Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Phenotype names

  1. #1

    Phenotype names

    This thread was triggered by a discussion in the thread http://www.theangelfishsociety.org/f...Ghost-genetics but since that thread had already gone way off topic, and this was even further removed from the original, I thought it best to start a new thread.....

    The name phenotype was originally coined by Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics. Mendel didn't actually use the name "genes", he talked about "factors", the name gene was first used in 1909 by Wilhelm L. Johannsen, (I know because I just googled it).

    As most people reading this are probably aware, "Phenotype", as defined by Mendel means the appearance of the organism being studied, whilst "Genotype" is the genetics of the organism. Mendel worked with pea and bean plants studying characteristics such as height and flower colour, so he was using the term very much in association with one or two clearly defined characteristics.

    With angelfish 17 different gene mutations at 13 distinct loci have been identified, that is if you include "Naja" & "Hong Kong" gold which are both now believed extinct, "Notched" which is a deformity rather than a desirable trait, and "Bulgarian Green" which is clearly a new mutation, but hasn't yet been accepted by TAS. In short, when we talk about "Phenotype" we're often talking about appearance resulting from the interaction of many different gene mutations at multiple different loci.

    Part of the conversation in the previous thread related to the appropriateness of using the term "Marble" as part of the phenotype name for a fish with a gold marble gene, but very little in the way of black markings. Thinking about that conversation, it occurred to me that our phenotype names are based, at least in part, on genotype rather than appearance. There is always variation in appearance between fish with the same known genotype, whilst the phenotype names applied to those fish tend to be based on the appearance of a "typical" fish with that genetic make up.

    As an example, "Koi" is the phenotypical name applied to a blushing gold marble (either homozygous for gold marble or heterozygous in combination with a gold gene). As we know, koi can be bred for specific traits, most noticeably very little black coverage, or lots of black. Similarly whilst the typical "koi angel" when the name was first used in the 1980's was a black and white fish with a gold crown, careful line breeding has produced fish that are almost red, with practically no white, and conversely black & white fish with little or no red, orange or yellow colour. These latter fish are sometimes called "panda koi" whilst terms like "High Coverage" & "HR koi" are often applied to those fish with a deep orange/red colouration.

    This set me wondering about when it's appropriate to use a different name for the phenotype of a particular fish. For example, gold marble angelfish vary immensely in the the amount of black they express. On occasions I've seen fish that are genetically gold marble, which physically have no black at all, should that be called a "gold" or a "gold marble"? Gold marble could lead to confusion, whist gold could lead to annoyance if the purchaser was after a fish for a breeding project, and wasn't seeking a genetic gold marble.

    Going back to koi, If I was deliberately breeding a line of "Panda koi", and I had them to the point that a randomly selected pair would produce all, or at least a high percentage of, panda koi offspring; then I would feel justified in using the distinct phenotype name "panda koi" for them. But on the other hand, if I had a pair of "normal" looking koi that produced a mixture of, say, 10% pandas, 80% "normals" & 10% high coverage koi, I personally would feel uneasy about applying a distinct phenotype name to either the "pandas" or the "high coverage" fish, although I might consider describing the best coloured individuals as "selected" and charging a premium for them, on the basis that they were more desirable.

    In my view, the use of a distinct phenotype name, implies that there is something both distinctive and consistently reproducible in the fish to which that name is applied.
    A year or so ago a German supplier was offering "Mosquito Copper" angels on their lists, the price was high, and those who ordered them found themselves with something which looked identical to a gold blushing aka sunset angel. As they grew, these fish did tend to develop some red spotting on the body, supposedly these red spots resembled mosquito bites, hence the name. Clearly the breeder had put in some effort to develop this variety, but in choosing to name them something other than sunset or gold blushing, they achieved a premium on the sales of their fish, but only at the expense of upsetting the purchasers & killing the market (it's noticeable that none of the suppliers who carried these fish a year or so ago, list them now.) Had the breeder described them as mosquito sunsets, or red spotted sunsets; then the purchasers would more likely have been happy with their purchases.

