Agouti (A Locus)

Quick Summary

The Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene interacts with the MC1R gene to control red and black pigment switching in dogs, affecting amount, type, and distribution of the two pigments.

Phenotype: See below and "Additional Details" section for detailed descriptions of each phenotype and its expression.

Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal, allelic series with the following order of dominance ay > aw > at > a

Alleles:
ay = Fawn/sable
aw = Wild sable
at = Black-and-tan
a = Recessive black

Breeds appropriate for testing: Many breeds

Results of this test can be submitted to the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)

Explanation of Results:

A fawn-colored French Bulldog
French Bulldog with fawn/sable agouti variant

Fawn/sable: Dogs with ay genotype will have a fawn or sable-colored base coat (yellow to red with some dorsal black-tipped hairs) in the absence of Dominant Black; overall appearance of the dog also depends on interactions with other genes including those at the E Locus (MC1R).

• Dogs with ay/ay genotype will transmit this fawn/sable variant to all of their offspring.
• Dogs with ay/aw, ay/at, or ay/a genotype will be fawn/sable and are carriers of other agouti variants. They will transmit this fawn/sable variant to 50% of their offspring.

A Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog with wild sable agouti variant

 

Wild sable: Dogs with aw/aw, aw/at, or aw/a genotype will have a wild-sable base coat (banded hairs of yellow and black) in the absence of Dominant Black; overall appearance of the dog also depends on interactions with other genes including those at the E Locus (MC1R).

• Dogs with aw/aw genotype will transmit this wild sable variant to all of their offspring.
• Dogs with aw/ator aw/a genotype will be wild sable and are carriers of other agouti variants. They will transmit this wild sable variant to 50% of their offspring.

 

A Rottweiler
Rottweiler with black-and-tan agouti variant

Black-and-tan: Dogs with at/at or at/a genotype will have a black-and-tan base coat (black dorsal hairs with tan hair on cheeks, eyebrows, and undersides) in the absence of Dominant Black; overall appearance of the dog also depends on interactions with other genes including those at the E Locus (MC1R).

• Dogs with at/at genotype will transmit this black-and-tan variant to all of their offspring.
• Dogs with at/a genotype will be black-and-tan and are carriers of recessive black. They will transmit this black-and-tan variant to 50% of their offspring.

 

Black German Shepherd
German Shepherd Dog with recessive black agouti variant

Recessive black: Dogs with a/a genotype will have an all-black base coat; overall appearance of the dog also depends on interactions with other genes including those at the E Locus (MC1R). They will transmit this recessive black variant to all of their offspring.

Price

$45 one test per animal
$65 two tests for coat color/fur type/bobtail (same animal) (excludes Cocoa)
$85 three tests for coat color/fur type/bobtail (same animal) (excludes Cocoa)
+ $15 each additional test if ordering more than three coat color/fur type/bobtail tests on the same animal (excludes Cocoa)

Panels Available
Additional Details

The Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene interacts with the MC1R gene to control red and black pigment switching in most mammals including dogs. Dog coat color is further complicated by the interaction of other genes that restrict agouti expression such as the Dominant Black gene/K Locus (Beta-Defensin 103). The VGL tests for four  known alleles (variants) of agouti listed here with corresponding color pattern in order of dominance of the allelic series: fawn/ sable (ay) yellow to red with some dorsal black tipped hairs, wild sable (aw) banded hairs of yellow and black as in seen in wolves and coyotes, black-and-tan (at) black dorsal hairs with tan hair on cheeks, eyebrows and undersides, and recessive black (a) all black as seen in some herding dogs.

A Eurasier dog
Eurasier, a breed that has all four known variants of agouti (pictured in wild sable)

The Eurasier dog breed has all 4 alleles while some breeds are fixed for only one variant, such as the Norwegian Elkhound for wild sable and the Beagle for black-and-tan. For many breeds, there are 2 or 3 alleles possible and it may be advantageous for breeders to predict the possible colors of offspring resulting from specific matings. The agouti test is also useful to help determine the color of dogs that have white patterns that may obscure the distribution of the colored pigment.

Testing for agouti allows breeders and owners to determine the agouti alleles present in their dogs. This test will help determine possible coat color outcomes from specific matings.

Turnaround Time
3-6 business days

Species

Dog

Breed

Crossbred Affenpinscher Afghan Hound Africanis Aidi Ainu Dog Airedale Terrier Akbash Dog Akita: American type Akita: Blend, Other Akita: Japanese type Akita: Unregistered Alaskan Husky Alaskan Klee Kai Alaskan Malamute Alaskan Sled Dog Alpine Dachsbracke AMB/AMBOR American Bandogge Mastiff American Blue Gascon Hound American Bulldog American Bully American Eskimo, Miniature American Eskimo, Standard American Eskimo, Toy American Foxhound American Hairless Terrier American Pit Bull Terrier American Staffordshire Terrier American Water Spaniel Anatolian Shepherd Dog Anglo-Francais de Moyen Venerie Anglo-Francais de Petite Venerie Appenzeller Ariegeois Armant Aryan Molossus Aussiedoodle Australian Cattle Dog Australian Cobberdog Australian Domestic Dog Australian Kelpie Australian Labradoodle Australian Shepherd Australian Shepherd, Miniature Australian Terrier Austrian Black & Tan Hound Austrian Pinscher Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Austrian Smoothhaired Hound Azawakh Bali Street Dog Barbet Basenji Basque Sheepdog Basset Artesian Normand Basset Bleu de Gascogne Basset Fauve de Bretagne Basset Hound Bavarian Mountain Hound Beagle Beagle Harrier Bearded Collie Beauceron Bedlington Terrier Belgian Griffon Belgian Laekenois Belgian Malinois Belgian Mastiff Belgian Sheepdog Belgian Tervuren Bergamasco Berger de Pyrenees, Smooth Muzzled Berger du Languedoc Berger Picard Berner Laufhund Berner Neiderlaufhund Bernese Mountain Dog Bichon Frise Biewer Biewer Terrier Biewer Yorkshire Terrier Biewer, Biro Billy Black & Tan Coonhound Black Forest Hound Black Mouth Cur Black Russian Terrier Bloodhound Blue Lacy Bluetick Coonhound Bolognese Border Collie Border Collie Cross Border Terrier Borzoi Bosnian Roughhaired Hound Boston Terrier Bouvier Des Ardennes Bouvier Des Flandres Boxer Boykin Spaniel Bracco Italiano Braque d'Auvergne Braque de l'Ariège Braque du Bourbonnais Braque Dupuy Braque Francais, de Grande Taille Braque Francais, de Petite Taille Braque Saint-Germain Brazilian Terrier Briard Briquet Griffon Vendeen Brittany Broholmer Bruno Jura Laufhund Brussels Griffon Bull Terrier Bulldog Bullmastiff Ca De Bestier Cairn Terrier Canaan Dog Canadian Cur Canadian Eskimo Dog Cane Corso Canis lupus Cardigan Welsh Corgi Carolina Dog Catahoula Leopard Dog Catalan Sheepdog Caucasian Ovcharka Cavalier King Charles Spaniel CB Romanesc Carpatin Central Asian Shepherd Cesky Fousek Cesky Terrier Chart Polski Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chien d'Artois Chien Francais Blanc et Noir Chien Francais Blanc et Orange Chien Francais Blanc et Tricolore Chihuahua Chinese Crested Chinese Foo Dog Chinook Chortaj Chow Chow Cimarron Uruguayo Cirneco dell'Etna Clumber Spaniel Cockapoo Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Unknown Variety Collie Cook Island Feral Dog Coton de Tulear Coyote Croatian Sheepdog Curly-Coated Retriever Czech Wolfdog Czechoslovakian Vlcak Dachshund Dalmatian Dandie Dinmont Terrier Danish Broholmer Danish/Swedish Farmdog Denmark Feist Deutsch Kooiker Deutsch-Drahthaar Deutsche Bracke Deutscher Wachtelhund Dingo Doberman Pinscher Dogo Argentino Dogue de Bordeaux Drentse Patrijshond Drever Dunker Dutch Malinois Dutch Shepherd, Longhaired Dutch Shepherd, Roughhaired Dutch Shepherd, Shorthaired Dutch Smoushond East European Shepherd East Siberian Laika English Bulldog English Cocker Spaniel English Coonhound English Foxhound English Mastiff English Setter English Shepherd English Springer Spaniel English Toy Spaniel English Toy Terrier Entlebucher Epagneul Bleu de Picardie Epagneul Breton Epagneul Francais Epagneul Picard Epagneul Pont-Audemer Estonian Hound Estrela Mountain Dog Eurasian Farm Collie Fell Hound Fell Sheepdog Field Spaniel Fila Brasileiro Finnish Hound Finnish Lapphund Finnish Spitz Flat-Coated Retriever Fox Fox Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Wire French Bulldog Galgo Espanol German Drahthaar German Hunt Terrier German Longhaired Pointer German Pinscher German Sheeppoodle German Shepherd German Shorthaired Pointer German Wirehaired Pointer German Wolfspitz Giant German Spitz Giant Schnauzer Glen of Imaal Terrier Golden Retriever Goldendoodle Gordon Setter Gr Ang-Fr Tricolor Hound Gr Ang-Fr W & B Hound Gr Ang-Fr W & O Hound Grand Anglo-Francais Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Grand Bleu de Gascogne Grand Gascon-Saintongeois Grand Griffon Vendeen Great Dane Great Pyrenees Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Greek Harehound Greek Sheepdog Greenland Dog Greyhound Griffon Bleu De Gascogne Griffon Fauve de Bretagne Griffon Nivernais Haldenstovare Hamiltonstovare Hanoverian Hound Harlequin Pinscher Harrier Havana Silk Havanese Hawaiian Poi Dog Heading Dog Hertha Pointer Hovawart Huntaway Hygenhund Ibizan Hound Iceland Dog Inca Hairless Dog Inuit Sled Dog Inuit Sled Dog Mix Irish Red & White Setter Irish Setter Irish Terrier Irish Water Spaniel Irish Wolfhound Islandsk Farehund Istrian Hound, Smoothhaired Istrian Hound, Wirehaired Italian Greyhound Italian Hound Jack Russell Terrier Japanese Chin Japanese Spitz Japanese Terrier Jindo Dog Jura Neiderlaufhund Kai Dog Kangal Dog Kangaroo Dog Karakachan Karelian Bear Dog Karelo-Finnish Laika Kayo Inu Keeshond Kerry Beagle Kerry Blue Terrier King Shepherd Kintamani Dogs Kishu Komondor Kooikerhondje Koolie Korean German Shepherd Kraski Ovcar Kromfohrlander Kuvasz Kyi Leo Labradoodle Labrador Retriever LabxGolden Laekense Lagotto Romagnolo Lakeland Terrier Lamalese Lancashire Heeler Landseer Lapinporokoira Lapponian Herder Large Munsterlander Large Spanish Hound Latvian Hound Leonberger Leopard Cur Leopard Hound Levesque Lhasa Apso Lithuanian Hound Llewellin Setter Lowchen Lundehund Lurcher Luzerner Laufhund Luzerner Neiderlaufhund Magyar Agar Majestic Tree Hound Maltese Manchester Terrier Manchester Terrier, Toy Maremma Sheepdog Maremma Sheepdog Mastiff Matthes Lion Hound McNab Middle Asian Owtcharka Mi-Ki Miniature American Shepherd Miniature Bull Terrier Miniature Goldendoodle Miniature Pinscher Montenegrin Mountain Hound Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier Moscow Watchdog Mountain Cur Mudi Mullins Feist Native American Indian Dog Neapolitan Mastiff New Guinea Singing Dog Newfoundland Norfolk Terrier Norrbottenspets North American Shepherd Northeasterly Hauling Laika Norwegian Buhund Norwegian Elkhound Norwegian Elkhound, Black Norwegian Lundehund Norwich Terrier Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Old Danish Bird Dog Old English Sheepdog Olde English Bulldogge Otterhound Owczarek Podhalanski Papillon Parson Russell Terrier Patterdale Terrier Pekingese Pembroke Welsh Corgi Perdiguero de Burgos Perdiguero Navarro Perdiguero Portugueso Perro de Pastor Mallorquin Perro de Presa Canario Perro de Presa Mallorquin Peruvian Hairless Dog Peruvian Inca Orchid Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Petit Bleu de Gascogne Petit Brabancon Petit Gascon-Saintongeois Petit Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Phalene Pharaoh Hound Pit Bull Plott Hound Podenco Canario Podengo Portugueso Grande Podengo Portugueso Medio Podengo Portugueso Pequeno, Smooth Podengo Portugueso Pequeno, Wirehaired Pointer Poitevin Polish Hound Polish Lowland Sheepdog Polish Owczarek Podhalanski Polski Owczarek Nizinny Pomeranian Pomsky Poodle, Miniature Poodle, Standard Poodle, Toy Poongsan Dog Porcelaine Portuguese Cattle Dog Portuguese Pointer Portuguese Sheepdog Portuguese Water Dog Posavac Hound Prager Ratter Pudelpointer Pug Puli Pumi Pyrenean Mastiff Pyrenean Shepherd Rafeiro do Alentejo Rat Terrier Red & White Setter Redbone Hound Rhodesian Ridgeback Ridgeback Cross Rottweiler Rumanian Sheepdog Russell Terrier Russian Harlequin Hound Russian Hound Russian Samoyed Laika Russian Spaniel Russkiy Toy Russo-European Laika Saarlooswolfhond Sabuesos Espanol de Monte Sabuesos Espanol Lebrero Saint Bernard Saint Hubert Jura Laufhund Saint Usage Spaniel Saluki Samoyed Sanshu Dog Santal Hound Sapsaree Sarplaninac Schapendoes Schillerstovare Schipperke Schnauzer, Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schweizer Laufhund Schweizer Neiderlaufhund Scottish Collie Scottish Deerhound Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso Seppala Siberian Sleddog Serbian Hound Serbian Tricolor Hound Shar Pei Shetland Sheepdog Shiba Inu Shih Tzu Shikoku Shiloh Shepherd Dog Shiloh Shepherd, ISSA Siberian Husky Silken Windhound Silky Terrier Skye Terrier Sloughi Slovak Cuvac Slovakian WH Pointing Dog Smalandsstovare Small German Spitz Small Munsterlander Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier South African Boerboel Mastiff South Russian Ovcharka South Russian Steppe Hound Spanish Alano Spanish Mastiff Spanish Water Dog Spinone Italiano Sporting Lucas Terrier Springer Spaniel Sri Lankan Dog Stabyhoun Staffordshire Bull Terrier Standard German Spitz Stephens Stock Stichelhaar Strellufstover Stumpy-Tail Cattle Dog Styrian Roughhaired Mountain Hound Sudanese Dog Sussex Spaniel Swedish Elkhound Swedish Lapphund Swedish Vallhund Tahltan Bear Dog Taigan Tamaskan Tasy Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Telomian Tengger Dog Tenterfield Terrier Thai Ridgeback Thornburg Feist Tibetan Mastiff Tibetan Spaniel Tibetan Terrier Tosa Inu Tosa Ken Toy Fox Terrier Toy German Spitz Transylvanian Hound, Long Transylvanian Hound, Short Treeing Feist Treeing Tennessee Brindle Treeing Walker Coonhound Turkish Feral Dog Turkish Greyhound Tyrolean Hound Tyroler Bracke Vasgotaspets Vizsla Volpino Italiano Walker Coonhound Weimaraner Welsh Hound Welsh Sheepdog Welsh Springer Spaniel Welsh Terrier West Highland White Terrier West Siberian Laika Westphalian Dachsbracke Wetterhoun Whippet Whippet, Longhaired Whippet, Longhaired Cross White Shepherd Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Wirehaired Vizsla Wolf Wolf Hybrid Working Dog X-Bred Coonhound Xoloitzcuintli Xoloitzcuintli, Toy Yorkshire Terrier Unknown
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Type of Test

