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Mandarins (English) 
maandag, 11 januari, 2010, 9:54 pm - Russische
door Martin Braak
Once I posted here a English text, but I think I will start to write often in English. My English is very bad, but people from other countries ask me questions which are the same. So When I have writen it about it at my blog, I can send a link instead to write again the same story.

Mandarins! From several countries I got questions about Mandarins. We all know that the Mandarin mutation is a very beautiful mutation, but we seen some problems and some people think the problems are there as it is hybrid. But that is not true.

1. Are Mandarins hybrids?

First you have to know that there are hybrid colours. These are dwarfhamsters which has a colour which comes from another specie. For example the Yellow red eye Winter White / Agente is a hybrid colour. The mutation is from the Campbell dwarfhamster. On the same chromosome where the p-gene is, there are more Campbell genes. That is why it is so hard to breed a good type. When selecting this colour, you select two chromosomes with is part Campbell and part Winter White. This is always hybrid.

Then you have hybrids which are normal colour, but one of the parrents was hybrid. Mosttime people see no differance. Only specialists can say it is a hybrid or not, but sometimes also they cannot say. But when you breed these hybrids generations long with pure lines, you lose the hybrid chromosomes. People who say hybrid is always hybrid, that is not correct when you do not select. When you breed a dwarfhamster which is born from a Campbell x Winter White, it has 50% chromosomes which are pure Campbell and 50% from Winter Whites. When breeding back with a pure Winter White, you know for sure 50% of the chromosomes are pure, and other 50% can be Campbell, Winter White of part Campbell/WinterWhite as there can be crossing over. This is when chromosomes parts are swapped. But breeding back generations long, you lost it. Only you can never say for sure.

The Mandarin mutation is a dominant mutation and we do not see it at the Campbell. Also the mutation looks very like Winter White and breeding back with Campbell is very difficult (hybrid colours are much easier to breed back to Campbell). So we can say it is a pure mutaton of the Winter White. But we cannot say that all Mandarins are pure Winter Whites as it can be breed with other dwarfhamsters which are hybrids.

2. But diabetic problem is a Campbell problem!

No, thats wrong. We know a Campbell problem which is diabetic and it is very spread. But also other species have diabetic, also Winter Whites have it. The wildcaught ones 4% of them have it also. We are lucky that we have good lines of Winter Whites without diabetic. But at this moment there are also Winter Whites with diabetic problems. And they are not hybrid at all.

3. Have all Mandarins diabetic?

No. The problem is not always present. What we see, is that from the start the Mandarins are mosttime bigger and heavy then normal ones. First generations which I saw, the wildcolour were very ucly type, but the Mandarins were nice of type. Sometimes genes are on the same chromosome as the colour gene, so that selection the colour, you select also the type.

The first generations we did not see other colours. The Mandarin breed in 2003/2004 was pure of colour. Only wildcolour and Mandarins were born from Mandarin x Mandarin. We saw also that the mutation can be lethal as there were always wildcolour and number of babies was less. But there weren't healvy problems at that point of time.

Later we start to breed Sapphire in it and we stopped breeding Mandarin x Mandarin. At this time, 2005, we saw the first drink problems. Not only in Holland, but also in UK and Russia. And not in one line, no in all lines. We in Holland most wildcolours are not pure of colour, but carry also sapphire. Perhaps this gene caust this problem.

In 2005/2006 there were also breeders which breed them with Yellow Red eye hybrid Winter White. The Mandarin which carry the pink eyed dilution gene, is mosttime softer of colour. And the red eye Mandarin is also very beautiful of colour. But the stange fact is, is that these breeders had less problems.

Also what I see is that people use a different line of Winter Whites with Mandarins, that the first and second generation have no problem. Later they have problems again. This is what I also saw in the Winter Whites from UK with diabetic problem. The defect was dominant, but one generation I could not see it, and second generations you saw drink problems. I know for sure that this defect is dominant as I could use my pure line. And breeding back with other pure line I saw diabetic problems.

But at this time we do not know for sure if the Mandarin defect is a diabetic problem. It can also be a kidney problem. Kidney problems give the same problems: they drink too much, urine too much and in urine too much sugar.

But we can say for sure: all normal colours born from Mandarins are healvy. The problem is only seen at Mandarins.

4. Wintercoat

Leptin. Search this! Winter Whites who get a wintercoat makes more leptin. What I see is that a Mandarin with drink problem, which get a winter coat, stops with drinking for some weeks/months. It is too soon to say it is always so. But I already notice this twice.

5. Are there healvy lines of Mandarins?

I do not know them. Some breeders write that they have healvy lines, but how many generations have they breed them? In Holland we see that most breeders stop with breeding Mandarins. Perhaps there are healvy ones, perhaps it is the Sapphire gene which caust this problem. I had a line of Mandarins which no problem in 4 years, so I thought I had it. But then 2 diabetic/drink problems were born.

6. How to breed them?

I advice to use pure colour lines. Breed Mandarin with pure wildcolour without Sapphire in it.

Always test urine with sugarstrips. Do this at 6 weeks old, 3 months old en also later.