    With dogs, there are recognised "breeds", these breeds, are the result of the combination of multiple mutations to produce the one breed and that breed is then continued by only breeding to other animals of the same breed. you can't produce a Labrador by crossing a German Shepherd with a Poodle, for example.

    With angels, although we have three recognised species, mostly we're concerned, not with "breeds", but with colour varieties of one of those species, Pterophyllum scalare, some of those varieties will breed true, others will produce only a small percentage of the variety when bred together.
    We also have populations, fish from a specific locality which are clearly distinctive when compared to other angel populations, for example Rio Nanay, Manacapuru, but which are all technically "silver" angels.
    Finally we have strains, or lines, for example "Dantums" which are allegedly a cross between altums & scalare, but in my opinion are probably derived from a cross between a domestic scalare and a rio Nanay, which are also scalare, despite sometimes being known as "Peru altum".
    Clearly the breeder of "Dantums" has put a lot of effort into producing a fish that's very distinctive in appearance compared to a typical domestic silver or albino, but do they warrant a distinctive name? If I breed my rio Nanays to my domestic silvers, and end up producing a similar looking fish, should I call them "Dantums" which would imply that they are related to the original "Dantums", or should I give them a distinctive name of their own? which could lead to confusion & disappointment in the purchasers who end up with something that looks just like a Dantum?

    I know this is a long & meandering post, but I'm interested in other people's thoughts on when it is, or isn't, appropriate to apply a varietal/phenotype name.
    Last edited by Pterophyllum; 10-18-2015 at 05:55 AM.
    Blessed are the cheesemakers!

  2. #2
    Very nice writeup!!

    I can only speak from my own experiences. I follow the basic guideline that genotype identifies the genetic makeup of the given subject and phenotype identifies the visual characteristics aka what the eye sees. And I am also aware of the fact that this distinction between genotype and phenotype is so blurred that it is very easy to become confused. I have also never used just the genotype name to describe my fish unless it is also the phenotype name; instead I use the phenotype name along with the genetic notation. This two pronged approach is very beneficial when holding discussions with genetic experts as well as with someone who possesses little to no genetic knowledge.

    When I first started to breed angelfish, it was purely by accident. I had a 90g tank and discovered eggs one day. This is what started me down the path of learning about scalare genetics. In my early days it made no sense to me how a couple of Koi angels could produce anything but Koi. Not only the differences with the orange coloration (I had offspring with color variances that ranged from black and white marble types aka Panda Koi to those with 30-50% orange coverage) in addition to a few Sunsets in the mix. Like many who started "breeding" in this manner, caught completely off guard with the unexpected offspring. All kids are supposed to look like their parents in some degree, right? So I began researching why that wasn't the case.

    I recognize the fact that many breeders/sellers attempt to come up with more descriptive names to describe their fish. But what does that tell us as purchasers? Ice Blue to describe a pale blue angel, Black or White Diamond a Dark or Platinum Pearlscale, Midnight Blue to describe what most would call a Pinoy but the blue shades are not readily visible, Red Devil to describe a fish often overloaded on carotenes, etc. This is where confusion abounds. As you've stated, in the end customers end up displeased with their purchases unless the genetic info is included. I personally have been searching for the Marble gene. Shocking how everyone has the Gold Marble gene in their tanks, but not Marbles; or tell me they have Marbles, but photos clearly indicate this isn't the case.

    And this brings us full circle back to naming practices. Is a fish marketed as a Blue Marble a true Blue Marble or is it a Blue Gold Marble or something having nothing to do with any marbling gene? It is up to us as consumers to determine if the name is used solely for marketing or if it is the actual genotype or phenotype name. Hopefully in time we can find a means to reduce this confusion and improve our ability to communicate and discuss the fish we breed or keep in our tanks.

