(Dept of Human Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands)
- Allan, D. and Robinson, R., 1988. Assortment of coat color genes
in the Mongolian gerbil. Journal of Heridity, 79(5), 386-7.
- * Second report on gene linkage in gerbils. Looked at possible linkage
between a, ch, a, g, p
and Sp based on data in previous studies. Demonstrated a
recombination percentage of 40% between a and Sp which was not
found by Waring et al below.
- Cramlet, S.H., Toft II, J.D. & Olsen, N.W. 1974. Malignant
melanoma in a black gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). Laboratory Animal
Science, 24, 545-547.
- * Second report on a coat colour mutation in the Mongolian gerbil. The
first black Mongolian gerbil was born in January 1971 in the U.S.A.
- Henley, M. & Robinson, R. 1981. Non-agouti and pink-eyed
dilution in the Mongolian gerbil. The Journal of Heredity, 72, 60-61.
- *Analysis of the pink-eyed dilution mutation in the Mongolian gerbil.
First Argente golden animal occurred in 1977 in London. Combination
experiments with non-agouti (aa) were performed, leading to the first
lilacs (they were not described as such in the article).
- Leiper, B.D. & Robinson, R. 1984. A case of dominance
modification in the Mongolian gerbil. The Journal of Heredity, 75, 323.
- * Combining three (non-spot) colour mutations in the Mongolian gerbil
known at that time, leading to new colours as the Argente creme, the
pseudo-albino and the silver (now named 'dove' by fanciers).
- Leiper, B.D. & Robinson, R. 1985. Gray mutant in the Mongolian
gerbil. The Journal of Heredity, 76, 473.
- * Colour mutant discovered in England in 1976. Resembles the chinchilla
mutants of the albino series of alleles in mice and other mammals. When gray
animals were mated to animals homozygous for acromelanic albino, only agouti
animals were born. The gray mutant is not an allele of the albino locus and
it's gene symbol designation is 'g'. Combinations with already known
coat colour genes were made, leading to:
|dark sepia (fanciers call this colour 'slate' [previously 'blue'])|
|pale cream or ivory (fanciers call this colour 'white bellied cream')|
|off-white (fanciers call this colour 'Ruby Eyed White (REW)'|
- Leiper, B.D. & Robinson, R. 1986. Linkage of albino and
pink-eyed dilution genes in the Mongolian gerbil and other rodents. The
Journal of Heredity, 77, 207.
- * In this paper it was shown that the c-locus and the p-locus are linked,
which means that they are located on the same chromosome. The colour now
known to fanciers as lilac was called 'dove', and the colour now known to
fanciers as dove was called 'silver'.
- Matsuzaki, T., Yasuda, Y. & Nonaka, S. 1989. The genetics of
coat colors in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). Experimental
Animals, 38, 337-341.
- * In this paper three coat colour controlling loci are presented: a-locus,
b-locus and c-locus. A well established colony of agouti animals was kept;
1855 animals were bred between 1949 and 1988. No coat colour variants were
found in this colony. They introduced 4 white animals from a petshop in
Yokohama. In later generations it was proven that the white animals were
carrying the black allele (a). From different mating experiments they
showed that both white and black are autosomal recessive traits. The authors
claim this is the first report of black coat colour in the Mongolian gerbil,
which is not true because Cramlet et al. already described the blacks in
1974 and they were further analysed by Waring et al. in 1980. Furthermore
the authors claim that the white animals are true albino's and not
acromelanistic as the animals described by Robinson in 1973. Because of this
difference the authors designated the allele symbol as 'c' (not ch).
Because of the high density of melanin in the black animals the authors
hypothesize there will be a b-locus controlling this. Unfortunately, no
brown coat colour controlled by an allele of the brown locus has been found.
- Petrij F, van Veen K, Mettler M, and Brückman V. 2001, A second
acromelanistic allelomorph at the albino locus of the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones
unguiculatus). Journal of Heredity, 92(1), 74-78.
- * A report of a second mutation at the c-locus. Describes a mutation that
resembles chinchilla medium (symbol cchm) in the
rabbit. Demonstrates that cchm/ch
heterozygotes have an intermediate phenotype between cchm/cchm
and ch/ch. Contains a
useful review of prior literature on gerbil colour mutation. [NB,
fanciers have for some time referred to this mutation as Burmese (symbol cb).]
- Petrij F, M. Mettler M, V. Brückman V, van Veen K, Recessive yellow
in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). Journal of Experimental
Animal Science 43 (2007) 319–327.
- *A report of two recessive yellow mutations (e and ef)
including their discovery Poland and Austria. Describes Dark-Eyed Honey,
(referred to as "recessive yellow",) Nutmeg (referred to as
"black recessive yellow",) and Schimmel.
- Robinson, R. 1973. Acromelanic albinism in mammals. Genetica, 44,
- * First report on a coat colour mutant in the Mongolian gerbil. The
Himalayan mutation (Dark Tailed White) is described and compared to similar
mutations in other species of mammals. This mutation is found in Britain
- Swanson, H.H. 1980. The 'hairless' gerbil: a new mutant. Laboratory
Animals, 14, 143-147.
- * Three hairless animals were born to a couple of Mongolian gerbils. Two
did not survive past 5 weeks. The third animal (a female) survived and
produced three litters, the first two died within two days after birth, the
third was fostered. The pups of the fostered nest were examined after one
week, all seemed to be growing hair. Although the hairless animal looks
bald, the smooth warm skin is covered by fine stubble. The vibrissae also
appear broken off short.
- Waring, A.D. & Poole, T.W. 1980. Genetic analysis of the black
pigment mutation in the Mongolian gerbil. The Journal of Heredity, 71,
- *The black pigment mutation of the Mongolian gerbil is inherited in an
autosomal recessive way and is not linked to the pigment mutation spotted (Sp).
Black gerbils have deep glossy black coats, yellow perineal hairs, and small
white patches under the chin and across the front feet. The black hairs are
pigmented entirely with eumelanin including numerous cortical granules. The
similarities between the black gerbil mutant and various black pigment
mutations in mice are discussed.
- Waring, A.D., Poole, T.W. & Perper, T. 1978. White spotting in
the Mongolian gerbil. The Journal of Heredity, 69, 347-349.
- *White spotting accompanied by some dilution of coat colour. White spots
on the crown of the head, nape of the neck, and tip of the nose. Dominant
inheritance, lethal when homozygous. The first spotted Mongolian gerbil was
born in January 1976 in New Jersey, U.S.A.
If anyone encounters other scientific papers on coat (colour) mutations in
Mongolian or other species of gerbils and jirds, .
Return to the NGS Homepage?
The views presented on this page are not necessarily those of the National
Please note that the material on these webpages is covered by copyright law.
If you wish to use any pictures etc for anything other than your personal
private use, such as publishing material on a website, then
This web page may include links to other web sites. These links are provided
in order to enhance the interest and usefulness of other content and are not
intended to signify that the National Gerbil Society, or the authors of material
featured on the NGS Website, endorses or otherwise has any responsibility for
the content of any linked web page, web site or other linked material.
This page has been constructed by
Telephone number for media contact only - (+44)
Last updated 22 September 2007