Affiliated to the National Hamster Council
Honey is a colour formed by combining the Cinnamon gene, p, with the sex linked Yellow gene, To. For this reason, it is compatible with both, although Yellow is probably the slightly less "potentially confusing" match of the two, should a Honey mate be unavailable. This is because, since the gene for Yellow, To, (and its opposite, non yellow, given the symbol to), is found on the "X" chromosome. Since this is one of the sex chromosomes), its effects are shown slightly differently in males and females.
Females have a pair of X chromosomes, males have one X chromosome and a chromosome called the Y chromosome. Since female hamsters only have X chromosomes all their eggs will contain one X chromosome. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, so half of their sperm will contain an X chromosome, half a Y. An X bearing sperm unites with an X egg to form an XX embryo, (which will be female), while a Y bearing sperm unites with an X egg to produce an XY, (male), embryo. In other words, a male hamster passes his X chromosome only to his daughters and his Y chromosome only to his sons, while a female passes an X chromosome on to both her sons and her daughters.
The Yellow gene, To, is not completely dominant; if an animal has a Yellow, (To), gene and a non Yellow, (to), gene it will show patches of Yellow and non Yellow fur. This pattern is called Tortoiseshell and, obviously, all Tortoiseshell hamsters must be female, (because only females have two X chromosomes and so only they can have two different genes at the Yellow site). Male hamsters, having only one X chromosome, must show whichever gene is on that chromosome.
A female Honey produces eggs which all carry the Cinnamon gene, p, and all carry the Yellow gene, To. Both her sons and her daughters will always inherit the Yellow and Cinnamon genes. If she is mated to a Honey male, (who will produce sperm carrying the p gene and whose X bearing sperm ONLY will contain the To gene), the result will be male and female Honeys - Honey is true breeding. Mating to a Yellow male would produce the same interaction with the Yellow gene, but, since the young would inherit only one p gene, (the other would be a P gene from their Yellow father), they would be Yellow, not Honey.
Mating the same female to a Cinnamon male will give a different effect. All the babies will inherit a p gene from each parent, but the males, having only one X chromosome, (from their Honey mother), will be Honey. The females, (inheriting a To bearing X chromosome from their mother and a to bearing one from their father), will all be Cinnamon Tortoisehells. Mating a Honey female to a Golden male would produce Yellow males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.
If the above mating is done "the other way around", (i.e., a Cinnamon FEMALE to a Honey MALE), the results are slightly different. The female will produce eggs all containing an X chromosome with the gene to, for non-Yellow, on it. The male's sperm will contain either a Y chromosome or a To bearing X one. Since all the males inherit their X chromosome from their Cinnamon mother, they are all Cinnamon. The females, inheriting an X chromosome from each parent will still be Cinnamon Tortoiseshells, because they have inherited a To bearing X, (from their father this time), and a to bearing one, (from their mother). Mating to a Yellow male would produce Golden males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.
Mating Tortoiseshell females produces yet more combinations. Since they have a To bearing X chromosome AND a to bearing one, half of their eggs contain the To gene and the other half the to one. Mating to a Honey male will give Cinnamon and Honey males and Honey and Cinnamon Tortoiseshell females, (in both males and females the colour is dependent on which X chromosome the youngster inherits from its mother). Mating to a Cinnamon male would give Cinnamon and Honey males and Cinnamon and Cinnamon Tortoiseshell females. If Yellow or Golden males were used, instead of Cinnamons or Honeys, the results would be Yellows instead of Honeys, Goldens instead of Cinnamons and Golden, (instead of Cinnamon), Tortoiseshells.
|HONEY (ppTo - male, ppToTo - female)|
|TOP COAT||Light cinnamon orange to the roots|
|BASE COLOUR||Light cinnamon orange|
|BELLY FUR||Ivory, almost white|
|CRESCENTS||Ivory, almost white|
|CHEST BAND||Light cinnamon orange|
|EYE COLOUR||Claret red|
|EAR COLOUR||Flesh grey|
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