The Tabby cat locus maps to feline chromosome B1

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SummaryThe Tabby markings of the domestic cat are unique coat patterns for which no causative candidate gene has been inferred from other mammals. In this study, a genome scan was performed on a large pedigree of cats that segregated for Tabby coat markings, specifically for the Abyssinian (Ta-) and blotched (tbtb) phenotypes. There was linkage between the Tabby locus and eight markers on cat chromosome B1. The most significant linkage was between marker FCA700 and Tabby (Z = 7.56, θ = 0.03). Two additional markers in the region supported linkage, although not with significant LOD scores. Pairwise analysis of the markers supported the published genetic map of the cat, although additional meioses are required to refine the region. The linked markers cover a 17-cM region and flank an evolutionary breakpoint, suggesting that the Tabby gene has a homologue on either human chromosome 4 or 8. Alternatively, Tabby could be a unique locus in cats.

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