm sure that would carry over to the shrimp world as well.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 06:33 PM
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I'm in my experimental phase of shrimp keeping now where I want to play with genetics and see what happens. But my problem is not only lack of space but a hubby saying 'NO MORE TANKS'. So I have to make do with what I have and utilize breeder boxes when the time comes. Cause I don't count those as tanks But in my head, if certain patterns started showing up and taking off, I would be hard pressed to be able to do what I want without multiple tanks. It sucks but that's the truth of it. I'll cross that bridge when I get there...and I hope I am in a position one day to say 'I have to have more tanks for these awesome shrimp that keep showing up.'

Documentation/journals and massive control would be needed for line development and many folks have far more money, time, tanks and space than I do. But heck, I'm willing to give it a shot because it's fun, exciting and interesting I can make the most out of my little tanks.

I don't think Liam's comment was directed at anyone in particular, I think it's more of the line of 'you can experiment, do it yourself and learn along the way' or 'wait for someone else to do the years of hard work, etc'. I don't think either way is wrong, and lazy is not necessarily a bad thing Sometimes I miss being lazy...and not testing water, changing water, worrying about tanks, etc etc. LOL.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 06:36 PM
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Some work is being done genetically to trace which shrimp belong to which families, some which have been renamed.

Shrimping for hobby is a new business though, so it reasons it would be behind guppies, which you said, has been since the 50's and 60's. Give shrimping 60 years and see what we know.

I think the part about "certain strains are more susceptible to infection or don't breed well because they are so inbred" is speculation on a lot of peoples parts. There should be enough blue tigers out there now that bacteria infections aren't a problem, yet they seem to be and it may be with more the way we keep them or just the way they are genetically. Maybe in the natural water, bacteria infection were never a problem, so they never built up an immunity to it.

If you read blogs like Bob Rosenberry's blog, which deals with commercial shrimping for food, but none the less, does provide some information for us, you'll see things like where they started with 1 bloodline and 15 generations down the road, they have no genetic mutations from inbreeding and this is a case where they are using DNA analysis and stuff to determine it, it gives weight to the idea that they can inbreed much further than we give them credit for.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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I thought that the shrimp keeping has been going on for quite some time over seas in Japan and a bit in Germany.
From what I've read, there is quite excessive inbreeding in the hobby to develop the colorations and patterns. They could be far more inbred than we realize. But all of this could be exaggerated.

The other thing is that some genetic mutations cause weakened health or disease. Certain colors or patterns may be linked with being sterile or with developing cancerous cells.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:01 AM
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something i wonder about is, how much of the colors we see are from breeding, and how much are from mutation? it could be that a shrimp has been bred with more and more and more red over time, or that a shrimp was born with a mutation that prevented any other color? i think it would take a combination of both. if i were to watch some shrimp under a microscope and i see shrimp with an unusual color. if i can isolate that line, it may just need to have the characteristic bred out in order to show it as a new color morph.

something else i was thinking, we have so many different lines of cherry shrimp... im sure they all have slightly different mutations to achieve the colors they have. if we were to breed all the possible color mutations off of one single line, would we be able to interbreed the offspring with predictable results? in such a case, all of the shrimp would be sharing the same genetic flaw that produces the various colors.

im going to try to follow this theoretical model:

start with wild type shrimp that has working genes to display all of its pigments. lets say i see 4 pigments in my wild type shrimp: red, yellow, blue, and brown.

i will breed them until one of those colors is mutated out. lets say brown goes first. ill breed a small colony of them and set them aside. ill pull from them to try to mutate out another color. once i do, ill set that colony aside. ill continue this until i have a colony of shrimps with no color pigments. after i have that, i should be able to breed my (by then) albino shrimps back to one of the previous lines in order to isolate each color. if i can manage to isolate each color, then i should be able to breed two of them together to get a mixed color, or at least something predictable. if i breed a pure red shrimp with a pure yellow shrimp, i should be able to get orange shrimp by the next generation(assuming they are recessive) and not have any other color show up, since they both share the same mutation that eliminates blue and brown.

i know it would probably take years to produce such a line, and there is no guarantee that they wont be mutating even further while in the isolated colonies i would set up along the way, but im thinking that it could be done. nothing else, i would be able to learn a LOT about how their genetics actually play out.

i have never had any interest in breeding anything to produce new lines before, but it seems that shrimp genetics is not well understood. i can think of many reasons why. from what i can tell, shrimp genetics are far more complicated than just about anything i can think of. at the same time, they breed quickly enough and in large enough numbers to be an excellent model organism for a study on genetics.
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