  3. #3
    TAS Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    Posts
    36
    I said this over in the other thread but in my opinion the "phenotype" name should describe what the eye sees, plain and simple. I think too many people are trying to combine the genotype name into the phenotype name. I also agree that the best way to communicate what type of fish you have is by stating both the phenotype and gene code

    Pinoy Clown (D/+-S/Z-pb/pb)

    There is no reason to complicate it by trying to regurgiatate the gene code. The Marble and Gold marble genes are a good example. The genes both cause a random marble appearance at varying degrees. A heavily marbled fish with a single dose of Gm could have the same amount of marbling as a lightly marbled fish with the marble gene. Now, with that being said what the eye sees is marble plain and simple. The phenotype name should not be used describe what gene is causing the marbling, that is what the genotype name and gene code is for.

  4. #4
    ""I said this over in the other thread but in my opinion the "phenotype" name should describe what the eye sees, plain and simple.""....I don't think anyone has disagreed with that......

    ...nor the fact that phenotype name and gene code are a great way to state the angel that you are communicating about......my concern is that the 'Genetic Calculator' remains true to it's name and purpose by stating the genetic coding. Is that hard to understand?

    The gold marble/marble issue discussed works with phenotype naming, however the need for the genotype name in the calculator for accurate description is imperative.
    Last edited by Mugwump; 10-20-2015 at 03:27 AM.
    Jon
    He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
    - Douglas Adams

    http://www.mugwump-fish-world.com/index.php

  5. #5
    TAS Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump View Post
    my concern is that the 'Genetic Calculator' remains true to it's name and purpose by stating the genetic coding. Is that hard to understand?

    The gold marble/marble issue discussed works with phenotype naming, however the need for the genotype name in the calculator for accurate description is imperative.
    Nope and I also stated that over in the other thread. I stated that I thought 3 things are needed in the calculator to help all levels of experience. That being gene code, genotype and phenotype.

    Is that hard to understand?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Damonc View Post
    Nope and I also stated that over in the other thread. I stated that I thought 3 things are needed in the calculator to help all levels of experience. That being gene code, genotype and phenotype.

    Is that hard to understand?
    It must be....LOL....I'm not against expanding the "Genetic calculator" to include the phenotype names, etc....so there we agree......right? ..My only concern was if it remained a 'Genetic Calculator' it had the genotype names.....if embellishment is needed to cater to the masses, so be it.....but the true genotype naming must be preserved. All the phenotype naming discussion is a separate issue.
    Last edited by Mugwump; 10-20-2015 at 10:38 AM.
    Jon
    He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
    - Douglas Adams

    http://www.mugwump-fish-world.com/index.php

  7. #7
    TAS Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump View Post
    It must be....LOL....I'm not against expanding the "Genetic calculator" to include the phenotype names, etc....so we there we agree......right? ..My only concern was if it remained a 'Genetic Calculator' it had the genotype names.....if embellishment is needed to cater to the masses, so be it.....but the true genotype naming must be preserved. All the phenotype naming discussion is a separate issue.
    I don't think anyone ever said anything about getting rid of the genotype naming so I don't understand why you feel the need to keep driving that point. Comments have been made that it is redundant and that is my opionion as well. I know what a (D/+ - S/S - pb/pb) is without the genotype or phenotype name.

    My suggestion is to include all three because this is a group that is made up of beginers and advanced breeders so it is our duty to cater to all. One of our most basic objectives of TAS is to educate those looking to understand the fish they keep and breed. So why would we want to limit the output of a calculator to just give results that only people with a good understanding of Angelfish genetics can understand just because it's called a "genetic" calculator?!

    Let's change the name to "Breeding" calculator.

