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Merle Color In Cocker Spaniels - Definitions

Definitions

What is a Merle color?

Merle is a pattern with patches of intermingled colored and white hairs and other patches of solid color such as red or black.

Heterozygous & Homozygous genes

Each gene is made up of two representative alleles - one inherited from the maternal source (mother) and the other inherited from the paternal source (father)

When a gene is homozygous, both alleles for that gene are the same (ie both the mother and father contributed the same version of the gene)

When a gene is heterozygous, each allele is different

Phenotype & Genotype

Phenotype – An observable physical characteristics of an organism as determined by both genetic and environmental influences

Genotype – The genetic make-up of an organism as opposed to its physical characteristics

Mutation

A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene

Cryptic Merle Mutation

A cryptic Merle is a dog that does NOT present with the overt Merle phenotype but does possess the Merle genotype. It has the potential to produce Merle offspring, but the mechanism by which this occurs is unknown

Alopecia

Hair loss

Cyclic Neutropenia

An abnormal condition in which the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is decreased. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that defends the body against bacterial infection. Neutropenia affects the body's ability to fight off infections

Retrotransposon & SINE

SINE is a short interspersed element and are “jumping genes” that belong to the retrotransposon class of mobile genetic elements

These genes are capable of propagating in a host genome by a ‘copy and paste’ mechanism

Most SINE insertions occur within regions of the genome that have no functional significance

Occasionally they can insert into regions where they can interrupt a necessary gene as is the case for Merle

 

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WON’T YOU VOLUNTEER?

This is a quote I love with regard to volunteering - “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

Needless to say in an all-volunteer organization like the American Spaniel Club and the American Spaniel Club Foundation, volunteers make a vital difference because neither organization would exist without dedicated volunteers. Simply stated -- volunteers are essential for the health and well-being of both Clubs and ultimately our beloved flushing spaniels.

Studies show that there are six main reasons people volunteer: to make a difference in others’ lives; to support an organization or cause; to learn something new; to develop personally or professionally; to feel better about themselves; and to meet people. In other words, volunteering is personal. Advertisements that simply state an organization needs volunteers are not generally successful and I know ASC and ASCF have both found that to be true. However, just think if you could make a difference, support a cause you love (cocker spaniels and the other flushing breeds), feel good in accomplishing an important goal, and meet other people who also love spaniels, wouldn’t you want to volunteer?

As the ASC Board announced at the National Specialty in July, ASC has embarked on a strategic plan to make ASC stronger and more relevant in today’s world of pure bred dogs. There are many areas in which ASC needs help – ASC communications, including a new breed magazine, social media, the new website, breeders education, judges education and public education; membership development and events; marketing; branding; national conformation and performance events; and field events. To accomplish this strategic plan a wide variety of volunteers are needed.

I know ASC has an amazingly talented membership with diverse experiences and expertise that can help ASC accomplish its strategic goals. Accordingly, ASC would like to be sure its knows about your expertise and interests. In ASC’s Annual Mailing, which everyone should have received by now, and on the ASC website and by survey monkey, there is a Volunteer Interest Form. PLEASE fill out the form and return it to either Dee Torgerson Rismyhr or Laurie Foley. From the Annual Mailing, Laurie has already received a number of completed forms. Thank you to those members for your immediate response, but we need a response from everyone!

To give one's time and talent for a good cause is a special feeling. And to see what a group like ASC’s membership can accomplish will be amazing. WON’T YOU HELP? WON”T YOU VOLUNTEER?

 

I am always open to hearing your thoughts, so email me anytime at lmoore@estesokon.com


January 2016 - UPDATED NEWS ON Cocker Spaniel Cataract Research 

View Dr. Aguirre's Presentation on Cataracts & His Research Project

ASC and ASCF Join forces to Fund Cocker Spaniel Cataract Research !!

Click HERE to Make a tax-deductible donation NOW to the genetic cataract research project - Please Support our Cockers!!