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Phenotype: The Panda pattern is characterized by symmetrical markings of white forelock, muzzle, chest, ventral abdomen, collar, and tip of the tail. The amount of white can vary from dog to dog.
Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal dominant
Alleles: N = Normal (no Panda), P = Panda pattern
Breeds appropriate for testing: German Shepherd Dog
Explanation of Results:
- Dogs with N/N genotype are not expected to display the Panda pattern. They cannot transmit this Panda variant to any of their offspring.
- Dogs with N/P genotype are expected to display the Panda white spotting pattern. They will transmit this Panda variant to 50% of their offspring.
- Dogs with P/P genotype are expected to terminate development in utero (embryonic lethal); this genotype has never been observed in live dogs.
A mutation in the KIT gene has been found to be the source of the dominant white spotting pattern known as Panda that occurs in a line of German Shepherd dogs. This mutation is very recent: it appeared spontaneously in a female, Lewcinka's Franka von Phenom, born in 2000. The Panda pattern is characterized by symmetrical markings of white forelock, muzzle, chest, ventral abdomen, collar, and tip of the tail. The amount of white can vary from dog to dog. In the homozygous state, the Panda mutation is considered an early embryonic lethal as no live dogs with the pattern and with two copies of the mutation have been observed. Heterozygous dogs (one copy of the mutation) do not have any health defects associated with this pattern.
Testing for the Panda pattern to allows breeders to determine if white patterning is caused by this KIT gene mutation.
Type of Test
|Test Result||Panda White Spotting|
|N/N||No copies of the Panda mutation are present.|
|N/P||1 copy of the Panda mutation is present.|
Wong, A.K., Ruhe, A.L., Robertson, K.R., Loew, E.R., Williams, D.C., & Neff, M.W. (2013). A de novo mutation in KIT causes white spotting in a subpopulation of German Shepherd dogs. Animal Genetics, 44(3), 305-310. doi: 10.1111/age.12006