BIOL - Siamese Cats & Mutations
Genotype & Environmental Interactions - IBDP | GCE | IAL | HKDSE | AP Biology
Siamese, a beautiful and stunning cat 😍
But do you know its coat color is actually a result of mutation? Literally or biologically we can call Siamese cat "Mutated Cat" 😳
Something's wrong with its TRY gene - normally coding for an enzyme named tyrosinase
Tyrosinase is found also in our human body, responsible for the production of melanin, a dark pigment that makes our skin tanned.
However, Siamese cats has this gene mutated - a sudden change in its DNA sequence. 🐱
The mutated gene is now coding a "defective" tyrosinase. It doesn't work well in normal body temperature i.e. 37°C.
And if we look back the cat's body 👀
It's ear, paws, and tails are all in dark coat. Because these extremities are always cooler than the core body temperature. Imagine during winter, which part of your body gets cold first? Your hands, your ears, well no tails of course. Now it's cooler and hence tyrosinase is able to produce melanin giving its dark pigmentation. 👦🏾
But the cat's belly is in white coat. Simple, it's the core, and it's warm. And warmth makes tyrosinase unable to function. Thus, no melanin can be produced.
As we can see here, apart from the genotype, environment interaction also plays an important role in determining the phenotype of the organism. In this example - "the body temperature"
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