    I think it is safe to say that when a newbie gets into breeding the extent of their knowledge is heavily favoring phenotype names. I will use myself as an example again. When I first started breeding I wanted to make a ton of Pinoy Clowns so I went to Paul's calculator and played around with it until I figured out what parents would be needed to throw 100% Pinoy Clowns. While doing this I first looked at the phenotype names that I recognized and then the gene code associated with it. I never once used the genotype name because the majority don't use it in conversation and it tells you the exact same thing as the gene code.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Damonc View Post
    I don't think anyone ever said anything about getting rid of the genotype naming so I don't understand why you feel the need to keep driving that point. Comments have been made that it is redundant and that is my opionion as well. I know what a (D/+ - S/S - pb/pb) is without the genotype or phenotype name.

    My suggestion is to include all three because this is a group that is made up of beginers and advanced breeders so it is our duty to cater to all. One of our most basic objectives of TAS is to educate those looking to understand the fish they keep and breed. So why would we want to limit the output of a calculator to just give results that only people with a good understanding of Angelfish genetics can understand just because it's called a "genetic" calculator?!

    Let's change the name to "Breeding" calculator.

    I think it is safe to say that when a newbie gets into breeding the extent of their knowledge is heavily favoring phenotype names. I will use myself as an example again. When I first started breeding I wanted to make a ton of Pinoy Clowns so I went to Paul's calculator and played around with it until I figured out what parents would be needed to throw 100% Pinoy Clowns. While doing this I first looked at the phenotype names that I recognized and then the gene code associated with it. I never once used the genotype name because the majority don't use it in conversation and it tells you the exact same thing as the gene code.
    The reason is that when TAS began, the mission was to anchor the genetics and genotype names of Angelfish. It, at that time, was realized the phenotype names of angels could not be controlled. I guess I keep pounding it home because I feel it is very important to stay true to those beginnings.
    When I see the phenotype names taking precedent over the genotype names in the TAS calculator....I feel we are at a junction where this would be the normal practice.


    A 'breeder's calculator' might suffice??....but imho....the genotype name should be shown......then reference the corresponding genetic code....then state our 'suggested' TAS phenotype name. Hence, we remain true to our organizations founders by emphasizing genetics, while expanding the related criteria that is being suggested.
    Jon
    He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
    - Douglas Adams

    http://www.mugwump-fish-world.com/index.php

  9. #9
    TAS Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump View Post
    The reason is that when TAS began, the mission was to anchor the genetics and genotype names of Angelfish. It, at that time, was realized the phenotype names of angels could not be controlled. I guess I keep pounding it home because I feel it is very important to stay true to those beginnings.
    When I see the phenotype names taking precedent over the genotype names in the TAS calculator....I feel we are at a junction where this would be the normal practice.


    A 'breeder's calculator' might suffice??....but imho....the genotype name should be shown......then reference the corresponding genetic code....then state our 'suggested' TAS phenotype name. Hence, we remain true to our organizations founders by emphasizing genetics, while expanding the related criteria that is being suggested.
    Jon we are on the same page basically, I just think it should show all three together. Why make someone go searching for answers. I think our next meeting should be to discus the foundation of how we would like to see the process work. I have some ideas of my own and would like everyone else to bring their own spin to the table.

    Also just because thats the way things were doesnt mean we can't improve upon a great foundation. I don't live by the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" rule. Rather I believe if your not growing you are dying so if it's not broke, brake it!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Damonc View Post
    Also just because thats the way things were doesnt mean we can't improve upon a great foundation. I don't live by the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" rule. Rather I believe if your not growing you are dying so if it's not broke, brake it!
    Damon, one of the main reasons for the stds committee was to establish angelfish names as related to their genetic make up. This was so that angelfish did not go the way of Discus and goldfish naming....every breeder on his own, yada yada...... My feelings are that if we lose sight of that by possibly emphasizing phenotype over genotype, we will lose sight of their vision and open a can of worms. Phenotype naming is already getting out of hand. Plus it seems that our by laws were changed to allow the submitting gene breeder to name his strains too. We could end up on a slippery slope.
    It's, also, the is a reason for it not being broke yet.
    Jon
    He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
    - Douglas Adams

    http://www.mugwump-fish-world.com/index.php

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •