The results of the study of the effects of heterozygosity for mutations affecting coat pigmentation on the response to the environmental stress caused by extreme feeding conditions are provided. The animals with the following genotypes were taken into the study: homozygotes standard (+/+), hedlund white (h/h), and aleutian (a/a) and heterozygotes hedlund white (h/+) and aleutian (a/+). The animals homozygous for the aleutian mutation (a/a) showed a statistically lower growth rate than the animals of other genotypes both in the control and in the experiment (p < 0.05). Under the control conditions, the animals homozygous for both the wild type standard allele (+/+) and the mutant hedlund white (h/h) and aleutian (a/a) alleles showed the evident tendency for the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex broadening compared to the experimental conditions. At the same time, in the animals heterozygous for the hedlund white (h/+) and the aleutian (a/+) mutations, a clear tendency for increasing size of the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis under the experimental conditions was observed. In the heterozygous animals, although we observed single destructive changes in the adrenal cortex under stress conditions, they were much less profound than in the homozygous ones. This may be related to the broader range of morphological adaptation in the heterozygotes, which gives them the possibility of more significant enlargement of the secreting zone to provide for its adequate functioning.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: May 19, 2016
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