Results Reported As
Test Result Agouti
ay/ ay Homozygous for fawn/sable.
ay/ aw Dog is fawn and carries wild sable.
ay/ at Dog is fawn and carries black-and-tan.
ay/ a Dog is fawn and carries recessive black.
aw/ aw Homozygous for wild-sable.
aw/ at Dog is wild-sable and carries black-and-tan.
aw/ a Dog is wild-sable and carries recessive black.
at/ at Homozygous for black-and-tan.
at/ a Dog is black-and-tan and carries recessive black.
a/a Homozygous for recessive black.
References

Kerns, J.A., Newton, J., Berryere, T.G., Rubin, E.M., Cheng, J.F., Schmutz, S.M., & Barsh, G.S. (2004). Characterization of the dog Agouti gene and a nonagouti mutation in German Shepherd Dogs. Mammalian Genome, 15(10), 798-808. doi: 10.1007/s00335-004-2377-1

Berryere, T.G., Kerns, J.A., Barsh, G.S., & Schmutz, S.M. (2005). Association of an Agouti allele with fawn or sable coat color in domestic dogs. Mammalian Genome, 16(4), 262-272. doi: 10.1007/s00335-004-2445-6

Dreger, D.L., & Schmutz, S.M. (2011). A SINE insertion causes the black-and-tan and saddle tan phenotypes in domestic dogs. Journal of Heredity, 102(S1), S11-S18. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esr042